The discussion on May 10th was very well attended. It was opened by Comrade Merlino. Communist Anarchism, he pointed out, is the logical outcome of the tendencies of the thought of our century, especially of the theory of evolution as applied to social development. As illustrations, he alluded to the growth of the new scientific attitude towards crime, and the practical modifications in an Anarchist direction which it is slowly beginning to introduce in the treatment of criminals; also to the growing tendency to criticize and distrust the system of representative government. The main objections generally raised to Socialism are based on the opposition of these obvious anti-authoritative tendencies of our time to the idea of time extension o... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
On October 12 Dr. Merlino opened the meeting by reading a paper on "The Organization of Labor." He dwelt upon the necessity of revising the whole system of the production of the necessaries of life, and pointed out that if this was done by a government it would be an artificial organization of labor, whereas in a period of the development of society a free-handed policy was a necessity. Of course the usual objection would be made to this opinion. It would be asked, How without a central government can the workmen organize themselves? What would be their guides? He replied, reason and interest. People would begin to use their reason and to trust in it more than they do at the present day. It was necessary that people should know something of... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
• "On the contrary, we do not boast that we possess absolute truth; we believe that social truth is not a fixed quantity, good for all times, universally applicable, or determinable in advance, but that instead, once freedom has been secured, mankind will go forward discovering and acting gradually with the least number of upheavals and with a minimum of friction. Thus our solutions always leave the door open to different and, one hopes, better solutions."
• "To me a policeman is worse than a criminal, at least than a minor common criminal; a policeman is more dangerous and harmful to society. However, if people do not feel sufficiently protected by the public, no doubt they immediately call for the policeman. Therefore, the only way of preventing the policeman from existing is to make him useless by replacing him in those functions that constitute a real protection for the public."
• "The authoritarians, the rulers, either believe they hold an infallible formula, or must pretend to hold it, as they intend to lay down and impose the law. However, all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence."
The Czar's Cat's-paw. The Republican rulers of France have consummated their own disgrace by sentencing to three years' imprisonment seven young men of whom is Russian majesty was afraid. Some of these were studying chemistry and experimenting on the force of explosives, and the Czar has his reasons for objecting to his faithful subjects becoming too learned in that line. The absurd charge of conspiracy fell through at the trial, but the popular dread of "anything that might go off" was cleverly used to make the prisoners appear dangerous. The spy who worked up the affair-the gentleman one of whose many aliases is Landesen -was condemned to five years by default, i.e., after he had had time and means given to him to get out of the way. All ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Saverio Merlino sees, according to us, the decomposition and agony of the anarchist movement in the conflict between the individualist and the organizers on the ground of immediate action and in the intimate contradiction particular to the two streams of thought: those, the organizers are not able to find a compatible organization with the anarchist principles: those, the individualists, miss the concept of retaliation which was the spirit of anarchist action. They cant find a better way to act and they are not able to sustain an organization that they deny. That these organizers cant find some form of organization compatible with the anarchist principles is perfectly natural and logical: and this, its ar... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The "Knights of Liberty" group send us a pamphlet of 32 pages, printed in Yiddish, which has just been issued from the Worker's Friend printing office, 40 Berners Street, Commercial Road, London, E. Comrade B. Feigenbaum is the author, and the title rendered into English is "Why a Jew should be a Socialist." It can be had for 2d. in England and 5c. in America. We are glad to notice an excellent little German paper Der Anarchist,which has lately appeared at St. Louis, Mo., U. S. A. (C. Timmermann, P.0. Box 758). It is published fortnightly, is printed in roman characters and can be had, post free for a half-year for 2s. in stamps. L'Associazione, the Italian Anarchist-Communist paper recently published at Nice is now issued from London. An i... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
(From our Paris Correspondent.) THE most important event to be noticed from the revolutionary Socialist point of view is without doubt the International Anarchist Conference which was held at Paris on Sundays, Sept. 1 and 8. This meeting resembled in no particular the preceding Authoritarian Congresses. There was no president, no bureau, no committee charged with the verification of the delegates' mandates, to bring up reports and do suchlike useless things. The platform was absolutely free for every one to speak who wished, and the most admirable order existed during the two sittings, although the Salle du Commerce, which holds from five to six hundred persons, was quite full. After a short speech from Tortellier inviting the comrades from... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
We would call the attention of those among our readers who know Italian, to the above work, just published by our comrade S. Merlino. It is a most useful text-book of Anarchist Socialism, and we hope it may shortly make its appearance in English dress. The author begins by pointing out that our present economic system, in spite of so-called free competition, and other delusive appearances of freedom, is founded upon monopoly. By monopoly he understands the individual appropriation of the wealth of the community by persons who make use of this property to obtain for themselves the fruits of other people's labor. The first part of the book describes the growth of this monopoly ; the second consists of an examination of the doctrines of the ec... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. (A Paper read by Dr. Merlino at the October Freedom Discussion Meeting.) WE now enter upon the crucial point of all socialistic systems-the Organization of Labor-the great problem with which we shall be confronted at the breakdown of the capitalistic system. We will first take a general view of what the future organization of labor may be. If we allow a central government, or any authority whatever, to exist and regulate our affairs, we have no natural but an artificial system of production and distribution enforced, a system which will be held by the men who profit by it, as consented to by all members of society, irrevocable at least for a time, and vesting rights in themselves. These rights they will be by and by pr... (From : AnarchyArchives.)