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From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. ἄν, and αρχος, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Table of Contents Introduction Inalienable Tenets of Anarchism The Class Struggle Organization and Anarchism The Role of an Anarchist in an Authoritarian Society Bringing About the New Society The Marxist Criticism of Anarchism The Social-Democratic Critique of Anarchism The Liberal-Democratic Objection to Anarchism The Fascist Objection to Anarchism The Average Person's Objection to Anarchism Introduction The Historical Background to Anarchism It is not without interest that what might be called the anarchist approach goes back into antiquity; nor that there is an anarchism of sorts in the peasant movements that struggled against State oppression over the centuries. But the modern anarchist movement could not claim such precursors of revol... (From : Hack.org.)
Preface Preface There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective. It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. If, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization in which only fragments of their ideas can be observed. Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians. Rejection of authority and stress on the priority of individual judgment make it natural for libertarians to "profess the faith of anti dogmatism." "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion," Proudhon wrote to Marx, "even were it to be the religion of logic and reason." It follows that the views of the libertarians are more varied, mor...
(Where the words "Anarchism" and "Libertarian" come from) From Chapter 1, part 1 of the book "Anarchism", by Daniel Guerin The word anarchy is as old as the world. It is derived from to ancient Greek words, "an", "arkhe^", and means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was famous for his quips (such as "property is theft") and took to himself the word anarchy. As if his purpose were to shock as much as possible, in 1840 he engaged in the following dialogue with the "Philistine". "You are a... (From : University of Utah.)
Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This work appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of Benedict Read, Executor & Trustee, Herbert Read Estate and Trust William Godwin [Herbert Read MS from University of Victoria] In the history of English poetry, no name is more secure than that of Shelley: he ranks with the greatest -- with Spenser, Shakespear, Milton and Wordsworth, and the years only add to the depth of our appreciation of his genius. But Shelley's name is indisociably linked with another name -- the name of a man to whom he owed not only his philosopy of life, but even his personal happiness, for he ran away with the philosopher's daughter. This philosopher was William Godwin, and in his day no man was more famous. His fame rested on one book, though he wrote ma... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchism and Capital Punishment Excerpted from the book; Individual Liberty Selections From the Writings of Benjamin R. Tucker Vanguard Press, New York, 1926 Kraus Reprint Co., Millwood, NY, 1973. Since the execution of Kemmler, I have seen it stated repeatedly in the press, and especially in the reform press, and even in the Anarchistic press, that the execution was a murder. I have also seen it stated that Capital punishment is murder in its worst form. I should like to know upon what principle of human society these assertions are based and justified. If they are based on the principle that punishment inflicted by a compulsory institution which manufacturers the criminals is worse than the crime punished, I can understand them and in some degree sympathize with them. But in that case I cannot see why capital punishment should be singled out for emph...
A Plea for Non-Resistance [Liberty, February 11, 1888.] To the Editor of Liberty:(18 ¶ 1) I must take exception to the teaching that the infliction of injury upon aggressors is compatible with the principle of equal liberty to all.(18 ¶ 2) First, with an argument which is no argument, yet which has its force to those who have observed the growth of new ideas in their own minds: how there comes first a revulsion against what is, then strong sentiment in favor of the opposite, and last only, and often not then until long after, perhaps never, comes the possibility of rational justification of the sentiment.(18 ¶ 3...
Source: Benjamin R.Tucker Papers, New York Public Library; Transcribed: by Mitchell Abidor. Villa “a Lujerneta" Pont Ste Devote Principality of Monaco April 11,1936 To the Editor of the American Journal of Sociology: The University of Chicago Chicago, Ill. Sir: In view of the tissue of falsehoods (I purposely refrain from saying “lies” by the advice of a beloved friend and the cautious Webster) that you have printed about me in your issue of January 1936, there is little wonder that you do not wish to be addressed individually. But, whoever you may be, I shall not allow you to escape responsibility, since I know that the writer knows, and therefore writes with malice prepense. If his air of cold impartiality has deceived you, you are ... (From : Marxists.org.)