anarchy archives


About Us

Contact Us

Other Links

Critics Corner


The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Elisée Reclus
  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
  Art and Anarchy
  Education and Anarchy
  Anarchist Poets
  Music and Anarchy

From: "Objections To Anarchism," by George Barrett, Freedom Pamphlet, Freedom Press, 127 Ossulston Street, London, N.W.1., 1921.

Objections to Anarchism

<--Previous  Up  Next-->

This is indeed a subject fit for the introduction to not merely a little pamphlet, but to the whole world's literature, for it is difficult to realise how many books are sealed, how many libraries are closed to that great crowd who remain loyal to their party, and consequently regardless of the truth. If it is necessary to take an example we may always find one near at hand. The Socialist politicians are as good as any. For years their energies have been expended in advocating State control and guardianship in all things. To-day we have Old-Age Pensions, Insurance Acts, and Mr. Lloyd George's plans for "Socialisation," as he terms it, i.e., Government control of the munition works, and some prospect of compulsory military service; but though these things work towards the universal State, the average party Socialist quarrels with them all — and why?

They are not perfect from his point of view, it may be admitted; but who can deny that they are steps in the direction he has been advocating? Why then does he not hail them with delight? They have not been introduced by his party.

For such men the arguments in this little book are not written. They lie under a heavy curse, which no wit of mine can lessen. Their lives in their own small way are like that of Ibsen's Emperor Julian, and with him, on the eve of battle, they cry with their petty voices: "I must call upon something without and above me I will sacrifice to this god and to that. I will sacrifice to many. One or the other must surely hear me."

Our advanced men have ceased to pray and sacrifice to the gods in the hour of need, but still at every little difficulty they feel the necessity of some power outside themselves. Almost every objection given here is prompted by this modern form of superstition, and almost every answer may be put in the words of the philosopher Maximus, who tries in vain to stimulate self-reliance in his friend Julian: "To what gods, oh fool? Where are they .... and what are they?....I believe in you."



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