We are a mixed race, we English, and perhaps the mixture of which we have most reason to be proud is our strain of Norse blood, our kinship with the Scandinavians.
We are accustomed in our childish history books to read of the "Danes" and their continual invasions of England as if these human beings, many of whom came from Norway and not Denmark at all, were a mere swarm of locusts, seeking what they might devour. Certainly their resolute efforts to obtain a share of the soil and wealth of Britain from the earlier settlers were frequently attended with destruction of life and of peaceful industry. Those old Norsemen cared as little for the life of the man or woman of an alien community as their descendant, the fisherman of to-day, cares fo... (From: AnarchyArchives.) When all the night is horrible with clamor
Of voiceless curses darker than the night,
When light of sun there is not, neither star-shine
Nor any beacon on the hill of right
Shine, O thou light of life, upon our pathway,
Freedom, be thou our light!
Since all life's ways are difficult and dreary
And false steps echo through eternity,
And there is naught to lean on as we journey
By paths not smooth ac downward ways would be
We have no other help, we need no other
Freedom, we lean on thee.
The slaves' base murmur and the threats of tyrants,
The voice of cowards who cringe and cry "Retreat!"
The whisper of the world, "Come where power calls thee!"
The whisper of the flesh, "Let ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) A correspondent writes to us from Buenos Ayres:
I send you a copy of a handbill circulated by Anarchists of Buenos Ayres after a meeting of sympathy and grief for the victims of Chicago. It will probably interest your readers to know that something is doing here, though it is not very much yet. I who write have been for some time a Socialist, though not an Anarchist, as I did not understand Anarchism. I think I am an Anarchist now, and the crime of Chicago has done more than anything else to make me study the subject."
After relating the circumstances of the tragedy, with which our readers are familiar, the handbill continues:
"The bourgeois in condemning and executing these brave champions of the workers' cause has made no mistake. Thes... (From: AnarchyArchives.) Individualist Anarchism is a round square, a contradiction in set terms. As a cube is not a ball, so " Individualism " is not Anarchism.
What then, is Individualism? It is the chaos of to-day in social and industrial life, which has sprung from the licentious play of self-will Self-will is the will to be somewhat, and to have hold and sway something in isolation from other such wills, and in opposition to them. Property, dominion, government, law, are embodiments of this self will.
Individualism is this striving, grabbing, over-reaching, and self-seeking of atoms, that seek to possess human individuality, but go about their quest the wrong way. It calls itself civilization, progress, fair competition, free trade, and many other fine names... (From: AnarchyArchives.) Conclusion of Bruce Glasier's Letter.*
Regarding the election or appointment of directors or administrators in 9, communal society, I need say little. That such will always be necessary where society and industry, exist, I believe. That it is advisable, even if it were possible, that the persons required to direct social and industrial concerns could always be appointed on the moment, I fail to see. Nor can I understand how it is possible that in every am such appointments would meet with the approval of everybody. The same reasoning that applies to laws and majorities applies to this matter also. I heartily agree with you, however, in thinking that foremen and overseers such as we have today will be almost, if not entirely, unnecessary. T... [Comrade H. Davis of the Socialist League, delivered a lecture having this title, at 13 Farringdom Road, under the auspices of the Clerkenwell Branch of the Socialist League, on the 22nd of last month.]
In all discussions on this subject, said be, whether our opponents be of the most generous or the most hostile sort, Anarchy, is, they admit, the highest form of civilization conceivable. Anarchy has been defined by an intelligent opponent as "a state of Society in which each individual is a law unto himself." A grand, but an impossible ideal, we are told, this is when looked at from the imperfections of to-day. Now opposition to most schemes for a reorganization of Society are urged from a more or less well defined knowledge of the imperfe... (From: AnarchyArchives.) FROM A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT.
In the July number of "Freedom" you state in reply to Comrade Underwood, a member of the Social Democratic Federation, that if he or any other Social Democrat will state his objections to Anarchist Communism, you will gladly answer them. Underwood not having sent in his objections, I take this opportunity of stating what I conceive to be some of the serious drawbacks to the realization of your ideals. In the first place, if I understand you rightly, Anarchists are against all laws and government. Now what do we Social Democrats mean by law; a common sense regulation, in conformity, with the best interests of the community, every adult having a voice in the making of the law, such law not to become binding until acce... (From: AnarchyArchives.) (From a Correspondent.)
So strong and so widespread are the pretensions of "governments" to-day, that it is difficult for any civilized community to remain anarchistic without being interfered with or "annexed" by one or the other of them. it is therefore interesting to discover from the 'Colonial Office List' (Harrison & Sons) that the British empire includes at least one successful anarchist commune. Judging train the following account it is in no need of the so-called indispensable "laws" of majority rule. We hope it may be long before busybody philanthropy imposes any such chains upon it.
"Tristan d'Acunha and Gough Island are the principal of a group of islands lying in lat. 37 deg. 6 min. S. and long. 12 deg. 2 min. W. It was ta... (From: AnarchyArchives.) There is a sad lack of Anarchist pamphlets in England, and we gladly welcome our comrade Joseph Lane's contribution of 'An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto' (price 1d., Joseph Lane, 38, Ainsley Street, Bethnal Green Junction, E.), which is an energetic and earnest exposition of Anarchist Socialism from a worker's standpoint. The second portion, which deals with practical politics, is specially interesting. We hope the tract will have a wide circulation. But is it not a pity to use the somewhat clumsy title 'Anti-Statist' rather than the more definite and expressive 'Anarchist'? Why evade the fine old name which for years has rung out in the van of the Socialist movement throughout the world? It is flung at every energetic Socialist, of what... (From: AnarchyArchives.) We have received from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a pamphlet by C. L. James, entitled 'Anarchy, a Tract for the Times,' which contains an able exposition of the principles of Anarchy. We cannot endorse all conclusions of the author, but we admire the concise and excellent manner in which he summarizes the, origins of Government and Capital.
'System of Economical Contradictions,' by P. J. Proudhon, translated from the French by Benjamin Tucker. (Proudhon Library, published monthly at Boston). We earnestly recommend the reading of this work to those who know Proudhon only by the bitter pamphlet of Marx. Those who seek in books matter for independent thought surely will find few more suggestive authors than Proudhon.
FROM A PARIS GARRET.-Here, a... (From: AnarchyArchives.) A special dispatch from Chicago, Ill., says: The Anarchists in Chicago are becoming more bold, and scarcely a day passes now but that some meeting of theirs or some secret work is exposed....The fact has also been brought out that the Anarchists have established a number of schools here, and are endeavoring to establish more, at which the teachings of Johann Most are to be the text books. In the rear of a liquor store at Lincoln Avenue and Halsted Street, a reporter found seated around the low, dingy room about 120 children, from five to fourteen years of age, listening intently to what their teacher was explaining of the teachings of Most. He told the little ones that Spies and Parsons had been murdered by the capitalists, and in eloquent ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) (Front our Norwegian correspondent.)
In one of the highest parts of Norway, in the wide and beautiful Osterdalen (East Valley), there lies a large and rich country named Tynset. The winters are long and very cold up there, but it is a summer resort, and people from all parts of the country, but mostly from England arid other foreign lands, come up the fjord in steamers to breathe the fresh and healthy mountain air.
This remarkable place is the bead-quarters of the Anarchist movement in mountainous Norway. That is to say, that in this place the Norwegian Anarchist paper Fedraheimen is published. The present editor-in-chief Rasmus Steinsvik, is living in a little cottage, very little indeed, living the rich life of a man fighting for truth ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) On the evening of Sunday August 25th the hall of the Patriotic Club, Clerkenwell Green, London, E.C., was well-filled by Socialists anxious to bear the debate between our comrade John Turner, Anarchist Communist, and HERBERT Burrows, the Social Democrat.
Morrison Davidson, who occupied the chair. said be sympathized with both Anarchists and Social Democrats. Anything that taught the English people to revolt against authority was, in his opinion, good. Anarchy was not as the ignorant imagined a synonym for disorder. Those who advocated it regarded. it as the highest form of order. They regarded Law as an evil in itself. They regarded the government of the majority as little better than the government of the oligarchy. He believed. however, ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) The word Anarchism is open to such grievous misconstruction from English readers, who associate it with mere confusion, or, still more unfortunately, with acts of personal violence and revenge, that, in the absence of any more competent coreligionist at liberty for the moment to undertake the task, I would crave your permission to explain what our creed really is and especially its bearing on social reconstruction.
Anarchy, as your readers are aware, means simply "without a ruler" or “chief magistrate". Anarchist, therefore, is the name assumed by a certain school of Socialists, who, in the words of the Declaration of the Forty-Seven at Lyons, believe that "the time has come to teach the people to do without government", as well as f... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The grip of capital Upon the workers is like the grip of the thumb-screw upon some wretched victim in the torture chamber of past ages. Deeper and deeper it squeezes into their lives, crushing out endurance. One of the later turns of this pitiless screw is the concentration of industrial control. Socialists have long noted a growing tendency towards this latest form of tyranny, but lately it appears to have started forward with new vigor. Remarkable changes are daily taking place in industry, changes which are rapidly preparing the way for that tremendous social change that the workers call the Coming Revolution,
Few realize how fast the small capitalist employer is now being swept away by the competition of large concerns, mostly in the f... (From: AnarchyArchives.) (From our Paris correspondent).
The great electoral agitation is over. The Government triumphs; Boulangism, conquered for the time being, foams at the mouth, and the worker who has just, according to his habit, again selected his masters. sees with anxiety the approach of winter, that season so hard for the world of the poor. A few days more will see the close of the Exhibition when Paris will be filled with its unemployed clerks and workmen. A critical moment will have arrived, Where will these men find work and bread? All these workless ones entering into deadly competition with one another will render it very probable that serious complications will arise.
To prevent an insurrection of hunger the Government will be very I likely to com... (From: AnarchyArchives.) One of the commonest objections to Communism is, that men are not good enough to live under a Communist state of things. They would not submit to a compulsory Communism, but they are not yet ripe for free, Anarchistic Communism. Centuries of individualistic education have rendered them too egotistic. Slavery, submission to the strong, and work under the whip of necessity, have rendered them unfit for a society where everybody would be free and know no compulsion except what results from a freely taken engagement towards the others, and their disapproval if he would not fulfill the engagement. Therefore, we are told, some intermediate transition state of society is necessary as a step towards Communism.
Old words in a new shape; words said ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) FERENZ RENYI, Hungary, 1848
This is the story of Renyi -
And when you have heard it through, Pray, God be send no trial like his
To try the faith of you.
And if his doom be upon you,
Then may God grant you this:
To fight as good a fight as he,
And win a crown like his.
He was strong and handsome and happy, Beloved and loving and young,
'With eyes that men set their trust in,
And the fire of his soul on his tongue.
He loved the spirit of Freedom,
He hated his country's wrongs,
He told the patriots' stories,
He sang the patriot's songs.
With mother and sister and sweetheart
His safe glad days went by,
Till Hungary called on her children
To arm--to fight--and to die.
"Goodbye to... (From: AnarchyArchives.) A hush pervades the atmosphere. The light is strange and garish. The distance between various objects contradicts our habitual impressions; things seem startlingly near, startlingly definite. Birds appear to have vanished from the earth; beasts stand as if turned to stone, or move with a scared langour. If the faintest breeze rustles the leaves, the eerie sharpness of the sound sends a chill through our blood. Every noise assumes a mysterious significance; the mere shutting of a door makes us start and shiver. Our work drags heavily along; our hands seem made of lead, our brains of wool. Like a pall the inky cloud with its yellowish glare hangs overhead and stifles all our energy, until the tension becomes unbearable and our jaded nerves qu... (From: AnarchyArchives.) The original free, unconsciously Anarchist, institutions of our country, which Kemble describes as during the Saxon period "supplying a mutual guarantee of peace, security, and freedom for the inhabitants of a district," have constituted down to the present day the boast of Englishmen. But how changed they are: oh I quantum mutatabillis I.
These originally free institutions of the English people have been attacked on both sides; by the over-growth of central government, and by the usurpations of that class whose fortune has been the misery of the people.
The process of such political "enclosures," as it were, was extremely varied. Now the committee of the people's assembly was substituted for the assembly itself; now the function of moder... (From: AnarchyArchives.) (Front an Italian Correspondent).
The commercial crisis by which Italy is at the present time afflicted, is no doubt, referable in particular cases to particular causes, but it has been chiefly brought about by a revolution in economical ways and means.
Only a few years ago the foreign and even the inter-provincial trade of Italy was comparatively, insignificant. Products of the soil were consumed on the spot; and the surplus merely was sold to provide for necessaries. Agriculture and manufactures alike took the mark of the locality, every part of the country showing its own particular taste. Flax. cotton, wool, silk and other manufactures, were established in the villages, and provided the peasants with good and durable commodities, and ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) The history of the great revolution, when properly understood, is the most striking illustration of what we Anarchists maintain, namely, that even during a revolutionary period, even with assemblies elected under the pressure of the revolted masses, the parliamentary representatives of the nation, far from promoting the accomplishment of the revolution, were like heavy shot attached to its feet. If the French-peasants had expected their liberation from the feudal yoke from the National Convention, the Assembly, or the Legislative Assembly, or even the Convention, would have come out of the revolution under nearly the same burden as before. And if France had expected from her legislators the abolition of court rule, court rule would have bee... (From: AnarchyArchives.) Since the Paris Commune no event in the world-wide evolution of the struggle between Socialism and the existing order of society has been so important, so significant, as the tragedy of Chicago. Standing as we do to-day at more than twelve months' distance from the series of events which culminated in the judicial murder of the Eleventh of November, we are able to estimate their meaning with a calmer certainty than amid the storm of horror, indignation and pity which the wrongs of our comrades aroused last year, not only among Socialists but among all workmen aware of the facts. Good men are being murdered for their devotion to the cause of freedom; let us save them, or if that may not be, at least let us protest against the crime. Such was... (From: AnarchyArchives.) When this number of Freedom appears, we shall be on the eve of anniversary which every worker, every lover of liberty, ought to engrave in fiery letters on his heart. On November 11, 1887, five Anarchists who bad been the most devoted champions of the workers' emancipation were put to death at Chicago, merely to give satisfaction to the capital-owners and labor-robbers of America, who loudly cried for their blood, hoping that that blood would extinguish the revolt of the labor slaves.
On that day Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fischer were strangled on the scaffold by order of the middle class judges of Chicago. Lingg who was condemned to the same fate, deprived the bloodhounds of the pleasure of seeing his corpse, too, on the scaffold, and exp... (From: AnarchyArchives.) An American correspondent writes: "I have but recently returned from Chicago, where I left our comrades in good health; though confinement is telling somewhat upon them, they none exhibit any signs of weakness. The outlook for them is somewhat gloomy, I am afraid. We confidently expected a decision from the State Supreme Court ere this, and the delay is ominous. The September term will, however, settle the question, and whichever way it goes, Anarchy will reap the benefit."
Another remarks: "What a giant mushroom-growth is the class privilege of this republic, when it costs the subjects of malicious aspersion 20,000 dollars to get a chance of a trial between them and the gallows, while a present of 100.000 dollars to a packed jury for thei... (From: AnarchyArchives.) We are requested to publish the following notice:--" 'A concise history of the great trial of the Chicago Anarchists,' compiled by Dyer D. Lum, containing 200 pages, printed in large, clear type. Price 25 cents. A printed copy of the celebrated speeches of the eight condemned men entitled, 'The Accused the Accusers, being the the famous Speeches of the eight Chicago Anarchists in Court,' comprising 200 pages of large clear print. Price lb cents. Workingmen and others who have read the prejudiced and perverted accounts of this great capitalistic trial as given in the corrupt capitalistic press, now have an opportunity to learn the facts as taken from the official record of the trial, as well as from the statements of the condemned men themse... (From: AnarchyArchives.) We are living on the eve of great events. Before the end of this century has come we shall see great revolutionary movements breaking up our social conditions in Europe and probably also in the United States of America.
Social storms cannot be forecast with the same accuracy as those which cross the Atlantic on their way to our shores. But still, there are tokens permitting us to predict the approach of those great disturbances which periodically visit mankind to redress wrongs accumulated by past centuries, to freshen the atmosphere, to blow away monopolies and prejudices.
There is a certain periodicity in these great uprisings of the oppressed. The end of each of the last five centuries has been marked by great movements which have help... (From: AnarchyArchives.) If a densely crowded meeting and sustained enthusiasm are criteria of a successful meeting, the gathering at South Place Institute on the eighteenth of March, convened by the Anarchist groups of London, must be considered as preeminently successful. Moreover it was one of the most international meetings ever held in this or any other country, speeches being delivered in the English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Yiddish languages. Before the speaking began there was a brisk sale of Freedom, Die Autonomic, The Workers' Friend, Herald of Anarchy, Commonweal, Free Russia, The Anarchist Labor Leaf and other revolutionary and Anarchist papers. A very large number of the Dew pamphlet, "The Commune of Paris" was also disposed of, besides a ... (From: AnarchyArchives.) The Commune of March, 1871, was a new departure along an old track. When the workmen- of Paris rose against the middle-class assembly at Versailles, they did more than revolt against mere political tyranny, more than revolt against incapacity and treachery in face of a foreign foe. They revolted against property-rule. They revolted to regain an old popular right lost by the people in the evil days which grew up with the growth of government and law, and the rule of the property grabbers-the right of each group of workers, each locality to manage its own business.
It is an old saying : If you want your business done go yourself, if not send some one else. Of late years the people have had plenty of this method of sending some one else. Send... (From: AnarchyArchives.) The growth of Anarchist Communism continue, to lie rapid ill Belgium, and the groups have now started a fortnightly journal lit Brussels which we heartily welcome. It is called Le Drapeau Noir (The Black Flag) and is sold in Belgium at a halfpenny In size it corresponds to our Social-Democratic contemporary Justice. Comrades who read French will find the articles interesting and call have it sent them post paid for six months for Is. 3d. The address of the administration is 58 rue du Moulin, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels. 'The Flemish organ Anarchist is to be had at the same office.
We are glad to see that our comrades in Belgium as ill France are turning their attention to the spread of our ideas in country places. "Propagandist groups,... (From: AnarchyArchives.)