anarchy archives

An Online Research Center on the History and Theory of Anarchism



About Us

Contact Us

Other Links

Critics Corner


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
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War

<--Previous  Up  Next-->


monopolistic profit. But for interest, rent, and monopolistic profit, therefore, trusts would be impossible. Now what cause interest, rent, and monopolistic profit? For all there is but one cause, --the denial of liberty, the suppression or restriction of competition, the legal creation of monopolies.

This single, cause however, takes various shapes.

Monopolistic profit is due to that denial of liberty which takes the shape of patent, copyright, and tariff legislation, patent and copyright laws directly forbidding competition, and tariff laws placing competition at a fatal disadvantage.

Rent is due to that denial of liberty which takes the shape of land monopoly, vesting titles to land in individuals and associations which do not use it, and thereby compelling the non-owning users to pay tribute to the non-using owners as a condition of admission to the competitive market.

Interest is due to that denial of liberty which takes the shape of money monopoly, depriving all individuals and associations, save such as hold a certain kind of property, of the right to issue promisary notes as currency, and thereby compelling all holders of property other than the kind thus privileged, as well as all non-proprieters to pay tribute to the holders of the privileged property for the use of a circulating medium and instrument of credit which, in the complex stage that industry and commerce have now reached, has become the chief essential of competitive market.

Now, Anarchism, which as I have said, is the doct


rine that in all matters there should be the greatest amount of individual liberty compatible with equality of liberty, but that each and every one of them, on the contrary, is destructive of equality of liberty. Therefore it declares them unnecessary, arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust, and demands their immediate cessation.

Of these four monopolies -- the banking monopoly, the land monopoly, the tariff monopoly, and the patent and copyright monopoly -- the injustice of all but the last- named is manifest even to a child. The right of the individual to buy and sell without being held up by a highwayman whenever he crosses an imaginary line called a frontier; the right of the individual to take possession of unoccupied water or unoccupied air; the right of the individual to give his IOU, in any shape whatsoever, under any guarantee whatsoever, or under no guarantee at all, to anyone willing to accept it in exchange for something else,--all these rights are too clear for argument, and anyone presuming to dispute them simply declares thereby his despotic and imperialistic instincts.

For the fourth of these monopolies, however,--the patent and copyright monopoly,--a more plausible case can be presented, for the question of property in ideas is a very subtle one. The defenders of each property set up an analogy between the production of material things and the production of abstractions, and on the strength of it declare that the manufacturer of mental products, no less than the manufacturer of material products, is a laborer worthy of his hire. So far, so good


This page has been accessed by visitors outside of Pitzer College times since September 12, 2001.


[Home]               [Search]               [About Us]               [Contact Us]               [Other Links]               [Critics Corner]