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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
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This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission.
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Dec. 4. 33
Wien, Dec. 28. 1932

     Dear Comrade, your letter and the master [obve] [Werl] arrived. My best thanks to you (plural), but--don't do it ever again! Upon imports here they exact tariff and other costs: a procedure which is exactly equivalent to the usual: "the magistrate imposed a heavy fine." Like the Scilly islanders take in each others' washing, so the [nabious] nowadays thrive by fleecing one the other at the custom bariers [sic]. This globe is now a menagerie or a model prison with everyone in his cage.

     I was much amused by your subliterary history underlying just that virtuous censor who smelled out the scandals of so many other people. I suppose he left a Pandora box with a new supply. There is no doubt, for instance, that Jimmy Walker wrote the plays of Shaw, whilst Shaw is the real author of the aute-dated plays of Shakespeare. That ought to be good enough for both of them.--By the way, could not the most vitriolic satire on [gereramentalism] and [mammonism], something with intelligent argument, real moral value and [beeining] with facts, be

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produced as the memoirs of the famous crook--something which would reach people whom other books do not reach? Something also which later on could be frankly admitted as a ruse de guerre? In these turbulent times this would become a slight historical factor that did his work, giving its impulse--as the aristocrats themselves did so much to secure the acting of Le Mariage de Figaro in 1784 which was a deadly satire on them and a revolutionary plea.

     Of course, these are fantasmagories of mine, but a [larron larron el teeei] is the French proverb of similar.

     Or better keep out of this lot altogether, as you are effectively doing-toying with all this at the outmost. Do give some hours of your real brain to the new N.Y. Freedom to give it a more vigorous start. Upon such a paper

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much might be built up again, whilst if it languishes, all prospect will be lost for a time and just for these present months or years. A Blast requires probably a man like you on the spot and some urgent local problem and all that I have never seen The Blast and that they have not. Also, all labour matters and unemployed and relief or retaking, these are questions too large for us and the millions whom it concerns, are possessed [Cposse'dd]/by authoritarianism and we could not tell them to love and respect freedom, when they can say that they love and respect nothing, do not want to starve, wish to impose their will and have some revenge, if they can. All that gets under the control of the communists and we could neither follow them nor make an efficient stand against them, few as we are.

     So such a paper as Freedom, should it not before all be a liberal paper? Not a doctrinary one (isolated), but a broadminded appealing to the best instincts in all and

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rousing hopes of real freedom again?

     In any case, it ought to have your help to keep it from that languor which, it appears to me, threatens to spread over its too many and too large pages. Kelly writes always clever, very [permaoire], but not large and general enough and Tom Dell has buried Kropotkin often enough and we now want the [cautionation]: what next?

     But I must not continue talking--only think of the *aming years and give your help now when you best can.

     Greetings and thanks to Mrs. E. (also for her letter, always cheerful-like when she wiped the floor with the Rumanian Consul) and yourself,

M. Nettlau

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