Call to Socialism

By Gustav Landauer (1911)

Entry 3313


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Revolt Library Anarchism Call to Socialism

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(1870 - 1919)

German Social Anarchist, Pacifist, and Leader of the Bavarian Soviet Republic

: He dies "In a prison courtyard an officer stepped up and struck him across the face, the signal for a savage massacre. Set upon by the troops, Landauer was beaten with trutcheons and rifle butts, kicked, stomped and trampled upon. 'Kill me, then!' he exclaimed, 'to think that you are human beings!" At that he was shot to death. (From: Anarchist Portraits, Arvich.)
• "Anarchism is the goal that we pursue: the absence of domination and of the state; the freedom of the individual. Socialism is the means by which we want to reach and secure this freedom: solidarity, sharing, and cooperative labor." (From: "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "True cooperative labor and true community can only exist where individuals are free, and free individuals can only exist where our needs are met by brotherly solidarity." (From: "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "Leaving allegories aside, what we need is the following: associations of humankind in affairs that concern the interests of humankind; associations of a particular people in affairs that concern the interests of a particular people; associations of particular social groups in affairs that concern particular social groups; associations of two people in affairs that concern the interests of two people; individualization in affairs that concern the interests of the individual." (From: "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)


9 Chapters | 50,420 Words | 304,378 Characters

Foreword to the Second Edition The revolution has come, though I did not expect it this way. War has come, just as I expected; and in that war I soon saw defeat and revolution relentlessly approaching. With a truly profound bitterness I state: it is now clear that I was essentially correct in this Call for Socialism and in articles in my journal The Socialist. A political revolution in Germany had not yet occurred; now it has been completed, and only the revolutionaries’ inability to construct the new economy, in particular, as well as the new freedom and self-determination, could be held responsible if a reaction should bring about the reestablishment of new privileged powers. All shades of Marxist Social Democratic parties, in a... (From:
Preface to the First Edition In my book The Revolution (Frankfurt a.M., 1907) I said: “Here is where our road leads: that such men as have gained insight and realized that it is impossible to continue living this way, have started uniting in associations and placing their labor in the service of their consumption. They will soon reach the limits set for them by the state; they lack a legal basis. This is the point where the revolution of which we have spoken till now goes further into a revolution of which nothing can be said, because it is still far off. Nor can anything be said here of social regeneration, of which only hints could be given. How one evaluates the beginnings and movements that now exist depends on what one ex... (From:
For Socialism 1 Whoever calls for socialism must be of the opinion that socialism is something that is either almost or fully absent, that is either not yet or no longer existent. One could object: “Of course, socialism, the socialist society, does not exist. It is not yet here, but efforts are being made to achieve it — insights, knowledge, teachings as to how it will come.” No, the socialism I am calling for here is not meant so. Rather, by socialism I mean a tendency of the human will and an insight into conditions and ways that lead to its accomplishment. Yet this socialism hardly exists, and as miserably as ever. Therefore I speak to each one who wants to hear me, and I hope that my voice will finally reach very... (From:
2 Socialism is the tendency of will of united persons to create something new for the sake of an ideal. So let us see what the old system is, and what previous reality was like, in our era. Not our time in the limited sense of now, a few years or a few decades; rather our own time as at the very least the past four hundred years. For let us impress it on our minds and let us state it here at the beginning: socialism is a great cause with far-reaching consequences. It wishes to help lead declining families of men back to the height of a blossoming culture, to spirit and thus to unity and freedom. Such words grate on the ears of professors and pamphleteers and they also displease those whose thinking is impregnated by these corrupters, ... (From:
3 So our time stands between two ages. What does it look like? A cohesive spirit — yes! yes! the word spirit does occur often in this book. Perhaps it happens because the men of our time, especially the so-called socialists, say “spirit” so seldom and act correspondingly. They do not act spiritually and so they do nothing real and practical; and how could they do anything real if they think so little! There is no cohesive spirit that impels men to spontaneously collaborate in matters of common interest, in the production and distribution of consumer goods. There is no spirit hovering above all work above every industrious impulse like the song of the lark out of the skies or the far-away song of invisible choruses, the... (From:
4 Socialism is the tendency of will of unified men to create something new for the sake of an ideal. We have now seen why this new entity should be created. We have seen the old. Once again we have let the existing system pass before our shuddering eyes. Now I will not say, as some may well expect, how the new reality we desire should be constituted as a whole. I offer no depiction of an ideal, no description of a Utopia. I have given some idea of what can now be said and I have called it by name: justice. An image has been delineated of our conditions, and of our people; does anyone believe that reason and decency, or even love, need only be preached in order to happen? Socialism is a cultural movement, a struggle for beauty, greatnes... (From:
Marxism Karl Marx artificially bridged the two components of Marxism, science and the political party, creating something apparently completely new, which the world had never seen before, namely scientific politics and the party with a scientific basis and a scientific program. That really was something new and, moreover, modern and timely, and furthermore it flattered the workers to hear that precisely they represented science, indeed the very latest science. If you want to win the masses, then flatter them. If you want to incapacitate them for serious thought and action and make their representatives archetypes of hollow infatuation, mouthing a rhetoric which they themselves at best only half understand, then convince them that they re... (From:
6 It was a memorable moment in the history of our era, when Pierre Joseph Proudhon, after the French February revolution of the year 1848, told his people what it had to do to establish a society of justice and freedom. He was still living, like all his revolutionary compatroits of the time, completely in the tradition of the revolution which had erupted externally in 1789 and had, as was then felt, been nipped in the bud by the counterrevolution and subsequent governments. He said: The revolution put an end to feudalism. Something new must replace it. Feudalism was an order in the area of the economy of the State, it was an articulated, military system of dependencies. For centuries it had been undermined by freedoms; civil liberties ha... (From:
7 Times have become different from what Proudhon described in 1848. Dispossession has increased in every way. We have moved further from socialism than sixty years ago. Sixty years ago Proudhon could in a moment of revolution, of desire to reshape the whole, say to his people what had to be done at that moment. Today, even if the people should rise up, the point which then was so important is no longer alone decisive. Also in two respects there is no longer a complete people: what is called the proletariat will never by itself be the embodiment of a people, while the nations are so dependent on one another in production and trade that a single people no longer is a people. But mankind is far from being a unity, and will never be until ... (From:


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July 13, 2019; 5:39:14 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
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