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The Social Monster

By Johann Most

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be dethroned if room shall be made for liberty, equality and brotherly love.


The principal objection which non-anarchistic socialists prefer against anarchism is its doctrine of "free contracts."

While the anarchists push on and proclaim, that, in a free society, all its members must form all their relations on a basis of free agreements, the non-anarchistic socialists look on with a smile of doubt and remain in the field of social compulsion.

But it is of no use to them to argue that a system of compulsion, which presses equally on all in general, is not felt by any single individual in particular. The argument is nonsense.

All people are not alike, nor do they feel the same thing in the same manner: And even if it were true, it would only argue in behalf of a milder form of the existing system of compulsion and not in behalf of a social order in which freedom itself is the only regulator. Nor is there any escape to be found in their reference to an almost everlasting voting by the whole people. Either the whole people is shrewd enough, to find what is' right at every point, and then any kind of political government or social guardianship is' entirely superfluous; or the whole people is not shrewd enough to prevent the formation of a well-drilled aristocracy of demagogues, and then we have the old story over again.

It is, however, by no means necessary to launch out into an unknown world [unreadable] to form a well defined idea of how free contracts work.

There is for instance the world's postal-union. Each individual postal organization enters the general combination on a simple agreement, concerning the services to be rendered and to be received.

There is no international court with power to summon and compel him who breaks the agreement; there are only conferences to mediate when irregularities or misunderstandings occur.

Nevertheless, the agreement is never broken, for the simple reason that the party which did so, would hurt itself.

And this institution, which can serve as a model for a multitude of similar free combinations in the most different spheres of human life, is by no means unique. There are the trusts, the pools, etc., formed by people who, as a rule, are not very sharp-sighted, so far as the general good is concerned.

In most countries combinations of this character are illegal, and there is no law which can compel the


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