This brochure is incomplete, despite its size. It ought to have included a review of Marx's life and writings, and a study of Proudhon. The latter forecasted the failure of universal suffrage, the liquidation of political and social democracy in reaction and empire, and the successful emergence of libertarian society. He preached the calm, unrelenting optimism of complete democracy and liberty which is so necessary to human endurance today. The essays on Marx and Proudhon are written and will be published in due course.
"Bakunin is note a biography of the immortal Russian Revolutionist. It depicts his force and character. My life of Bakunin is finished also and will appear as funds and conditions permit. As an Anarchist, Bakunin is over-rated. As a man, with a tremendous will towards liberty, and a titanic force of character, he has not received a tithe of appreciation that is his due. Bakunin was thoroughly human. The essay with which this work opens will stimulate interest in the life struggles of this good comrade.
The Chicago studies are comprehensive. When in Leeds in 1934 I saw the wonderful "life" of Parsons, written by his wife. I wanted to keep it for some time to use it but the comrade was jealous of his book. it never occurred to him that, in my hands, it would have a use-value for the movement and for history it would lose, stored away until it fell into Philistine hands. Such is the sense of property as against usefulness.
All these essays are reprinted, revised a little here and there, from the columns of The Spur, The commune, or The New Spur, and cover the years from 1914 to 1934.
The last two essays have been revised and abridges by me from studies by Andre Lorulot and H. Canne Meijer. Lorulot's essay is merely a living picture of Nieuwenhuis and leaves it necessary to write his biography. Meijer's account of Gorter is a biography written by an intimate contemporary. the editing of these essays has been severe and expressions of political opinion are mine and not that of the authors from whom I have abridged and adapted. Some of the essays are written as editorials and use the editorial "we." Others employ the more modest but mot grating first personal singular - "I." To have altered this technically of expression would have entailed too much work. The reader must forgive the resulting literary inconsistency of expression.