| VOL. 4.--No. 47.
|| OCTOBER, 1890.
|| MONTHLY; ONE PENNY
A PUBLIC MEETING
(UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE FREEDOM GROUP)
Will take place at
SOUTH PLACE INSTITUTE,
ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10,
In commemoration of the
LEGAL MURDER AND IMPRISONMENT
COMRADES IN CHICAGO.
The following comrades will speak:--LOUISE MICHEL, PETER KROPOTKIN, HENRI MALATESTA, H. DAVIS, TOM PEARSON, JAMES BLACKWELL, J. CASEY, WALTER NEILSON, CHARLEY MORTON, and GENOSSE TRUNK.
The Freedom Group have also arranged to hold local meetings as follows:--
Thursday Nov. 6, Scandinavian Club, Rathbone Place, Oxford Street, W.
Friday Nov. 7, Gleicheit Club, Old Street, St. Lukes Saturday Nov. 8, International Workingmen's Club, Berners Street, Commercial Road, E.
Sunday Nov. 9, Autonomie Club, 6 Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road.
Sunday Nov. 9, Lambeth Progressive Club, 122 Kennington Road, S.E.
A BIT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
IT is four years this month since the first number of Freedom appeared. In October, 1886, one or two of us started the first Communist-Anarchist paper in England, and uphill work it was at the beginning. For over two years the paper was carried on nearly single handed. How often we were discouraged. How often we felt so bitterly conscious of the great difference between the glorious truth of our principles and the feebleness of our own advocacy of them that we almost lost heart! And yet, somehow, we went on and on. Knowing that our cause was the cause of the masses, deeply convinced that what we were striving to express was the bidden thought and feeling of hundreds of thousands of our fellows, we could not be silent.
And meanwhile the course of events was preaching Anarchism louder than any words could do. The heroism and the cruel death of the Chicago Anarchists drew the attention of many of the most thoughtful workers in England to the ideas for which our comrades in America died. The action of certain English Social Democrats in disowning and maligning these martyrs of the labour cause a year after they had laid down their lives for the people disgusted many honest revolutionary Socialists with the principles and expediencies which could sanction such a treason. Experience of the intrigues and petty despotisms to which democratic methods give rise, even within the Socialist party, alienated and is still alienating others from the theory of Democracy. One by one earnest men and women have been turning their attention seriously to Anarchism. One by one new groups have been formed, or old groups remodelled on Anarchist instead of Democratic lines. In a word, the new principle of association is little by little taking its place amongst the workers as the conscious fruit of their own experience. Unconsciously, of course, the yearning for free and equal association has been the basis of revolt for ages. But the blind longing for any good is widely different from the conscious and reasoned understanding of its nature and determination to gain and practise it.
Thus the course of events has continually strengthened the position ofFreedom. In the third year of its existence its management passed into the hands of workmen-- comrades who had themselves once been Social Democrats, and were convinced by their own experience of the dangers and fallacies of Democracy. In fact, the former manager of
Justice became the manager of Freedom, and bore for some time the main burden of responsibility for the paper. Thenceforward it became more distinctly an organ of the Workers; but its continuity has always been preserved, its principles and character have been unchanged. The comrades who originally started it have always remained upon its staff.
During the last year the increasing rapidity of the growth of the Anarchist movement has constantly contributed to broaden out the possibilities of the paper. It has secured new contributors and distributors. It has become the organ of several active propagandist groups, and its circulation has in consequence considerably increased. Its small size has been its chief hindrance. We have issued two or three supplements; but as English Anarchism is mainly a working class movement, money has been scarce with us--too scarce to allow us to venture upon permanent enlargement as long as we had to put out our printing. And until now we have had no office or type of our own.
When we first started, the paper was set up at the Commonweal office, and the Freethought Publishing Company let us a business room at a very small rent. But after the Chicago affair Mr. Bradlaugh did not like Anarchists on his premises, and besides our room was wanted for The Link; so we migrated to The Socialist office, which Comrade Bolas fraternally shared with us until that paper was wound up. Since the Co-operative Labour Press has been established, they have done our printing, and our quarters have been with them. But now, with our fifth year, we enter upon our own printing office, and we hope henceforward to issue a supplement regularly every month.
THE TRADE UNION CONGRESS.
WE are very well pleased with the results of the Liverpool Trade Union Congress. The party of inaction, the "old gang" of placehunters have been thoroughly worsted by the upholders of the "new" unionism, and the latter have taken a firm hold of the controlling power of the trade unions of this country. The organizations are pledged to a policy of very much greater activity, they have endorsed Socialism to a very considerable extent, they have declared their desire to have an eight hour law passed in the imperial parliament, they have elected John Burns on their parliamentary committee and they have discarded Shipton as parliamentary secretary. The men who in the past criticised the "Do-nothing" party in the severest manner- -criticism by the way which we most heartily endorse--are now themselves commencing to take part in the government of the trade unions and are laying themselves open to criticism. And they will have it, too. The displaced men of the old school, the ambitious members of the S.D.F. who envy the success in agitation of some of their late comrades, the anti-parliamentary trade unionists such as Frank Brien of the Dockers Union, the revolutionary Blanquists of the Socialist League, and the growing Anarchist Party--all these men are very carefully watching our friends the now unionists. So long as they are honest, as we believe most of them are now, however mistaken they may be in the theories by which they guide their actions, they are likely to welcome such criticism as useful to the movement which they have at heart and to profit by it.
The new men have been proclaimed leaders of the skilled and unskilled organizations and they are called upon to prove the truth of their assertions, to secure the adoption of the eight hour law and to see that it results in the advantages which they have foretold. If they press boldly and energetically onwards they will very speedily find that the Anarchist objections which they have pooh-poohed are very real and they will be compelled to make a change of front, throw aside their worship of legality and go in for a complete Social Revolution. The best thing that could happen for the Anarchist propaganda would be for the 8- hour law to be passed to-morrow, for then the workers would very speedily see how unreal are the hopes so many of them place in it now. The danger lies in their patiently waiting for it year after year, whilst machinery is being introduced and throwing more and more of them upon the streets to starve. But we do not think the new men an likely to linger long upon the parliamentary road. As the Social Democrat who writes the leading articles in the Daily Chronicle says, "there obviously exists a great danger for the State in the near future. The Trade Union Congress will not for ever be content to appeal in vain for legislative remedies. Already a considerable section of the advanced party has ceased to take a healthy interest in Parliament and
its doings, and if Parliament does not speedily and effectively mend its ways that party will grow apace. Now there is but one step between contempt for legislators and contempt for laws and it is easily taken, and being taken signifies Anarchy. Collectivism, whether economically sound or not, is a system that recognises laws and law makers; but hope too long deferred will assuredly make the Collectivist heart sick."
INDIVIDUAL OR COMMON PROPERTY.
A Letter from a Communist.
It appears to me that Anarchy without Communism has no reason for its existence. For as Anarchy is the negation of Authority, so Communism is the negation of Property. He who says Authority says Property, and he who says Property says Authority.
If this proposition be admitted, the question is solved in favour of Communism, and this should be enough to bring round all those undecided people who, in their sincere love of freedom, are afraid of being false to Anarchy if they cut the "right of property" out of its programme. Much the same sort of pretext as that on which certain Socialists wish to maintain authority.
The "right" of any man to anything depends on his co- existence with that thing. This "right" is only limited by the possibility of exercising it. If there were actually but one man in the world, that man would have every sort of "right" to every sort of thing in the world. If instead of this one man, whom we will call John, there happened to be another named Peter, Peter would in the same way be master of all things. But if both John and Peter are in existence, can the presence of one deprive the other of a part of his "right"?
Hitherto it has been contended that this was the case, and governments are based upon this very supposition. But we Anarchists cannot admit any such thing. We believe that all men have the same "rights" to all things. This is why these "rights" are not collective; one's share does not begin where another's leaves off; all rights are common and unlimited for all; the hypothesis set forth above, that the whole world belonged to one man, might be repeated for each particular individual. We have all the same "rights" to the universal banquet; but these rights are independent of one another, and we have not all the same needs. Communists are thus absolutely opposed to the theory which would have all products massed together and then re-divided. They would prefer to take freely what they need, without there being any strife on the subject, since everything is for everybody and everything belongs to everybody.
Thus harmony will come about naturally. Each will live more and more according to his personal tastes, taking care in no wise to restrain those of others. As Communism has no other object than equality, by means of freedom in its most complete sense, it is hardly to be imagined that say Anarchists can refuse to admit it.
It seems to me that Communism is the mother-idea of Anarchy, that Anarchy without it would be a vain theory, to which Collectivism might well be preferred. If Property partakes of the nature of Authority, how can anyone who calls himself an Anarchist wish to maintain it?
In the same way that the believers in Authority are convinced that by abolishing law we shall be giving criminals a free scope, the partisans of property seem to fancy that by abolishing it we shall be providing a career for the lazy and for robbers. Whereas if we add to "Do as thou wilt" its necessary completion, "To each according to his needs," we enunciate a principle which is at once the expression and the result of absolute liberty. It is certain that there can be no true liberty whilst each has not all that he needs, and that it is only upon this system of perfect freedom that such close relations can be established between production and consumption that each can do, be, and have all that he desires. And then nothing more will remain but to develop our aims scientifically, to perfect ourselves, so to speak, into a superior sort of animal with boundless facilities of intelligence and boundless possibilities of happiness.
SOCIETY ON THE MORROW OF THE REVOLUTION.*
Translated front the French of JEHAN LE VAGRE.
IN the preceding chapter we have seen that individuals will be able to group themselves and understand each other in the organisation which will result from their daily relations without the necessity for any authority existing among them, by the mere fact that those who group themselves will have the same affinities, the same tendencies, the same end in view. It remains for us to see if the groups can continue their existence side by side without hindering, troubling, or lighting each other. We firmly believe it, and we will explain the reasons which, in our opinion, make this belief a certainty.
If we study the causes of division which in the present society makes every individual an enemy of his kind, we shall see that primarily it is the fear of to-morrow which makes every individual an egotist. Nevertheless man as a whole is rather inclined to sociability, and is pleased to help his fellows when be feels that he can do so without injuring himself or his chances of success. The desire to be successful, the love of money, are only the products of the competitive organisation of society, which makes it a law for every individual to use all means in this continual war in which they are engaged; to reach the goal before their competitors they must crush them, if they would escape being crushed themselves, serving as a stepping- stone to the others. Such is the organisation of society. We must conquer or be conquered; we must stop our ears, so as not to hear the cries of those who are drowning. Instead of stopping to help them, one is compelled, on the contrary, to aid them to sink still deeper, for the crowd of competitors is ever behind you, always pressing onward, and it will march over you without pity if you show any signs of stopping. When we consider this, it is not astonishing that concord and agreement between individuals is so difficult in the present society, based as it is on individual competition, on mutual extermination.
But, as we have seen in the preceding chapter, the present society being destroyed, private property being abolished, individuals no longer having any necessity to hoard up money in order to have the certainty of being able to supply their wants to-morrow--that, moreover, being made an impossibility for them by the suppression of all money or representative of value--having the satisfaction of all their needs assured in the new society, the incentive to individuals being then only that ideal which finds its expression in striving towards the best, the relations between individuals and groups of individuals will no longer be based upon those exchanges of products in which everyone tries to beggar his neighbour, the object of these relations will then simply be to render mutual services. Where the individual interest is no longer paramount a common understanding will be easy, and the causes of discord will have disappeared.
Certainly this concord will not be established in a perfect manner all at once. These happy relations will not come into existence immediately, as at the touch of a wand of a fairy at the theatre. Before we reach this point we shall have to put up with much trickery, we shall have had to feel our way; but it would also be a mistake to believe that the Social Revolution, such as we understand it, such as it must be in order to endure, can be the work only of a few days. The task will be long and painful, and will give rise to much strife, but with all its attempts, all the repetition of effort, all the deception met with, the final success will be much more complete than it could possibly be made by acts of authority. The mistakes, the trickery, will only have one result: it will make individuals more careful, it will cause them to reflect before taking action; and when they see that they are going wrong, it will be easy for them to change their direction. But an authority would prescribe a wrong road for them to take, and would force them to proceed along it; they would only be able to alter their wrong course and get rid of their blind leaders by recommencing the revolution. Experience has shown us that this is not always such an easy task.
Individuals being grouped as we have seen in the preceding chapter, either for producing some article required for consumption or to consume some article provided by production, it will be necessary for these groups to enter into relation with each other. They will have to keep themselves informed as to each other's condition and manner of action in order to provide what is required, or to know where they will have to apply to procure what they want. In a word, it will be necessary for the groups to carry on the same work of aggregation as the individuals will have effected between themselves in order to form groups. Each group requiring a product of any kind will seek out the group who produces it, and will enter into relations with it in order to get the required supplies.
At this point arises the objection, "What will a group do in case the other groups are not disposed to supply it with what it requires?" As we have said, individuals being no longer forced by want to hoard up riches in a society where the individual interest is merged in the general interest, the relations of individuals and groups will be based upon the general well- being, or what is considered such. Every sort of work which is really useful will certainly find its supporters in some of the various groups. It will have to be very bad indeed if it attracts no one. It will even have this advantage over the present society, that new ideas will be put into practice immediately, whereas now a new idea
*The previous chapters of "Society on the Morrow of the Revolution" appeared in Freedom of January, February, April, May, June, July, and September, 1890, and will be sent post free for eightpence in stamps.
is put into practice only when a capitalist realises that he has found a new means of exploitation; and as capitalists, outside of their business, are not very strong intellectually, it results that many ideas are indefinitely adjourned when they are not definitely buried, and those which are carried out, instead of benefiting everybody, only become a means by which a few secure a fortune.
"But," we shall be told, "your ideal of society would be a Spartan republic where all would be turned to the advantage of society. You would sacrifice the individual; and everything in the way of causing pleasure, everything which only served to amuse or to distract and was not employed for pressing wants, would by this very fact be excluded from the social production."
This is indeed a mistake. We consider that everything the individual can desire is for him a want, and therefore it is necessary for him to have it, and it must inevitably form part of the social production. There, again, the affinities, the similarities of taste will lead individuals to group themselves so as to establish relations with one another and to ensure the satisfaction of their desires.
For our part we believe that, allowing for the diversities of temperament and the varieties of aptitude, groups will he established for the production of everything which human activity can dream of, and that in a society of equals we shall continue to find everything which can give pleasure to individuals. This is a conclusion which we reach through the ideal of which we dream, in which all men, by the fact of their possessing a superior education and through the facility by which they will be able to satisfy their wants, will have the most simple, and at the same time the most refined and aesthetic, tastes, and consequently will lose the love of tinsel and decorative metal which distinguishes the uncultivated man. We take man as he is and as he will be in all probability on the morrow of the Revolution, and we say that the variety of aptitudes that differentiates men will permit the production of precisely that which is necessary to satisfy all individuals, however great may be the diversity of tastes which separates them.
We willingly admit that certain things may not be produced because the need of them is only experienced by a very few individuals. But, then, will not men be masters of the greater part of their time; of all their time even, if it pleases them? Will not materials and tools be at the disposal of everybody? Those who feel the want of a thing which is not ready made to their hands will only have to seek out those who have the same wants and form a group in order to produce that special thing which they lack. So we shall see a new branch of social industry created.
Another objection, which is not serious, but may appear so to anyone who has not yet succeeded in disembarassing himself of the prejudices of the existing society, is this: "It may happen," we are told, "that the efforts of production will be expended rather on one branch of industry than another, and consequently that certain commodities will be in excess of the demand for them, whilst others will be absolutely lacking. In order to prevent this inconvenience, we must have some statistical committees, who will not be a government at all, but who will tell the individuals what they ought to do. If you do not have these committees, you will not be able to deal with this inconvenience."
What we have just said about the production of articles of luxury or pleasure is a complete reply to the question. Those who feel the want of an article will always be able to produce it themselves; but we should have to consider people very stupid if we believed that they would be glad to work merely for the pleasure of working, or if we imagined them capable of being so infatuated with their task as to desire to produce goods which they would know would only be blocking up the warehouses.
Besides, statisticians would not be wanting. The taste for figures, for reckoning and measuring, is possessed by very many men. Let theirs be the task to keep us informed on the details of production and the balancing of commodities with consumption.
The producing groups would only be started in accordance with needs, and an inconvenient excess of commodities could never arise, for the Post Office, the telegraph, and all other means of communication being at the free disposition of groups and individuals, every group could keep itself informed as to the necessities of consumption and regulate its action accordingly. Commodities could be sent from the places where they had accumulated to the places where they were needed. Consequently individuals would find no useful end served by establishing in authority over them a statistical commission, which would order them what to do, when they could very well arrange the matters themselves.
It will be seen from the few points we have dealt with that it will be perfectly easy to organise a society without authority.
THE UNEMPLOYED IN AUSTRALIA.
(From our Victorian Correspondent)
THE unemployed, to the number of about 5,000, have been holding their periodical agitation in Melbourne. Anarchists, of course, have taken the opportunity to address them; but the movement is in the hands of Suite Socialist agitators, who do not conceal the fact that they are trying to get into Parliament. Nothing much has been gained by appealing to the Government. The Salvation Army established a labour bureau and gave food to those who stood in need of it, and the Government officially recognised them as the medium of communication for the unemployed, the officers of the State being instructed to make inquiries as to openings for labour in their districts and furnish the Army with detailed information. The men protested against being forced to reply through a religious organisation, and
those who were constrained to accept charity objected to be called upon to rise and say grace before eating. The agitation was resumed with increased vehemence, and threats of violence became so numerous that the Government took fright, and ordered as many police as possible from the country districts to be sent to Melbourne. The question of the unemployed was debated several times in both Houses of Parliament, the members of the Upper House making a collection of about 440 pounds during the discussion there, and forwarding the amount to the Salvation Army. The members of the Assembly, several of whom are avowed State Socialists, rejected the proposal to make a collection, as savouring of pauperism (whilst thousands of persons were openly depending on charity), but chattered a lot about Socialism, which was generally taken to be the subject under discussion, the Minister of Customs being almost alone in denouncing the speakers at the unemployed meetings as a pack of atheistical, blasphemistical, nihilistical men who went to the wharf every Sunday to declaim against all religion, morality, virtue, government, law and order, and as a sediment of society. Subsequently the Government adopted the remarkable policy of issuing gratuitous licenses to contractors, enabling them to appropriate and remove the timber on a certain belt of country about to be submerged by irrigation works, professedly in order to induce capitalists desirous of obtaining cheap timber to offer employment to a number of men in deforesting the area. The agitators claim, and indeed it is generally admitted, that but for the proposals of violence the little temporary relief that has been given would have been far less, and that fear has been the means of exhorting concessions.
THE PERMANENCE OF SOCIETY AFTER THE REVOLUTION.
THE question frequently arises in discussions: "But if you got an anarchist state of society to-morrow, how would you maintain it? and even if it did continue for a certain time, would not, afterwards, when the first force of revolutionary sentiment and vigilance had spent itself, the old abuses gradually and insidiously come to re-establish themselves, as they came to be established in the first instance?" The question is worth answering, especially the latter portion of it.
The only way in which a state of Anarchy can be obtained is for each man who is oppressed to act as if he were at liberty, in defiance of all authority to the contrary, and evading or overcoming by force by which he is opposed or pursued. The liberty of each is created by his taking it. We are commanded to be bound to a certain course; we are forbidden to do certain things; but we can each take the liberty of pleasing ourselves, and of helping others to please themselves in accordance with our ideas of what is proper. We shall thereupon be met by force, and our opponents will seek to deprive us of our physical liberty by which we have rebelled; but we can take the liberty of pitting our own force against theirs. The Revolution is a question of ideas to be acted upon, and of force to enable us to act upon them. Given the will--the ideas-and given also the physical supremacy, and the Revolution is an accomplished fact, whether in a single household or workshop, or all over the world. In practical fact, territorial extension is necessary to ensure permanency to any given individual revolution. In speaking of the Revolution, we signify the aggregate of so many successful individual and group revolts as will enable every person within the revolutionised territory to act in perfect freedom, if he chooses, without having to constantly dread the prevention or the vengeance of an opposing power upholding the former system. Our Revolution differs from any precognised by the political parties in that it is not a result officially declared after the quelling of the troops officially opposing, but a fact consisting of the aggregate of individual victories over the resistance of every individual who has stood in the way of Liberty. Under these circumstances it is obvious that any visible reprisal could and would be met by a resumption of the same revolutionary action on the part of the individuals or groups affected, and the maintenance of a state of Anarchy in this manner would be far easier than the gaining of a state of Anarchy by the same methods and in the face of hitherto unshaken organized opposition.
We are therefore only called upon to discuss in detail that part of the subject which deals with the gradual and temporarily imperceptible regeneration of the old evils.
As a preliminary reply, let us say that these evils must eventually become perceptible to those affected by them, who cannot fail to become aware that in such or such a quarter they are excluded from the liberty they enjoy elsewhere, that such or such a person is drawing from society all that be can, and monopolising from others as much as possible. They have it in their power to apply a prompt check by boycotting such a person and refusing to help him with their labour or to willingly supply him with any articles in their possession. They have it in their power to exert pressure upon him to obtain his services. They have it in their power to use force against him. They have these powers individually as well as collectively. Being either past rebels who have been inspired with the spirit of liberty, or else habituated to enjoy freedom from their infancy, they are hardly likely to rest passive in view of what they feel to be a wrong. The case would resolve itself into one similar to that already considered concerning the immediate maintaining of Anarchy. And at the worst, it can hardly be supposed that the abuse would grow to be a general system, like that which exists at present, without having already provoked a severe struggle. In view of the education of the people, the facilities for communication, it would be wonderful if matters went half so far. The establishment of the existing system was due to causes which would be no longer operative.
The primitive communism was veiled in dense ignorance, and whilst
the direct sources of supply were more numerous in proportion to the population than now, they were also not only less productive, in the absence of the means which later science has brought forth, but less easily taken advantage of than those of the present time. The natural condition was communistic, but it occurred to the minds of some, eventually, to refuse the reciprocal use of their resources to others (except in the presence of force, when hospitality was surrounded with ceremony), whilst by no means relinquishing their claim to entertainment at the hands of the rest, and even enforcing the surrender to them of all that they demanded without reference to the needs of those upon whom they claimed.
As a measure of protection against this aggression, tribal property was instituted, being the natural reaction, and through that came militancy. The military system developed that of chieftainship, and from chieftainship sprang on the one hand the State, and on the other private property. From these was developed on the one hand feudalism, and on the other profit-making; then in turn were generated, on the side of feudalism landlordism, and on the side of profit-making mercantilism, followed by industrialism, and all these became merged and unified in modern downright capitalism. The State in the meanwhile modified its character, and was successively an engine for stealing wealth by commanding the military, by land-owning (feudal supremacy), by commercial speculation, by industrial exploitation, and more recently by humbugging the masses of the people. It has never been anything else but a machine for robbery, except a machine for, in addition, arbitrary suppression of free thought, speech and action.
The old instinct of communism had not been sufficiently eradicated by the tradition of property for people to conceive that they were doing any wrong by forcibly appropriating the possessions of another tribe, but it was weakened enough to prevent them from having a due and natural regard for other people in the aggregate, although individual strangers were still treated with hospitality. The occasion of this was that the few aggressive tribes, secluded from the rest, could plot and send out their predatory bands at leisure to attack the others without being expected, and, depriving the non- aggressive tribes very often of all the accumulated means of subsistence, would force the to regard with suspicion and jealousy those who were not of themselves; and those would have the best opportunity to survive who were selfish and boarded away what they could save from the ruin, or what they acquired afterwards from their companions in misfortune, or guarded their hoards by strongholds; and of the rest, those who attached themselves to the neighbourhood of the strongholds and thus drank in some of the nature and traditions of the fortifiers (for those who were the most selfish, jealous, and suspicious were naturally the first to erect these fortifications), had a better chance to survive in the aggregate than those who did not.
It was easy, therefore, to persuade the people to join with the primitive robbers for the sake of booty; to-day, how small a percentage could be tempted by the hope of direct violent plunder, even where there is no dread of punishment and little fear of being successfully opposed--for instance, in Africa, which is even more accessible from the other continents now than a spot a few score miles away was in the days of our progenitors! For one thing, the idea of plunder is now repugnant to the public mind; again, the difficulties in the way, though far less than what our forefathers had to encounter in their thieving expeditions, are repellent, both because of the greater ease with which all but the most oppressed can obtain a bare sufficiency for the ordinary needs of life, and by reason of a change in the physical culture and constitution of the people generally.
The conditions are, therefore, so different now that it is practically impossible to rationally conceive of a repetition of the developments which have led to the existing condition of society. If any evils do spring up, to become in time a tyrannical system, their nature must be wholly distinct from anything that we can at present conceive of. The comparatively dense population of the earth, almost world-wide communication as a matter of habitual occurrence everywhere, are in themselves apparently insuperable obstacles to the process by which property and rule came previously into existence.
Furthermore, we have it for an acquired fact that the inspiration of Liberty causes not only, like every other common cause, a development of fraternity end solidarity amongst its adherents, but a modification of the mental inclinations, so that every true Anarchist feels it against his own nature to knowingly oppress any other person or interfere with anyone's freedom of action; and it is, generally speaking, quite as impossible for him to do so as for a young man to avoid being attracted by the opposite sex, or for a mother to delight in torturing her child. We have every reason to believe that this impulse, awakened with a greater intensity than the crudely selfish ones mentioned as having arisen in the course of evolution, will be transmitted, like them, by heredity--quite as readily and to a greater extent--and, being beneficial, will be more persistent than they have been.
We see no reason, therefore, to suspect that either the old state of things or any other that is similarly injurious will arise when once the institutions that now oppress humanity are made a clean sweep of, but, on the contrary we see reason to believe that the accomplishment of the Revolution will mark the dawn of a new epoch in human progress. Even if it were not so, the benefit of those who succeed in gaining the victory for freedom, and of some generations after them, would be worth striving for. We cannot by ordinance regulate the condition of posterity; our descendants must see to that for themselves. But if we each determine to ourselves be free, and win our own freedom, history and science hint, to us that we need in no wise lack the additional incentive that we are thereby building up freedom and welfare for those who shall follow us.
FREEDOM GROUP--Pearson, Neilson, and Morton have addressed good meetings in Hyde Park on Saturday evenings during the month, There was very little opposition, the audience evincing much sympathy with our ideas. Freedom sold well. A series of meetings have also been commenced on Hampstead Heath by members of the group. Good collections; good sale of Freedom.
ST. PANCRA'S GROUP.--The meetings at Prince of Wales Road have been well kept up on Wednesday evenings. A good deal of opposition from Christians, particularly from the point of view of free love. Good collections and sale of Freedom. On Sunday afternoons, at 5:30, the group has held the usual meetings at Regent's Park, assisted by two of our South London comrades. Good collections. Some opposition from the State Socialists, leading to good discussions. This group has sold 172 copies of Freedom this month; also a large number of "The Wage System." Other groups please copy.
VICTORIA PARK.--On Sunday, Sept. 7th, a very good meeting was addressed exclusively on Anarchism, a friendly working man offering some remarks in support. On the 14th a very large and attentive meeting was addressed by H. Davis and Miss Lupton, both speakers dealing with Anarchism. Meeting kept well interested with subject, notwithstanding the excellent band near at hand. For the first time our friend R. Harding's method was adopted, of announcing subject by means of a card hung to a pole, the only difference being colour of card and letters, ours being black with white letters, the single word "Anarchy" standing out bright and clear from the black board. Davis intends to continue this method and speak to set subjects. At the close of meeting he announced his subject for following Sunday: "Crime and Punishment." Labour Leaf distributed, and 1s. 1d. collected for same; Freedom sold out.
WEST LONDON.--Our comrade Louise Michel, who is now staying in this country, has given two lectures during the past mouth. The first was delivered at the Athenaeum Hall, our comrade dealing with the recent Grenoble trial, which resulted in Martin and other brave French comrades being sentenced to long terms of imprisonment. Our comrade, who was amongst the accused at the Grenoble trial, was acquitted on the ground of insanity, a charge of a similar kind and with as much truth in it as the charge brought against Edith Lupton in South London. Further, our comrade went into the details of the 1st of May movement. We need not say that the lecture was a great success, our comrade meeting with a tremendous reception. The other lecture was delivered at the Autonomie Club, our comrade dealing with the internationality of the Socialist movement and the mission of women therein. The hall was packed.
YARMOUTH.-Comrade Wess writes to us from the Socialist League Club, Great Yarmouth, that a capital group is just being formed there; but our comrades are undergoing very rough handling from the master class, assisted by the Authorities. The sweaters boycott unmercifully. Directly one of their wageslaves shows himself worthy of his manhood by working openly and energetically for the cause of freedom, he is forced to leave his place, and often loses all chance of employment. Comrade Headley, secretary of the Club, is almost the only one fortunate enough to be independent of this persecution, and he is using his liberty to work most energetically. The result of Comrade Wess's visit is that the Yarmouth Socialists are beginning to sell Freedom, and hope before long to dispose of a good supply of Anarchist literature.
LEICESTER.--On the 31st August H. Davis (Past London Anarchist-Communist Group) spoke in the morning at Russell Square, and in the evening at Humberstone Gate. The doctrine of Anarchism was well received, and good discussions resulted. Anarchist Labour Leaf distributed. Davis was also asked to meet the members of the local branch of the Socialist League at Exchange Buildings for an exposition and discussion of Anarchist principles.
DERBY.--On the 30th August, under the auspices of the Midland Counties Socialist Federation, Davis addressed a meeting in the Market Place and distributed a quantity of the Labour Leaf. Good discussion on Anarchism resulted.
NORWICH.--The cause is still making headway both in the town and neighbouring country, meetings, discussions, and distribution of literature taking place every Sunday.
DUNDEE.--At the Labour Institute, 72, Overgate, a debate was opened by comrade Cameron on "State Socialism v. Anarchism." In the course of his speech he asked the State Socialists present if they thought that under a "free" democracy, where everyone could choose his own occupation, there would be many volunteers for the business of hangman, and asked a well-known local Social Democrat present how he would feel if he were commanded, in the name of the majority, to do that sort of work. When he said he should consider it his duty to officiate, under these circumstances, and that he thought the hangman a useful man who ought to be well paid, the more socialistic people in the audience looked rather blue. The discussion was spirited, and a great many questions were asked about Anarchism. Addison spoke strongly in support. Comrade Cameron, whose remarks were well received by the meeting, has secured the names of seven or eight comrades to start a group for the study of Anarchist principles. Having been requested to speak again shortly, he is preparing an address on "Are Governments Necessary?" which we hope he will soon deliver.
Freedom Group holds meetings on Saturdays in Hyde Park, at 4 p.m., and on Sundays at Hampstead Heath, at 11.30 am.
St. Pancras Communist-Anarchist Group holds meetings on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., in Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, near "Mother Shipton"; and on Sundays in Regent's Park, at 3 p.m.
Blast London Communist-Anarchist Group holds open-air meetings on Sundays at 11.30 a.m. outside Hoxton Church (bottom of New North Road) and at 3.30 p.m. in Victoria Park. Comrades are earnestly invited to roll up and support.
Lewisham and Lee Liberal Club, Camden House, 170 High Street, Lewisham.-- On Sunday October 26th, at 8 p.m., J. E. Barlas, "Principle v. Expediency."
Lambeth Progressive Club, 122 Kennington Road, S.E.--Sunday October 12th, at 8. p.m., Peter Kropotkine, "Anarchist Communism." Sunday October 26th, at 8 p.m, Tom Pearson, "Organisation Free and Unfree."
Anarchist League (Individualist) holds open-air meetings on Sundays in Victoria Park, at 11.30 am.; Hyde Park, at 4.30p.m.; and discussions in the hall of the Autonomie Club, 6, Windmill Street, Tottenham Court Road, at 8.30 p.m.
The Cosmopolitan Research Association meet every Wednesday, at 8.30, at Temperance Bar, 46, Wharfdale Road, King's Cross, for the discussion of all questions which affect the working men's interest. All inquiries, address Secretary, C. Grason, 22, Middlesex Street, Euston Road.
Annual subscription for FREEDOM, Post free to all countries, 1s. 6d.
"Freedom" Publication Fund.--Pioneers of Liberty, 8s.; H. G., 5s.; J. C., 2 pounds; J. B., 1 pound, 6s.
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Any subscriber who receives Freedom with a blue mark against this notice is thereby informed that his subscription is in arrears, and unless we receive it before our next issue we shall conclude that he desires to discontinue the paper.
Printed and published for the proprietors by C. M. Wilson, at the Labour Press, Limited Co-operative Society, 57 Chancery Lane, London, W.C.
SUPPLEMENT TO "FREEDOM."
MALATO BEFORE THE PARIS JUDGES.
Our readers will remember that Comrade Malato, who used to send us news of the movement in France, has been thrown into prison for fifteen months, for a revolutionary article in the "Attaque," one of the organs of the Paris Anarchists. Gegout, the manager of the paper, was also condemned to a like term of imprisonment. Both comrades spoke out boldly for their opinions when asked what they had to say for themselves. We translate below the defence of Malato as given in "La Revolte."
Let us call things by their names M. l'Avocat General. This is a prosecution for constructive treason, and nothing else. You yourself foreshadowed this in your speech as public prosecutor. The labor demonstration of the first of May--the legal and peaceful form of which we Anarchists disapproved of then, and disapprove of now--for the only liberties which one acquires are those which are taken, not those which one goes a-begging for--this demonstration then is a source of anxiety to the government, for by the side of those deputies and municipal councillors styling themselves socialists, by the side of the intriguers and ambitious individuals (such men are to be found in all parties) who are steering a middle course between the middle class which governs and whose goodwill they seek, and the working class of which they desire to make a tool, there is the nameless crowd which understands nothing of political finesse, but which suffers, which feels its misery, and which, when that misery becomes too intense, when the situation becomes unbearable, will understand in a flash of intuition that which long theoretical dissertations have been unable to make clear. Then, one does not know what may happen, or rather, one does know: it will be a rebellion, the first step towards emancipation. This it is that alarms the government, whereupon it signs to the magistracy to prosecute, and the magistracy obeys.
We who are fighting the present social system- -which the court and you, gentlemen of the jury, are called upon to defend by shortly pronouncing us fit inmates for the prison of Sainte-Pelagie--we take the risks of men who go into action: we strike, you strike back; this is but logical; nor do we complain. Rather, I consider myself fortunate in that I can, even to my detriment, have it established how much your social system is arbitrary, how fictitious is your liberty of the press. Yes, it is true the press is free when the government so wills it. It is pleasing to know that the numerous simple folk, who, after having formerly welcomed with cheers the Republic as the ideal of liberty, of progress and of equity in social relation, remain motionless to-day in their wretched position, contenting themselves with the word Republic, are still able to see by facts that the government of the Republic is quite as reactionary as those of the Monarchy and of the Empire,--and this, not because it is the government of the Republic, but because it is government.
The government, the state, whatever may be its ceremonial, its exterior form, whatever may be the outward ornamentation of its lying political business, has in reality but one role, one which is forced upon it, one which cannot be departed from, a role which is historical and from which it has never swerved, from which it cannot swerve for a single moment under penalty of ceasing to be the government: this role consists in preserving order--if not political order, which, after all, is very superficial and which is inevitably made to feel serious changes every time a new personnel comes into power (for this personnel has ever friends for whom it must find positions, and mores to wipe out) at any rate the social system based on the proprietary regime which goes a great deal deeper. Let me, gentlemen, define for you what you call order.
Order, in the present state of this social fabric, which is based on the inequality of conditions and a perpetual struggle between clashing interests, means the crushing of the weak by the strong, the exploitation of the poor worker by the rich parasite, the whole legalized by your codes and sanctioned by your laws.
Order consists in the faculty for him, whom exploitation or the accident of birth has made rich, to put an end through caprice or a speculation an "change" to the means of subsistence of hundreds of families.
Order is liberty for him who possesses only his muscular and intellectual strength to die of hunger if he does not find an employer to whom he may sell that physical strength or his intelligence.
Order is the imprisonment of the young worker in that penitentiary called a barracks, a penitentiary wherein he is rendered stupid, wherein are stifled in him all initiative, will, conscience, wherein he is simply made a machine to kill, wherein he is taught to distrust the populace from which he springs, to hate with a stupid hatred the workers born on the other side of a river or a mountain which constitutes a frontier, poor wretch, exploited and tyrannized over as he is; and to spill his blood, he who does not possess anything, in order to protect that property belonging to others which is styled "country." Country, indeed! What is it but the capital of the Rothschilds, the mines of the Schneiders, the counting-house of Jaluzot!
Order, again, is prostitution, misery's daughter, constituted into a public service for the pleasure of the gay middle class-- kings alone shall not have all the fun to themselves, shall they? It is this same prostitution that drives into the street thousands of unfortunates who lack employment or who are incapable of earning their livelihood by labour, the average earnings of females being, as shown by statistics, sixteen pence halfpenny a day.
Order is the grasping by the minority which enjoys the good things of this world, not only of the sources of comfort supplied by nature, which had their existence previous to humanity, and which, in all justice should be man's common inheritance, but also the wealth produced by
the industrious class which is condemned forever to walk round the same vicious circle of misery, just as a caged squirrel, until the time when that class will break out of that circle and destroy it.
Order, lastly, is the right possessed by the powerful ones to say everything, to dare everything; it is a hypocritical society covering up their vices with the cloak of flattery, casting a veil over their weaknesses, erecting a pedestal to their crimes, styling as great men crowned executioners such as chiefs of the state, generals and ministers. It is the same society which leaves to the unfortunate ones the right only to endure everything, stifling pitilessly their most legitimate aspirations. It is a justice that acquits Wilson, and that causes the gendarme to lay his hand on the vagabond whose only crime is that he has no domicile.
Such is your order, gentlemen, and such is the order which we Anarchists wish to destroy and destroy to such good purpose that nothing shall remain of it.
Nevertheless, gentlemen, it is the correct thing among you to speak of our acts of violence, but I ask you (and I do not ask this of the magistrate draped in big scarlet robes nor of the solemn-faced jury, but of the MAN, of the man who is within the scarlet robes and of the man who exists beneath the solemn face of the juryman,) which of the two is the most inhuman, to desire, as we Anarchists do, to destroy by every means in our power, by every and all efficacious means I wish you to understand, a system so atrocious, or to desire, as you do, to let it continue. A system, which at the opening of the 20th century, at a time when science is multiplying its conquests, at a time when products are in excess in a ratio of 3 to 1 to the demand, condemns the labouring masses to distress, and which when nations are at peace mows down more victims than the most bloody of revolutions.
This is so, because each and every government, whatever may be its motto, be it "Dieu at mon droit," "Liberte, ordre, public," "Liberte, Egalite, Fratarnite," sets the same mechanism going. Magistracy, clergy police, army, capital, constitute the natural support of this social system, the rampart of all iniquities and of social privileges. Therefore we Anarchists fight all forms of government. Have you sometimes, gentlemen reflected over the fact, you who doubtless consider as utopians those who like us wish to dispense with masters; have you ever reflected that now for nearly a century France has tried power in all its forms: absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, empire, consulate, republic, and that each time, the new form of government has been so bad, the social sores have remained so much the same that the nation has only seen a way out of it through an upheaval. The logical conclusion is it not that all forms of government being bad, it is best to dispense with government altogether. Such is the conclusion proclaimed by us Anarchists. In unison with that human feeling which suffers from your laws, your prejudices and your fetters, and which pines for a true liberty; in unison with the tendencies of the masses towards a fusion of economical interests, that is to say towards Socialism; and towards a political decentralisation more and more progressive, that is to say towards Anarchy; in unison with the evolution of ideas which are always marching onward, do what you may, for it is not press prosecutions that will stop them, we Anarchists say: "There shall not be any government."
It is in this respect that we differ in an absolute fashion, as much from the several parties constituting the political opposition and which are more or less inclined towards reform as from those who style themselves socialist. We have good reason for it, when to day socialism is so fashionable that the pope and the German emperor as well as those who really have no other ideal than to enter the Chamber of Deputies, and the municipal council, or to obtain a lucrative position, pretend to be socialists. Listen to them! They admit that all is not for the best in this best of worlds, that serious reforms are demanded, and these reforms economic ones--in other words those which affect the present proprietary system. "But," say them kind gentlemen, "if these reforms be not effected, it is because the government is in bad hands; let us change our masters; let us take hold of the reins, and all then will be perfect." Such is the eternal language of ambitious man and of charlatans.
But such is not the language of us Anarchists. We do not say: We are better than others. What we say is this: We are just as other men, we acknowledge our weaknesses and our faults; were we in power, we could do no better than our predecessors. The people alone possess the secret of their happiness. The organisation of labor, in a free social system, can only be the work of the workers themselves, the only interested and competent parties. Did not Proudhon, that farseeing genius, when stating the case for Anarchy, exclaim long before we did: "Whoever, to organise labour, appeals to Capital or the State, lies! "
And, if anyone studies seriously, otherwise than from official documents, or even from official documents, provided one knows how to think for oneself, the history of the progress accomplished by Humanity through the course of ages, he will find that progress, made by all kinds of rebellions--rebellions against the laws, rebellions against dogmas, rebellions against routine, against prejudice, has accordingly tended towards a gradual elimination of authority--and what is the deduction to be drawn therefrom. But one. It is that the final result of progress will be to completely eliminate authority from the social system, thus realising the prophetic words of the philosopher Fichte: "The day will come when men will be conscient enough to dispense with a governmental intermediary in their reciprocal relations."
Must one infer that because we are desirous of destroying the present social organization, our ideal is to disperse individuals over a world turned into a desert, that we are desirous of reverting to the stone implements of our prehistoric ancestors and of dwelling in caves. Not so. We also, we especially love well-being and we do not intend de-
SUPPLEMENT TO "FREEDOM."
priving ourselves of that accumulated stock of ideas, of knowledge and of comfort which is the work of generations; but, and there is a but, we intend that all shall reap the advantage thereof.
Anarchy is not, as its ignorant detractors would pretend, a mere return on the part of man, too long oppressed, to a more natural life and expansion. Anarchy is not a far-off ideal of which philosophers have had a dim conception, and which they have saluted from a distance. Anarchy is not the personal conception of a doctrinaire of genies, be it a new Fourier or a now Cabet. Anarchy finds a responsive feeling in the simple aspirations of the masses; it is part of the logical concatenation of events; it responds to the newest needs and conceptions. It is that which constitutes its vitality, and which is an assurance of its coming to take up its place. Far from being relegated to the domain of the clouds, Anarchy bas a rational basis, a positive one, and I may say although the word is often misused, a scientific one.
Anarchy is this new force, association, no longer hierarchical and despotic as that dominating the corporations of the middle class (a system to which certain pseudo-socialistic Catholics would bid us return) but emblematic of freedom, and manifesting itself in all branches of human activity, trades, art, science taking possession of the world and elaborating new social forms. Anarchy is the autonomous grouping of both manual and brainworkers springing up from all sides, extending their ramifications and uniting, not in a single country (for the Social Revolution will not be localised, it will find an echo from all sides) but the world over and in a world at peace. Such will be Anarchy's republic, a republic of workers which will have nothing in common with your governmental republic. Such will be the social system of the future, which we, who are charged with being dreamers, can define in its concrete form and in two words: ECONOMIC FEDERATION, Anarchy is humanity's future.
Anarchy is the substitution of contracts and agreements, whether between individuals or between corporations (contracts and agreements duly pondered over and agreed to by both parties, yet ever subject to revision and modification or even cancellation when an interest in them has ceased) for your codes, for your laws, dating either from Justinian or from the first Bonaparte, and which pretend to lord it not only over an ever changing humanity, whose ideas, tastes, needs, and mode of living cannot help varying, but over generations which have never had any say in the matter and which have not been consulted.
Anarchy, to sum up, is a new social organism which you cannot help noticing, but which is in process of elaboration, and which, at a given moment, which is closer to you than you believe, will do away with the present social order which is too worn out and too old to last.
And it is just because we Anarchists have a philosophical conception of the future, a liberal and a HUMAN one, whatever may be said to the contrary, that nothing, NO, NOTHING, will thwart us in our endeavours to realise that ideal.
The miners who work the sulphur mines in the beautiful island of Sicily are some of the most unhappy victims of oppression on the face of the earth: the oppression of property, we mean. A comrade who has lately been amongst them sends us a description of the state of things.
You cannot conceive, he writes, a more primitive kind of work; there is no machinery to take the miners down into the pits or to bring the mineral up. All is done by hand, and the "hands" are moody little children. Children, some of whom are only six years old, have to carry on their shoulders loads weighing from one hundred to two hundred pounds, up steep, rough, broken flights of steps for two or three hundred yards. The poor little creatures arrive at the top utterly broken down with fatigue, often crying, and scarcely able to move. But all the same the "pioneer" drives them down again for more with his whip. The sight is simply heartrending. These boys are almost all hump-backed, and, of course, their miserable lives are but short. They have been bought of their parents, much as English children used too be bought of the parish authorities in the early days of the great industry here. The pioneer gives the family a "help" of from 1 pound to 5 pounds, and in return has a right to the children's work until the money is paid back.
This slave-driver is himself a slave, and often a hard-driven one. The system is for the mine owner to let the mine to a contractor, stipulating for say 20 per cent on the profits; the contractor underlets the mine to a sub-contractor, with the same sort of agreement, and so on, through a longer or shorter series of harpies, until we reach the last of the contractors. This man engages a pioneer, and pays him 25/8 a week. The pioneer himself engages the boys, and gets 12/10 on their labour, so that, after all, he has not so very much to live on. But the wretchedness of the miners themselves is indescribable. Their situation has gone from bad to worse, year after year, until their life has become quite savage. At Catanisetta, the miners having simply nothing to pay any rent, and being scarcely able to keep body and soul together, bethought them of the plan of our uncivilised ancestors, who made burrows in the earth to live in. The poor fellows scooped out some caves in the hillsides to shelter themselves and their families: in the night time one can see quite a long row of light, glimmering from these human dens. But the Government has now discovered that this return to primitive customs is not to be tolerated in the nineteenth century, and when our comrade wrote the wretched miners had received orders to turn out on a certain day.
We are glad to learn that they had the spirit left in them to be extremely indignant, and even disposed to fight for their miserable homes. The mining population is very revolutionary, the women even
more so than the men. The sight of what their children suffer has forced the mothers to recognise the necessity of a change; and, besides, the truck system exists there in full force. The miners are obliged to buy their flour at the mine owner's mills, at something like double the market price. If they do not do this, they are fined. Lately they struck for better wages, and got an increase of 1/8 a week. Little enough, but it has given them the pluck to think about asking for something more, and we hope soon to hear better news of them.
ANARCHIST COMMUNISM OR SOCIAL DEMOCRACY.
FROM A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT.
In the July number of "Freedom" you state in reply to Comrade Underwood, a member of the Social Democratic Federation, that if he or any other Social Democrat will state his objections to Anarchist Communism, you will gladly answer them. Underwood not having sent in his objections, I take this opportunity of stating what I conceive to be some of the serious drawbacks to the realisation of your ideals. In the first place, if I understand you rightly, Anarchists are against all laws and government. Now what do we Social Democrats mean by law; a common sense regulation, in conformity, with the best interests of the community, every adult having a voice in the making of the law, such law not to become binding until accepted by the majority of the people.
To facilitate the making, and carrying out of these regulations, the Social Democrat would elect, annually, by adult suffrage, a National Assembly, the people retaining the right to withdraw any delegate they disapprove of; each commune or municipality would have the right to conduct its own affairs, the National Assembly conducting all national and international business, and settling all disputes between communes.
This is the political ideal of the Social Democrat, and I ask you what sensible individual could desire more freedom than that. The regulations made by the people for their own benefit and comfort would be cheerfully obeyed, and made in the interests of all would become a moral guide to teach us what is right and wrong, and to respect the liberties of our neighbours.
The only people I can imagine objecting to these regulations are the residium of the population, who, born and bred in bad vicious surroundings, ingrained with all the vices of humanity, will require generations of good government to eliminate the evil from their nature. If society was composed of angels Anarchism might be within the bounds of possibility, but seeing that human nature is as it is, frail and prone to temptation, that we all have our faults and our weaknesses, it must be relegated to the far distant future.
You argue that all government is bad, but is this so? If bad government does evil things is it fair to argue from that that good government would do likewise? As well might you say that because bad men commit crimes all men will commit crimes.
N 0 T E S.
Our Printing Office.
All contributions thankfully received. We are furnishing our printing office. We had nothing but type three weeks ago, but one comrade besides some type has given us a couple of cases and a composing stick. Another has sent us chases, others have made us a frame. If friends who happen to have any of the odds and ends needed in a printing office would send us any thing they could spare they would be giving valuable help to the paper.
A "Freedom" Concert.
A Concert and Ball in aid of the Anarchist propaganda (Freedom Group) will take place at the Autonomie Club Windmill Street Tottenham Court Road, W., on Sunday, September 28th, 1890. The comrades who have kindly volunteered their services include Messrs. Arthur Dallow, A. Abbott, W. Neilson, G. Freeman, M. Lehere, C, Morton, Anlguist, Alf Marsh, Nordogo; Masters Hyde, Charles, and Gunderson, May Morris, Miss Robertson, and the Scandinavian Choral Society. The Concert will commence at 8 p.m. Programmes 6d each.
The Fabian who gave us his opinion on Strikes and Parliamentary Action in our last issue evidently does not look at things from the workers' point of view. This phrase that workingmen should "sit" in proper proportion in Parliament and Council indicates that he believes the idlers ought to share in the Government which he extols. We Anarchist working men and women want all able-bodied idlers to be eliminated from human society, and as all history--that is to say, all experience-- shows us that Government is simply a machine by which the idler lives at the expense of the worker we wish it to be abolished. Our correspondent says that no one has shown that we can dispense with it. He is mistaken. Over and over again Anarchists have shown that the true function of the State is to rob, and that mankind would get along excellently well without it. For instance, Jehan Le Vagre has done it in the columns of this journal. We advise our Fabian friend to read and think over his articles. Parliamentary action and state control only render the worker more helpless the more he places his faith in them. The Government Spider is for ever employed in binding him round and round with his web of red tape. There is only one thing for the worker to do--break through the meshes and act as a free man.
DER ANARCHIST: A MONTHLY JOURNAL OF ANARCHIST COMMUNISM. Post free to Great Britain for One Shilling per quarter. Address: C. Timmermann, P.O. Box, 758, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
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