The Social Monster
By Johann Most
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between anarchism and communism, between state and free contract, between centralization and federation, setting aright what a willful and inconsistent criticism has done wrong. Of course, our purpose in doing this has not been to make a split between us and our adversaries still wider; on the contrary, we have hoped to bridge it over. An immediate and complete unison we shall not expect, but it seems to us that with sufficient good will on both sides it should be possible to gather all the diverging groups into closed ranks and the immense importance of such a maneouvre with respect to the final issue of the contest must be evident to all.
Unfortunate in this respect is the subscription to some sharply defined platform which generally is demanded by all parties for admission. Doctrine is not life. There is something above the dogma and it is a pity, that the world has not seen it before. Words, even good words, have caused more discord in human life than perhaps anything else. Nevertheless, referring to the distinction we have made above between centralization and federation, it does not seem impossible to us to find some short formulas which covered the whole in a general way and yet left the details to the decision of each party-organization.
There is, for instance, the Pittsburgh Proclamation, the declaration of the principles of the communistic anarchists of America. A recapitulation of its whole contents is found at the end. The two first paragraphs contain, approximately at least, all that is common to all communists. They read thus:
First:-- Destruction of [unreadable] class rule, by all means, i.e. by energetic, relentless, revolutionary and international action.
Second:-- Establishment of a free society based upon co-operative organization of production.
This, or something similar, could be used as the general watchword, under which the socialists and the anarchists formed in line for battle. The rest could be left for those to settle who, having triumphed, must devote their energies to the development of a free community, -- a community in which each and every form of slavery is definitely abolished.