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Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Freedom: March 1893, p14 Advice to Those About to Emigrate In these days when Home Colonization is seriously discussed, and is even tried, in England as an outlet for the populations of our congested towns, the following letters will be of much interest to our readers. A comrade in New South Wales, writing to Kropotkin for suggestions and advice, says: "As you are probably aware, the Labor movement in Australia has advanced tremendously during the last four or five years. The reason, I believe, lies in the increased agitation in the minds of the people through the late strikes here and also in England and America. The Labor Party here got the worst of it in the last three big strikes, yet the importance of those strikes as factors in educat... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


There are two spirits abroad in the world,—the spirit of Caution, the spirit of Dare, the spirit of Quiescence, the spirit of Unrest; the spirit of Immobility, the spirit of Change; the spirit of Hold-fast-to-that-which-you-have, the spirit of Let-go-and-fly-to-that-which-you-have-not; the spirit of the slow and steady builder, careful of its labors, loathe to part with any of its achievements, wishful to keep, and unable to discriminate between what is worth keeping and what is better cast aside, and the spirit of the inspirational destroyer, fertile in creative fancies, volatile, careless in its luxuriance of effort, inclined to cast away the good together with the bad. Society is a quivering balance, eternally struck afresh, betwee... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Guérin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist thought towards anarchosyndicalism, along lines that bear comparison to Guérins work, puts the matter well when he writes that anarchism is not a fixed, self-enc...

The anarchist effort, like any effort, is one focused on social organization, these organizations should be voluntary and cooperative, and it is through these groups that we will establish a better world. (From : HoldOffHunger.)
• "...we anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves. We do not believe in the good that comes from above and imposed by force; we want the new way of life to emerge from the body of the people and correspond to the state of their development and advance as they advance. It matters to us therefore that all interests and opinions should find their expression in a conscious organization and should influence communal life in proportion to their importance."
• "Workers will never be able to emancipate themselves so long as they do not find in union the moral, economic and physical strength that is needed to subdue the organized might of the oppressors."
• "...the agelong oppression of the masses by a small privileged group has always been the result of the inability of the oppressed to agree among themselves to organize with others for production, for enjoyment and for the possible needs of defense against whoever might wish to exploit and oppress them. Anarchism exists to remedy this state of affairs..."


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. The...

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 s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


(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 take... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Foreword On May 26, 1958 at midnight, Chiu Tsai-kang, a steel worker of the Shanghai No. 3 Steel Works, was burned by molten steel. The affected area extended over 89 percent of his body, 20 percent being third degree burns with the muscles and bones involved. According to Western medical authorities, a patient with such severe burns would be likely to die. But due to the affectionate' concern of the Communist Party, to the great efforts made by the medical staff and to the widespread support of society at large, Chiu Tsai-kang is still alive. After being treated for more than five months his wounds are now completely healed and covered by grafted skin. On November 23 he was transferred to the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Peking for f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

CONFERENCES WITH EMPLOYERS and organization meetings now kept the union heads steadily occupied. Meanwhile our newly enrolled membership busied itself with the educational and recreational activities I had started. With the cooperation of Brownie Lee Jones, ever alert industrial secretary of the YWCA on Sutter Street, where I was then living, we were able to make use of the "Y" classrooms, gym, cafeteria, and even its mimeograph. I visited Dr. Alexander Meiklejohn, director of the San Francisco School of Social Studies, and former president of Amherst College, who expressed a deep interest in what we were doing. His wife, Helen Meiklejohn, agreed to conduct a class in workers' problems and elementary economics, with emphasis on NRA Codes, union agreements and policies, and the reviewing of current literature on labor. This class was popular from the start. A free discussion period followed the informal talk each week. Helen Meiklejohn's pe...


Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Comments on the International Social Ecology Network Gathering and the "Deep Social Ecology" of John Clark by Murray Bookchin Between August 14 and 19, 1995, an international social ecology network gathering met near Dunoon, Scotland, to discuss the topic "Democracy and Ecology." Its agenda featured, among other presentations, a one-hour summary of a long essay by John Clark titled "The Politics of Social Ecology: Beyond the Limits of the City." My age and growing disabilities prevented me from attending the gathering, which caused me some concern since Clark has broken with social ecology and become, as he impishly denominated himself in The Trumpeter, an organ of the deep ecology "movement," a "deep social ecologist, or social deep ecolog... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We must get rid of the Anarchists! They are a menace to society. Does not Hearst say so? Do not the M. & M. and the gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce, who have also declared war on Labor, assure us that the Anarchists are dangerous and that they are responsible for all our troubles? Does not every skinner of Labor and every grafting politician shout against the Anarchists? Isn't that enough to prove that the Anarchists are dangerous? But why are all the money bags and their hirelings so unanimous in condemning the Anarchists? Generally they disagree on many questions and they bitterly fight each other in their business and social life. But on TWO questions they are always in accord. Smash the Labor Unions! Hang the Anarchists! WHY? B... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


FREEDOM IS IT A CRIME? The Strange Case of the Tree Anarchists Jailed at the Old Bailey, April 1945 Two Speeches by HERBERT READ FORWARD by E. SILVERMAN FREEDOM PRESS DEFENSE COMMITTEE 2d. First Published by The Freedom Press Defense Committee, 17, St. George Street, London, W.1. June, 1945 And printed by Express Printers, London. The Publishers have asked me to write a foreword to this pamphlet. As an individual who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press I accept with pleasure the opportunity to say a word to the public. Three decent, useful and respectable citizens, who Mr. Justice Birkett said were of the highest character and who he was quite prepared to believe were actuated by the highest motives, are in prison. Their ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


ldquo;Cast thy bread upon the waters, Find it after many days.” Two years ago, in a little uptown parlor, the home of a Philadelphia weaver, a group of inquirers after truth were wont to assemble bi-weekly for the discussion of “Communism vs. Individualism.” There were generally present some fifteen Communists and five or six Individualists. Let it be here admitted that while all were earnestly seeking truth, each side was pretty thoroughly convinced that the other was searching in the wrong direction, and as near as I am able to ascertain we are all of the same opinion still. However, in the course of a year some crumbs of the bread floated into sight in the shape of a dialogue presenting the substance of those discussion... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)


Within the past few days this wish has been uttered by thousands and thousands of people to one another; sometimes sincerely, sometimes carelessly, sometimes sarcastically. We also would join in the time-honored genial custom, and offer to our readers in every part of the globe, and not to them alone, but to all mankind, a happy new year. We have just grounds we think for doing so, for notwithstanding the terrible misery which surrounds us on every band, notwithstanding the vast number of fellow creatures to whom the word happiness is without meaning, the past year has witnessed great movement among the workers, and has been full of promise for the future. In the most pessimistic quarters, recent events have given birth to new hope. It seem... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

CHAPTER II The Coasts of Bohemia; Fighting Fascism; The Battle of Cable Street; Schoolboy Anarchist; Castles in Spain; Frustration on Spain The Coasts of Bohemia The first Anarchist meeting I attended was at the old National Trade Union Club in New Oxford Street. The speaker was the well-known Emma Goldman, who was on that occasion talking about arms manufacture, not Anarchism as such. As I was the only stranger at the meeting, attention turned to me when inquiries elicited the fact that I had never heard of Emma Goldman and more particularly when I had the temerity to contradict her. I believe it was on the fallacy that as 'aggression' caused war, boxing, which I then esteemed highly, taught aggression. I was overawed by my elders being surprised at my audacity, and did not continue after her scornful dismissal of the argument. She felt thereafter that she had brought me into the movement from knowing nothing about Anarch...

Suggestions that I write my memoirs came to me when I had barely begun to live, and continued all through the years. But I never paid heed to the proposal. I was living my life intensely -- what need to write about it? Another reason for my reluctance was the conviction I entertained that one should write about one's life only when one had ceased to stand in the very torrent of it. "When one has reached a good philosophic age," I used to tell my friends, "capable of viewing the tragedies and comedies of life impersonally and detachedly -- particularly one's own life -- one is likely to create an autobiography worth while." Still feeling adolescently young in spite of advancing years, I did not consider myself competent to undertake such a task. Moreover, I always lacked the necessary leisure for concentrated writing. My enforced European inactivity left me enough time to read a great deal, including biographies and autobiographies. I discovered, much to my discomf...


A well attended meeting of Anarchists, including members of London and Provincial English groups, Germans, Italians, and Frenchmen, was HELD on Easter Sunday at the Autonomie Club. The question of what should be the action of English Anarchists on the First of May was discussed at considerable length. The opinion was generally expressed that Anarchists all over the country ought not to miss the opportunity of making good Anarchist propaganda on the First as well as on the Third of May, but should bold public meetings in common with their fellow workers oil the Continent, and explain to the people the real meaning of the May Demonstration. It was agreed that a leaflet setting forth the Anarchist position on the subject should be got out for ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Here was one guard, and here was the other at this end. I was here opposite the gate. You know those problems in geometry of the hare and the hounds, they never run straight, but always in a curve, so, see? And the guard was no smarter than the dogs. If he had run straight he would have caught me. It was Peter Kropotkin telling of his escape from the Petro-Paulovsky fortress. Three crumbs on the table marked the relative position of the outwitted guards and the fugitive prisoner; the speaker had broken them from the bread on which he was lunching and dropped them on the table with an amused grin. The suggested triangle had been the starting point of the life long exile of the greatest man, save Tolstoy alone, that Russia has produced: from ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Most of the letters on marriage in the Daily Telegraph have been well worthy of the silly season; none of them have thrown fresh light on the most difficult of Social problems. And what else could be expected when the editor boasts that he has excluded every correspondent who might perchance "bring a blush to the cheek of the Young Person" by any ill advised attempt to go to the root of the matter, socially, economically, physiologically or psychologically? Nevertheless, in spite of all the platitudes of all the prudes, the controversy as a whole is highly significant. It would have been of some importance if only from the fact that the question "Is marriage a failure?" has stared at every passer by from the notice board of every news-agent... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


English translation by Charlotte Anheier Erinnerungen eines Proletariers aus der (Memoirs of a proletarian from the revolutionary labor movement) Josef Peukert From My Youth The memories of my youth are depressing images of the proletariat which exists in different forms in all modern societies. A bitter longing and deprivation surrounded the untimely death of my mother from the awful proletarian's illness, which has affected a fifth of the civilization of my hometown. Although the whole district in the Isergebirge, had become somewhat of a health resort for "Schwindsuechtige". The glass industry, which provided work for a tenth of the civlization in the mountains and valleys surrounding my home town, divided the workers into those who blew... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Written: August 1907; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. James Guillaume, Bakunin’s friend and comrade-in-arms, edited the last five volumes of the six-volume French edition of his collected works. Guillaume’s biographical sketch of Bakunin, originally appeared in his introduction to Volume II of that edition. This sketch is a primary source not only on the life of Bakunin, but also on the most significant events in the socialist movement of that period. It incidentally contributes valuable background information for many of the other selections in the present volume. Guillaume, who did not limit himself to recording events but also took part in shaping them, had been inclined toward anarchis... (From : Marxists.org.)


Published: The Masses, January, 1917. Transcribed: Sally Ryan for marxists.org in October, 2002. Many of our friends fail to appreciate the magnitude of the Minnesota strike, involving 15,000 miners and the United States Steel Corporation, and are beguiling themselves into the belief that the murder cases pending are not serious. Mrs. Masonovitch, the woman prisoner, wife of one of the strikers, is a particularly pathetic and appealing figure, a young and beautiful Montenegrin woman, mother of five children, one a nursing baby. She speaks little English, does not understand the proceedings, looks frightened and bewildered and clings frantically to her children. If the parents should he convicted these little ones would be practically orphan... (From : Marxists.org.)


(By a non-Anarchist correspondent.) The above written title is that of an essay by Mr. Karl Pearson, to whose opinions on Socialism some reference was made in the October number of Freedom. The essay has for some time past been familiar to us in pamphlet form, and is re-issued in Mr. Pearson's recently published volume of contributions to 'The Ethic of Freethought.' Now that it is thus surrounded and buttressed by complementary dissertations, it is perhaps not unfair to give utterance to a dissatisfaction which will have been felt by a good many Socialists at the manner in which the promise of the title hap been fulfilled. and to attempt some indication of what it is that is required for its fulfillment. "Not from fear of hell," writes Mr. ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

An Essay
• "...if one closely examines what happens deep down, in the intimate daily lives of the mass of humanity, one finds that as well as the struggle to snatch better working conditions, the thirst for domination, rivalry, envy and all the unhealthy passions which set man against man, is also valuable work, mutual aid, unceasing and voluntary exchange of services, affection, love, friendship and all that which draws people closer together in brotherhood. And human collectivizes advance or decay, live or die, depending on whether solidarity and love, or hatred and struggle, predominate in the community's affairs; indeed, the very existence of any community would not be possible if the social feelings, which I would call the good passions, were not stronger than the bad."
• "...fortunately there exists in Man another feeling which draws him closer to his neighbor, the feeling of sympathy, tolerance, of love, and, thanks to it, mankind became more civilized, and from it grew our idea which aims at making society a true gathering of brothers and friends all working for the common good."
• "...­human history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labor of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery."

Chapter III DISTURBING THOUGHTS LIFE went on. Each day brought new conflicting thoughts and emotions. The feature which affected me most was the inequality I witnessed in my immediate environment. I learned that the rations issued to the tenants of the First House of the Soviet (Astoria) were much superior to those received by the workers in the factories. To be sure, they were not sufficient to sustain life--but no one in the Astoria lived from these rations alone. The members of the Communist Party, quartered in the Astoria, worked in Smolny, and the rations in Smolny were the best in Petrograd. Moreover, trade was not entirely suppressed at that time. The markets were doing a lucrative business, though no one seemed able or willing to explain to me where the purchasing capacity came from. The workers could not afford to buy butter which was then 2,000 rubles a pound, sugar at 3,000, or meat at 1,000. The inequality was most apparent in the Astoria k...

At the numerous stations between Kiev and Odessa we frequently had to wait for days before we managed to make connections with trains going south. We employed our leisure in visiting the small towns and villages, and formed many acquaintances. The markets were especially of interest to us. In the Kiev province by far the greater part of the population is Jewish. They had suffered many pogroms and were now living in constant terror of their repetition. But the will to live is indestructible, particularly in the Jew; otherwise centuries of persecution and slaughter would long since have destroyed the race. Its peculiar perseverance was manifest everywhere: the Jews continued to trade as if nothing had happened. The news that Americans were in town would quickly gather about us crowds of people anxious to hear of the New World. To them it was still a "new" world, of which they were as ignorant as they had been fifty years before. But not only America-Russia itself was...


THE LONDON ANARCHISTS CELEBRATE EASTER. There is a good old custom, far older than the introduction of Christianity of celebrating the spring tide of the year by public .assemblies and friendly gatherings, an ancient usage still of much practical importance, for it secures the hard-driven workers of to-day a moment's breathing space for rest and enjoyment. Two London Anarchist Groups resolved this year to utilize the opportunity. The Knights of Liberty, an East End Group of workers, initiated the idea of a Conference on Easter Sunday, to which all Anarchist Groups, English and foreign should be invited. The Freedom Group arranged, a social gathering for Easter Eve. Unfortunately times bay(, been so extra bad lately that in many country grou... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Comrade Samuel Pearson writes:--It seems to me that the late strikes have a greater tendency towards Anarchy than, considering the circumstances, might have been expected. The great dock strike was not initiated by any middle-class influence. It started without any previous Organization, a fine example of personal initiative, and, although it ended in a compromise, it taught the workers what determination, and courage can do. Strikes are now the order of the day, and in my opinion every, revolutionist should encourage them, for they teach the workers to trust to themselves and show up the politicians in their true colors. The Government has plainly shown that in the event of strikes becoming serious, to the extent of damaging trade or inter... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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