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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
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  Anarchist History
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  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War

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-liberalism. They filled this revolution with a new social concept based upon the demand of Freedom, Peace and Liberty, and the unlimited right to build a new life.

An astonishing picture unfolded before the surprised nations of the world,--a picture, the charm of which still lingers, although it no longer has anything to do with the actuality of present day Russia. What do the exploited classes require for a human existence? What is generally essential for a free and equitable life? Freedom based on economic equality,-- for any other freedom is deception, falsehood, mirage. Only on the foundation of economic equality can arise social institutions which make liberty secure for everyone, and which give everyone the inalienable right to direct participation in building a new life. Outside of this, and without this, there is no free and equitable life-life without exploitation of one by another,-- without domination of one over another. Liberty is the daughter of Equality. There is no Justice without Equality and Liberty. Therefore, the Social Revolution aspiring to economic equality and liberty is a highly moral phenomenon. Only highly moral deeds can move and inspire great masses. Only such deeds can kindle them with the fire of enthusiasm and move them to great heroic acts. For this reason, all the efforts of the Bourgeoisie and its hirelings to resist the October Revolution were so pitiful. The force of the bourgeois resistance grew in proportion to the demoralization of the Revolutions, in proportion to the corruption of her spirit by dictatorship, autocracy and discrimination, ---in proportion to the emasculation from her of the elements of economic equality, and liberty, i.e. human morality.

The bourgeois regime is immoral and unjust in the highest degree. It is maintained and continues to thrive on the coarse, physical strength of the ignorant masses. But as soon as a ray of consciousness penetrates the darkness of their souls, the bourgeois and cruelty is immoral because it has as its basis egoism, the coarse egoism of dominating classes and the suppression of natural rights of the toiling masses.

The present Russian regime and the present order of things cannot be called bourgeois, ---still less can it be called Socialistic or Communistic. It is a despotic regime, i.e. the most immoral of all imaginable systems. For this very reason it is the most cruel, most degrading and oppressive of systems. It cannot exist without physical force, without terrorism, and without suppression of the most elementary liberties. The slightest relaxation of discipline and it will perish.

How did it come about that the Social Revolution degenerated into a despotism? How did it happen that the masses having crushed the mad resistance of those who raised the sword to defend the immoral regime based on inequality were in turn

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