WHAT IS ANARCHISM?
To the Editor of "Freedom."
DEAR COMRADE,-A number of the members of the Socialist League here, are greatly interested in the discussion that bag recently appeared in Commonweal concerning the difference between the principles of Anarchist Communism and those of unqualified Communism or Socialism. We have long been anxious to understand clearly and definitively what that difference is.
The statement of principles contained in the two letters of William Morris (May 18 and August 17) appears to us to fully embrace all the communism and liberty that is needful and indeed possible amongst men. Knowing, however, that there are many brave and highly gifted men who call themselves Anarchist Communists in distinction to those who like the members of the Socialist League call themselves simply Communists or Socialists; and knowing that Freedom is published chiefly with the view of making the distinction of principle between them manifest, I have been asked to put the following queries to you so that we may better understand each other:
1. How, say in England, would Anarchists seek to supplant the existing state of society? Would they wait till they had converted all the people, or a majority only, or merely an effective minority; and if before all were converted, how would they propose to deal with the unconverted majority or minority who refused to submit?
2. Is not the voluntary submission of a minority to a majority, or a majority to a minority for the sake of the common weal, really a refined or disguised method of yielding to authority or compulsion? If for example, I were to feel constrained voluntarily to do or to refrain from doing anything in an Anarchist community for the sake of the common good or to prevent disorder; would I not be acting from the same impulse as a Social Democrat who for a similar reason yielded to the authority of the State: and would not the difference between us really be one-not of principle, but merely of the form of effecting the same end? I do not believe that a system of State Socialism or State Cornmunism is what we should seek to establish, not because. it is necessarily opposed to freedom, but because it is the most cumbrous form of association for the common weal, and one not calculated to secure the greatest amount of personal freedom. Absolute freedom, however, I believe. with comrade Morris, to be impossible amongst men; men in society can be no more absolutely socially free than the brain, heart and lungs, or the corpuscles of the blood can be absolutely physically free in the living body.
3. May not a number of men consistent with Anarchist principles voluntarily elect or commission some one main to direct them in an undertaking with power to say who shall do this and who shall do that? and if so, may not a commune or nation in a similar way voluntarily commission one man or a number of men to direct certain communal OF national affairs for a given period; and would the power thus voluntarily delegated by the people, become oppressive when exercised?
Let me say that I do not believe a wise people would care to delegate their power in this way more than was felt to be really necessary; on the other hand, I fail to see bow any form of association that prevented the people from delegating their power, or prevented them from voluntarily limiting their individual inclinations or caprices, could in any sense be esteemed a form of association in which there was any real, not to say absolute, freedom.
I trust, comrade. we may exchange. a few words in a friendly discussion upon the above and maybe other points. There is no "ion, I think, for any ill-nature to arise between Communist Anarchists and Socialists in the meantime-and I trust there never will be. I can say for myself and for many members of the Socialist League here, that we would not hesitate to declare ourselves Communist Anarchists if we. felt convinced that Communist Anarchism as distinct from Communism was a better and a possible ideal.
-Yours fraternally, J. Bruce Glasier 250 Crown Street, Glasgow, Aug. 16, 1889.
We are glad to receive the above letter from our Glasgow comrade, and we hope it will lead to the clearing up of some of the points of difference between the Communists of the Socialists League, who have no political ideal, and the Anarchist Communists whose political ideal is clearly defined as opposed to that of the Social Democrats, also clearly defined. We have endeavoured in the following replies to confine ourselves as closely as possible to the queries put in our comrade's letter, and we Lope he will not hesitate to let us have further questions calculated to clear away the mist from before our eyes.
1. Anarchists do not seek to impose their will upon others, so that there would be no question of their dealing with art unconverted majority or minority who refused to submit. They recognise that there are and have been great inequalities in the mental development of man, due of course to the vicious social systems which have prevailed and fostered inequality, and they see that a Gallileo or a Bruno may be right in his views although the whole world is against him. Therefore they do not believe in rule of any kind, either majority or minority rule. They do not wish to rule and they do not wish to be ruled. But they mean to resist tyranny and robbery whenever they are able to do so and to persuade others to do the same. Coercion in their view is always unjustifiable, even if the end in view in the opinion of the coercers is good. The Social Revolution is with them the emancipation of the workers from the burdens and tyrannies of to-day. Every worker they hold should revolt against oppression and robbery on his own account whenever he has the power, and numbers of workers should freely band themselves together for the same purpose. The Social Revolution is inevitable. All the forces of society at the present moment are undoubtedly moving towards gigantic social changes, viz., the expropriation of the possessing classes and the destruction of authority, which the Anarchists are doing their best to make clear to the people. The Anarchist workers at the first opportunity will endeavour to organise themselves in free associations, and those who do not care to participate in the freedom and happiness of the people may continue to support the idlers who now live upon their labour, if they choose. Anarchists are in no way concerned as to whether a majority or minority is in favour of such and such a thing. What they think about is whether the force over against them is stronger than the force on their side and how they are to hold their own against a stronger force, which is by no means necessarily a majority.
2. We all of us have to submit to coercion at the present time, just in the same way as an unarmed man has to submit to the ruffian who holds a pistol at his head, but that is not voluntary submission. When a majority in a certain community decide upon a certain course which is not of the first importance, and the help of the minority is necessary, the minority may voluntarily acquiesce for the sake of the common weal, but that cannot be called yielding to authority. If you were to voluntarily refrain from doing anything which would injure the community you would not be acting from the same impulse as a man who refrained because of the law. You would be using your reason, the State Socialist would not. He would not distinguish between bad laws and good (?) obeying the former and disobeying the latter-he would obey all alike because it was the law. For example, if a majority of the people of London were to say there shall be no meetings in Trafalgar Square, a consistent State Socialist would bow to the will of the majority, whereas the Anarchist would refuse to recognise the decision of the majority. He would use his reason, and if that told him he was injuring no one by meeting in the Square, he would hold his meeting in the Square if he was strong enough to do so.
Your remarks on absolute freedom are not to the point. No Anarchist has ever suggested that absolute freedom in the sense in which you define it is possible. Men must obey natural laws in their relation to each other as well as in relation to matter, but artificial law., (man made laws, Acts of Parliament) are seldom if ever in accord with natural laws, and that is where the difficulty- comes in.
3. Certainly a number of men may choose some man or a body of men to direct them in some definite undertaking, on the understanding that no coercive authority is exercised over them, and yet consistently support the Anarchist Principle, but in most cases the common end in view is quite sufficient in our opinion to ensure the best result. For instance foremen are necessary now because every worker instinctively feels that he is being robbed, and is certainly overworked, and therefore has not his heart in his work. He must be overlooked and directed and kept to his task. The foreman is rather a driver than a helper. In a workshop conducted on Anarchist principles the work would be -divided up by mutual agreement and a driver would be unnecessary. "any particular work was too difficult for the man who had undertaken it to do, be might ask his bench-mate just as to-day be might ask his foreman about it. The present writer was once employed in a Socialist printing office where the work was conducted pretty well on these lines. There was certainly no foreman in the ordinary sense of the word. There was a manager who had to attend to the outside business, to purchase paper, etc., to make and receive payments, etc., but that was a part of his share of the work. His interference with the workers was practically nil. They arranged amongst themselves -hat each one should do and with the best results for all concerned.
As to the oppression of a central body them can be, no doubt about that. The central body, however advanced in views its members may be when elected tends to become conservative. They taste the forbidden fruit, power, and their taste for it grows upon them to the injury of their fellows. Take the case of any one of our trade unions and you will find that the main body are out of touch with the executive. Besides a free combination does not want a centre to secure common united action; its centre is where the greatest activity is. If it needs to delegate anyone to do certain work it can do so, but it cannot give any individual or number of individuals power to undertake the general direction of others without interfering with the general freedom and the efficiency of the combination.
THE SOCIAL MOVEMENT IN NORWAY.
(By our Trondhjem correspondent.)
IT is a mistake to suppose that there is no revolutionary movement in Norway. It is a land where the seeds of revolution have always fallen upon good ground.
After the French revolution of 1848, the Communist idea of that time floated over to Norway and spread so fast that by 1850 the whole country was agitated by the Thraniker movement, so named after its leader, Marcus Thrace. But the most energetic spirits were thrown into prison and the agitation suppressed.
Since that time until last year it has been very quiet here amongst the workers. But the great social movement which has been growing abroad since the Paris Commune, has also reached the land of the midnight sun. During the last ten years a Social-Democratic propaganda has been carried on in Norway and in the last five years it has become very energetic. At present it is extremely strong and making great way. The organ for the Social-Democratic association is the Social Democraten, a sheet edited by Carl Jeppesen, the leader of the Social Democrats of Norway. It is published twice a week in Christiania and its able editing has gained it a great circulation.
The Social Democrats or State. Socialists, have a strong and effective organisation, with Christiania as head-quarters. The Social Democratic Union is a numerous society, holding weekly meetings and often taking part in larger public gatherings. Three years ago there was very little talk of the Socialists and opinion about them amongst the people was rather adverse than anything else. But now their leader, Mr. Carl Jeppesen, is one of the most popular men in Norway. For instance, last spring when the compositions of Christiania were out on strike, the Socialists announced a public meeting on Tullinlokken, an open space, but the police would not allow the meeting to take place. Great indignation was aroused and there would have been a fight between the people and the police, had not the judicious action of Mr. Jeppesen prevented anything of the sort. About twenty members of the University belong to the Social Democratic Union. There is also a fairly strong Socialistic organisation in Bergen, and until lately they have published a socialistic paper.
Until two years ago the people of Norway were little acquainted with Anarchism. Now, however, Anarchist ideas have reached us and have found their advocates. The Norsemen am a very individualistic nation; their individual liberty they love more than anything else, and it is therefore not very hard work to make propaganda for Individualist Anarchism, but the communistic ideas are new to this generation. Nevertheless Communism is spreading and the hearts of the people are susceptible to the truth. Anarchism has become an intellectual power in this country. I do not mean that the Anarchists are a party organised as such, carrying on political propaganda. No; but the democracy of the Norwegians is developing in the direction of anarchistic ideas-that's to say, into logical individualism.
One of the very first advocates of Anarchism in Norway was Henrik Ibsen, that gifted thinker and writer, who has gained so many admirers in England. That great man of European celebrity, who in Germany is admired as a modern Schiller, is an Anarchist. Yes, indeed, and a strong one too.
These revolutionary plays have been performed on every stage in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and most of them in Germany. Now they begin in England and France, and the light spreads into hundreds of thousands of human brains, making clear the faults of society and the truth of freedom.
Another well-known Norwegian writer, Arne Garborg, is also an Anarchist and has written many excellent articles on that subject. But it is not only among men of great intellectual power that the new ideas have taken root. They are stirring the masses of the people.
In a public letter to the Danish author Gorg Brandes, Ibsen writes: The coming time-how all our notions will fall into the dust then! And truly it is high time. All that we have lived on up till now has been the remnants of the revolutionary dishes of the last century, and we have been long enough chewing these over and over again. Our ideas demand a new substance and a new interpretation. Liberty, equality, fraternity, are now no longer the same things that they were in the days of the blessed guillotine; but it is just this that the politicians will not understand and that is why I hate them. These people only desire partial revolutions, revolutions in externals, in politics, But these am mare trifles. There is only one thing that avails-to revolustionise people's minds."
What Ibsen expects of the new time is a condition where individuality can have opportunity to develop itself free and independent with-out being restricted-by the state or society. In another letter to Gorg Brandes, written two months later, he says, "The state is the condition of the individual. Wherewith is the state-power of Prussia bought? By that the state is all and the individual nothing. The state must be abolished. That is a revolution I sympathise with. Undermine the state in every direction, set up individual liberty as the foundation for human union- that is the beginning of a liberty which is worth something." This thought, that the state is the enemy of individuality and freedom, and therefore must be done away with, is one of the clearest ideas of Ibsen. The above letters were written before the Paris Commune. But sixteen years afterwards I heard him set forth the same ideas with the same strength and love," writes Henrik Jeger, Ibsen's biographer.
And it is on this fundamental idea that Ibsen has written his modern plays, which commence with "The Pillars of Society," and temporarily end with "The Lady from the Sea." In every one of these plays he put his finger on something rotten in society.
We have an anarchist paper, named Fedraehimen, well edited by Ivar Markenson. The paper is published at Tynnset, and be has made a very energetic propaganda up there, so that part of the world is almost Communist Anarchistic in spite of the fact that people up there are well-to-do farmers. Fedraehimen has a very good circulation. especially among the peasants and farm labourers and the intellectual society of the cities.
My own opinion concerning the movement in Norway is, that it will not take a long time before Norway goes ahead of other countries in the propagation of social ideas, because Norway is little (population two millions) and the people are idealistic and radical in their thoughts. And though Anarchism is new here, the ideas have more admirers than we had imagined ourselves. When the glorious day of revolution comes we shall be ready. To that end and for that cause we are clasping hands across continents and oceans with 0 nationalities, that a warm international understanding may pave the way for the Social Revolution.
LETTERS BETWEEN WORKMEN.
Front W. C. to J. B.
DEAR JACK,-You're about right; I do not see how you're going to got rid of landlords and employers of labour. First of all, if they weren't there how should we got any work to do or any wages for it I And second, they are there and wont clear off for our pleasure. Why they are rich by law; a lot of thorn are swindlers and such, but they've kept the right side of the law somehow, and I'd have the law made a bit plainer and tighter so that the scoundrels should not be able to play tricks. As far as I see, its less stealing not more stealing we want, and yet as far as I can make out your Communism, you would have stealing allowed. Why every one would be grabbing everything from every one else if there was no law against stealing. If a law was passed to make us all equal to-day we should be unequal to-morrow. And for my part I can't see the unfairness of that. You said in your first letter that if every one had a fair chance of a choice of work there is not so much difference in ability between men. Perhaps not; but there's an awful lot of difference in "go", in the amount of grip a man has over things and in the amount he can get out of them for himself. If the law gave every man a chance, I can't see but that he ought to got and to keep all he can, or that it's fair to expect him to share it with all the ne'er do-weels. Government can do almost anything, but I don't think that it'll ever make Englishmen see the fairness of that. It's all very fine to talk about lying under the trees and listening to the birds, like your Alphonse Kerr; but if he had wanted to build himself a house of the timber and eat the game for supper, be and the Marquis might have had some bones to pick before they could settle who was to have the use of the forest. Altogether I am in a complete fog.
From J. B. to W. C.
DEAR WILLIAM,-You seem to have an idea that the capitalist exercises some useful function in society, that he really confers some benefit upon us in return for the wealth he squanders. This is a delusion. Employers of labour, landlords, lawyers and their kind, are nothing more nor less than parasites-they live upon you and I and the other working human beings. At present you have to have an employer because you are denied by law the opportunity of employing yourself. Look at the vast number of uncultivated acres of land there are in this our birth country, which might be made to yield food in abundance for all those who require it if they were allowed to labour upon it. Look at the vast stores of mineral wealth which might be worked, if required. Evidently there is at any rate a profusion of raw material, and we owe this to nature not to the capitalist. But we cannot get at it because of private property or rather monopoly. If we wish to cultivate the earth we are met by the landowner who claims the land in virtue of some musty title deeds backed up by Acts of Parliament which his ancestors have framed and adopted after a great deal of imposing procedure meant to awe the simple-minded. And on this rotten foundation the whole system of fraud which we call civilsation is built up. The capitalist's recognise the legal right of the landlords to own the raw material, land, so as to work with them in robbing the real producer of the wealth the whole pack of thieves consume.
I think you will now admit that the raw material-land, minerals, etc.-from which everything is made, belongs in an exclusive sense to nobody, seeing that it is the production of nature and not of man. And I am sure neither you nor anyone else can give me any good reason why this raw material should be monopolised by a few. Evidently it is the property of all alike, and you and I are from every point of view entitled to the use of so much of it as will satisfy our needs.
But the law which you admire so much is the support of the unjust system. which prevents our gaining access to the raw material we need, and which compels us instead to sell our labour at a competition price.
Have you ever considered how our wages are fixed? Perhaps you think workmen are paid according to their ability, but this is not exactly the case. The value of labour is chiefly determined by its scarcity, and ability is only a secondary factor. Take as an example the shorthand writer. Years ago the wages of shorthand writers were very high, far above those of bricklayers, carpenters and compositors. But it does not follow that because the ability to write shorthand was paid two, three, or four times as much as the ability to lay bricks or set type, it was therefore a superior ability. This is proved by the fact that now only the very best shorthand writers can command a high price for their services, and thousands who years ago would have got good salaries cannot secure the income of an ordinary mechanic. Just think this over and tell me whether you think a shorthand writer who got a high salary some years ago was getting more than his due, or if you think he is getting less than his due now that wages have fallen, supposing his ability to be exactly the same now as then. The fact is you cannot tell the distinct value of any individual's services, and therein lies the -rest strength of Communism. Communism is just because it gives all men equal opportunities, whereas Individualism is unjust because it tends to give one man greater opportunities than another. As to the difference in "go" amongst men that is chiefly due to the fact that some have bad greater freedom of development than others. When a man's family for generations have lived in a healthy place and a healthy way, cultivating their minds and bodies; and when he himself, inheriting from them a strong body and mind, is able to live as suits him, and to work as he likes best, the chances are that he will have plenty of "go." And the man who has plenty of energy is the man who can best enjoy life. He enjoys work, he enjoys society, he makes everything round him ,,go" too. If he has a fair chance he benefits his follows whilst he benefits himself. There is no need that he should be rewarded by being allowed to monopolise extra wealth as well. It is the people who have been handicapped by nature or the cruelty and selfishness of their fellows who need extra artificial aids to help them up to the level of the more energetic members of society. If they get such brotherly aid they become happy and useful citizens. If not, they become a curse, a dead weight on society. And our present social arrangements tend to continually increase the proportion of these feeble and ineffectual people, at the very time when our knowledge of chemistry and mechanics ought to make it easier every day to find varied and light work suited to all sorts of capacities. Another argument in favour of Communism and Anarchy.
You want to make Law which is the support of all these evils and inequalities stronger, whilst I want to abolish it altogether. And you say that under Communism stealing would be allowed because there would be no law against stealing. But to-day stealing is allowed because there is a law in its favour. To-day stealing on a colossal scale goes on, stealing which causes the mass of the human race to live in misery and privation, and the abolition of law would mean the abolition of that sort of stealing. Do you not call it stealing when every capitalist takes from his workmen every day a great deal more than his equal share of what they produce and yet very often he has not even put a finger towards the work or given an hour to planning it?
The abolition of law would mean the disappearance of the policeman from the street corner, the magistrate from the police court and the judge from the bench, but it would also mean the practical cessation of crime, because with it that poverty and degradation which is the main cause of crime would disappear. If there were no law backed up by force, people would doubtless refuse to pay rent, they would think they were quite justified in helping themselves to the necessaries of life, and they would work willingly enough to replace what they had consumed, but there would be no injustice whatever in that.
You think a man ought to be able to get and to keep all he can. Very good, but this law of to-day prevents all but a few getting very much. If it was abolished and every man tried to take all he could with his own individual strength, he would precious soon discover that he was by no means capable of "licking creation," and that he was a very ordinary individual. I am not at all disposed to force such an individual to be sociable. Let him grab to his heart's content so long as he does not interfere with others. Let him have his pound of flesh. But he must not grumble if some there be who bind him to his bond and treat him as Portia treated Shylock. I rather think that those who try Individualism after the general liquidation of the Social Revolution, will soon tire of it and its thousand and one illusive expedients to secure to each individual exactly what he produces.
As you say the capitalists and landlords am there and wont clear off for our pleasure. But the aristocrats in France thought, they were secure enough in their position before '89, Yet they fell. And tomorrow maybe the aristocrats of wealth will join them. The education of the people proceeds rapidly. The respect for royalty, landlordism and capitalism is being undermined day by day here as elsewhere, and although it is impossible to say exactly when the people will resolve to act, it is quite certain that before very long they will do so.
(By an Individualist Anarchist.)
THE two primary purposes for which the State exists are these: (1) the maintenance of legal property, from which arises an monopolies of land and means of labour; (2) the manufacture of the so-called legal currency, or medium of exchange; and practically speaking Anarchists attack these two monster evils.
The State has arisen out of and still embodies the principle of Mutual Distrust, and it can only be abolished by replacing this principle by that of Mutual Confidence. Doubtless there is a tendency towards a growth of this latter principle, and hence the hope of the Anarchist.
People who are not accustomed to question the present order of things, treat as perfectly chimerical or utopian the idea of doing away with money; indeed the belief in money and the belief in property are probably the two most deeply rooted superstitions that have ever occupied the human mind. Nevertheless they are but superstitions, and until they are eradicated the progress of mankind towards happiness will be very slow indeed. These two superstitions produce much misery in society, perhaps one half of the existing misery, the other half being produced by our social customs regarding the sexual relationship, and these being the prime causes of social misery, there is no prospect of its alleviation until these causes are removed.
I give a person a piece of gold or silver stamped by the government, in exchange for something which he gives me. This arrangement simply implies an absence of all mutual confidence between us. We require the State to make these coins because we cannot trust one another, but see what this want of mutual confidence implies. It means that no exchanges of commodities or services can take place except amongst people who happen to have got hold of these pieces of gold and silver. -This means:
(1) That the exchanges of commodities and services must be considerably fettered.
(2) That those who have no money must ever be at the mercy of those who have.
Money therefore, simply fetters exchange of commodities and services and consequently hinders the final cementation of society. This is so true that I don't suppose many people will heed it.
I quite agree with Sir Thomas More, and indeed every day's experience of life impresses its truth more and more upon me, when he says, "So easy a thing would it be to supply all the necessities of life if that blessed thing called money, which is pretended to be invented for procuring them, were not really the only thing that obstructed their being procured."
Exchange is the life-blood of human society, and money which is an obstacle in the way of exchange is a vampire draining that life-blood.
But how can we do without money I Plainly enough. Start exchanging on any mutual principle upon which you and others can agree either by a Free Currency representing your goods or on a principle of Free Communism, meaning the free giving and taking of services, or by any other mutual arrangement you may devise.
THE REVOLT OF THE ENGLISH WORKERS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
III. THE REVOLT-(concluded).
A GREAT deal Of nonsense has been talked by middle-class economists and their disciples about the Luddite revolt against machinery. No doubt the destruction of labour-saving machines is in itself an unwise proceeding; but in this case it was probably the only protest in the power of the English workers against the sacrifice of men's lives to the mechanism that created wealth only for a class; a protest which would never have been necessary if the individuals who had gained this newly invented power over nature bad been content to use it for the general good instead of merely to enrich themselves by exploiting the labour of the poor. The conduct of these individuals was a moral wrong to the whole community, a wrong which has resulted in the misery and degradation we see around us to-day. All honour to the machine-breakers that they felt and resented it. If they could have seized upon the machinery and used it for the public benefit, that would, of course, have been the wisest; but men only learn wisdom by the sharp lessons of experience, and even if the idea of Socialism had entered their minds they would have been powerless at that time to put it in practice.
It is not the blindness of the Luddite, revolt that has rendered middle-class opinion so bitter against it; but the fact that like all genuine popular movements it hit the nail on the head. It was an economic rebellion and one that went straight to the root of the privileges of the property-holders and, as such, it was terrible and hateful to the ruling-classes. If the people had been left at the beginning of this century to fight their own battle, probably they would have learned for themselves that something better might be done with machines than breaking them and we should now be nearer to social equality and justice than we are to-day
Unfortunately besides the workers there was another section of the population with a grievance in the England of the early nineteenth century, namely the owners of the machinery, the newly enriched middle-class.' These "upstart tradesmen," as the older aristocracy called them, aspired to a direct share in the government, which they only swayed by indirect influence. Especially they craved it when, after the Peace of 1815, they began to discover that free trade was for their interest and not for that of the landed gentry. There was nothing for it but to swallow their pride, make common cause with the people, and use their misery and despair as a lever to force the ruling oligarchy to allow a reform of parliament which would make that assembly a body really representative of the ruling interests of the country.
This the more energetic spirits of the middle claw not only understood to be desirable, but actually succeeded in doing. They caught the economic revolt of the workers at the rebound and persuaded them to drop machine breaking and demand the franchise. In other words, to cease fighting for their own rights and become the cat's-paw of their masters.
Fine earnest fellows some of those early Radical Reformers were in their way; men honestly persuaded that representative government was the best means of Securing freedom, peace and good will amongst classes divided by conflicting economic interests. For they were not able to imagine a society without classes, without rich and poor, masters and wage-slaves, where no government would be required to hold the balance between warring class interests. Accordingly Orator Hunt, W. Cobbett, Major Cartwright, Sir Francis Burdett, and their like, spared no pains to persuade the workers that bread and independence would be restored to them by a reformed parliament and that the one rational method of relieving the distress into which the great agricultural and industrial changes had plunged the people was a Reform Bill. A most excusable mistake for honest men when as yet representative government had bad no fair trial; but what shall we say of those who are urging the same old political nostrums upon the discontented workers after fifty-seven years! experience of failure!
The assault of the middle-class and the workers combined upon the power of the ruling class was, of course, met by the most determined opposition. For fifteen years England was honeycombed with clubs and societies secret and open, Hampden clubs, Reform clubs, Spencean clubs; there were meetings, demonstrations, riots, dispersed with violence and bloodshed at Peterloo and elsewhere, talk of a universal uprising and considerable secret preparation for it. and then at last the landowners gave in, and admitted the capitalist class to a direct share in the government. Parliament was reformed in 1832, the middle classes were triumphant, but what of the economic deliverance of the workers that was to have followed I The chestnuts were pulled out of the fire; who was to eat them? Were they to be a meal for the starving or a dessert for those who bad already dined?
There is Do need to dwell on the result. The workers got the Poor Law and a Factory Act or so; the capital-monopolisers added power to their wealth and henceforth ruled society.
Yet after the first bitterness of disappointment was passed, the workers returned to the false hope that had been so persistently dinned into their ears by the middle-class when they needed their assistance; perhaps they saw no other. Still clinging to the hope of bettering their economic condition through political action, they returned to the demand for the extension of the franchise; but this time under the guidance of men like Ernest Jones, Bronterre O'Brien, and the like; men who by no means lost sight of the economic question, as the earlier Radical leaders had done, but who wrote and spoke openly against land monopoly and usury. With the political reforms of the Charter, the revolted workers took courage to avow such principles as the Workmen's Association had printed upon its card of membership: "The man who evades his share of useful labour diminishes the public wealth and throws his burden upon his neighbours."
In fact, the workers left to themselves were struggling back to the right road, the revolt against the monopoly of property and the exploitation of labour by the property-holders. Once more the revolt was becoming economic, and once more the middle-class "friends of the people" took bold of the rising agitation and turned it from a danger threatening the capitalist class into a convenient engine for their own purposes. The radical manufacturers wished to extort free trade from their ancient foes the landed aristocracy, whom they had beaten but not crushed in 1832. The Chartist agitation was a convenient weapon. The more intelligent radicals handled it with skill. They encouraged the political side of the movement. Help us, they said, to extend the suffrage, to reform parliament, and we will give you bread; but be always constitutional; above all things no direct action, no "physical force," no outrage upon law and order. The old refrain that has rung in the ears of the workers so many times during this century that it is not surprising they grow a little tired of it now. But in 1845-48 they were still charmed by it. The middle class politicians who mingled in the Chartist movement persuaded a large section of the workers to disown the "physical force" or revolutionarv party, to wait, to push the Charter first and foremost, to leave, the economic question to be settled after; they coquetted with parliamentary action and gained thereby what they wanted-time to dish Chartism, with Free Trade.
So ended the Second act of the Revolt of the English Workers in the Nineteenth Century, in the triumph of middle-class radicalism and the shelving of the economic wrongs of the people. Temporarily better times succeeded the stimulus to production and commerce and the cheaper food supplies, and for many years revolutionary agitation in England sunk beneath the surface, only re-appearing very occasionally in a Hyde Park riot, a monster political demonstration or a hard-fought strike. The profound continental movement which found expression in the International Working Men's Association and reached its climax in the insurrection of the Commune in 1871, only produced faint echoes in this island. For forty years English discontent has been almost inarticulate and yet it has never ceased to exist, the sense of wrong has never died out of the hearts of the people. The third act of the drama of Revolt during this century has yet to be played; to-day it is already upon the stage.
A late Royal Commission upon the State of Trade warned the workers of England in so many words that they have now reaped the full benefits which the capitalist system of production has to offer to it. wage-slaves. Any further demands on their part would wreck England in the competitive struggle. And yet misery is rather on the increase than the decline and the masses of our countrymen live the lives of beast-. Again we are awakening to the fact that we are confronted by an unsolved economic problem, one which no juggling Political tricks cam do more than evade. Again the smouldering spirit of revolt is appearing amongst the people; and this time it is taking a more definite and rational form. It in reappearing as conscious Socialism.
Socialism, the common ownership of land, of the men= of production, by the workers, is no new thing in the world, not even in our particular corner of it. On the contrary such common ownership is historically the oldest form of the holding of wealth; an arrangement which has been in these days driven out of sight, underground as it were, by the triumph of the appropriators of private property, a form of ownership which is reappearing in theory, as it is certain to reappear sooner or later in practice; for it is the only system under which every worker can be a free man, with our highly developed and complex ways of working. A worker to be free, in say true sense, must be a man able to develop all his powers and to joy in his work and throw his best energy into it, feeling that he is giving his utmost for the common benefit, and will be able to take from the wealth of society what he requires to supply his needs in return. Personal, individual freedom is, as J. S. Mill says, the most passionate and intense of permanent human needs next to bread. A man cannot thus be free unless he is his own master: unless he is able to arrange his work as he likes with his fellow-workmen, having an equal right with them to make use of such land and tools and machines and workshops as he requires. But as long as these necessary things are appropriated by some private individuals, no one can he free. All those who have no property must. work as the property owners like, suffer for their mistakes and be thrown out of employment if the property-owner cannot make a profit out of their labour. Therefore the workers all over the civilised world we steadily making their way toward Socialism and preparing to revolt against the oppression of private property which denies them the justice of freedom.
The spirit of revolt rises, the agitation becomes more and more general, and here in its midst we find, as before, the politicians. Again they are appealing to the workers with their ancient nostrums. A. little more voting, they cry, a little more reform of parliamentary institutions, and the time will come for the judicious consideration of the economic question; step by step we, the true friends of the people, will gain you all you want; only put your trust in us and do not frighten the electors by even talking about a revolution; support us at the polling-booths, demonstrate to our order in Hyde Park and you shall have Socialism as the lower middle-class understand it-Nationalisation of land, to wit, and perhaps (for we are real Socialists, no mere followers of George) of a few big monopolies too and plenty of nice snug places for every one in managing these new state departments: almost as delightful as in France, where they say that one man in every seven electors is some sort of a functionary exercising authority.
Are we going to be fooled a third time in one hundred years? Not if we learn in time to keep our eyes open and think for Ourselves.
VICTORIA PARK-The "Freedom" Group have made arrangements for open air meetings to be held here every Sunday afternoon during the remainder of the summer. To commence at 3.30. Anarchist Communists will. it is hoped, turn up strongly in support. Opposition invited.
ISLINGTON.-At the Brittania Coffee House on August 16. a friendly discussion meeting was held between several Social Democratic comrades and some members of the "Freedom" group. On August 23, C. M. Wilson opened a debate, pointing out some of the evils of the exercise of authority. White (S. D.) opposed- Davis pointed out that White disregarded principle and believed in going along the line of least resistance. advocating 8-hour bills and such comparatively trifling measures. A Swedish comrade argued, that whilst men had improved immensely, governments had not improved; man had outgrown them. Pearson and Christie (S. D.) also spoke. A debate has been arranged to take place on Friday, Sept. 6, at 8.30, at the Brittania Coffee House, Prebend Street, Packington Street, Essex Road, between Tom Pearson, Anarchist Communist, and Christie, Social Democrat, on "Anarchist Communism v. Social Democracy." Lovers of truth roll up.
HOLBORN.-At the Central Democratic Club, on August 28. a discussion on the "Fallacies of Anarchism" was opened by Mr. H. A. Barker. A good debate ensued in which several Anarchists and sympathisers took part.
HELD OVER FOR WANT OF SPACE.-In our next issue we shall give the second article on "The Work of the French Revolution,- an article by a Manchester member of the Socialist League, and a letter from Spain. Those in arrear with their payments will settle up if they wish for a supplement next mouth. The want of cash is all that stands in our way.
Editorial communications to be addressed to- The Editor of FREEDOM," 28 Gray's inn Road, W. C. Orders far copies of the paper, payments, etc., should be sent to "The Manager of FREEDOM," 28 Gray's Inn Road.
FREEDOM can be obtained in London as above and from If' Reeves, 185 Fleet Street; the Socialist League Office, 13 Farringdon Road, E.C.; or ordered through a newsagent. Annual subscription post free to ON countries One and sixpence
Freedom Publication Fund.-H. G., 10s.; W., Is.
Printed and published for the proprietors by C. M. Wilson, at the Labour Press Limited (Co-operative Society), 28 Grays Inn Road, London, W.C.
SUPPLEMENT TO FREEDOM
ANARCHY VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY.
ON the evening of Sunday August 25th the hall of the Patriotic Club, Clerkenwell Green, London, E.C., was well-filled by Socialists anxious to bear the debate between our comrade John Turner, Anarchist Communist, and HERBERT Burrows, the Social Democrat.
MORRISON DAVIDSON, who occupied the chair. said be sympathised with both Anarchists and Social Democrats. Anything that taught the English people to revolt against authority was, in his opinion, good. Anarchy was not as the ignorant imagined a synonym for disorder. Those who advocated it regarded. it as the highest form of order. They regarded Law as an evil in itself. They regarded the government of the majority as little better than the government of the oligarchy. He believed. however, that they would have to go through the stage which his old friend Herbert Burrows advocated. Yet he thought that the ultimate result would be what Mr. Turner advocated. It was simply a question of precedence.
JOHN TURNER said: The first thing I have to do is to meet one or two of the objections which are constantly put forward by the Social Democrats in opposing the Anarchist position. Take the question of economic rent. It is contended by Social Democrat-, that Anarchism would be wrong because it would allow people living on a fertile soil to confiscate this advantage to the disadvantage of the rest of the community And they say it would be no wore right for the people living on a fertile tract of country, say in Yorkshire, to take the difference of fertility between that particular district and any other in England. than it is for the landlord to take the rent of any piece of land to-day. It is contended by other Social Democrats that shops having an advantage in position have just the same advantage as the fertile soil. They say it would be just as wrong for the shopkeeper to take it as it is for the private landlord. I contend that immediately Socialism is established the, conditions would be changed and this economic rent would adjust itself. Take, for instance. the advantageous position of a shop in Cheapside over a shop in a back street, and the contention that the difference in the value of the position should be taken by the community. But immediately you have organised a system of social co-operation you will find many advantages of position disappear. You will find that the people will just as soon go into Wood Street as into Cheapside and it is only because of advertising and the special show of the windows that Cheapside is preferred to-day. Look at the Co-operative Stores. Many of them have been started in quiet back streets and they have turned those streets into busy thoroughfares. Advantages of position are constantly changing also. The driving of costermongers into a side street will raise the value of the positions in that street immensely. As to land agriculture, if there is free access to the soil you will have a constant migration of people towards the advantageous land. You will find they will crowd there until the advantages disappear. The absence of the restrictions of the private landlord in the society of the future will almost entirely alter the conditions of agriculture. You will only be able to find out the real economic. rent of the country when the labourers have free access to the soil. How are the Social Democrats going to assess the economic rent? Are they going to leave it to the people on the soil or are they going to keep an army of assessors? And if the people on the fertile soil refuse to give up the difference how are they going to take it? Are, we going to have Irish evictions ad, lib.? are they going to take it by force?
The Social Democrats are constantly asking the Anarchists bow they are going to organize labour? Will you have rules? Yes. Then how are you going to enforce them? We believe in coming to agreements to do certain things, but if people object we do not believe in forcing them. The Social Democrats or rather a portion of them believe in a national parliament organising labour. Sometimes they talk of it as an assembly of servants, but parliament is an assembly of persons elected by the people, holding supreme power, and servants do not bold supreme power. Others believe that this is impossible and advocate local administration. The Social Democrats in their programme say that Ireland and other parts should have legislative independence, Why should this principle not he driven right home and why should not each group of persons who wish for it regulate and manage their own affairs as they like. It is often put forward that the commune should be the unit having this particular power, but we as Anarchists no more admit the, right of a majority in a commune to dictate to others in the commune than we admit the right of a majority in a nation to dictate to others in the nation. Some Social Democrats consider that the national assembly should be only an assembly of delegates who would bring back their decisions to the different communes to be rejected or accepted by them. This is simply federalism. We Anarchists, how- ever, say that groups of workmen inside the commune should have the right to make their own regulations. We believe that groups in a particular town should be perfectly at liberty to do what they like without asking the permission of the Commune or the Parliament in any way. We say this is the logical outcome of the federalistic system which entirely knocks: upon the head the idea of a supreme parliament. The essence of the parliamentary system is that equal geographical areas or equal populations elect representative.,: and these pass laws which have to be accepted by the whole community. And this brings up the question of majority and minority. It is said and with truth that an effective number of people will always have its way. But in your parliamentary system you are giving supreme power to the majority, acknowledging by that fact the right of the majority which we as Anarchists entirely repudiate.
The Social Democrats say they have a plan. and a line of action. They have their palliatives, but they an continually writing and speaking to the effect that these palliatives if put into operation to-morrow would be of little use. They should either drop them or stick by them firmer. We Anarchists have a line to work upon, to teach the people to urge them to take part in non-political movements directly started by themselves for themselves. We are non-political. Politics is the science of civil government. We do not believe in the government or the science.
It is said that we Anarchists do not believe in coercion. Coercion is restraint, compulsion, and especially it is penal restraint. Laws are the expression of this coercion, and to-day we are always being told that we must get this law passed or that law altered. But all this is little good to the workers. The law which is passed to-day nominally for their good way turn out all against them in a very short while. Take, for example' the Court of Appeal to settle rents in Ireland. At first it worked well, but the government gradually got their men in and it happened that the courts were actually raising rents because they thought them unfairly low. That should prove at least that even where laws are passed for the benefit of the people the government will find a way eventually to use them as instruments against the people. Look at the strike now in progress. When the Anarchists have said that as soon as the people learn to rely upon themselves they will act for themselves without waiting for parliament to help them, it has been disregarded. But their words have come true. We have an example of this truth in London now. The strike he: gone upon the old trade union lines, hot had it started on the lines of expropriation, who knows bow rapidly it might have spread. We teach the people to place their faith in themselves. we go on the line- of self-help. To teach them to form their own committee, of management, to repudiate their masters, to despise the laws of the countrv-these are the lines which we Anarchists intend to work along. Let them, if they will, commence by claiming the right to appoint their own foremen. This very day I have suggested to the men on strike that the trade unions should take over the work instead of the contractors. They might follow this up until they gradually get control of the whole concern, and then they would find the capitalists as unnecessary as monarchs have been found to be.
HERBERT BURROWS: We are absolutely agreed that the present state of society is rotten, that the present system of private property in the means of production, transit and exchange, should be abolished and that in some form or other the Social Revolution must come. And we agree on the definition of Anarchism. We also agree that if it were possible to-morrow to get this perfect Anarchist system it would be the highest ideal society and the best thing for which we could strive. I take it that Turner speaks here to-night as the representative of a particular school of Anarchism,
The speaker then went on to read extracts from Albert, R. Persons' book on "Anarchism," by which he endeavoured to show that Anarchy was largely composed of Social Democracy, contending for example that the use of the. word "organisation," implied Social Democratic organisation. He also claimed that Social Democrats had laid the foundation of the strike then in progress and had caused the Sweating Commission to be held-although how this proved the truth of State Socialist theories he did not condescend to explain. Continuing his quotations, he extracted from Freedom and William Morris's letters in the Commonweal. It is to be hoped that be will take up the challenge thrown out by Freedom some time ago and send in his objections to Freedom in writing.
He went on to say: There is no more divine right in a majority than a minority, but bow are matters to be settled if not by the majority. Supposing there are a hundred people carrying on a certain system of production. At the end of a certain time they disagree as to how that production is to be carried on, I believe they must argue the matter out. But how is it to be decided? Supposing sixty want one thing done and forty want another. what is to be done? Turner would say they can go and build another factory or go and work on land. But supposing that factory is the product of the labour of the hundred. I want to know why either the forty or the sixty should give up the result of their labour and go? I disagree from Turner entirely that compulsion consists in shutting people up in prison. I have pointed out at the meeting to-day that the strikers have a perfect right to treat the blacklegs as moral lepers, but that is compulsion. Boycotting, too, is compulsion. I want to know if Turner is going to lay down the position that moral boycotting is not as bad as imprisonment. I have here an Anarchist pamphlet by Andrade of Australia, in which there are laid down certain rules for an Anarchist society, and one of those rules is that if a member does certain things you can expel him; is not that compulsion? As to what Turner has said about Parliament, he knows we condemn the present parliamentary system. We would not have the same parliamentary system as they have now, we would have delegates. I am strongly in favour of the Referendum. I am a Municipal Socialist, too. a Communal Socialist if you like to say so, in this respect. I would have things that can be managed locally managed by the Commune and national affairs by the National Assembly. I am going to ask Turner how be can carry on the Post Office by groups? how he can carry on the railway system by groups? Supposing you have got your post-office there. must be some sort of authority, there must be a certain set of rules drawn up as to how it is to be carried on. The letters must catch certain trains, they must be sampled in a proper manner, and so on. Supposing a man persists day after day in being late with his letters, I want to ask Turner what be is going to do. Is he going to have some system of compulsion for that man or not? Complete Anarchism, I believe, is when everybody agrees on everything. I want to ask Turner if he is going to have any sort of compulsion for people who do not do their duty.
With regard to education. Supposing there are people in the country who will not send their children to school. supposing there are people who bring their children up in a state which would not make them good intelligent citizens, would Turner use compulsion with them? I hold that a child who is brought up in these conditions is an enemy to society. What is to be (]one with that child? If I can drive Turner to one position where be would use compulsion his Anarchism breaks down. As to economic rent I want to know why I am not to turn out a man who is on a better piece of land than I am? Supposing there is a public park in a place or a free library, the people who are Dearest the park or the library will have an advantage. Why should they? The common answer of the -Anarchist is I believe that the people who live say three miles off should put up another library or park; but why should they he driven to this expenditure of labour? If there is a fertile spot in Yorkshire on which with two hours' labour I can produce a bushel of potatoes. but in Surrey where I am the land is poor and it takes four hours to get the same amount of wealth, where is the justice of that? The position is that the land is not the property of the commune, it is just as much mine as it is his, and yet I am told all I can do is to move my goods and chattels to the other side of the country to where the fertile land is. Surely it is better that a certain amount should be paid in order to equalise the values of the land. I don't advocate shutting people up in jail. I would have a law passed. for instance, with regard to insanitary dwelling, by which notice should be given to the owner of every such dwelling that if he did not put it into sanitary condition within a month it would be. confiscated.
TURNER: Whilst I am equally in favour of the intended effect of these sanitary laws of which Burrows speaks. I know that those law, which have been passed and which might do some good, have been put in force in very few instances. Act., of Parliament are Do good, unless the people are educated to enforce the very laws themselves which they want to put into force, and if this is so why cannot they put what they desire into effect without a law? It is true that the Government might pass any bill but to put it into effect is quite another matter. Referring to economic rent, one form of it is the rent of ability in which some Social Democrats believe. A man who is a good organiser, for instance, would be able to get more than other men in a factory, and Social Democrats admit that no law could prevent this. Burrows doesn't believe in prisons, but bow is be going to get his economic rent. If be leaves it to the people themselves to assess it there might be a few discrepancies, and if a large body of men is kept up to assess it would not the cost of maintaining them reduce the surplus of economic rent. Babeuf has suggested that the men on the least productive land should be given A recompense to prevent their crowding on to the more productive. If this is voluntary I think it a good plan.
I do not believe in a bard and fast law to suit all cases alike. I believe that each case has to be acted upon according to the circumstances of the case, and that is a matter for the persons concerned. As to compulsory education I do not believe in it. I know plenty of boys to-day who went to school with me and bad as good an education who could not indite a letter to me Dow. The education gained in school is practically lost, when the worker goes into the world, in a few years. But in a free society children will receive every encouragement to learn and compulsion will be unnecessary. As to the difficulty about the bridge, suggested in the quotation from William Morris's letter, those who want it will build it. True enough those who did not build will walk over it afterwards, but there must be such sacrifices, just as to-day the work of the trade unionists has benefited those who would not take part in their struggles. I do not believe that people will agree on everything-that is Dot my idea of Anarchism. And it is because. we Anarchists believe they will disagree on certain points that we are Anarchists and leave them free to make their arrangements among themselves.
BURROWS: I believe that some things will have to be managed nation- ally and others locally-that is my idea of the future organisation. As to the assessment of land values either the people of each municipality must assess it themselves or there must be a body of experts. As to getting it if the people on the fertile land did not pay the difference to the community they would be acting against my interest and I should be justified in taking it by force. Here Turner and I agree for he justifies the use of force against those who act against his interest. No man has a right, under any system of society, if our houses are joined together, to bum down his house and thus endanger wine. Therefore, if that be so, there must be somebody to decide as to when any one's interest is infringed upon. It must be either the majority or the minority. I admit, that Anarchism is the best state of society, but before you get that state of society what are you going to do =? Turner has admitted that under some circumstances he would employ coercion, and the gist of his opposition to Social Democracy is that Social Democrats would under certain circumstances employ coercion. He has. there- fore accepted our position and we are on the same lines. What is law? He seems to suppose that there cannot be a law without it is passed by an Act of Parliament. The philosophical definition of a law is a certain rule made by a certain set of men for their own guidance. This club has got rules and if a member breaks one of those rules you boycot him or expel him. Turner is a member of the Socialist League and some members of the Socialist League (the Bloomsbury Society) have been expelled for breaking it., rules. Turner by remaining in the League gives his consent to those rules. Returning to the bridge. you must have land to build it upon, but if land is common property why should you be allowed to build the bridge and use land witch is as much mine as yours. The material of which the bridge is built is common property too-bricks, iron girders, etc., what right have you to use my bricks and my iron. I Blight want the land to grow corn on. If I object what are you going to do ? If you turn me off it is compulsion.
It comes to this. if Turner is in a minority and he thinks people are acting against his interest, he will get the majority to put things right. Supposing there are, a hundred people in a factory all of whom helped to build it and make the machines, and some of them turn rusty-say forty- what is to happen? Are the forty to leave or the sixty? and if so, why?
TURNER in conclusion, pointed out that Burrows had said be didn't believe in prisons. but if so bow was he going to carry his system of compulsion in to effect, how would be force people to accept the majority rule? "Unless the Social Democrats are going to use prisons they may find people object. There may be some fighting and chaos arid disorder under the Social Democratic State. As to his contention about the materials and land for the bridge, we say we all have an equal light to the clay. land, etc. If there is an objection at some particular spot to building the bridge there the builders would go further. Take an instance of to day. When the Great Eastern Railway wanted to run a line through Saffron Walden some of the townspeople made so much objection and held out for so much compensation that the railway company preferred to go around. Now the people of Saffrom Walden have to put up with a little loop line to connect them with the main line and bitterly regret their obstinacy." As regards the Socialist League Turner pointed out that the people who were expelled were not punished. they were an independent body of people free to go and do whatever they wished. "The point is that the Social Democrat.., do believe that the people should elect certain representatives who should be the supreme power. The referendum is no remedy, it leaves thing,. to the majority again."
BURROWS said be would not have the referendum for local affairs. He was not a centraliser "I look to France; what has centralising done for France? ruined it. What has bureaucracy done for this country? ruined it. I know that as an historical student. I would not give a central body the power to make absolute laws binding the whole community. I would have them discussed in that body. Then I would have the discussion widely known. and if it is something to be done nationally I would put it to the national vote. I believe people will manage their telegraphs, their post-office. their railways, nationally. To every community, to every municipality, locality, Or anything else, I would leave entirely the management of their own affairs." But he believed that either the majority or the minority must be the recognised authority or there would be a continual quarrel between the twochaos and disorder.
The CHAIRMAN wound up the meeting by a speech in which he sided with both parties and eulogised liberty.
A collection was made for the Dockers' Strike.
The information given in the May and July numbers of Freedom concerning the position of affairs in Spain, we are now able to supplement from a letter we have just received from an Anarchist Communist at Barcelona. Our correspondent says that Spanish parties may roughly he divided into two classes. those that require an Army, a Judicial system and a Government, and those who desire none of these things. The first class, consisting of all the bourgeois parties and one section of the Socialist party, are as follows: The Carlists, whose principles are God, Country and King, Absolute Monarchy and the Denial of all Freedom, the Conservatives, who are now in power, uphold the Constitutional Hereditary Monarchy and Restricted Suffrage, and tolerate all forms of religious worship. This party allows greater freedom to the press than the Carlists would do, and permits meetings in the theatres, although the consent of the authorities to such meetings has to be obtained arid the police are always present. The United Republicans and the Federal Republicans uphold the Rights of the Individual, Universal Suffrage and Absolute Freedom of Worship The Regionalist, or Home Rule Party is in favour of the complete political an administrative freedom of each district or region, and is opposed to any central political governing body. The Socialist section included amongst the Authoritarian is of course the "Workmen's Party," about which our Collectivist Anarchist Correspondent has given full particulars, Tierra y Libertad, the communist organ, which was announced in our May Issue as dead, has been revived. The Collectivist Anarchists axe said to be strongest in the provinces of Andalucia and Catalonia.
The report which we give our readers in the Supplement this month will, we hope. serve to stimulate thought and clear away difficulties in the minds of those who dimly perceive the truth of Anarchy. With the many points raised on each side we intend to deal at some length in future issues of Freedom. Meanwhile we heartily wish long life to our opponents, they furnish us with texts to hang our arguments on, strengthen our position, arid increase our numbers.
As we go to press a series of strikes are taking place in London, most of which have been inaugurated in support of the dock labourers who initiated the struggle. As a monthly paper Socialist, will not expect us to give news of a movement which L., already been exhaustively dealt with by the daily press. it is rather our business to comment upon and point out the tendencies of the events which have been and are taking place. This we intend to do as regards this strike movement next month. Meanwhile it is unnecessary for us to say that we are heart arid soul with the strikers.
Printed and published for the proprietors by C. M. Wilson. at the Labour Press Limited (Co-operative Society), 28 Gray's Inn Road, London, W.C.