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Anarchism versus Socialism By WM. C. Owen. London: Freedom Press, 1922. A FOREWORD "Anarchy versus Socialism," which FREEDOM now reissues, after it has run through its columns (1921-22), was published first some eighteen years ago. Emma Goldman was then one of the most popular lecturers in the United States, and, being questioned constantly as to the difference between the Anarchist and Socialist philosophies, felt the need of a treatise that would explain that difference. At her suggestion I undertook the task. The title showed my conviction that between these two philosophies of life no honest alliance is possible. I considered then that both sides suffered seriously from tile persistent efforts made to reconcile the incompatible, for tho... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
[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 imperfec... (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 accep... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Note For "Anarchist Morality" This study of the origin and function of what we call "morality" was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. "To each according to his need" seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able foot the bills. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon. Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to "right and wrong" in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality. Kropotkin sees the source of all so-called moral ideas in primitive superstitions. The...
The workingman, whose strength and muscles are so admired by the pale, puny off-springs of the rich, yet whose labor barely brings him enough to keep the wolf of starvation from the door, marries only to have a wife and house-keeper, who must slave from morning till night, who must make every effort to keep down expenses. Her nerves are so tired by the continual effort to make the pitiful wages of her husband support both of them that she grows irritable and no longer is successful in concealing her want of affection for her lord and master, who, alas! soon comes to the conclusion that his hopes and plans have gone astray, and so practically begins to think that marriage is a failure. THE CHAIN GROWS HEAVIER AND HEAVIER As the expenses grow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.)
HIRED THUGS APPEARED in front of the strike-bound garment factory buildings as another week began. Ostensibly their job was to protect "non-striking" workers; actually, they were on hand to foment disturbances. Clashes were provoked by these "guards" as they led in people who had never worked in the dress industry before, to replace the striking workers. Girl strikers were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. Representatives of both sides conferred on Monday with Campbell MacCulloch, executive secretary of the National Recovery Administration's state board. He proposed a three-month compromise plan to end the strike. We could see only danger in that proposal. Early and specific action was vital to us; more waiting would mean a tired and disgusted rank-and-file, and final acceptance, through sheer weariness, of unfavorable terms. The wearing-down process is a well-known tactic on the industrial battlefield. We rejected the plan quickly. To our surpri...
Inquiry Concerning Political Justice by William Godwin 1793 INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MODERN MORALS AND HAPPINESS BOOK I: OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HIS SOCIAL CAPACITY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general benefit. How may the peculiar and independent operation of each individual in the social state most effectually be preserved? How may the security each man ought to possess, as to his life, and the employment of his faculties according to the dictates of his own understanding, be most certainly defended from invasion? How may the individuals of the human species be made to contribute most substantially to the general impr...
BOOK V OF LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE POWER CHAPTER IV OF A VIRTUOUS DESPOTISM Supposed excellence of this form of government controverted -- from the narrowness of human powers. -- Case of a vicious administration -- of a virtuous administration intended to be formed. -- Monarchy not adapted to the government of large states. There is a principle, frequently maintained upon this subject1, which is entitled to impartial consideration. It is granted, by those who espouse it, "that absolute monarchy, from the imperfection of those by whom it is administered, is, for the most part, productive of evil;" but they assert, "that it is the best and most desirable of all forms under a good and virtuous prince. It is exposed," say they, "to the fate of all excellent natures, and, from the best thing, frequently, if corrupted, becomes the worst." This re...
Free Political Institutions Their Nature, Essence, and Maintenance An Abridgment and Rearrangement of Lysander Spooner's "Trial by jury" EDITED BY VICTOR YARROS LONDON C. W. DANIEL, LTD. 3, Amen Corner, E.C. 1912 CHAPTER 1: LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT AND MAJORITY RULE The theory of free government is that it is formed by the voluntary contract of the people individually with each other. This is the theory (although it is not, as it ought to be, the fact) in all the governments in the United States, as also in the government of England. The theory assumes that each man who is a party to the government, and contributes to its support, has individually and freely consented to it. Otherwise the government would have no right to tax him for its support, for taxation without consent is robbery. This theory, then, necessarily supposes...
This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the International Institute for Social History Speech by William D. Haywood at Meeting Held for the Benefit of the Buccafori Defense, at Progress Assembly Rooms, New York, March 16, 1911. Comrades and Fellow Workers: I am here to-night with a heavy heart. I can see in that Raymond Street jail our comrade and fellow-worker Buccafori in a cell, a miserable cell, perhaps 4 1/2 feet wide, 7 feet long, sleeping on an iron shelf, wrapped up in a dirty blanket, vermin-infested perhaps; surrounded by human wolves, those who are willing to tear him limb from limb, those who will not feel that their duty to the political state is entirely fulfilled until Buccafori's heart ceases to beat.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it likes, pr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This letter was first appeared in Benjamin Tucker's journal Liberty in 1882. Bayard was a Democratic Senator from the state of Delaware who believed that enlightened people like himself were the fittest to govern in the US. Spooner rejected this idea. A Letter to Thomas Bayard: Challenging his right - and that of all the other so-called Senators and Representatives in Congress - to exercise any Legislative Power whatever over the People of the United States By Lysander Spooner To Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware: Sir,— I have read your letter to Rev. Lyman Abbott, in which you express the opinion that it is at least possible for a man to be a legislator, (under the Constitution of the United States), and yet be an honest man. This propos... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Source: New Masses, May 6, 1941; HTML: for marxists.org in April, 2002. ldquo;Primo Maggio, il sole dell’ Avvenire” – May First, the sun of tomorrow! as our Italian comrades so beautifully it, is here again. It links ancient traditions, these modern times, and the future. Always a people’s natural holiday, since time immemorial it was the occasion for the gathering of the of the poor and lowly for one gala day of festivity. For the last fifty-five years it has been universally recognized and cherished by workers around the world as an International Labor Holiday. It is actually the only holiday celebrated internationally. It obliterates all differences of race, creed, color, and nationality. It celebrates the brother... (From : Marxists.org.)
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.)
Chinese society is at the darkest stage now. Under such circumstances, young people become impotent and weak without the power to resist corruption. Even the brave ones can only keep quiet and submit to fate. When it is really unbearable, suicide is the only way out. China is paralyzed; where can we find happiness? Some conscious youth believe that the only way to improve Chinas current situation is to promote nationalism, and identify nationalism as the only road to happiness for the Chinese. Voices of nationalism have spread all over the nation. I shudder at such a thought. Nationalism is in fact the obstacle to human progress. Being a member of this society, I cannot accept nationalis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Of a member of the Berlin Community against the Publication to the 57 Clergymen: "The Christian Sunday Celebration(Mass), A Word of Love to Our Congregation." Dear Brothers and Sisters! A word of love was directed at us; we are not permitted to close our ears. On the first day of this year, a pamphlet will be handed out, in the church, to the church-goers of Berlin; it carries the title: "The Christian Sunday Celebration. A word of love to our congregation," and it concerns us all deeply. Before we later take him to heart in the particular, we include the same content written together in the few words of the second page: "Given that it is undeniable, that the corruption of the church itself is most outwardly apparent by the desecration of t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Introduction In the year 1837, Adolphe Blanqui (brother of the revolutionary leader from whom the Blanquists took their name) wrote a book, The History of Political Economy. He showed in it the importance which economics had in the history of humanity for the determination of political forms and also for the building up of current ideas on Right, Morals and Philosophy. Sixty years ago, Liberals and Radicals concentrated their thoughts on politics, and were altogether unaware of the new industrial conditions which were in course of formation out of the ruins of the old regime. It was from Blanquis point of view quite legitimate that in order to draw attention upon economics and upon the Socialist movement which was then beginning, he s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of IISH. The Policy of The International. [The Policy was published in Egalite In 1869. It was translated by K. L. from a German version, in 1911, and was published in the Herald of Revolt, for October of that year under the title of "The Issue." It is now republished under its original title.-ED.] "Up to now we believed," says a reactionary paper, "that the political and religious opinions of a man depended upon the fact of his being a member of the International or not." At first sight, one might think that this paper was correct in its altered opinion. For the International does not ask any new member if he is of a religious or atheistic turn of mind. She does not ask if he be... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
On my first visit to Spain in September 1936, nothing surprised me so much as the amount of political freedom I found everywhere. True it did not extend to fascists; but outside of these deliberate enemies of the revolution and the emancipation of the workers in Spain, everyone of the anti-fascist front enjoyed political freedom which hardly existed in any of the so called European democracies. The one party that made the utmost use of this was the PSUC, the Stalinist party in revolutionary Spain. Their radio and loudspeakers filled the air. Their daily marches in military formation with their flags waving were flaunted in everybody’s face. They seemed to take a special pleasure in marching past the house of the Regional Committee as ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I recently happened to come across a French pamphlet (in Italy today , 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 would tru... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Newcastle Daily Chronicle: February 20, 1985, p4. Reprinted in Small Communal Experiments and Why They Fail Jura Books Editor's Preface Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was one of the greatest anarchist theoreticians of his time. Although he admired the directly democratic and non-authoritarian practices of the traditional peasant village commune, he was never an advocate of small and isolated communal experimentalism. Many people, upon reading his works, have been inspired to found such communities, both in his own time as well as the hippies of the 1960s (a period when Kropotkin's major works were republished and influential). Kropotkin did not consider such ventures were likely to be successful or useful in achieving wider revolutionary g... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Bakunin to Nechayev on the Role of Secret Revolutionary Societies
To begin with, my views are different in that they do not acknowledge the usefulness, or even the possibility, of any revolution except a spontaneous or a people's social revolution. I am deeply convinced that any other revolution is dishonest, harmful, and spells death to liberty and the people. It dooms them to new penury and new slavery.... [He then notes that the greatly expanded power of the state and its military/police apparatus has] armed the state with such enormous power that all contrived secret conspiracies and non-popular attempts, sudden attacks, surprises and coups--are bound to be shattered against it. It can only be conquered by a spontaneous people's revolution. "Thus the sole aim of a secret society must be, not the creat... (From : flag.blackened.net.)
To write a biographic sketch of even an ordinary man within the limited space at my disposal would be difficult. But to write about one whose personality is so complex and whose life so replete with events as that of Alexander Berkman, is almost an insurmountable task. To do justice to such a rich and colorful subject one must not be so limited by space as I am. Above all, one should be removed, in point of time and distance, from the life to be portrayed. Which is not the case in the present instance. I shall therefore not attempt a biography at the present time. I shall merely joint down a few outstanding features in the life and activities of our Comrade, which may serve as an introduction to something bigger yet to be written. Perhaps i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
From: Bakunin's Writings, Guy A. Aldred Modern Publishers, Indore Kraus Reprint co. New York 1947 Le Reveil du Peuple, for September and October, 1870, published an important summary of an article by Michael Bakunin on the question of the social upheaval. Bakunin denounces all forms of reformist activity as being inimical to the emancipation of the working class, and proceeds to attack those who advocate a mere political revolution, brought about according to the constitutional forms of capitalist society, and through the medium of its parliamentary machine, in opposition to a direct social revolutionary change effected by the workers through the medium of their own political industrial Organization. Bakunin argues that the fact that wages ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Many pages could be covered with the description of the ill-treatment and the tortures in different prisons of Russia. Only some striking instances, however, can be mentioned here. It is known through the daily Press that there were so many complaints about the misrule of the head of the Moscow police, General Rheinbot, that a special Commission was sent out by the Senate, under Senator Garin, to inquire into the affair. The head of the police just mentioned has been dismissed ; perhaps he will be brought before a Court, and striking instances arising out of his misrule have already been communicated more or less officially to the daily Press.1 Thus, one of the witnesses, M. Maximoff, examined by the Commission, who had been kept in one of the lock-ups the Moscow police, deposed as follows:-- "Here I saw the most brutal treatment of the arrested people. The policemen used to beat those whom they would arrest as much as they liked..
THOMAS DREW vs. JOHN M. CLARK. ARGUMENT FOR PETITIONER. Lysander Spooner The alleged contempt for which the petitioner was condemned consisted in his refusal to be sworn before a committee of the legislature; not in his refusal to answer questions after he had been sworn, but in his refusal to be sworn. His objection to being sworn did not arise from any conscientious scruples as to taking an oath; nor from any fear of criminating himself; nor from any objection whatever to testifying before a committee of the legislature; nor from any objection to testifying in regard to any subject-matter whatever which the legislature has authority to investigate by compulsory testimony. He concedes fully that, if anybody could be compelled to be sworn i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This article, originally published in The Progressive, December 1991, pp. 18-21, appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. REFLECTIONS: Murray Bookchin Will Ecology Become 'the Dismal Science'? Almost a century and a half ago Thomas Carlyle described economics as "the dismal science." The term was to stick, especially as it applied to economics premised on a supposedly unavoidable conflict between "insatiable needs" and "scarce natural resources." In this economics, the limited bounty provided by a supposedly "stingy nature" doomed humanity to economic slumps, misery, civil strife, and hunger. Today, the term "dismal science" appropriately describes certain trends in the ecology movement-trends that seem to be riding on... (From : Anarchy Archives.)