Browsing By Tag "individual liberty"
ANARCHY. Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be! JOHN HENRY MACKAY. &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism. At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Kropotkin lives in Dmitrov, a small town sixty versts from Moscow. Owing to the deplorable railroad conditions, traveling from Petrograd to Dmitrov was not to be thought of. But recently I learned that the Government had made special arrangements to enable Lansbury to visit Kropotkin, and with two other friends I took advantage of the opportunity. Since my arrival in Russia I have been hearing the most conflicting rumors about Old Peter. Some claim that he is favorable to the Bolsheviki; others, that he is opposed to them; it is reported that he is living in satisfactory material circumstances, and again that he is practically starving. I have been anxious to learn the truth of the matter and to meet my old teacher personally. In the years past I had had a sporadic correspondence with him, but we never met. I have admired Kropotkin since my early youth, when I had first heard his name and become acquainted with his writings. One incident, in particular, had left a deep imp...
Many Anarchists and thinkers in general, whilst recognizing the immense advantages which Communism may offer to society, yet consider this form of social organization a danger to the liberty and free development of the individual. This danger is also recognized by many Communists, and, taken as a whole, the question is merged in that other vast problem which our century has laid bare to its fullest extent: the relation of the individual to society. The importance of this question need hardly be insisted upon. The problem became obscured in various ways. When speaking of Communism, most people think of the more or less Christian and monastic and always authoritarian Communism advocated in the first half of this century and practiced in certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "To me a policeman is worse than a criminal, at least than a minor common criminal; a policeman is more dangerous and harmful to society. However, if people do not feel sufficiently protected by the public, no doubt they immediately call for the policeman. Therefore, the only way of preventing the policeman from existing is to make him useless by replacing him in those functions that constitute a real protection for the public."
• "The authoritarians, the rulers, either believe they hold an infallible formula, or must pretend to hold it, as they intend to lay down and impose the law. However, all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence."
• "On the contrary, we do not boast that we possess absolute truth; we believe that social truth is not a fixed quantity, good for all times, universally applicable, or determinable in advance, but that instead, once freedom has been secured, mankind will go forward discovering and acting gradually with the least number of upheavals and with a minimum of friction. Thus our solutions always leave the door open to different and, one hopes, better solutions."
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 emphatic and exception...
The Moral of Mr. Donisthorpe’s Woes [Liberty, January 25, 1890.] The reader of Mr. Donisthorpe’s article in this issue on The Woes of an Anarchist may rise from its perusal with a feeling of confusion equal to that manifested by the author, but at least he will say to himself that for genuine humor he has seldom read anything that equals it. For myself I have read it twice in manuscript and twice in proof, and still wish that I might prolong my life by the laughter that four more readings would be sure to excite. Mr. Donisthorpe ought to write a novel. But when he asks Liberty to comment on his woes and dissipate the fog he condenses around himself, I am at a loss to know how to answer him. For what is the moral of this article, in which a da...
We have shown how, as long as there are two or more degrees of instruction for the various strata of society, there must, of necessity, be classes, that is, economic and political privilege for a small number of the contented and slavery and misery for the lot of the generality of men. As members of the International Working Men's Association (IWMA/AIT), we seek equality and, because we seek it, we must also seek integral education, the same education for everyone. But if everyone is schooled who will want to work? we hear someone ask. Our answer to that is a simple one: everyone must work and everyone must receive education. To this, it is very often objected that this mixing of industrial with intellectual labor cannot be, except one or t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
A Letter to Grover Cleveland, on his false Inaugural Address, the Usurpations and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the consequent Poverty, Ignorance, and Servitude of the People A LETTER TO GROVER CLEVELAND. Section I. To Grover Cleveland: Sir, Your inaugural address is probably as honest, sensible, and consistent a one as that of any president within the last fifty years, or, perhaps, as any since the foundation of the government. If, therefore, it is false, absurd, self-contradictory, and ridiculous, it is not (as I think) because you are personally less honest, sensible, or consistent than your predecessors, but because the government itself—according to your own description of it, and according to the practical administration o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
PIONEERS OF AMERICAN FREEDOM ORIGIN OF LIBERAL AND RADICAL THOUGHT IN AMERICA BY RUDOLF ROCKER Translated from the German by Arthur E. Briggs ROCKER PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE (A Non-Profit Organization) 2101 south gramercy place los angeles 7, california copyright, 1949, by rudolf rocker All rights reserved—no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine or newspaper. PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY J. J. LITTLE & IVES COMPANY, NEW YORK Introduction xiii PART ONE american liberals Thomas Paine I Thomas Jefferson 12 Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry D. Thoreau 20 William Lloyd Garr... (From : AgainstAllAuthority.org, Formatting by RevoltLib.c....)
Part 1 You must often have asked yourselves what is the cause of Anarchism, and why, since there are already so many Socialist schools, it is necessary to found an additional one -- that of Anarchism. In order to answer this question I will go back to the close of last century. You all know the characteristics which marked that epoch: there was all expansion of intelligence a prodigious development of the natural sciences, a pitiless examination of accepted prejudices, the formation of a theory of Nature based on a truly scientific foundation, observation and reasoning. In addition to these there was criticism of the political institutions bequeathed to Humanity by preceding ages, and a movement towards that ideal of Liberty, Equality, and ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
II. Replacing the cult of God by respect and love of humanity, we proclaim human reason as the only criterion of truth; human conscience as the basis of justice; individual and collective freedom as the only source of order in society. III. Freedom is the absolute right of every adult man and woman to seek no other sanction for their acts than their own conscience and their own reason, being responsible first to themselves and then to the society which they have voluntarily accepted. IV. It is not true that the freedom of one man is limited by that of other men. Man is really free to the extent that his freedom, fully acknowledged and mirrored by the free consent of his fellowmen, finds confirmation and expansion in their liberty. Man is tr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
(By our Trondhjem correspondent.) It is a mistake to suppose that there is no revolutionary movement in Norway. It is a land where the seeds of revolution have always fallen upon good ground. After the French revolution of 1848, the Communist idea of that time floated over to Norway and spread so fast that by 1850 the whole country was agitated by the Thraniker movement, so named after its leader, Marcus Thrace. But the most energetic spirits were thrown into prison and the agitation suppressed. Since that time until last year it has been very quiet here among the workers. But the great social movement which has been growing abroad since the Paris Commune, has also reached the land of the midnight sun. During the last ten years a Social-Dem... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
PREFACE EVERY great movement since the beginning of history has been a movement to lift the bottom dog and put him on his feet. And every such movement has been led by extremists. All the great names of history have been the names of extremists. The brave pioneers who blazed the trail through the unknown forest had to fight their way against the many dangers of wild nature, wild beasts, and wilder men. The heroic men who first raised their voices in the cause of religious liberty had to pass through years of cruel persecution. They were hounded to the scaffold or the state with execration and abuse. The wheel slowly turns full circle, and the malefactor of yesterday become the hero-martyr of to-day, and the faithful tread weary miles to his... (From : Anarchy Archives.)