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Centennial Tribute to Kropotkin

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free mutualism of the groups. The real liberal, however, while agreeing that the villain in the process of history, is the Class-State created by other than economic force, is convinced that we cannot dispense with a public order which commands the means necessary to maintain the common interest against opposition dangerous to the commonwealth. No great society can exist without a body which renders final decisions as debatable issues an has the means, in case of emergency, to enforce the decisions. No society can exist without the power of punishment of the judge, not without the right to expropriate property even against the wishes of the proprietor, of the public interest urgently demands it. Such powers existed, as far as we can see, everywhere among the societies of free and equals and are still in existence in tribes that have preserved their stone-age mode of life. Only the tiny groups of the Eskimos seem to get along without original punishment, just because they are such tiny groups. But the history of this country shows clearly that each society, no matter how crude, was compelled to establish criminal law and powers to execute punishment in places where the orderly power of the courts of the State had not been able to penetrate — Moderators, Regulators, Vigilantes, Miners' meetings, proved to be indispensible in keeping down robbers, pirates, jayhawkers and gangsters.

Large societies need even more than that. The eminent philosopher of law, Radbruch, says that there must be somebody to decide whether to pass each other on the right or on the left, and that "even the heavenly Legions hardly could get along without army regulations." There must be authorities regulating traffic, deciding on and watching over weights and measures, determining what should be the medium of exchange and so forth.

All this can be abused in the historical Class-State, and has been abused and is now being abused. Therefore, so argues the Liberal, we must pull the poison-teeth of the Class State, and this means we must get rid of all monopolistic postions [sic] of power created by what John Stuart Mill called "violence and fraud." The basic ones are the political monopoly of State --- domination and administration usurped by the ruling class, and the economic monopoly of the land without which there could exist neither the class of proletarians nor the capitalistic class which goes with it. In such society all, political power would lie in the base of the pyramid: in the communitivcs and cooperatives, while the administrators on top, as I once wrote, would only have a power comparable, let us say, to the one of the international geodetic committee.

Kropotkin was inclined to concede quite a lot to me. Perhaps he was not quite convinced that the monopoly of capital is only a branch growing out of the monopoly of the land, a branch which must wither if the trunk is chopped off. But he was not far from accepting this part of my theory. He knew better than most others how immensely large. compared to the need, the arable land of this planet is: he had figured out that, with intense garden cultivation, the small area of the "Department Seine" would suffice to supply the Metropolis of Paris with food. Therefore he could not get away from realizing that the monopoly of the land is not a natural one, based on the fact that the area is too small compared to the need, but a legal monopoly based on the fact that the ruling class had surped [sic] the right to corner the abounding land away from the vast majority of the people. Purpose and effect of the monopoly was to turn them into proletarians, to wit, into people who are forced to offer their services for a wage leaving the surplus value (or profit) to the owners of the means of production, the produced means (e.g., machinery), as well as the non-produced one, the land. If people had free access to the land as their means of production, then there could be neither a class of exploiters nor of exploited! Even Karl Marx concedes this, as may be read in the 25th chapter, "On Colonial Systems" in the first volume of his "Capital" and in his letter to Friedrich Engels dated November 26, 1869.

In this point, I believe, we were not far from coming to an agreement. It was another point where this proved to be impossible, the point where Anarchist and Liberal never can agree, until the Classless-State will have been materialized, and its functioning can be observed. The Anarchist cannot get away from the tear that the once established Classless-State, no matter whether created by reform or by revolution, will again revert into the Class-State by abuse of the power of administration. His opinion is that all power will be abused; therefore, he does not want to put power into anybody's hands. This opinion


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