A HISTORY OF ANARCHISM
“The civilization of the few is founded on the degradation of the many.”
Real proletariat was not the skilled artisans and organized factory workers, tainted by the pretensions and aspirations of the middle class but in the “uncivilized, disinherited, illiterate” millions who truly had nothing to lose but their chains.”
the more primitive the man, the purer his revolutionary spirit.
BAKUNIN/LENIN – Similar in refusal to collaborate with the liberals or moderate socialists, who they regarded as incurably counterrevolutionary.
BAKUNIN & NECHAEV’S-CATECHISM OF A REVOLUTIONARY
Revolutionist portrayed as complete immoralist bound to commit any crime, any treachery, to bring about the destruction of the prevailing order. “the ends justify the means.”
had idea of a closely knit revolutionary party bound together by implicit obedience to a rev. dictator. (His ends pointed to freedom, but means-the clandestine party-pointed to dictatorship.)
a nobleman who yearned for a peasant revolt
a libertarian with an urge to dominate others
an intellectual with a powerful anti-intellectual streak
he could preach unrestrained liberty while composing a network of secret organizations and demanding from his followers unconditional obedience to his will.
“…a Columbus without an America, and even without a ship.” Herzen on Bakunin
emphasis on deeds rather than theories
Social rev. must be attained by libertarian means, not dictatorial.
Believed (like Proudhon) that a free federation of trade unions would be “the living germs of the new social order which is to replace the bourg. world.”
stress on the natural, the spontaneous, the unsystematic, their urge towards a simpler way of life, their distrust of bureaucracy and centralized authority, their belief that men and women should take part in decisions affecting their lives.
-Questioned uncritical faith in self glorifying scientific progress.
-Warned that scientists and technical experts would use their knowledge to dominate and exploit.
-Preached “revolt of life against science, or rather, against the rule of science.”
-Recognized that life cannot be reduced to a scientific formula.
Spoke of development of “principle of evil” what has come to be military-industrial complex (how justified now in age of Nuclear/ Biological weapons)
BAKUNIN AND U.S.A – Mikhail Alexsandrovich Bakunin
was exiled in Siberia after being in Russian tsarist prisons for 8 years (6 in tsarist dungeon) toothless from scurvy,
Devoted to the liberation of Slavic people, the total destruction of the Austrian Empire
In America was very anti slavery, abolitionist.
Bakunin was impressed with Americas history of political liberty and its federalist system of gov’t. Extolling American Rev. as ‘cause of liberty against despotism”
“we must reject the politics of the state and adopt resolutely the politics of liberty of the N. Americans.”
Bakunin saw system where workers never starved, were better paid than in Europe, class antagonism hardly exists. All workers are citizens part of a “single body politic” and education is widespread among the masses. These benefits were rooted in “traditional spirit of Liberty.”
thought America owed this to “immense reaches of fertile land” its great “territorial wealth” could always cultivate.
American West “where civilization has hardly began to blossum and where life is an endless struggle against untamed people…against untamed nature, and not in an organized civic society.”
Complained of “banality of soulless material prosperity” and “infantile national vanity”
“no state, however democratic could get along without “forced labor of the masses” wage slavery, was an “indispensable necessity for leisure, liberty & civilization of the political classes-the citizens.”
“the pretense that the people have the power remains a fiction most of the time.”
“masses are sovereign in law, not in fact.”
“so long as human society continues to be divided into different classes as a result of hereditary inequality of occupation, wealth, education, and rights, there will always be a class-restricted gov’t and the inevitable exploitation of the majority by the minority.”
“…no theory, no ready made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world”
“the urge to destroy is a creative urge” Bakunin
“u.s. is run by special, thoroughly bourgeois class of so called politicians or political leaders while the masses of workers live under conditions just as cramped and wretched as monarchic states.”
“evil has triumphed everywhere.”
Between 1870-72 Federalist sections of the International working men’s Assoc. formed in America, in NY Boston and elsewhere.
Libertarian sections defending principles of decentralist socialism, hailing Bakunin and Marxist tendencies.
“Men like Bakunin grow in a hurricane and ripen better in stormy weather than in sunshine”
PROMINENT AMERICANS – Ezra Haywood, William Greene, and Josiah Warren (the ‘father’ of American Anarchism.)
BAKUNIN AND NECHAEV
Nechaev one of first prominent Russian radicals from a plebian background. “was not a product of our world”
was influenced by Buonarrotis history of Babeufs Conspiracy of Equals
drawn to Jacobinism, and Blanquism, believed in knowing “the general will” and of “forcing the people to be free”
Within Russian Rev. movement was Jacoben Tradition -emphasized need for conspiratorial tactics and a revolutionary dictatorship based on the “jesuit model”
Inspired by Zaichnevskys Young Russia, exhibiting bloody and pitiless revolution, ruthlessness. also the Character Rakhmetov in Chernyshevskys What is to be done Prototype of new revolutionary man possessed and living ascetic life, subjecting himself to intense physical privation in preparation for revolutionary role. has no personal life, no friends, no wife, no friends, no family ties that might deflect him from his purpose, adopts deliberately brusque manner of conversation and behavior both to cut himself off from conventional society and to avoid wasting time on empty words and formalities. Uses money not for personal needs but to help impoverished students and the revolutionary cause.
Renounced all personal pleasures, led rigorous ascetic lives, sleeping on floors, gave all money to cause, devoting all energy to liberation of the people.
Strong anti-intellectual bias, scorning the university, for training “generals of culture” rather than helping peasants and workers.
Despised older generation of radicals, exemplified by Herzen and his circle of impotent intellectuals who for all their erudition and rev. phrases wer powerless to break with the old order or their own aristocratic roots.”
HELL – group organized of ascetic terrorists, every man considered himself a doomed man, cut off from normal society and dedicated entirely to rev. gave up friends, family, personal life and name in total effacement for cause. Must “live on single exclusive aim” the emancipation of the lower classes.
Theft, blackmail, murder, fraud, deception, denunciation of innocents, infiltration of rival societies to gain control. main object was assassination of the Tsar.
NECHAEV – created fake exploits, rumors of being jailed and breaking out to make status of hero rev. prototype. Surrounded himself with aura of mystery. Met Bakunin in Geneva Russia in 1869.
Bakunin said he was one of those young fanatics who know no doubts, who fear nothing, and who realize that many of them will perish at the hands of the gov’t but who nevertheless have decided they will not relent until the people rise. they are magnificent, these young fanatics, believers without gods, heroes without rhetoric.”
“we recognize no other activity but the work of extermination, but we admit that the forms which this activity will take will be extremely varied-poison, the knife, the rope, etc…in this struggle the revolution sanctifies everything alike.
CATECHISM OF A REVOLUTIONARY
Revolutionary is a complete immoralist, bound to commit any crime any treachory any baseness or deception to bring about destruction of existing order. The expression of “pure, total, fanatical, destructive, nihilistic, self defeating revolutionism” Nicolas Walter
made of 2 Parts
I. General rules of organization consisting of 22 numbered paragraphs.
II. Rules of conduct of revolutionaries with 26 paragraphs under three headings
-the attitude of the revolutionary towards himself
-attitude towards his rev. comrades.
-attitude towards society.
“the revolutionary is a doomed man” everything in him is absorbed by one exclusive interest. The revolutionary has given hp personal interests, attachments, property, not even a name.
-He studies chemistry and other sciences for purpose of destroying his enemies.
-He has severed all connections with social order, world of education, and conventional morality, whatever aids the triumph of the rerv. is ethical all that hinders ins unethical and criminal.
1- All tender, softening sentiments of kinship, friendship, love, gratitude, and even honor itself must be snuffed out in him by the one cold passion of revolutionary. In him there is only one satisfaction, consolation and delight.
-Revolutionary org. must draw up list of persons to be destroyed .
-must trap those with money or influence and turn them to ones slave.
-As for liberals “one should take hold of them, get possession of all their secrets, compromise them to the utmost, so that no avenue of escape may be left of them.”
there is debate on who wrote Catechism-either Bakunin or Nech or both.
The Black Panthers adopted this writing.
Bakunin helped Nechaev, was a mentor but ultimately felt betrayed, duped by him, didn’t agree with his Jacobinism and Blanquism the belief of seizure of power by rev. minority and the establishment of a rev. dictatorship. calling instead for mass upheaval by the people.
Didnt agree with Nechaev’s lying, suspicion, spying and denunciation.
Bakunin however was hypocritical though in condemning Nechaev’s conspiratorial, clandestine secret society tendencies.
Nechaev eventually captured and put on trial where he was unbendingly defiant, perished after 10 years of solitary confinement in Peter, Paul fortress of Russia. Died at 35.
Chief faults were infinite confidence in his own infallibility, a total scorn of human beings, and a systematic application of principle that the ends justify the means.
His Jacobinism and Machiavellianism clashed fundamentally with the libertarian spirit, surrounding anarchism with an aura of brutality and ruthlessness that was foreign to its basic humanity.
HE INFLUENCED: Black panthers, Red Brigades, the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army.
“no revolution can succeed without lofty, humane and well considered ideas.” Bak
KROPOTKINS ETHICAL ANARCHISM
Both he and Bakunin abandoned their heritage for career of professional revolutionist.
Both made dramatic escapes from Tsarist confinement that gave aura of legend.
Both called for Soc. Rev. of workers and peasants and rejected any intervening dictatorship in favor of immediate realization of stateless millenium.
Kropotkin refused high position in Petersburg to follow higher calling. “what right have I to these higher joys, when all around me was misery and struggle for a moldy bit of bread; when whatsoever I should spend to enable me to live in that world of higher emotions must needs be taken from the very mouths of those who grew the wheat and had not bread enough for their children?”
Took remote post in Siberia, read Proudhon, Bakunin’s exploits, shed hopes that state could act as a vehicle for social progress. Developed theory of mutual aid while observing animal behavior (opposing ruthless competition)
LAW OF MUTUAL AID – thesis was that cooperation rather than conflict was the chief factor in the process of evolution.
Was jailed for 2 years in Moscow for hanging with populists. Jailed for 3 years in France on trumped up charges. Settled in England for next 30 years until Russian Rev. let him return home.
Disagreed with T.H. Huxleys essay “the struggle for existence” 1888. Life is a “continuous free flight” and that competition among individuals of the same species is not merely a law of nature but the driving force of progress. “From the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is on about the same level as a gladiators show. The creatures are fairly well treated and set to fight; whereby the strongest, the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight another day. The spectator has no need to turn his thumbs down, as no quarter is give.”
Kropotkin couldn’t accept single minded emphasis on competition and conflict in evolutionary process, Who were the fittest to survive?
Huxleys savage jungle, red in tooth and claw contrasted sharply to Kropotkins findings, that in process of natural selection, spontaneous cooperation among animals was more important than ferocious competition and that “those animals which acquire habits of mutual aid are undoubtedly the fittest to survive.”
ants, bees cooperative.
MUTUAL AID 1902
Provides anarchist data with scientific data. Sociability is a prevalent feature. “the close dependency of every ones happiness upon the happiness of all; and of the sense of justice, or equity, which brings the individual to consider the right of every other individual as equal to his own.”
“dominant trends of history pointing to decentralized, nonpolitical cooperative societies in which men could develop their creative faculties, without the machinations of rulers, priests, or soldiers, Everywhere the artificial state was abdicating its “holy” functions in favor of natural voluntary groups.
CONQUEST OF BREAD 1892
Clearest statement of his anarchist social doctrines. “book is a study of the needs of humanity and of the economic means to satisfy them.” Kropotkin
he made no attempt to create a future utopia, books aim was to show how social rev. and how a new society could be built on ruins of old.
“all belongs to all” the instruments and fruits of production, now unjustly appropriated by the few are the collective achievements oc humanity as a whole.
“all things are for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men have worked in the measure of their strength to produce them, and since it is not possible to evaluate every one’s part in the production of the world’s wealth.”
“each discover, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.” by what right can anyone whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say-this is mine, not yours?”
wage systems must be abolished in favor of system that is equal for all. major step in anarchist economic thought.
Max Stirners individualism, Proudhones mutualism, and Bakunins collectivism, Kropotkin proceeded to principle of “anarchistic communism”
-Private property and inequality of income would give place to free distribution of goods and services.
For principal of wages he substituted principle of needs: persons would be judge of their own requirements and would take from common storehouse whatever they thought necessary. Whether or not they shared common labour.
-Kropotkins benign optimism led him to assume that once political exploitation and economic exploitation had been eliminated, all- or nearly all- would work of their own free will. and people would only take what they required for a comfortable existence.
-would usher in golden age of liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
-was convinced this was already happening-roads, and bridges free to all, streets paved and lighted, water supplied to each house, parks, museums, libraries, schools open to all.
Believed in machine age, though it would relieve man, free him up. But was disturbed by division of labor and degradation of human spirit. “minute specialization of labour that benefits the manufacturers and dooms the labouror, boredom and frustration, stupidity. greed of manufacturers.”
-wanted also to end separation between manual and brain work and between work in the field and in the factory. Where work wouldn’t be a curse of fate, but a free exercise of all faculties of man.
-a system of regional self-sufficiency.
-materials and labour not squandered on military weapons, gov’t bureaucracies, or private luxuries which satisfy dull vanity of rich.
-”the truly lazy person is extremely rare, the so called idler is often only a person whom it is repugnant to spend life making the hundredth part of a watch while in possession of exuberant energy to expend elsewhere. Once work is no longer means drudgery or involves excessive specialization it becomes more agreeable, makes worker feel useful.”
Equally important to work, was leisure, and measure of privacy is necessary.
-Believed in education, present system was university of laziness. “superficiality, parrot like repetition, slavishness, and inertia of mind. We do not teach our children to learn.”
-Found prisons to be “schools of crime” teaching to lie, and cheat, harden in criminal ways, they are useless.”
Golden age without gov’t, without property without hunger, or want, an era of freedom where men would live in harmony and direct their affairs without interference of authority.
Felt necessary was revolution, but humane as possible with “smallest numbers of victims and a minimum of mutual embitterment.”
-didn’t believe in secret organizations, felt role of intellectuals was to disseminate propaganda among the people in order to hasten their own spontaneous rising.
-would not have anarchist cause perverted by lies, treachery, immorality of others.
-though he felt violence also necessary in younger years condoned assassination if compelled by noble motives, his acceptancy of bloodshed was inspired by compassion for the oppressed rather than hate for the victims.
-Felt that indiscriminate terrorism had become a grotesque caricature of anarchist doctrine, demoralizing the movements true adherents and discrediting anarchism in eyes of general public.
1917, turned down esteemed posts-alienated from gov’t by his anarchist convictions and from the rev. left by his support of the war.
-Felt Bolshevik rev. was a disappointment, saw his dreams of a free society trampled underfoot in the name of the very ideals which he had struggled all his life.
-”we must not judge Krop. a failure, he was an immense success. His while life-exemplified the high ethical standard and the combination of thought and action that he preached in his writings” displayed none of the egotism or lust for power shown by many of his contemporaries.
q: why is there the irrepressible impulse to dominate?
KROPOTKIN AND AMERICA
Was admirer of Federalism, the American Rev and the Declaration of Independence. Was familiar and corresponded with Americn Anarchists, both individualist and Collectivist schools, Josiah Warren, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, and Albert Parsons, August Spies, and Johann Most.
Kropotkins pamphlet An Appeal to the Young had in extraordinary impact in America. Kropotkins description of Western Canada.
Joseph A., Labadie-well nown Am. Anarchist who founded Labadie collection of radical literature at Uof M.
Voltairine de Cleyre-Am. Anarchist poet.
was sailor aided bolsheviks in 1917, though Bolsheviks outlawed him after he protested Trotskys Red Army opposing military. Eventually accepted Bosh position of commander of the armored train company vs Deniken. He was killed in battle at 24, was embraced by Soviet Govt though it had earlier outlawed him and called him traitor.
Nestor Ivanovich Makhno
NESTOR IVANOVICH MAKHNO
Glamorous and controversial. Anarchist partisan leader, born military leader, b. 1889 to poor peasant family. at 17 he joined anarchist group in Gulyai-Polye at 19 brout to trial for participating in terrorist act that killed police officer.
Went to prison indefinitely, was defiant and for 9 years he was shackled or in solitary confinement.
After prison he went home assumed leading role in community affairs, organized union of farm laborers.
In Auf 1917 he recruited band of armed peasants and set out expropriating estates of neigboring gentry and distributed land to peasants. Villagers regarded him as hero revolutionary. Moved on when Germans marched in, met Lenin, Kropotkin.
“the majority of anarchists think and werite about the future, without understanding the present, that is what divides us communists from them.” Lenin
though the ararchists were “selfless” men Lenin though their empty fanatacism blurred their vision of the present and future.
Makhno went home and organized band of partisans under the anarchist banner. Moved and grew in size, small villages supported them.
Launched wily raids, sneaky tactics well maneauvered, all officers were peasants made efforts to avoid stiff regimentation he appointed officers and subjected troops to stern military discipline.
Was friendly with Bolsheviks, even agreed to be a division of the red army for a time tensions built, Makhno outlawed.
Bolsheviks and Makhnovists would unite and split as enemies became common. Eventually Makhnovists broken up and Mkhno fled wounded to Paris.
MAKHNOS OBJECTIVE-to create libertarian society in the South that would serve as role model for whole of Russia. in a sense he was “an Anarchist Robin Hood” a partisan leader in closest touch with the hopes of the village.
He was similar to Mexicans Emiliano Zapata & Ricardo Flores Magon.
Was the “avenging angel of the lowly and presently he was looked upon as the great liberator, whose coming had been prophesized by Pugachev in his dying moments” Berkman
Was a thoroughgoing anarchist, down to earth peasant, not a man of words, not a phrase maker or orator, but a lover of action who rejected metaphysical systems and abstract social theorizing. Lived remaining years in France in obscurity, poverty and disease.
Hated the poison of big cities, cherishing the natural environment.
Worked in automotive factory, drunken buried in Pere La Chaise died at 44.
V.M. EIKHENBAUM (VOLIN)
like Makhno one of most celebrated anarchists in Russia active in both 1905 and 1917 revolutions.
Unlike Makhno was primarily intellectual, prolific writer and lecturer. Theorist of “united anarchism” author of most anarchist inspired history of Russian Rev.
Life punctuated by arrests, escapes and number of brushes with death. In prison, exile, in propoganda and action he was devoted revoutionary, possessed moral and physical courage.
born 1882 into educated family of assimilated Russian Jewish intellectuals. at 19 he abandoned school to follow rev. impulse joined social revolutionary party and engage in full time agitation.
Took part in 1905 protest march “bloody sunday” 1907 thrown in Siberian prison, escaped to France. joined Apollon Karelin small libertarian circle called Brotherhood of Free Communists.
Staunch anti militarist. 1914-outbreak of WWI upped his agitation had to leave France went to N.Y 1916.
1917 went back to Russia, published “Golos Truda” became most influential anarcho-syndicalist journal of Russian Rev.
warned people they would become “tools of the central gov’t” gov’t would be authoritarian moved to theory of United Anarchism
“UNITED ANARCHISM” Theory encouraged all factions of the movement to work together in spirit of mutual respect and cooperation within framework of a single, unified but flexible organization. A sort of model for future libertarian society. 1919 with increase of Bolshevik power he went and joined Makhnovists editing newspapers drafting proclamations and manifestos.
1920-arrested by Red Army who ordered his execution but anarchists in Moscow appealed to have him transferred to Moscow prison. Released 7 months later. 1922 left for Berlin at 40 yrs of age, stayed for 2 years wrote
1924-went to Paris, wrote volume of Poetry, dedicated to Kropotkin and began monumental work on history of Russian Rev.
20’s, 30’s-denounced Soviet dictatorship labelling Bolsheviks “red fascism” likening Stalin to Mussolini and Hitler. wrote for various periodicals and papers.
V.M. EIKHENBAUM (VOLIN)
Completed 1940 in Marseilles “THE UNKNOWN REVOLUTION” Volins book. About the social revolution of the people as distinguished from the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks. Saw history as more than story of Kerensky, or Lenin, of Social democrats,. social Revolutionaries or even Anarchists. Was explosion of mass discontent and mass creativity. Elemental, unpremeditated and unpolitical, a true social revolution such as Bakunin had foreseen half century before.
As a “revolt of the masses” it was history written “from below” as Kropotkin and Juares had done for France.
Similar to what happened in Spain between 1936 and 1939 Russia and Spain had experienced greatest libertarian revolutions of the 20th century, decentralist, spontaneous, egalitarian, led by no single party but largley work of the people themselves.
Most striking feature was decentralization and dispersal of authority, the spontaneous formation of autonomous communes and councils and emergence of workers self management in town and company.
In France went from hiding place to hiding place living in poverty and fear of arrest. Pursued by police as Anarchist and Jew. Died Sept 18, 1945. buried Pere La Chaise of tuberculosis.
PROUDHON AND AMERICA
Flow of Books 1840’s-50’s ideas on money, credit, labor and capital, on individual sovereignty and voluntary cooperation. Promoted by American born Fourierists, mostly in New England. Charles A. Dana, Parke Goodwin, Albert Brisbane.
WILLIAM B. GREENE-1850-51 penned series at 30 yrs old, was reformist, pamphlet on Mutual banking. Was considered Proudhons leading disciple. Greene differed in one respect he was for cause of womens rights. Interested in economic and social reform. In Boston merged with Josiah Warren, Ezra Haywood, Lysander Spooner and Stephan Pearl Andrews, at forefront of individualist anarchist movement. championing cause of free speech, free credit, womens equality, and amelioriation of condition of labor.
“the abolition of class laws and false customs whereby legitimate enterprise is defrauded by speculative monopoly, and the reconstitution of justice and reciprocity” Greene died 1878.
Proudhon condemned unearned property as theft.
wrote journal “liberty” immensly influenced by Proudhon. “to be governed is to be kept in sight, inspected, spied uon, directed, law driven, munbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right, nor the wisdom, nor the virtue to do so…”Proudhon
Tucker defended the cause of freedom against collectivist and statist encroachments. In 1908 his storehouse of books and papers burned in fire, he left for Europe never to return.
He abandoned his role as purveyor of mutualist ideas, thouh he retained anarchist label. bellieved free banking was no longer adequate to break monopoly of capitalism or weaken authority of the state. Lived to 85, died pessimistic, virtually unnoticed. Was accomplished translator of Proudhon Bakunin, Victor Hugo, Chernyshevsky and Tolstoy, earned him recognition first rate editor and writer.
His Journal “liberty” was on of finest journals American radicalism produced. Wrote myread anarchist books and pamphlets over 30 yrs. “dogmatic to the extreme, arrogantly positive, browbeating and dominating, ture to his plumb line no matter who was slain, and brooked no contradiction, difference, or denial, biting sarcasm, caustic contempt, invective that was sometimes almost actual insult, were poured out on any who dared oppose.” cowriter in liberty.
One got impression he was a “fire eater” most of the time angry, an ice cold in his assault though was so cordial in private company, mold mannered, plished. aristocratic, well groomed, clean cut. (his daughter Oriole and his wife after his death moved to NY apartment on Amsterdam 1940.
British anarchist, came to America in 1894 self educated tailor from London slums, militant agitator of Johann Most type. went to prison, came out more extreme than ever. “we have heard much of the doctrine of brotherhood and love tonight but the doctine of hate and vengeance is just as necessary and right.”
Lectured in NY paterson and Eastern cities with large immigrant working class populations. In spirit of Bakunin and Most. Called for Revolutionary action by all the disinherited elements of society. Dismissing trade unions as the “old sick benefit” sort as a failure “we must denounce the brutal indifference of the employed to the sufferings of the employed -the criminals, tramps, the casual laborers the victims in short of the brutal class monopoly we are all suffering under.”
Spoke in Hoboken, Patterson, Newark, Pittsburg, and Baltimore, Philly. Settled in Boston like John turner he was deported after shooting of Pres. Mckinley. in London joined industrial Union of direct actionists a federation of anarchist groups died of heart failure 1910, had abandoned anarchism to become taqriff reform lecturer.
Bartolomeo Sacco and Nicola Vanzetti
SACCO AND VANZETTI
Apr. 15 1920 a paymaster and his guard shot to death in a robbery of a shoe factory in South Braintree mass. 3 weeks later Sacco a shoe worker and Vanzetti a fish peddler both anarchists were charged with participating.
Trial occurred in wake of Red Scare, trial was heavily biased skillful and ruthless prosecutor many believed the two were convicted on their foreign birth and radical beliefs. In case aftermath evidence was strong that they were wrongly accused. People opposed judges obvious bias, the conviction on inconclusive evide3nce, their dignified behaviour while their lives hung on the balance.
Aug 1927 men were electrocuted, case had garnered international proportion. “both Nick and I are anarchists, the radical of the radical-the black cats, the terrors of many, of all the bigots, exploiters, charlatans fakers and oppressors, I am and will be until the last instant (unless I should discover that I am in error)_ an anarchist communist, becuase I believe that communism is the most humane form of social contract, because I know only with liberty can man rise become noble, complete.” Vanzetti
First Italian anarchist groups rose in 1880’s initial group in 1885 NY called Gruppo Anarchico Rivoluzionario Carlo Cafiero.
Cafiero-one of most prominent anarchists in Italy during late 19th. another group os same name founded in Chicago, groups sprang up in port cities where immigrants settled. Groups gradually spread to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. and finally in SF 1894.
HAYMARKET EXECUTIONS 1886-87-explosion in chicago that caused death and injury of several policeman led to hanging of four anarchists and suicide of a 5th in jail cell, instead of precipitating downfall of anarchists it promoted growth.
Many great spokesman came to America
FRANCESCO SAVERIO MERLINO – most scholarly of Italian anarchists, came to NY in 1892, had lived in london for several years was fluent in English, published founded Italian anarchist journals, conducted speaking tour, his propoganda written and oral gave anarchis strong impetus.
PIETRO GORI – playwright and poet. came to NY 1895, was trained in law, these leaders coming from middle to upper middle class families were more like Russian populists, those conscience strcken noblemen, Bakunin, Kropotkin who acknowledged a debt to the people and taught them the gospel of revolt.
Accompanying himself on guitar he would sing and attract a crowd who would stay to hear him lecture on anarchism. Resembled a christian evangelist, wandering from town to town tween Boston and SF preaching anarchism, which for some fulfilled needs of religion did in 1911 at 45.
GIUSEPPE CIANCABILLA – arrived America in 1898 to NJ. Became editor of Socialist paper, drifted West settling among miners of Illinois, after Mckinley assasination he was hassled and driven to SF edited journal there La Protesta, died at 32 in 1904.
Most celebrated of “leaders” (leaders were at most recognized as mentors or guides) only in America a few months spoke in Spanish and Italian, was shot in leg during one meeting died in 1932.
“not whether we accomplish anarchism today, tomorrow, or within ten centuries, but that we walk towards anarchism today, tomorrow and always.”
for first two decades of 20th century was leading Italian anarchist in America. outspoken militant whose hatred of capitalism and gov’t burned. Lived in France, Egypt, Switz, went to jail in Italy. Reached intellectual summit in his 40’s, prolific writer, articles, essays, pamphlets “the end of Anarchism” his most fully realized work.
Put forth vigorous defense of communist anarchism vs socialism and reform, extolling virutes of spntaneity and variety, of autonomy and independence, of self determination and direct action, in world of increasing standardization and uniformity. Preached a militant anarchism. Dynamite, assassination, opposed WWI 1914 “against the war, against the peace, for the social revolution.”
4 CATEGORIES OF ITALIAN ANARCHISTS
ANARCHO COMMUNISTS – (Sacco and Vanzetti) Rejected not only state but private property.
ANARCHO SYNDICALIST-Faith in trade union, which was generally shunned by anarchist communists of fear of emergence ofr a boss endowed with special priviledges and authority.
INDIVIDUAL ANARCHISTS-Suspicious of both the communal arrangements of communism, and the labor organizations of anarcho syndicalists. Relying instead on the free individual. Their testament was 19th century German philosopher Max Stirner. whose book “the Ego and his own”
ANARCHISTS-anarchists without objective, idealized Malatesta who preached undogmatic brand of anarchism that encompassed a range of elements.
In general the Italian anarchists much moreso than the Jewish or Russian were suspicious of trade unions. Suspicious of formal organizations that might harden into hierarchical and authoritarian shape with their own beaurocratical bosses and officials. Italians more involved in strikes and demonstrations.
In forming groups, newspapers and agitating for better working conditions, the Italian anarchists were creating a kind of alternative society that differed sharply from the capitalist and statist society that they deplored. They had their own circles, own beliefs, own culture, building their own world in midst of a system that they opposed and detested. Rather than await for millenium, tried to live anarchist life on a day to day basis with in Amercan Capitalism.
Spanish educator executed in Barcelona in 1909, many anarchist schools named after him, also called “modern schools” suited to educate for a modern, scientific age, not drenched in religious dogma and superstition or like public schools where generals and presidents, conquest and war were glorified and exalted.
atmosphere of freedom and spontaneity, would learn about working class movements and revolutions as weell as to think and live according to their own lights and in harmony with their neighbors.
ANARCHIST HOLIDAYS– Anniversary of the Paris Commune on March 18th, Day of working class solidarity may 1st, anniversary of the Haymarket Executions Nov. 11th.
Believed violence was reply to monstrous violence of the state, the greatest bombthrowers and murderers were not isolated rebels driven to desperation but the military resources of the gov’t, the army, the militia, police, firing squad, hangmen.
Praised every rebellious deed and glorified perpetrators as heroes and martyrs, sacrificing their lives for the oppressed.
Lower East side NY. First group sprung form Haymarket incident. 1886-87. “Pioneers of Liberty” affiliated with international working peoples association, of which Haymarket anarchists were also members. Joined campaign to save Chicago comrades.
Knights of LIberty-from Philly, founded 1889 by anarchist workmen from London. Johann Most was very influential to Jewish anarchists his fervent advocacy of revoltion and of propoganda by the deed, his sharp phrases had “the impact of the bombs and dynamite” he inspired, electrified , all but bewitched every listener, opponent as well as friend.”
Owing to Mosts influence Jewish anarchists developed close ties with the German branch of the movement. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. Also inspired by Russian Populism, pored over Russian rev. literature and attended Russian radical gatherings.
ZOLA-”criminal” a favorite of anarchists and socialists of the period.
jewish anarchist took part in strikes and helped organize trade unions. They organized clubs, coops and mutual aid societies, sponsored lectures, picnics and concerts, celebrated anniversary of Paris Commune and like Italian Anarchists created an alternative society or counterculture.
Conspicuous feature of this was militant atheism and antireligious propoganda attacked religion as well as gov’t. Just as every state was an instrument by which a priveledged few wielded pwer over the immense majority. So every church was an ally of the state in the subjugation of humankind, spiritually as well as plitically and economically. While retaining a devotion to the secular aspects of yiddish culture along with an intense conscieousness of being Jewish, the ararchists were aggressive in their rejection of traditional Judaism. Upheld reason and science vs. ignorance and superstition which to them lay at the root of every religion.
Johann Most-”the god Pestilence” 1888
Yom Kippur Balls-Antireligious festivals, dancing merrymaking and atheistic harangues mockery of Jewish liturgy.
Anarchism attracted many youth as a “romantic movement, filled with thrilling comspiracies and acts of heroism and self sacrifice.”
“neither god nor master’
divisions began between anarchists and Socialists. Publication comprised of articles by Most, Kropotkin, translations from Turgenev’s “on the eve” popularizations of material from natural and social sciences (including Marx’s “capital”) poems by Edelstadt, Rosenfeld, and Joseph Bovshaver, bemoaning wretchedness of sweat shops and images of classless steteless millenium. In which hunger,k poverty exploitation and oppression would cease to exist.
DAVID EDELSTADT-one of first “labor poets” Emma Golman though him one of finest types of anarchists who ever lived, a child of pverty a dreamer of struggle. Poems were sung to music. died at 26 of TB.
SAUL YANOVSKY-born in Russia son of Rabbi, rejected religion at early age. joined Pioneers of liberty 1899-1919, period that marked heyday of Jewish anarchism, was outspoken, a proponent of terrorism and insurrection. Spoke alongside Kropotkin, Malatesta, Louise michel, Yanosvsky hovever was narrow, sarcastic, intolerant and tactless in his dealings with others, unsparing in his criticism of friend and foe.
Published many, for culture he printed August Strindberg, Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Leonid Andreev, and Olive Schreiner, Ibsen, Octave Mirbeau, Bernard Lazare.
After 80’s and 90’s apocolyptic fervor, belief tht social revolution was imminent began to fade. For solution of social problems Yanovsky felt anarchism needed more aonstructive approach, he began to oppose terrorism, Direct action meant the founding of schools, fostering of workers unions, coops.
Workers participated in strikes, rooting out corruption, fighting against beaurocracy, and indifference, For all their militancy they no longer disdained partial economic gains. The old slogans “the worse, the better” and “all or nothing” the thought that any reform would distract proletariat from his ultimate goal rang less true.” many new publications, passion grew to educate and uplift. Children studied Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and other famous scientists and writers. kropotkin by far the most influential.
Marx “capital, Proudhon”what is property” Stirner “the Ego and his own”
WWI-at the outbreak of war Yanovsky, Joseph Cohen, Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman and other signed international manifesto on the war declaring that war is the sole responsibiltiy of the state.
1919-Bolsh rev. Golman praised Lenin and Trotsky, Yanovsky criticized dictatorship. Communism took its toll, many workers went to their homeland only to be imprisoned and executed by secret police.
Anarchism fallen on hard times. Collaborations with sociallists, demanding party remain free of control and denounced the “arrogance” of communist officials and their fraudulent election practices and hooliganism and gangster methods.
1939-Francos’s victory was devastating blow advent of WWII and massacre of jews in Europe.
JOSEPH COHEN-Who took Yanovskys place as editor of “Fraye Arbiter Shtime” left to found sunrise colony in Michigan.
Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman
Known for shooting Henry Clay Frick n assasination attempt, along with Emma Goldman was leading figure in American Anarchist movement. man of uncompromising itegrity, showed none of the duplicity or thirst for power of so many others. Exiled from America, exiled from Soviet Russia spent last years in S. France, born in 1870 in Russia, to well to do family. Was rebellious child, mon and dad died at age 18 he moved to America joined pioneers of liberty, met Emma.
1892-in news of shootings of workers at Caregie Steel Mills in Pennsylvania, Berkman went out to shoot wealthy capitalist Frick, went to jail for 14 years, (21-35) in Penitentiary of Penn. in Allegheny Ceity, wrote about it in his “prison memoirs of an anarchist.”
Edited Goldmans journal “Mother Earth” and “Anarchism and other Essays” and autobiagraphy “living my life”
1917 he agitated against the war, was imprisoned again along with Goldman for denouncing draft.
1919-he and Emma deported to Russia.
1920-cooperated with Bolsheviks, soon though he was stunned by Bolsh wholesale arrests of Russian Anarchists, dispersal of Makhnos, Guerilla army, conversion of local soviets into tools of the state apparatus.
Exiled from Russia, went to Stockholm, then Berlin then finally to France. Set up fund for aging Euro Anarchists, edited publications. Brought out his Russian Diary, “the Bolshevik Myth” and “letters from Russian Prisons” about Bolsh persecution. Wrote at NY Jewish Anarchist request, “now and After the ABC of Communist Anarchism” to prepare men and women for a freer life. to eliminate authoritarian prejudices and nourish a new idea, a spirit of cooperation and mutual aid. To live in harmony and peace.
Ricardo Flores and his brother Enrique in the Los Angeles county jail
RICARDO FLORES MAGON IN PRISON
Foremost Mexican Anarchist of 20th century, embodied movement partido Liberal Mexicano, his journal “regeneracion” in early stages of revolution played part in rousing Mexican Labourours, rural and urban against Porfirio Diaz dictatorship. “land and Liberty” slogan, Magonista revolt of 1911 in Baja, CA established short lived communes at Mexicali and Tijuana based on Kropotkins conquest of bread.
Was released from prison in 1903 in Mexico City and came to U.S. for next 19 years, more than half his life in prison. Lived in El Paso, TX, San Antonio, St.Louis, Toronto, Montreal and L.A. Hounded by police, private detectives, postal and immigration officials, Supported by Goldman, Berkman, and others. Jack london wrote him “Neither God nor Master”
1918-sentenced to a 21 year term, broken by many years of imprisonment. coresponded with Ellen White (pseudonym of Lilly Sarnoff who wrtoe book of poems “the road to Freedom and man” where whe writes of Ricardo, he wrote her many letters describing horrors of prison life, discusses attitude toward Bolsh. and prospects of a libertarian alternative. He had at first hailed Lenin and Trotsky, but then opposed new dictatorship and tyranny “was a dangerous man because of the seditions and revolutionary doctrines which he asserts and practices, and his determination not to abide by the laws of this country.” attorney general.
Would not recant or make personal appeal for pardon prefering death to begging for mercy. Died at 49 in 5th year of his sentence in Leavenworth.
Close associate of Goldman and Berkman Had international reputation, survivor of Russian Exiles in Mexico, including Jacob Abrams, Victor Serge, and Leon Trotsky. Born in Russia, went to NY at 15, at 18 was anarchist, joined group with publication “the storm” denouncing Capitalism.
1918-they with Abrams were beaten and arrested all put on trial received horrendous sentences. Steimer 15 yrs, Abrams 20 yrs, for distribution of leaflets. many appealed prominient Harvard law people and others. Steimer continued radical activities while on bail arrested numerous times (at 21 yrs old). “the entire machinery of the U.S Gov’t was being employed to crush this slip of a girl weighing less than 80 lbs.” Goldman
1919-Mollie met Emma, was sentenced and deported to Russia, went from victim of Red Scare in America to victim of Red Terror in Russia, disturbed by supression of their movement. Organized society to help anarchist prisoners.
1923-Sent to Germany, where they met Goldman and Berkman, lived for next 25 years as anarchists without country.
1948-acquired mexican citizenship, in Berlin they maintained solid flow of parcels and letters of encouragement to imprisoned and exiled comrades. Mollie living with love Senya, who was photographer for anarchist movement. Emma thought Mollie “narrow and fanatical”
1942-Senya operated photo studio in Mexico XCity under name of SEMO.
Mollie fluent in Russian, Yiddish, English, German, French and Spanish, died 1980 in Mexico.
THE PARIS COMMUNE
1871 Greatest urban insurrection of 19th Century. Launched anarchists movements around world. Showed how a war, especially a losing war, can trigger the outbreak of social rebellion. the defeat at sedan, the humiliation of surrender that reaqwakened the revolutionary fervor of the workers, riviving the tradition of 1793 and 1848.
MUR DES FEDERES-Where 147 communards massacred in Pere Lachaise in bloody week of May. Critics say it was the communards failure to take the offensive that created their downfall, though a march on Versailles had little chance of success given encirclement of Paris by Prussian troops. Commune lasted 72 days, March 18th-may 28, was it end of a Revolutionary tradition or beginning?
ELEMENTS OF BOTH OLD AND NEW
With its tenacious parochialism, its proliferation of sections and clubs, its sans culotte ideology, its committee of public safety,. its slogans of liberty Equaltiy, Fraternity and of the Declaration of the rights of man, it was throwback to the past.
Its rejection of centralized authority and its experiments in womens rights and workers control pointed way to future.
Was a bridge between Russian and French Rev. echo of the first and precursor of 2nd.
Marx initially opposed, didn’t want premature uprising of workers, Marx and Bakunin saw it as prototype of a new society. For Bakunin was not a proletarian dictatorship but a “bold and outspoken negation of the state” Yet neither anarchists nor Marxists could claim commune as their own. It had no clear cut identity, or label that could apply.
COMPLEX MIXTURE OF PARIS COMMUNE-Exhibited both Federalist & Centralists, both libertarian and Authoritarian tendencies, saw Utopianism mixed with practical experiments, Patriotism combined with universal brotherhood, was mixture of Workers and Professionals, of tradesman and artisans, Bakunists and Marxists, Proudhonists and Blanquists, Republicans and Jacobins.
Its roots was deeply embedded in local particularism, Was overwhelmingly decentralist and libertarian, and its tactics were those of improvisation and direct action. Commune established local control over economy, educational, and cultural as well as political and military affairs. It expropriated the clergy and converted churches into social forums. It abolished the police and the army assigning duty to the people, “the people in arms”
Rents were suspended, debts spread out, free schools were opened and an artists council was established. Essential services- Postal, Sewerage, gas, transportation, were kept running efficiently. In field of labor and industry reforms too were remarkable. Fines abolished in factories, night work abolished in bakeries. Above all showed that workers were capable of running their own affairs. Workers coops were created, anticipating experiments in workers self management of Russian and Spanish Revolution.
“We believe that workers have a right to their tools just as peasants had right to land in 1789”
“We consider that the only way to reorganize labor so that the worker enjoys the product of his work is by forming free producers coops which would run the various industries and share the profits.”
“called for the abolition of all competition between men and women workers, since their interests are identical and their solidarity is essential to the success of the final and universal strike of labor vs. Capital.”
“the absolute autonomy of the commune, extended to all the localities in France, assuring to each its integral rights and to every Frenchman the full exercise of his aptitudes, as a man, a citizen, and a laborer.” Communes proclamation of 1871
Propelled doctrines of anarcho-communism and propoganda by the deed. not by indivudual acts of terror but the seizure of a town or locality as the base for a social revolution on the lines of the commune in Paris.
Kropotkin thought commune a “heroic first attempt to put end to the ignoble bourg. exploitation, to rid people of the tutelage of the state, and to inaugarate in the evolution of the human race of new era of liberty, equality, and solidarity” Kropotkin
He saw that it didn’t break completely with the state and that authoritarian revolutionary groups tarnished the reputation of its libertarian character.
WALL POSTERS 1970 BY BAKUNIN AFTER SEIZING TOWN HALL
1. the administrative and governmental machinery of the state having become impotent is abolished
2.all criminal and civil courts are hereby suspended and replaced by the peoples justice.
3.Payment of taxes and mortgages is suspended. Taxes are to be replaced by contributions that the federated communes will have collected by levies upon the wealthy classes, according to what is needed for salvation of France.
4.Since the state has been abolished, it can no longer intervene to secure the payment of private debts.
5.All existing Municipal administrative bodies are hereby abolished, they will be replaced in each commune by committees for the salvation of France. All governmental powers will be exercised by these committees under the direct supervision of the people.
6.the committee in the principal town of each of the nations dept’s will send two delegates to a revolutionary convention for the salvation of France.
7.this convention will m,eet immediately at the town hall of Lyons, since it is the second city of France, and best able to deal energetically with the countries defense. since it will be supported by the people, this convention will save France. To Arms!!!
Tremors went to Italy and Spain, Rising in Bologna 1874, in spain the “Cantonalist” movement of 73-74 and in Barcelona general strike of 1873.
REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNE TRADITION HISTORY
SPAIN-1873-74, AND 1936-39
CENTRAL AND EUROPE AFTER WWII-E.Berlin, and Poznan, Budapest and Prague.
Common features-Occurred not in advanced industrial countries (as marx suspected) but rather (as Bakunin foresaw) in relatively backward and peripheral areas with artisan and peasant economies and strong regionalist traditions.
All were socialist revoltions, revolutions from below, decentralist, federalist and libertarian, directed vs. authoritarian and oligarchical regimes. All saw host of councils and committees spring spontaneously inot life in vacuum of fallen gov’ts. All were profoundly egalitarian exhibiting same festive atmosphere, all were stamped out with savage brutality followerd by periods of intense reaction.
“breaking the chains of the state and over throwing its idols, mankind will march towards a better future, no longer knowing either masters or slaves, keeping its veneration for the noble martyrs who paid with their blood and suffering for those first attempts at emancipation which have lighted our way in our march towards the conquest of freedom” Kropotkin
French physician, started as uncompromising militant, a proponent of insurrectionism and revolt, he evolved towards a moderate form of socialism know as “Possibilism” and ended up at turn of century as president of the Paris Municipal Council and member of French parliament. Born middle class in S.France 1844, it was Paris comm,une that ,ade him anarchist (like Kropotkin, Malatesta, and others…) was arrested sentenced to 4 months in prison, went to Spain, 1873 joined communal group of Internationalists who seized town Hall of Barcelona,. followed by general strike. Went to Switzerland with friends at age 30.
Got involved with Jura Federation and anti authoritarian International gained fame here. Opposed to universal suffrage as a device of priveledged society to keep the workers in subjection. Opposed to any central organization in the International.
1876-edited publication demanding “the complete, definitive, absolute emancipation of all workers” cooperated with Kropotkin and German exiles, paper smuggled to Germany as anarchist propoganda
Brousses propoganda by the deed, did not mean assassinations but rather local demonstrations, insurrections and other forms of collective direct action.
Uncompromising in militancy, demanding complete destruction of the state and its replacement by a society based on “the preparation, formation of human groups around each need, each interest, and the free federation of these groups.”
1879-expelled from Switzerland, went to Brussels, then London then back to France.
Brousses Anarchism thru 1870’s turned possibilism thru 1880’s.
He abandoned propoganda by the deed and came to accept the usefulness of piecemeal reform. Becam,e leading advocate of reformist and municipal socialism. Still remained uncompromising in anti centralism, anti authoritarianism and anti Marxism, held aversion to elites of every kind and to abstract theoretical systems.” Marx was “not infallible” he is not a god. died 1912.
Famous anarchist Martyr of German rev. in wake of WWI. Edited periodicals, sensitive critic of drama and poetry. Composed amazing love letters. Prolific translator of anarchists and non anarchists. “anarchy is the liberation of man from the idols of the state, the church and capital, socialism is the expression of the true and genuine community among men, genuine because it grows out of the individual spirit.” He was socialist, individualist, romantic and Mystic, a militant and advocate of passive resistance.
Born 1870, middle class jewish family in SW Germany.
1892-joined dissident Marxist group in Berlin, edited weekly paper assuming a decentrallist and anti authoritarian critique of Marxism along lines of Bakunin and Kropotkin, calling for replacement of state with a federation of autonomous communes organized from below”
“totality of independent units” “ a society of societies”
1911-called Marxism “the plague of our time and the curse of the socialist movement” his journals were of high intellectual quality, if of limited agitational value. Its increasing theoretical and philosophical orierntation prevented it from winning large workin class orientation. More professional/intellectual appeal, this provoked dissension among working class members of its staff who felt it not strong anarchist propoganda. 1899-paper ceased publication.
His focus shifted from Rev. anarchism of Bakunin and Kropotkin more to Tolstoy and especially Proudhon. Drew from Proudhons mutualism. Moved more to peaceful social revolution and to importance of libertarian education. Like Ferrer and Modern Schools.
Remanined devoted to Kropotkin, thouh less for militant and rev. aspects but to his ethical approach. Mutual aid and stress on decentralized cooperative approach.
General strike for him was not the cessation of work but the continuation of work for ones own benefit and under ones own self management. Viewed state as negation of love and humanity called on people to create a society “outside” and “alongside” the existing one. “step outside capitalism” and “begin to be human beings.” An alternative society in form of libertarian enclaves within the established order that would serve as inspiration and a mdel for others to follow. Revolution not as violent upheavel but as peaceful and gradual creation of a counterculture. Criticized “voluntary servitude” of masses. if no one obeys, power will vanish. 1908 formed socialist bund. what the fuck is a bund?
Though he never repudiated mass revolution he never rejected spontaneous popular insurrection he opposed individual terorism tho retained sympathy for terrorists and understood despair that drove them. Social problem can’t be solved by seizure or violence. The true social revolution is one of spiritual rejuvenation.
Spiritual revolution of the individual.”the state is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behaviour; we destroy it by contacting other relationships, by behaving differently.”
Was scorned in Germany for opposing war and admission to German aggression “war is an act of power of murder, of robbery.” Criticized Bolsheviks, concerned more with process than achieving end, knew it would not be an overnigh ordeal. 1919-he was killed by communists shot to death, martyred.
Apart from argentina, Brazil has largest population of anarchists in Latin America. before WWI Anarchism was dominant radical ideology among prewar workers and Intellectuals. Like in Portugal and Spain anarchism in Brazil often assumed an ascetic, quasi-religious form,l marked by ucompromising dedication to principle, intense anticlericalism, vegetarianism and renunciation of alcohol and tobacco. many periodicals, helping form labour organizations exotically attractive self educated laborers.
PROMINENTS-Oreste Ristori, Gigi Damiani,k Everardo Dias, Florentino de Carvalho, Nino Vasco, Paulo Berthelot
JOSÉ OITICICA-Poet linguist, philosopher, educated in medicine and law, came to anarchism independently, suprised they were not just bomb throwers but just like him. “i do not seek the democratization of the aristocrats. What I seek is the aristocratization of democrats. What I desire is to give them intelligence, culture, love of eternal beauty, of imperishable art.” some found him condescending.
J.W. FLEMING -AN AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST
most tenacious and enduring agitator of Australian anarchism B 1863 in England. ealry on skeptic of religion, raised voice for anticlericalism and free thought long after anarchism had replaced atheism as his primary ideological commitment.
1884-20 yrs old, arrived a bootmaker in melbourne. nearly all anarchists were atheists or agnostics. Rallied in movement for unemployed. Supported coops, advocated free speech, free thought, militant unionism and the single tax.
Had some prominent friends, who visited at his humble suburban home where he was a bachelor for 50 yrs. Was “guardian and mouthpiece of the unemployed.” Would hold platforms and speak publicly spoke on atheism, unemployment, to womens rights and the single tax. Not a shouter, but soft gently voice, in measured and impassioned tones.
Wanted direct action, including armed insurrection if necessary, refused to compromise with capitalist system, convinced that workers salvation could only come thru destruction of system root and branch. Political action would only divert them from sole path to emancipation. Social Revolution.
“workers will never get their rights when the look to the parliament. A general strike would be more effective than all the Parliaments in the world.” Saw war as capitalist struggle for power and profit. with workers serving as cannon fodder. “the Rich mans War and the Poor mans fight”
Plato wrote that Senate was corrupt, the Politicians bribed: the people were fools, the few thought the many never.
UNIDENTIFIED ANARCHIST OF MY PANTS
Daniel Shams’ Heliotricity Reviews
“Johann Most was the greatest whiedlick Europe had to offer at that time and coincided with undeniably influential “conquistadores de pan” in ivy league schools across the globe and especially in Mozambique as well…”