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We do not recognize the right of the majority to impose the law on the minority, even if the will of the majority in somewhat complicated issues could really be ascertained. The fact of having the majority on one’s side does not in any way prove that one must be right. Indeed, humanity has always advanced through the initiative and efforts of individuals and minorities, whereas the majority, by its very nature, is slow, conservative, submissive to superior force and to established privileges. But if we do not for one moment recognize the right of majorities to dominate minorities, we are even more opposed to domination of the majority by a minority. It would be absurd to maintain that one is right because one is in a minority. If at ... (From:
The Neapolitan Workers’ Federation recognizes and proclaims the following principles: All beings human in nature are equal and, since they all share the same rights and duties, there are no rights without duties, no duties without rights.[1] Since labor is a human necessity, there is a duty upon all to labor and everyone is entitled to enjoyment of the entire product of his labor. For that very reason, the instruments of labor and raw materials belong to the whole of humanity and everyone is entitled to make use of them in pursuit of his own activities.[2] Every individual born is entitled to be reared, fed, and educated technically, comprehensively and equally by the collective to which he has ties, and that col... (From:
We have had the following letter from comrade Malatesta: Dear comrades, A French-language paper has chosen to dwell upon what I said at the anti-parliamentary conference held in London on 3 August in the hall of the Autonomie Club, and reports me as saying pretty much the opposite of what I actually did say. Would you allow me to re-state the truth? It might well also provide an opening for a discussion between comrades regarding matters of the utmost interest to the anarchist party. Here, then, are the thoughts I put to the comrades gathered at the Autonomie—albeit at rather greater length than I was able to express them in the little time afforded to each speaker. The main topic that the conference had set itself was how to go ... (From:
Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volontà, n. 9, May 10, 1924) MEDICINE... AND ANARCHISM. — Under this title, in the editorial mail of our issue n. 5, we published a note by which we refused the invitation of some comrades to make propaganda in favor of certain methods of treatment conflicting with science and the commonly accepted medical practice. This fact upset comrade N. Cuneo from New York. Though acknowledging that Pensiero e Volontà is not the right place for medical discussions (in fact, he is not among those who urged us to that propaganda), in the April 15 issue of Libero Accordo he stands up for the “natural treatment”, i.e. a treatment without drugs, which is said to be making great progress, and to ... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
It is a mistake to believe as some do that the banks are, or are in the main, a means to facilitate exchange; they are a means to speculate on exchange and currencies, to invest capital and make it produce interest, and to fulfill other typically capitalist operations, which will disappear as soon as the principle that no one has the right or the possibility of exploiting the labor of others, triumphs. That in the post-revolutionary period, in the period of reorganization and transition, there might be “offices for the concentration and distribution of the capital of collective enterprises,” that there might or not be titles recording the work done and the quantity of goods to which one is entitled, is something we shall have t... (From:
To crown a long series of crimes, fascism finally took over the government. And Mussolini, the Duce, just to distinguish himself, began by treating the deputies in parliament as an insolent master would treat stupid and lazy servants. Parliament, what was to be “the palladium of freedom”, has given its measure. This makes us perfectly indifferent. Between a bully who insults and threatens, because he feels safe, and a host of cowards who seem to delight in their abjection, we don’t have to choose. We simply note — and not without shame — what kind of people are those who dominate us and whose yoke we cannot escape. But what is the significance, the scope and the probable result of this new way of coming to ... (From:

• "...­human history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labor of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery."
• "...where violence intervenes, injustice, oppression and exploitation invariably triumph."
• "The fact is that human life is not possible without profiting by the labor of others, and that there are only two ways in which this can be done: either through a fraternal, equalitarian and libertarian association, in which solidarity, consciously and freely expressed unites all mankind; or the struggle of each against the other in which the victors overrule, oppress and exploit the rest...."
Theoretically ‘democracy’ means popular government; government by all for everybody by the efforts of all. In a democracy the people must be able to say what they want, to nominate the executors of their wishes, to monitor their performance and remove them when they see fit. Naturally this presumes that all the individuals that make up a people are able to form an opinion and express it on all the subjects that interest them. It implies that everyone is politically and economically independent and therefore no-one, to live, would be obliged to submit to the will of others. If classes and individuals exist that are deprived of the means of production and therefore dependent on others with a monopoly over those means, the so-cal... (From:
... In his lecture of 6 March 1896, to which our Norwegian comrade Hz refers, Kropotkin neither explains nor justifies the idea — to me an absurd and arbitrary one — that Anarchy is ‘a concept of the universe based on a mechanistic interpretation of phenomena.’ Kropotkin makes obscure and debatable analogies between society and certain facts (or supposed facts) of the physical and biological world. He must have made them because it was the vogue in those days to relate everything to ‘Science’ without attaching great importance to it. For instance, Kropotkin begins by saying: ‘Let me take some examples from the field of the natural sciences, not to draw our social ideas from them — far be... (From:
1 … So I left for Switzerland with Cafiero. At the time I was sickly, I spat blood and was said to be consumptive, more or less…. While crossing the Gothard during the night (at that time there was no tunnel and one had to cross the snowy mountain in a diligence) I had caught cold, and arrived at the house where Bakunin was staying in Zurich, with a feverish cough. After the first greetings. Bakunin made up a camp bed, and invited me—he almost forced me—to lie on it, covered me with all the blankets he could lay hands on and urged me to stay there quietly and sleep. And all this was accompanied by attention, and motherly tenderness, which gripped my heart. While I was wrapped up in bed, and all present imag... (From:
Note to the article “individualism and anarchism” by adamas Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volontà, n. 15, August 1, 1924) Adamas’ reply to my article in n. 13 shows that I did not express my thought well, and induces me to add some clarifications. I claimed that “individualist anarchism and communist anarchism are the same, or nearly so, in terms of moral motivations and ultimate goals”. I know that one could counter my claim with hundreds of texts and plenty of deeds of self-proclaimed individualist anarchists, which would demonstrate that individualist anarchist and communist anarchist are separated by something of a moral abyss. However, I deny that that kind of individualists can be included among a... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
Adamas’ reply to my article in n. 13 shows that I did not express my thought well, and induces me to add some clarifications. I claimed that “individualist anarchism and communist anarchism are the same, or nearly so, in terms of moral motivations and ultimate goals”. I know that one could counter my claim with hundreds of texts and plenty of deeds of self-proclaimed individualist anarchists, which would demonstrate that individualist anarchist and communist anarchist are separated by something of a moral abyss. However, I deny that that kind of individualists can be included among anarchists, despite their liking for calling themselves so. If anarchy means non-government, non-domination, non-oppression by man over man... (From:
General strikes of protest no longer upset anybody; neither those who take part in them nor those against whom they are directed. If only the police had the intelligence to avoid being provocative, they would pass off as any public holiday. One must seek something else. We put forward an idea: the take-over of factories. For the first attempt probably only a few will take part and the effect will be slight; but the method certainly has a future, because it corresponds to the ultimate ends of the workers’ movement and constitutes an exercise preparing one for the ultimate general act of expropriation.[158] The metal workers started the movement over wage rates. It was a strike of a new kind. Instead of abandoning the factories, the i... (From:
I have seen a statement by the Group of the 18e where, in agreement with the Russians’ “Platform” and with comrade Makhno, it is held that the “principle of collective responsibility” is the basis of every serious organization. I have already, in my criticism of the “Platform” and in my reply to the open letter directed to me by Makhno, indicated my opinion on this supposed principle. But as there is some insistence on an idea or at least an expression which would seem to me to be more at home in a military barracks than among anarchist groups, I hope I will be permitted to say another few words on the question. The comrades of the 18e say that “communist anarchists must work in such a way t... (From:
A comrade writes: ‘After your act of contrition in No. 3[1] it isyour duty to tell us openly what the practical means are for carrying out the revolution. Only then can we discuss it. ’ Another asks me to ‘unbutton’; many others await for as it were a magic formula to resolve all the difficulties. Strange mentality for anarchists! Let me begin by saying that I have made no ‘act of contrition.’ I could easily document that what I am saying now I have been saying for years; and if now I place more emphasis on it and others pay more attention to it than before. It is because the times are riper, in that experience has persuaded many, who formerly luxuriated in that blessed Kropotkinian optimism — wh... (From:
I For years now this has been a matter of great contention between anarchists. And, as is often the case when heat enters an argument and when insistence that one is in the right is injected into the search for the truth, or when arguments around theory are merely an attempt to vindicate practical behavior prompted by quite other motives, a great muddling of ideas and words is the result. Incidentally, and just to get them out of the way, let us run through the straightforward semantic quibbles that have occasionally reached the utmost heights of absurdity, such as, say, “We are for harmonization, not organization”; “we are against association but are for agreement”; “we want no secretary and no treasurer, ... (From:
Strictly speaking, we cannot have a foreign policy, as we are and want to be outside and against the current partition of the world into rival States. For us there are no foreigners. We want all men, whatever their place of birth, whatever ethnicity they may be derived from, whatever language they speak, to consider themselves as brothers and sisters and to group together freely and cooperate together for the greatest well-being, the greatest freedom, the greatest civilization of all. And given that this universal brotherhood, this harmonization of all interests and all aspirations in a vast unity (that of humankind) that respects and favors the free development of all varieties, the full autonomy of all individuals and all groups, is sti... (From:
Some friends of ours have passed comment on the proposal we have put, and which has been generally well received, that a party be formed embracing all revolutionary anarchist socialists, regardless of the matter of the economic arrangement any faction may advocate for the society of the future.[1] Said comments show, on the one hand, a degree of repugnance on the part of some communists to the notion of coming together with collectivists, and, on the other, a fear lest we are out to revive an organization such as those past ones that collapsed because they were a spent force and no longer suited to the times. Allow us to explain ourselves briefly with regard to the two aspects of this matter; we promise to revisit the matter, if need be. ... (From:
A celebrated historian, Lecky said that legend is often more truthful than history; and in so saying expresses, in a somewhat paradoxical form, a true and profound insight. Legend is truer and more interesting than history; since, while history tries laboriously to establish hard facts about circumstances, events, and individuals, and only with difficulty manages to ascertain the truth, amid the complexity of always inadequate elements and contradictory witnesses; legend instead, being formed unconsciously and expressing, not the fact, but how people saw the fact, reveals the state of mind of a people, the innermost meaning of a historical moment. This was the case for the revolutionary movement known as the Paris Commune, which erupted o... (From:

• "If it is true that the law of Nature is Harmony, I suggest one would be entitled to ask why Nature has waited for anarchists to be born, and goes on waiting for them to triumph, in order to destroy the terrible and destructive conflicts from which mankind has already suffered. Would one not be closer to the truth in saying that anarchy is the struggle, in human society, against the disharmonies of Nature?"
• "PETER KROPOTKIN IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF THOSE WHO have contributed perhaps more—perhaps more even than Bakunin and Elisee Reclus—to the elaboration and propagandation of anarchist ideas. And he has therefore well deserved the recognition and the admiration that all anarchists feel for him."
• "...two passions: the desire for knowledge and the desire to act for the good of humanity, two noble passions which can be mutually useful and which one would like to see in all men, without being, for all this, one and the same thing."

• "Today, as ever, let this be our slogan: Down with Capitalists and Governments, all Capitalists and Governments! Long live the peoples, all the peoples!"
• "Peace ought to be imposed by bringing about the Revolution, or at least by threatening to do so. To the present time, the strength or the skill is wanting. Well! There is only one remedy: to do better in future. More than ever we must avoid compromise; deepen the chasm between capitalists and wage slaves, between rulers and ruled; preach expropriation of private property and the destruction of States as the only means of guaranteeing fraternity between the peoples and Justice and Liberty for all; and we must prepare to accomplish these things."
• "During the present war we have seen Republicans placing themselves at the service of kings, Socialists making common the cause with the ruling class, Laborists serving the interests of capitalists; but in reality all these people are, in varying degrees, Conservatives—believers in the mission of the State, and their hesitation can be understood when the only remedy lay in the destruction of every Governmental chain and the unloosing of the Social Revolution. But such hesitation is incomprehensible in the case of Anarchists."
One must produce, say the government and the bourgeoisie. One must produce, say the reformists. One must produce, we (anarchists) also say. But produce for whom? Produce what? And what are the reasons that not enough is produced? They say, the revolution cannot take place because production is insufficient, and that we would run the risk of dying of hunger. We say, the revolution must take place so as to be able to produce and stop the greater part of the population from living in a state of chronic hunger.[121] … Arturo Labriola, the well known Italian intransigent socialist, maintained at a public meeting some time ago that “the urgent problem which needs solving is not that of the distribution of wealth, but the ration... (From:
No longer in a position to deny the righteousness of socialist aspirations, the bourgeois say that the woes by which men are afflicted are attributable to a harsh necessity of nature, which has nothing to do with the way society is organized. Poverty can never be eradicated, they say, because poverty derives from an actual dearth of produce rather than faulty distribution; in any event, what is required is a boost to the amount of production, rather than any attempt to overthrow society as presently constituted, with an eye to replacing it with a different society based on different foundations. And even as they talk about shortfalls in output, they have the land they have taken over worked according to the most irrational methods, without... (From:
Editor’s note Translated from Programma e Organizzazione della Associazione Internazionale dei Lavoratori (Florence, 1884). The title page specifies that the pamphlet was issued by the editorial staff of the periodical La Questione Sociale. By the time this pamphlet was published, the International had practically ceased to exist, though there were local federations that still claimed affiliation to it. Even the London congress of 1881, which is considered the last congress of the federalist International, was rather an attempt to revive it. The present pamphlet should be seen in the same light. It was a proposal summarizing the views of Malatesta and his group, rather than a document collectively issued by an actual organization. ... (From:
I recently happened to come across a French pamphlet (in Italy today [1927], as is known, the non-fascist press cannot freely circulate), with the title 'Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Project)'. This is a project for anarchist organization published under the name of a 'Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad' and it seems to be directed particularly at Russian comrades. But it deals with questions of equal interest to all anarchists; and it is, clear, including the language in which it is written, that it seeks the support of comrades worldwide. In any case it is worth examining, for the Russians as for everyone, whether the proposal put forward is in keeping with anarchist principles and whether implementation wo... (From: Anarchy Archives.)
A comrade writes us: “It is our custom to mark our anniversaries with gatherings, talks, the putting up of posters and displaying of banners. Indeed we have stood trial and passed many a long month in prison for precisely these things. Meanwhile, as a rule, our gatherings and lectures are usually attended only by comrades who are already believers, our manifestoes are scarcely read and soon torn down, and our banners are poorly understood if at all. So I wonder, given the results produced by these things, whether they are worth the trouble of exposing the bravest of us to the danger of being taken out of circulation for a long time at intervals. “Something occurs to me. Would it not be a good idea for groups of comrades, o... (From:
Our opponents, interested defenders of the existing system are in the habit of saying, to justify the right to private property, that it is the condition and guarantee of freedom. And we agree with them. Are we not always repeating that he who is poor is a slave? Then why are they our opponents? The reason is clear and is that in fact the property they defend is capitalist property, that is, property which allows some to live by the work of others and which therefore presupposes a class of dispossessed, propertyless people, obliged to sell their labor power to the property-owners for less than its value….[134] The principal reason for the bad exploitation of nature, and of the miseries of the workers, of the antagonisms and the so... (From:
London, July 30, 1919 Dearest Fabbri,[1] (...) It seems to me that we are in perfect agreement on the matters with which you are currently so preoccupied, to wit, the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” By my reckoning, on this score the opinion of anarchists cannot be called into question, and in fact, well before the Bolshevik revolution, it never was queried by anyone. Anarchy means no government, and thus, all the more emphatically, no dictatorship, meaning an absolute government, uncontrolled and without constitutional restraints. But whenever the Bolshevik revolution broke out, it appears that our friends may have confused what constitutes a revolution against an existing government with what was implied by a new gov... (From:
According to the Franco-Russian socialist, Frederic Stackelberg, who is well-known not only for his political activity but for his valuable work in popularizing astronomy: ‘socialism is nothing more than the biological monism* of the arts and sciences of the 19th century and the astronomical monism of the Renaissance, confirmed by recent astronomical discoveries.’ (Le Semeur de Normandie, 25th October). In ordinary vulgar language this means that if recent discoveries were to give rise to biological theories that differ from the dominant theories of the nineteenth century, and if astronomical research were to show that the stars were composed of matter different from our own planet’s, there would be no point in s... (From:
The present uncertain, tormented and unstable political and social situation in Europe and the world [1931], which gives rise to all sorts of hopes and fears, makes it more urgent than ever to be prepared for the upheavals which, sooner or later, but inevitably, will come. And this revives discussion — which is in any case always topical — as to how we can adapt our idealistic aspirations to the situation prevailing in various countries at the present time, and how to pass from the preaching of ideals to their practical application. Since it is natural in a movement like ours, which does not recognize the authority either ofpersons or of texts and which is entirely founded on free criticism, there are a number of different opin... (From:

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