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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.)

Faith is that which invests life with meaning, that which gives strength and direction to life. Every living man discovers this meaning and lives upon it. Having failed to discover it, he dies. In his search, man avails himself of all that humanity has achieved. All that has been achieved by humanity is called revelation. Revelation is that which helps man to comprehend the meaning of life. Such is the relation of man to faith. What a wonderful thing, then! Men appear, who toil unceasingly to make other people enjoy just this and no other form or revelation; who cannot rest until others accept their, just their form of revelation, and who damn, execute, kill, as many as they can of the dissenters. Others do the same: damn, execute, and kill... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

So I lived, abandoning myself to this insanity for another six years, till my marriage. During that time I went abroad. Life in Europe and my acquaintance with leading and learned Europeans [Footnote: Russians generally make a distinction between Europeans and Russians. - A.M.] confirmed me yet more in the faith of striving after perfection in which I believed, for I found the same faith among them. That faith took with me the common form it assumes with the majority of educated people of our day. It was expressed by the word "progress". It then appeared to me that this word meant something. I did not as yet understand that, being tormented (like every vital man) by the question how it is best for me to live, in my answer, "Live in conformity with progress", I was like a man in a boat who when carried along by wind and waves should reply to what for him is the chief and only question. "whither to steer", by saying, "We are being carried somewhere". I did not...

(BY A NON-ANARCHIST CORRESPONDENT.) "When Anarchism was first heard of in the Socialist movement in England, it was welcomed & a protest against the insane disregard of the lessons of political experience a& to personal liberty apparent in some Collectivist ideals. But it ha& since developed into a doctrine of unmitigated individualism, having for it& economic basis an invincible ignorance of the late of Rent. As such it i& no longer welcome, or even tolerable, to Socialists." The above appears as a note to an article by G. Bernard Shaw in the September number of To-Day. The fact that the article in question "A Word for War," is written for the furtherance of the policy which Mr. Shaw has for some time past been urging o... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea --- an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies-living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and sw... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Freethought in America was an anti-clerical, anti-Christian movement which sought to separate the church and state in order to leave religious matters to the conscience and reasoning ability of the individual involved. Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) was prominent both as a feminist and as a freethinker. The following article, reprinted from Benjamin Tucker's periodical Liberty, was originally delivered by de Cleyre as a lecture before the Boston Secular Society. It is an excellent example of the interrelationship between the individualist-feminist view of the church and of the state. In her essay "Sex Slavery," de Cleyre reiterated this two-pronged attack. She wrote: "Let every woman ask herself, 'Why am I the Slave of Man?' . . . There a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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 indi...

BOOK III Principles of Government CHAPTER V OF LEGISLATION Society can declare and interpret, but cannot enact. - Its authority only executive. HAVING thus far investigated the nature of political functions, it seems necessary that some explanation should be given upon the subject of legislation. "Who is it that has authority to make laws? What are the characteristics of that man or body of men in whom the tremendous faculty is vested of prescribing to the rest of the community what they are to perform, and what to avoid?" The answer to these questions is exceedingly simple: Legislation, as it has been usually understood, is not an affair of human competence. Immutable reason is the true legislator, and her decrees it behooves us to investigate. The functions of society extend, not to the making, but the interpreting of law; it cannot decree, it can only declare that which the nature of thing...

The pastor of a Congregational church writes to us: "I find in your issue of this mouth you say in your article on Reason-Worship: 'Christian theology and pessimist philosophy are agreed in condemning the nature of man as essentially evil.' As a regular reader of your paper, I was sorry to find such a mistake. This may be some people's impression of the teaching of theology, or it may actually be taught by some ignorant preachers. It is not the doctrine of theology, but on the contrary has been specially condemned, and I believe never revived. Theology teaches that sin is in the will but not in the essential nature of man. These views are distinct. Man is created in the image of God: this is the teaching of the Bible and of theology. The em... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

Rousseau was not a Socialist in any scientific and definite way, simply because he was not a political economist. Yet there was in himself amid to a great extent in his works also, all the emotional material of Socialism. And, inasmuch as the Anarchist faith and formula distinguish themselves from general Socialism, in that they affirm entire equality and freedom in association, not merely saying of the members of society that each is for the whole, but adding with the same emphasis that the whole is for each one, and that he, in and through the whole in which he lives and moves and has his being, is an end to himself and never merely a means to any alien end or good that does not include him and is not his very own: this being Anarchism in... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

PREFACE Perhaps the argument most frequently used by conservative believers in the convenient doctrine of leaving things as they are against those engaged in reformatory efforts of a more or less radical nature is that the "spirit and genius of American institutions" do not admit of the assimilation or acceptance of the proposed innovations. Were one to trust them, the "American institutions" are something so clearly defined, finished, and powerful as to absolutely render it impossible for any inconsistent and discordant element to maintain a vigorous existence within the charmed circle which affords chances of life only to what necessarily and logically flows as a consequence from the fundamental principles supporting the peculiar civilization of this "best government on the face of the earth." We are asked to look upon all that "is," if not as unqualifiedly right and perfect, then as relatively so in the sense of its being the unavoidable outcome of primary conditions.

To Gandhi. I have just received your very interesting letter, which gave me much pleasure. God help our dear brothers and coworkers in the Transvaal! Among us, too, this fight between gentleness and brutality, between humility and love and pride and violence, makes itself ever more strongly felt, especially in a sharp collision between religious duty and the State laws, expressed by refusals to perform military service. Such refusals occur more and more often. I wrote the 'Letter to a Hindu', and am very pleased to have it translated. The Moscow people will let you know the title of the book on Krishna. As regards 're-birth' I for my part should not omit anything, for I think that faith in a re-birth will never restrain mankind as much as f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind from "Unpopular Essays" by Bertrand Russell . The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine, for example, was due to natural causes, and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are human. For six years the civilized nations of the wo... (From :

Resistance to Government 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. In 1888 Mr. John Beverley Robinson (who just before his death in 1923 translated Proudhon's "General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century," published by Freedom Press, London) entered into a discussion with the editor of Liberty on the question of nonresistance, which enabled Mr. Tucker to make clear the attitude of Anarchism toward aggression and in its manner of treating aggressors: Mr. Robinson says that the essence of government is compulsion by violence. If it is, then of course Anarchists, always opposing government, must always oppose violence. But Anarchists do not so define government. To them the essence of government is invasio...

"Justice, Justice! One penny. Shows you how to get rid of all landlords and capitalists" was the appropriate cry that fell upon one's ear when joining the huge crowd assembling round the platform erected beneath the Reformer's Tree for the reception of T. D. Sullivan and Edward Harrington, two of Balfour's criminals. In spite of the nipping east wind and threatening snow-clouds, their London sympathizers poured into the park in vast numbers, and when those attending the procession came up there must have been at least fifty thousand good men and true. The chance words heard whilst waiting for the heroes of the hour were instructive and portentous. To the right stood a sturdy workman propounding the doctrine of Socialism as it seemed unto hi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

These letters, addressed to Frederic Bastiat, an economist, originally appeared in a debate published in The Voice of the People, in 1849. Interest and Principal A Loan is a Service On the one hand, it is very true, as you have unquestionably established, that a loan is a service. And as every service has a value, and, in consequence, is entitled by its nature to a reward, it follows that a loan ought to have its price, or, to use the technical phrase, ought to bear interest. But it is also true, and this truth is consistent with the preceding one, that he who tends, under the ordinary conditions of the professional lender, does not deprive himself, as you phrase it, of the capital which be lends. He lends it, on the contrary, precisely bec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. "—John viii. 32. "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."—MATT. x. 28. "Ye have been bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."—I COR. vii. 23. Of the Book "What I Believe"—The Correspondence Evoked by it—Letters from Quakers—Garrison's Declaration—Adin Ballou, his Works, his Catechism—Helchitsky's "Net of Faith"—The Attitude of the World to Works Elucidating Christ's Teaching—Dymond's Book "On War"—Musser's "Nonresistance Asserted"—Attitude of the Government in 1818 to Men who Refused to Serve in the Army—Hosti...

(From our Spanish Correspondent). Although rather late, from causes beyond my power, I wish to speak to you of the 11th of November. This date is in Spain a workers! holy, day, and also an occasion for Anarchist demonstrations and propaganda. In all the great cities, and in many country towns, the people commemorate the death of the noble workers, whose martyrdom instead of ,degrading them, glorified the instrument, at the same time that they, view with horror the disgusting and untimely social institutions which now exist. At Barcelona this holy day has had a special solemnity. The great hall of the Palace of Fine Arts, which is estimated to be large enough to contain 12,000 people, was packed with workers and their families, for the annou... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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 :

To one not familiar with the Russian language the accessible data relative to the external life of Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, the author of this book, are, to say the least, not voluminous. His name does not appear in that heterogeneous record of celebrities known as The Men of the Time, nor is it to be found in M. Vapereau's comprehensive Dictionnaire des Contemporains. And yet Count Leo Tolstoy is acknowledged by competent critics to be a man of extraordinary genius, who, certainly in one instance, has produced a masterpiece of literature which will continue to rank with the great artistic productions of this age. Perhaps it is enough for us to know that he was born on his father's estate in the Russian province of Tula, in the year 1828; that he received a good home education and studied the oriental languages at the University of Kasan; that he was for a time in the army, which he entered at the age of twenty-three as an officer of artillery, serving later...


1. Anarchism was built up and invented by the working class to meet with specific problems in working class organization and to point the way to a society free from oppression. It differed from Marxism or authoritarian socialism in that it saw that copying bourgeois forms of organization or government was a mistaken tactic; also that government could form a new tyranny. It was not generally realized at the time that there could be two forms of aspirants to tyranny - capitalists and bureaucrats could take over a new government, but prior to that the middle classes were also divided in their attitude to socialism. The middle class as defined by Marx - the profit making class ^^ had a corollary in the mandarin class aiming at power and its cla... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

"Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by (Bill Lear) 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 ... (From :

In these days, under the influence of democracy, the virtue of cooperation has taken the place formerly held by obedience. The old-fashioned schoolmaster would say of a boy that he was disobedient; the modern schoolmistress says of an infant that he is non-cooperative. It means the same thing: the child, in either case, fails to do what the teacher wishes, but in the first case the teacher acts as the government and in the second as the representative of the People, i.e. of the other children. The result of the new language, as of the old, is to encourage docility, suggestibility, herd-instinct and conventionality, thereby necessarily discouraging originality, initiative and unusual intelligence. Adults who achieve anything of value have se... (From :

Godwin, William. Of Population. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster Row, 1820. INQUIRY CONCERNING POPULATION BOOK I. OF THE POPULATION OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AND SOUTH AMERICA, IN ANCIENT AND MODERN TIMES. CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION. Mr. Malthus has published what he calls an Essay on the Principle of Population, by which he undertakes to annul every thing that had previously been received, respecting the views that it is incumbent upon those who preside over political society to cherish, and the measures that may conduce to the happiness of mankind. His theory is evidently founded upon nothing. He says, that "population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years, or increases in a geometrical ratio.a" If we ask why we are to believe this, he answers that, "in the northern states of America, the population has bee...

In regard to hygiene we are, in Spain, dominated by the abominable ideas of the Catholic Church. Saint Aloysius and Saint Benedict J. Labré are not the only, or the most characteristic, saints in the list of the supposed citizens of the kingdom of heaven, but they are the most popular with the masters of uncleanliness. With such types of perfection,1 in an atmosphere of ignorance, cleverly and maliciously sustained by the clergy and the middle-class Liberals, it was to be expected that the children who would come to our school would be wanting in cleanliness; dirt is traditional in their world. We began a discreet and systematic campaign against it, showing the children how a dirty person or object Inspires repugnance, and how cleanliness attracts esteem and sympathy; how one instinctively moves towards the cleanly person and away from the dirty and malodorous; and how we should be pleased to win the regard of those who see its and ashamed to excit...

The Paris Commune, like other spectacular events in human history, has become the clinging point for many legends, alike among its enemies and among its friends. Indeed, one must often question which was the real Commune, the legend or the fact,— what was actually lived, or the conception of it which has shaped itself in the world-mind during those forty odd years that have gone since the 18th of March, 1871. It is thus with doctrines, it is thus with personalities, it is thus with events. Which is the real Christianity, the simple doctrine attributed to Christ or the practical preaching and realizing of organized Christianity? Which is the real Abraham Lincoln,—the clever politician who emancipated the chattel slaves as an act ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Herbert Read, . The Philosophy of Anarchism. London: Freedom Press. The Philosophy of Anarchism. By Herbert Read FREEDOM PRESS First published September 1940 by Freedom Press. 27, Red Lion Street. London, W.C.1, Second Impression, June 1941 Third Impression, December 1941 Fourth Impression, July 1942 Fifth Impression, February 1943 Sixth Impression, December 1944. Seventh Impression, November 1947. All rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain by Express Printers, London. Ts'ui Chii said to Lao Tzu, "You say there must be no government. But it there is no government, how are men's hearts to be improved?" "The last thing you should do," said Lao Tzu, "is to tamper with men's hearts. The heart of man is like a spring; if you press it down, it... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I. We seek understanding of facts for guidance in action, for avoidance of mistake and suffering, and even for resignation to the inevitable. This statement may cover the chief aims of mankind in intellectual discussion, ignoring now that which is merely a scholastic exercise. I am not in favor of argument in the style of the debating tarnished by a practice of which easily generates an evil habit, and there are, at least as yet, too many occasion in real life on which every person who loves to tell the truth and expose falsehood must consider time and circumstance lest he impale himself upon implacable prejudices. Consequently if duplicity have its uses there need be no fear that it will not be cultivated without concerted efforts thereto ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

FOREWORD France has exhausted the principles that once sustained it. Its conscience is empty, just like its reason. All the famous writers that it has produced in the last half-century,—the de Maisters, the Chateaubriands, the Lamennais, the de Bonalds, the Cousins, the Guizots, the Lamartines, the Saint-Simons, the Michelets, Catholics, eclectics, economists, socialists, and members of parliament,—have not ceased to predict that moral collapse which, thanks to God's mercy, man's foolishness, and the necessity of things, has finally arrived. The philosophers of Germany have echoed the prophets of France, as finally the destiny of our homeland has become common to all the old world; for it is written that as French society is, so... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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