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Title: Violence and the Labor Movement
Author: Hunter, Robert
Language: English
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[Illustration: Logo]











New York






Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1914.









This volume is the result of some studies that I felt impelled to make
when, about three years ago, certain sections of the labor movement in
the United States were discussing vehemently political action _versus_
direct action. A number of causes combined to produce a serious and
critical controversy. The Industrial Workers of the World were carrying
on a lively agitation that later culminated in a series of spectacular
strikes. With ideas and methods that were not only in opposition to
those of the trade unions, but also to those of the socialist party, the
new organization sought to displace the older organizations by what it
called the "one Big Union." There were many in the older organizations
who firmly believed in industrial unionism, and the dissensions which
arose were not so much over that question as over the antagonistic
character of the new movement and its advocacy here of the violent
methods employed by the revolutionary section of the French unions. The
most forceful and active spokesman of these methods was Mr. William D.
Haywood, and, largely as a result of his agitation, _la grève générale_
and _le sabotage_ became the subjects of the hour in labor and socialist
circles. In 1911 Mr. Haywood and Mr. Frank Bohn published a booklet,
entitled _Industrial Socialism_, in which they urged that the worker
should "use any weapon which will win his fight."[A] They declared that,
as "the present laws of property are made by and for the capitalists,
the workers should not hesitate to break them."[B]

The advocacy of such doctrines alarmed the older socialists, who were
familiar with the many disasters that had overtaken the labor movement
in its earlier days, and nearly all of them assailed the direct
actionists. Mr. Eugene V. Debs, Mr. Victor L. Berger, Mr. John Spargo,
Mr. Morris Hillquit, and many others, less well known, combated "the new
methods" in vigorous language. Mr. Hillquit dealt with the question in a
manner that immediately awakened the attention of every active
socialist. Condemning without reserve every resort to lawbreaking and
violence, and insisting that both were "ethically unjustifiable and
tactically suicidal," Mr. Hillquit pointed out that whenever any group
or section of the labor movement "has embarked upon a policy of
'breaking the law' or using 'any weapons which will win the fight,'
whether such policy was styled 'terrorism,' 'propaganda of the deed,'
'direct action,' 'sabotage,' or 'anarchism,' it has invariably served to
demoralize and destroy the movement, by attracting to it professional
criminals, infesting it with spies, leading the workers to needless and
senseless slaughter, and ultimately engendering a spirit of disgust and
reaction. It was this advocacy of 'lawbreaking' which Marx and Engels
fought so severely in the International and which finally led to the
disruption of the first great international parliament of labor, and the
socialist party of every country in the civilized world has since
uniformly and emphatically rejected that policy."[C]

There could be no better introduction to the present volume than these
words of Mr. Hillquit, and it will, I think, be clear to the reader that
the history of the labor movement during the last half-century fully
sustains Mr. Hillquit's position. The problem of methods has always been
a vital matter to the labor movement, and, for a hundred years at least,
the quarrels now dividing syndicalists and socialists have disturbed
that movement. In the Chartist days the "physical forcists" opposed the
"moral forcists," and later dissensions over the same question occurred
between the Bakouninists and the Marxists. Since then anarchists and
social democrats, direct actionists and political actionists,
syndicalists and socialists have continued the battle. I have attempted
here to present the arguments made by both sides of this controversy,
and, while no doubt my bias is perfectly clear, I hope I have presented
fairly the position of each of the contending elements. Fortunately, the
direct actionists have exercised a determining influence only in a few
places, and everywhere, in the end, the victory of those who were
contending for the employment of peaceable means has been complete.
Already in this country, as a result of the recent controversy, it is
written in the constitution of the socialist party that "any member of
the party who opposes political action or advocates crime, sabotage, or
other methods of violence as a weapon of the working class to aid in its
emancipation shall be expelled from membership in the party."[D] Adopted
by the national convention of the party in 1911, this clause was
ratified at a general referendum of all the membership of the party. It
is clear, therefore, that the immense majority of socialists are
determined to employ peaceable and legal methods of action.

It is, of course, perfectly obvious that the methods to be employed in
the struggles between classes, as between nations, cannot be
predetermined. And, while the socialists everywhere have condemned the
use of violent measures and are now exercising every power at their
command to keep the struggle between labor and capital on legal ground,
events alone will determine whether the great social problems of our day
can be settled peaceably. The entire matter is largely in the hands of
the ruling classes. And, while the socialists in all countries are
determined not to allow themselves to be provoked into acts of despair
by temporary and fleeting methods of repression, conditions may of
course arise where no organization, however powerful, could prevent the
masses from breaking into an open and bloody conflict. On one memorable
occasion (March 31, 1886), August Bebel uttered some impressive words on
this subject in the German Reichstag. "Herr von Puttkamer," said Bebel,
"calls to mind the speech which I delivered in 1881 in the debate on the
Socialist Law a few days after the murder of the Czar. I did not then
glorify regicide. I declared that a system like that prevailing in
Russia necessarily gave birth to Nihilism and must necessarily lead to
deeds of violence. Yes, I do not hesitate to say that if you should
inaugurate such a system in Germany it would of necessity lead to deeds
of violence with us as well. (A deputy called out: 'The German
Monarchy?') The German Monarchy would then certainly be affected, and I
do not hesitate to say that I should be one of the first to lend a hand
in the work, for all measures are allowable against such a system."[E] I
take it that Bebel was, in this instance, simply pointing out to the
German bureaucracy the inevitable consequences of the Russian system. At
that very moment he was restraining hundreds of thousands of his
followers from acts of despair, yet he could not resist warning the
German rulers that the time might come in that country when no
considerations whatever could persuade men to forego the use of the most
violent retaliative measures. This view is, of course, well established
in our national history, and our Declaration of Independence, as well as
many of our State constitutions, asserts that it is both the right and
the duty of the people to overthrow by any means in their power an
oppressive and tyrannical government. This was, of course, always the
teaching of what Marx liked to call "the bourgeois democrats." It was,
in fact, their only conception of revolution.

The socialist idea of revolution is quite a different one. Insurrection
plays no necessary part in it, and no one sees more clearly than the
socialist that nothing could prove more disastrous to the democratic
cause than to have the present class conflict break into a civil war. If
such a war becomes necessary, it will be in spite of the organized
socialists, who, in every country of the world, not only seek to avoid,
but actually condemn, riotous, tempestuous, and violent measures. Such
measures do not fit into their philosophy, which sees, as the cause of
our present intolerable social wrongs, not the malevolence of
individuals or of classes, but the workings of certain economic laws.
One can cut off the head of an individual, but it is not possible to cut
off the head of an economic law. From the beginning of the modern
socialist movement, this has been perfectly clear to the socialist,
whose philosophy has taught him that appeals to violence tend, as Engels
has pointed out, to obscure the understanding of the real development of

The dissensions over the use of force, that have been so continuous and
passionate in the labor movement, arise from two diametrically opposed
points of view. One is at bottom anarchistic, and looks upon all social
evils as the result of individual wrong-doing. The other is at bottom
socialistic, and looks upon all social evils as in the main the result
of economic and social laws. To those who believe there are good trusts
and bad trusts, good capitalists and bad capitalists, and that this is
an adequate analysis of our economic ills, there is, of course, after
all, nothing left but hatred of individuals and, in the extreme case,
the desire to remove those individuals. To those, on the other hand, who
see in certain underlying economic forces the source of nearly all of
our distressing social evils, individual hatred and malice can make in
reality no appeal. This volume, on its historical side, as well as in
its survey of the psychology of the various elements in the labor
movement, is a contribution to the study of the reactions that affect
various minds and temperaments in the face of modern social wrongs. If
one's point of view is that of the anarchist, he is led inevitably to
make his war upon individuals. The more sensitive and sincere he is, the
more bitter and implacable becomes that war. If one's point of view is
based on what is now called the economic interpretation of history, one
is emancipated, in so far as that is possible for emotional beings, from
all hatred of individuals, and one sees before him only the necessity of
readjusting the economic basis of our common life in order to achieve a
more nearly perfect social order.

In contrasting the temperaments, the points of view, the philosophy, and
the methods of these two antagonistic minds, I have been forced to take
two extremes, the Bakouninist anarchist and the Marxian socialist. In
the case of the former, it has been necessary to present the views of a
particular school of anarchism, more or less regardless of certain
other schools. Proudhon, Stirner, Warren, and Tucker do not advocate
violent measures, and Tolstoi, Ibsen, Spencer, Thoreau, and
Emerson--although having the anarchist point of view--can hardly be
conceived of as advocating violent measures. It will be obvious to the
reader that I have not dealt with the philosophical anarchism, or
whatever one may call it, of these last. I have confined myself to the
anarchism of those who have endeavored to carry out their principles in
the democratic movement of their time and to the deeds of those who
threw themselves into the active life about them and endeavored to
impress both their ideas and methods upon the awakening world of labor.
It is the anarchism of these men that the world knows. By deeds and not
by words have they written their definition of anarchism, and I am
taking and using the term in this volume in the sense in which it is
used most commonly by people in general. If this offends the anarchists
of the non-resistant or passive-resistant type, it cannot be helped. It
is the meaning that the most active of the anarchists have themselves
given it.

I have sought to take my statements from first-hand sources only,
although in a few cases I have had to depend on secondary sources. I am
deeply indebted to Mr. Herman Schlueter, editor of the _New Yorker
Volkszeitung_, for lending me certain rare books and pamphlets, and also
for reading carefully and critically the entire manuscript. With his
help I have managed to get every document that has seemed to me
essential. At the end of the volume will be found a complete list of the
authorities which I have consulted. I have to regret that I could not
read, before sending this manuscript to the publisher, the four volumes
just published of the correspondence between Marx and Engels (_Der
Briefwechsel zwischen Friedrich Engels und Karl Marx 1844 bis 1833,
herausgegeben von A. Bebel und Ed. Bernstein_, J. H. W. Dietz,
Stuttgart, 1913). I must also express here my gratitude to Mr. Morris
Hillquit and to Miss Helen Phelps Stokes for making many valuable
suggestions, as well as my indebtedness to Miss Helen Bernice Sweeney
and Mr. Sidney S. Bobbé for their most capable secretarial assistance.
Special appreciation is due my wife for her helpfulness and painstaking
care at many difficult stages of the work.

Highland Farm,
Noroton Heights,
November 1, 1913.


[A] P. 57.

[B] P. 57.

[C] The New York _Call_, November 20, 1911.

[D] Article II, Section 6.

[E] Quoted by Dawson, "German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle," p. 272.


PREFACE                                         vii



   I. THE FATHER OF TERRORISM                     3
  II. A SERIES OF INSURRECTIONS                  28
 III. THE PROPAGANDA OF THE DEED                 49
  IV. JOHANN MOST IN AMERICA                     62
   V. A SERIES OF TRAGEDIES                      77
  VI. SEEKING THE CAUSES                         90



  IX.   THE FIGHT FOR EXISTENCE                 194
   X.    THE NEWEST ANARCHISM                   229
  XI.   THE OLDEST ANARCHISM                    276
 XII.  VISIONS OF VICTORY                       327
AUTHORITIES                                     357
INDEX                                           375



[Illustration: MICHAEL BAKOUNIN]

Violence and the Labor Movement



"Dante tells us," writes Macaulay, "that he saw, in Malebolge, a strange
encounter between a human form and a serpent. The enemies, after cruel
wounds inflicted, stood for a time glaring on each other. A great cloud
surrounded them, and then a wonderful metamorphosis began. Each creature
was transfigured into the likeness of its antagonist. The serpent's tail
divided into two legs; the man's legs intertwined themselves into a
tail. The body of the serpent put forth arms; the arms of the man shrank
into his body. At length the serpent stood up a man, and spake; the man
sank down a serpent, and glided hissing away."[1] Something, I suppose,
not unlike this appalling picture of Dante's occurs in the world
whenever a man's soul becomes saturated with hatred. It will be
remembered, for instance, that even Shelley's all-forgiving and sublime
Prometheus was forced by the torture of the furies to cry out in

     "Whilst I behold such execrable shapes,
     Methinks I grow like what I contemplate."

It would not be strange, then, if here and there a man's entire nature
were transfigured when he sees a monster appear, cruel, pitiless, and
unyielding, crushing to the earth the weak, the weary, and the
heavy-laden. Nor is it strange that in Russia--the blackest Malebolge in
the modern world--a litter of avengers is born every generation of the
savage brutality, the murderous oppression, the satanic infamy of the
Russian government. And who does not love those innumerable Russian
youths and maidens, driven to acts of defiance--hopeless, futile, yet
necessary--if for no other reason than to fulfill their duty to humanity
and thus perhaps quiet a quivering conscience? There is something truly
Promethean in the struggle of the Russian youth against their
overpowering antagonist. They know that the price of one single act of
protest is their lives. Yet, to the eternal credit of humanity,
thousands of them have thrown themselves naked on the spears of their
enemy, to become an example of sacrificial revolt. And can any of us
wonder that when even this tragic seeding of the martyrs proved
unfruitful, many of the Russian youth, brooding over the irremediable
wrongs of their people, were driven to insanity and suicide? And, if all
that was possible, would it be surprising if it also happened that at
least one flaming rebel should have developed a philosophy of warfare no
less terrible than that of the Russian bureaucracy itself? I do not
know, nor would I allow myself to suggest, that Michael Bakounin, who
brought into Western Europe and planted there the seeds of terrorism,
came to be like what he contemplated, or that his philosophy and tactics
of action were altogether a reflection of those he opposed. Yet, if that
were the case, one could better understand that bitter and bewildering

That there is some justification for speculation on these grounds is
indicated by the heroes of Bakounin. He always meant to write the story
of Prometheus, and he never spoke of Satan without an admiration that
approached adoration. They were the two unconquerable enemies of
absolutism. He was "the eternal rebel," Bakounin once said of Satan,
"the first free-thinker and emancipator of the worlds."[2] In another
place he speaks of Proudhon as having the instinct of a revolutionist,
because "he adored Satan and proclaimed anarchy."[3] In still another
place he refers to the proletariat of Paris as "the modern Satan, the
great rebel, vanquished, but not pacified."[4] In the statutes of his
secret organization, of which I shall speak again later, he insists that
"principles, programs, and rules are not nearly as important as that the
persons who put them into execution shall have the devil in them."[5]
Although an avowed and militant atheist, Bakounin could not subdue his
worship of the king of devils, and, had anyone during his life said that
Bakounin was not only a modern Satan incarnate, but the eight other
devils as well, nothing could have delighted him more. And no doubt he
was inspired to this demon worship by his implacable hatred of
absolutism--whether it be in religion, which he considered as tyranny
over the mind, or in government, which he considered as tyranny over the
body. To Bakounin the two eternal enemies of man were the Government and
the Church, and no weapon was unworthy of use which promised in any
measure to assist in their entire and complete obliteration.

Absolutism was to Bakounin a universal destroyer of the best and the
noblest qualities in man. And, as it stands as an effective barrier to
the only social order that can lift man above the beast--that of perfect
liberty--so must the sincere warrior against absolutism become the
universal destroyer of any and everything associated with tyranny. How
far such a crusade leads one may be gathered from Bakounin's own words:
"The end of revolution can be no other," he declares, "than the
destruction of all powers--religious, monarchical, aristocratic, and
bourgeois--in Europe. Consequently, the destruction of all now existing
States, with all their institutions--political, juridical, bureaucratic,
and financial."[6] In another place he says: "It will be essential to
destroy everything, and especially and before all else, all property and
its inevitable corollary, the State."[7] "We want to destroy all
States," he repeats in still another place, "and all Churches, with all
their institutions and their laws of religion, politics, jurisprudence,
finance, police, universities, economics, and society, in order that all
these millions of poor, deceived, enslaved, tormented, exploited human
beings, delivered from all their official and officious directors and
benefactors, associations, and individuals, can at last breathe with
complete freedom."[8] All through life Bakounin clung tenaciously to
this immense idea of destruction, "terrible, total, inexorable, and
universal," for only after such a period of destructive terror--in which
every vestige of "the institutions of tyranny" shall be swept from the
earth--can "anarchy, that is to say, the complete manifestation of
unchained popular life,"[9] develop liberty, equality, and justice.
These were the means, and this was the end that Bakounin had in mind all
the days of his life from the time he convinced himself as a young man
that "the desire for destruction is at the same time a creative

Even so brief a glimpse into Bakounin's mind is likely to startle the
reader. But there is no fiction here; he is what Carlyle would have
called "a terrible God's Fact." He was a very real product of Russia's
infamy, and we need not be surprised if one with Bakounin's great
talents, worshiping Satan and preaching ideas of destruction that
comprehended Cosmos itself, should have performed in the world a unique
and never-to-be-forgotten rôle. It was inevitable that he should have
stood out among the men of his time as a strange, bewildering figure. To
his very matter-of-fact and much annoyed antagonist, Karl Marx, he was
little more than a buffoon, the "amorphous pan-destroyer, who has
succeeded in uniting in one person Rodolphe, Monte Cristo, Karl Moor,
and Robert Macaire."[11] On the other hand, to his circle of worshipers
he was a mental giant, a flaming titan, a Russian Siegfried, holding out
to all the powers of heaven and earth a perpetual challenge to combat.
And, in truth, Bakounin's ideas and imagination covered a field that is
not exhausted by the range of mythology. He juggled with universal
abstractions as an alchemist with the elements of the earth or an
astrologist with the celestial spheres. His workshop was the universe,
his peculiar task the refashioning of Cosmos, and he began by declaring
war upon the Almighty himself and every institution among men fashioned
after what he considered to be the absolutism of the Infinite.

It is, then, with no ordinary human being that we must deal in treating
of him who is known as the father of terrorism. Yet, as he lived in this
world and fought with his faithful circle to lay down the principles of
universal revolution, we find him very human indeed. Of contradictions,
for instance, there seems to be no end. Although an atheist, he had an
idol, Satan. Although an eternal enemy of absolutism, he pleaded with
Alexander to become the Czar of the people. And, although he fought
passionately and superbly to destroy what he called the "authoritarian
hierarchy" in the organization of the International, he planned for his
own purpose the most complete hierarchy that can well be imagined. His
only tactic, that of _lex talionis_, also worked out a perfect
reciprocity even in those common affairs to which this prodigy stooped
in order to conquer, for he seemed to create infallibly every
institution he combated and to use every weapon that he execrated when
employed by others. The most fertile of law-givers himself, he could not
tolerate another. Pope of Popes in his little inner circle, he could
brook no rival. Machiavelli's Prince was no richer in intrigue than
Bakounin; yet he always fancied himself, with the greatest
self-compassion, as the naïve victim of the endless and malicious
intrigues of others. However affectionate, generous, and open he seemed
to be with those who followed him worshipfully, even they were not
trusted with his secrets, and, if he was always cunning and crafty
toward his enemies, he never had a friend that he did not use to his
profit. Volatile in his fitful changes toward men and movements,
rudderless as he often seemed to be in the incoherence of his ideas and
of his policies, there nevertheless burned in his soul throughout life a
great flaming, and perhaps redeeming, hatred of tyranny. At times he
would lead his little bands into open warfare upon it, dreaming always
that the world once in motion would follow him to the end in his great
work of destruction. At other times he would go to it bearing gifts, in
the hope, as we must charitably think, of destroying it by stealth.

In general outline, this is the father of terrorism as I see him. How he
developed his views is not entirely clear, as very little is known of
his early life, and there are several broken threads at different
periods both early and late in his career. The little known of his youth
may be quickly told. He was born in Russia in 1814, of a family of good
position, belonging to the old nobility. He was well educated and began
his career in the army. Shortly after the Polish insurrection had been
crushed, militarism and despotism became abhorrent to him, and the
spectacle of that terrorized country made an everlasting impression upon
him. In 1834 he renounced his military career and returned to Moscow,
where he gave himself up entirely to the study of philosophy, and, as
was natural at the period, he saturated himself with Hegel. From Moscow
he went to St. Petersburg and later to Berlin, constantly pursuing his
studies, and in 1842 he published under the title, "_La réaction en
Allemagne, fragment, par un Français_," an article ending with the now
famous line: "The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative
desire."[12] This article appeared in the _Deutsche Jahrbücher_, in
which publication he soon became a collaborator. The authorities,
however, were hostile to the paper, and he went into Switzerland in
1843, only to be driven later to Paris. There he made the acquaintance
of Proudhon, "the father of anarchism," and spent days and nights with
him discussing the problems of government, of society, and of religion.
He also met Marx, "the father of socialism," and, although they were
never sympathetic, yet they came frequently in friendly and unfriendly
contact with each other. George Sand, George Herwegh, Arnold Ruge,
Frederick Engels, William Weitling, Alexander Herzen, Richard Wagner,
Adolf Reichel, and many other brilliant revolutionary spirits of the
time, Bakounin knew intimately, and for him, as for many others, the
period of the forties was one of great intellectual development.

In the insurrectionary period that began in 1848 he became active, but
he appears to have done little noteworthy before January, 1849, when he
went secretly to Leipsic in the hope of aiding a group of young Czechs
to launch an uprising in Bohemia. Shortly afterward an insurrection
broke out in Dresden, and he rushed there to become one of the most
active leaders of the revolt. It is said that he was "the veritable soul
of the revolution," and that he advised the insurrectionists, in order
to prevent the Prussians from firing upon the barricades, to place in
front of them the masterpieces from the art museum.[13] When that
insurrection was suppressed, he, Richard Wagner, and some others hurried
to Chemnitz, where Bakounin was captured and condemned to death.
Austria, however, demanded his extradition, and there, for the second
time, he was condemned to be hanged. Eventually he was handed over to
Russia, where he again escaped paying the death penalty by the pardon of
the Czar, and, after six years in prison, he was banished to Siberia.
Great efforts were made to secure a pardon for him, but without success.
However, through his influential relatives, he was allowed such freedom
of movement that in the end he succeeded in escaping, and, returning to
Europe through Japan and America, he arrived in England in 1861.

The next year is notable for the appearance of two of his brochures,
"_Aux amis russes, polonais, et à tous les amis slaves_," and "_La Cause
du Peuple, Romanoff, Pougatchoff, ou Pestel?_" One would have thought
that twelve years in prison and in Siberia would have made him more
bitter than ever against the State and the Czar; but, curiously, these
writings mark a striking departure from his previous views. For almost
the only time in his life he expressed a desire to see Russia develop
into a magnificent "State," and he urged the Russians to drive the
Tartars back to Asia, the Germans back to Germany, and to become a free
people, exclusively Russian. By coöperative effort between the military
powers of the Russian Government and the insurrectionary activities of
the Slavs subjected to foreign governments, the Russian peoples could
wage a war, he argued, that would create a great united empire. The
second of the above-mentioned volumes was addressed particularly to
Alexander II. In this Bakounin prophesies that Russia must soon undergo
a revolution. It may come through terrible and bloody uprisings on the
part of the masses, led by some fierce and sanguinary popular idol, or
it will come through the Czar himself, if he should be wise enough to
assume in person the leadership of the peasants. He declared that
"Alexander II. could so easily become the popular idol, the first Czar
of the peasants.... By leaning upon the people he could become the
savior and master of the entire Slavic world."[14] He then pictures in
glowing terms a united Russia, in which the Czar and the people will
work harmoniously together to build up a great democratic State. But he
threatens that, if the Czar does not become the "savior of the Slavic
world," an avenger will arise to lead an outraged and avenging people.
He again declares, "We prefer to follow Romanoff (the family name of the
Czar), if Romanoff could and would transform himself from the
_Petersbourgeois_ emperor into the Czar of the peasants."[15] Despite
much flattery and ill-merited praise, the Czar refused to be converted,
and Bakounin rushed off the next year to Stockholm, in the hope of
organizing a band of Russians to enter Poland to assist in the
insurrection which had broken out there.

The next few years were spent mostly in Italy, and it was here that he
conceived his plan of a secret international organization of
revolutionists. Little is known of how extensive this secret
organization actually became, but Bakounin said in 1864 that it included
a number of Italian, French, Scandinavian, and Slavic revolutionists. As
a scheme this secret organization is remarkable. It included three
orders: I. The International Brothers; II. The National Brothers; III.
The semi-secret, semi-public organization of the International Alliance
of Social Democracy. Without Bakounin's intending it, doubtless, the
International Brothers resembled the circle of gods in mythology; the
National Brothers, the circle of heroes; while the third order resembled
the mortals who were to bear the burden of the fighting. The
International Brothers were not to exceed one hundred, and they were to
be the guiding spirits of the great revolutionary storms that Bakounin
thought were then imminent in Europe. They must possess above all things
"revolutionary passion," and they were to be the supreme secret
executive power of the two subordinate organizations. In their hands
alone should be the making of the programs, the rules, and the
principles of the revolution. The National Brothers were to be under the
direction of the International Brothers, and were to be selected because
of their revolutionary zeal and their ability to control the masses.
They were "to have the devil in them." The semi-secret, semi-public
organization was to include the multitude, and sections were to be
formed in every country for the purpose of organizing the masses.
However, the masses were not to know of the secret organization of the
National Brothers, and the National Brothers were not to know of the
secret organization of the International Brothers. In order to enable
them to work separately but harmoniously, Bakounin, who had chosen
himself as the supreme law-giver, wrote for each of the three orders a
program of principles, a code of rules, and a plan of methods all its
own. The ultimate ends of this movement were not to be communicated to
either the National Brothers or to the Alliance, and the masses were to
know only that which was good for them to know, and which would not be
likely to frighten them. These are very briefly the outlines of the
extraordinary hierarchy that was to form throughout all Europe and
America an invisible network of "the real revolutionists."

This organization was "to accelerate the universal revolution," and what
was understood by the revolution was "the unchaining of what is to-day
called the bad passions and the destruction of what in the same language
is called 'public order.' We do not fear, we invoke anarchy, convinced
that from this anarchy, that is to say, from the complete manifestation
of unchained popular life, must come forth liberty, equality, justice
..."[16] It was clearly foreseen by Bakounin that there would be
opponents to anarchy among the revolutionists themselves, and he
declared: "We are the natural enemies of these revolutionists ... who
... dream already of the creation of new revolutionary States."[17] It
was admitted that the Brothers could not of themselves create the
revolution. All that a secret and well-organized society can do is "to
organize, not the army of the revolution--the army must always be the
people--but a sort of revolutionary staff composed of individuals who
are devoted, energetic, intelligent, and especially sincere friends of
the people, not ambitious nor self-conceited--capable of serving as
intermediaries between the revolutionary idea and the popular instincts.
The number of these individuals does not have to be immense. For the
international organization of all Europe, one hundred revolutionists,
strongly and seriously bound together, are sufficient. Two or three
hundred revolutionists will be sufficient for the organization of the
largest country."[18]

The idea of a secret organization of revolutionary leaders proved to be
wholly repugnant to many of even the most devoted friends of Bakounin,
and by 1868 the organization is supposed to have been dissolved,
because, it was said, secrets had leaked out and the whole affair had
been subjected to much ridicule.[19] The idea of the third order,
however, that of the International Alliance, was not abandoned, and it
appears that Bakounin and a number of the faithful Brothers felt hopeful
in 1867 of capturing a great "bourgeois" congress, called the "League of
Peace and of Liberty," that had met that year in Geneva. Bakounin,
Élisée Reclus, Aristide Rey, Victor Jaclard, and several others in the
conspiracy undertook to persuade the league to pass some revolutionary
resolutions. Bakounin was already a member of the central committee of
the league, and, in preparation for the battle, he wrote the manuscript
afterward published under the title, "_Fédéralisme, Socialisme, et
Antithéologisme_." But the congress of 1868 dashed their hopes to the
ground, and the revolutionists separated from the league and founded the
same day, September 25th, a new association, called _L'Alliance
Internationale de la Démocratie Socialiste_. The program now adopted by
the Alliance, although written by Bakounin, expressed quite different
views from those of the International Brothers. But it, too, began its
revolutionary creed by declaring itself atheist. Its chief and most
important work was "to abolish religion and to substitute science for
faith; and human justice for divine justice." Second, it declared for
"the political, economic, and social equality of the classes" (which, it
was assumed, were to continue to exist), and it intended to attain this
end by the destruction of government and by the abolition of the right
of inheritance. Third, it assailed all forms of political action and
proposed that, in place of the community, groups of producers should
assume control of all industrial processes. Fourth, it opposed all
centralized organization, believing that both groups and individuals
should demand for themselves complete liberty to do in all cases
whatever they desired.[20] The same revolutionists who a short time
before had planned a complete hierarchy now appeared irreconcilably
opposed to any form of authority. They now argued that they must abolish
not only God and every political State, but also the right of the
majority to rule. Then and then only would the people finally attain
perfect liberty.

These were the chief ideas that Bakounin wished to introduce into the
International Working Men's Association. That organization, founded in
1864 in London, had already become a great power in Europe, and Bakounin
entered it in 1869, not only for the purpose of forwarding the ideas
just mentioned, but also in the hope of obtaining the leadership of it.
Failing in 1862 to convert the Czar, in 1864-1867 to organize into a
hierarchy the revolutionary spirits of Europe, in 1868 to capture the
bourgeoisie, he turned in 1869 to seek the aid of the working class. On
each of these occasions his views underwent the most magical of
transformations. With more bitterness than ever he now declared war upon
the political and economic powers of Europe, but he was unable to
prosecute this war until he had destroyed every committee or group in
the International which possessed, or sought to possess, any power. He
assailed Marx, Engels, and all those who he thought wished to dominate
the International. The beam in his own eye he saw in theirs, and he now
expressed an unspeakable loathing for all hierarchical tendencies and
authoritarian methods. The story of the great battle between him and
Marx must be left for a later chapter, and we must content ourselves for
the present with following the history of Bakounin as he gradually
developed in theory and in practice the principles and tactics of

While struggling to obtain the leadership of the working classes of
Western Europe, Bakounin was also busy with Russian affairs. "I am
excessively absorbed in what is going on in Russia," he writes to a
friend, April 13, 1869. "Our youth, the most revolutionary in the world
perhaps, in theory and in practice, are so stirred up that the
Government has been forced to close the universities, academies, and
several schools at St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kazan. I have here now a
specimen of these young fanatics, who hesitate at nothing and who fear
nothing.... They are admirable, ... believers without God and heroes
without phrase!"[21] He who called forth this eulogy was the young
Russian revolutionist, Sergei Nechayeff. Whether admirable or not we
shall leave the reader to judge. But, if Bakounin bewilders one,
Nechayeff staggers one. And, if Bakounin was the father of terrorism,
Nechayeff was its living embodiment. He was not complex, mystical, or
sentimental. He was truly a revolutionist without phrase, and he can be
described in the simplest words. He was a liar, a thief, and a
murderer--the incarnation of Hatred, Malice, and Revenge, who stopped at
no crime against friend or foe that promised to advance what he was
pleased to call the revolution. Bakounin had for a long time sought his
coöperation, and now in Switzerland they began that collaboration which
resulted in the most extraordinary series of sanguinary revolutionary
writings known to history.

In the summer of 1869 there was printed at Geneva "Words Addressed to
Students," signed by them both; the "Formula of the Revolutionary
Question"; "The Principles of the Revolution"; and the "Publications of
the People's Tribunal"--the three last appearing anonymously. All of
them counsel the most infamous doctrines of criminal activity. In "Words
Addressed to Students," the Russian youth are exhorted to leave the
universities and go among the people. They are asked to follow the
example of Stenka Razin, a robber chieftain who, in the time of Alexis,
placed himself at the head of a popular insurrection.[F] "Robbery,"
declare Bakounin and Nechayeff, "is one of the most honorable forms of
Russian national life. The brigand is the hero, the defender, the
popular avenger, the irreconcilable enemy of the State, and of all
social and civil order established by the State. He is the wrestler in
life and in death against all this civilization of officials, of nobles,
of priests, and of the crown.... He who does not understand robbery can
understand nothing in the history of the Russian masses. He who is not
sympathetic with it, cannot sympathize with the popular life, and has no
heart for the ancient, unbounded sufferings of the people; he belongs in
the camp of the enemy, the partisans of the State.... It is through
brigandage only that the vitality, passion, and force of the people are
established undeniably.... The brigand in Russia is the veritable and
unique revolutionist--revolutionist without phrase, without rhetoric
borrowed from books, a revolutionist indefatigable, irreconcilable, and
irresistible in action.... The brigands scattered in the forests, the
cities, and villages of all Russia, and the brigands confined in the
innumerable prisons of the empire, form a unique and indivisible world,
strongly bound together, the world of the Russian revolution. In it, in
it alone, has existed for a long time the veritable revolutionary

Once again the principles of the revolution appear to be complete and
universal destruction. "There must 'not rest ... one stone upon a
stone.' It is necessary to destroy everything, in order to produce
'perfect amorphism,' for, if 'a single one of the old forms' were
preserved, it would become 'the embryo' from which would spring all the
other old social forms."[23] The same leaflet preaches systematic
assassination and declares that for practical revolutionists all
speculations about the future are "criminal, because they hinder _pure
destruction_ and trammel the march of the revolution. We have confidence
only in those who show by their acts their devotion to the revolution,
without fear of torture or of imprisonment, and we disclaim all words
unless action should follow immediately." ...[24] "Words have no value
for us unless followed at once by action. But all is not action that
goes under that name: for example, the modest and too-cautious
organization of secret societies without some external manifestations is
in our eyes merely ridiculous and intolerable child's play. By external
manifestations we mean a series of actions that positively destroy
something--a person, a cause, a condition that hinders the emancipation
of the people. Without sparing our lives, without pausing before any
threat, any obstacle, any danger, etc., we must break into the life of
the people with a series of daring, even insolent, attempts, and inspire
them with a belief in their own power, awake them, rally them, and drive
them on to the triumph of their own cause."[25]

The most remarkable of this series of writings is "The Revolutionary
Catechism." This existed for several years in cipher, and was guarded
most carefully by Nechayeff. Altogether it contained twenty-six
articles, classified into four sections. Here it is declared that if the
revolutionist continues to live in this world it is only in order to
annihilate it all the more surely. "The object remains always the same:
the quickest and surest way of destroying this filthy order." ... "For
him exists only one single pleasure, one single consolation, one reward,
one satisfaction: the success of the revolution. Night and day he must
have but one thought, but one aim--implacable destruction." ... "For
this end of implacable destruction a revolutionist can and often must
live in the midst of society, feigning to be altogether different from
what he really is. A revolutionist must penetrate everywhere: into high
society as well as into the middle class, into the shops, into the
church, into the palaces of the aristocracy, into the official,
military, and literary worlds, _into the third section_ (the secret
police), and even into the imperial palace."[26]

"All this unclean society must be divided into several categories, the
first composed of those who are condemned to death without delay." (Sec.
15.) ... "In the first place must be destroyed the men most inimical to
the revolutionary organization and whose violent and sudden death can
frighten the Government the most and break its power in depriving it of
energetic and intelligent agents." (Sec. 16.) "The second category must
be composed of people to whom we concede life provisionally, in order
that by a series of monstrous acts they may drive the people into
inevitable revolt." (Sec. 17.) "To the third category belong a great
number of animals in high position or of individuals who are remarkable
neither for their mind nor for their energy, but who, by their position,
have wealth, connections, influence, power. We must exploit them in
every possible manner, overreach them, deceive them, and, _getting hold
of their dirty secrets_, make them our slaves." (Sec. 18.) ... "The
fourth class is composed of sundry ambitious persons in the service of
the State and of liberals of various shades of opinion. With them we can
conspire after their own program, pretending to follow them blindly. We
must take them in our hands, _seize their secrets, compromise them
completely_, in such a way that retreat becomes impossible for them, so
as to make use of them in bringing about disturbances in the State."
(Sec. 19.) "The fifth category is composed of doctrinaires,
conspirators, revolutionists, and of those who babble at meetings and on
paper. We must urge these on and draw them incessantly into practical
and perilous manifestations, which will result in making the majority of
them disappear, while making some of them genuine revolutionists." (Sec.
20.) "The sixth category is very important. They are the women, who must
be divided into three classes: the first, frivolous women, without mind
or heart, which we must use in the same manner as the third and fourth
categories of men; the second, the ardent, devoted, and capable women,
but who are not ours because they have not reached a practical
revolutionary understanding, without phrase--we must make use of these
like the men of the fifth category; finally, the women who are entirely
with us, that is to say, completely initiated and having accepted our
program in its entirety. We ought to consider them as the most precious
of our treasures, without whose help we can do nothing." (Sec. 21.)[27]

The last section of the "Catechism" treats of the duty of the
association toward the people. "The Society has no other end than the
complete emancipation and happiness of the people, namely, of the
laborers. But, convinced that this emancipation and this happiness can
only be reached by means of an all-destroying popular revolution, _the
Society will use every means and every effort to increase and intensify
the evils and sorrows_, which must at last exhaust the patience of the
people and excite them to insurrection _en masse_. By a popular
revolution the Society does not mean a movement regulated according to
the classic patterns of the West, which, always restrained in the face
of property and of the traditional social order of so-called
civilization and morality, has hitherto been limited merely to
exchanging one form of political organization for another, and to the
creating of a so-called revolutionary State. The only revolution that
can do any good to the people is that which utterly annihilates every
idea of the State and overthrows all traditions, orders, and classes in
Russia. With this end in view, the Society has no intention of imposing
on the people any organization whatever coming from above. The future
organization will, without doubt, proceed from the movement and life of
the people; but that is the business of future generations. Our task is
terrible, total, inexorable, and universal destruction."[28] These are
in brief the tactics and principles of terrorism, as understood by
Bakounin and Nechayeff. As only the criminal world shared these views in
any degree, the "Catechism" ends: "We have got to unite ourselves with
the adventurer's world of the brigands, who are the veritable and unique
revolutionists of Russia."[29]

It is customary now to credit most of these writings to Nechayeff,
although Bakounin himself, I believe, never denied that they were his,
and no one can read them without noting the ear-marks of both Bakounin's
thought and style. In any case, Nechayeff was constantly with Bakounin
in the spring and summer of 1869, and the most important of these
brochures were published in Geneva in the summer of that year. And,
while it may be said for Bakounin that he nowhere else advocates all the
varied criminal methods advised in these publications, there is hardly
an argument for their use that is not based upon his well-known views.
Furthermore, Nechayeff was primarily a man of action, and in a letter,
which is printed hereafter, it appears that he urgently requested
Bakounin to develop some of his theories in a Russian journal.
Evidently, then, Nechayeff had little confidence in his own power of
expression. We must, however, leave the question of paternity undecided
and follow the latter to Russia, where he went late in the summer,
loaded down with his arsenal of revolutionary literature and burning to
put into practice the principles of the "Catechism."

Without following in detail his devious and criminal work, one brief
tale will explain how his revolutionary activities were brought quickly
to an end. There was in Moscow, so the story runs, a gentle, kindly, and
influential member of Nechayeff's society. Of ascetic disposition, this
Iwanof spent much of his time in freely educating the peasants and in
assisting the poorer students. He starved himself to establish cheap
eating houses, which became the centers of the revolutionary groups.
The police finally closed his establishments, because Nechayeff had
placarded them with revolutionary appeals. Iwanof, quite unhappy at this
ending of his usefulness, begged Nechayeff to permit him to retire from
the secret society. Nechayeff was, however, in fear that Iwanof might
betray the secrets of the society, and he went one night with two fellow
conspirators and shot Iwanof and threw the corpse into a pond. The
police, in following up the murder, sought out Nechayeff, who had
already fled from Russia and was hurrying back to Bakounin in

From January until July, 1870, he was constantly with Bakounin, but
quarrels began to arise between them in June, and Bakounin writes in a
letter to Ogaref: "Our _boy_ (Nechayeff) is very stubborn, and I, when
once I make a decision, am not accustomed to change it. Therefore, the
break with him, on my side at least seems inevitable."[30] In the middle
of July it was discovered that Nechayeff was once more carrying out the
ethics they had jointly evolved, and, in order to make Bakounin his
slave, had recourse to all sorts of "Jesuitical maneuvers, of lies and
of thefts." Suddenly he disappeared from Geneva, and Bakounin and other
Russians discovered that they had been robbed of all their papers and
confidential letters. Soon it was learned that Nechayeff had presented
himself to Talandier in London, and Bakounin hastened to write to his
friend an explanation of their relations. "It may appear strange to you
that we advise you to repulse a man to whom we gave letters of
recommendation, written in the most cordial terms. But these letters
date from the month of May, and there have happened since some events so
serious that they have forced us to break all connections with
Nechayeff." ... "It is perfectly true that Nechayeff is more persecuted
by the Russian Government than any other man.... It is also true that
Nechayeff is one of the most active and most energetic men that I have
ever met. When it is a question of serving what he calls _the_ cause, he
does not hesitate, he stops at nothing, and is as pitiless toward
himself as toward all others. That is the principal quality which
attracted me to him and which made me for a long time seek his
coöperation. There are those who pretend that he is nothing but a
sharper, but that is a lie. He is a devoted fanatic, but at the same
time a dangerous fanatic, with whom an alliance could only prove very
disastrous for everyone concerned. This is the reason: He first belonged
to a secret society which, in reality, existed in Russia. This society
exists no more; all its members have been arrested. Nechayeff alone
remains, and alone he constitutes to-day what he calls the 'Committee.'
The Russian organization in Russia having been destroyed, he is forced
to create a new one in a foreign country. All that was perfectly
natural, legitimate, very useful--but the means by which he undertakes
it are detestable.... He will spy on you and will try to get possession
of all your secrets, and to do that, in your absence, left alone in your
room, he will open all your drawers, will read all your correspondence,
and whenever a letter appears interesting to him, that is to say,
compromising you or one of your friends from one point of view or
another, he will steal it, and will guard it carefully as a document
against you or your friend.... If you have presented him to a friend,
his first care will be to sow between you seeds of discord, scandal,
intrigue--in a word, to set you two at variance. If your friend has a
wife or a daughter, he will try to seduce her, to lead her astray, and
to force her away from the conventional morality and throw her into a
revolutionary protest against society.... Do not cry out that this is
exaggeration. It has all been fully developed and proved. Seeing himself
unmasked, this poor Nechayeff is indeed so childlike, so simple, in
spite of his systematic perversity, that he believed it possible to
convert me. He has even gone so far as to beg me to consent to develop
this theory in a Russian journal which he proposed to me to establish.
He has betrayed the confidence of us all, he has stolen our letters, he
has horribly compromised us--in a word, he has acted like a villain. His
only excuse is his fanaticism. He is a terribly ambitious man without
knowing it, because he has at last completely identified the
revolutionary cause with his own person. But he is not an egoist in the
worst sense of that word, because he risks his own person terribly and
leads the life of a martyr, of privations, and of unheard-of work. He is
a fanatic, and fanaticism draws him on, even to the point of becoming an
accomplished Jesuit. At moments he becomes simply stupid. Most of his
lies are sewn with white thread.... In spite of this relative naïveté,
he is very dangerous, because he daily commits acts, abuses of
confidence, and treachery, against which it is all the more difficult to
safeguard oneself because one hardly suspects the possibility. With all
that, Nechayeff is a force, because he is an immense energy. It is with
great pain that I have separated from him, because the service of our
cause demands much energy, and one rarely finds it developed to such a

The irony of fate rarely executes itself quite so humorously. Although
perfectly familiar with Nechayeff's philosophy of action for over a
year, the viciousness of it appeared to Bakounin only when he himself
became a victim. When Nechayeff arrived in London he began the
publication of a Russian journal, the _Commune_, where he bitterly
attacked Bakounin and his views. Early in the seventies, he was arrested
and taken back to Russia, where he and over eighty others, mostly young
men and women students, were tried for belonging to secret societies.
For the first time in Russian history the court proceeding took place
before a jury and in public. Most of those arrested were condemned for
long periods to the mines of Siberia at forced labor, while Nechayeff
was kept in solitary imprisonment until his death, some years later.

Bakounin, on the other hand, remained in Switzerland and became the very
soul of that element in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland which fought the
policies of Marx in the International. At the same time he was training
a group of youngsters to carry out in Western Europe the principles of
revolution as laid down in his Russian publications. Over young
middle-class youths, especially, Bakounin's magnetic power was
extraordinary, and his followers were the faithful of the faithful. A
very striking picture of Bakounin's hypnotic influence over this circle
is to be found in the memoirs of Madame A. Bauler. She tells us of some
Sundays she spent with Bakounin and his friends.

"At the beginning," she says, "being unfamiliar with the Italian
language, I did not even understand the general drift of the
conversation, but, observing the faces of those present, I had the
impression that something extraordinarily grave and solemn was taking
place. The atmosphere of these conferences imbued me; it created in me a
state of mind which I shall call, for want of a better term, an '_état
de grâce_.' Faith increased; doubts vanished. The value of Bakounin
became clear to me. His personality enlarged. I saw that his strength
was in the power of taking possession of human souls. Beyond a doubt,
all these men who were listening to him were ready to undertake
anything, at the slightest word from him. I could picture to myself
another gathering, less intimate, that of a great crowd, and I realized
that there the influence of Bakounin would be the same. Only the
enthusiasm, here gentle and intimate, would become incomparably more
intense and the atmosphere more agitated by the mutual contagion of the
human beings in a crowd.

"At bottom, in what did the charm of Bakounin consist? I believe that it
is impossible to define it exactly. It was not by the force of
persuasion that he agitated. It was not his thought which awakened the
thought of others. But he aroused every rebellious heart and awoke there
an 'elemental' anger. And this anger, transplendent with beauty, became
creative and showed to the exalted thirst for justice and happiness an
issue and a possibility of accomplishment. 'The desire for destruction
is at the same time a creative desire,' Bakounin has repeated to the end
of his life."[32]


[F] This formidable peasant insurrection occurred in 1669-1671. When
Pougatchoff, a century later, in 1773-1775, urged the Cossacks and serfs
to insurrection against Catherine II, the Russian people saw in him a
new Stenka Razin; and they expected in Russia, in 1869 and the following
years, a third centennial apparition of the legendary brigand who, in
the minds of the oppressed people, personified revolt.



At the beginning of the seventies Bakounin and his friends found opening
before them a field of practical activity. On the whole, the sixties
were spent in theorizing, in organizing, and in planning, but with the
seventies the moment arrived "to unchain the hydra of revolution." On
the 4th of September, 1870, the Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris,
and a few days afterward there were many uprisings in the other cities
of France. It was, however, only in Lyons that the Bakouninists played
an important part. Bakounin had a fixed idea that, wherever there was an
uprising of the people, there he must go, and he wrote to Adolphe Vogt
on September 6: "My friends, the revolutionary socialists of Lyons, are
calling me there. I am resolved to take my old bones thither and to play
there what will probably be my last game. But, as usual, I have not a
sou. Can you, I do not say lend me, but give me 500 or 400, or 300 or
200, or even 100 francs, for my voyage?"[1] Guillaume does not state
where the money finally came from, but Bakounin evidently raised it
somehow, for he left Locarno on September 9. The night of the 11th he
spent in Neuchâtel, where he conferred with Guillaume regarding the
publication of a manuscript. On the 12th he arrived in Geneva, and two
days later set out for Lyons, accompanied by two revolutionary
enthusiasts, Ozerof and the young Pole, Valence Lankiewicz.

Since the 4th of September a Committee of Public Safety had been
installed at the Hôtel de Ville composed of republicans, radicals, and
some militants of the International. Gaspard Blanc and Albert Richard,
two intimate friends of Bakounin, were not members of this committee,
and in a public meeting, September 8, Richard made a motion, which was
carried, to name a standing commission of ten to act as the
"intermediaries between the people of Lyons and the Committee of Public
Safety." Three of these commissioners, Richard, Andrieux, and Jaclard,
were then appointed to go as delegates to Paris in order to come to some
understanding with the Government. Andrieux, in the days of the Empire,
had acquired fame as a revolutionist by proposing at a meeting to burn
the ledger of the public debt. It seems, however, that these close and
trusted friends of Bakounin began immediately upon their arrival in
Paris to solicit various public positions remunerative to themselves,[2]
and, although they succeeded in having General Cluseret sent to take
command of the voluntary corps then forming in the department of the
Rhone, that proved, as we shall see, most disastrous of all.

This is about all that had happened previous to Bakounin's arrival in
Lyons, and, when he came, there was confusion everywhere. Even the
members of the Alliance had no clear idea of what ought to be done.
Bakounin, however, was an old hand at insurrections, and in a little
lodging house where he and his friends were staying a new uprising was
planned. He lost no time in getting hold of all the men of action. Under
his energetic leadership "public meetings were multiplied and assumed a
character of unheard-of violence. The most sanguinary motions were
introduced and welcomed with enthusiasm. They openly provoked revolt in
order to overthrow the laws and the established order of things."[3] On
September 19 Bakounin wrote to Ogaref: "There is so much work to do that
it turns my head. The real revolution has not yet burst forth here, but
it will come. Everything possible is being done to prepare for it. I am
playing a great game. I hope to see the approaching triumph."[4]

A great public meeting was held on the 24th, presided over by Eugène
Saignes, a plasterer and painter, and a man of energy and influence
among the Lyons workmen, at which various questions relative to proposed
political changes were voted upon. But it was the following day, the
25th, that probably the most notable event of the insurrection took
place. "The next day, Sunday, was employed," Guillaume says, "in the
drawing up and printing of a great red placard, containing the program
of the revolution which the Central Committee of Safety of France
proposed to the people...."[5] The first article of the program
declares: "The administrative and governmental machinery of the State,
having become powerless, is abolished. The people of France once again
enter into full possession of themselves." The second article suspends
"all civil and criminal courts," and replaces them "by the justice of
the people." The third suspends "the payment of taxes and of mortgages."
The fourth declares that "the State, having decayed, can no longer
intervene in the payment of private debts." The fifth states that "all
existing municipal organizations are broken up and replaced in all the
federated communes by Committees of Safety of France, which will
exercise all powers under the immediate control of the people." The
revolution was at last launched, and the placard ends, "_Aux

While the Bakouninists were decreeing the revolution by posters and
vainly calling the people to arms, an event occurred in Lyons which
brought to them a very useful contingent of fighters. The Lyons
municipality had just reduced the pay of the workers in the national
dock yards from three to two and a half francs a day, and, on this
account, these laborers joined the ranks of the insurgents. On the
evening of September 27 a meeting of the Central Committee of Safety of
France took place, and there a definite plan of action for the next day
was decided upon. Velay, a tulle maker and municipal councillor,
Bakounin, and others advised an armed manifestation, but the majority
expressed itself in favor of a peaceful one. An executive committee
composed of eight members signed the following proclamation, drawn up by
Gaspard Blanc, which was printed during the night and posted early the
next morning: "The people of Lyons ... are summoned, through the organ
of their assembled popular committees, to a popular manifestation to be
held to-day, September 28, at noon, on the _Place des Terreaux_, in
order to force the authority to take immediately the most energetic and
efficacious measures for the national defense."[7]

Turning again to Guillaume, we find "At noon many thousands of men
pressed together on the _Place des Terreaux_. A delegation of sixteen of
the national dock-yard workmen entered the Hôtel de Ville to demand of
the Municipal Council the reëstablishment of their wage to three francs
a day, but the Council was not in session. Very soon a movement began in
the crowd, and a hundred resolute men, Saignes at their head, forcing
the door of the Hôtel de Ville, penetrated the municipal building. Some
members of the Central Committee of Safety of France, Bakounin,
Parraton, Bastelica, and others, went in with them. From the balcony,
Saignes announced that the Municipal Council was to be compelled to
accept the program of the red proclamation of September 26 or to resign,
and he proposed to name Cluseret general of the revolutionary army.
Cluseret, cheered by the crowd, appeared in the balcony, thanked them,
and announced that he was going to Croix-Rousse" (the working-class
district).[8] He went there, it is true, but not to call to arms the
national guards of that quarter. Indeed, his aim appears to have been to
avoid a conflict, and he simply asked the workers "to come down _en
masse_ and without arms."[9] In the meantime the national guards of the
wealthier quarters of the city hastened to the Hôtel de Ville and
penetrated the interior court, while the Committee of Safety of France
installed itself inside the building. There they passed two or three
hours in drawing up resolutions, while Bakounin and others in vain
protested: "We must act. We are losing time. We are going to be invaded
by the national bourgeois guard. It is necessary to arrest immediately
the prefect, the mayor, and General Mazure."[10] But their words went
unheeded. And all the while the bourgeois guards were massing themselves
before the Hôtel de Ville, and Cluseret and his unarmed manifestants
were yielding place to them. In fact, Cluseret even persuaded the
members of the Committee of Safety to retire and those of the Municipal
Council to return to their seats, which they consented to do.

Bakounin made a last desperate effort to save the situation and to
induce the insurgents to oppose force to force, but they would not. Even
Albert Richard failed him. The Revolutionary committee, after parleying
with the Municipal Councillors, then evacuated the Hôtel de Ville and
contented itself with issuing a statement to the effect that "The
delegates of the people have not believed it their duty to impose
themselves on the Municipal Council by violence and have retired when it
went into session, leaving it to the people to fully appreciate the
situation."[11] "At the moment," says Guillaume, "when ... Mayor Hénon,
with an escort of national bourgeois guards, reëntered the Hôtel de
Ville, he met Bakounin in the hall of the _Pas-Perdus_. The mayor
immediately ordered his companions to take him in custody and to confine
him at once in an underground hiding-place."[12] The Municipal
Councillors then opened their session and pledged that no pursuit should
be instituted in view of the happenings of the day. They voted to
reëstablish the former wage of the national dock-yard workers, but
declared themselves unable to undertake the revolutionary measures
proposed by the Committee of Safety of France, as these were outside
their legal province.

In the meantime Bakounin was undergoing an experience far from pleasant,
if we are to judge from the account which he gives in a letter written
the following day: "Some used me brutally in all sorts of ways, jostling
me about, pushing me, pinching me, twisting my arms and hands. I must,
however, admit that others cried: 'Do not harm him.' In truth the
bourgeoisie showed itself what it is everywhere: brutal and cowardly.
For you know that I was delivered by some sharpshooters who put to
flight three or four times their number of these heroic shopkeepers
armed with their rifles. I was delivered, but of all the objects which
had been stolen from me by these gentlemen I was able to find only my
revolver. My memorandum book and my purse, which contained 165 francs
and some sous, without doubt stayed in the hands of these gentlemen....
I beg you to reclaim them in my name. You will send them to me when you
have recovered them."[13]

As a matter of fact, it was at the instance of his follower, Ozerof,
that Bakounin was finally delivered. When he came forth from the Hôtel
de Ville, the Committee of Safety of France and its thousands of
sympathizers had disappeared, and he found himself practically alone. He
spent the night at the house of a friend, and departed for Marseilles
the next day, after writing the following letter to Palix: "My dear
friend, I do not wish to leave Lyons without having said a last word of
farewell to you. Prudence keeps me from coming to shake hands with you
for the last time. I have nothing more to do here. I came to Lyons to
fight or to die with you. I came because I am profoundly convinced that
the cause of France has become again, at this supreme hour, ... the
cause of humanity. I have taken part in yesterday's movement, and I have
signed my name to the resolutions of the Committee of Safety of France,
because it is evident to me that, after the real and certain destruction
of all the administrative and governmental machinery, there is nothing
but the immediate and revolutionary action of the people which can save
France.... The movement of yesterday, if it had been successful ...
could have saved Lyons and France.... I leave Lyons, dear friend, with a
heart full of sadness and somber forebodings. I begin to think now that
it is finished with France.... She will become a viceroyalty of Germany.
_In place of her living and real socialism,[G] we shall have the
doctrinaire socialism of the Germans_, who will say no more than the
Prussian bayonets will permit them to say. The bureaucratic and military
intelligence of Prussia, combined with the knout of the Czar of St.
Petersburg, are going to assure peace and public order for at least
fifty years on the whole continent of Europe. Farewell, liberty!
Farewell, socialism! Farewell, justice for the people and the triumph of
humanity! All that could have grown out of the present disaster of
France. All that would have grown out of it if the people of France, if
the people of Lyons, had wished it."[14]

The insurrection at Lyons and Bakounin's decree abolishing the State
amounted to very little in the history of the French Republic. Writing
afterward to Professor Edward Spencer Beesly, Karl Marx comments on the
events that had taken place in Lyons: "At the beginning everything went
well," he writes. "Under the pressure of the section of the
International, the Republic had been proclaimed at Lyons before it had
been at Paris. A revolutionary government was immediately established,
namely the _Commune_, composed in part of workmen belonging to the
International, in part of bourgeois radical republicans.... But those
blunderers, Bakounin and Cluseret, arrived at Lyons and spoiled
everything. Both being members of the International, they had
unfortunately enough influence to lead our friends astray. The Hôtel de
Ville was taken, for a moment only, and very ridiculous decrees on the
_abolition of the State_ and other nonsense were issued. You understand
that the fact alone of a Russian--whom the newspapers of the bourgeoisie
represented as an agent of Bismarck--pretending to thrust himself at the
head of a _Committee of Safety of France_ was quite sufficient to change
completely public opinion. As to Cluseret, he behaved at once like an
idiot and a coward. These two men left Lyons after their failure."[15]
Bakounin's so-called abolition of the State appealed to the humor of
Marx. He speaks of it in another place in these words: "Then arrived the
critical moment, the moment longed for since many years, when Bakounin
was able to accomplish the most revolutionary act the world has ever
seen: he decreed the _abolition of the State_. But the State, in the
form and aspect of two companies of national bourgeois guards, entered
by a door which they had forgotten to guard, swept the hall, and caused
Bakounin to hasten back along the road to Geneva."[16]

Such indeed was the humiliating and vexatious ending of Bakounin's dream
of an immediate social revolution. His sole reward was to be jostled,
pinched, and robbed. This was perhaps most tragic of all, especially
when added to this injury there was the further indignity of allowing
the father of terrorism to keep his revolver. The incident is one that
George Meredith should have immortalized in another of his "Tragic
Comedians." However, although the insurrection at Lyons was a complete
failure, the Commune of Paris was really a spontaneous and memorable
working-class uprising. The details of that insurrection, the
legislation of the Commune itself, and its violent suppression on May
28, 1871, are not strictly germane to this chapter, because, in fact,
the Bakouninists played no part in it. In the case of Lyons, the
revolution maker was at work; in the case of Paris, "The working class,"
says Marx, "did not expect miracles from the Commune. They have no
ready-made utopias to introduce _par décret du peuple_. They know that
in order to work out their own emancipation, and along with it that
higher form to which present society is irresistibly tending, by its own
economic agencies, they will have to pass through long struggles,
through a series of historic processes, transforming circumstances and
men."[H] But, while Marx wrote in this manner of the Paris Commune, he
evidently had in mind men of the type of Bakounin when he declared: "In
every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of a
different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to past
revolutions, ... others mere bawlers, who by dint of repeating year
after year the same set of stereotyped declamations against the
Government of the day have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists
of the first water. After the 18th of March some such men turned up, and
in some cases contrived to play preeminent parts. As far as their power
went, they hampered the real action of the working class, exactly as men
of that sort have hampered the full development of every previous
revolution. They are an unavoidable evil; with time they are shaken off;
but time was not allowed to the Commune."[17]

The despair of Bakounin over the miserable ending of his great plans for
the salvation of France had, of course, disappeared long before the
revolution broke out in Spain, and he easily persuaded himself that his
presence there was absolutely necessary to insure its success. "I have
always felt and thought," he wrote in the _Mémoire justificatif_, "that
the most desirable end for me would be to fall in the midst of a great
revolutionary storm."[18] Consequently, in the summer of the year 1873,
when the uprising gave promise of victory to the insurgents, Bakounin
decided that he must go and, to do so, that he must have money. Bakounin
then wrote to his wealthy young disciple, Cafiero, in a symbolic
language which they had worked out between them, declaring his intention
of going to Spain and asking him to furnish the necessary money for his
expenses. As usual, Bakounin became melodramatic in his effort to work
upon the impressionable Cafiero, and, as he put it afterward in the
_Mémoire justificatif_, "I added a prayer that he would become the
protector of my wife and my children, in case I should fall in
Spain."[19] Cafiero, who at this time worshiped Bakounin, pleaded with
him not to risk his precious life in Spain. He promised to do everything
possible for his family in case he persisted in going, but he sent no
money, whether because he did not have it or because he did not wish
Bakounin to go is not clear. Bakounin now wrote to Guillaume that he was
greatly disappointed not to be able to take part in the Spanish
revolution, but that it was impossible for him to do so without money.
Guillaume admits that he was not convinced of the absolute necessity of
Bakounin's presence in Spain, but, nevertheless, since he desired to go
there, Guillaume offered to secure for him fifteen hundred francs to
make the journey. On the receipt of this news, Bakounin answered
Guillaume that the sum would be wholly insufficient.

If, however, the Spanish revolution was forced to proceed without
Bakounin, his influence in that country was not wanting. In the year
1873 the Spanish sections of the International were among the largest
and most numerous in Europe. At the time of the congress of Cordova,
which assembled at the close of the year 1872, three hundred and
thirty-one sections with over twenty-five thousand members expressed
themselves in favor of "anarchist and collectivist" principles. The
trade unions were very active, and they formed the basis of the Spanish
movement. They had numerous organs of propaganda, and the general
unrest, both political and economic, led for a time to an extraordinary
development in revolutionary ideas.

On February 11, 1873, the king abdicated and a republic was proclaimed.
Insurrections broke out in all parts of Spain. At Barcelona, Cartagena,
Murcia, Cadiz, Seville, Granada, and Valencia there existed a state of
civil war, while throughout the industrial districts strikes were both
frequent and violent. Demands were made on all sides for shorter hours
and increase of wages. At Alcoy ten thousand workingmen declared a
general strike, and, when the municipal authorities opposed them, they
took the town by storm. In some cases the strikers lent their support to
the republicans; in other cases they followed the ideas of Bakounin, and
openly declared they had no concern for the republic. The changes in the
government were numerous. Indeed, for three years Spain, politically and
industrially, was in a state of chaos. At times the revolt of the
workers was suppressed with the utmost brutality. Their leaders were
arrested, their papers suppressed, and their meetings dispersed with
bloodshed. At other times they were allowed to riot for weeks if the
turbulence promised to aid the intrigues of the politicians.

A lively discussion took place as to the wisdom of the tactics employed
by the anarchists in Spain. Frederick Engels severely criticised the
position of the Bakouninists in two articles which he published in the
_Volksstaat_. He reviewed the events that had taken place during the
summer of 1873, and he condemned the folly of the anarchists, who had
refused to coöperate with the other revolutionary forces in Spain. In
his opinion, the workers were simply wasting their energy and lives in
pursuit of a distant and unattainable end. "Spain is a country so
backward industrially," he wrote, "that it cannot be a question there of
the immediate complete emancipation of the workers. Before arriving at
that stage, Spain will still have to pass through diverse phases of
development and struggle against a whole series of obstacles. The
republic furnished the means of passing through these phases most
rapidly and of removing these obstacles most quickly. But, to accomplish
that, the Spanish proletariat would have had to launch boldly into
active _politics_. The mass of the working people realized this, and
everywhere demanded that they should take part in what was happening,
that they should profit by the opportunities to act, instead of leaving,
as formerly, the field free to the action and intrigues of the
possessing classes. The government ordered elections for the Cortès
members. What position should the International take? The leaders of the
Bakouninists were in the greatest dilemma. A continued political
inactivity appeared more ridiculous and more impossible from day to day.
The workers wanted to 'see deeds.' On the other hand, the _alliancistes_
(Bakouninists) had preached for years that one ought not to take part in
any revolution that had not for its end the immediate and entire
emancipation of the workers, that participation in any political action
constituted an acceptance of the principle of the State, that source of
all evil, and that especially taking part in any election was a mortal

The anarchists were of course very bitter over this attack on their
policies, and they concluded that the socialists had become
reactionaries who no longer sought the emancipation of the working
class. They were more than incensed at the reference Engels had made to
an act of the insurgents of Cartagena, who, in order to gain allies in
their struggle, had armed the convicts of a prison, "eighteen hundred
villains, the most dangerous robbers and murderers of Spain."[21]
According to Engels' information, this infamous act had been undertaken
upon the advice of Bakounin, but, whether or not that is true, it was a
fatal mistake that brought utter disaster to the insurgents.

Certainly of this fact there can be no question--the divisions among the
revolutionary forces in Spain, which Engels deplored, resulted, after
many months of fighting, in returning to power the most reactionary
elements in Spain. And this was foreseen, as even before the end of the
summer Bakounin had despaired of success. In his opinion, the Spanish
revolution miscarried miserably, "for want," as he afterward wrote, "of
energy and revolutionary spirit in the leaders as well as in the masses.
And all the rest of the world was plunged," he lamented, "into the most
dismal reaction."[22]

France and Spain, having now failed to launch the universal revolution,
Bakounin's hopes turned to Italy, where a series of artificial uprisings
among the almost famished peasants was being stirred up by his
followers. Their greatest activity was during the first two weeks in
August of the next year, 1874, and the three main centers were Bologna,
Romagna, and Apulia. In spite of the fact that the followers of Mazzini
were opposed to the International, an attempt was made in the summer of
1874 by some Italian socialists (Celso Cerretti among others), to effect
a union in order that by common action they might work more
advantageously against the monarchy. Garibaldi, to whom these socialists
appealed, at first disapproved of any reconciliation with Bakounin and
his friends, but later allowed himself to be persuaded. A meeting of the
Mazzinian leaders to discuss the matter convened August 2 at the village
of Ruffi. The older members were opposed to all common action, while the
younger elements desired it. However, before an agreement was reached,
twenty-eight Mazzinians were arrested, among them Saffi, Fortis, and
Valzania. Three days later, the police succeeded in arresting Andrea
Costa, for whom they had been searching for more than a year on account
of his participation in the International congress at Geneva. Although
these events were something of a setback, the revolutionists decided
that they had gone too far to retreat. It was then that Bakounin wrote:
"And now, my friends, there remains nothing more for me but to die.
Farewell!"[23] On the way to Italy he wrote to his friend, Guillaume,
saying good-by to him and announcing, without explanation, that he was
journeying to Italy to take part in a struggle from which he would not
return alive. On his arrival in that country, however, he carefully
concealed himself in a small house where only the revolutionary
"intimates" could see him.

The nights of August 7 and 8 had been chosen for the insurrection which
was to burst forth in Bologna and thence to extend, first to Romagna,
and afterward to the Marches and Tuscany. A group of Bologna insurgents,
reinforced by about three thousand others from Romagna, were to enter
Bologna by the San Felice gate. Another group would enter the arsenal,
the doors of which would be opened by two non-commissioned officers, and
take possession of the arms and ammunition, carrying them to the Church
of Santa Annunziata, where all the guns should be stored. At certain
places in the city material was already gathered with which to improvise
barricades. One hundred republicans had promised to take part in the
movement, not as a group, but individually. On the 7th copies of the
proclamation of the Italian Committee for the Social Revolution were
distributed throughout the city, calling the masses to arms and urging
the soldiers to make common cause with the people. During the nights of
the 7th and 8th, groups from Bologna assembled at the appointed places
of meeting outside the walls, but the Romagna comrades did not come, or
at least came in very small numbers. Those from Imola were surrounded in
their march, some being arrested and others being forced to retreat. At
dawn the insurgents who had gathered under the walls of Bologna
dispersed, some taking refuge in the mountains. Bakounin had been alone
during the night, and became convinced that the insurrection had failed.
He was trying to make up his mind to commit suicide, when his friend,
Silvio, arrived and told him that all was not lost and that perhaps
other attempts might yet be made. The following day Bakounin was removed
to another retreat of greater safety, as numerous arrests had been made
at Bologna, Imola, Romagna, the Marches, as well as in Florence, Rome,
and other parts of Italy.

About the same time a conspiracy similar to that undertaken at Bologna
was launched by Enrico Malatesta and some friends in Apulia. A heavy
chest of guns had been dispatched from Tarentum to a station in the
province of Bari, from which it was carried on a cart to the old
château of _Castel del Monte_, which had been chosen as the rendezvous.
"Many hundreds of conspirators," Malatesta recounts, "had promised to
meet at _Castel del Monte_. I arrived, but of all those who had sworn to
be there we found ourselves six. No matter. We opened the box of arms
and found it was filled with old percussion guns, but that made no
difference. We armed ourselves and declared war on the Italian army. We
roamed the country for some days, trying to gain over the peasants, but
meeting with no response. The second day we met eight _carabinieri_, who
opened fire on us and imagined that we were very numerous. Three days
later we discovered that we were surrounded by soldiers. There remained
only one thing to do. We buried the guns and decided to disperse. I hid
myself in a load of hay, and thus succeeded in escaping from the
dangerous region."[24] An attempt at insurrection also took place in
Romagna, but it appears to have been limited to cutting the telegraph
wires between Bologna and Imola.

Back of all the Italian riots lay a serious economic condition. The
peasants were in very deep distress, and it was not difficult for the
Bakouninists to stir them to revolt. The _Bulletin_ of the Jura
Federation of August 16 informs us: "During the last two years there
have been about sixty riots produced by hunger; but the rioters, in
their ignorance, only bore a grudge against the immediate monopolists,
and did not know how to discern the fundamental causes of their
misery."[25] This is all too plainly shown in the events of 1874. Beyond
giving the Bakouninists a chance to play at revolution, there is little
significance in the Italian uprisings of that year.

The failure of the various insurrections in France, Spain, and Italy
was, naturally enough, discouraging to Bakounin and his followers. The
Commune of Paris was the one uprising that had made any serious
impression upon the people, and it was the one wherein the Bakouninists
had played no important part. The others had failed miserably, with no
other result than that of increasing the power of reaction, while
discouraging and disorganizing the workers. Even Bakounin had now
reached the point where he was thoroughly disillusioned, and he wrote to
his friends that he was exhausted, disheartened, and without hope. He
desired, he said, to withdraw from the movement which made him the
object of the persecutions of the police and the calumnies of the
jealous. The whole world was in the evening of a black reaction, he
thought, and he wrote to the truest and most devoted of all that loyal
circle of Swiss workmen, James Guillaume, that the time for
revolutionary struggles was past and that Europe had entered into a
period of profound reaction, of which the present generation would
probably not see the end. "He urged me," relates Guillaume, "to imitate
himself and 'to make my peace with the bourgeoisie.'"[26] "It is
useless," are Bakounin's words, "to wish obstinately to obtain the
impossible. It is necessary to recognize reality and to realize that,
for the moment, the popular masses do not wish socialism. And, if some
tipplers of the mountains desire on this account to accuse you of
treason, you will have for yourself the witness of your conscience and
the esteem of your friends."[27]

In July, 1873, Bakounin retired to an estate that had been bought for
him through the generosity of Cafiero, on the route from Locarno to
Bellinzona, and for the next few months lavish expenditures were made in
the construction and reconstruction of an establishment where the
"intimates" could be entertained. That fall Bakounin wrote to the Jura
Federation, announcing his retreat from public life and requesting it to
accept his resignation. "For acting in this way," he wrote, "I have many
reasons. Do not believe that it is principally on account of the
personal attacks of which I have been made the object these last years.
I do not say that I am absolutely insensible to such. However, I would
feel myself strong enough to resist them if I thought that my further
participation in your work and in your struggles could aid in the
triumph of the cause of the proletariat. But I do not think so.

"By my birth and my personal position, and doubtless by my sympathies
and my tendencies, I am only a bourgeois, and, as such, I could not do
anything else among you but propaganda. Well, I have a conviction that
the time for great theoretical discourses, whether printed or spoken, is
past. In the last nine years there have been developed within the
International more ideas than would be necessary to save the world, if
ideas alone could save it, and I defy anybody to invent a new one."[28]

This letter in reality marks the end of Bakounin's activity in the
revolutionary movement. After squandering most of Cafiero's fortune,
Bakounin sought a martyr's death in Italy, but in this, as in all his
other exploits, he was unsuccessful. And from that time on to his death
his life is a humiliating story as he sought here and there the
necessary money for his livelihood. Nearly always he had been forced to
live from hand to mouth. Money, money, money was the burden of hundreds
of his letters. In order to obtain funds he had resorted to almost every
possible plan. He had accepted money in advance from publishers for
books which he had never had time to write. From time to time he would
find an almoner to care for him, only in the end to lose him through
his importunate and exacting demands. An account is given by Guillaume
of what I believe is the last meeting between Bakounin and certain of
his old friends in September, 1874. Ross, Cafiero, Spichiger, and
Guillaume met Bakounin in a hotel at Neuchâtel. Guillaume, it appears,
was cold and unfeeling; Cafiero and Ross said nothing, while Spichiger
wept silently in a corner. "The explicit declaration made by me ..."
says Guillaume, "took away from Bakounin at the very beginning all hope
of a change in our estimation of him. It was also a question of money in
this last interview. We offered to assure to our old friend a monthly
pension of 300 francs, expressing the hope that he would continue to
write, but he refused to accept anything. As a set-off, he asked Cafiero
to loan him 3,000 francs (no longer 5,000), ... and Cafiero replied that
he would do it. Then we separated sadly."[29]

On the first of July, 1876, Bakounin, after a brief illness, died at
Bern at the house of his old friend, Dr. Vogt. The press of Europe
printed various comments upon his life and work. The anarchists wrote
their eulogies, while the socialists generally deplored the ruinous and
disrupting tactics that Bakounin had employed in the International
Working Men's Association. This story will be told later, but it is well
to mention here that since 1869 an unbridgeable chasm had opened itself
between the anarchists and the socialists. When they first came together
in the International there was no clear distinction between them, but,
after Bakounin was expelled from that organization in 1872, at The
Hague, his followers frankly called themselves anarchists, while the
followers of Marx called themselves socialists. In principles and
tactics they were poles apart, and the bitterness between them was at
fever heat. The anarchists took the principles of Bakounin and still
further elaborated them, while his methods were developed from
conspiratory insurrections to individual acts of violence. While the
idea of the Propaganda of the Deed is to be found in the writings of
Bakounin and Nechayeff, it was left to others to put into practice that
doctrine. For the next thirty years the principles and ideals of
anarchism made no appreciable headway, but the deeds of the anarchists
became the talk and, to a degree, the terror of the world.


[G] Previous to 1848, socialism was used by Robert Owen and his
followers, as well as by many French idealists, to mean phalansteries,
colonies, or other voluntary communal undertakings. Marx and Engels at
first called themselves "communists," and were thus distinguished from
these earlier socialists. During the period of the International all its
members began more and more to call themselves "socialists." The word,
anarchism, was rarely used. As a matter of fact, it was the struggle in
the International which eventually clarified the views of both
anarchists and socialists and made clear the distinctions now recognized
between communism, anarchism, and socialism. See Chapter VIII, _infra_.

[H] This is from "The Commune of Paris," which was read by Marx to the
General Council of the International on May 30, two days after the last
of the combatants of the Commune were crushed by superior numbers on the
heights of Belleville.



The insurrections in France and Spain were on the whole spontaneous
uprisings, but those disturbances in Italy in which the anarchists
played a part were largely the result of agitation. Of course, adverse
political and economic conditions were the chief causes of that general
spirit of unrest which was prevalent in the early seventies in all the
Latin countries, but after 1874 the numerous riots in which the
anarchists were active were almost entirely the work of enthusiasts who
believed they could make revolutions. The results of the previous
uprisings had a terribly depressing effect upon nearly all the older
men, but there were four youths attached to Bakounin's insurrectionary
ideas whose spirits were not bowed down by what had occurred. Carlo
Cafiero, Enrico Malatesta, Paul Brousse, and Prince Kropotkin were at
the period of life when action was a joyous thing, and they undertook to
make history. Cafiero we know as a young Italian of very wealthy
parents. Malatesta "had left the medical profession and also his fortune
for the sake of the revolution."[1] Paul Brousse was of French
parentage, and had already distinguished himself in medicine, but he
cast it aside in his early devotion to anarchism. He had rushed to Spain
when the revolution broke out there, and he was always ready to go
where-ever an opportunity offered itself for revolutionary activity. The
Russian prince, Kropotkin, the fourth member of the group, was a
descendant of the Ruriks, and it was said sometimes, in jest, that he
had more right to the Russian throne than Czar Alexander II. The
fascinating story of his life is told in the "Memoirs of a
Revolutionist," but modesty forbade him to say that no one since
Bakounin has exercised so great an influence as himself over the
principles and tactics of anarchism. Kropotkin first visited Switzerland
in 1872, when he came in close contact with the men of the Jura
Federation. A week's stay with the Bakouninists converted him, he says,
to anarchism.[2] He then returned to St. Petersburg, and shortly after
entered the famous circle of Tchaykovsky, and, as a result of his
revolutionary activity, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Fortress
of St. Peter and St. Paul. After his thrilling escape from prison, in
1876, Kropotkin returned to Switzerland, and for several years gave
himself up entirely to the cause of anarchism. These four young men, all
far removed by training and position from the working class, after the
death of Bakounin, devised the Propaganda of the Deed, a method of
agitation that was destined to become famous throughout the world.

Hitherto the Bakouninists had all been firmly convinced that the masses
were ready to rise at a moment's notice in order to tear down the
existing governments. They were obsessed with the idea that only a spark
was needed to set the whole world into a general conflagration. But
repeated failures taught them that the masses were inclined to make very
little sacrifice for the sake of communism and that stupendous efforts
were needed to create a revolution. It appeared to them, therefore, that
the propaganda of words and of theories was of little avail.
Consequently, these four youths, with their friends, set out to spread
knowledge by acts of violence. Of course, they had not entirely given
up the hope that a minority could, by a series of well-planned assaults,
gradually sweep in after them the masses. But even should they fail in
that, they felt that they must strike at the enemy, though they stood
alone. Whatever happened, they argued, the acts themselves would prove
of great propaganda value. Even the trials would enable them to use the
courts as a tribune, and the bourgeois press itself would print their
words and spread throughout the world their doctrines.

In the _Bulletin_ of the Jura Federation, December 3, 1876, Cafiero and
Malatesta wrote: "The great majority of Italian socialists are grouped
about the program of the Italian Federation--a program which is
anarchist, collectivist, and revolutionary. And the small number who, up
to the present, have remained on the outside--the dupes of intrigues and
lies--are all beginning to enter our organization. We do not refer to a
small group who, influenced by personal considerations and reactionary
ends, are trying to establish a propaganda which they call 'gradual and
peaceful.' These have already been judged in the opinion of the Italian
socialists and represent nothing but themselves.

"The Italian Federation believes that the _insurrectionary deed_,
destined to affirm socialist principles by acts, is the most efficacious
means of propaganda."[3] The next year Paul Brousse originated the
famous phrase, the Propaganda of the Deed. He reviews in the _Bulletin_
the various methods of propaganda which had previously been employed.
"Propaganda from individual to individual, propaganda by mass meeting or
conference, propaganda by newspaper, pamphlet, or book--these means," he
declares, "are adapted only to theoretical propaganda. Besides, they
become more and more difficult to employ in any efficacious fashion in
the presence of those means possessed by the bourgeoisie, with its
orators, trained at the bar and knowing how to wheedle the popular
assemblies, and with its venal press which calumniates and disguises
everything."[4] In the opinion of Brousse, the workers, "laboring most
of the time eleven and twelve hours a day ... return home so exhausted
by fatigue that they have little desire to read socialist books and
newspapers."[5] Rejecting thus all other methods of propaganda, Brousse
concludes that "the Propaganda of the Deed is a powerful means of
awakening the popular conscience."[6]

Kropotkin was even more enthusiastic over this new method of education.
"A single deed," he declared, "makes more propaganda in a few days than
a thousand pamphlets. The government defends itself, it rages
pitilessly; but by this it only causes further deeds to be committed by
one or more persons, and drives the insurgents to heroism. One deed
brings forth another; opponents join the mutiny; the government splits
into factions; harshness intensifies the conflict; concessions come too
late; the revolution breaks out."[7] Here at last is the famous
Propaganda of the Deed, destined to such tragic ends. It owes its
inspiration, of course, to the teachings of Bakounin, and we find among
these youths the same contempt for words and theories that Bakounin
himself had, and they proposed, in the words of Bakounin, "to destroy
something--a person, a cause, a condition that hinders the emancipation
of the people."[8] Consequently, they undertook immediately to carry
into effect these new theories of propaganda, and during the year 1877
they organized two important demonstrations, the avowed purpose of which
was to show anarchism in action.

The first event, which occurred at Bern, March 18, under the leadership
of Paul Brousse, was a manifestation to celebrate the anniversary of the
proclamation of the Commune. All the members of the Jura Federation were
invited to take part, and the red flag was to be unfurled. Among the
most conspicuous in this demonstration were Brousse, Werner, Chopard,
Schwitzguébel, Kropotkin, Pindy, Jeallot, Ferré, Spichiger, Guillaume,
and George Plechanoff, recently arrived from St. Petersburg. The
participants became mixed up in a violent affray in the streets, blows
were exchanged between them and the police, but in the effort to tear
away the red flags many of the gendarmes were wounded. The climax came
on August 16 of the same year, when twenty-five of the _manifestants_
appeared before the correctional tribunal of Bern, accused "(1) of
participation in a brawl with deadly instruments, (2) of resisting, by
means of force, the employees of the police." Most of the prisoners were
condemned to imprisonment, the terms varying from ten days to two
months. James Guillaume was condemned to forty days, Brousse to a month.
The latter and five other convicted foreigners were also banished for
three years from the canton of Bern.[9]

The second of these demonstrations took place in April in the form of an
insurrectionary movement of the Internationalists of Italy. They chose
the massive group of mountains which border on the Province of Bénévent
for the scene of their operations, and made Naples their headquarters.
During the whole of the preceding winter they were occupied in making
their preparations, and endeavoring to gain the support of the peasants
of the near-by villages. They instructed all those who joined their
cause from Emilia, Romagna, and Tuscany to be ready for action the
beginning of April, as soon as the snow disappeared from the summits of
the Apennines. According to information furnished by Malatesta to
Guillaume, on April 6 and 7 they journeyed from San Lupo (Province of
Bénévent) into the region at the south of the Malta Mountains (Province
of Caserte). On the 8th they attacked the communes of Letino and Gallo,
burned the archives of the first named, pillaged the treasury of the
preceptor, and burned the parish house of the second. On the 9th and
10th they tried to penetrate the other communes, but in vain, for they
found them all occupied by troops sent directly by the government to
oppose them. Their provisions were exhausted, and they would have bought
a fresh supply in the village of Venafro, only the soldiers gave the
alarm and pursued the band as far as a wood, in which they hid
themselves. All of the 11th was spent in a long march through rain and
snow. The jaded band was finally surprised and captured in a sheepfold,
where they had sought shelter for that night. Two of the revolutionists
escaped, but were recaptured a short time afterward. They were confined
in the prison of Santa-Maria Capua Visere, to the number of
thirty-seven, among them being Cafiero, Malatesta, Ceccarelli, Lazzari,
Fortini (curé of Letino), Tomburri Vincenzo (curé of Gallo), Starnari,
and others. On December 30 the Chamber of Arraignment of Naples rendered
its decision. The two priests and a man who had served as guide to the
insurgents were exempted from punishment, but the thirty-four others
were sent before the court of assizes on the charge of conspiracy
against the security of the State. As these were political crimes, which
were covered by a recent amnesty, there remained only the murder of a
carabineer, of which the court of assizes of Bénévent finally acquitted
Cafiero, Malatesta, and their friends in August, 1878.[10]

By the above series of events the Propaganda of the Deed was launched,
and from this day on it became a recognized method of propaganda.
Neither money, nor organization, nor literature was any longer
absolutely necessary. One human being in revolt with torch or dynamite
was able to instruct the world. Bakounin and Nechayeff had written their
principles, and had, in fact, in some measure, endeavored to carry them
into effect. But the Propaganda of the Deed was no more evolved as a
principle of action than these four daring youths put it into practice.
In the next few years it became the chief expression of anarchism, and
little by little it made the very name of anarchism synonymous with
violence and crime. Surely these four zealous youths could hardly have
devised a method of propaganda that could have served more completely to
defeat their purpose.

The year 1878 witnessed a series of violent acts which brought in their
train serious consequences. In that year an attempt was made upon the
life of King Humbert of Italy; and, while driving in Berlin with his
daughter, the Grand Duchess of Baden, Emperor William was shot at by a
half-witted youth named Hödel. Three weeks later Dr. Karl Nobiling fired
at the Emperor from an upper window overlooking the _Unter den Linden_.
These assaults were made to serve as the pretext for a series of
brutally repressive measures against the German socialists, although the
authorities were unable to connect either Hödel or Nobiling with the
anarchists or with the socialists. An excellent opportunity, however,
had arrived to deal a crushing blow to socialism, and "Bismarck used his
powerful influence with the press," August Bebel says, "in order to lash
the public into a fanatical hatred of the social-democratic party.
Others who had an interest in the defeat of the party joined in,
especially a majority of the employers. Henceforth our opponents spoke
of us exclusively as the party of assassins, or the 'Ruin all' party--a
party that wished to rob the masses of their faith in God, the monarchy,
the family, marriage, and property."[11] The attempt to destroy the
German socialist organization was only one of the many repressive
measures that were taken by the governments of Europe in the midst of
the panic. To the terrorism of the anarchists the governments responded
by a terrorism of repression, and this in itself helped to establish
murderous assaults as a method of propaganda.

Up to this time Germany had been comparatively free from anarchist
teachings. A number of the Lassalleans had advocated violent methods.
Hasselmann had several years before launched the _Red Flag_, which
advocated much that was not in harmony with socialism, and eventually
the German socialist congress requested him to cease the publication of
his paper. A few individuals without great influence had endeavored at
various times to import Bakounin's philosophy and methods into Germany,
but their propaganda bore no fruit whatever. It was only when the German
Government began to imitate the terrorism of the Russian bureaucracy
that a momentary passion for retaliation arose among the socialists. In
fact, a few notable socialists went over to anarchism, frankly declaring
their belief in terrorist tactics. And one of the most striking
characters in the history of terrorism, Johann Most, was a product of
Bismarck's man-hunting policies and legal tyranny. Nevertheless, those
policies failed utterly to provoke the extensive retaliation which
Bismarck expected, although it was a German who, after five attempts had
been made on the life of Czar Alexander II. of Russia--the last being
successful--proposed at an anarchist congress in Paris, in 1881, the
forcible removal of all the potentates of the earth. This was rejected
by the Paris conference as "at present not yet suitable,"[12] although
the idea proved attractive to some anarchists who even believed that a
few daring assaults could so terrify the royal families of Europe that
they would be forced to abdicate their power.

During the same period the anarchist movement was developing in
Austria-Hungary. A number of anarchist newspapers were launched, and a
ceaseless agitation was in progress under the guidance of Peukert,
Stellmacher, and Kammerer. Most's _Freiheit_ was smuggled into the
country in large quantities and was read greedily. At the trial of
Merstallinger it was shown that the money for anarchist agitation was
obtained by robbery. This discovery added to the bitterness of the fight
going on between the socialists and the anarchists. The anarchists,
however, overpowered their opponents, and everywhere secret printing
presses were busily producing incendiary literature which advocated the
murder of police officials and otherwise developed the tactics of
terrorism. "At a secret conference at Lang Enzersdorf," says Zenker, "a
new plan of action was discussed and adopted, namely, to proceed with
all means in their power to take action against 'exploiters and agents
of authority,' to keep people in a state of continual excitement by such
acts of terrorism, and to bring about the revolution in every possible
way. This program was immediately acted upon in the murder of several
police agents. On December 15, 1883, at Floridsdorf, a police official
named Hlubek was murdered, and the condemnation of Rouget, who was
convicted of the crime, on June 23, 1884, was immediately answered the
next day by the murder of the police agent Blöct. The Government now
took energetic measures. By order of the Ministry, a state of siege was
proclaimed in Vienna and district from January 30, 1884, by which the
usual tribunals for certain crimes and offences were temporarily
suspended, and the severest repressive measures were exercised against
the anarchists, so that anarchism in Austria rapidly declined, and at
the same time it soon lost its leaders. Stellmacher and Kammerer were
executed, Peukert escaped to England, most of the other agitators were
fast in prison, the journals were suppressed and the groups broken

While these events were taking place in Austria, anarchist agitation was
manifesting itself in several great strikes that broke out in the
industrial centers of Southern France. At Lyons, Fournier, who shot his
employer in the open street, was honored in a public meeting by the
presentation of a revolver. A great demonstration was planned for Paris,
but, as there happened to be a review of troops on the day set, the
anarchists decided to abandon the demonstration. In the autumn of the
same year (1882), troubles arose in Monceau-les-Mines and at Blanzy,
where the workers were bent under a terrible capitalist and clerical
domination. Under the circumstances, the anarchist propaganda was very
welcome, and it was only a short time until it produced an
anti-religious demonstration. Three or four hundred men, armed with
pitchforks and revolvers, spread over the country, breaking the crosses
and the statues of the Virgin which were placed at the junctions of the
roads. They called the working classes to arms and took as hostages
landlords, curés, and functionaries. These riots were the childlike
manifestations of exasperated and miserable men, destined in advance to
failure. Numerous arrests followed, and in the mines the workers
suffered increased oppression.

In 1882 the great silk industry of Lyons was undergoing a serious
crisis, and the misery among the weavers was intense. The anarchists
were carrying on a big agitation led by Kropotkin, Gautier, Bordas,
Bernard, and others. In the center of this city reduced almost to
starvation there was, says Kropotkin, an "underground café at the
Théâtre Bellecour, which remained open all night, and where, in the
small hours of the morning, one could see newspaper men and politicians
feasting and drinking in company with gay women. Not a meeting was held
but some menacing allusion was made to that café, and one night a
dynamite cartridge was exploded in it by an unknown hand. A worker who
was occasionally there, a socialist, jumped to blow out the lighted fuse
of the cartridge, and was killed, while a few of the feasting
politicians were slightly wounded. Next day a dynamite cartridge was
exploded at the doors of a recruiting bureau, and it was said that the
anarchists intended to blow up the huge statue of the Virgin which
stands on one of the hills of Lyons."[14] A panic seized the wealthier
classes of the city, and some sixty anarchists were arrested, including
Kropotkin. A great trial, known as the _Procès des Anarchistes de
Lyons_, ensued, which lasted many weeks. At the conclusion only three
out of the entire number were acquitted. Although nearly all the
anarchists were condemned, the police of Lyons were still searching for
the author of the explosion. At last, Cyvoct, a militant anarchist of
Lyons, was identified as the one who had thrown the bomb. Cyvoct had
first gone to Switzerland, then to Brussels, in the suburbs of which
city he was finally arrested. He was given over to the French police,
appeared before the court of assizes of the Rhone, and was condemned to
death. His sentence was afterward commuted to that of enforced labor,
and in 1897 he was pardoned.

On March 29, 1883, the carpenters' union of Paris called the unemployed
to a meeting to be held on the _Esplanade des Invalides_. Two groups of
anarchists formed. One started toward the _Élysée_ and was scattered on
its way by the police. The second went toward the suburb of
Saint-Antoine. On the march many bakeries were robbed by the
manifestants. Arrived at _Place Maubert_, they clashed with a large
force of police. As a result, many arrests were made. Accused of
inciting to pillage, Louise Michel and Émile Pouget were condemned to
several years' imprisonment. The same month, at Monceau-les-Mines and in
Paris, great demonstrations of the "unemployed" took place in the
streets, combined with robbery and dynamite outrages, while in July
there were sanguinary encounters with the armed forces in Roubaix and
elsewhere. Again and again the populace was incited to rise against the
bourgeoisie, "who (it was said) were indulging in festivities while they
had condemned Louise Michel, the champion of the proletariat, to a cruel

These are but a few instances of the activity of the anarchists at the
end of the seventies and at the beginning of the eighties. They are
perhaps sufficient to show that the Propaganda of the Deed was making
headway in Western Europe. Certainly in Germany and Austria its course
was soon run, but in France, Italy, Spain, and even in Belgium every
strike was attended with violence. Insurrections, dynamite outrages,
assassinations--all played their part. At the same time the governments
carried on a ferocious persecution, and the chief anarchists were driven
from place to place and hunted as wild animals. Police spies and _agents
provocateurs_ swarmed over the labor, socialist, and anarchist
movements, and at the slightest sign of an uprising the soldiers were
brought out to shoot down the people. Hardly a month went by without
some "anarchist trouble," and many harmless strikes resulted in dreadful
massacres. It was a tragic period, that reminds one again of the picture
in Dante in which the two bitter enemies inflict upon each other cruel
wounds in a fight that on both sides was inspired by the deepest hatred.



While the above events were transpiring in the Latin countries, the
Bakouninists were keeping a sharp eye on America as a land of hopeful
possibilities. As early as 1874 Bakounin himself considered the matter
of coming here, while Kropotkin and Guillaume followed with interest the
labor disturbances that were at that time so numerous and so violent in
this country. The panic of 1873 had caused widespread suffering among
the working classes. For several years afterward hordes of unemployed
tramped the country. The masses were driven to desperation and, in their
hunger, to frequent outbreaks of violence. When later a measure of
prosperity returned, both the trade-union and the socialist movements
began to attract multitudes of the discontented. The news of two
important events in the labor world of America reached the anarchists of
the Jura and filled them, Guillaume says, "with a lively emotion." In
June, 1877, Kropotkin called attention to the act of the Supreme Court
of the United States in declaring unconstitutional the eight-hour law on
Government work. He was especially pleased with an article in the _Labor
Standard_ of New York, which declared: "This will teach the workers not
to put their confidence in Congress and to trust only in their own
efforts. No law of Congress could be of any use to the worker if he is
not so organized that he can enforce it. And, if the workers are strong
enough to do that, if they succeed in solidly forming the federation of
their trade organizations, then they will be able, not only to force the
legislators to make efficacious laws on the hours of work, on
inspection, etc., but they will also be able to make the law themselves,
deciding that henceforth no worker in the country shall work more than
eight hours a day." "It is the good, practical sense of an American
which says that,"[1] comments Kropotkin. This act of the Supreme Court
and this statement of the _Labor Standard_ were very welcome news to the
anarchists. They were convinced that the Americans had abandoned
political action and were turning to what they had already begun to call
"direct action."

Another event, a month later, added to this conviction. In its issue of
July 29 the _Bulletin_ published this article: "'Following a strike of
the machinists of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, a popular insurrection
has burst forth in the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania,
and Ohio. If at Martinsburg (West Virginia) the workmen have been
conquered by the militia, at Baltimore (Maryland), a city of 300,000
inhabitants, they have been victorious. They have taken possession of
the station and have burned it, together with all the wagons of
petroleum which were there. At Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), a city of
100,000 inhabitants, the workers are at the present time masters of the
city, after having seized guns and cannon.... The strike is extending to
the near-by railroads and is gaining in the direction of the Pacific.
Great agitation reigns in New York. It is announced that the troops will
concentrate, that Sheridan has been named commander, and that the
Western States have offered their help.' In the following number, a
detailed article, written by Kropotkin, recounted the _dénouement_ of
the crisis, the recovery of Pittsburgh, where two thousand wagons loaded
with merchandise had been burned, the repression and the disarray of the
strikers following the treachery of the miserable false brothers, and
the final miscarriage of the movement. But if there had been, in this
attempt of popular insurrection, weak sides that had brought about the
failure, Kropotkin rightly praised the qualities of which the American
working people had just given proof: 'This movement will have certainly
impressed profoundly the proletariat of Europe and excited its
admiration. Its spontaneity, its simultaneousness at so many distant
points communicating only by telegraph, the aid given by the workers of
different trades, the resolute character of the uprising from the
beginning, call forth all our sympathies, excite our admiration, and
awaken our hopes.... But the blood of our brothers of America shall not
have flowed in vain. Their energy, their union in action, their courage
will serve as an example to the proletariat of Europe. But would that
this flowing of noble blood prove once again the blindness of those who
amuse the people with the plaything of parliamentarism when the powder
magazine is ready to take fire, unknown to them, at the fall of the
least spark.'"[2]

The news of industrial troubles, such as the above, convinced the
anarchist elements of Europe that America was ripe for direct action and
the revolution. And it was indeed this period of profound industrial
unrest that gave a forward impulse to all radical movements in the late
seventies. Socialist newspapers sprang up in all parts of the country,
and both socialist and trade-union organizations took on an immense
development. Riots, minor insurrections, and strikes were symptoms of an
all-pervading discontent. Simultaneously with this, many
revolutionists, upon being expelled from Germany, were injected into the
ferment. With many other refugees, the Germans then began to form
revolutionary clubs, and, in 1882, Johann Most appeared in the United
States scattering broadcast the terrorist ideas of Bakounin and

Most was perhaps the most fiery personality that appeared in the ranks
of the anarchists after the death of Bakounin. A cruel stepmother, a
pitiless employer, a long sickness, and an operation which left his face
deformed forever are some of the incidents of his unhappy childhood. He
received a poor education, but read extensively, and as a bookbinder
worked at his trade in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. He
became attached to the labor movement toward the end of the sixties, and
was elected to the German Reichstag in 1874. Forced to leave Germany as
a result of the anti-socialist law, he went to London, where he
established _Die Freiheit_, at first a social-democratic paper, which
was smuggled into Germany. He became, however, more and more violent,
and in 1880, at a secret gathering of the German socialists at Wyden in
Switzerland, he and his friend Hasselmann were expelled from the Germany
party. After this he no longer attempted to conceal his anarchist
sympathies, and in the _Freiheit_, on the platform, and on every
possible occasion he preached principles almost identical with those of
Nechayeff and Bakounin. In a pamphlet on the scientific art of
revolutionary warfare and of dynamiters he prescribes in detail where
bombs should be placed in churches, palaces, and ball-rooms.[I] He
advises wholly individual action, in order that the groups may suffer as
little harm as possible. His pamphlet also contains a dictionary of
poisons which may be usefully employed against politicians, traitors,
and spies. "Extirpate the miserable brood!" he writes in _Die Freiheit_;
"extirpate the wretches! Thus runs the refrain of a revolutionary song
of the working classes, and this will be the exclamation of the
executive of a victorious proletariat army when the battle has been won.
For at the critical moment the executioner's block must ever be before
the eyes of the revolutionist. Either he is cutting off the heads of his
enemies or his own is being cut off. Science gives us means which make
it possible to accomplish the wholesale destruction of these beasts
quietly and deliberately." Elsewhere he says, "Those of the reptile
brood who are not put to the sword remain as a thorn in the flesh of the
new society; hence it would be both foolish and criminal not to
annihilate utterly this race of parasites."[3]

It was this cheerful individual who, after being expelled from the
German socialist party, made prodigious efforts to establish
revolutionary organizations all over Europe. In London he captured the
Communist Working Men's Educational Society, despite the protest of a
considerable minority, and through it he undertook to launch other
revolutionary clubs. The parliamentary socialists were bitterly
assailed, and a congress was held in Paris and a later one in London for
the purpose of uniting the revolutionists of all countries. According to
Zenker, the headquarters of the association were at London, and
sub-committees were formed to act in Paris, Geneva, and New York. Money
was to be collected "for the purchase of poison and weapons, as well as
to find places suitable for laying mines, and so on. To attain the
proposed end, the annihilation of all rulers, ministers of State,
nobility, the clergy, the most prominent capitalists, and other
exploiters, any means are permissible, and therefore great attention
should be given specially to the study of chemistry and the preparation
of explosives, as being the most important weapons. Together with the
chief committee in London there will also be established an executive
bureau, whose duty is to carry out the decisions of the chief committee
and to conduct correspondence."[4]

After these attempts to establish an anarchist International, Most
sailed for New York. Some of his ideas had preceded him, and when he
arrived he was met and greeted by masses of German workingmen. Miss Emma
Goldman, in "Anarchism and Other Essays," tells us of the impression he
made upon her. "Some twenty-one years ago," she says, "I heard the first
great anarchist speaker--the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then,
and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the
masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could
never be erased from the human mind and soul. How could any one of all
the multitudes who flocked to Most's meetings escape his prophetic
voice!"[5] At the time of Most's arrival the American socialist movement
was hopelessly divided over questions of methods and tactics. Already
there had been bitter quarrels between those in the movement who had
formed secret drilling organizations which were preparing for a violent
revolution, and those others who sought by education, organization, and
political action to achieve their demands. In the year 1880 a number of
New York members had left the socialist organization and formed a
revolutionary group, and in October of the following year a convention
was held to organize the various revolutionary groups into a national
organization. Everything was favorable for Most, and when he arrived it
was not long, with his magnetic personality and fiery agitation, until
he had swept out of existence the older socialist organizations. In 1883
representatives from twenty-six cities met in Pittsburgh to form the
revolutionary socialist and anarchist groups into one body, called the
"International Working People's Association." The same year a dismal
socialist convention was held in Baltimore with only sixteen delegates
attending. They attempted to stem the tide to terrorism by declaring:
"We do not share the folly of the men who consider dynamite bombs as the
best means of agitation. We know full well that a revolution must take
place in the heads and in the industrial life of men before the working
class can achieve lasting success."[6]

The tide, however, was not stayed. The advocates of direct action
continued headlong toward the bitter climax at the Haymarket in Chicago
in 1886. Just previous to that fatal catastrophe, a series of great
strikes had occurred in and about that city. At the McCormick Reaper
Works a crowd of men was being addressed by Spies, an anarchist, when
the "scabs" left the factory. A pitched battle ensued. The police were
called, and, when they were assaulted with stones, they opened fire on
the crowd, shooting indiscriminately men, women, and children, killing
six and wounding many more. Spies, full of rage, hurried to the office
of _Arbeiter Zeitung_, the anarchist paper, and composed the
proclamation to the workingmen of Chicago which has since become famous
as "the revenge circular." It called upon the workingmen to arm
themselves and to avenge the brutal murder of their brothers. Five
thousand copies of the circular, printed in English and German, were
distributed in the streets. The next evening, May 4, 1886, a mass
meeting was called at the Haymarket. About two thousand working people
attended the meeting. The mayor of the city went in person to hear the
addresses, and later testified that he had reported to Captain Bonfield,
at the nearest police station, that "nothing had occurred nor was likely
to occur to require interference." Nevertheless, after Mayor Harrison
had gone, Captain Bonfield sent one hundred and seventy-six policemen to
march upon the little crowd that remained. Captain Ward, the officer in
charge, commanded the meeting to disperse, and, as Fielden, one of the
speakers, retorted that the meeting was a peaceable one, a dynamite bomb
was thrown from an adjoining alley that killed several policemen and
wounded many more.

In the agitation that led up to the Haymarket tragedy, dynamite had
always been glorified as the poor man's weapon. It was the power that
science had given to the weak to protect them from injustice and
tyranny. As powder and the musket had destroyed feudalism, so dynamite
would destroy capitalism. In the issue of the _Freiheit_, March 18,
1883, Most printed an article called "Revolutionary Principles." Many of
the phrases are evidently taken from the "Catechism" of Bakounin and
Nechayeff, and the sentiments are identical. During all this period
great meetings were organized to glorify some martyr who, by the
Propaganda of the Deed, had committed some great crime. For instance,
vast meetings were organized in honor of Stellmacher and others who had
murdered officers of the Viennese police. At one of these meetings Most
declared that such acts should not be called murder, because "murder is
the killing of a human being, and I have never heard that a policeman
was a human being."[7] When August Reinsdorf was executed for an attempt
on the life of the German Emperor, Most's _Freiheit_ appeared with a
heavy black border. "One of our noblest and best is no more," he
laments. "In the prison yard at Halle under the murderous sword of the
criminal Hohenzollern band, on the 7th of February, August Reinsdorf
ended a life full of battle and of self-sacrificing courage, as a martyr
to the great revolution."[8] It was inevitable that such views should
lead sooner or later to a tragedy, and, while most of the Chicago
anarchists were plain workingmen, simple and kindly, at least one
fanatic in the group deserves to rank with Nechayeff and Most as an
irreconcilable enemy of the existing order. This was Louis Lingg, whose
last words as he was taken from the court were: "I repeat that I am the
enemy of the 'order' of to-day, and I repeat that, with all my powers,
so long as breath remains in me, I shall combat it. I declare again,
frankly and openly, that I am in favor of using force. I have told
Captain Schaack, and I stand by it, 'If you cannonade us, we shall
dynamite you.' You laugh! Perhaps you think, 'You'll throw no more
bombs'; but let me assure you that I die happy on the gallows, so
confident am I that the hundreds and thousands to whom I have spoken
will remember my words; and, when you shall have hanged us, then, mark
my words, they will do the bomb-throwing! In this hope I say to you: I
despise you. I despise your order, your laws, your force-propped
authority. Hang me for it!"[9]

There are many minor incidents now quite forgotten that played a part in
this American terrorism. Benjamin R. Tucker, of New York, himself an
anarchist, but not an advocate of terrorist tactics, had in the midst of
this period to cry out in protest against the acts of those who called
themselves anarchists. In his paper, _Liberty_, March 27, 1886, Tucker
wrote on "The Beast of Communism."[10] He began by quoting Henri
Rochefort, who was reported to have said: "Anarchists are merely
criminals. They are robbers. They want no government whatever, so that,
when they meet you on the street, they can knock you down and rob

"This infamous and libelous charge," says Tucker, "is a very sweeping
one; I only wish that I could honestly meet it with as sweeping a
denial. And I can, if I restrict the word anarchist as it always has
been restricted in these columns, and as it ought to be restricted
everywhere and always. Confining the word anarchist so as to include
none but those who deny all external authority over the individual,
whether that of the present State or that of some industrial
collectivity or commune which the future may produce, I can look Henri
Rochefort in the face and say: 'You lie!' For of all these men I do not
recall even one who, in any ordinary sense of the term, can be justly
styled a robber.

"But unfortunately, in the minds of the people at large, this word
anarchist is not yet thus restricted in meaning. This is due principally
to the fact that within a few years the word has been usurped, in the
face of all logic and consistency, by a party of communists who believe
in a tyranny worse than any that now exists, who deny to the laborer the
individual possession of his product, and who preach to their followers
the following doctrine: 'Private property is your enemy; it is the beast
that is devouring you; all wealth belongs to everybody; take it wherever
you can find it; have no scruples about the means of taking it; use
dynamite, the dagger, or the torch to take it; kill innocent people to
take it; but, at all events, take it.' This is the doctrine which they
call anarchy, and this policy they dignify with the name of
'propagandism by deed.'

"Well, it has borne fruit with most horrible fecundity. To be sure, it
has gained a large mass of adherents, especially in the Western cities,
who are well-meaning men and women, not yet become base enough to
practice the theories which they profess to have adopted. But it has
also developed, and among its immediate and foremost supporters, a gang
of criminals whose deeds for the past two years rival in 'pure
cussedness' any to be found in the history of crime. Were it not,
therefore, that I have first, last, and always repudiated these
pseudo-anarchists and their theories, I should hang my head in shame
before Rochefort's charge at having to confess that too many of them are
not only robbers, but incendiaries and murderers. But, knowing as I do
that no _real_ anarchist has any part or lot in these infamies, I do not
confess the facts with shame, but reiterate them with righteous wrath
and indignation, in the interest of my cause, for the protection of its
friends, and to save the lives and possessions of any more weak and
innocent persons from being wantonly destroyed or stolen by cold-blooded
villains parading in the mask of reform.

"Yes, the time has come to speak. It is even well-nigh too late. Within
the past fortnight a young mother and her baby boy have been burned to
death under circumstances which suggest to me the possibility that, had
I made this statement sooner, their lives would have been saved; and, as
I now write these lines, I fairly shudder at the thought that they may
not reach the public and the interested parties before some new
holocaust has added to the number of those who have already fallen
victims. Others who know the facts, well-meaning editors of leading
journals of so-called communistic anarchism, may, from a sense of
mistaken party fealty, bear longer the fearful responsibility of
silence, if they will; for one I will not, cannot. I will take the other
responsibility of exposure, which responsibility I personally and
entirely assume, although the step is taken after conference upon its
wisdom with some of the most trusted and active anarchists in America.

"Now, then, the facts. And they _are_ facts, though I state them
generally, without names, dates, or details.

"The main fact is this: that for nearly two years a large number of the
most active members of the German Group of the International Working
People's Association in New York City, and of the Social Revolutionary
Club, another German organization in that city, have been persistently
engaged in getting money by insuring their property for amounts far in
excess of the real value thereof, secretly removing everything that they
could, setting fire to the premises, swearing to heavy losses, and
exacting corresponding sums from the insurance companies. Explosion of
kerosene lamps is usually the device which they employ. Some seven or
eight fires, at least, of this sort were set in New York and Brooklyn in
1884 by members of the gang, netting the beneficiaries an aggregate
profit of thousands of dollars. In 1885 nearly twenty more were set,
with equally profitable results. The record for 1886 has reached six
already, if not more. The business has been carried on with the most
astonishing audacity. One of these men had his premises insured, fired
them, and presented his bill of loss to the company within twenty-four
hours after getting his policy, and before the agent had reported the
policy to the company. The bill was paid, and a few months later the
same fellow, under another name, played the game over again, though not
quite so speedily. In one of the fires set in 1885 a woman and two
children were burned to death. The two guilty parties in this case were
members of the Bohemian Group and are now serving life sentences in
prison. Another of the fires was started in a six-story tenement house,
endangering the lives of hundreds, but fortunately injuring no one but
the incendiary. In one case in 1886 the firemen have saved two women
whom they found clinging to their bed posts in a half-suffocated
condition. In another a man, woman, and baby lost their lives. Three
members of the gang are now in jail awaiting trial for murdering and
robbing an old woman in Jersey City. Two others are in jail under heavy
bail and awaiting trial for carrying concealed weapons and assaulting an
officer. They were walking arsenals, and were found under circumstances
which lead to the suspicion that they were about to perpetrate a
robbery, if not a murder.

"The profits accruing from this 'propagandism by deed' are not even used
for the benefit of the movement to which the criminals belong, but go to
fill their own empty pockets, and are often spent in reckless, riotous
living. The guilty parties are growing bolder and bolder, and,
anticipating detection ultimately, a dozen or so of them have agreed to
commit perjury in order to involve the innocent as accomplices in their
crimes. It is their boast that the active anarchists shall all go to the
gallows together."

The history of terrorist tactics in America largely centers about the
career of Johann Most. In August Bebel's story of his life he speaks in
high terms of the unselfish devotion and sterling character of Most in
his early days. "If later on," says Bebel, "under the anti-socialist
laws, he went astray and became an anarchist and an advocate of direct
action, and finally, although he had been a model of abstinence, ended
in the United States as a drunkard, it was all due to the anti-socialist
laws, laws which drove him and many others from the country. Had he
remained under the influence of the men who were able to guide him and
restrain his passionate temper, the party would have possessed in him a
most zealous, self-sacrificing, and indefatigable fighter."[12] Most,
then, was one of the victims of Bismarck's savage policies, as were also
nearly all the other Germans who took part in the sordid crimes related
by Tucker. And the Haymarket--the greatest of all American
tragedies--leads directly back to the Iron Chancellor and his ferocious

A few minor incidents of anarchist activity may be recorded for the
following years, but the only acts of importance were the shooting of
President McKinley by Czolgosz and the shooting of Henry C. Frick by
Alexander Berkman. In the "Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist," Berkman has
now told us that as a youth he became a disciple of Bakounin and a fiery
member of the Nihilist group. It was after the Homestead strike that
Berkman saw a chance to propagate his gospel by a deed. Leaving his home
in New York, he went to Pittsburgh for the purpose of killing Henry C.
Frick, then head of the Carnegie Steel Company. Berkman made his way
into Frick's office, shot at and slightly wounded him. In explanation of
this act he says: "In truth, murder and _attentat_ (that is, political
assassination) are to me opposite terms. To remove a tyrant is an act of
liberation, the giving of life and opportunity to an oppressed
people."[13] For this attempt on the life of Frick, Berkman was
condemned to a term of imprisonment of twenty-two years. Despite a few
isolated outbreaks, it may be said, therefore, that the seeds of
anarchism have never taken root in America, just as they have never
taken root in Germany or in England. To-day there are no active American
terrorists and only a handful of avowed anarchists. In the Latin
countries, however, the deeds of terrorism still played a tragic part in
the history of the next few years.


[I] See _Revolutionäre Kriegswissenschaft_.



While Johann Most was sowing the seeds of terrorism in America, his
comrades were actively at work in Europe. And, if the tactics of Most
led eventually to petty thievery, somewhat the same degeneration was
overtaking the Propaganda of the Deed in Europe. Up to 1886 robbery had
not yet been adopted as a weapon of the Latin revolutionists. In
America, in Austria, and in Russia, the doctrine had been preached and,
to a certain extent, practiced, but _l'affaire Duval_ was responsible
for its introduction into France. Unlike most of the preceding
demonstrations, the act of Duval was essentially an individual one. On
October 5, 1886, a large house situated at 31 rue de Monceau, Paris, and
occupied by Mme. Herbelin and her daughter, Mme. Madeleine Lemaire, the
well-known artist, was robbed and half burned. Some days later, Clément
Duval and two accomplices, Didier and Houchard, were arrested as the
perpetrators of this act. At first the matter was treated by the
newspapers as an ordinary robbery. The _Cri du Peuple_ called it a
simple burglary, followed by an incendiary attempt. But after some days,
Duval announced himself an anarchist and declared that his act was in
harmony with his faith.

On January 11 and 12, 1887, the case came before the court. The
discussions were very heated. After M. Fernand Labori, then a very
young advocate, who had been appointed to defend Duval, had made his
plea, Duval became anxious to defend himself. He threatened, in leaving
the prison, to blow up with dynamite the jury and the court, and heaped
upon them most abusive language. The president ordered that he should be
removed from the court. An enormous tumult then ensued in that part of
the hall where the anarchists were massed. "Help! Help! Comrades! Long
live Anarchy!" cried Duval. "Long live Anarchy!" answered his comrades.
Thirty guards led Duval away, and the verdict was read in the presence
of an armed force with fixed bayonets. He was condemned to death and his
two accomplices acquitted.

Eight days afterward, on January 23, an indignation meeting against the
condemnation of Duval was organized by the anarchists, at which nearly
1,000 were present. Tennevin, Leboucher, and Louise Michel spoke in
turn, glorifying Duval. The opposition was taken by a Blanquist, a
Normandy citizen, who censured the act of Duval, because such acts, he
said, throw discredit on the revolutionists and so retard the hour of
the Social Revolution.

Duval's case was appealed to the highest court in France, but the appeal
was rejected. The President of the Republic, however, commuted his
sentence of capital punishment to enforced labor. Then followed a long
period of discussions and violent controversies between the anarchists
and the socialists over the whole affair. The anarchists claimed the
right of theft on the grounds that it was the beginning of capitalist
expropriation and that stolen wealth could aid in propaganda and action.
The socialists, on the other hand, protested against this theory with
extreme vigor.

After Duval, there is little noteworthy in the terrorist movement for a
period of four years, but with May 1, 1891, there began what is known as
_La Période Tragique_. Five notable figures, Decamps, Ravachol,
Vaillant, Henry, and Caserio, within a period of three years, performed
a series of terrorist acts that cannot be forgotten. Their utter
desperation and abandon, the terrible solemnity of their lives, and the
almost superhuman efforts they made to bring society to its knees mark
the most tragic and heroic period in the history of anarchism. At
Levallois-Perret a demonstration was organized by the anarchists for May
1. They brought out their red and black flags, and, when the police
attempted to interfere and to take away their banners, they opened fire
upon them. Several fell injured, while others returned the fire. The
fight continued for some time, until finally reinforcements arrived and
the anarchists were subdued. Six of the police and three of the
anarchists were severely injured, one of the latter being Decamps, who
had received severe blows from a sword. The trial took place in August,
and, when Decamps attempted to defend himself, the judge refused to hear
him. Finally he and his friends were condemned to prison.

The next year, 1892, the avenger of Decamps appeared. It was the famous
Ravachol, who for a time kept all Paris in a state of terror. In the
night of February 14 there was a theft of dynamite from the
establishment of _Soisy-sous-Etioles_. On March 11 an explosion shook
the house on Boulevard Saint-Germain, in which lived M. Benoît, the
judge who had presided in August, 1891, at the trial of Decamps at
Levallois. On March 15 a bomb was discovered on the window of the Lobau
barracks. On March 27 a bomb was exploded on the first floor of a house
on rue de Clichy, occupied by M. Bulot, who had held the office of
Public Minister at the trial in Levallois. It was only by chance, on the
accusation of a boy by the name of Lhérot, who was employed in a
restaurant, that the police eventually captured Ravachol. He admitted
having exploded the bombs in rue de Clichy and Boulevard Saint-Germain,
"in order to avenge," he said, "the abominable violences committed
against our friends, Decamps, Léveillé, and Dardare."[1] On April 26 a
bomb was exploded in the restaurant where Lhérot, the informer, worked,
killing the proprietor and severely wounding one of the patrons.

The public was thrown into a state of dreadful alarm. The next day, when
Ravachol was brought to trial, some awful foreboding seemed to possess
those who were present. All Paris was guarded. In spite of the efforts
of the Public Minister, the jury spared Ravachol on the ground of
extenuating circumstances. It is difficult to say whether it was fear or
pity that determined the decision of the jurors. In any case, Ravachol
was acquitted, only to be condemned to death a few months later for
strangling the hermit of Chambles, and he was then executed.

"What shall one think of Ravachol?" says Prolo in _Les Anarchistes_. "He
assassinated a mendicant, he broke into tombs in order to steal jewels,
he manufactured counterfeit money, or, more exactly, substituting
himself for the State, he cast five-franc pieces in silver, with the
authentic standard, and put them in circulation. Lastly, he dynamited
some property. He is of mystical origin. Profoundly religious in his
early youth, he embraces with the same ardor, the same passion, and the
same spirit of sacrifice the new political theory of equality. He throws
himself deliberately outside the limits of the society which he
abhors--kills, robs, and avenges his brothers. And let anyone question
him, he replies: 'A begging hermit, he is a parasite and should be
suppressed. One ought not to bury jewels when children are hungry, when
mothers weep, and when men suffer from misery. The State makes money. Is
it of good alloy? I make it as the State makes it and of the same alloy!
As to dynamite, it is the arm of the weak who avenge themselves or
avenge others for the humiliating oppression of the strong and their
unconscious accomplices.'"[2]

Although the anarchists accepted Duval and defended his acts, Ravachol
was variously appreciated by them. Jean Grave, the French anarchist, and
Merlino, the Italian anarchist, both condemned Ravachol. "He is not one
of us," declared the latter, "and we repudiate him. His explosions lose
their revolutionary character because of his personality, which is
unworthy to serve the cause of humanity."[3] Élisée Reclus, on the
contrary, wrote of Ravachol in the _Sempre Avanti_ as follows: "I admire
his courage, his goodness of heart, his grandeur of soul, the generosity
with which he has pardoned his enemies. I know few men who surpass him
in generosity. I pass over the question of knowing up to what point it
is always desirable to push one's own right to the extreme and whether
other considerations, actuated by a sentiment of human solidarity, ought
not to make it yield. But I am none the less of those who recognize in
Ravachol a hero of a rare grandeur of soul."[4]

In the _Entretiens politiques et littéraires_, under the title, _Eloge
de Ravachol_, Paul Adam wrote: "Whatever may have been the invectives of
the bourgeois press and the tenacity of the magistrates in dishonoring
the act of the victim, they have not succeeded in persuading us of his
error. After so many judicial debates, chronicles, and appeals to legal
murder, Ravachol remains the propagandist of the grand idea of the
ancient religions which extolled the quest of individual death for the
good of the world, the abnegation of self, of one's life, and of one's
fame for the exaltation of the poor and the humble. He is definitely the
Renewer of the Essential Sacrifice."[5] Museux, in _l'Art social_, said:
"Ravachol has remained what he at first showed himself, a rebel. He has
made the sacrifice of his life for an idea and to cause that idea to
pass from a dream into reality. He has recoiled before nothing, claiming
the responsibility for his acts. He has been logical from one end to the
other. He has given example of a fine character and indomitable energy,
at the same time that he has summed up in himself the vague anger of the

Hardly had the people of Paris gotten over their terror of the deeds of
Ravachol when August Vaillant endeavored to blow up with dynamite the
French Chamber of Deputies. He was a socialist, almost unknown among the
anarchists. He said afterward that political-financial scandals were
arousing popular anger and that it was necessary to thrust the sword
into the heart of public powers, since they could not be conquered
peaceably. In order to carry out his plan, he went to _Palais-Bourbon_,
and, when the session opened, Vaillant arose in the gallery to throw his
bomb. A woman, perceiving the intentions of the thrower, grasped his
arm, causing the bomb to strike a chandelier, with the result that only
Abbé Lemire and some spectators were injured. In the midst of commotion,
with men stupefied with terror, the president of the Chamber, M. Charles
Dupuy, called out the memorable words, "The session continues."

Arraigned before the court, Vaillant was condemned to death. He said in
explanation of his act, "I carried this bomb to those who are primarily
responsible for social misery."[7] "Gentlemen, in a few minutes you are
to deal your blow, but in receiving your verdict I shall have at least
the satisfaction of having wounded the existing society, that cursed
society in which one may see a single man spending, uselessly, enough to
feed thousands of families; an infamous society which permits a few
individuals to monopolize all the social wealth, while there are
hundreds of thousands of unfortunates who have not even the bread that
is not refused to dogs, and while entire families are committing suicide
for want of the necessities of life....[8]

"I conclude, gentlemen, by saying that a society in which one sees such
social inequalities as we see all about us, in which we see every day
suicides caused by poverty, prostitution flaring at every street
corner--a society whose principal monuments are barracks and
prisons--such a society must be transformed as soon as possible, on pain
of being eliminated, and that speedily, from the human race. Hail to him
who labors, by no matter what means, for this transformation! It is this
idea that has guided me in my duel with authority, but as in this duel I
have only wounded my adversary, it is now its turn to strike me."[9]

The Abbé Lemire, Deputy from the North, the only member of the Chamber
who had been slightly wounded by the explosion of the bomb, urged the
pardon of the condemned man. The socialist Deputies likewise decided to
appeal to the pardoning power of the President of the Republic and
signed the following petition: "The undersigned, members of the Chamber
of Deputies which was made the object of the criminal attempt of
December 9, have the honor to address to the President of the Republic
a last appeal in favor of the condemned."[10] It has long been the
custom in France not to punish an abortive crime with the death penalty,
and it was generally believed that Vaillant's sentence would be changed
to life imprisonment. President Carnot, however, refused to extend any
mercy, and Vaillant was guillotined.

A few days after the execution of Vaillant, a bomb was thrown among some
guests who were quietly assembled, listening to the music, in the café
of the Hotel Terminus. Several persons were severely wounded. After a
fierce struggle with the police, Émile Henry was arrested. In the trial
it was learned that he had been responsible for a number of other
explosions that had taken place in the two or three years previous. He
had attempted to avenge the miners who had been on strike at Carmaux by
blowing up the manager of the company. He had deposited the bomb in the
office of the company, where it was discovered by the porter. It was
brought to the police, where it exploded, killing the secretary and
three of his agents. Henry was a silent, lonely man, wholly unknown to
the police. Mystical, sentimental, and brooding, he believed that the
rich were individually responsible for misery and social wrong. "I had
been told that life was easy and with abundant opportunity for all
intellects and all energies," he declared at his trial, "but experience
has shown me that only the cynics and the servile can make a place for
themselves at the banquet. I had been told that social institutions were
based on justice and equality, and I have seen about me only lies and
deceit. Each day robbed me of an illusion. Everywhere I went I was
witness of the same sorrows about us, of the same joys about others.
Therefore I was not long in understanding that the words which I had
been taught to reverence--honor, devotion, duty--were nothing but a
veil concealing the most shameful baseness....

"For an instant I was attracted by socialism; but I was not long in
withdrawing myself from that party. I had too much love for liberty, too
much respect for individual initiative, too much dislike for
incorporation to take a number in the registered army of the Fourth
Estate. I brought into the struggle a profound hatred, every day revived
by the repugnant spectacle of this society in which everything is
sordid, ... in which everything hinders the expansion of human passions,
the generous impulses of the heart, the free flight of thought. I have,
however, wished, as far as I was able, to strike forcibly and justly....
In this pitiless war which we have declared on the bourgeoisie we ask no
pity. We give death and know how to suffer it. That is why I await your
verdict with indifference."[11]

In the case of Henry appeals were also made to President Carnot for
mercy, but they, too, were ignored, and Henry was guillotined a few days
after Vaillant. A month or so later, June 25, President Carnot arrived
at Lyons to open an exposition. That evening, while on his way to a
theater, he was stabbed to death by the Italian anarchist, Caserio, on
the handle of whose stiletto was engraved "Vaillant."

This was the climax to the series of awful tragedies. It would be
impossible to picture the utter consternation of the entire French
nation. The characters that had figured in this terrible drama were not
ordinary men. Their addresses before condemnation were so eloquent and
impressive as to awaken lively emotions among the most thoughtful and
brilliant men in France. They challenged society. The judge refused
Decamps a hearing, and Ravachol undertook individually to destroy the
judge. Vaillant, deciding that the lawmakers were responsible for social
injustice, undertook with one bomb to destroy them. Henry, feeling that
it was not the lawmakers who were responsible, but the rich, careless,
and sensual, who in their mastery over labor caused poverty, misery, and
all suffering, sought with his bomb to destroy them. Utterly blind to
the sentiments which moved these men, the President of the Republic
allowed them to be guillotined, and Caserio, stirred to his very depths
by what he considered to be the sublime acts of his comrades, stabbed to
death the President.

It is hard to pass judgment on lives such as these. One stands
bewildered and aghast before men capable of such deeds; and, if they
defy frivolous judgment, even to explain them seems beyond the power of
one who, in the presence of the same wrongs that so deeply moved them,
can still remain inert. Yet is there any escape to the conclusion that
all this was utter waste of life and devotion? Far from awakening in
their opponents the slightest thought of social wrong, these men, at the
expense of their lives, awakened only a spirit of revenge. "An eye for
an eye" was now the sentiment of the militants on both sides. All reason
and sympathy disappeared, and, instead, every brutal passion had play.
Politically and socially, the reactionaries were put in the saddle.
Every progressive in France was placed on the defensive. Anyone who
hinted of social wrong was ostracized. Cæsarism ruled France, and,
through _les lois scélérates_, every bush was beaten, every hiding-place
uncovered, until every anarchist was driven out. The acts of Vaillant
and Henry, like the acts of the Chicago anarchists, not only failed
utterly as propaganda, they even closed the ear and the heart of the
world to everything and anything that was associated, or that could in
any manner be connected, with anarchism. They served only one
purpose--every malign influence and reactionary element took the acts of
these misguided prodigies as a pretext to fasten upon the people still
more firmly both social and political injustice. To no one were they so
useful as to their enemy.

For three years after this tragic period little noteworthy occurred in
the history of terrorism. In Barcelona, Spain, a bomb was thrown, and
immediately three hundred men and women were arrested. They were all
thrown into prison and subjected to torture. Some were killed, others
driven insane, although after a time some were released upon appeals
made by the press and by many notables of other countries of Europe. The
Prime Minister of Spain, Canovas del Castillo, was chiefly responsible
for the torture of the victims. And in 1897 a young Italian, Angiolillo,
went to Spain, and, at an interview which he sought with the Prime
Minister, shot him. The same year an attempt was made on the life of the
king of Greece, and in 1898 the Empress of Austria was assassinated in
Switzerland by an Italian named Luccheni. The latter had gone there
intending to kill the Duke of York, but, not finding him, decided to
destroy the Empress. In 1900 King Humbert of Italy was assassinated by
Gaetano Bresci. The latter had been working as a weaver in America,
where he had also edited an anarchist paper. He was deeply moved when
the story reached him of some soldiers who had shot and killed some
peasants, who through hunger had been driven to riot. He demanded money
of his comrades in Paterson, New Jersey, and, when he obtained it,
hurried back to his native land, where, at Monza, on the 29th of July he
shot the King. The next year on September 5, President McKinley was
shot in Buffalo by Leon Czolgosz.

No other striking figure appears among the anarchists until 1912. In the
early months of that year all Paris was terrified by a series of crimes
unexampled, it is said, in Western history. The deeds of Bonnot and his
confederates were so reckless, daring, and openly defiant, their escapes
so miraculous, and the audacity of their assaults so incredible, that
the people of Paris were put in a state bordering on frenzy. Just before
the previous Christmas, in broad daylight, on a busy street, the band
fell upon a bank messenger. They shot him and took from his wallet
$25,000. They then jumped in an automobile and disappeared. A short time
later a police agent called upon a chauffeur who was driving at excess
speed to stop. It was in the very center of Paris, but instead of
slackening his pace one of the occupants of the car drew a revolver,
and, firing, killed the officer. A pursuit was organized, but the
murderers escaped.

Several other crimes were committed by the band in the next few days,
but perhaps the most daring was that of March 25. In the forest of
Senart, at eight o'clock in the morning, a band of five men stopped a
chauffeur driving a powerful new motor car. They shot the chauffeur and
injured his companion. The five men then took the car, and proceeded at
great speed to the famous racing center of Chantilly. They went directly
to a bank, descended from the car, and shot down the three men in charge
of the bank. They then seized from the safe $10,000. A crowd which had
gathered was kept back by one of the bandits with a rifle. The others
came out, opened fire on the spectators, started the car at its utmost
speed, and disappeared.

Not long after, Monsieur Jouin, deputy chief of the Sûreté, and Chief
Inspector Colmar were making a domiciliary search in a house near Paris.
Instead of finding what they thought, a man crouching beneath a bed
sprang upon them, and in the fight Jouin was killed and Colmar severely
injured. Bonnot, although injured, escaped by almost miraculous means.

At last, on April 29, the band, which had defied the police force of
Paris for four months, was discovered concealed in a garage said to
belong to a wealthy anarchist. A body of police besieged the place, and
after two police officers were killed a dynamite cartridge was exploded
that destroyed the garage. Bonnot was then captured, fighting to the
last. The police reported the finding of Bonnot's will, in which he
says: "I am a celebrated man.... Ought I to regret what I have done?
Yes, perhaps; but I must live my life. So much the worse for idiotic and
imbecile society.... I am not more guilty," he continues, "than the
sweaters who exploit poor devils."[12] His final thought, it is said,
was for his accomplices, both of whom were women, one his mistress, the
other the manager of the _Journal Anarchie_.



Such is the tragic story of barely forty years of terrorism in Western
Europe. It reads far more like lurid fiction than the cold facts of
history. Yet these amazing irreconcilables actually lived--in our
time--and fought, at the cost of their lives, the entire organization of
society. Surely few other periods in history can show a series of
characters so daring, so bitter, so bent on destruction and
annihilation. Bakounin, Nechayeff, Most, Lingg, Duval, Decamps,
Ravachol, Henry, Vaillant, Caserio, and Luccheni--these bewildering
rebels--individually waged their deadly conflict with the world. With
the weakness of their one single life in revolt against
society--protected as it is by countless thousands of police, millions
of armed men, and all its machinery for defense--these amazing creatures
fought their fight and wrote their page of protest in the world's
history. Think of it as we will, this we know, that the world cannot
utterly ignore men who lay down their lives for any cause. Men may write
and agitate, they may scream never so shrilly about the wrongs of the
world, but when they go forth to fight single-handed and to die for what
they preach they have at least earned the right to demand of society an

What was it that drove these men to violence? Was it the teachings of
Bakounin, of Nechayeff, and of Most? Their writings have been read and
pondered over by thousands of yearning and impressionable minds. They
have been drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry. Yet one anarchist
at least denies that the writings of these terrorists have moved men to
violence. "My contention is," says Emma Goldman, "that they were
impelled, not by the teachings of anarchism, but by the tremendous
pressure of conditions, making life unbearable to their sensitive
natures."[1] Returning again to the same thought, she exclaims, "How
utterly fallacious the stereotyped notion that the teachings of
anarchism, or certain exponents of these teachings, are responsible for
the acts of political violence."[2] To this indefatigable propagandist
of anarchist doctrine, those who have been led into homicidal violence
are "high strung, like a violin string." "They weep and moan for life,
so relentless, so cruel, so terribly inhuman. In a desperate moment the
string breaks."[3]

Yet, if it be true that doctrines have naught to do with the spread of
terrorism, why is it that among many million socialists there are almost
no terrorists, while among a few thousand anarchists there are many
terrorists? The pressure of adverse social conditions is felt as keenly
by the socialists as by the anarchists. The one quite as much as the
other is a rebel against social ills. The indictment made by the
socialists against political and economic injustice is as far-reaching
as that of the anarchists. Why then does not the socialist movement
produce terrorists? Is it not that the teachings of Marx and of all his
disciples dwell upon the folly of violence, the futility of riots, the
madness of assassination, while, on the other hand, the teachings of
Bakounin, of Nechayeff, of Kropotkin, and of Most advocate destructive
violence as a creative force? "Extirpate the wretches!" cries Most.
"Make robbers our allies!" says Nechayeff. "Propagate the gospel by a
deed!" urges Kropotkin, and throughout Bakounin's writings there appears
again and again the plea for "terrible, total, inexorable, and universal
destruction." Both socialists and anarchists preach their gospel to the
weary and heavy-laden, to the despondent and the outraged, who may
readily be led to commit acts of despair. They have, after all, little
to lose, and their life, at present unbearable, can be made little worse
by punishment. Yet millions of the miserable have come into the
socialist movement to hear the fiercest of indictments against
capitalism, and it is but rare that one becomes a terrorist. What else
than the teachings of anarchism and of socialism can explain this

Unquestionably, socialism and anarchism attract distinctly different
types, who are in many ways alien to each other. Their mental processes
differ. Their nervous systems jar upon each other. Even physically they
have been known to repel each other. Born of much the same conditions,
they fought each other in the cradle. From the very beginning they have
been irreconcilable, and with perfect frankness they have shown their
contempt for each other. About the kindest criticism that the socialist
makes of the anarchist is that he is a child, while the anarchist is
convinced that the socialist is a Philistine and an inbred conservative
who, should he ever get power, would immediately hang the anarchists.[J]
They are traditional enemies, who seem utterly incapable of
understanding each other. Intellectually, they fail to grasp the meaning
of each other's philosophy. It is but rare that a socialist, no matter
how conscientious a student, will confess he fully understands
anarchism. On the other hand, no one understands the doctrines of
socialism so little as the anarchist. It is possible, therefore, that
the same conditions which drive the anarchist to terrorist acts lead the
socialist to altogether different methods, but the reasonable and
obvious conclusion would be that teachings and doctrines determine the
methods that each employ.

The anarchist is, as Emma Goldman says, "high strung." His ear is tuned
to hear unintermittently the agonized cry. To follow the imagery of
Shelley, he seems to be living in a "mind's hell,"[4] wherein hate,
scorn, pity, remorse, and despair seem to be tearing out the nerves by
their bleeding roots. Björnstjerne Björnson, François Coppée, Émile
Zola, and many other great writers have sought to depict the psychology
of the anarchist, but I think no one has approached the poet Shelley,
who had in himself the heart of the anarchist. He was a son-in-law and a
disciple of William Godwin, one of the fathers of anarchism. "Prometheus
Unbound," "The Revolt of Islam," and "The Mask of Anarchy," are
expressions of the very soul of Godwin's philosophy. Shelley was
"cradled into poetry by wrong," as a multitude of other unhappy men are
cradled into terrorism by wrong. He was "as a nerve o'er which do creep
the else unfelt oppressions of this earth," and he "could moan for woes
which others hear not." He, too, "could ... with the poor and trampled
sit and weep."[5] There is in nearly all anarchists this
supersensitiveness, this hyperæsthesia that leads to ecstasy, to
hysteria, and to fanaticism. It is a neuropathy that has led certain
scientists, like Lombroso and Krafft-Ebbing, to suggest that some
anarchist crimes can only be looked upon as a means to indirect suicide.
They are outbursts that lead to a spectacular martyr-like ending to
brains that "too much thought expands," to hearts overladen, and to
nerves all unstrung. Life is a burden to them, though they lack the
courage to commit suicide directly. Such is the view of these students
of criminal pathology, and they cite a long list of political criminals
who can only be explained as those who have sought indirectly
self-destruction. It is a type of insanity that leads to acts which seem
sublime to others in a state of like torture both of mind and of nerves.

This explains no doubt the acts of some terrorists, and at the same time
it condemns the present attitude of society toward the terrorist. Think
of hanging the tormented soul who could say as he was taken to the
gallows: "I went away from my native place because I was frequently
moved to tears at seeing little girls of eight or ten years obliged to
work fifteen hours a day for the paltry pay of twenty centimes. Young
women of eighteen or twenty also work fifteen hours daily for a mockery
of remuneration....

"I have observed that there are a great many people who are hungry, and
many children who suffer, while bread and clothes abound in the towns. I
saw many and large shops full of clothing and woolen stuffs, and I also
saw warehouses full of wheat and Indian corn, suitable for those who are
in want."[6] When such a tortured spirit is driven to homicide, how is
it possible for society to demand and take that life? Shall we admit
that there is a duel between society and these souls deranged by the
wrongs of society? "In this duel," said Vaillant, "I have only wounded
my adversary, it is now his turn to strike me."[7] It is tragic enough
that a poor and desperate soul, like Vaillant, should have felt himself
in deadly combat with society, but how much more tragic it is for
society to admit that fact, accept the challenge, and take that life!
"If you cannonade us, we shall dynamite you," said Louis Lingg.[8] And
we answer, "If you dynamite us, we shall cannonade you." And in so far
as this is our sole attitude toward these rebels, wherein are we
superior? For Lingg to say that was at least heroic. For us so to answer
is not even heroic. Our paid men see to it. It is done as a matter of
course and forgotten.

These men say that justice exists only for the powerful, that the poor
are robbed, and that "the lamp of their soul" is put out. They beg us to
listen, and we will not. They ask us to read, and we will not. "It takes
a loud voice to make the deaf hear," said Vaillant. They then give all
they have to execute one dreadful deed of propaganda in order to awaken
us. Must even this fail? We can hang them, but can we forget them? After
every deed of the anarchists the press, the police, and the pulpit carry
on for weeks a frenzied discussion over their atrocities. The lives of
these Propagandists of the Deed are then crushed out, and in a few
months even their names are forgotten. There seems to be an innate dread
among us to seek the causes that lie at the bottom of these distressing
symptoms of our present social régime. We prefer, it seems, to become
like that we contemplate. We seek to terrorize them, as they seek to
terrorize us. As the anarchist believes that oppression may be ended by
the murder of the oppressor, so society cherishes the thought that
anarchism may be ended by the murder of the anarchist. Are not our
methods in truth the same, and can any man doubt that both are equally
futile and senseless? Both the anarchy of the powerful and the anarchy
of the weak are stupid and abortive, in that they lead to results
diametrically opposed to the ends sought. Tennyson was never nearer a
great social truth than when he wrote:

     "He that roars for liberty
     Faster binds a tyrant's power;
     And the tyrant's cruel glee
     Forces on the freer hour."[9]

No one perhaps is better qualified than Lombroso to speak on the present
punitive methods of society as a direct cause of terrorism.
"Punishment," he says, "far from being a palliative to the fanaticism
and the nervous diseases of others, exalts them, on the contrary, by
exciting their altruistic aberration and their thirst for martyrdom. In
order to heal these anarchist wounds there is, according to some
statesmen, nothing but hanging on the gallows and prison. For my part, I
consider it just indeed to take energetic measures against the
anarchists. However, it is not necessary to go so far as to take
measures which are merely the result of momentary reactions, measures
which thus become as impulsive as the causes which have produced them
and in their turn a source of new violence.

"For example, I am not an unconditional adversary of capital punishment,
at least when it is a question of the criminal born, whose existence is
a constant danger to worthy people. Consequently, I should not have
hesitated to condemn Pini[K] and Ravachol. On the other hand, I believe
that capital punishment or severe or merely ignominious penalties are
not suited to the crimes and the offenses of the anarchists in general.
First, many of them are mentally deranged, and for these it is the
asylum, and not death or the gallows, that is fitting. It is necessary
also to take account, in the case of some of these criminals, of their
noble altruism which renders them worthy of certain regard. Many of
these people are souls that have gone astray and are hysterical, like
Vaillant and Henry, who, had they been engaged in some other cause, far
from being a danger, would have been able to be of use in this society
which they wished to destroy....

"As to indirect suicides, is it not to encourage them and to make them
attain the end that they desire when we inflict on all those so disposed
a spectacular death?... For many criminals by passion, unbalanced by an
inadequate education, and whose feeling is aroused by either their own
misery or at the sight of the misery of others, we would no more award
the death penalty if the motive has been exclusively political, because
they are much less dangerous than the criminal born. On the other hand,
commitment to the asylum of the epileptic and the hysteric would be a
practical measure, especially in France, where ridicule kills them.
Martyrs are venerated and fools are derided."[10]

Of course, Lombroso is endeavoring to prescribe a method of treatment
for the terrorist that will not breed more terrorists. He sees in the
present punitive methods an active cause of violence. However, it is
perhaps impossible to hope that society will adopt any different
attitude than that which it has taken in the past toward these
unbalanced souls. In fact, it seems that a savage _lex talionis_ is
wholly satisfying to the feudists on both sides. Neither the one nor the
other seeks to understand the forces driving them both. They are bent on
destroying each other, and they will probably continue in that struggle
for a long time to come. However, if we learn little from those actually
engaged in the conflict, there are those outside who have labored
earnestly to understand and explain the causes of terrorism. Ethics,
religion, psychology, criminal pathology, sociology, economics,
jurisprudence--all contribute to the explanation. And, while it is not
possible to go into the entire matter as exhaustively as one could wish,
there are several points which seem to make clear the cause of this
almost individual struggle between the anarchists above and the
anarchists below.

Some of those who have written of the causes of terrorism have a
partisan bias. There are those among the Catholic clergy, for instance,
who have sought to place the entire onus on the doctrines of modern
socialism. This has, in turn, led August Bebel to point out that the
teachings of certain famous men in the Church have condoned
assassination. He reminds us of Mariana, the Jesuit, who taught under
what circumstances each individual has a right to take the life of a
tyrant. His work, _De Rege et Rege Constitutione_, was famous in its
time. Lombroso tells us that "the Jesuits ... who even to-day sustain
the divine right of kings, when the kings themselves believe in it no
longer, revolted at one time against the princes who were not willing to
follow them in their _misonéique_ and retrograde fanaticism and hurled
themselves into regicide. Thus three Jesuits were executed in England in
1551 for complicity in a conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and
two others in 1605 in connection with the powder plot. In France, Père
Guignard was beheaded for high treason against Henry IV. (1595). Some
Jesuits were beheaded in Holland for the conspiracies against Maurice de
Nassau (1598); and, later in Portugal, after the attempt to assassinate
King Joseph (1757), three of the Jesuits were implicated; and in Spain
(1766) still others were condemned for their conspiracy against
Ferdinand IV.

"During the same period two Jesuits were hanged in Paris as accomplices
in the attempt against Louis XV. When they did not take an active part
in political crimes, they exercised indirectly their influence by means
of a whole series of works approving regicide or tyrannicide, as they
were pleased to distinguish it in their books. Mariana, in his book, _De
Rege et Rege Constitutione_, praises Clément and apologizes for
regicide; and that, in spite of the fact that the Council of Constance
had condemned the maxim according to which it was permitted to kill a

That the views of Mariana were very similar to those of the terrorists
will be seen by the following quotation from his famous book: "It is a
question," he writes, in discussing the best means of killing a king,
"whether it is more expedient to use poison or the dagger. The use of
poison in the food has a great advantage in that it produces its effect
without exposing the life of the one who has recourse to this method.
But such a death would be a suicide, and one is not permitted to become
an accomplice to a suicide. Happily, there is another method available,
that of poisoning the clothing, the chairs, the bed. This is the method
that it is necessary to put into execution in imitation of the
Mauritanian kings, who, under the pretext of honoring their rivals with
gifts, sent them clothes that had been sprinkled with an invisible
substance, with which contact alone has a fatal effect."[12]

It has also been pointed out that, although Catholics have rarely been
given to revolutionary political and economic theories, the Mafia and
the Camorra in Italy, the Fenians in Ireland, and the Molly Maguires in
America were all organizations of Catholics which pursued the same
terrorist tactics that we find in the anarchist movement. These are
unquestionable facts, yet they explain nothing. Certainly Zenker is
justified in saying, "The deeds of people like Jacques Clément,
Ravaillac, Corday, Sand, and Caserio, are all of the same kind; hardly
anyone will be found to-day to maintain that Sand's action followed from
the views of the _Burschenschaft_, or Clément's from Catholicism, even
when we learn that Sand was regarded by his fellows as a saint, as was
Charlotte Corday and Clément, or even when learned Jesuits like Sa,
Mariana, and others, _cum licentia et approbatione superiorum_, in
connection with Clément's outrage, discussed the question of regicide in
a manner not unworthy of Nechayeff or Most."[13] It therefore ill
becomes the Catholic clergy to attack socialism on the ground of
regicide, as not one socialist book or one socialist leader has ever yet
been known to advocate even tyrannicide. On the other hand, while
terrorism has been extraordinarily prevalent in Catholic countries, such
as France, Italy, and Spain, no socialist will seriously seek to lay the
blame on the Catholic Church. The truth is that the forces which produce
terrorism affect the Catholic mind as they affect the Protestant mind.
In every struggle for liberty and justice against religious, political,
or industrial oppression, some men are moved to take desperate measures
regardless of whether they are Catholics, Protestants, or pagans.

Still other seekers after the causes of terrorism have pointed out that
the ethics of our time appear to justify the terrorist and his tactics.
History glorifies the deeds of numberless heroes who have destroyed
tyrants. The story of William Tell is in every primer, and every
schoolboy is thrilled with the tale of the hero who shot from ambush
Gessler, the tyrant.[M] From the Old Testament down to even recent
history, we find story after story which make immortal patriots of men
who have committed assassination in the belief that they were serving
their country. And can anyone doubt that Booth when he shot President
Lincoln[N] or that Czolgosz when he murdered President McKinley was
actuated by any other motive than the belief that he was serving a
cause? It was the idea of removing an industrial tyrant that actuated
young Alexander Berkman when he shot Henry C. Frick, of the Carnegie
Company. These latter acts are not recorded in history as heroic, simply
and solely because the popular view was not in sympathy with those
acts. Yet had they been committed at another time, under different
conditions, the story of these men might have been told for centuries to
admiring groups of children.

In Carlyle's "Hero Worship" and in his philosophy of history, the
progress of the world is summarized under the stories of great men.
Certain individuals are responsible for social wrongs, while other
individuals are responsible for the great revolutions that have righted
those wrongs. In the building up, as well as in the destruction of
empires, the individual plays stupendous rôles. This egocentric
interpretation of history has not only been the dominant one in
explaining the great political changes of the past, it is now the
reasoning of the common mind, of the yellow press, of the demagogue, in
dealing with the causes of the evils of the present day. The Republican
Party declared that President McKinley was responsible for prosperity;
by equally sound reasoning Czolgosz may have argued that he was
responsible for social misery. According to this theory, Rockefeller is
the giant mind that invented the trusts; political bosses such as Croker
and Murphy are the infamous creatures who fasten upon a helpless
populace of millions of souls a Tammany Hall; Bismarck created modern
Germany; Lloyd George created social reform in England; while Tom Mann
in England and Samuel Gompers in America are responsible for strikes;
and Keir Hardie and Eugene Debs responsible for socialism. The
individual who with great force of ability becomes the foremost figure
in social, political, or industrial development is immediately assailed
or glorified. He becomes the personification of an evil thing that must
be destroyed or of a good thing that must be protected. It is a result
of such reasoning that men ignorant of underlying social, political, or
industrial forces seek to obstruct the processes of evolution by
removing the individual. On this ground the anarchists have been led to
remove hundreds of police officials, capitalists, royalties, and others.
They have been poisoned, shot, and dynamited, in the belief that their
removal would benefit humanity. Yet nothing would seem to be quite so
obvious as the fact that their removal has hardly caused a ripple in the
swiftly moving current of evolution. Others, often more forceful and
capable, have immediately stepped into their places, and the course of
events has remained unchanged.

Speaking on this subject, August Bebel refers to the hero-worship of
Bismarck in Germany: "There is no other person whom the social democracy
had so much reason to hate as him, and the social democracy was not more
hated by anybody than by just that Bismarck. Our love and our hatred
were, as you see, mutual. But one would search in vain the entire social
democratic press and literature for an expression of the thought that it
would be a lucky thing if that man were removed.... But how often did
the capitalist press express the idea that, were it not for Bismarck, we
would not, to this day, have a united Germany? There cannot be a more
mistaken idea than this. The unity of Germany would have come without
Bismarck. The idea of unity and liberty was in the sixties so powerful
among all the German people that it would have been realized, with or
without the assistance of the Hohenzollerns. The unity of Germany was
not only a political but an _economic necessity_, primarily in the
interests of the capitalist class and its development. The idea of unity
would have ultimately broken through with elementary force. At this
juncture Bismarck made use of the tendency, in _his own fashion, in the
interest of the Hohenzollern dynasty_, and at the same time _in the
interest of the capitalist class and of the Junkers_, the landed
nobility. The offspring of this compromise is the Constitution of the
German Empire, the provisions of which strive to reconcile the interests
of these three factors. Finally, even a man like Bismarck had to leave
his post. 'What a misfortune for Germany!' cried the press devoted to
him. Well, what has happened to Germany since then? Even Bismarck
himself could not have ruled it much differently than it has been ruled
since his days."[14]

This egoistic conception of history is carried to its most violent
extreme by the anarchists. The principles of Nechayeff are a series of
prescriptions by which fearless and reckless individuals may destroy
other individuals. Ravachol, Vaillant, and Henry seemed obsessed with
the idea that upon their individual acts rested the burden of
deliverance. Bonnot's last words were, "I am a celebrated man." From the
gallows in Chicago Fischer declared, "This is the happiest moment of my
life."[15] "Call your hangman!" exclaimed August Spies. "Truth crucified
in Socrates, in Christ, in Giordano Bruno, in Huss, in Galileo, still
lives--they and others whose name is legion have preceded us on this
path. We are ready to follow!"[16] Fielden said: "I have loved my
fellowmen as I have loved myself. I have hated trickery, dishonesty, and
injustice. The nineteenth century commits the crime of killing its best
friend."[17] It is singularly impressive, in reading the literature of
anarchism, to weigh the last words of men who felt upon their souls the
individual responsibility of saving humanity. They have uttered
memorable words because of their inherent sincerity, their devout belief
in the individual, in his power for evil, and in his power to remove
that evil.

In many anarchists, however, this deification of the individual induces
a morbid and diseased egotism which drives them to the most amazing
excesses; among others, the yearning to commit some memorable act of
revolt in order to be remembered. In fact, the ego in its worst, as well
as in its best aspect, dominates the thought and the literature of
anarchism. Max Stirner, considered by some the founder of philosophical
anarchism, calls his book "The Ego and His Own." "Whether what I think
and do is Christian," he writes, "what do I care? Whether it is human,
liberal, humane, whether unhuman, illiberal, inhuman, what do I ask
about that? If only it accomplishes what I want, if only I satisfy
myself in it, then overlay it with predicates as you will; it is all
alike to me."[18] "Consequently my relation to the world is this: I no
longer do anything for it 'for God's sake,' I do nothing 'for man's
sake,' but what I do I do 'for my sake.'"[19] "Where the world comes in
my way--and it comes in my way everywhere--I consume it to quiet the
hunger of my egoism. For me you are nothing but--my food, even as I,
too, am fed upon and turned to use by you."[20]

Here society is conceived of as merely a collection of egos. The world
is a history of gods and of devils. All the evils of the time are
embodied in individual tyrants. Some of these individuals control the
social forces, others the political, still others the industrial forces.
As individuals, they overpower and enslave their individual enemies.
Remove a man and you destroy the source of tyranny. A judge commits a
man to death, and the judge is dynamited. A Prime Minister sends the
army to shoot down striking workmen and the Prime Minister is shot. A
law is passed violating the rights of free speech, and, following that,
an Emperor is shot. The rich exploit the poor, and a fanatic throws a
bomb in the first café he passes to revenge the poor. Wicked and unjust
laws are made, and Vaillant goes in person to the Chamber of Deputies to
throw his bomb. The police of Chicago murder some hungry strikers, and
an avenger goes to the Haymarket to murder the police. In all these acts
we find a point of view in harmony with the dominant one of our day. It
is the one taught in our schools, in our pulpits, on our political
platforms, and in our press. It is the view, carried to an extreme, of
that man or group of men who believes that the ideas of individuals
determine social evolution. Nothing could be more logical to the
revolutionist who holds this view than to seek to remove those
individuals who are responsible for the existing order of society. As a
rule, the socialist stands almost alone in combating this ideological
interpretation of history and of social evolution.

There is something in the nature of poetic irony in the fact that the
anarchist should take the very ethics of capitalism and reduce them to
an absurdity. It is something in the nature of a satire, sordid and
terrible, which the realism of things has here written. The very most
cherished ethical ideals of our society are used by the bitterest
enemies of that society to arouse the wronged to individual acts of
revenge. Quite a number of notable anarchists have been the product of
misery and oppression. Their souls were warped, and their minds
distorted in childhood by hunger and brutality. They were wronged
terribly by the world, and anarchism came to them as a welcome spirit,
breathing revenge. It taught that the world was wrong, that injustice
rode over it like a nightmare, that misery flourished in the midst of
abundance, that multitudes labored with bent backs to produce luxuries
for the few. Their eyes were opened to the wrong of hunger, poverty,
unemployment, of woman and child labor, and of all the miseries that
press heavily upon human souls. And in their revolt they saw kings,
judges, police officials, legislators, captains of industry, who were
said to be directly responsible for these social ills. It was not
society or a system or even a class that was to blame; it was McKinley,
or Carnot, or Frick. And those whom some worshiped as heroes, these men
loathed as tyrants.

The powerful have thought to deprive the poor of souls. They have liked
to think that they would forever bear their cross in peace. Yet when
anarchism comes and touches the souls of the poor it finds not dead
blocks of wood or mere senseless cogs in an industrial machine; it finds
the living, who can pray and weep, love and hate. No matter how scared
their souls become, there is yet a possibility that their whole beings
may revolt under wrong. When the anarchist deifies even the veriest
wreck of society--this individual, "this god, though in the germ"--when
he inflames it with dignity and with pride, when he fills its whole
being with a thirst for awful and incredible vengeance, you have Duval,
Lingg, Ravachol, Luccheni, and Bonnot. Add to their desire for revenge
the philosophy of anarchism and of our schoolbooks, that individuals are
the makers of history, and the result is terrorism.

Other students of terrorism have noted the prevalence of violence in
those countries and times where the courts are corrupt, where the law is
brutal and oppressive, or where men are convinced that no available
machinery exists to execute the ends of justice. This latter is the
explanation given for the numerous lynchings in America and also for
the practices of "popular justice" that used to be a common feature of
frontier life. In the absence of a properly constituted legal machinery
groups of men undertake to shoot, hang, or burn those whom they consider
dangerous to the public weal. In Russia it was inevitable that a
terrorist movement should arise. The courts were corrupt, the
bureaucracy oppressive. Furthermore, no form of freedom existed. Men
could neither speak nor write their views. They could not assemble, and
until recently they did not possess the slightest voice in the affairs
of government. Borne down by a most hideous oppression, the terrorist
was the natural product. The same conditions have existed to an extent
in Italy, and probably no other country has produced so many violent
anarchists. Caserio, Luccheni, Bresci, and Angiolillo have been
mentioned, but there are others, such as Santoro, Mantica, Benedicti,
although these latter are accused of being police agents. In Italy the
people have for centuries individually undertaken to execute their
conception of equity. Official justice was too costly to be available to
the poor, and the courts were too corrupt to render them justice. For
centuries, therefore, men have been considered justified in murdering
their personal enemies. Among all classes it has long been customary to
deal individually with those who have committed certain crimes. The
horrible legal conditions existing in both Spain and Italy have
developed among these peoples the idea of "self-help." They have taken
law into their own hands, and, according to their lights and passions,
have meted out their rude justice. Assassination has been defended in
these countries, as lynching has been defended recently, as some will
remember, by a most eminent American anarchist, the Governor of South

Lombroso says in his exhaustive study of the causes of violence, _Les
Anarchistes_: "History is rich in examples of the complicity of
criminality and politics, and where one sees in turn political passion
react on criminal instinct and criminal instinct on political passion.
While Pompey has on his side all honest people--Cato, Brutus, Cicero;
Cæsar, more popular than he, has as his followers only
degenerates--Antony, a libertine and drunkard; Curio, a bankrupt;
Clelius, a madman; Dolabella, who made his wife die of grief and who
wanted to annul all debts; and, above all, Catiline and Clodius. In
Greece the Clefts, who are brigands in time of peace, have valiantly
championed the independence of their country. In Italy, in 1860, the
Papacy and the Bourbons hired brigands to oppose the national party and
its troops; the Mafia of Sicily rose up with Garibaldi; and the Camorra
of Naples coöperated with the liberals. And this shameful alliance with
the Camorra of Naples is not yet dissolved; the last parliamentary
struggles relative to the acts of the government of Naples have given us
a sad echo of it--which, alas, proves that it still lasts without hope
of change for the future. It is especially at the initial stages of
revolutions that these sorts of people abound. It is then, indeed, that
the abnormal and unhealthy spirits predominate over the faltering and
the weak and drag them on to excesses by an actual epidemic of

Marx and Engels saw very clearly the part that the criminal elements
would play in any uprising, and as early as 1847 they wrote in the
Communist Manifesto: "The 'dangerous class,' the social scum, that
passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society,
may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian
revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for
the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue."[22] The truth of
this statement has been amply illustrated in the numerous outbreaks that
have occurred since it was written. The use by the Bakouninists in Spain
of the criminal elements there, the repeated exploits of the police
agents in discrediting every uprising by encouraging the criminal
elements to outrageous acts, and the terrible barbarities of the
criminal classes at the time of the Paris Commune are all examples of
how useful to reaction the rotting layers of old society may become.
Even when they do not serve as a bribed tool of the reactionary
elements, their atrocities, both cruel and criminal, repel the
self-respecting and conscientious elements. They discredit the real
revolutionists, who must bear the stigma that attaches to the inhuman
acts of the "dangerous class."

That the European governments have used the terrorists in exactly this
manner in order to discredit popular movements, is not, I think, open to
any question. The money of the anarchists' bitterest enemy has helped to
make anarchy so well known. The politics of Machiavelli is the politics
of nearly every old established European government. It is the politics
of families who have been trained in the profession of rulership. And
this mastership, as William Morris has said, has many shifts. And one
that has been most useful to them is that of subsidizing those persons
or elements who by their acts promote reaction. In Russia it is an old
custom to foment and provoke minor insurrections. Police agents enter a
discontented district and do all possible to irritate the troublesome
elements and to force them "to come into the street." In this manner the
agitators and leaders are brought to the front, where at one stroke they
may all be shot. Furthermore, the police agents themselves commit or
provoke such atrocious crimes that the people are terrified and welcome
the strong arm of the Government. Literally scores of instances might be
given where, by well-planned work of this sort, the active leaders are
cut down, the sources of agitation destroyed, and through the robberies,
murders, and dynamite outrages of police agents the people are so
terrified that they welcome the intervention of even tyranny itself.

An immense sensation throughout Europe was created by an address by
Jules Guesde in the French Chamber of Deputies, the 19th of July, 1894.
The deeds of Ravachol, Vaillant, and Henry were still the talk of
Europe, and, three weeks before, the President of the Republic had been
stabbed to death by Caserio. It was in that critical period, amidst
commotions, interruptions, protests, and exclamations of amazement, that
Guesde brought out his evidence that the chief of police of Paris had
paid regular subsidies to promote and extend both the preaching and the
practice of violent anarchism. He introduced, in support of his remarks,
portions from the Memoirs of M. Andrieux, our old friend of Lyons and
later the head of the Paris police. "The anarchists," says Andrieux,
"wished to have a newspaper to spread their doctrines. If I fought their
Propaganda of the Deed, I at least favored the spread of their doctrines
by means of the press, and I have no reasons for depriving myself longer
of their gratitude.[O] The companions were looking for some one to
advance funds, but infamous capital was in no hurry to reply to their
appeal. I shook it up and succeeded in persuading it that it was for its
own interest to aid in the publication of an anarchist newspaper....

"But do not think that I boldly offered to the anarchists the
encouragement of the Prefect of Police.... I sent a well-dressed
bourgeois to one of the most active and intelligent of them. He
explained that, having acquired a fortune in the drug business, he
desired to devote a part of his income to help their propaganda. This
bourgeois, anxious to be devoured, awakened no suspicion among the
companions. Through his hands, I deposited the caution money in the
coffers of the State, and the paper, _la Révolution Sociale_, made its
appearance.... Every day, about the table of the editors, the authorized
representatives of the party of action assembled; they looked over the
international correspondence; they deliberated on the measures to be
taken to end 'the exploitation of man by man'; they imparted to each
other the recipes which science puts at the disposal of revolution. I
was always represented in the councils, and I gave my advice in case of
need.... The members had decided in the beginning that the
Palais-Bourbon must be blown up. They deliberated on the question as to
whether it would not be more expedient to commence with some more
accessible monument. The Bank of France, the _palais de l'Élysée_, the
house of the prefect of police, the office of the Minister of the
Interior were all discussed, then abandoned, by reason of the too
careful surveillance of which they were the object."[23] Toward the end
of his address, Guesde turned to the reactionaries, and said: "I have
shown you that everywhere, from the beginning of the anarchist epidemic
in France, you find either the hand or the money of one of your
prefects of police.... That is how you have fought in the past this
anarchistic danger of which you make use to-day to commit, what shall I
say?... real crimes, not only against socialism, but against the
Republic itself."[24]

For the last forty years police agents have swarmed into the socialist,
the anarchist, and the trade-union movements for the purpose of
provoking violence. The conditions grew so bad in Russia that every
revolutionist suspected his comrade. Many loyal revolutionists were
murdered in the belief that they were spies. In the belief that they
were comrades, the faithful intrusted their innermost secrets to the
agents of the police. Every plan they made was known. Every undertaking
proved abortive, because the police knew everything in advance and
frequently had in charge of every plot their own men. Criminals were
turned into the movement under the surveillance of the police.[P] All
through the days of the International it was a common occurrence to
expose police spies, and in every national party agents of the police
have been discovered and driven out. It has become almost a rule, in
certain sections of the socialist and labor movements, that the man who
advocates violence must be watched, and there are numerous instances
where such men have been proved to be paid agents of the police. Joseph
Peukert was for many years one of the foremost leaders of the
anarchists. He was in Vienna with Stellmacher and Kammerer, and devoted
much of his time to translating into German the works of foreign
anarchists. It was only discovered toward the end of his life that
during all this time he was in the employ of the Austrian police.

These and similar startling facts were brought out by August Bebel in an
address delivered in Berlin, November 2, 1898. Luccheni had just
murdered the Empress of Austria, and the German reactionaries attempted,
of course, to connect him with the socialists. Bebel created utter
consternation in their camp when, as a part of his address, he showed
the active participation of high officials in crimes of the anarchists.
"And how often," said Bebel, "police agents have helped along in the
attempted or executed assassinations of the last decades. When Bismarck
was Federal Ambassador at Frankfort-on-the-Main he wrote to his wife:
'For lack of material the police agents lie and exaggerate in a most
inexcusable manner.' These agents are engaged to discover contemplated
assassinations. Under these circumstances, the bad fellows among them
... come easily to the idea: 'If other people don't commit
assassinations, then we ourselves must help the thing along.' For, if
they cannot report that there is something doing, they will be
considered superfluous, and, of course, they don't want that to happen.
So they 'help the thing along' by 'correcting luck,' as the French
proverb puts it. Or they play politics on their own score.

"To demonstrate this I need only to remind you of the 'reminiscences' of
Andrieux, the former Chief of Police of Paris, in which he brags with
the greatest cynicism of how he, by aid of police funds, subsidized
extreme Anarchist papers and organized Anarchist assassinations, just to
give a thorough scare to rich citizens. And then there is that notorious
Police Inspector Melville, of London, who also operated on these lines.
That was revealed by the investigation of the so-called Walsall attempt
at assassination. Among the assassinations committed by the Fenians
there were also some that were the work of the police, as was shown at
the Parnell trial. Everybody remembers how much of such activity was
displayed in Belgium during the eighties by that prince of scoundrels,
Pourbaix. Even the Minister Bernaard himself was compelled to admit
before the Parliament that Pourbaix was paid to arrange assassinations
in order to justify violent persecutions of the _Social Democracy_.
Likewise was Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, nicknamed the 'bomb-baron,'
unmasked as a police agent at the trial of the Luttich Anarchists.

"And then--our own good friends at the time of the [anti-] Socialist
law. About them I myself could tell you some interesting stories, for I
was among those who helped to unmask them. There is Schroeder-Brennwald,
of Zurich, the chap who was receiving from Molkenmarkt, through police
counsellor Krueger, a monthly salary of at first 200 and then 250 marks.
At every meeting in Zurich this Schroeder was stirring up people and
putting them up to commit acts of violence. But to guard against
expulsion from Switzerland by the authorities of that country, he first
acquired _citizenship in Switzerland_, presumably by means of funds
furnished by the police of Prussia. During the summer of 1883 Schroeder
and the police-Anarchist Kaufman called and held in Zurich a conference
participated in by thirteen persons. Schroeder acted as chairman. At
that conference plans were laid for the assassinations which were later
committed in Vienna, Stuttgart, and Strassburg by Stellmacher, Kammerer,
and Kumitzsch. I am not informed that these unscrupulous scoundrels,
although they were in the service of the police, had informed the
police commissioner that those murders were being contemplated.... Men
like Stellmacher and Kammerer paid for their acts with their lives on
the gallows. When [Johann] Most was serving a term in a prison in
England, this same police spy Schroeder had Most's 'Freiheit' published
at Schaffhausen, Switzerland, at his own expense. The money surely did
not come out of his own pocket.

"That was a glorious time when [we unmasked this Schroeder and the other
police organizer of plots, Haupt, to whom] the police counsellor Krueger
wrote that he knew the next attempt on the life of the Czar of Russia
would be arranged in Geneva, and he should send in reports. Was this
demand not remarkable in the highest degree? And now Herr von Ehrenberg,
the former colonel of artillery of Baden!... This fellow was
unquestionably for good reason suspected of having betrayed to the
General Staff of Italy the fortifications of Switzerland at St.
Gotthard. When his residence was searched it was brought to light that
Herr von Ehrenberg worked also in the employ of the Prussian police. He
gave regularly written reports of conversations which he claimed to have
had with our comrades, including me. Only in those alleged conversations
the characters were reversed. We were represented as advocating the most
reckless criminal plans, which in reality he himself suggested and
defended, while he pictured himself in those reports as opposing the
plans.... What would have happened if some day those reports had fallen
into the hands of certain persons--and that was undoubtedly the
purpose--and, if accused, we had no witnesses to prove the spy committed
perfidy? Thus, for instance, he attempted to convince me--but in his
records claimed that it was I who proposed it--that it would be but
child's play to find out the residences of the higher military officers
in all the greater cities of Germany, then, in one night, send out our
best men and have all those officers murdered simultaneously. In four
articles published in the 'Arbeiterstimme,' of Zurich, he explained in a
truly classical manner how to conduct a modern street battle, what to do
to get the best of artillery and cavalry. At meetings he urged the
collection of funds to buy arms for our people. As soon as war broke out
with France our comrades from Switzerland, according to him, should
break into Baden and Wuerttemberg, should there tear up the tracks and
confiscate the contents of the postal and railroad treasuries. And this
man, who urged me to do all that, was, as I said, in the employ of the
Prussian police.

"Another police preacher and organizer of violent plots was that
well-known Friedeman who was driven out of Berlin, and, at the
gatherings of comrades in Zurich, appealed to them, in prose and poetry,
to commit acts of violence. A certain Weiss, a journeyman tinsmith, was
arrested in the vicinity of Basel for having put up posters in which the
deeds of Kammerer and Stellmacher were glorified. He, too, was in the
employ of the German police, as was afterward established during the
court proceedings.

"A certain Schmidt, who had to disappear from Dresden on account of his
crooked conduct, came to Zurich and urged the establishment of a
_special fund for assassinations_, contributing twenty francs to start
the fund. Correspondence which he had carried on with Chief of Police
Weller, of Dresden, and which later fell into our hands, proved that he
was in the employ of the police, whom he kept informed of his actions.
And then the unmasked secret police agent Ihring-Mahlow, here in
Berlin, who announced that he was prepared to teach the manufacture of
explosives, for 'the parliamentary way is too slow.'"[25]

Here certainly is a great source of violence and crime, and, in view of
such revelations, no one can be sure that any anarchist outrage is
wholly voluntary and altogether free from the manipulation of the secret
police. With _agents provocateurs_ swarming over the movement and
working upon the minds of the weak, the susceptible, and the criminal,
there is reason to believe that their influence in the tragedies of
terrorism is far greater than will ever be known. To discredit starving
men on strike, to defeat socialists in an election, to promote a
political intrigue, to throw the entire legislature into the hands of
the reaction, to conceal corruption, or to take the public mind from too
intently watching the nefarious schemes of a political-financial
conspiracy--for all these and a multitude of other purposes thousands of
secret police agents are at work. The sordid facts of this infamous
commerce are no longer in doubt, and one wonders how the anarchists can
delude themselves into the belief that they are serving the weak and
lowly when they commit exactly the same crimes that professional
assassins are hired to commit. This certainly _is_ madness. To be thus
used by their bitterest enemies, the police and the State, to serve thus
voluntarily the forces of intrigue, of reaction, and of tyranny--surely
nothing can be so near to unreason as this. When Bismarck's personal
organ declared again and again, "There is nothing left to be done but to
provoke the social democrats to commit acts of despair, to draw them out
into the open street, and there to shoot them down,"[26] a reasoning
opponent would have seen that this was just what he would not allow
himself to be drawn into. Yet Bismarck hardly says this and sets his
police to work before the anarchist freely, voluntarily, and with
tremendous exaltation of spirit attempts to carry it out.

Strange to say, the desire of the powerful to promote anarchy seems to
be well enough understood by the anarchists themselves. Kropotkin, in
his "Memoirs," tells of two cases where police agents were sent to him
with money to help establish anarchist papers, and there was hardly a
moment of his revolutionary career when there were not police agents
about him. Emma Goldman also appreciates the fact that the police are
always ready to lend a hand in anarchist outrages. "For a number of
years," she says, "acts of violence had been committed in Spain, for
which the anarchists were held responsible, hounded like wild beasts,
and thrown into prison. Later it was disclosed that the perpetrators of
these acts were not anarchists, but members of the police department.
The scandal became so widespread that the conservative Spanish papers
demanded the apprehension and punishment of the gang leader, Juan Rull,
who was subsequently condemned to death and executed. The sensational
evidence, brought to light during the trial, forced Police Inspector
Momento to exonerate completely the anarchists from any connection with
the acts committed during a long period. This resulted in the dismissal
of a number of police officials, among them Inspector Tressols, who, in
revenge, disclosed the fact that behind the gang of police bomb-throwers
were others of far higher position, who provided them with funds and
protected them. This is one of the many striking examples of how
anarchist conspiracies are manufactured."[27] With knowledge such as
this, is it possible that a sane mind can encourage the despairing to
undertake riots and insurrections? Yet when we turn to the anarchists
for our answer, they tell us "that the accumulated forces in our social
and economic life, culminating in a political act of violence, are
similar to the terrors of the atmosphere, manifested in storm and
lightning. To thoroughly appreciate the truth of this view, one must
feel intensely the indignity of our social wrongs; one's very being must
throb with the pain, the sorrow, the despair millions of people are
daily made to endure. Indeed, unless we have become a part of humanity,
we cannot even faintly understand the just indignation that accumulates
in a human soul, the burning, surging passion that makes the storm
inevitable."[28] Such explosions of rage one would expect from the
unreasonable and the childlike. They are bursts of passion that end in
the knocking of one's head against a stone wall. This may in truth be
the psychology of the violent, yet it cannot be the psychology of a
reasoning mind. This may explain the action of those who have lost all
control over themselves or even the action of a class that has not
advanced beyond the stages of futile outbursts of passion, of aimless
and suicidal violence, and of self-destructive rage. But it is
incredible that it should be considered by anyone as reasonable or
intelligent, or, least of all, revolutionary.

Probably still other causes of terrorism exist, but certainly the chief
are those above mentioned. The writings of Bakounin, Nechayeff,
Kropotkin, and Most; the miserable conditions which surround the life of
a multitude of impoverished people; the often savage repression of any
attempts on the part of the workers to improve their conditions; corrupt
courts and parliaments and unjust laws; a false conception of ethics; a
high-wrought nervous tension combined with compassion; the egocentric
philosophy which deifies the individual and would press its claims even
to the destruction of all else in the world; these are no doubt the
chief underlying causes of the terrorism of the last forty years. Yet,
as I have said, there is one force making for terrorism that throws a
confusing light on the whole series of tragedies. Why should the
governments of Europe subsidize anarchy? Why should their secret police
encourage outrages, plant dynamite, and incite the criminal elements to
become anarchists, and in that guise to burn, pillage, and commit
murder? Why should that which assumes to stand for law and order work to
the destruction of law and order? What is it that leads the corrupt,
vicious, and reactionary elements in the official world to turn thus to
its use even anarchy and terrorism? What end do the governments of
Europe seek?

I have already suggested the answers to the above questions, but they
will not be understood by the reader unless he realizes that throughout
all of last century the democratic movement has been to the privileged
classes the most menacing spectacle imaginable. Again and again it arose
to challenge existing society. In some form, however vague, it lay back
of every popular movement. At moments the powerful seemed actually to
fear that it was on the point of taking possession of the world, and
repeatedly it has been pushed back, crushed, subdued, almost obliterated
by their repressive measures. Yet again and again it arose responsive to
the actual needs of the time, and became toward the end of the century
one of the most impressive movements the world has ever known. Filled
with idealism for a new social order, and determined to change
fundamentally existing conditions, the working class has fought onward
and upward toward a world State and a socialized industrial life. There
can be no doubt that the amazing growth of the modern socialist movement
has terrified the powers of industrial and political tyranny. To them
it is an incomparable menace, and superhuman efforts have been made to
turn it from its path. They have endeavored to divide it, to
misinterpret it, to divert it, to corrupt it, and the greatest of all
their efforts has been made toward forcing it to become a movement of
terrorists, in order ultimately to discredit and destroy it. "We have
always been of the opinion," declared an unknown opponent of socialism,
"that it takes the devil to drive out Beelzebub and that socialism must
be fought with anarchy. As a corn louse and similar insects are driven
out by the help of other insects that devour them and their eggs, so the
Government should cultivate and rear anarchists in the principal nests
of socialism, leaving it to the anarchists to destroy socialism. The
anarchists will do that work more effectively than either police or
district attorneys."[29] Has this been the chief motive in helping to
keep terrorism alive?


[J] Kropotkin, in "The Conquest of Bread," p. 73, suggests that in the
Revolution the socialists will probably hang the anarchists.

[K] Pini declared that he had committed robberies amounting to over
three hundred thousand francs from the bourgeoisie in order to avenge
the oppressed. Cf. Lombroso, "_Les Anarchistes_," p. 52.

[L] "The work of Mariana was afterward approved by Sola (_Tractus de
legibus_), by Gretzer (_Opera omnia_), by Becano (_Opuscula theologica
Summa Theologicæ scholasticæ_).

"Père Emanuel (_Aphorismi confessariorum_), Grégoire de Valence
(_Comment. Theolog._), Keller (_Tyrannicidium_), and Suarez (_Defentio
fidei cathol._) hold similar ideas, while Azor (_Institut. moral._),
Lorin (_Comm. in librum psalmorum_), Comitolo (_Responsa morala_), etc.,
recognized the right of every individual to kill the prince for his own
defense."--_Les Anarchistes_, p. 207.

[M] Bakounin, when endeavoring to save Nechayeff from being arrested by
the Swiss authorities and sent back to Russia, defends him on precisely
these grounds, claiming that Nechayeff had taken the fable of William
Tell seriously. Cf. _OEuvres_, Vol. II, p. 29.

[N] Booth wrote, a day or so after killing Lincoln: "After being hunted
like a dog through swamps and woods, and last night being chased by
gunboats till I was forced to return, wet, cold, and starving, with
every man's hand against me, I am here in despair. And why? For doing
what Brutus was honored for--what made William Tell a hero; and yet I,
for striking down an even greater tyrant than they ever knew, am looked
upon as a common cutthroat." Cf. "The Death of Lincoln," Laughlin, p.

[O] Kropotkin tells of the effort made by the agents of Andrieux to
persuade him and Elisée Reclus to collaborate in the publication of this
so-called anarchist paper. He also says it was a paper of "unheard-of
violence; burning, assassination, dynamite bombs--there was nothing but
that in it."--"Memoirs of a Revolutionist," pp. 478-480.

[P] In "The Terror in Russia" Kropotkin tells of bands of criminals who,
under pretense of being revolutionists and wanting money for
revolutionary purposes, forced wealthy people to contribute under menace
of death. The headquarters of the bands were at the office of the secret



[Illustration: KARL MARX]



While terrorism was running its tragic course, the socialists grew from
a tiny sect into a world-wide movement. And, as terrorist acts were the
expression of certain uncontrollably rebellious spirits, so
coöperatives, trade unions, and labor parties arose in response to the
conscious and constructive effort of the masses. As a matter of fact,
the terrorist groups never exercised any considerable influence over the
actual labor movement, except for a brief period in Spain and America.
Indeed, they did not in the least understand that movement. The
followers of Bakounin were largely young enthusiasts from the middle
class, who were referred to scornfully at the time as "lawyers without
cases, physicians without patients and knowledge, students of billiards,
commercial travelers, and others."[1] Yet it cannot be denied that
violence has played, and still in a measure plays, a part in the labor
movement. I mean the violence of sheer desperation. It rises and falls
in direct relation to the lawlessness, the repression, and the tyranny
of the governments. Furthermore, where labor organizations are weakest
and the masses most ignorant and desperate, the very helplessness of the
workers leads them into that violence. This is made clear enough by the
historic fact that in the early days of the modern industrial system
nearly every strike of the unorganized laborers was accompanied by
riots, machine-breaking, and assaults upon men and property.

No small part of this early violence was directly due to the brutal
opposition of society to every form of labor organization. The workers
were fought violently, and they answered violence with violence. It must
not be forgotten that the trade unions and the socialist parties grew,
in spite of every menace, in the very teeth of that which forbade them,
and under the eye of that which sought to destroy them. And, like other
living things in the midst of a hostile environment, they covered
themselves with spurs to ward off the enemy. The early movements of
labor were marked by a sullen, bitter, and destructive spirit; and some
of the much persecuted propagandists of early trade unionism and
socialism thought that "implacable destruction" was preferable to the
tyranny which the workers then suffered. Not the philosophy, but the
rancor of Bakounin, of Nechayeff, and of Most represented,
three-quarters of a century ago, the feeling of great masses of
workingmen. Riots, insurrections, machine-breaking, incendiarism,
pillage, and even murder were then more truly expressive of the attitude
of certain sections of the brutalized poor toward the society which had
disinherited them than most of us to-day realize. In every industrial
center, previous to 1850, the working-class movement, such as it was,
yielded repeatedly to self-exhausting expressions of blind and sullen
rage. The resentment of the workers was deep, and, without program or
philosophy, a spirit of destruction often ran riot in nearly every
movement of the workers.

During the first fifty years, then, of last century, little building was
done. A mob spirit prevailed, and the great body of toilers was divided
into innumerable bands, who fought their battles without aim, and,
after weeks of rioting, left nothing behind them. Toward the middle of
the century the real building of the labor movement commenced. In every
country men soberly and seriously set to work, and everywhere throughout
the entire industrial world the foundations were laid for the great
movement that exists to-day. Yet the present world-wide movement, so
harmonious in its principles and methods and so united in doctrines,
could not have been all that it is had there not come to its aid in its
most critical and formative period several of the ablest and
best-schooled minds of Europe. At the period when the workers were
finding their feet and beginning their task of organization on a large
scale, there was also in Europe much revolutionary activity in
"intellectual" circles. The forties was a germinating period for many
new social and economic theories. In France, Germany, and England there
were many groups discussing with heat and passion every theory of trade
unionism, anarchism, and socialism. On the whole, they were middle-class
"intellectuals," battling in their sectarian circles over the evils of
our economic life, the problems of society, and the relations between
the classes. Suddenly the revolution was upon them--the moment which
they all instinctively felt was at hand--but, when it came, most of them
were able to play no forceful part in it. It was a movement of vast
masses, over which the social revolutionists had little influence, and
the various groups found themselves incapable of any really effective
action. To be sure, many of those seeking a social revolution played a
creditable part in the uprisings throughout Europe during '48 and '49,
but the time had not yet arrived for the working classes to achieve any
striking reforms of their own. The only notable result of the period, so
far as the social revolutionary element was concerned, was that it lost
once again, nearly everywhere, its press, its liberty of speech, and its
right of association. It was driven underground; but there germinated,
nevertheless, in the innumerable secret societies, some of the most
important principles and doctrines upon which the international labor
movement was later to be founded.

In France socialist theories had never been wholly friendless from the
time of the great Revolution. The memory of the _enragés_ of 1793 and of
Babeuf and his conspiracy of 1795 had been kept green by Buonarotti and
Maréchal. The ruling classes had very cunningly lauded liberty and
fraternity, but they rarely mentioned the struggle for equality, which,
of course, appeared to them as a regrettable and most dangerous episode
in the great Revolution. Yet, despite that fact, this early struggle for
economic equality had never been wholly forgotten. Besides, there were
Fourier and Saint-Simon, who, with very great scholarly attainments, had
rigidly analyzed existing society, exposed its endless disorders, and
advocated an entire social transformation. There were also Considérant,
Leroux, Vidal, Pecqueur, and Cabet. All of these able and gifted men had
kept the social question ever to the front, while Louis Blanc and
Blanqui had actually introduced into politics the principles of
socialism. Blanqui was an amazing character. He was an incurable,
habitual insurrectionist, who came to be called _l'enfermé_ because so
much of his life was spent in prison.[Q] The authorities again and again
released him, only to hear the next instant that he was leading a mob to
storm the citadels of the Government. His life was a series of
unsuccessful assaults upon authority, launched in the hope that, if the
working class should once install itself in power, it would reorganize
society on socialist lines. He was a man of the street, who had only to
appear to find an army of thousands ready to follow him. Blanqui used to
say--according to Kropotkin--that there were in Paris fifty thousand men
ready at any moment for an insurrection. Again and again he arose like
an apparition among them, and on one occasion, at the head of two
hundred thousand people, he offered the dictatorship of France to Louis
Blanc. The latter was an altogether different person. His stage was the
parliamentary one. He was a powerful orator, who, throughout the
forties, was preaching his practical program of social reform--the right
to work, the organization of labor, and the final extinction of
capitalism by the growth of coöperative production fostered by the
State. In 1848 he played a great rôle, and all Europe listened with
astonishment to the revolutionary proposals of this man who, for a few
months, occupied the most powerful position in France. At the same time
Proudhon was developing the principles of anarchism and earning
everlasting fame as the father of that philosophy. In truth, the whole
gamut of socialist ideas and the entire range of socialist methods had
been agitated and debated in peace and in war for half a century in

In England the same questions had disturbed all classes for nearly fifty
years. There had been no great revolutionary period, but from the
beginning of the nineteenth century to the extinction of Chartism in
1848 every doctrine of trade unionism, syndicalism, anarchism, and
socialism had been debated passionately by groups of workingmen and
their friends. The principles and methods of trade unionism were being
worked out on the actual battlefield, amid riots, strikes,
machine-breaking, and incendiarism. Instinctively the masses were
associating for mutual protection and, almost unconsciously, working out
by themselves programs of action. Nevertheless, Joseph Hume, Francis
Place, Robert Owen, and a number of other brilliant men were lending
powerful intellectual aid to the workers in their actual struggle. A
group of radical economists was also defending the claims of labor.
Charles Hall, William Thompson, John Gray, Thomas Hodgskin, and J. F.
Bray were all seeking to find the economic causes of the wrongs suffered
by labor and endeavoring, in some manner, to devise remedies for the
immense suffering endured by the working classes. Together with Robert
Owen, a number of them were planning labor exchanges, voluntary
communities, and even at one time the entire reorganization of the world
through the trade unions. In this ferment the coöperative movement also
had its birth. The Rochdale Pioneers began to work out practically some
of the coöperative ideas of Robert Owen. With £28 a pathetic beginning
was made that has led to the immensely rich coöperative movement of
to-day. Furthermore, the Chartists were leading a vast political
movement of the workers. In support of the suffrage and of parliamentary
representation for workingmen, a wonderful group of orators and
organizers carried on in the thirties and forties an immense agitation.
William Lovett, Feargus O'Connor, Joseph Rayner Stephens, Ernest Jones,
Thomas Cooper, and James Bronterre O'Brien were among the notable and
gifted men who were then preaching throughout all England revolutionary
and socialist ideas. Such questions as the abolition of inheritances,
the nationalization of land, the right of labor to the full product of
its toil, the necessity of breaking down class control of
Parliament--these and other subversive ideas were germinating in all
sections of the English labor movement. It was a heroic
period--altogether the most heroic period in the annals of toil--in
which the most advanced and varied revolutionary ideas were hurtling in
the air. The causes of the ruin that overcame this magnificent beginning
of a revolutionary working-class movement cannot be dwelt upon here.
Quarrels between the leaders, the incoherence of their policies, and
divisions over the use of violence utterly wrecked a movement that
anticipated by thirty years the social democracy of Germany. The tragic
fiasco in 1848 was the beginning of an appalling working-class reaction
from years of popular excesses and mob intoxications, from which the
wiser leadership of the German movement was careful to steer clear. And,
after '48, solemn and serious men settled down to the quiet building of
trade unions and coöperatives. Revolutionary ideas were put aside, and
everywhere in England the responsible men of the movement were pleading
with the masses to confine themselves to the practical work of education
and organization.

Although Germany was far behind England in industrial development and,
consequently, also in working-class organization, the beginnings of a
labor and socialist movement were discernible. A brief but delightful
description of the early communist societies is given by Engels in his
introduction to the _Révélations sur le Procès des Communistes_. As
early as 1836 there were secret societies in Germany discussing
socialist ideas. The "League of the Just" became later the "League of
the Righteous," and that eventually developed into the "Communist
League." The membership cards read, "All men are brothers." Karl
Schapper, Heinrich Bauer, and Joseph Moll, all workingmen, were among
those who made an imposing impression upon Engels. Even more notable was
Weitling, a tailor, who traveled all over Germany preaching a mixture of
Christian communism and French utopian socialism. He was a
simple-hearted missionary, delivering his evangel. "The World As It Is
and As It Might Be" was the moving title of one of his books that
attracted to him not only many followers among the workers, but also
notable men from other classes. Most of the communists were of course
always under suspicion, and many of them were forced out of their own
countries. As a result, a large number of foreigners--Scandinavians,
Dutch, Hungarians, Germans, and Italians--found themselves in Paris and
in London, and astonished each other by the similarity of their views.
All Europe in this period was discussing very much the same things, and
not only the more intelligent among the workers but the more idealistic
among the youth from the universities were in revolt, discussing
fervently republican, socialist, communist, and anarchist ideas. In
"Young Germany," George Brandes gives a thrilling account of the
spiritual and intellectual ferment that was stirring in all parts of the
fatherland during the entire forties.[2]

It was in this agitated period that Marx and Engels, both mere youths,
began to press their ideas in revolutionary circles. They met each other
in Paris in 1844, and there began their lifelong coöperative labors.
Engels, although a German, was living in England, occupied in his
father's cotton business at Manchester. He had taken a deep interest in
the condition of the laboring classes, and had followed carefully the
terrible and often bloody struggles that so frequently broke out between
capital and labor in England during the thirties and forties. Arriving
by an entirely different route, he had come to opinions almost identical
with those of Marx; and the next year he persuaded Marx to visit the
factory districts of Lancashire, in order to acquaint himself actually
with the enraged struggle then being fought between masters and men.
Engels had not gone to a university, although he seems somehow to have
acquired, despite his business cares and active association with the men
and movements of his time, a thorough education. On the other hand, Marx
was a university man, having studied at Jena, Bonn, and Berlin. Like
most of the serious young men of the period, Marx was a devoted
Hegelian. When his university days were over, he became the editor of
the _Rheinische Zeitung_ of Cologne, but at the age of twenty-four he
found his paper suppressed because of his radical utterances. He went to
Paris, only to be expelled in 1845. He found a refuge in Belgium until
1848, when the Government evidently thought it wise that he should move
on. Shortly after, he returned to Germany to take up his editorial work
once more, but in 1849, his _Neue Rheinische Zeitung_ was suppressed,
and he was forced to return to Paris. The authorities, not wishing him
there, sent him off to London, where he remained the rest of his life.
By the irony of fate, even the governments of Europe seemed to be
conspiring to force Marx to become the best equipped man of his time. To
the leisure and travel enforced upon him by the European governments was
due in no small measure his long schooling in economic theory,
revolutionary political movements, and working-class methods of action.
Both he and Engels penetrated into every nest of discontent. They came
personally in touch with every group of dissidents. They spent many
weary but invaluable weeks in the greatest libraries of Europe, with the
result that they became thoroughly schooled in philosophy, economics,
science, and languages. They pursued, to the minutest detail, with an
inexhaustible thirst, the theories not only of the "authorities" but
also of nearly every obscure socialist, radical, and revolutionist in
England, France, Russia, and Germany.

In Brussels, Paris, and London, around the forties, a number of
brilliant minds seemed somehow or other to come frequently in contact
with each other. Many of them had been driven out of their own
countries, and, as exiles abroad, they had ample leisure to plan their
great conspiracies or to debate their great theories. Some of the
notable radicals of the period were Heine, Freiligrath, Herwegh,
Willich, Kinkel, Weitling, Bakounin, Ruge, Ledru-Rollin, Blanc, Blanqui,
Cabet, Proudhon, Ernest Jones, Eccarius, Marx, Engels, and Liebknecht;
and many of them came together from time to time and, in great
excitement and passion, fought as "Roman to Roman" over their panaceas.
Marx and Engels knew most of them and spent innumerable hours, not
infrequently entire days and nights, at a sitting, in their intellectual

It was a most fortunate thing for Marx that the French Government should
have driven him in 1849 to London. "Capital" might never have been
written had he not been forced to study for a long period the first land
in all Europe in which modern capitalism had obtained a footing. On his
earlier visit in 1845 he had spent a few weeks with Engels in the great
factory centers, and he had been deeply impressed with this new
industrialism and no less, of course, with the English labor movement.
Nothing to compare with it then existed in France or Germany. As early
as 1840 many of the trades were well organized, and repeated efforts
had been made to bring them together into a national federation. How
thoroughly Engels knew this movement and its varied struggles to better
the status of labor is shown in his book, "The Condition of the Working
Class in England in 1844." How thoroughly and fundamentally Marx later
came to know not only the actual working-class movement, but every
economic theory from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill, and every insurgent
economist and political theorist from William Godwin to Bronterre
O'Brien, is shown in "Capital." In fact, not a single phase of insurgent
thought seemed to escape Marx and Engels, nor any trace of revolt
against the existing order, whether political or industrial. In Germany
they were schooled in philosophy and science; in France they found
themselves in a most amazing fermentation of revolutionary spirit and
idealism; and in England they studied with the minutest care the
coöperative movement and self-help, the trade-union movement with its
purely economic aims and methods, the Chartist movement with its
political action, and the Owenite movement, both in its purely utopian
phases and in its later development into syndicalist socialism. This
long and profound study placed Marx and Engels in a position infinitely
beyond that of their contemporaries. Possessed as they were of unusual
mental powers, it was inevitable that such a training should have placed
them in a position of intellectual leadership in the then rapidly
forming working-class organizations of Europe.

The study of English capitalism convinced Marx of the truthfulness of
certain generalizations which he had already begun to formulate in 1844.
It became more and more evident to him that economic facts, to which
history had hitherto attributed no rôle or a very inferior one,
constituted, at least in the modern world, a decisive historic force.
"They form the source from which spring the present class antagonisms.
These antagonisms in countries where great industry has carried them to
their complete development, particularly in England, are the bases on
which parties are founded, are the sources of political struggles, are
the reasons for all political history."[3] Although Marx had arrived at
this opinion earlier and had generalized this point of view in
"French-German Annals," his study of English economics swept away any
possible doubt that "in general it was not the State which conditions
and regulates civil society, but civil society which conditions and
regulates the State, that it was then necessary to explain politics and
history by economic relations, and not to proceed inversely."[4] "This
discovery which revolutionized historical science was essentially the
work of Marx," says Engels, and, with his customary modesty, he adds:
"The part which can be attributed to me is very small. It concerned
itself directly with the working-class movement of the period. Communism
in France and Germany and Chartism in England appeared to be something
more than mere chance which could just as well not have existed. These
movements became now a movement of the oppressed class of modern times,
the working class. Henceforth they were more or less developed forms of
the historically necessary struggle which this class must carry on
against the ruling class, the bourgeoisie. They were forms of the
struggle of the classes, but which were distinguished from all preceding
struggles by this fact: the class now oppressed, the proletariat, cannot
effect its emancipation without delivering all society from its division
into classes, without freeing it from class struggles. _No longer did
Communism consist in the creation of a social ideal as perfect as
possible; it resolved itself into a clear view of the nature, the
conditions, and the general ends of the struggle carried on by the
working class._"[5]

It was not the intention of Marx and Engels to communicate their new
scientific results to the intellectual world exclusively by means of
large volumes. On the contrary, they plunged into the political
movement. Besides having intercourse with well-known people,
particularly in the western part of Germany, they were also in contact
with the organized working classes. "Our duty was to found our
conception scientifically, but it was just as important that we should
win over the European, and especially the German, working classes to our
convictions. When it was all clear in our eyes, we set to work."[6] A
new German working-class society was founded in Brussels, and the
support was enlisted of the _Deutsche Brüsseler Zeitung_, which served
as an organ until the revolution of February. They were in touch with
the revolutionary faction of the English Chartists under the leadership
of George Julian Harney, editor of _The Northern Star_, to which Engels
contributed. They also had intercourse with the democrats of Brussels
and with the French social democrats of _la Réforme_, to which Engels
contributed news of the English and German movements. In short, the
relations that Marx and Engels had established with the radical and
working-class organizations fully served the great purposes they had in

It was in the Communist League that Marx and Engels saw their first
opportunity to impress their ideas on the labor movement. At the urgent
request of Joseph Moll, a watchmaker and a prominent member of the
League, Marx consented, in 1847, to present to that organization his
views, and the result was the famous Communist Manifesto. Every
essential idea of modern socialism is contained in that brief
declaration. Unfortunately, however, outside of Germany, the Communist
League was an exotic organization that could make little use of such a
program. Its members were mostly exiles, who, by the very nature of
their position, were hopelessly out of things. Little groups, surrounded
by a foreign people, exiles are rarely able to affect the movement at
home or influence the national movement amid which they are thrust.
There is little, therefore, noteworthy about the Communist League. It
had, to be sure, gathered together a few able and energetic spirits, and
some of these in later years exercised considerable influence in the
International. But, as a rule, the groups of the Communist League were
little more than debating societies whose members were filled with
sentimental, visionary, and insurrectionary ideas. Marx himself finally
lost all patience with them, because he could not drive out of their
heads the idea that they could revolutionize the entire world by some
sudden dash and through the exercise of will power, personal sacrifice,
and heroic action. The Communist League, therefore, is memorable only
because it gave Marx and Engels an opportunity for issuing their
epoch-making Manifesto, that even to-day is read and reread by the
workers in all lands of the world. Translated into every language, it is
the one pamphlet that can be found in every country as a part of the
basic literature of socialism.

There are certain principles laid down in the Communist Manifesto which
time cannot affect, although the greater part of the document is now of
historic value only. The third section, for instance, is a critique of
the various types of socialism then existing in Europe, and this part
can hardly be understood to-day by those unacquainted with those
sectarian movements. It deals with Reactionary Socialism, Feudal
Socialism, Clerical Socialism, Petty Bourgeois Socialism, German
Socialism, Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism, Critical-Utopian
Socialism, and Communism. The mere enumeration of these types of
socialist doctrine indicates what a chaos of doctrine and theory then
existed, and it was in order to distinguish themselves from these
various schools that Marx and Engels took the name of communists.
Beginning with the statement, "The history of all hitherto existing
society is the history of class struggles,"[7] the Manifesto treats at
length the modern struggle between the working class and the capitalist
class. After tracing the rise of capitalism, the development of a new
working class, and the consequences to the people of the new economic
order, Marx and Engels outline the program of the communists and their
relation to the then existing working-class organizations and political
parties. They deny any intention of forming a new sect, declaring that
they throw themselves whole-heartedly into the working-class movement of
all countries, with the one aim of encouraging and developing within
those groups a political organization for the conquest of political
power. They outline certain measures which, in their opinion, should
stand foremost in the program of labor, all of them having to do with
some modification of the institution of property.

In order to achieve these reforms, and eventually "To wrest, by degrees,
all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of
production in the hands of the State,"[8] they urge the formation of
labor parties as soon as proper preparations have been made and the time
is ripe for effective class action. All through the Manifesto runs the
motif that every class struggle is a political struggle. Again and
again Marx and Engels return to that thought in their masterly survey of
the historical conflicts between the classes. They show how the
bourgeoisie, beginning as "an oppressed class under the sway of the
feudal nobility," gradually ... "conquered for itself, in the modern
representative State, exclusive political sway," until to-day "the
executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common
affairs of the whole bourgeoisie."[9] Tracing the rise of the modern
working class, they tell of its purely retaliative efforts against the
capitalists; how at first "they smash to pieces machinery, they set
factories ablaze"; how they fight in "incoherent" masses, "broken up by
their mutual competition";[10] even their unions are not so much a
result of their conscious effort as they are the consequence of
oppression. Furthermore, the workers "do not fight their enemies, but
the enemies of their enemies."[11] "Now and then the workers are
victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies
not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the
workers."[12] It is when their unions grow national in character and the
struggle develops into a national struggle between the classes that it
naturally takes on a political character. Then begins the struggle for
conquering political power. But, while "all previous historical
movements were movements of minorities, or in the interests of
minorities, the proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent
movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense
majority."[13] Returning again to the underlying thought, it is pointed
out that the working class must "win the battle of democracy."[14] It
must acquire "political supremacy." It must raise itself to "the
position of ruling class," in order that it may sweep away "the
conditions for the existence of class antagonisms, and of classes

Such were the doctrines and tactics proclaimed by Marx and Engels in
1847. The Manifesto is said to have been received with great enthusiasm
by the League, but, whatever happened at the moment, it is clear that
the members never understood the doctrines manifested. In any case,
various factions in the movement were still clamoring for insurrection
and planning their conspiracies, wholly faithful to the
revolution-making artifices of the period. Two of the most prominent,
Willich and Schapper, were carried away with revolutionary passion, and
"the majority of the London workers," Engels says, "refugees for the
most part, followed them into the camp of the bourgeois democrats, the
revolution-makers."[16] They declined to listen to protests. "They
wanted to go the other way and to make revolutions," continues Engels.
"We refused absolutely to do this and the schism followed."[17]

On the 15th of September, 1850, Marx decided to resign from the central
council of the organization, and, feeling that such an act required some
justification, he prepared the following written declaration: "The
minority[R] [_i. e._, his opponents] have substituted the dogmatic
spirit for the critical, the idealistic interpretation of events for the
materialistic. Simple will power, instead of the true relations of
things, has become the motive force of revolution. While we say to the
working people: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty
years of civil wars and wars between nations not only to change existing
conditions, but to change yourselves and make yourselves worthy of
political power,' you, on the contrary, say, 'We ought to get power at
once, or else give up the fight.' While we draw the attention of the
German workman to the undeveloped state of the proletariat in Germany,
you flatter the national spirit and the guild prejudices of the German
artisans in the grossest manner, a method of procedure without doubt the
more popular of the two. Just as the democrats made a sort of fetish of
the words 'the people,' so you make one of the word 'proletariat.' Like
them, you substitute revolutionary phrases for revolutionary
evolution."[18] This statement of Marx is one of the most significant
documents of the period and certainly one of the most illuminating we
possess of Marx's determination to disavow the insurrectionary ideas
then so prevalent throughout Europe. Although he had said the same thing
before in other words, there could be no longer any doubt that he
cherished no dreams of a great revolutionary cataclysm, nor fondled the
then prevalent theory that revolutions could be organized, planned, and
executed by will power alone.

It is clear, therefore, that Marx saw, as early as 1850, little
revolutionary promise in sectarian organizations, secret societies, and
political conspiracies. The day was past for insurrections, and a real
revolution could only arrive as a result of economic forces and class
antagonisms. And it is quite obvious that he was becoming more and more
irritated by the sentimentalism and dress-parade revolutionism of the
socialist sects. He looked upon their projects as childish and
theatrical, that gave as little promise of changing the world's history
as battles between tin soldiers on some nursery floor. He seemed no
longer concerned with ideals, abstract rights, or "eternal verities."
Those who misunderstood him or were little associated with him were
horrified at what they thought was his cynical indifference to such
glorious visions as liberty, fraternity, and equality. Like Darwin, Marx
was always an earnest seeker of facts and forces. He was laying the
foundations of a scientific socialism and dissecting the anatomy of
capitalism in pursuit of the laws of social evolution. The gigantic
intellectual labors of Marx from 1850 to 1870 are to-day receiving due
attention, and, while one after another of the later economists has been
forced reluctantly to acknowledge his genius, few now will take issue
with Professor Albion W. Small when he says, "I confidently predict that
in the ultimate judgment of history Marx will have a place in social
science analogous with that of Galileo in physical science."[19] In
exile, and often desperate poverty, Marx worked out with infinite care
the scientific basis of the generalization--first given to the world in
the Communist Manifesto--that social and political institutions are the
product of economic forces. In all periods there have been antagonistic
economic classes whose relative power is determined by struggles between
them. "Freedman and slave," he says, "patrician and plebeian, lord and
serf, guild master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed,
stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an
uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended
either in a revolutionary reconstruction of society at large, or in the
common ruin of the contending classes."[20] Here is a summary of that
conflict which Professor Small declares "is to the social process what
friction is to mechanics."[21] It may well be that "the fact of class
struggle is as axiomatic to-day as the fact of gravitation,"[22] yet,
when Marx first elaborated his theory, it was not only a revolutionary
doctrine among the socialist sects, but like Darwin's theory of
evolution it was assailed from every angle by every school of
economists. The important practical question that arises out of this
scientific work, and which particularly concerns us here, is that this
theory of the class struggle forever destroyed the old ideas of
revolution, scrap-heaped conspiracies and insurrections, and laid the
theoretical foundations for the modern working-class movement.

Actually, it was utopian socialism that was destroyed by this new
theory. It expressed itself in at least three diverse ways. There were
groups of conspirators and revolutionists who believed that the world
was on the eve of a great upheaval and that the people should prepare
for the moment when suddenly they could seize the governments of Europe,
destroy ancient institutions, and establish a new social order. Another
form of utopianism was the effort to persuade the capitalists themselves
to abolish dividends, profits, rent, and interest, to turn the factories
over to the workers, to become themselves toilers, and to share equally,
one with another, the products of their joint labor. Still another form
of utopian socialism was that of Owen, Fourier, and Cabet, who
contemplated the establishment of ideal communities in which a new world
should be built, where all should be free and equal, and where
fraternity would be based upon a perfect economic communism. Some really
noble spirits in France, England, and America had devoted time, love,
energy, and wealth to this propaganda and in actual attempts to
establish these utopias. But after '48 the upper classes were despaired
of. Their brutal reprisals, their suppression of every working-class
movement, their ferocious repression of the unions, of the press, and of
the right of assembly--all these materially aided Marx's theory in
disillusioning many of the philanthropic and tender-hearted utopians.
And from then on the hope of every sincere advocate of fundamental
social changes rested on the working class--on its organizations, its
press, and its labors--for the establishment of the new order.

The most striking characteristic of the period which follows was the
attempt of all the socialist and anarchist sects to inject their ideas
into the rising labor movement. With the single exception of Robert Owen
in England, the earlier socialists had ignored the working classes. All
their appeals were made to well-to-do men, and some of them even hoped
that the monarchs of Europe might be induced to take the initiative. But
Marx and Engels made their appeal chiefly to the working class. The
profound reaction which settled over Europe in the years following '48
ended all other dreams, and from this time on every proposal for a
radical change in the organization of society was presented to the
workers as the only class that was really seeking, by reason of its
economic subjection, basic alterations in the institutions of property
and the constitution of the State. The working classes of Germany,
France, England, and other countries had already begun to form groups
for the purpose of discussing political questions, and the ideas of Marx
began to be propagated in all the centers of working-class activity.

The blending of labor and socialism in most of the countries of Europe
was not, however, a work of months, but of decades. The first great
effort to accomplish that task occurred in 1864, when the International
Working Men's Association was launched in St. Martin's Hall in London.
During the years from '47 to '64, Marx and Engels, with their little
coterie in London and their correspondents in other countries, spent
most of their time in study, reading, and writing, with little
opportunity to participate in the actual struggles of labor. Marx was
at work on "Capital" and schooling, in his leisure hours, a few of the
notable men who were later to become leaders of the working class in
Europe. It was a dull period, wearisome and vexatious enough to men who
were boldly prophesying that industrial conditions would create a
world-wide solidarity of labor. The first glimmer of hope came with the
London International Exhibition of 1862, which brought together by
chance groups of workingmen from various countries. The visit to London
enabled them to observe the British trade unions, and they left deeply
impressed by their strength. Furthermore, the Exhibition brought the
English workers and those of other nationalities into touch with each
other. How much this meant was shown in 1863. When the Polish uprising
was being suppressed, the English workers sent to their French comrades
a protest, in answer to which the Paris workmen sent a delegation to
London. This gathering in sympathy with Poland laid the foundations for
the International. Nearly every important revolutionary sect in Europe
was represented: the German communists, the French Blanquists and
Proudhonians, and the Italian Mazzinians; but the only delegates who
represented powerful working-class organizations were the English trade
unionists. The other organizations, even as late as this, were still
little more than coteries, of hero-worshiping tendencies, fast
developing into sectarian organizations that seemed destined to divide
hopelessly and forever the labor movement.

It was perhaps inevitable that the more closely the sects were brought
together, the more clearly they should perceive their differences,
although Marx had exercised every care to draft a policy that would
allay strife. Mazzini and his followers could not long endure the
policies of the International, and they soon withdrew. The Proudhonians
never at any time sympathized with the program and methods adopted by
the International. The German organizations were not able to affiliate,
by reason of the political conditions in that country, although numerous
individuals attended the congresses. Nearly all the Germans were
supporters of the policies of Marx, while most of the leading trade
unionists of England completely understood and sympathized with Marx's
aim of uniting the various working-class organizations of Europe into an
international association. They all felt that such a movement was an
historic and economic necessity and that the time for it had arrived.
They intended to set about that work and to knit together the
innumerable little organizations then forming in all countries. They
sought to institute a meeting ground where the social and political
program of the workers could be formulated, where their views could be
clarified, and their purposes defined. It was not to be a secret
organization, but entirely open and above board. It was not for
conspiratory action, but for the building up of a great movement. It was
not intended to encourage insurrection or to force ahead of time a
revolution. In the opinion of Marx, as we know, a social revolution was
thought to be inevitable, and the International was to bide its time,
preparing for the day of its coming, in order to make that revolution as
peaceable and as effective as possible.

The Preamble of the Provisional Rules of the International--entirely the
work of Marx--expresses with sufficient clearness the position of the
International. It was there declared: "That the emancipation of the
working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves;
that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not
a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights
and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;

"That the economic subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of
the means of labor, that is, the sources of life, lies at the bottom of
servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation,
and political dependence;

"That the economic emancipation of the working classes is therefore the
great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a

"That all efforts aiming at that great end have hitherto failed from the
want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each
country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the
working classes of different countries;

"That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a
social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists,
and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and
theoretical, of the most advanced countries;

"That the present revival of the working classes in the most industrial
countries of Europe, while it raises a new hope, gives solemn warning
against a relapse into the old errors and calls for the immediate
combination of the still disconnected movements."[23]

In this brief declaration we find the essence of Marxian socialism: that
the working classes must themselves work out their own salvation; that
their servitude is economic; and that all workers must join together in
a political movement, national and international, in order to achieve
their emancipation. Unfortunately, the Proudhonian anarchists were never
able to comprehend the position of Marx, and in the first congress at
Geneva, in 1866, the quarrels between the various elements gave Marx no
little concern. He did not attend that congress, and he afterward wrote
to his young friend, Dr. Kugelmann: "I was unable to go, and I did not
wish to do so, but it was I who wrote the program of the London
delegates. I limited it on purpose to points which admit of an immediate
understanding and common action by the workingmen, and which give
immediately strength and impetus to the needs of the class struggle and
to the organization of the workers as a class. The Parisian gentlemen
had their heads filled with the most empty Proudhonian phraseology. They
chatter of science, and know nothing of it. They scorn all revolutionary
action, that is to say, proceeding from the class struggle itself, every
social movement that is centralized and consequently obtainable by
legislation through political means (as, for example, the legal
shortening of the working day)."[24] These words indicate that Marx
considered the chief work of the International to be the building up of
a working-class political movement to obtain laws favorable to labor.
Furthermore, he was of the opinion that such work was of a revolutionary

The clearest statement, perhaps, of Marx's idea of the revolutionary
character of political activity is to be found in the address which he
prepared at the request of the public meeting that launched the
International. He traces there briefly the conditions of the working
class in England. After depicting the misery of the masses, he hastily
reviews the growth of the labor movement that ended with the Chartist
agitation. Although from 1848 to 1864 was a period when the English
working class seemed, he says, "thoroughly reconciled to a state of
political nullity,"[25] nevertheless two encouraging developments had
taken place. One was the victory won by the working classes in carrying
the Ten Hours Bill. It was "not only a great practical success; it was
the victory of a principle; it was the first time that in broad daylight
the political economy of the middle class succumbed to the political
economy of the working class."[26] The other victory was the growth of
the coöperative movement. "The value of these great social experiments
cannot be overrated," he says. "By deed, instead of by argument, they
have shown that production on a large scale, and in accord with the
behests of modern science, may be carried on without the existence of a
class of masters employing a class of hands."[27] Arguing that
coöperative labor should be developed to national dimensions and be
fostered by State funds, he urges working-class political action as the
means to achieve this end. "To conquer political power has therefore
become the great duty of the working classes."[28] This is the
conclusion of Marx concerning revolutionary methods; and it is clear
that his conception of "revolutionary action" differed not only from
that of the Proudhonians and Mazzinians, but also from that of "the
bourgeois democrats, the revolution-makers,"[29] who "extemporized

At the end of Marx's letter to Kugelmann, he tells of the beginning
already made by the International in London in actual political work.
"The movement for electoral reform here," he writes, "which our General
Council (_quorum magna pars_) created and launched, has assumed
dimensions that have kept on growing until now they are
irresistible."[31] The General Council threw itself unreservedly into
this agitation. An electoral reform conference was held in February,
1867, attended by two hundred delegates from all parts of England,
Scotland, and Ireland. Later, gigantic mass meetings were held
throughout the country to bring pressure upon the Government. Frederic
Harrison and Professor E. S. Beesly, well known for their sympathy with
labor, were appealing to the working classes to throw their energies
into the fight. "Nothing will compel the ruling classes," wrote Harrison
in 1867, "to recognize the rights of the working classes and to pay
attention to their just demands until the workers have obtained
political power."[32] Professor Beesly, the intimate friend of Marx, was
urging the unions to enter politics as an independent force, on the
ground that the difference between the Tories and the Liberals was only
the difference between the upper and nether millstones. In all this
agitation Marx saw, of course, the working out of his own ideas for the
upbuilding of a great independent political organization of the working
class. All the energies of the General Council of the International
were, therefore, devoted to the political struggle of the British
workers. However, in all this campaign, emphasis was placed upon the
central idea of the association--that political power was wanted, in
order, peaceably and legally, to remedy economic wrongs. The wretched
condition of the workers in the industrial towns and the even greater
misery of the Irish peasants and English farm laborers were the bases of
all agitation. While occupied at this time chiefly with the economic and
political struggles in Britain, the General Council was also keeping a
sharp eye on similar conditions in Europe and America. When Lincoln was
chosen President for the second time, a warm address of congratulation
was sent to the American people, expressing joy that the sworn enemy of
slavery had been again chosen to represent them. More than once the
International communicated with Lincoln, and perhaps no words more
perfectly express the ideal of the labor movement than those that
Lincoln once wrote to a body of workingmen: "_The strongest bond of
human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting
all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds._"[33]

To unite thus the workers of all lands and to organize them into great
political parties were the chief aims of Marx in the International. And
in 1869 it seemed that this might actually be accomplished in a few
years. In France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and
other countries the International was making rapid headway. Nearly all
the most important labor bodies of Europe were actually affiliated, or
at least friendly, to the new movement. At all the meetings held there
was enthusiasm, and the future of the International seemed very
promising indeed. It was recognized as the vehicle for expressing the
views of labor throughout Europe. It had formulated its principles and
tactics, and had already made a creditable beginning in the gigantic
task before it of systematically carrying on its agitation, education,
and organization. Marx's energies were being taxed to the utmost. Nearly
all the immense executive work of the International fell on him, and
nearly every move made was engineered by him. Yet at that very time he
was on the point of publishing the first volume of "Capital," the result
of gigantic researches into industrial history and economic theory. This
great work was intended to be, in its literal sense, the Bible of the
working class, as indeed it has since become. Certainly, Jaurès' tribute
to Marx is well deserved and fairly sums up the work accomplished by him
in the period 1847-1869. "To Marx belongs the merit," he says, " ... of
having drawn together and unified the labor movement and the socialist
idea. In the first third of the nineteenth century labor struggled and
fought against the crushing power of capital; but it was not conscious
itself toward what end it was straining; it did not know that the true
objective of its effort was the common ownership of property. And, on
the other hand, socialism did not know that the labor movement was the
living form in which its spirit was embodied, the concrete practical
force of which it stood in need. Marx was the most clearly convinced and
the most powerful among those who put an end to the empiricism of the
labor movement and the utopianism of the socialist thought, and this
should always be remembered to his credit. By a crowning application of
the Hegelian method, he united the Idea and the Fact, thought and
history. He enriched the practical movement by the idea, and to the
theory he added practice; he brought the socialist thought into
proletarian life, and proletarian life into socialist thought. From that
time on socialism and the proletariat became inseparable."[34]


[Q] The dramatic story of his life is wonderfully told in _L'Enfermé_ by
Gustave Geffroy. (Paris, 1904.)

[R] In the authority cited below this appears as "the minority," but I
notice that in Jaurès' "Studies in Socialism," p. 44, it appears as "the



At the moment when the future of the International seemed most promising
and the political ideas of Marx were actually taking root in nearly all
countries, an application was received by the General Council in London
to admit the Alliance of Social Democracy. This, we will remember, was
the organization that Bakounin had formed in 1868 and was the popular
section of that remarkable secret hierarchy which he had endeavored to
establish in 1864. The General Council declined to admit the Alliance,
on grounds which proved later to be well founded, namely, that schisms
would undoubtedly be encouraged if the International should permit an
organization with an entirely different program and policies to join it
in a body. Nevertheless, the General Council declared that the members
of the Alliance could affiliate themselves as individuals with the
various national sections. After considerable debate, Bakounin and his
followers decided to abandon the Alliance and to join the International.
Whether the Alliance was in fact abolished is still open to question,
but in any case Bakounin appeared in the International toward the end of
the sixties, to challenge all the theories of Marx and to offer, in
their stead, his own philosophy of universal revolution. Anarchism as
the end and terrorism as the means were thus injected into the
organization at its most formative period, when the laboring classes of
all Europe had just begun to write their program, evolve their
principles, and define their tactics. With great force and magnetism,
Bakounin undertook his war upon the General Council, and those who
recall the period will realize that nothing could have more nearly
expressed the occasional spirit of the masses--the very spirit that Marx
and Engels were endeavoring to change--than exactly the methods proposed
by Bakounin.

Whether it were better to move gradually and peacefully along what
seemed a never-ending road to emancipation or to begin the revolution at
once by insurrection and civil war--this was in reality the question
which, from that moment on, agitated the International. It had always
troubled more or less the earlier organizations of labor, and now, aided
by Bakounin's eloquence and fiery revolutionism, it became the great
bone of contention throughout Europe. The struggles in the International
between those who became known later as the anarchists and the
socialists remind one of certain Greek stories, in which the outstanding
figures seem to impersonate mighty forces, and it is not impossible that
one day they may serve as material for a social epic. We all know to-day
the interminable study that engages the theologians in their attempts to
describe the battles and schisms in the early Christian Church. And
there can be no doubt that, if socialism fulfills the purpose which its
advocates have in mind, these early struggles in its history will become
the object of endless research and commentary. The calumnies, the feuds,
the misunderstandings, the clashing of doctrines, the antagonism of the
ruling spirits, the plots and conspiracies, the victories and
defeats--all these various phases of this war to the death between
socialists and anarchists--will in that case present to history the most
vital struggle of this age. But, whatever may be the outcome of the
socialist movement, it is hardly too much to say that to both anarchists
and socialists these struggles seemed, at the time they were taking
place, of supreme importance to the destinies of humanity.

The contending titans of this war were, of course, Karl Marx and Michael
Bakounin. It is hardly necessary to go into the personal feud that
played so conspicuous a part in the struggle between them. Perhaps no
one at this late day can prove what Marx and his friends themselves were
unable to prove--although they never ceased repeating the
allegations--that Bakounin was a spy of the Russian Government, that his
life had been thrice spared through the influence of that Government,
that he was treacherous and dishonest, and that his sole purpose was to
disrupt and destroy the International Working Men's Association. Nor is
it necessary to consider the charges made against Marx--some of them
time has already taken care of--that he was domineering, malicious, and
ambitious, that his spirit was actuated by intrigue, and that, when he
conceived a dislike for anyone, he was merciless and conscienceless in
his warfare on that one. Incompatibility of temperament and of
personality played its part in the battles between these two, but, even
had there been no mutual dislike, the differences between their
principles and tactics would have necessitated a battle _à outrance_.

For twenty years before the birth of the International, Marx and
Bakounin had crossed and recrossed each other's circle. They had always
quarreled. There was a mutual fascination, due perhaps to an innate
antagonism, that brought them again and again together at critical
periods. At times there seemed a chance of reconciliation, but they no
more touched each other than immediately there flared forth the old
animosity. When Bakounin left Russia in 1843, he met Proudhon and Marx
in Paris. At that period the doctrines of all three were germinating.
Bakounin had already written, "The desire for destruction is at the same
time a creative desire."[1] Proudhon had begun to formulate the
principles of anarchism, and Marx the principles of socialism. "He was
much more advanced than I was," wrote Bakounin of Marx at this period.
"I knew nothing then of political economy, I was not yet freed from
metaphysical abstraction, and my socialism was only instinctive.... It
was precisely at this epoch that he elaborated the first fundamentals of
his present system. We saw each other rather often, for I respected him
deeply for his science and for his passionate and serious devotion,
although always mingled with personal vanity, to the cause of the
proletariat, and I sought with eagerness his conversation, which was
always instructive and witty--when it was not inspired with mean hatred,
which, too often, alas, was the case. Never, however, was there frank
intimacy between us. Our temperaments did not allow that. He called me a
sentimental idealist, and he was right; I called him a vain man,
perfidious and artful, and I was right also."[2] This mutual dislike and
even distrust subsisted to the end.

Certain events in 1848 widened the gulf between them. At the news of the
outbreak of the revolution in Paris, hundreds of the restless spirits
hurried there to take a hand in the situation. And after the
proclamation of the Republic they began to consider various projects of
carrying the revolution into their own countries. Plans were being
discussed for organizing legions to invade foreign countries, and a
number of the German communists entered heartily into the plan of
Herwegh, the erratic German poet--"the iron lark"--who led a band of
revolutionists into Baden. "We arose vehemently against these attempts
to play at revolution," says Engels, speaking for himself and Marx. "In
the state of fermentation which then existed in Germany, to carry into
our country an invasion which was destined to import the revolution by
force, was to injure the revolution in Germany, to consolidate the
governments, and ... to deliver the legions over defenseless to the
German troops."[3] Wilhelm Liebknecht, then twenty-two years of age, who
was in favor of Herwegh's project, wrote afterward of Marx's opposition.
Marx "understood that the plan of organizing 'foreign legions' for the
purpose of carrying the revolution into other countries emanated from
the French bourgeois-republicans, and that the 'movement' had been
artificially inspired with the twofold intention of getting rid of
troublesome elements and of carrying off the foreign laborers whose
competition made itself doubly felt during this grave business

Undeterred by Marx, Herwegh marshaled his "legions" and entered Baden,
to be utterly crushed, exactly as Marx had foreseen. A quarrel then
arose between Marx and Bakounin over Herwegh's project. Far from
changing Marx's mind, however, it made him suspect Bakounin as perhaps
in the pay of the reactionaries. In any case, he made no effort to
prevent the _Neue Rheinische Zeitung_ from printing shortly after the
following: "Yesterday it was asserted that George Sand was in possession
of papers which seriously compromised the Russian who has been banished
from here, _Michael Bakounin_, and represented him as an instrument or
an _agent of Russia_, newly enrolled, to whom is attributed the leading
part in the recent arrest of the unfortunate Poles. George Sand has
shown these papers to some of her friends."[5] Marx later printed
Bakounin's answer to these charges--which were, in fact, groundless--and
in his letters to the New York _Tribune_ (1852) even commended Bakounin
for his services in the Dresden uprising of 1849.[6] Nevertheless, there
is no doubt that to the end Marx believed Bakounin to be a tool of the
enemy. These quarrels are important only as they are prophetic in thus
early disclosing the gulf between Marx and Bakounin in their conception
of revolutionary activity. Although profoundly revolutionary, Marx was
also rigidly rational. He had no patience, and not an iota of mercy, for
those who lost their heads and attempted to lead the workers into
violent outbreaks that could result only in a massacre. On this point he
would make no concessions, and anyone who attempted such suicidal
madness was in Marx's mind either an imbecile or a paid _agent
provocateur_. The failure of Herwegh's project forced Bakounin to admit
later that Marx had been right. Yet, as we know, with Bakounin's
advancing years the passion for insurrections became with him almost a

If this quarrel between Bakounin and Marx casts a light upon the causes
of their antagonism, a still greater illumination is shed by the
differences between them which arose in 1849. Bakounin, in that year,
had written a brochure in which he developed a program for the union of
the revolutionary Slavs and for the destruction of the three monarchies,
Russia, Austria, and Prussia. He advocated pan-Slavism, and believed
that the Slavic people could once more be united and then federated into
a great new nation. When Marx saw the volume, he wrote in the _Neue
Rheinische Zeitung_ (February 14, 1849), "Aside from the Poles, the
Russians, and perhaps even the Slavs of Turkey, no Slavic people has a
future, for the simple reason that there are lacking in all the other
Slavs the primary conditions--historical, geographical, political, and
industrial--of independence and vitality."[7] This cold-blooded
statement infuriated Bakounin. He absolutely refused to look at the
facts. Possessed of a passion for liberty, he wanted all nations, all
peoples--civilized, semi-civilized, or savage--to be entirely free. What
had historical, geographical, political, or industrial conditions to do
with the matter? All this is typical of Bakounin's revolutionary
sentimentalism. He clashed again with Marx on very similar grounds when
the latter insisted that only in the more advanced countries is there a
possibility of a social revolution. Modern capitalist production,
according to Marx, must attain a certain degree of development before it
is possible for the working class to hope to carry out any really
revolutionary project. Bakounin takes issue with him here. He declares
his own aim to be "the complete and real emancipation of all the
proletariat, not only of some countries, but of all nations, civilized
and non-civilized."[8] In these declarations the differences between
Marx and Bakounin stand forth vividly. Marx at no time states what he
wishes. He expresses no sentiment, but confines himself to a cold
statement of the facts as he sees them. Bakounin, the dreamer, the
sentimentalist, and the revolution-maker, wants the whole world free.
Whether or not Marx wants the same thing is not the question. He rigidly
confines himself to what he believes is possible. He says certain
conditions must exist before a people can be free and independent. Among
them are included historical, geographical, political, and industrial
conditions. Marx further states that, before the working-class
revolution can be successful, certain economic conditions must exist.
Marx is not stating here conclusions which are necessarily agreeable to
him. He states only the results of his study of history, based on his
analysis of past events. In the one case we find the idealist seeking to
set the world violently right; in the other case we find the historian
and the scientist--influenced no doubt, as all men must be, by certain
hopes, yet totally regardless of personal desire--stating the antecedent
conditions which must exist previous to the birth of a new historic or
economic period.

In speaking of the antagonism between Marx and Bakounin in this earlier
period, I do not mean to convey the impression that it was the cause of
the dissensions that arose later. The slightest knowledge of Bakounin's
philosophy and methods is enough to make one realize that neither the
International nor any considerable section of the labor or socialist
movements had anything in common with those ideas. Certainly the thought
and policies of Marx were directly opposed to everything from first to
last that Bakounin stood for. Nothing could be more grotesque than the
idea that Marxism and Bakouninism could be blended, or indeed exist
together, in any semblance of harmony. Every thought, policy, and method
of the two clashed furiously. It would be impossible to conceive of two
other minds that were on so many points such worlds apart. Both Bakounin
and Marx instinctively felt this essential antagonism, yet the former
wrote Marx, in December, 1868, when he was preparing to enter the
International, assuring him that he had had a change of heart and that
"my country, now, _c'est l'Internationale_, of which you are one of the
principal founders. You see then, dear friend, that I am your disciple
and I am proud to be it."[9] He then signs himself affectionately, "Your
devoted M. Bakounin."[10]

With an olive branch such as that arrived the new "disciple" of Marx.
He then set to work without a moment's delay to capture the
International congress which was to be held at Basel, September, 1869.
And it was there that the first battle occurred. From the very moment
that the congress opened it was clear that on every important question
there was to be a division. Most unexpectedly, the first struggle arose
over a question that seemed not at all fundamental at the time, but
which, as the later history of socialism shows, was really basic. The
father of direct legislation, Rittinghausen, was a delegate to the
congress from Germany. He begged the congress for an opportunity to
present his ideas, and he won the support, quite naturally, of the
Marxian elements. In his preliminary statement to the congress he said:
"You are going to occupy yourselves at length with the great social
reforms that you think necessary in order to put an end to the
deplorable situation of the labor world. Is it then less necessary for
you to occupy yourselves with methods of execution by which you may
accomplish these reforms? I hear many among you say that you wish to
attain your end by _revolution_. Well, comrades, revolution, as a matter
of fact, accomplishes nothing. If you are not able to formulate, after
the revolution, by legislation, your legitimate demands, the revolution
will perish miserably like that of 1848. You will be the prey of the
most violent reaction and you will be forced anew to suffer years of
oppression and disgrace.

"What, then, are the means of execution that democracy will have to
employ in order to realize its ideas? Legislation by an individual
functions only to the advantage of that individual and his family.
Legislation by a group of capitalists, called representatives, serves
only the interests of this class. It is only by taking their interests
into their own hands, by direct legislation, that the people can ...
establish the reign of social justice. I insist, then, that you put on
the program of this congress the question of direct legislation by the

The forces led by Bakounin and Professor Hins, of Belgium, opposed any
consideration of this question. The latter, in elaborating the remarks
of Bakounin, declared: "They wish, they say, to accomplish, by
representation or direct legislation, the transformation of the present
governments, the work of our enemies, the bourgeois. They wish, in order
to do this, to enter into these governments, and, by persuasion, by
numbers, and by new laws, to establish a new State. Comrades, do not
follow this line of march, for we would perish in following it in
Belgium or in France as elsewhere. Rather let us leave these governments
to rot away and not prop them up with our morality. This is the reason:
the International is and must be a State within States. Let these States
march on as they like, even to the point where our State is the
strongest. Then, on their ruins, we will place ours, all prepared, all
made ready, such as it exists in each section."[12] The result of this
debate was that the father of direct legislation was not allowed time to
present his views, and it is significant that this first clash of the
congress resulted in a victory for the anarchists, despite all that
could be done by Liebknecht and the other socialists.

The chief question on the program was the consideration of the right of
inheritance. This was the main economic change desired by the Alliance.
For years Bakounin had advocated the abolition of the right of
inheritance as the most revolutionary of his economic demands. "The
right of inheritance," declared Bakounin, "after having been the natural
consequence of the violent appropriation of natural and social wealth,
became later the basis of the political state and of the legal
family.... It is necessary, therefore, to vote the abolition of the
right of inheritance."[13] It was left to George Eccarius, delegate of
the Association of Tailors of London, to present to that congress the
views of Marx and the General Council. The report of the General Council
was, of course, prepared in advance, but Bakounin's views were well
known, and it was intended as a crushing rejoinder. "_Inheritance_," it
declared, "does not _create_ that power of transferring the produce of
one man's labor into another man's pocket--it only relates to the change
in the individuals who yield (_sic_) that power. Like all other civil
legislation, the laws of inheritance are not the _cause_, but the
_effect_, the _juridical consequence_ of the _existing economical
organization of society_, based upon private property in the means of
production, that is to say, in land, raw material, machinery, etc. In
the same way the right of inheritance in the slave is not the cause of
slavery, but, on the contrary, slavery is the cause of inheritance in
slaves.... To proclaim the abolition of the _right of inheritance_ as
the _starting point_ of the social revolution would only tend to lead
the working class away from the true point of attack against present
society. It would be as absurd a thing as to abolish the laws of
contract between buyer and seller, while continuing the present state of
exchange of commodities. It would be a thing false in theory and
reactionary in practice."[14] Despite the opposition of the Marxians at
the congress, the proposition of Bakounin received thirty-two votes as
against twenty-three given to the proposition of the General Council. As
thirteen of the delegates abstained from voting, Bakounin's resolution
did not obtain an absolute majority, and the question was thus left

Another important discussion at the congress was on landed property.
Some of the delegates were opposed to the collective ownership of land,
believing that it should be divided into small sections and left to the
peasants to cultivate. Others advocated a kind of communism, in which
associations of agriculturists were to work the soil. Still others
believed that the State should own the land and lease it to individuals.
Indeed, almost every phase of the question was touched, including the
means of obtaining the land from the present owners and of distributing
it among the peasants or of owning it collectively while allowing them
the right to cultivate it for their profit. On this subject, again,
Eccarius presented the views of Marx. To Bakounin, who expressed his
terror of the State, no matter of what character, Eccarius said "that
his relations with the French have doubtless communicated to him this
conception (for it appears that the French workingmen can never think of
the State without seeing a Napoleon appear, accompanied by a flock of
cannon), and he replied that the State can be reformed by the coming of
the working class into power. All great transformations have been
inaugurated by a change in the form of landed property. The allodial
system was replaced by the feudal system, the feudal system by modern
private ownership, and the social transformation to which the new state
of things tends will be inaugurated by the abolition of individual
property in land. As to compensations, that will depend on the
circumstances. If the transformation is made peacefully, the present
owners will be indemnified.... If the owners of slaves had yielded when
Lincoln was elected, they would have received a compensation for their
slaves. Their resistance led to the abolition of slavery without
compensation...."[15] The congress, after debating the question at
length, contented itself with voting the general proposition that
"society has the right to abolish private property in land and to make
land the property of the community."[16]

The last important question considered by the congress was that dealing
with trade unions. The debate aroused little interest, although
Liebknecht opened the discussion. He pointed out the great extension of
trade-union organization in England, Germany, and America, and he tried
to impress upon the congress the necessity for vastly extending this
form of solidarity. And, indeed, it seems to have been generally
admitted that trade-union organization was necessary. No practical
proposals were, however, made for actually developing such
organizations. The interesting part of the discussion came upon the
function of trade unionism in future society. The socialists were little
concerned as to what might happen to the trade unions in future society,
but Professor Hins outlined at that congress the program of the modern
syndicalists. It is, therefore, especially interesting to read what
Professor Hins said as early as 1869: "Societies _de résistance_ (trade
unions) will subsist after the suppression of wages, not in name, but in
deed. They will then be the organization of labor, ... operating a vast
distribution of labor from one end of the world to the other. They will
replace the ancient political systems: in place of a confused and
heterogeneous representation, there will be the representation of labor.

"They will be at the same time agents of decentralization, for the
centers will differ according to the industries which will form, in some
manner, each one a separate State, and will prevent forever the return
to the ancient form of centralized State, which will not, however,
prevent another form of government for local purposes. As is evident, if
we are reproached for being indifferent to every form of government, it
is ... because we detest them all in the same way, and because we
believe that it is only on their ruins that a society conforming to the
principles of justice can be established."[S][17]

The congress at Basel was the turning point in the brief history of the
International. Although the Marxists were reluctant to admit it, the
Bakouninists had won a complete victory on every important issue. Some
of the decisions future congresses might remedy, but in refusing even to
discuss the question of direct legislation many of the delegates
clearly showed their determination to have nothing to do with politics
or with any movement aiming at the conquest of political power. In all
the discussions the anarchist tendencies of the congress were
unmistakable, and the immense gulf between the Marxists and the
Bakouninists was laid bare. The very foundation principles upon which
the International was based had been overturned. Political action was to
be abandoned, while the discussion on trade unions introduced for the
first time in the International the idea of a purely economic struggle
and a conception of future society in which groups of producers, and not
the State or the community, should own the tools of production. This
syndicalist conception of socialism was not new. Developed for the first
time by Robert Owen in 1833, it had led the working classes into the
most violent and bitter strikes, that ended in disaster for all
participants. Born again in 1869, it was destined to lie dormant for
thirty years, then to be taken up once more--this time with immense
enthusiasm--by the French trade unions.

Needless to say, the decisive victory of the Bakouninists at Basel was
excessively annoying and humiliating to Marx. He did not attend in
person, but it was evident before the congress that he fully expected
that his forces would, on that occasion, destroy root and branch the
economic and political fallacies of Bakounin. He rather welcomed the
discussion of the differences between the program of the Alliance and
that of the International, in order that Eccarius, Liebknecht, and
others might demolish, once and for all, the reactionary proposals of
Bakounin. To Marx, much of the program of the Alliance seemed a remnant
of eighteenth-century philosophy, while the rest was pure utopianism,
consisting of unsound and impractical reforms, mixed with atheism and
schoolboy declamation. Altogether, the policies and projects of Bakounin
seemed so vulnerable that the General Council evidently felt that little
preparation was necessary in order to defeat them. They seemed to have
forgotten, for the moment, that Bakounin was an old and experienced
conspirator. In any case, he had left no stone unturned to obtain
control of the congress. Week by week, previous to the congress,
_l'Egalité_, the organ of the Swiss federation, had published articles
by Bakounin which, while professedly explaining the principles of the
International, were in reality attacking them; and most insidiously
Bakounin's own program was presented as the traditional position of the
organization. Liberty, fraternity, and equality were, of course, called
into service. The treason of certain working-class politicians was
pointed out as the natural and inevitable result of political action,
while to those who had given little thought to economic theory the
abolition of inheritances seemed the final word. Nor did Bakounin limit
his efforts to his pen. All sections of the Alliance undertook to see
that friends of Bakounin were sent as delegates to the congress, and it
was charged that credentials were obtained in various underhanded ways.
However that may have been, the "practical," "cold-blooded" Marx was
completely outwitted by his "sentimental" and "visionary" antagonist.
Instead of a great victory, therefore, the Marxists left the congress of
Basel utterly dejected, and Eccarius is reported to have said, "Marx
will be terribly annoyed."[18]

That Marx was annoyed is to put it with extraordinary moderation, and
from that moment the fight on Bakouninism, anarchism, and terrorism
developed to a white heat. Immediately after the adjournment of the
congress, Moritz Hess, a close friend of Marx and a delegate to the
congress, published in the _Réveil_ of Paris what he called "the secret
history" of the congress, in which he declared that "between the
collectivists of the International and the Russian communists [meaning
the Bakouninists] there was all the difference which exists between
civilization and barbarism, between liberty and despotism, between
citizens condemning every form of violence and slaves addicted to the
use of brutal force."[19] Even this gives but a faint idea of the
bitterness of the controversy. Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, Hess, Outine,
the General Council in London, and every newspaper under the control of
the Marxists began to assail Bakounin and his circle. They no longer
confined themselves to a denunciation of the "utopian and bourgeois"
character of the anarchist philosophy. They went into the past history
of Bakounin, revived all the accusations that had been made against him,
and exposed every particle of evidence obtainable concerning his
"checkered" career as a revolutionist. It will be remembered that it was
in 1869 that Nechayeff appeared in Switzerland. When the Marxists got
wind of him and his doctrine, their rage knew no bounds. And later they
obtained and published in _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_ the
material from which I have already quoted extensively in my first

No useful purpose, however, would be served in dealing with the personal
phases of the struggle. Bakounin became so irate at the attacks upon
him, several of which happened to have been written by Jews, that he
wrote an answer entitled "Study Upon the German Jews." He feared to
attack Marx; and this "Study," while avoiding a personal attack, sought
to arouse a racial prejudice that would injure him. He writes to Herzen,
a month after the congress at Basel, that he fully realizes that Marx
is "the instigator and the leader of all this calumnious and infamous
polemic."[20] He was reluctant, however, to attack him personally, and
even refers to Marx and Lassalle as "these two Jewish giants," but
besides them, he adds, "there was and is a crowd of Jewish pigmies."[21]
"Nevertheless," he writes, "it may happen, and very shortly, too, that I
shall enter into conflict with him, not over any personal offense, of
course, but over a question of principle, regarding State communism, of
which he himself and the English and German parties which he directs are
the most ardent partisans. Then it will be a fight to the finish. But
there is a time for everything, and the hour for this struggle has not
yet sounded.... Do you not see that all these gentlemen who are our
enemies are forming a phalanx, which must be disunited and broken up in
order to be the more easily routed? You are more erudite than I; you
know, therefore, better than I who was the first to take for principle:
_Divide and rule_. If at present I should undertake an open war against
Marx himself, three-quarters of the members of the International would
turn against me, and I would be at a disadvantage, for I would have lost
the ground on which I must stand. But by beginning this war with an
attack against the rabble by which he is surrounded, I shall have the
majority on my side.... But, ... if he wishes to constitute himself the
defender of their cause, it is he who would then declare war openly. In
this case, I shall take the field also and I shall play the star

This was written in October, 1869, a month after the Basel congress. On
the 1st of January, 1870, the General Council at London sent a private
communication to all sections of the International, and on the 28th of
March it was followed by another. These, together with various
circulars dealing with questions of principle, but all consisting of
attacks upon Bakounin personally or upon his doctrines, finally goaded
him into open war upon Marx, the General Council, all their doctrines,
and even upon the then forming socialist party of Germany, with Bebel
and Liebknecht at its head. During the year 1870 Bakounin was preparing
for the great controversy, but his friends of Lyons interrupted his work
by calling him there to take part in the uprising of that year. He
hastened to Lyons, but, as we know, he was soon forced to flee and
conceal himself in Marseilles. It was there, in the midst of the
blackest despair, that Bakounin wrote: "I have no longer any faith in
the Revolution in France. This nation is no longer in the least
revolutionary. The people themselves have become doctrinaire, as
insolent and as bourgeois as the bourgeois.... The bourgeois are
loathsome. They are as savage as they are stupid--and as the police
blood flows in their veins--they should be called policemen and
attorneys-general in embryo. I am going to reply to their infamous
calumnies by a good little book in which I shall give everything and
everybody its proper name. I leave this country with deep despair in my
heart."[23] He then set to work at last to state systematically his own
views and to annihilate utterly those of the socialists. Many of these
documents are only fragmentary. Some were started and abandoned; others
ended in hopeless confusion. With the most extraordinary gift of
inspirited statement, he passes in review every phase of history,
leaping from one peak to another of the great periods, pointing his
lessons, issuing his warnings, but all the time throwing at the reader
such a Niagara of ideas and arguments that he is left utterly dazed and
bewildered as by some startling military display or the rushing here and
there of a military maneuver. In _Lettres à un Français_; _Manuscrit de
114 Pages, écrit à Marseille_; _Lettre à Esquiros_; _Préambule pour la
Seconde Livraison de l'Empire Knouto-Germanique_; _Avertissement pour
l'Empire Knouto-Germanique_; _Au Journal La Liberté, de Bruxelles_; and
_Fragment formant une Suite de l'Empire Knouto-Germanique_, he returns
again and again to the charge, always seeking to deal some fatal blow to
Marxian socialism, but never apparently satisfying himself that he has
accomplished his task. He touches the border of practical criticism of
the socialist program in the fragment entitled _Lettres à un Français_.
It ends, however, before the task is done. Again he takes it up in the
_Manuscrit écrit à Marseille_. But here also, as soon as he arrives at
the point of annihilating the socialists, his task is discontinued. In
truth, he himself seems to have realized the inconclusive character of
his writings, as he refused in some cases to complete them and in other
cases to publish them. Nevertheless, we find in various places of his
fragmentary writings not only a statement of his own views, but his
entire critique upon socialism.

As I have made clear enough, I think, in my first chapter, there are in
Bakounin's writings two main ideas put forward again and again, dressed
in innumerable forms and supported by an inexhaustible variety of
arguments. These ideas are based upon his antagonism to religion and to
government. It was always _Dieu et l'Etat_ that he was fighting, and not
until both the ideas and the institutions which had grown up in support
of "these monstrous oppressions" had been destroyed and swept from the
earth could there arise, thought Bakounin, a free society, peopled with
happy and emancipated human souls. When one has once obtained this
conception of Bakounin's fundamental views, there is little necessity
for dealing with the infinite number of minor points upon which he was
forced to attack the men and movements of his time. On the one hand, he
was assailing Mazzini, whose every move in life was actuated by his
intense religious and political faith, while, on the other hand, he was
attacking Marx as the modern Moses handing down to the enslaved
multitudes his table of infamous laws as the foundation for a new
tyranny, that of State socialism. In 1871 Bakounin ceased all
maneuvering. Bringing out his great guns, he began to bombard both
Mazzini and Marx. Never has polemic literature seen such another battle.
With a weapon in each hand, turning from the one to the other of his
antagonists, he battled, as no man ever before battled, to crush "these
enemies of the entire human race."

There is, of course, no possibility of adequately summarizing, in such
limited space as I have allotted to it, the thought of one who traversed
the history of the entire world of thought and action in pursuit of some
crushing argument against the socialism of Marx. This perverted form of
socialism, Bakounin maintained, contemplated the establishment of a
_communisme autoritaire_, or State socialism. "The State," he says,
"having become the sole owner--at the end of a certain period of
transition which will be necessary in order to transform society,
without too great economic and political shocks, from the present
organization of bourgeois privilege to the future organization of
official equality for all--the State will also be the sole capitalist,
the banker, the money lender, the organizer, the director of all the
national work, and the distributor of its products. Such is the ideal,
the fundamental principle of modern communism."[24] This is, of all
Bakounin's criticisms of socialism, the one that has had the greatest
vitality. It has gone the round of the world as a crushing blow to
socialist ideals. The same thought has been repeated by every
politician, newspaper, and capitalist who has undertaken to refute
socialism. And every socialist will admit that of all the attempts to
misrepresent socialism and to make it abhorrent to most people the idea
expressed in these words of Bakounin has been the most effective. To
state thus the ideal of socialism is sufficient in most cases to end all
argument. Add to this program military discipline for the masses,
barracks for homes, and a ruling bureaucracy, and you have complete the
terrifying picture that is held up to the workers of every country, even
to-day, as the nefarious, world-destroying design of the socialists.

It is, therefore, altogether proper to inquire if these were in reality
the aims of the Marxists. Many sincere opponents of socialism actually
believe that these are the ends sought, while the casual reader of
socialist literature may see much that appears to lead directly to the
dreadful State tyranny that Bakounin has pictured. But did Marx actually
advocate State socialism? In the Communist Manifesto Marx proposed a
series of reforms that the State alone was capable of instituting. He
urged that many of the instruments of production should be centralized
in the hands of the State. Moreover, nothing is clearer than his
prophecy that the working class "will use its political supremacy to
wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all
instruments of production in the hands of the State."[25] Indeed, in
this program, as in all others that have developed out of it, the end of
socialism would seem to be State ownership. "With trusts or without,"
writes Engels, "the official representative of capitalist society--the
State--will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production."
Commenting himself upon this statement, he adds in a footnote: "I say
'have to.' For only when the means of production and distribution have
actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and
when, therefore, the taking them over by the State has become
economically inevitable, only then--even if it is the State of to-day
that effects this--is there an economic advance, the attainment of
another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by
society itself." "This necessity," he continues, "for conversion into
State property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse
and communication--the post-office, the telegraphs, the railways."[26]

Here is the entire position in a nutshell. But Engels says the State
will "have to." Thus Engels and Marx are not stating necessarily what
they desire. And it must not be forgotten that in all such statements
both were outlining only what appeared to them to be a natural and
inevitable evolution. In State ownership they saw an outcome of the
necessary centralization of capital and its growth into huge monopolies.
Society would be forced to use the power of the State to control, and
eventually to own, these menacing aggregations of capital in the hands
of a few men. Both Marx and Engels saw clearly enough that State
monopoly does not destroy the capitalistic nature of the productive
forces. "The modern State, no matter what its form, is essentially a
capitalist machine.... The more it proceeds to the taking over of
productive forces, ... the more citizens does it exploit. The workers
remain wage workers--proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done
away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it
topples over. _State ownership of the productive forces is not the
solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical
conditions that form the elements of that solution._"[27]

State ownership, then, was not considered by Marx and Engels in itself a
solution of the problem. It is only a necessary preliminary to the
solution. The essential step, either subsequent or precedent, is the
capture of political power by the working class. By this act the means
of production are freed "from the character of capital they have thus
far borne, ..." and their "socialized character" is given "complete
freedom to work itself out."[28] "Socialized production upon a
predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of
production makes the existence of different classes of society
thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social
production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man,
at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at
the same time the lord over Nature, his own master--free.

"To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical
mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the
historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to
the new oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions
and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish,
this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian
movement, scientific socialism."[29]

Engels declares that the State, such as we have known it in the past,
will die out "as soon as there is no longer any social class to be held
in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for
existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the
collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more
remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no
longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really
constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society--the
taking possession of the means of production in the name of
society--this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State.
State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after
another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of
persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct
of processes of production. The State is not 'abolished.' _It dies out._
This gives the measure of the value of the phrase 'a free State,' both
as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate
scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called
anarchists for the abolition of the State out of hand."[30]

This conception of the rôle of the State is one that no anarchist can
comprehend. He is unwilling to admit that social evolution necessarily
leads through State socialism to industrial democracy, or even that such
an evolution is possible. To him the State seems to have a corporeal,
material existence of its own. It is a tyrannical machine that exists
above all classes and wields a legal, military, and judicial power all
its own. That the State is only an agency for representing in certain
fields the power of a dominant economic class--this is something the
anarchist will not admit. In fact, Bakounin seems to have been utterly
mystified when Eccarius answered him at Basel in these words: "The State
can be reformed by the coming of the working class into power."[31] That
the State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the
capitalist class can neither be granted nor understood by the
anarchists. Nor can it be comprehended that, when the capitalist class
has no affairs of its own to manage, the coercive character of the State
will gradually disappear. State ownership undermines and destroys the
economic power of private capitalists. When the railroads, the mines,
the forests, and other great monopolies are taken out of their hands,
their control over the State is by this much diminished. The only power
they possess to control the State resides in their economic power, and
anything that weakens that tends to destroy the class character of the
State itself. The inherent weakness of Bakounin's entire philosophy lay
in this fact, that it begins with the necessity of abolishing God and
the State, and that it can never get beyond that or away from that. And,
as a necessary consequence, Bakounin had to oppose every measure that
looked toward any compromise with the State, or that might enable the
working class to exercise any influence in or through the State.

When, therefore, the German party at its congress at Eisenach demanded
the suffrage and direct legislation, when it declared that political
liberty is the most urgent preliminary condition for the economic
emancipation of the working class, Bakounin could see nothing
revolutionary in such a program. When, furthermore, the party declared
that the social question is inseparable from the political question and
that the problems of our economic life could be solved only in a
democratic State, Bakounin, of course, was forced to oppose such
heresies with all his power. And these were indeed the really vital
questions, upon which the anarchists and the socialists could not be
reconciled. It is in his _Lettres à un Français_, written just after the
failure of his own "practical" efforts at Lyons, that Bakounin
undertakes his criticism of the program of the German socialists.
Preparatory to this task, he first terrifies his French readers with the
warning that if the German army, then at their doors, should conquer
France, it would result in the destruction of French socialism (by which
he means anarchism), in the utter degradation and complete slavery of
the French people, and make it possible for the Knout of Germany and
Russia to fall upon the back of all Europe. "If, in this terrible
moment, ... [France] does not prefer the death of all her children and
the destruction of all her goods, the burning of her villages, her
cities, and of all her houses to slavery under the yoke of the
Prussians, if she does not destroy, by means of a popular and
revolutionary uprising, the power of the innumerable German armies
which, victorious on all sides up to the present, threaten her dignity,
her liberty, and even her existence, if she does not become a grave for
all those six hundred thousand soldiers of German despotism, if she does
not oppose them with the one means capable of conquering and destroying
them under the present circumstances, if she does not reply to this
insolent invasion by the social revolution no less ruthless and a
thousand times more menacing--it is certain, I maintain, that then
France is lost, her masses of working people will be slaves, and French
socialism will have lived its life."[32]

Approaching his subject in this dramatic manner, Bakounin turns to
examine the degenerate state of socialism in Italy, Switzerland, and
Germany to see "what will be the chances of working-class emancipation
in all the rest of Europe."[33] In the first country socialism is only
in its infancy. The Italians are wholly ignorant of the true causes of
their misery. They are crushed, maltreated, and dying of hunger. They
are "led blindly by the liberal and radical bourgeois."[34] Altogether,
there is no immediate hope of socialism there. In Switzerland the people
are asleep. "If the human world were on the point of dying, the Swiss
would not resuscitate it."[35] Only in Germany is socialism making
headway, and Bakounin undertakes to examine this socialism and to put it
forward as a horrible example. To be sure, the German workers are
awakening, but they are under the leadership of certain cunning
politicians, who have abandoned all revolutionary ideas, and are now
undertaking to reform the State, hoping that that could be done as a
result of "a great peaceful and legal agitation of the working
class."[36] The very name Liebknecht had taken for his paper, the
_Volksstaat_, was infamous in Bakounin's eyes, while all the leaders of
the labor party had become merely appendages to "their friends of the
bourgeois _Volkspartei_."[37] He then passes in review the program of
the German socialists, and points to their aim of establishing a
democratic State by the "direct and secret suffrage for all men" and its
guidance by direct legislation, as the utter abandonment of every
revolutionary idea. He dwells upon the folly of the suffrage and of
every effort to remodel, recast, and change the State, as "purely
political and bourgeois."[38]

Democracies and republics are no less tyrannical than monarchies. The
suffrage cannot alter them. In England, Switzerland, and America, he
declares, the masses now have political power, yet they remain in the
deepest depths of misery. Universal suffrage is only a new superstition,
while the referendum, already existing in Switzerland, has failed
utterly to improve the condition of the people. The working-class
slaves, even in the most democratic countries, "have neither the
instruction; nor the leisure, nor the independence necessary to
exercise freely and with full knowledge of the case their rights as
citizens. They have, in the most democratic countries, which are
governed by representatives elected by all the people, a ruling day or
rather a day of Saturnalian celebration: that is election day. Then the
bourgeois, their oppressors, their every-day exploiters, and their
masters, come to them, with hats off, talk to them of equality and of
fraternity, and call them the ruling people, of whom they (the
bourgeois) are only very humble servants, the representatives of their
will. This day over, fraternity and equality evaporate in smoke, the
bourgeois become bourgeois once more, and the proletariat, the sovereign
people, remain slaves.

"Such is the real truth about the system of representative democracy, so
much praised by the radical bourgeois, even when it is amended,
completed, and developed, with a popular intention, by the _referendum_
or by that 'direct legislation of the people' which is extolled by a
German school that wrongly calls itself socialist. For very nearly two
years, the _referendum_ has been a part of the constitution of the
canton of Zurich, and up to this time it has given absolutely no
results. The people there are called upon to vote, by yes or by no, on
all the important laws which are presented to them by the representative
bodies. They could even grant them the initiative without real liberty
winning the least advantage."[39]

It is a discouraging picture that Bakounin draws here of the ignorance
and stupidity of the people as they are led in every election to vote
their enemies into power. What, then, is to be done? What shall these
hordes of the illiterate and miserable do? If by direct legislation they
cannot even vote laws in their own interest, how, then, will it be
possible for them ever to improve their condition? Such questions do not
in the least disturb Bakounin. He has one answer, Revolution! As he said
in the beginning, so he repeats: "To escape its wretched lot, the
populace has three ways, two imaginary and one real. The first two are
the rum shop and the church, ... the third is the social
revolution."[40] "A cure is possible only through the social
revolution,"[41] that is, through "the destruction of all institutions
of inequality, and the establishment of economic and social

However, if Bakounin's idea of the social revolution never altered, the
methods by which it was to be carried out suffered a change as a result
of his experience in the International. In 1871 he no longer advocated,
openly at any rate, secret conspiracies, the "loosening of evil
passions," or some vague "unchaining of the hydra." He begins then to
oppose to political action what he calls economic action.[43] In the
fragment--not published during Bakounin's life--the _Protestation de
l'Alliance_, he covers for the hundredth time his arguments against the
_Volksstaat_, which is a "ridiculous contradiction, a fiction, a
lie."[44] "The State ... will always be an institution of domination and
of exploitation ... a permanent source of slavery and of misery."[45]
How, then, shall the State be destroyed? Bakounin's answer is "first, by
the organization and the federation of strike funds and the
international solidarity of strikes; secondly, by the organization and
international federation of trade unions; and, lastly, by the
spontaneous and direct development of philosophical and sociological
ideas in the International....

"Let us now consider these three ways in their special action, differing
one from another, but, as I have just said, inseparable, and let us
commence with the organization of strike funds and strikes.

"Strike funds have for their sole object to provide the necessary money
in order to make possible the costly organization and maintenance of
strikes. And the strike is the beginning of the social war of the
proletariat against the bourgeoisie, while still within the limits of
legality.[T] Strikes are a valuable weapon in this twofold connection;
first, because they electrify the masses, give fresh impetus to their
moral energy, and awaken in their hearts the profound antagonism which
exists between their interests and those of the bourgeoisie, by showing
them ever clearer the abyss which from this time irrevocably separates
them from that class; and, second, because they contribute in large
measure to provoke and to constitute among the workers of all trades, of
all localities, and of all countries the consciousness and the fact
itself of solidarity: a double action, the one negative and the other
positive, which tends to constitute directly the new world of the
proletariat by opposing it, almost absolutely, to the bourgeois

In another place he says: "Once this solidarity is seriously accepted
and firmly established, it brings forth all the rest--all the
principles--the most sublime and the most subversive of the
International, the most destructive of religion, of juridical right, and
of the State, of authority divine as well as human--in a word, the most
revolutionary from the socialist point of view, being nothing but the
natural and necessary developments of this economic solidarity. And the
immense practical advantage of the trade sections over the central
sections consists precisely in this--that these developments and these
principles are demonstrated to the workers not by theoretical reasoning,
but by the living and tragic experience of a struggle which each day
becomes larger, more profound, and more terrible. In such a way that the
worker who is the least instructed, the least prepared, the most gentle,
always dragged further by the very consequences of this conflict, ends
by recognizing himself to be a revolutionist, an anarchist, and an
atheist, without often knowing himself how he has become such."[47]

This is as far as Bakounin gets in the statement of his new program of
action, as this article, like many others, was discontinued and thrown
aside at the moment when he comes to clinching his argument. The
mountain, however, had labored, and this was its mouse. It is chiefly
remarkable as a forecast of the methods adopted by the syndicalists a
quarter of a century later. Nevertheless, one cannot escape the thought
that Bakounin's advocacy of a purely economic struggle was only a last
desperate effort on his part to discover some method of action, aside
from his now discredited riots and insurrections, that could serve as an
effective substitute for political action. In reality, Bakounin found
himself in a vicious circle. Again and again he tried to find his way
out, but invariably he returned to his starting point. In despair he
tore to pieces his manuscript, immediately, however, to start a new one;
then once more to rush round the circle that ended nowhere.

Marx and Engels ignored utterly the many and varied assaults that
Bakounin made upon their theoretical views. They were not the least
concerned over his attacks upon _their_ socialism. They had not invented
it, and economic evolution was determining its form. It was not,
indeed, until 1875 that Engels deals with the tendencies to State
socialism, and then it was in answer to Dr. Eugene Duehring, _privat
docent_ at Berlin University, who had just announced that he had become
"converted" to socialism. Like many another distinguished convert, he
immediately began to remodel the whole theory and to create what he
supposed were new and original doctrines of his own. But no sooner were
they put in print than they were found to be a restatement of the old
and choicest formulas of Proudhon and Bakounin. Engels therefore took up
the cudgels once again, and, no doubt to the stupefaction of Duehring,
denied that property is robbery,[48] that slaves are kept in slavery by
force,[49] and that the root of social and economic inequality is
political tyranny.[50] Furthermore, he deplored this method of
interpreting history, and pointed out that capitalism would exist "if we
exclude the possibility of force, robbery, and cheating absolutely...."
Furthermore, "the monopolization of the means of production ... in the
hands of a single class few in numbers ... rests on purely economic
grounds without robbery, force, or any intervention of politics or the
government being necessary." To say that property rests on force
"_merely serves to obscure the understanding of the real development of
things_."[51] I mention Engels' argument in answer to Dr. Duehring,
because word for word it answers also Bakounin. Of course, Bakounin was
a much more difficult antagonist, because he could not be pinned down to
any systematic doctrines or to any clear and logical development or
statement of his thought. Indeed, Marx and Engels seemed more amused
than concerned and simply treated his essays as a form of
"hyper-revolutionary dress-parade oratory," to use a phrase of
Liebknecht's. They ridiculed him as an "amorphous pan-destroyer," and
made no attempt to refute his really intangible social and economic

However, they met Bakounin's attacks on the International at every
point. On the method of organization which Bakounin advocated, namely,
that of a federalism of autonomous groups, which was to be "in the
present a faithful image of future society," Marx replied that nothing
could better suit the enemies of the International than to see such
anarchy reign amidst the workers. Furthermore, when Bakounin advocated
insurrections, uprisings, and riots, or even indeed purely economic
action as a substitute for political action, Marx undertook
extraordinary measures to deal finally with Bakounin and his program of
action. A conference was therefore called of the leading spirits of the
International, to be held in London in September, 1871. The whole of
Bakounin's activity was there discussed, and a series of resolutions was
adopted by the conference to be sent to every section of the
International movement. A number of these resolutions dealt directly
with Bakounin and the Alliance, which it was thought still existed,
despite Bakounin's statement that it had been dissolved.[U] But by far
the most important work of the conference was a resolution dealing with
the question of political action. It is perhaps as important a document
as was issued during the life of the International, and it stands as the
answer of Marx to what Bakounin called economic action and to what the
syndicalists now call direct action. The whole International
organization is here pleaded with to maintain its faith in the efficacy
of political means. Political action is pointed out as the fundamental
principle of the organization, and, in order to give authority to this
plea, the various declarations that had been made during the life of the
International were brought together. Once again, the old motif of the
Communist Manifesto appeared, and every effort was made to give it the
authority of a positive law. Although rather long, the resolution is too
important a document not to be printed here almost in full.

"Considering the following passage of the preamble to the rules: 'The
economic emancipation of the working classes is the great end to which
every political movement ought to be subordinate _as a means_;'

"That the Inaugural Address of the International Working Men's
Association (1864) states: 'The lords of land and the lords of capital
will always use their political privileges for the defense and
perpetuation of their economic monopolies. So far from promoting, they
will continue to lay every possible impediment in the way of the
emancipation of labor.... To conquer political power has therefore
become the great duty of the working classes;'

"That the Congress of Lausanne (1867) has passed this resolution: 'The
social emancipation of the workmen is inseparable from their political

"That the declaration of the General Council relative to the pretended
plot of the French Internationals on the eve of the plébiscite (1870)
says: 'Certainly by the tenor of our statutes, all our branches in
England, on the Continent, and in America have the special mission not
only to serve as centers for the militant organization of the working
class, but also to support, in their respective countries, every
political movement tending toward the accomplishment of our ultimate
end--the economic emancipation of the working class;'

       *       *       *       *       *

"Considering that against this collective power of the propertied
classes the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting
itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old
parties formed by the propertied classes;

"That this constitution of the working class into a political party is
indispensable in order to insure the triumph of the social revolution
and its ultimate end--the abolition of classes;

"That the combination of forces which the working class has already
effected by its economic struggles ought at the same time to serve as a
lever for its struggles against the political power of landlords and

"The Conference recalls to the members of the _International_:

"That, in the militant state of the working class, its economic movement
and its political action are indissolubly united."[52]

From the congress at Basel in 1869 to the conference at The Hague in
1872, little was done by the International to realize its great aim of
organizing politically the working class of Europe. It had been
completely sidetracked, and all the energies of its leading spirits were
wasted in controversy and in the various struggles of the factions to
control the organization. It was a period of incessant warfare. Nearly
every local conference was a scene of dissension; many of the branches
were dissolved; and disruption in the Latin countries was gradually
obliterating whatever there was of actual organization. It all resolved
itself into a question of domination between Bakounin and Marx. The war
between Germany and France prevented an international gathering, and it
was not until September, 1872, that another congress of the
International was held. It was finally decided that it should gather at
The Hague. The Commune had flashed across the sky for a moment.
Insurrection had broken out and had been crushed in various places in
Europe. Strikes were more frequent than had ever been known before. And,
because of these various disturbances, the International had become the
terror of Europe. Its strength and influence were vastly overestimated
by the reactionary powers. Its hand was seen in every act of the
discontented masses. It became the "Red Spectre," and all the powers of
Europe were now seeking to destroy it. Looming thus large to the outside
world, those within the International knew how baseless were the fears
of its opponents. They realized that internecine war was eating its
heart out. During all this time, when it was credited and blamed for
every revolt in Europe, there were incredible plotting and intrigue
between the factions. Endless documents were printed, assailing the
alleged designs of this or that group, and secret circulars were issued
denouncing the character of this or that leader. Sections were formed
and dissolved in the maneuvers of the two factions to control the
approaching congress. And, when finally the congress gathered at The
Hague, there was a gravity among the delegates that foreboded what was
to come. The Marxists were in absolute control. On the resolution to
expel Michael Bakounin from the International the vote stood
twenty-seven for and six against, while seven abstained. The expulsion
of Bakounin, however, occurred only after a long debate upon his entire
history and that of his secret Alliance. Nearly all the amazing
collection of "documentary proof," afterward published in _L'Alliance de
la Démocratie Socialiste_, was submitted to the congress, and a
resolution was passed that all the documents should be published,
together with such others as might tend to enlighten the membership
concerning the purposes of Bakounin's organization.

Two other important actions were taken at the congress. One was to
introduce into the actual rules of the Association part of the
resolution, which was passed by the conference in London the year
before, dealing with political action, and this was adopted by
thirty-six votes against five. The other action was to remove the seat
of the General Council from London to New York. Although this was
suggested by Marx, it was energetically fought on the ground that it
meant the destruction of the International. By a very narrow vote the
resolution was carried, twenty-six to twenty-three, a number of Marx's
oldest and most devoted followers voting against the proposition. No
really satisfactory explanation is given for this extraordinary act,
although it has been thought since that Marx had arrived at the
decision, perhaps the hardest of his life, to destroy the International
in order to save it from the hands of the anarchists. To be sure,
Bakounin was now out of it, and there was little to be feared from his
faction, segregated and limited to certain places in the Latin
countries; but everywhere the name of the International was being used
by all sorts of elements that could only injure the actual labor
movement. The exploits of Nechayeff, of Bakounin, and of certain Spanish
and Italian sections had all conveyed to the world an impression of the
International which perhaps could never be altogether erased.
Furthermore, in Germany and other countries the seeds of an actual
working-class political movement had been planted, and there was already
promise of a huge development in the national organizations. What moved
Marx thus to destroy his own child, the concrete thing he had dreamed of
in his thirty years of incessant labor, profound study, and ceaseless
agitation, will perhaps never be fully known, but in any case no act of
Marx was ever of greater service to the cause of labor. It was a form of
surgery that cut out of the socialist movement forever an irreconcilable
element, and from then on the distinction between anarchist and
socialist was indisputably clear. They stood poles apart, and everyone
realized that no useful purpose would be served in trying to bring them
together again.

Largely because of Bakounin, the International as an organization of
labor never played an important rôle; but, as a melting pot in which the
crude ideas of many philosophies were thrown--some to be fused, others
to be cast aside, and all eventually to be clarified and purified--the
International performed a memorable service. During its entire life it
was a battlefield. In the beginning there were many separate groups, but
at the end there were only two forces in combat--socialists and
anarchists. When the quarrel began there was among the masses no sharply
dividing line; their ideas were incoherent; and their allegiance was to
individuals rather than to principles. Without much discrimination, they
called themselves "communists," "Internationalists," "collectivists,"
"anarchists," "socialists." Even these terms they had not defined, and
it was only toward the end of the International that the two combatants
classified their principles into two antagonistic schools, socialism and
anarchism. Anarchism was no longer a vague, undefined philosophy of
human happiness; it now stood forth, clear and distinct from all other
social theories. After this no one need be in doubt as to its meaning
and methods. On the other hand, no thoughtful person need longer remain
in doubt as to the exact meaning and methods of socialism. This work of
definition and clarification was the immense service performed by the
International in its eight brief years of life. Throughout Europe and
America, after 1872, these two forces openly declared that they had
nothing in common, either in method or in philosophy. To them at least
the International had been a university.


[S] In the English report of the discussion Professor Hins's remarks are
summarized as follows: "Hins said he could not agree with those who
looked upon trade societies as mere strike and wages' societies, nor was
he in favor of having central committees made up of all trades. The
present trades unions would some day overthrow the present state of
political organization altogether; they represented the social and
political organization of the future. The whole laboring population
would range itself, according to occupation, into different groups, and
this would lead to a new political organization of society. He wanted no
intermeddling of the State; they had enough of that in Belgium already.
As to the central committees, every trade ought to have its central
committee at the principal seat of manufacture. The central committee of
the cotton trades ought to be at Manchester; that of the silk trades at
Lyons, etc. He did not consider it a disadvantage that trade unions kept
aloof more or less from politics, at least in his country. By trying to
reform the State, or to take part in its councils, they would virtually
acknowledge its right of existence. Whatever the English, the Swiss, the
Germans, and the Americans might hope to accomplish by means of the
present political State the Belgians repudiated theirs."--pp. 31-2.

[T] These are almost the exact words that Aristide Briand uses in his
argument for the general strike. See "_La Grève Générale_," compiled by
Lagardelle, p. 95.

[U] One of the resolutions prohibited the formation of sectarian groups
or separatist bodies within the International, such as the _Alliance de
la Démocratie Socialiste_, that pretended "to accomplish special
missions, distinct from the common purposes of the Association." Another
resolution dealt with what was called the "split" among the workers in
the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Still another resolution
formally declared that the International had nothing in common with the
infamies of Nechayeff, who had fraudulently usurped and exploited the
name of the International. Furthermore, Outine was instructed to prepare
a report from the Russian journals on the work of Nechayeff. Cf.
_Resolutions_ II, XVII, XIII, XIV, respectively, of the Conference of
Delegates of the International Working Men's Association, Assembled at
London from 17th to 23d September, 1871.



After The Hague congress the socialists and anarchists, divided into
separate and antagonistic groups--with principles as well as methods of
organization that were diametrically opposed to each other--were forced
to undergo a terrific struggle for existence. Marx had clearly enough
warned the followers of Bakounin that their methods were suicidal. "The
Alliance proceeds the wrong way," he declared. "It proclaims anarchy in
the working-class ranks as the surest means of destroying the powerful
concentration of social and political forces in the hands of the
exploiters. On this pretext it asks the International, at the moment
when the old world is striving to crush it, to replace its organization
by anarchy."[1] And, as strange as it may seem, this was in fact what
Bakounin was actually striving for. In the name of liberty he was
demanding that the International be broken up into thousands of
isolated, autonomous groups, which were to do whatever they pleased, in
any way they pleased, at any time they pleased. This may have been, and
doubtless was, in perfect harmony with the philosophy of anarchism, but
it had nothing in harmony with the idea of a solidified, international
organization of workingmen that Marx was striving to bring into
existence. Anarchism when advocated as an ideal for some distant social
order of the future, concerned Marx and Engels very little; indeed, they
did not even discuss it from this point of view. It was only when
Bakounin counseled anarchy as a method of working-class organization
that both Marx and Engels protested, on the ground that such tactics
could lead only to self-destruction. Neither Bakounin nor his followers
were convinced, however, and they set out bravely after 1872 to put into
practice their ideas. Their revolt against authority was carried to its
ultimate extreme. How far the anarchists were prepared to go in their
revolt is indicated by a letter which Bakounin wrote to _La Liberté_ of
Brussels a few days after his expulsion from the International. Although
not finished, and consequently not sent to that journal, it is
especially interesting because he attacks the General Council as a new
incarnation of the State. Here his lively imagination pictures the
International as the germ of a new despotic social order, already fallen
under the domination of a group of dictators, and he exclaims: "A State,
a government, a universal dictatorship! The dream of Gregory VII., of
Boniface VIII., of Charles V., and of Napoleon is reproduced in new
forms, but ever with the same pretensions, in the camp of social
democracy."[2] This is an altogether new point of view as to the
character of the State. We now learn that it means any form of
centralized organization; a committee, a chairman, an executive body of
any sort is a State. The General Council in London was a State. Marx and
Engels were a State. Any authority--no matter what its form, nor how
controlled, appointed, or elected--is a State.

I am not sure that this marks the birth of the repugnance of the
anarchists to even so innocent a form of authority as that of a
chairman. Nor am I certain that this was the origin of those ideas of
organization that make of an anarchist meeting a modern Babel, wherein
all seems to be utter confusion. In any case, the Bakouninists, after
The Hague congress, undertook to revive the International and to base
this new organization on these ideas of anarchism. After a conference at
Saint-Imier in the Jura, where Bakounin and his friends outlined the
policies of a new International, a call was sent out for a congress to
be held in Geneva in 1873. The congress that assembled there was not a
large one, but, with no exaggeration whatever, it was one of the most
remarkable gatherings ever held. For six entire days and nights the
delegates struggled to create by some magic means a world-wide
organization of the people, without a program, a committee, a chairman,
or a vote. No longer oppressed by the "tyranny" of Marx, or baffled by
his "abominable intrigues," they set out to create their "faithful
image" of the new world--an organization that was not to be an
organization; a union that was to be made up of fleeting and constantly
shifting elements, agreeing at one moment to unite, at the next moment
to divide. This was the insolvable problem that now faced the first
congress of the anarchists. There were only two heretics among them.
Both had come from England; but Hales was a "voice crying in the
wilderness," while Eccarius sat silent throughout the congress.

The first great debate took place upon whether there should be any
central council. The English delegates believed that there should be
one, but that its power should be limited. Other delegates believed that
there might be various commissions to perform certain necessary
executive services. John Hales declared, in support of a central
commission, that it will promote economy and facilitate the work, and
that it will be easy to prevent such a commission from usurping
power.[3] Paul Brousse, Guillaume, and others opposed this view with
such heat, however, that Hales was forced to respond: "I combat anarchy
because the word and the thing that it represents are the synonyms of
dissolution. Anarchy spells individualism, and individualism is the
basis of the existing society that we desire to destroy.... Let us
suppose, for example, a strike. Can one hope to triumph with an
anarchist organization? Under this régime each one, being able to do
what he pleases, can, according to his will, work or not work. The
general interest will be sacrificed to individual caprice. The veritable
application of the anarchist principle would be the dissolution of the
International, and this congress has precisely an opposite end, which is
to reorganize the International. One should not confound authority and
organization. We are not authoritarians, but we must be organizers. Far
from approving anarchy, which is the present social state, we ought to
combat it by the creation of a central commission and by the
organization of collectivism. Anarchy is the law of death; collectivism,
that of life."[4] This was, as Hales soon discovered, the very essence
of heresy, and, when the vote was taken, he was overwhelmed by those
opposed to any centralized organization.

The anarchists were not, however, content merely with having no central
council, and they began to discuss whether or not the various
federations should vote upon questions of principle. The commission that
was dealing with the revision of the by-laws recommended that views
should be harmonized by discussion and that any decisions made by the
congress should be enforced only among those federations which accepted
its decisions. Costa of Italy approved of these ideas. "For that which
concerns theory, we can only discuss and seek to persuade each other,
... but we cannot enforce, for example, ... a certain political
program."[5] Brousse vigorously opposed the process of voting in any
form. It appeared to him that the true means of action was to obtain the
opinion of everyone. "The vote," he declared, "simply divides an
assembly into a majority and a minority.... The only truly practical
means of obtaining a consensus of opinions is to have them placed in the
minutes without voting."[6] That view seemed to prevail, and the
amendment to this question suggested by Hales of England was _voted down
by the majority_!

These two decisions of the congress will convey an idea of the anarchist
conception of organization. There was to be no executive or
administrative body. Nor were the decisions of the congress to have any
authority. Anybody could join, believing anything he liked and doing
anything he liked. Only those federations which voluntarily accepted the
decisions of the congress were expected to obey them. Matters of
principle were in no-wise to be voted upon, and each individual was
allowed to accept or reject them according to his wishes. The actual
rules, adopted unanimously, ran as follows: "Federations and sections,
composing the Association, will conserve their complete autonomy, that
is to say, the right to organize themselves according to their will, to
administer their own affairs without any exterior interference, and to
determine themselves the path they wish to follow in order to arrive at
the emancipation of labor."[7]

It was fully expected that, in addition to its work of reorganization,
if we may so speak of it, the congress would definitely devise some
method, other than a political one, for the emancipation of labor. The
general strike had been put down upon the agenda for discussion. In the
report of the Jura section it was declared: "If the workers affiliated
with the Association could fix a certain day for the general strike, not
only to obtain a reduction of hours and a diminution[V] of wages, but
also to find the means of living in the coöperative workshops, by groups
and by colonies, we could not decline to lend them our assistance, and
we would make appeal to the members of all nations to lend them both
moral and material aid."[8] Unfortunately, the congress had little time
to discuss this part of its program. In the _Compte-Rendu Officiel_
there is no report of whatever discussion took place. But Guillaume, in
his _Documents et Souvenirs_, gives us a brief account of what occurred.
After two resolutions had been put on the subject they were withdrawn
because of opposition, and finally Guillaume introduced the following:

"Whereas partial strikes can only procure for the workers momentary and
illusory relief, and whereas, by their very nature, wages will always be
limited to the strictly necessary means of subsistence in order to keep
the worker from dying of hunger,

"The Congress, without believing in the possibility of completely
renouncing partial strikes, recommends the workers to devote their
efforts to achieving an international organization of trade bodies,
which will enable them to undertake some day a general strike, the only
really efficacious strike to realize the complete emancipation of
labor."[9] All the delegates approved the resolution, excepting Hales,
who voted against it, and Van den Abeele, who abstained from voting
because the matter would be later discussed in Holland.

It was of course inevitable that such an "organization" should soon
disappear. Vigorous efforts were made by a few of the devoted to keep
the movement alive, but it is easy to see that an aggregation so loosely
united, and without any really definite purpose, was destined to
dissolution. During the next few years various small congresses were
held, but they were merely beating a corpse in the effort to keep it
alive. And, while the Bakouninists were engaged in this critical
struggle with death, the spirit that had animated all their battles with
Marx withdrew himself. Bakounin was tired and discouraged, and he left
his friends of the Jura without advice or assistance in their now
impossible task. Thus precipitately ended the efforts of the anarchists
to build up a new International. George Plechanoff illuminates the
insolvable problem of the anarchists with his powerful statement: "Error
has its logic as well as truth. Once you reject the political action of
the working class, you are fatally driven--provided you do not wish to
serve the bourgeois politicians--to accept the tactics of the Vaillants
and the Henrys."[10] That this is terribly true is open to no question
whatever. And the anarchists now found themselves in a veritable
_cul-de-sac_. Like the poor in Sidney Lanier's poem, they were pressing

     "Against an inward-opening door
     That pressure tightens evermore."

The more they fretted and stormed and crushed each other, the more
hopelessly impossible became the chance of egress. The more desperately
they threw themselves against that door, the more securely they
imprisoned themselves. It was the very logic of their tactics that they
could not circumvent so small an obstacle as that inward-opening door.
It meant self-destruction. And that, of course, was exactly what
happened, as we know, to those who followed the vicious round of logic
from which Bakounin could not extricate himself. Their struggle for an
organized existence was brief, and at the end of the seventies it was
entirely over.

Naturally, the complete failure of all their projects did not improve
their temper, and they lost no opportunity to assail the Marxists. The
Jura _Bulletin_ of December 10, 1876, translated an article entitled
_Poco à Poco_, written by Andrea Costa, who labeled the "pacific"
socialists "apostles of conciliation and ambiguity." They wish, said
Costa, to march slowly on the road of progress. "Otherwise, indeed, what
would become of them and their newspapers? For them the field of
fruitful study and of profound observations on the phenomena of
industrial life would be closed. For the journalists the means of
earning money would have likewise disappeared.... Finding the
satisfaction of their own aspirations in the present state of misery,
they end by becoming, often without wishing it, profoundly egotistic and
bad.... While calling themselves socialists, they are more dangerous
than the declared enemies of the popular cause."[11] About this time a
new journal appeared at Florence under the name of _l'Anarchia_ and
announced the following program: "We are not _armchair (Katheder)
socialists_. We will speak a simple language in order that the
proletariat may understand once for all what road it must follow in
order to arrive at its complete emancipation. _L'Anarchia_ will fight
without truce not only the exploiting bourgeoisie, but also _the new
charlatans of socialism_, for the latter are the most dangerous enemies
of the working class."[12]

The following year Kropotkin wrote two articles in the _Bulletin_, July
22 and 29, which vigorously attacked socialist parliamentary tactics.
"At what price does one succeed in leading the people to the ballot
boxes?" he asks in the first article. "Have the frankness to
acknowledge, gentlemen politicians, that it is by inculcating this
illusion, that in sending members to parliament the people will succeed
in freeing themselves and in bettering their lot, that is to say, by
telling them what one knows to be an absolute lie. It is certainly not
for the pleasure of getting their education that the German people give
their pennies for parliamentary agitation. It is because, from hearing
it repeated each day by hundreds of 'agitators,' they come to believe
that truly by this method they will be able to realize, in part at
least, if not completely, their hopes. Acknowledge it for once,
politicians of to-day, formerly socialists, that we may say aloud what
you think in silence: 'You are liars!' Yes, liars, I insist upon the
word, since you lie to the people when you tell them that they will
better their lot by sending you to parliament. You lie, for you
yourselves, but a few years since, have maintained absolutely the

What infuriated the anarchists was the amazing growth of the socialist
political parties. It was only after The Hague congress that the
socialist movement was in reality free to begin its actual work. With
ideas diametrically opposed to those of the anarchists, the socialists
set out to build up their national movements by uniting the various
elements in the labor world. There were now devoted disciples of Marx in
every country of Europe, and in the next few years, in France, Belgium,
Holland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany, the foundations were laid for the
great national movements that exist to-day. In France, Jules Guesde,
Paul Lafargue, and Gabriel Deville launched a socialist labor party in
1878. A Danish socialist labor party was formed the same year by an
agreement with the trade unions. In the early eighties the
Social-Democratic Federation was founded in England, and in 1881 a
congress of various groups of radicals, socialists, and republicans
launched a political movement in Italy. In Germany the socialists had
already built up a great political organization. This had been done
directly under the guidance of Marx and Engels through Liebknecht and
Bebel. Marx's ideas were there perfectly worked out, and nothing so much
as that living, growing thing incensed the anarchists. Indeed, they
seemed to be convinced that there was more of menace to the working
class in these growing organizations of the socialists than in the power
of the bourgeoisie itself.

The controversial literature of this period is not pleasant reading. The
socialists and anarchists were literally at each other's throats, and
the spirit of malignity that actuated many of their assaults upon each
other is revolting to those of to-day who cannot appreciate the
intensity of this battle for the preservation of their most cherished
ideas. And in all this period the socialist and labor movement was
overrun with _agents provocateurs_, and every variety of paid police
agents sent to disrupt and destroy these organizations. And, as has
always been the case, these "reptiles," as they were called, were
advocating among the masses those deeds which the chief anarchists were
proclaiming as revolutionary methods. Riots, insurrections, dynamite
outrages, the shooting of individuals, and all forms of violence were
being preached to the poor and hungry men who made up the mass of the
labor movement. Under the guise of anarchists, these "reptiles" were
often looked upon as heroic figures, and everywhere, even when they did
not succeed in winning the confidence of the masses, they were able to
awaken suspicion and distrust that demoralized the movement. The
socialists were assailed as traitors to the cause of labor, because they
were preaching peaceable methods. They were accused of alliances with
other parties, because they sought to elect men to parliament. They were
denounced as in league with the Government and even the police, because
they disapproved of dynamite.

On the other hand, the socialists were equally bitter in their attacks
upon the anarchists. They denounced their methods as suicidal and the
Propaganda of the Deed as utter madness. In _La Période Tragique_, when
Duval, Decamps, Ravachol, and the other anarchists in France were
committing the most astounding crimes, Jules Guesde and other socialist
leaders condemned these outrages and protested against being associated
in the public mind with those who advocated theft and murder as a method
of propaganda. Indeed, the anarchists in the late seventies and in the
eighties lost many who had been formerly friendly to them. Guesde and
Plechanoff, both of whom had been influenced in their early days by the
Bakouninists, had broken with them completely. Later Paul Brousse and
Andrea Costa left them. And, in fact, the anarchists were now incapable
of any effective action or even education. Without committees,
executives, laws, votes, or chairmen, they could not undertake any work
which depended on organized effort, and, except as they managed from
time to time to gain a prominent position in some labor or radical
organization built up by others, they had no influence over any large
body of people. They were fighting desperately to prevent extinction,
and in their struggle a number of extraordinarily brilliant and daring
characters came to the front. But during the next decade their tragic
desperation, instead of advancing anarchism, served only to strengthen
the reactionary elements of Europe in their effort to annihilate the now
formidable labor and socialist movements.

Turning now to the struggle for existence of the socialist parties of
the various countries, there is one story that is far too important in
the history of socialism to be passed over. It was a magnificent battle
against the terrorists above and the terrorists below, that ended in
complete victory for the socialists. Strangely enough, the greatest
provocation to violence that has ever confronted the labor movement and
the greatest opportunity that was ever offered to anarchy occurred in
precisely that country where it was least expected. Nowhere else in all
Europe had socialism made such advances as in Germany; and nowhere else
was the movement so well organized, so intelligently led, or so clear as
to its aims and methods. An immense agitation had gone on during the
entire sixties, and working-class organizations were springing up
everywhere. Besides possessing the greatest theorists of socialism, Marx
and Engels, the German movement was rich indeed in having in its service
three such matchless agitators as Lassalle, Bebel, and Liebknecht.
Lassalle certainly had no peer, and those who have written of him
exhaust superlatives in their efforts to describe this prodigy. He,
also, was a product of that hero-producing period of '48. He had been
arrested in Düsseldorf at the same time that Marx and his circle had
been arrested at Cologne. He was then only twenty-three years of age.
Yet his defense of his actions in court is said to have been a
masterpiece. Even the critic George Brandes has spoken of it as the most
wonderful example of manly courage and eloquence in a youth that the
history of the world has given us.

Precocious as a child, proud and haughty as a youth, gifted with a
critical, penetrating, and brilliant mind, and moved by an ambition that
knew no bounds, Lassalle, with all his powerful passion and dramatic
talents, could not have been other than a great figure. When a man
possesses qualities that call forth the wonder of Heine, Humboldt,
Bismarck, and Brandes, when Bakounin calls him a "giant," and even
George Meredith turns to him as a personality almost unequaled in
fiction and makes a novel out of his career, the plain ordinary world
may gain some conception of this "father of the German labor movement."
This is no place to deal with certain deplorable and contradictory
phases of his life nor even with some of his mad dreams that led
Bismarck, after saying that "he was one of the most intellectual and
gifted men with whom I have ever had intercourse, ..." to add "and it
was perhaps a matter of doubt to him whether the German Empire would
close with the Hohenzollern dynasty or the Lassalle dynasty."[14] Such
was the proud, unruly, ambitious spirit of the man, who, in 1862, came
actively to voice the claims of labor.

Setting out to regenerate society and appealing directly to the working
classes, Lassalle lashed them with scorn. "You German workingmen are
curious people," he said. "French and English workingmen have to be
shown how their miserable condition may be improved; but you have first
to be shown that you _are_ in a miserable condition. So long as you have
a piece of bad sausage and a glass of beer, you do not notice that you
want anything. That is a result of your accursed absence of needs. What,
you will say, is this, then, a virtue? Yes, in the eyes of the Christian
preacher of morality it is certainly a virtue. Absence of needs is the
virtue of the Indian pillar saint and of the Christian monk, but in the
eyes of the student of history and the political economist it is quite a
different matter. Ask all political economists what is the greatest
misfortune for a nation? The absence of wants. For these are the spurs
of its development and of civilization. The Neapolitan lazaroni are so
far behind in civilization, because they have no wants, because they
stretch themselves out contentedly and warm themselves in the sun when
they have secured a handful of macaroni. Why is the Russian Cossack so
backward in civilization? Because he eats tallow candles and is happy
when he can fuddle himself on bad liquor. To have as many needs as
possible, but to satisfy them in an honorable and respectable way, that
is the virtue of the present, of the economic age! And, so long as you
do not understand and follow that truth, I shall preach in vain."[15]
Other nations may be slaves, he added, recalling the words of Ludwig
Börne; they may be put in chains and be held down by force, but the
Germans are flunkies--it is not necessary to lay chains on them--they
may be allowed to wander free about the house. Yet, while thus shaming
the working classes, he pleaded their cause as no other one has pleaded
it, and, after humiliating them, he held them spellbound, as he traced
the great rôle the working classes were destined to play in the
regeneration of all society.

The socialism of Lassalle had much in common with that of Louis Blanc,
and his theory of coöperative enterprises subsidized by the State was
almost identical. Chiefly toward this end he sought to promote
working-class organization, although he also believed that the working
classes would eventually gain control of the entire State and, through
it, reorganize production. He agitated for universal suffrage and even
plotted with Bismarck to obtain it. He was confident that an industrial
revolution was inevitable. The change "will either come in complete
legality," he said, "and with all the blessings of peace--if people are
only wise enough to resolve that it shall be introduced in time and from
above--or it will one day break in amid all the convulsions of violence,
with wild, flowing hair, and iron sandals upon its feet. In one way or
the other it will come at all events, and when, shutting myself from the
noise of the day, I lose myself in history--then I hear its tread. But
do you not see, then, that, in spite of this difference in what we
believe, our endeavors go hand in hand? You do not believe in
revolution, and therefore you want to prevent it. Good, do that which is
your duty. But I do believe in revolution, and, because I believe in it,
I wish, not to precipitate it--for I have already told you that
according to my view of history the efforts of a tribune are in this
respect necessarily as impotent as the breath of my mouth would be to
unfetter the storm upon the sea--but in case it should come, and from
below, I will humanize it, civilize it beforehand." [16] Thus Lassalle
saw that "to wish to make a revolution is the foolishness of immature
men who have no knowledge of the laws of history."[17] Yet he stated
also that, if a revolution is imminent, it is equally childish for the
powerful to think they can stem it. "Revolution is an overturning, and a
revolution always takes place--whether it be with or without force is a
matter of no importance ... when an entirely new principle is introduced
in the place of the existing order. Reform, on the other hand, takes
place when the principle of the existing order is retained, but is
developed to more liberal or more consequent and just conclusions.
Here, again, the question of means is of no importance. A reform may be
effected by insurrection and bloodshed, and a revolution may take place
in the deepest peace."[18]

Through the agitation of Lassalle, the Universal German Working Men's
Association was organized, and it was his work for that body that won
him fame as the founder of the German labor movement. Not a laborer
himself, nor indeed speaking to them as one of themselves, he led a life
that would probably have ended disastrously, even to the cause itself,
had it not been for his dramatic ending through the love affair and the
duel. Fate was kind to Lassalle in that he lived only so long as his
influence served the cause of the workers, and in that death took him
before life shattered another idol of the masses. "One of two things,"
said Lassalle once before his judges. "Either let us drink Cyprian wine
and kiss beautiful maidens--in other words, indulge in the most common
selfishness of pleasure--or, if we are to speak of the State and
morality, let us dedicate all our powers to the improvement of the dark
lot of the vast majority of mankind, out of whose night-covered floods
we, the propertied class, only rise like solitary pillars, as if to show
how dark are those floods, how deep is their abyss."[19] With such
marvelous pictures as this Lassalle created a revolution in the thought
and even in the action of the working classes of Germany. At times he
drank Cyprian wines, and what might have happened had he lived no one
can tell. But he was indeed at the time a "solitary pillar," rising out
of "night-covered floods," a heroic figure, who is even to-day an
unforgettable memory.

Bebel and Liebknecht appeared in the German movement as influential
figures only after the disappearance of Lassalle. And, while the labor
movement was already launched, it was in a deplorable condition when
these two began their great work of uniting the toilers and organizing a
political party. One of the first difficult tasks placed before them was
to root out of the labor movement the corruption which Bismarck had
introduced into it. That great and rising statesman was a practical
politician not excelled even in America. In the most cold-blooded manner
he sought to buy men and movements. For various reasons of his own he
wanted the support of the working-class; and, as early as 1864, he
employed Lothar Bucher, an old revolutionist who had been intimately
associated with Marx. Possessed of remarkable intellectual gifts and an
easy conscience, Bucher was of invaluable service to Bismarck, both in
his knowledge of the inside workings of the labor and socialist movement
and as a go-between when the Iron Chancellor had any dealings with the
socialists. Through Bucher, Bismarck tried to bribe even Marx, and
offered him a position on the Government official newspaper, the _Staats
Anzeiger_. Bucher was also an intimate friend of Lassalle's, and it was
doubtless through him that Bismarck arranged his secret conferences with
Lassalle. The latter left no account of their relations, and it is
difficult now to know how intimate they were or who first sought to
establish them. About all that is known is what Bismarck himself said in
the Reichstag when Bebel forced him to admit that he had conferred
frequently with Lassalle: "Lassalle himself wanted urgently to enter
into negotiations with me."[20] It is known that Lassalle sent to the
Chancellor numerous communications, and that one of his letters to the
secretary of the Universal Association reads, "The things sent to
Bismarck should go in an envelope" marked "Personal."[21] Liebknecht
later exposed August Brass as in the employ of Bismarck, although he was
a "red republican," who had started a journal and had obtained
Liebknecht's coöperation. Furthermore, when he was tried for high
treason in 1872, Liebknecht declared that Bismarck's agents had tried to
buy him. "Bismarck takes not only money, but also men, where he finds
them. It does not matter to what party a man belongs. That is immaterial
to him. He even prefers renegades, for a renegade is a man without honor
and, consequently, an instrument without will power--as if dead--in the
hands of the master."[22] "I do not need to say ... that I repelled
Bismarck's offers of corruption with the scorn which they merited,"
Liebknecht continues. "If I had not done so, if I had been infamous
enough to sacrifice my principles to my personal interest, I would be in
a brilliant position, instead of on the bench of the accused where I
have been sent by those who, years ago, tried in vain to buy me."[23] As
early as 1865 Marx and Engels had to withdraw from their collaboration
with Von Schweitzer in his journal, the _Sozialdemokrat_, because it was
suspected that he had sold out to Bismarck. This was followed by Bebel's
and Liebknecht's war on Von Schweitzer because of his relations to
Bismarck. Von Schweitzer, as the successor of Lassalle at the head of
the Universal Working Men's Association, occupied a powerful position,
and the quarrels between the various elements in the labor movement were
at this time almost fatal to the cause. However, various representatives
of the working class already sat in Parliament, and among them were
Bebel and Liebknecht.

The exposures of Liebknecht and Bebel proved not only ruinous to Von
Schweitzer, but excessively annoying to Bismarck, and as early as 1871
he wanted to begin a war upon the Marxian socialists. In 1874 he
actually began his attempts to crush what he could no longer corrupt or
control. He became more and more enraged at the attitude of the
socialists toward him personally. Moreover, they were no longer
advocating coöperative associations subsidized by the State; they were
now propagating everywhere republican and socialist ideas. He tried in
various ways to rid the country of the two chief malcontents, Bebel and
Liebknecht, but even their arrests seemed only to add to their fame and
to spread more throughout the masses their revolutionary views. He says
himself that he was awakened to the iniquity of their doctrines when
they defended the republican principles of the Paris workmen in 1871. At
his trial in 1872 Liebknecht stated with perfect frankness his
republican principles. "Gentlemen Judges and Jurors, I do not disown my
past, my principles, and my convictions. I deny nothing; I conceal
nothing. And, in order to show that I am an adversary of monarchy and of
present society, and that when duty calls me I do not recoil before the
struggle, there was truly no need of the foolish inventions of the
policemen of Giessen. I say here freely and openly: _Since I have been
capable of thinking I have been a republican, and I shall die a
republican._[24] ... If I have had to undergo unheard of persecutions
and if I am poor, that is nothing to be ashamed of--no, I am proud of
it, for that is the most eloquent witness of my political integrity.
Yet, once more, I am not a conspirator by profession. _Call me, if you
will, a soldier of the Revolution--I do not object to that._

"From my youth a double ideal has soared above me: Germany free and
united and the emancipation of the working people, that is to say, the
suppression of class domination, which is synonymous with the
liberation of humanity. For this double end I have struggled with all my
strength, and for this double end I will struggle as long as a breath of
life remains in me. Duty wills it!"[25]

Such doctrines must of course be suppressed, and the exposure of those
who had relations with Bismarck made it impossible for him longer to
deal even with a section of the labor movement. The result was that
persecutions were begun on both the Lassalleans and the Marxists. And it
was largely this new policy of repression that forced the warring labor
groups in 1875 to meet in conference at Gotha and to unite in one
organization. In the following election, 1877, the united party polled
nearly five hundred thousand votes, or about ten per cent. of all the
votes cast in Germany. It now had twelve members in the Reichstag, and
Bismarck saw very clearly that a force was rising in Germany that
threatened not only him but his beloved Hohenzollern dynasty itself.

For years most of its opponents comforted themselves with the belief
that socialism was merely a temporary disturbance which, if left alone,
would run its course and eventually die out. Again and again its
militant enemies had discussed undertaking measures against it, but the
wiser heads prevailed until 1877, when the socialists polled a great
vote. And, of course, when it was once decided that socialism must be
stamped out, a really good pretext was soon found upon which repressive
measures might be taken. I have already mentioned that on May 11, 1878,
Emperor William was shot at by Hödel. It was, of course, natural that
the reactionaries should make the most possible of this act of the
would-be assassin, and, when photographs of several prominent
socialists were found on his person, a great clamor arose for a
coercive law to destroy the social democrats. The question was
immediately discussed in the Reichstag, but the moderate forces
prevailed, and the bill was rejected. Hardly, however, had the
discussion ended before a second attempt was made on the life of the
aged sovereign. This time it was Dr. Karl Nobiling who, on June 2, 1878,
fired at the Emperor from an upper window in the main street of Berlin.
In this case, the Emperor was severely wounded, and, in the panic that
ensued, even the moderate elements agreed that social democracy must be
suppressed. Various suggestions were made. Some proposed the
blacklisting of all workmen who avowed socialist principles, while
others suggested that all socialists should be expelled from the
country. To exile half a million voters was, however, a rather large
undertaking, and, in any case, Bismarck had his own plans. First he
precipitated a general election, giving the socialists no time to
prepare their campaign. As a result, their members in the Reichstag were
diminished in number, and their vote throughout the country decreased by
over fifty thousand. When the Reichstag again assembled, Bismarck laid
before it his bill against "the publicly dangerous endeavors of
social-democracy." The statement accompanying the bill sought to justify
its repressive measures by citing in the preamble the two attempts made
upon the Emperor, and by stating the conviction of the Federal
Government that extraordinary measures must be taken. A battle royal
occurred in the Reichstag between Bismarck on the one side and Bebel and
Liebknecht on the other. Nevertheless, the bill became a law in October
of that year.

The anti-socialist law was intended to cut off every legal and peaceable
means of advancing the socialist cause. It was determined that the
German social democrats must be put mentally, morally, and physically
upon the rack. Even the briefest summary of the provisions of the
anti-socialist law will illustrate how determined the reactionaries were
to annihilate utterly the socialist movement. The chief measures were as

_I. Prohibitory_

     1. The formation or existence of organizations which sought by
     social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic movements to subvert
     the present State and social order was prohibited. The prohibition
     was also extended to organizations exhibiting tendencies which
     threatened to endanger the public peace and amity between classes.

     2. The right of assembly was greatly restricted. All meetings in
     which social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic tendencies
     came to light were to be dissolved. Public festivities and
     processions were regarded as meetings.

     3. Social-democratic, socialistic, and communistic publications of
     all kinds were to be interdicted, the local police dealing with
     home publications and the Chancellor with foreign ones.

     4. Stocks of prohibited works were to be confiscated, and the type,
     stones, or other apparatus used for printing might be likewise
     seized, and, on the interdict being confirmed, be made unusable.

     5. The collection of money in behalf of social-democratic,
     socialistic, or communistic movements was forbidden, as were public
     appeals for help.

_II. Penal_

     1. Any person associating himself as member or otherwise with a
     prohibited organization was liable to a fine of 500 marks or three
     months' imprisonment, and a similar penalty was incurred by anyone
     who gave a prohibited association or meeting a place of assembly.

     2. The circulation or printing of a prohibited publication entailed
     a fine not exceeding one thousand marks or imprisonment up to six

     3. Convicted agitators might be expelled from a certain locality or
     from a governmental district, and foreigners be expelled from
     federal territory.

     4. Innkeepers, printers, booksellers, and owners of lending
     libraries and reading rooms who circulated interdicted publications
     might, besides being imprisoned, be deprived of their vocations.

     5. Persons who were known to be active socialists, or who had been
     convicted under this law, might be refused permission publicly to
     circulate or sell publications, and any violation of the provision
     against the circulation of socialistic literature in inns, shops,
     libraries, and newsrooms was punishable with a fine of one thousand
     marks or imprisonment for six months.

_III. Power conferred upon authorities._

     1. Meetings may only take place with the previous sanction of the
     police, but this restriction does not extend to meetings held in
     connection with elections to the Reichstag or the Diets.

     2. The circulation of publications may not take place without
     permission in public roads, streets, squares, or other public

     3. Persons from whom danger to the public security or order is
     apprehended may be refused residence in a locality or governmental

     4. The possession, carrying, introduction, and sale of weapons
     within the area affected are forbidden, restricted, or made
     dependent on certain conditions. All ordinances issued on the
     strength of this section were to be notified at once to the
     Reichstag and to be published in the official _Gazette_.[26]

When this law went into effect, the outlook for the labor movement
seemed utterly black and hopeless. Every path seemed closed to it except
that of violence. Immediately many places in Germany were put under
martial law. Societies were dissolved, newspapers suppressed, printing
establishments confiscated, and in a short time fifty agitators had been
expelled from Berlin alone. A reign of official tyranny and police
persecution was established, and even the employers undertook to
impoverish and to blacklist men who were thought to hold socialist
views. Within a few weeks every society, periodical, and agitator
disappeared, and not a thing seemed left of the great movement of half a
million men that had existed a few weeks before. There have been many
similar situations that have faced the socialist and labor movements of
other countries. England and France had undergone similar trials. Even
to-day in America we find, at certain times and in certain places, a
situation altogether similar. In Colorado during the recent labor wars
and in West Virginia during the early months of 1913 every tyranny that
existed in Germany in 1879 was repeated here. Infested with spies
seeking to encourage violence, brutally maltreated by the officials of
order, their property confiscated by the military, masses thrown into
prison and other masses exiled, even the right of assemblage and of free
speech denied them--these are the exactly similar conditions which have
existed in all countries when efforts have been made to crush the labor

And in all countries where such conditions exist certain minds
immediately clamor for what is called "action." They want to answer
violence with violence; they want to respond to the terrorism of the
Government with a terrorism of their own. And in Germany at this time
there were a number who argued that, as they were in fact outlaws, why
should they not adopt the tactics of outlaws? Should men peaceably and
quietly submit to every insult and every form of tyranny--to be thrown
in jail for speaking the dictates of their conscience and even to be
hung for preaching to their comrades the necessity of a nobler and
better social order? If Bismarck and his police forces have the power to
outlaw us, have we not the right to exercise the tactics of outlaws?
"All measures," cried Most from London, "are legitimate against
tyrants;"[27] while Hasselmann, his friend, advised an immediate
insurrection, which, even though it should fail, would be good
propaganda. It was inevitable that in the early moments of despair some
of the German workers should have listened gladly to such proposals.
And, indeed, it may seem somewhat of a miracle that any large number of
the German workers should have been willing to have listened to any
other means of action. What indeed else was there to do?

It is too long a story to go into the discussions over this question.
Perhaps a principle of Bebel's gives the clearest explanation of the
thought which eventually decided the tactics of the socialists. Bebel
has said many times that he always considered it wise in politics to
find out what his opponent wanted him to do, and then not to do it. And,
to the minds of Bebel, Liebknecht, and others of the more clear-headed
leaders, there was no doubt whatever that Bismarck was trying to force
the socialists to commit crimes and outrages. Again and again Bismarck's
press declared: "What is most necessary is to provoke the
social-democrats to commit acts of despair, to draw them into the open
street, and there to shoot them down."[28] Well, if this was actually
what Bismarck wanted, he failed utterly, because, as a matter of fact,
and despite every provocation, no considerable section of the socialist
party wavered in the slightest from its determination to carry on its
work. There was a moment toward the end of '79 when the situation seemed
to be getting out of hand, and a secret conference was held the next
year at Wyden in Switzerland to determine the policies of the party. In
the report published by the congress no names were given, as it was, of
course, necessary to maintain complete secrecy. However, it seemed clear
to the delegates that, if they resorted to terrorist methods, they would
be destroyed as the Russians, the French, the Spanish, and the Italians
had been when similar conditions confronted them. In view of the present
state of their organization, violence, after all, could be merely a
phrase, as they were not fitted in strength or in numbers to combat
Bismarck. One of the delegates considered that Johann Most had exercised
an evil influence on many, and he urged that all enlightened German
socialists turn away from such men. "Between the people of violence and
the true revolutionists there will always be dissension."[29] Another
speaker maintained that Most could be no more considered a socialist. He
is at best a Blanquist and, indeed, one in the worst sense of the word,
who had no other aim than to pursue the bungling work of a revolution.
It is, therefore, necessary that the congress should declare itself
decidedly against Most and should expel him from the party.[30] The
word "revolution" has been misunderstood, and the socialist members of
the Reichstag have been reproved because they are not revolutionary. As
a matter of fact, every socialist is a revolutionist, but one must not
understand by revolution the expression of violence. The tactics of
desperation, as the Nihilists practice them, do not serve the purpose of
Germany.[31] As a result of the Wyden congress, Most and Hasselmann were
ejected from the party, and the tactics of Bebel and Liebknecht were

After 1880 there developed an underground socialist movement that was
most baffling and disconcerting to the police. Socialist papers, printed
in other countries, were being circulated by the thousands in all parts
of Germany. Funds were being raised in some mysterious manner to support
a large body of trusted men in all parts of the country who were
devoting all their time to secret organization and to the carrying on of
propaganda. The socialist organizations, which had been broken up,
seemed somehow or other to maintain their relations. And, despite all
that could be done by the authorities, socialist agitation seemed to be
going on even more successfully than ever before. There was one loophole
which Bismarck had not been able to close, and this of course was
developed to the extreme by the socialists. Private citizens could not
say what they pleased, nor was it allowed to newspapers to print
anything on socialist lines. Nevertheless, parliamentary speeches were
privileged matter, and they could be sent anywhere and be published
anywhere. Bismarck of course tried to suppress even this form of
propaganda, and two of the deputies were arrested on the ground that
they were violating the new law. However, the Reichstag could not be
induced to sanction this interference with the freedom of deputies.
Bismarck then introduced a bill into the Reichstag asking for power to
punish any member who abused his parliamentary position. There was to be
a court established consisting of thirteen deputies, and this was to
have power to punish refractory delegates by censuring them, by obliging
them to apologize to the House, and by excluding them from the House. It
was also proposed that the Reichstag should in certain instances prevent
the publicity of its proceedings. This bill of Bismarck's aroused
immense opposition. It was called "the Muzzle Bill," and, despite all
his efforts, it was defeated.

The anti-socialist law had been passed as an exceptional measure, and it
was fully expected that at the end of two years there would be nothing
left of the socialists in Germany. But, when the moment came for the law
to expire, Emperor Alexander II. of Russia was assassinated by
Nihilists. The German Emperor wrote to the Chancellor urging him to do
his utmost to persuade the governments of Europe to combine against the
forces of anarchy and destruction. Prince Bismarck immediately opened up
negotiations with Russia, Austria, France, Switzerland, and England. The
Russian Government, being asked to take the initiative, invited the
powers to a council at Brussels. As England did not accept the
invitation, France and Switzerland also declined. Austria later withdrew
her acceptance, with the result that Germany and Russia concluded an
extradition and dynamite treaty for themselves, while on March 31, 1881,
the anti-socialist law was reënacted for another period. In 1882 the
Niederwald plot against the Imperial family was discovered. Various
arrests were made, and three men avowedly anarchists were sentenced to
death in December, 1884. In 1885 a high police official at Frankfort was
murdered, and an anarchist named Lieske was executed as an accomplice.
These terrorist acts materially aided Bismarck in his warfare on the
social democrats. Again and again large towns were put in a minor state
of siege, with the military practically in control. Meetings were
dispersed, suspected papers suppressed, and all tyranny that can be
conceived of exercised upon all those suspected of sympathy with the
socialists. Yet everyone had to admit that the socialists had not been
checked. Not only did their organization still exist, but it was all the
time carrying on a vigorous agitation, both by meetings and by the
circulation of literature. Papers printed abroad were being smuggled
into the country in great quantities; socialist literature was even
being introduced into the garrisons; and there seemed to be no dealing
with associations, because no more was one dissolved than two arose to
take its place.

Von Puttkamer himself reported to the Reichstag in 1882, "It is
undoubted that it has not been possible by means of the law of October,
1878, to wipe social-democracy from the face of the earth or even to
shake it to the center."[32] Indeed, Liebknecht was bold enough to say
in 1884: "You have not succeeded in destroying our organization, and I
am convinced that you will never succeed. I believe, indeed, it would be
the greatest misfortune for you if you did succeed. The anarchists, who
are now carrying on their work in Austria, have no footing in
Germany--and why? Because in Germany the mad plans of those men are
wrecked on the compact organization of social-democracy, because the
German proletariat, in view of the fruitlessness of your socialist law,
has not abandoned hope of attaining its ends peacefully by means of
socialistic propaganda and agitation. If--and I have said this
before--if your law were not _pro nihilo_, it would be _pro nihilismo_.
If the German proletariat no longer believed in the efficacy of our
present tactics; if we found that we could no longer maintain intact the
organization and cohesion of the party, what would happen? We should
simply declare--we have no more to do with the guidance of the party; we
can no longer be responsible. The men in power do not wish that the
party should continue to exist; it is hoped to destroy us--well, no
party allows itself to be destroyed, for there is above all things the
law of self-defense, of self-preservation, and, if the organized
direction fails, you will have a condition of anarchy, in which
everything is left to the individual. And do you really believe--you who
have so often praised the bravery of the Germans up to the heavens, when
it has been to your interest to do so--do you really believe that the
hundreds of thousands of German social-democrats are cowards? Do you
believe that what has happened in Russia would not be possible in
Germany if you succeeded in bringing about here the conditions which
exist there?"[33] Both Bebel and Liebknecht taunted the Chancellor with
his failure to drive the socialists to commit acts of violence. "The
Government may be sure," said Liebknecht in 1886, "that we shall not,
now or ever, go upon the bird-lime, that we shall never be such fools as
to play the game of our enemies by attempts ... the more madly you carry
on, the sooner you will come to the end; the pitcher goes to the well
until it breaks."[34]

At the end of this year the reports given from the several states of the
working out of the anti-socialist law were most discouraging to the
Chancellor. From everywhere the report came that agitation was
unintermittent, and being carried on with zeal and success. And Bebel
said publicly that nowhere was the socialist party more numerous or
better organized than in the districts where the minor state of siege
had been proclaimed. The year 1886 was a sensational one. Nine of the
socialists, including Bebel, Dietz, Auer, Von Vollmar, Frohme--all
deputies--were charged with taking part in a secret and illegal
organization. All the accused were sentenced to imprisonment for six or
nine months, Bebel and his parliamentary associates receiving the
heavier penalty. The Reichstag asked for reports upon the working of the
law. Again the discouraging news came that the movement seemed to be
growing faster than ever before.

The crushing by repressive measures did not, however, exhaust Bismarck's
plans for annihilating the socialists. At the same time he outlined an
extraordinary program for winning the support of the working classes.
Early in the eighties he proposed his great scheme of social
legislation, intended to improve radically the lot of the toilers.
Compulsory insurance against accident, illness, invalidity, and old age
was instituted as a measure for giving more security in life to the
working classes. Insurance against unemployment was also proposed, and
Bismarck declared that the State should guarantee to the toilers the
right to work. This began an era of immense social reforms that actually
wiped out some of the worst slums in the great industrial centers,
replaced them with large and beautiful dwellings for the working
classes, and made over entire cities. The discussions in the Reichstag
now seemed to be largely concerned with the problem of the working
classes and with devising plans to obliterate the influence of the
socialists over the workers and to induce them once more to ally
themselves to the monarchy and to the _Junkers_.

For some reason wholly mysterious to Bismarck, all his measures against
the socialists failed. Every assault made upon them seemed to increase
their power, while even the great reforms he was instituting seemed
somehow to be credited to the agitation of the socialists. Instead of
proving the good will of the ruling class, these reforms seemed only to
prove its weakness; and they were looked upon generally as belated
efforts to remedy old and grievous wrongs which, in fact, made necessary
the protests of the socialists. The result was that tens of thousands of
workingmen were flocking each year into the camp of the socialists, and
at each election the socialist votes increased in a most dreadful and
menacing manner. When the anti-socialist law was put into effect, the
party polled under 450,000 votes. After twelve years of underground work
as outlaws, the party polled 1,427,000 votes. Despite all the efforts of
Bismarck and all the immense power of the Government, socialism, instead
of being crushed, was 1,000,000 souls stronger after twelve years of
suffering under tyranny than it was in the beginning. This of course
would not do at all, and everyone saw it clearly enough except the Iron
Chancellor. Infuriated by his own failure and unwilling to confess
defeat, he pleaded once more, in 1890, for the reënactment of the
anti-socialist law and, indeed, that it should be made a permanent part
of the penal code of the Empire. He even sought further powers and asked
the Reichstag to give him a law that would enable him to expel not only
from districts proclaimed to be in a state of siege, but from Germany
altogether, those who were known to hold socialist views. The Reichstag,
however, refused to grant him either request, and on September 30, 1890,
just twelve years after its birth, the anti-socialist law was repealed.

That night was a glorious one for the socialists, as well as a very
dreadful one for Bismarck and those others who had made prodigious but
futile efforts to destroy socialism. Berlin was already a socialist
stronghold, and its entire people that night came into the streets to
sing songs of thanksgiving. Streets, parks, public places, cafés,
theaters were filled with merrymakers, rejoicing with songs, with toasts
to the leading socialists, and with boisterous welcomes to the exiles
who were returning. All night long the red flag waved, and the
Marseillaise was sung, as all that passion of love, enthusiasm, and
devotion for a great cause, which, for twelve long years, had been
brutally suppressed, burst forth in floods of joy. "He [Bismarck] has
had at his entire disposal for more than a quarter of a century," said
Liebknecht, "the police, the army, the capital, and the power of the
State--in brief, all the means of mechanical force. _We had only our
just right, our firm conviction, our bared breasts to oppose him with,
and it is we who have conquered! Our arms were the best. In the course
of time brute power must yield to the moral factors, to the logic of
things._ Bismarck lies crushed to the earth--and social democracy is the
strongest party in Germany!... _The essence of revolution lies not in
the means, but in the end. Violence has been, for thousands of years, a
reactionary factor._"[35] Certainly, the moral victory was immense.
There had been a twelve-years-long torture of a great party, in which
every man who was known to be sympathetic was looked upon as a criminal
and an outlaw. Yet, despite every effort made to drive the socialists
into outrages, they never wavered the slightest from their grim
determination to depend solely upon peaceable methods. It is indeed
marvelous that the German socialists should have stood the test and
that, despite the most barbarous persecution, they should have been able
to hold their forces together, to restrain their natural anger, and to
keep their faith in the ultimate victory of peaceable, legal, and
political methods. Prometheus, bound to his rock and tortured by all the
furies of a malignant Jupiter, did not rise superior to his tormentor
with more grandeur than did the social democracy of Germany.

Violence does indeed seem to be a reactionary force. The use of it by
the anarchists against the existing régime seems to have deprived them
of all sympathy and support. More and more they became isolated from
even those in whose name they claimed to be fighting. So the violence of
Bismarck, intended to uproot and destroy the deepest convictions of a
great body of workingmen, deprived him and his circle of all popular
sympathy and support. Year by year he became weaker, and the futility of
his efforts made him increasingly bitter and violent. At last even those
for whom he had been fighting had to put him aside. On the other hand,
those he fought with his poisoned weapons became stronger and stronger,
their spirit grew more and more buoyant, their confidence in success
more and more certain. And, when at last the complete victory was won,
it was heralded throughout the world, and from thousands of great
meetings, held in nearly every civilized country, there came to the
German social democracy telegrams and resolutions of congratulation. The
mere fact that the Germany party polled a million and a half votes was
in itself an inspiration to the workers of all lands, and in the
elections which followed in France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and
other countries the socialists vastly increased their votes and more
firmly established their position as a parliamentary force. In 1892
France polled nearly half a million votes, little Belgium followed with
three hundred and twenty thousand, while in Denmark and Switzerland the
strength of the socialists was quadrupled. Instead of a mere handful of
theorists, the socialists were now numbered by the million. Their
movement was world-wide, and the program of every political party in the
various countries was based upon the principles laid down by Marx. The
doctrines which he had advocated from '47 to '64, and fought desperately
to retain throughout all the struggles with Bakounin, were now the
foundation principles of the movement in Germany, France, Italy,
Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden,
Britain, and even in other countries east and west of Europe.


[V] Probably intended for "increase of wages," but this is as it reads
in the official report.



At the beginning of the nineties the socialists were jubilant. Their
great victory in Germany and the enormous growth of the movement in all
countries assured them that the foundations had at last been laid for
the great world-wide movement that they had so long dreamed of. Internal
struggles had largely disappeared, and the mighty energies of the
movement were being turned to the work of education and of organization.
Great international socialist congresses were now the natural outgrowth
of powerful and extensive national movements. Yet, almost at this very
moment there was forming in the Latin countries a new group of
dissidents who were endeavoring to resurrect what Bakounin called in
1871 French socialism, and what our old friend Guillaume recognized to
be a revival of the principles and methods of the anarchist
International.[W] And, indeed, in 1895, what may perhaps be best
described as the renascence of anarchism appeared in France under an old
and influential name. Up to that time syndicalism signified nothing more
than trade unionism, and the French _syndicats_ were merely associations
of workmen struggling to obtain higher wages and shorter hours of labor.
But in 1895 the term began to have a different meaning, and almost
immediately it made the tour of the world as a unique and dreadful
revolutionary philosophy. It became a new "red specter," with a menacing
and subversive program, that created a veritable furore of discussion in
the newspapers and magazines of all countries. Rarely has a movement
aroused such universal agitation, awakened such world-wide discussions,
and called forth such expressions of alarm as this one, that seemed
suddenly to spring from the depths of the underworld, full-armed and
ready for battle. Everywhere syndicalism was heralded as an entirely new
philosophy. Nothing like it had ever been known before in the world.
Multitudes rushed to greet it as a kind of new revelation, while other
multitudes instinctively looked upon it with suspicion as something that
promised once more to introduce dissension into the world of labor.

What is syndicalism? Whence came it and why? The first question has been
answered in a hundred books written in the last ten years. In all
languages the meaning of this new philosophy of industrial warfare has
been made clear. There is hardly a country in the world that has not
printed several books on this new movement, and, although the word
itself cannot be found in our dictionaries, hardly anyone who reads can
have escaped gaining some acquaintance with its purport. The other
question, however, has concerned few, and almost no one has traced the
origin of syndicalism to that militant group of anarchists whom the
French Government had endeavored to annihilate. After the series of
tragedies which ended with the murder of Carnot, the French police
hunted the anarchists from pillar to post. Their groups were broken up,
their papers suppressed, and their leaders kept constantly under the
surveillance of police agents. Every man with anarchist sympathies was
hounded as an outlaw, and in 1894 they were broken, scattered, and
isolated. Scorning all relations with the political groups and indeed
excluded from them, as from other sections of the labor movement, by
their own tactics, they found themselves almost alone, without the
opportunity even of propagating their views. Facing a blank wall, they
began then to discuss the necessity of radically changing their tactics,
and in that year one of the most militant of them, Émile Pouget, who had
been arrested several times for provoking riots, undertook to persuade
his associates to enter actively into the trade unions. In his peculiar
argot he wrote in _Père Peinard_: "If there is a group into which the
anarchists should thrust themselves, it is evidently the trade union.
The coarse vegetables would make an awful howl if the anarchists, whom
they imagine they have gagged, should profit by the circumstance to
infiltrate themselves in droves into the trade unions and spread their
ideas there without any noise or blaring of trumpets."[1] This plea had
its effect, and more and more anarchists began to join the trade unions,
while their friends, already in the unions, prepared the way for their
coming. Pelloutier, a zealous and efficient administrator, had already
become the dominant spirit in one entire section of the French labor
movement, that of the _Bourses du Travail_. In another section, the
carpenter Tortellier, a roving agitator and militant anarchist, had
already persuaded a large number of unions to declare for the general
strike as the _sole_ effective weapon for revolutionary purposes.
Moreover, Guérard, Griffuelhes, and other opponents of political action
were preparing the ground in the unions for an open break with the
socialists. By 1896 the strength of the anarchists in the trade unions
was so great that the French delegates to the international socialist
congress at London were divided into two sections: one in sympathy with
the views of the anarchists, the other hostile to them. Such notable
anarchists as Tortellier, Malatesta, Grave, Pouget, Pelloutier,
Delesalle, Hamon, and Guérard were sent to London as the representatives
of the French trade unions. Although the anarchists had been repeatedly
expelled from socialist congresses, and the rules prohibited their
admittance, these men could not be denied a hearing so long as they came
as the representatives of _bona fide_ trade unions. As a result, the
anarchists, speaking as trade unionists, fought throughout the congress
against political action. A typical declaration was that of Tortellier,
when he said: "If only those in favor of political action are admitted
to congresses, the Latin races will abandon the congresses. The Italians
are drifting away from the idea of political action. Properly organized,
the workers can settle their affairs without any intervention on the
part of the legislature."[2] Guérard, of the railway workers, holding
much the same views, urged the congress to adopt the general strike, on
the ground that it is "the most revolutionary weapon we have."[3]
Despite their threats and demands, the anarchists were completely
ignored, although they were numerous in the French, Italian, Spanish,
and Dutch delegations. At last it became clear to the anarchists that
the international socialist congresses would not admit them, if it were
possible to keep them out, nor longer discuss with them the wisdom of
political action. Consequently, the anarchists left London, clear at
last on this one point, that the socialists were firmly determined to
have no further dealings with them. The same decision had been made at
The Hague in 1872, again in 1889 at the international congress at
Paris, then in 1891 at Brussels, again in 1893 at Zurich, and finally at
London in 1896.

The anarchists that returned to Paris from the London congress were not
slow in taking their revenge. They had already threatened in London to
take the workers of the Latin countries out of the socialist movement,
but no one apparently had given much heed to their remarks. In reality,
however, they were in a position to carry out their threats, and the
insults which they felt they had just suffered at the hands of the
socialists made them more determined than ever to induce the unions to
declare war on the socialist parties of France, Italy, Spain, and
Holland. Plans were also laid for the building up of a trade-union
International based largely on the principles and tactics of what they
now called "revolutionary syndicalism."

The year before (1895) the General Confederation of Labor had been
launched at Limoges. Except for its declaration in favor of the general
strike as a revolutionary weapon, the congress developed no new
syndicalist doctrines. It was at Tours, in 1896, that the French unions,
dominated by the anarchists, declared they would no longer concern
themselves with reforms; they would abandon childish efforts at
amelioration; and instead they would constitute themselves into a
conscious fighting minority that was to lead the working class with no
further delay into open rebellion. In their opinion, it was time to
begin the bitter, implacable fight that was not to end until the working
class had freed itself from wage slavery. The State was not worth
conquering, parliaments were inherently corrupt, and, therefore,
political action was futile. Other means, more direct and revolutionary,
must be employed to destroy capitalism. As the very existence of society
depends upon the services of labor, what could be more simple than for
labor to cease to serve society until its rights are assured? Thus
argued the French trade unionists, and the strike was adopted as the
supreme war measure. Partial strikes were to broaden into industrial
strikes, and industrial strikes into general strikes. The struggle
between the classes was to take the form of two hostile camps, firmly
resolved upon a war that would finish only when the one or the other of
the antagonists had been utterly crushed. When John Brown marched with
his little band to attack the slave-owning aristocracy of the South, he
became the forerunner of our terrible Civil War. It was the same spirit
that moved the French trade unionists. Although pitiably weak in numbers
and poor in funds, they decided to stop all parleyings with the enemy
and to fire the first gun.

The socialist congress in London was held in July, and the French
trade-union congress at Tours was held in September of the same year.
The anarchists were out in their full strength, prepared to make
reprisals on the socialists. It was after declaring: "The conquest of
political power is a chimera,"[4] that Guérard launched forth in his
fiery argument for the revolutionary general strike: "The partial
strikes fail because the workingmen become demoralized and succumb under
the intimidation of the employers, protected by the government. The
general strike will last a short while, and its repression will be
impossible; as to intimidation, it is still less to be feared. The
necessity of defending the factories, workshops, manufactories, stores,
etc., will scatter and disperse the army.... And then, in the fear that
the strikers may damage the railways, the signals, the works of art, the
government will be obliged to protect the 39,000 kilometers of railroad
lines by drawing up the troops all along them. The 300,000 men of the
active army, charged with the surveillance of 39 million meters, will be
isolated from one another by 130 meters, and this can be done only on
the condition of abandoning the protection of the depots, of the
stations, of the factories, etc. ... and of abandoning the employers to
themselves, thus leaving the field free in the large cities to the
rebellious workingmen. The principal force of the general strike
consists in its power of imposing itself. A strike in one branch of
industry must involve other branches. The general strike cannot be
decreed in advance; it will burst forth suddenly; a strike of the
railway men, for instance, if declared, will be the signal for the
general strike. It will be the duty of militant workingmen, when this
signal is given, to make their comrades in the trade unions leave their
work. Those who continue to work on that day will be compelled, or
forced, to quit.... The general strike will be the Revolution, peaceful
or not."[5]

Here is a new program of action, several points of which are worthy of
attention. It is clear that the general strike is here conceived of as a
panacea, an unfailing weapon that obviates the necessity of political
parties, parliamentary work, or any action tending toward the capture of
political power. It is granted that it must end in civil war, but it is
thought that this war cannot fail; it must result in a complete social
revolution. Even more significant is the thought that it will burst
forth suddenly, without requiring any preliminary education, extensive
preparations, or even widespread organization. In one line it is
proposed as an automatic revolution; in another it is said that the
militant workingmen are expected to force the others to quit work. Out
of 11,000,000 toilers in France, about 1,000,000 are organized. Out of
this million, about 400,000 belong to the Confederation, and, out of
this number, it is doubtful if half are in favor of a general strike.
The proposition of Guérard then presents itself as follows: that a
minority of organized men shall force not only the vast majority of
their fellow unionists but twenty times their number of unorganized men
to quit work in order to launch the war for emancipation. Under the
compulsion of 200,000 men, a nation of 40,000,000 is to be forced
immediately, without palaver or delay, to revolutionize society.

The next year, at Toulouse, the French unions again assembled, and here
it was that Pouget and Delesalle, both anarchists, presented the report
which outlined still another war measure, that of sabotage. The newly
arrived was there baptized, and received by all, says Pouget, with warm
enthusiasm. This sabotage was hardly born before it, too, made a tour of
the world, creating everywhere the same furore of discussion that had
been aroused by syndicalism. It presents itself in such a multitude of
forms that it almost evades definition. If a worker is badly paid and
returns bad work for bad pay, he is a _saboteur_. If a strike is lost,
and the workmen return only to break the machines, spoil the products,
and generally disorganize a factory, they are _saboteurs_. The idea of
sabotage is that any dissatisfied workman shall undertake to break the
machine or spoil the product of the machines in order to render the
conduct of industry unprofitable, if not actually impossible. It may
range all the way from machine obstruction or destruction to dynamiting,
train wrecking, and arson. It may be some petty form of malice, or it
may extend to every act advocated by our old friends, the terrorists.

The work of one other congress must be mentioned. At Lyons (1901) it was
decided that an inquiry should be sent out to all the affiliated unions
to find out exactly how the proposed great social revolution was to be
carried out. For several years the Confederation had sought to launch a
revolutionary general strike, but so many of the rank and file were
asking, "What would we do, even if the general strike were successful?"
that it occurred to the leaders it might be well to find out. As a
result, they sent out the following list of questions:

"(1) How would your union act in order to transform itself from a group
for combat into a group for production?

"(2) How would you act in order to take possession of the machinery
pertaining to your industry?

"(3) How do you conceive the functions of the organized shops and
factories in the future?

"(4) If your union is a group within the system of highways, of
transportation of products or of passengers, of distribution, etc., how
do you conceive of its functioning?

"(5) What will be your relations to your federation of trade or of
industry after your reorganization?

"(6) On what principle would the distribution of products take place,
and how would the productive groups procure the raw material for

"(7) What part would the _Bourses du Travail_ play in the transformed
society, and what would be their task with reference to the statistics
and to the distribution of products?"[6]

The report dealing with the results of this inquiry contains such a
variety of views that it is not easy to summarize it. It seems, however,
to have been more or less agreed that each group of producers was to
control the industry in which it was engaged. The peasants were to take
the land. The miners were to take the mines. The railway workers were
to take the railroads. Every trade union was to obtain possession of the
tools of its trade, and the new society was to be organized on the basis
of a trade-union ownership of industry. In the villages, towns, and
cities the various trades were then to be organized into a federation
whose duty would be to administer all matters of joint interest in their
localities. The local federations were then to be united into a General
Confederation, to whose administration were to be left only those public
services which were of national importance. The General Confederation
was also to serve as an intermediary between the various trades and
locals and as an agency for representing the interests of all the unions
in international relations.

This is in brief the meaning of syndicalism. It differs from socialism
in both aim and methods. The aim of the latter is the control by the
community of the means of production. The aim of syndicalism is the
control by autonomous trade unions of that production carried on by
those trades. It does not seek to refashion the State or to aid in its
evolution toward social democracy. It will have nothing to do with
political action or with any attempt to improve the machinery of
democracy. The masses must arise, take possession of the mines,
factories, railroads, fields, and all industrial processes and natural
resources, and then, through trade unions or industrial unions,
administer the new economic system. Furthermore, the syndicalists differ
from the socialists in their conception of the class struggle. To the
socialist the capitalist is as much the product of our economic system
as the worker. No socialist believes that the capitalist is individually
to blame for our economic ills. The syndicalist dissents from this view.
To him the capitalist is an individual enemy. He must be fought and
destroyed. There is no form of mediation or conciliation possible
between the worker and his employer. Conditions must, therefore, be made
intolerable for the capitalist. Work must be done badly. Machines must
be destroyed. Industrial processes must be subjected to chaos. Every
worker must be inspired with the one end and aim of destruction. Without
the coöperation of the worker, capitalist production must break down.
Therefore, the revolutionary syndicalist will fight, if possible, openly
through his union, or, if that is impossible, by stealth, as an
individual, to ruin his employer. The world of to-day is to be turned
into incessant civil war between capital and labor. Not only the two
classes, but the individuals of the two classes, must be constantly
engaged in a deadly conflict. There is to be no truce until the fight is
ended. The loyal workman is to be considered a traitor. The union that
makes contracts or participates in collective bargaining is to be
ostracized. And even those who are disinclined to battle will be forced
into the ranks by compulsion. "Those who continue to work will be
compelled to quit," says Guérard. The strike is not to be merely a
peaceable abstention from work. The very machines are to be made to
strike by being rendered incapable of production. These are the methods
of the militant revolutionary syndicalists.[X]

Toward the end of the nineties another element came to the aid of the
anarchists. It is difficult to class this group with any certainty. They
are neither socialists nor anarchists. They remind one of those
Bakouninists that Marx once referred to as "lawyers without cases,
physicians without patients and knowledge, students of billiards,
etc."[7] "They are good-natured, gentlemanly, cultured people," says
Sombart; "people with spotless linen, good manners and fashionably
dressed wives; people with whom one holds social intercourse as with
one's equals; people who would at first sight hardly be taken as the
representatives of a new movement whose object it is to prevent
socialism from becoming a mere middle-class belief."[8] In a word, they
appear to be individuals wearied with the unrealities of life and
seeking to overcome their _ennui_ by, at any rate, discussing the making
of revolutions. With their "myths," their "reflections on violence,"
their appeals to physical vigor and to the glory of combat, as well as
with their incessant attacks on the socialist movement, they have given
very material aid to the anarchist element in the syndicalist movement.
For a number of years I have read faithfully _Le Mouvement Socialiste_,
but I confess that I have not understood their dazzling metaphysics, and
I am somewhat comforted to see that both Levine[9] and Lewis[10] find
them frequently incomprehensible.

Without injustice to this group of intellectuals, I think it may be
truthfully said that they have contributed nothing essential to the
doctrines of syndicalism as developed by the trades unionists
themselves; and Edward Berth, in _Les Nouveaux Aspects du Socialisme_,
has partially explained why, without meaning to do so. "It has often
been observed," he says, "that the anarchists are by origin artisan,
peasant, or aristocrat. Rousseau represents, obviously, the anarchism of
the artisan. His republic is a little republic of free and independent
craftsmen.... Proudhon is a peasant in his heart ... and, if we finally
take Tolstoi, we find here an anarchism of worldly or aristocratic
origin. Tolstoi is a _blasé_ aristocrat, disgusted with civilization by
having too much eaten of it."[11] Whether or not this characterization
of Tolstoi is justified, there can be no question that many of this type
rushed to the aid of syndicalism. Its savage vigor appeals to some
artists, decadents, and _déclassés_. Neurotic as a rule, they seem to
hunger for the stimulus which comes by association with the merely
physical power and vigor of the working class. The navvy, the
coalheaver, or "yon rower ... the muscles all a-ripple on his back,"[12]
awakens in them a worshipful admiration, even as it did in the effete
Cleon. Such a theory as syndicalism, declares Sombart, "could only have
grown up in a country possessing so high a culture as France; that it
could have been thought out only by minds of the nicest perception, by
people who have become quite _blasé_, whose feelings require a very
strong stimulus before they can be stirred; people who have something of
the artistic temperament, and, consequently, look disdainfully on what
has been called 'Philistinism'--on business, on middle-class ideals, and
so forth. They are, as it were, the fine silk as contrasted with the
plain wool of ordinary people. They detest the common, everyday round as
much as they hate what is natural; they might be called 'Social
Sybarites.' Such are the people who have created the syndicalist
system."[13] On one point Sombart is wrong. All the essential doctrines
of revolutionary syndicalism, as a matter of fact, originated with the
anarchists in the unions, and the most that can be said for the
"Sybarites" is that they elaborated and mystified these doctrines.

There are those, of course, who maintain that syndicalism is wholly a
natural and inevitable product of economic forces, and, so far as the
actual syndicalist movement is concerned, that is unquestionably true.
But in all the maze of philosophy and doctrine that has been thrown
about the actual French movement, we find the traces of two extraneous
forces--the anarchists who availed themselves of the opportunity that an
awakening trade unionism gave them, and those intellectuals of leisure,
culture, and refinement who found the methods of political socialism too
tame to satisfy their violent revolt against things bourgeois. And the
philosophical syndicalism that was born of this union combines
utopianism and anarchism. The yearning esthetes found satisfaction in
the rugged energy and physical daring of the men of action, while the
latter were astonished and flattered to find their simple war measures
adorned with metaphysical abstractions and arousing an immense furore
among the most learned and fashionable circles of Europe.

However, something in addition to personality is needed to explain the
rise of syndicalist socialism in France. Like anarchism, syndicalism is
a natural product of certain French and Italian conditions. It is not
strange that the Latin peoples have in the past harbored the ideas of
anarchism, or that now they harbor the ideas of syndicalism. The
enormous proportion of small property owners in the French nation is the
economic basis for a powerful individualism. Anything which interferes
with the liberty of the individual is abhorred, and nothing awakens a
more lively hatred than centralization and State power. The vast extent
of small industry, with the apprentice, journeyman, and master-workman,
has wielded an influence over the mentality of the French workers.
Berth, for instance, follows Proudhon in conceiving of the future
commonwealth as a federation of innumerable little workshops. Gigantic
industries, such as are known in Germany, England, and America, seem to
be problems quite foreign to the mind of the typical Latin worker. He
believes that, if he can be left alone in his little industry, and freed
from exploitation, he, like the peasant, will be supreme, possessing
both liberty and abundance. He will, therefore, tolerate willingly
neither the interference of a centralized State nor favor a centralized
syndicalism. Industry must be given into the hands of the workers, and,
when he speaks of industry, he has in mind workshops, which, in the
socialism of the Germans, the English, and the Americans, might be left
for a long time to come in private hands.

In harmony with the above facts, we find that the strongest centers of
syndicalism in France, Italy, and Spain are in those districts where the
factory system is very backward. Where syndicalism and anarchism prevail
most strongly, we find conditions of economic immaturity which
strikingly resemble those of England in the time of Owen. In all these
districts trade unionism is undeveloped. When it exists at all, it is
more a feeling out for solidarity than the actual existence of
solidarity. It is the first groping toward unity that so often brings
riots and violence, because organization is absent and the feeling of
power does not exist. Carl Legien, the leader of the great German
unions, said at the international socialist congress at Stuttgart
(1907): "As soon as the French have an actual trade-union organization,
they will cease discussing blindly the general strike, direct action,
and sabotage."[14] Vliegen, the Dutch leader, went even further when he
declared at the previous congress, at Amsterdam (1904), that it is not
the representatives of the strong organizations of England, Germany, and
Denmark who wish the general strike; it is the representatives of
France, Russia, and Holland, where the trade-union organization is
feeble or does not exist.[15]

Still another factor forces the French trade unions to rely upon
violence, and that is their poverty. The trade-unionists in the Latin
countries dislike to pay dues, and the whole organized labor movement as
a result lives constantly from hand to mouth. "The fundamental condition
which determines the policy of direct action," says Dr. Louis Levine in
his excellent monograph on "The Labor Movement in France," "is the
poverty of French syndicalism. Except for the _Fédération du Livre_,
only a very few federations pay a more or less regular strike benefit;
the rest have barely means enough to provide for their administrative
and organizing expenses and cannot collect any strike funds worth
mentioning.... The French workingmen, therefore, are forced to fall back
on other means during strikes. Quick action, intimidation, sabotage, are
then suggested to them by their very situation and by their desire to
win."[16] That this is an accurate analysis is, I think, proved by the
fact that the biggest strikes and the most unruly are invariably to be
found at the very beginning of the attempts to organize trade unions.
That is certainly true of England, and in our own country the great
strikes of the seventies were the birth-signs of trade unionism. In
France, Italy, and Spain, where trade unionism is still in its infancy,
we find that strikes are more unruly and violent than in other
countries. It is a mistake to believe that riots, sabotage, and crime
are the result of organization, or the product of a philosophy of
action. They are the acts of the weak and the desperate; the product of
a mob psychology that seems to be roused to action whenever and wherever
the workers first begin to realize the faintest glimmering of
solidarity. History clearly proves that turbulence in strikes tends to
disappear as the workers develop organized strength. In most countries
violence has been frankly recognized as a weakness, and tremendous
efforts have been made by the workers themselves to render violence
unnecessary by developing power through organization. But in France the
very acts that result from weakness and despair have been greeted with
enthusiasm by the anarchists and the effete intellectuals as the
beginning of new and improved revolutionary methods.

Both, then, in their philosophy and in their methods, anarchism and
syndicalism have much in common, but there also exist certain
differences which cannot be overlooked. Anarchism is a doctrine of
individualism; syndicalism is a doctrine of working-class action.
Anarchism appeals only to the individual; syndicalism appeals also to a
class. Furthermore, anarchism is a remnant of eighteenth-century
philosophy, while syndicalism is a product of an immature factory
system. Marx and Engels frequently spoke of anarchism as a
petty-bourgeois philosophy, but in the early syndicalism of Robert Owen
they saw more than that, considering it as the forerunner of an actual
working-class movement. When these differences have been stated, there
is little more to be said, and, on the whole, Yvetot was justified in
saying at the congress of Toulouse (1910): "I am reproached with
confusing syndicalism and anarchism. It is not my fault if anarchism and
syndicalism have the same ends in view. The former pursues the integral
emancipation of the individual; the latter the integral emancipation of
the workingman. I find the whole of syndicalism in anarchism."[17] When
we leave the theories of syndicalism to study its methods, we find them
identical with those of the anarchists. The general strike is, after
all, exactly the same method that Bakounin was constantly advocating in
the days of the old International. The only difference is this, that
Bakounin sought the aid of "the people," while the syndicalists rely
upon the working class. Furthermore, when one places the statement of
Guérard on the general strike[Y] alongside of the statement of Kropotkin
on the revolution,[Z] one can observe no important difference.

While it is true that some syndicalists believe that the general strike
may be solely a peaceable abstention from work, most of them are
convinced that such a strike would surely meet with defeat. As Buisson
says: "If the general strike remains the revolution of folded arms, if
it does not degenerate into a violent insurrection, one cannot see how a
cessation of work of fifteen, thirty, or even sixty days could bring
into the industrial régime and into the present social system changes
great enough to determine their fall."[18] To be sure, the syndicalists
do not lay so much emphasis on the abolition of government as do the
anarchists, but their plan leads to nothing less than that. If "the
capitalist class is to be locked out"--whatever that may mean--one must
conclude that the workers intend in some manner without the use of
public powers to gain control of the tools of production. In any case,
they will be forced, in order to achieve any possible success, to take
the factories, the mines, and the mills and to put the work of
production into the hands of the masses. If the State interferes, as it
undoubtedly will in the most vigorous manner, the strikers will be
forced to fight the State. In other words, the general strike will
necessarily become an insurrection, and the people without arms will be
forced to carry on a civil war against the military powers of the

If the general strike, therefore, is only insurrection in disguise,
sabotage is but another name for the Propaganda of the Deed. Only, in
this case, the deed is to be committed against the capitalist, while
with the older anarchists a crowned head, a general, or a police
official was the one to be destroyed. To-day property is to be assailed,
machines broken and smashed, mines flooded, telegraph wires cut, and any
other methods used that will render the tools of production unusable.
This deed may be committed _en masse_, or it may be committed by an
individual. It is when Pouget grows enthusiastic over sabotage that we
find in him the same spirit that actuated Brousse and Kropotkin when
they despaired of education and sought to arouse the people by
committing dramatic acts of violence. In other words, the _saboteur_
abandons mass action in favor of ineffective and futile assaults upon
men or property.

This brief survey of the meaning of syndicalism, whence it came, and
why, explains the antagonism that had to arise between it and
socialism.[AA] Not only was it frankly intended to displace the
socialist political parties of Europe, but every step it has taken was
accompanied with an attack upon the doctrines and the methods of modern
socialism. And, in fact, the syndicalists are most interesting when they
leave their own theories and turn their guns upon the socialist parties
of the present day. In reading the now extensive literature on
syndicalism, one finds endless chapters devoted to pointing out the
weaknesses and faults of political socialism. Like the Bakouninists, the
chief strength of the revolutionary unionists lies in criticism rather
than in any constructive thought or action of their own. The battle of
to-day is, however, a very unequal one. In the International, two
groups--comparatively alike in size--fought over certain theories that,
up to that time, were not embodied in a movement. They quarreled over
tactics that were yet untried and over theories that were then purely
speculative. To-day the syndicalists face a foe that embraces millions
of loyal adherents. At the international gatherings of trade-union
officials, as well as at the immense international congresses of the
socialist parties, the syndicalists find themselves in a hopeless
minority.[AB] Socialism is no longer an unembodied project of Marx. It
is a throbbing, moving, struggling force. It is in a daily fight with
the evils of capitalism. It is at work in every strike, in every great
agitation, in every parliament, in every council. It is a thing of
incessant action, whose mistakes are many and whose failures stand out
in relief. Those who have betrayed it can be pointed out. Those who
have lost all revolutionary fervor and all notion of class can be held
up as a tendency. Those who have fallen into the traps of the
bureaucrats and have given way to the flattery or to the corruption of
the bourgeoisie can be listed and put upon the index. Even working-class
political action can be assailed as never before, because it now exists
for the first time in history, and its every weakness is known.
Moreover, there are the slowness of movement and the seemingly
increasing tameness of the multitude. All these incidents in the growth
of a vast movement--the rapidity of whose development has never been
equaled in the history of the world--irritate beyond measure the
impatient and ultra-revolutionary exponents of the new anarchism.

Naturally enough, the criticisms of the syndicalists are leveled chiefly
against political action, parliamentarism, and Statism. It is Professor
Arturo Labriola, the brilliant leader of the Italian syndicalists, who
has voiced perhaps most concretely these strictures against socialism,
although they abound in all syndicalist writings. According to Labriola,
the socialist parties have abandoned Marx. They have left the field of
the class struggle, foresworn revolution, and degenerated into weaklings
and ineffectuals who dare openly neither to advocate "State socialism"
nor to oppose it. In the last chapter of his "Karl Marx" Labriola traces
some of the tendencies to State socialism. He observes that the State is
gradually taking over all the great public utilities and that cities and
towns are increasingly municipalizing public services. In the more
liberal and democratic countries "the tendency to State property was
greeted," he says, "as the beginning of the socialist transformation.
To-day, in France, in Italy, and in Austria socialism is being
confounded with Statism (_l'étatisme_).... The socialist party, almost
everywhere, has become the party of State capitalism." It is "no more
the representative of a movement which ranges itself against existing
institutions, but rather of an evolution which is taking place now in
the midst of present-day society, and by means of the State itself. The
socialist party, by the very force of circumstances, is becoming a
conservative party which is declaring for a transformation, the agent of
which is no longer the proletariat itself, but the new economic organism
which is the State.... Even the desire of the workingmen themselves to
pass into the service of the State is eager and spontaneous. We have a
proof of it in Italy with the railway workers, who, however, represent
one of the best-informed and most advanced sections of the working

" ... Where the Marxian tradition has no stability, as in Italy, the
socialist party refused to admit that the State was an exclusively
capitalist organism and that it was necessary to challenge its action.
And with this pro-State attitude of the socialist party all its ideas
have unconsciously changed. The principles of State enterprise (order,
discipline, hierarchy, subordination, maximum productivity, etc.) are
the same as those of private enterprise. Wherever the socialist party
openly takes its stand on the side of the State--contrary even to its
intentions--it acquires an entirely capitalist viewpoint. Its
embarrassed attitude in regard to the insubordination of the workers in
private manufacture becomes each day more evident, and, if it were not
afraid of losing its electoral support, it would oppose still more the
spirit of revolt among the workers. It is thus that the socialist
party--the conservative party of the future transformed State--is
becoming the conservative party of the present social organization. But
even where, as in Germany, the Marxian tradition still assumes the form
of a creed to all outward appearance, the party is very far from keeping
within the limits of pure Marxian theory. Its anti-State attitude is not
one of inclination. It is imposed by the State itself, ... the
adversary, through its military and feudal vanity, of every concession
to working-class democracy."[19]

All this sounds most familiar, and I cannot resist quoting here our old
friend Bakounin in order to show how much this criticism resembles that
of the anarchists. If we turn to "Statism and Anarchy" we find that
Bakounin concluded this work with the following words: "Upon the
Pangermanic banner" (_i. e._, also upon the banner of German social
democracy, and, consequently, upon the socialist banner of the whole
civilized world) "is inscribed: The conservation and strengthening of
the State at all costs; on the socialist-revolutionary banner" (read
Bakouninist banner) "is inscribed in characters of blood, in letters of
fire: the abolition of all States, the destruction of bourgeois
civilization; free organization from the bottom to the top, by the help
of free associations; the organization of the working populace (_sic!_)
freed from all the trammels, the organization of the whole of
emancipated humanity, the creation of a new human world."[AC] Thus
frantically Bakounin exposed the antagonism between his philosophy and
that of the Marxists. It would seem, therefore, that if Labriola knew
his Marx, he would hardly undertake at this late date to save socialism
from a tendency that Marx himself gave it. The State, it appears, is the
same bugaboo to the syndicalists that it is to the anarchists. It is
almost something personal, a kind of monster that, in all ages and
times, must be oppressive. It cannot evolve or change its being. It
cannot serve the working class as it has previously served feudalism, or
as it now serves capitalism. It is an unchangeable thing, that,
regardless of economic and social conditions, must remain eternally the
enemy of the people.

Evidently, the syndicalist identifies the revolutionist with the
anti-Statist--apparently forgetting that hatred of the State is often as
strong among the bourgeoisie as among the workers. The determination to
limit the power of the Government was not only a powerful factor in the
French and American Revolutions, but since then the slaveholders of the
Southern States in America, the factory owners of all countries, and the
trusts have exhausted every means, fair and foul, to limit and to weaken
the power of the State. What difference is there between the theory of
_laissez-faire_ and the antagonism of the anarchists and the
syndicalists to every activity of the State? However, it is noteworthy
that antagonism to the State disappears on the part of any group or
class as soon as it becomes an agency for advancing their material
well-being; they not only then forsake their anti-Statism, they even
become the most ardent defenders of the State. Evidently, then, it is
not the State that has to be overcome, but the interests that control
the State.

It must be admitted that Labriola sketches accurately enough the
prevailing tendency toward State ownership, but he misunderstands or
willfully misinterprets, as Bakounin did before him, the attitude of the
avowed socialist parties toward such evolution. When he declares that
they confuse their socialism with Statism, he might equally well argue
that socialists confuse their socialism with monopoly or with the
aggregation of capital in the hands of the few. Because socialists
recognize the inevitable evolution toward monopoly is no reason for
believing that they advocate monopoly. Nowhere have the socialists ever
advised the destruction of trusts, nor have they anywhere opposed the
taking over of great industries by the State. They realize that, as
monopoly is an inevitable outcome of capitalism, so State capitalism,
more or less extended, is an inevitable result of monopoly. That the
workers remain wage earners and are exploited in the same manner as
before has been pointed out again and again by all the chief socialists.
However, if socialists prefer monopoly to the chaos of competition and
to the reactionary tendencies of small property, and if they lend
themselves, as they do everywhere, to the promotion of the State
ownership of monopoly, it is not because they confuse monopoly, whether
private or public, with socialism. It is of little consequence whether
the workers are exploited by the trusts or by the Government. As long as
capitalism exists they will be exploited by the one or the other. If
they themselves prefer to be exploited by the Government, as Labriola
admits, and if that exploitation is less ruinous to the body and mind of
the worker, the socialist who opposed State capitalism in favor of
private capitalism would be nothing less than a reactionary.

Without, however, leaving the argument here, it must be said that there
are various reasons why the socialist prefers State capitalism to
private capitalism. It has certain advantages for the general public. It
confers certain benefits upon the toilers, chief of all perhaps the
regularity of work. And, above and beyond this, State capitalism is
actually expropriating private capitalists. The more property the State
owns, the fewer will be the number of capitalists to be dealt with, and
the easier it will be eventually to introduce socialism. Indeed, to
proceed from State capitalism to socialism is little more than the grasp
of public powers by the working class, followed by the administrative
measures of industrial democracy. All this, of course, has been said
before by Engels, part of whose argument I have already quoted.
Unfortunately, no syndicalist seems to follow this reasoning or excuse
what he considers the terrible crime of extending the domain of the
State. Not infrequently his revolutionary philosophy begins with the
abolition of the State, and often it ends there. Marx, Engels, and
Eccarius, as we know, ridiculed Bakounin's terror of the State; and how
many times since have the socialists been compelled to deal with this
bugaboo! It rises up in every country from time to time. The anarchist,
the anarchist-communist, the _Lokalisten_, the anarcho-socialist, the
young socialist, and the syndicalist have all in their time solemnly
come to warn the working class of this insidious enemy. But the workers
refuse to be frightened, and in every country, including even Russia,
Italy, and France, they have less fear of State ownership of industry
than they have of that crushing exploitation which they know to-day.

Even in Germany, where Labriola considers the socialists to be more or
less free from the taint of State capitalism, they have from the very
beginning voted for State ownership. As early as 1870 the German
socialists, upon a resolution presented by Bebel, adopted by a large
majority the proposition that the State should retain in its hands the
State lands, Church lands, communal lands, the mines, and the
railroads.[AD] When adopting the new party program at Erfurt in 1891,
the Congress struck out the section directed against State socialism and
adopted a number of propositions leading to that end. Again, at Breslau
in 1895, the Germans adopted several State-socialist measures. "At this
time," says Paul Kampffmeyer, "a proposition of the agrarian commission
on the party program, which had a decided State-socialist stamp, was
discussed. It contained, among other things, the retaining and the
increase of the public land domain; the management of the State and
community lands on their own account; the giving of State credit to
coöperative societies; the socialization of mortgages, debts, and loans
on land; the socialization of chattel and real estate insurance, etc.
Bebel agreed to all these State-socialist propositions. He recalled the
fact, that the nationalizing of the railroads had been accomplished with
the agreement of the social-democracy."[21] "That which applies to the
railways applies also to the forestry," said Bebel. "Have we any
objections to the enlarging of the State forests and thereby the
employment of workers and officials? The same thing applies to the
mines, the salt industry, road-making, the post office, and the
telegraphs. In all of these industries we have hundreds of thousands of
dependent people, and yet we do not want to advocate their abolition but
rather their extension. In this direction we must break with all our
prejudices. We ought only to oppose State industry where it is
antagonistic to culture and where it restricts development, as, for
instance, is the case in military matters. Indeed, we must even compel
the State constantly to take over means of culture, because by that
means we will finally put the present State out of joint. And, lastly,
even the strongest State power fails in that degree in which the State
drives its own officers and workers into opposition to itself, as has
occurred in the case of the postal service. The attitude which would
refuse to strengthen the power of the State, because this would entrust
to it the solution of the problems of culture, smacks of the Manchester
school. We must strip off these Manchesterian egg-shells."[22]

Wilhelm Liebknecht also dealt with those who opposed the strengthening
of the class State. "We are concerned," he said, " ... first of all
about the strengthening of the State power. In all similar cases we have
decided in favor of practical activity. We allowed funds for the
Northeast Sea Canal; we voted for the labor legislation, although the
proposed laws did decidedly extend the State power. We are in favor of
the State railways, although we have thereby brought about ... the
dependence of numerous livings upon the State."[23] As early, indeed, as
1881 Liebknecht saw that the present State was preparing the way for
socialism. Speaking of the compulsory insurance laws proposed by
Bismarck, he refers to such legislation as embodying "in a decisive
manner the principle of State regulation of production as opposed to the
_laissez-faire_ system of the Manchester school. The right of the State
to regulate production supposes the duty of the State to interest itself
in labor, and State control of the labor of society leads directly to
State organization of the labor of society."[24] Further even than this
goes Karl Kautsky, who has been called the "acutest observer and thinker
of modern socialism." "Among the social organizations in existence
to-day," he says, "there is but one that possesses the requisite
dimensions, and may be used as the framework for the establishment and
development of the socialist commonwealth, and that is the _modern

Without going needlessly far into this subject, it seems safe to
conclude that the State is no more terrifying to the modern socialist
than it was to Marx and Engels. There is not a socialist party in any
country that has not used its power to force the State to undertake
collective enterprise. Indeed, all the immediate programs of the various
socialist parties advocate the strengthening of the economic power of
the State. They are adding more and more to its functions; they are
broadening its scope; and they are, without question, vastly increasing
its power. But, at the same time, they are democratizing the State. By
direct legislation, by a variety of political reforms, and by the power
of the great socialist parties themselves, they are really wresting the
control of the State from the hands of special privilege.
Furthermore--and this is something neither the anarchists nor the
syndicalists will see--State socialism is in itself undermining and
slowly destroying the class character of the State. According to the
view of Marx, the State is to-day "but a committee for managing the
common affairs of the whole capitalist class."[26] And it is this
because the economic power of the capitalist class is supreme. But by
the growth of State socialism the economic power of the private
capitalists is steadily weakened. The railroads, the mines, the forests,
and other great monopolies are taken out of their hands, and, to the
extent that this happens, their control over the State itself
disappears. Their only power to control the State is their economic
power, and, if that were entirely to disappear, the class character of
the State would disappear also. "The State is not abolished. _It dies
out_"; to repeat Engels' notable words. "As soon as there is no longer
any social class to be held in subjection, ... nothing more remains to
be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer

The syndicalists are, of course, quite right when they say that State
socialism is an attempt to allay popular discontent, but they are quite
wrong when they accept this as proof that it must inevitably sidetrack
socialism. They overlook the fact that it is always a concession granted
grudgingly to the growing power of democracy. It is a point yielded in
order to prevent if possible the necessity of making further
concessions. Yet history shows that each concession necessitates
another, and that State socialism is growing with great rapidity in all
countries where the workers have developed powerful political
organizations. Even now both friends and opponents see in the growth of
State socialism the gradual formation of that transitional stage that
leads from capitalism to socialism. The syndicalist and anarchist alone
fail to see here any drift toward socialism; they see only a growing
tyranny creating a class of favored civil servants, who are divorced
from the actual working class. At the same time, they point out that the
condition of the toilers for the State has not improved, and that they
are exploited as mercilessly by the State as they were formerly
exploited by the capitalist. To dispute this would be time ill spent. If
it be indeed true, it defeats the argument of the syndicalist. If the
State in its capitalism outrageously exploits its servants, tries to
prevent them from organizing, and penalizes them for striking, it will
only add to the intensity of the working-class revolt. It will aid more
and more toward creating a common understanding between the workers for
the State and the workers for the private capitalist. In any case, it
will accelerate the tendency toward the democratization of the State
and, therefore, toward socialism.

As an alternative to this actual evolution toward socialism, the
syndicalists propose to force society to put the means of production
into the hands of the trade unions. It is perhaps worth pointing out
that Owen, Proudhon, Blanc, Lassalle, and Bakounin all advocated what
may be called "group socialism."[28] This conception of future society
contemplates the ownership of the mines by the miners, of the railroads
by the railway workers, of the land by the peasants. All the workers in
the various industries are to be organized into unions and then brought
together in a federation. Several objections are made to this outline of
a new society. In the first place, it is artificial. Except for an
occasional coöperative undertaking, there is not, nor has there ever
been, any tendency toward trade-union ownership of industry. In
addition, it is an idea that is to-day an anachronism. It is conceivable
that small federated groups might control and conduct countless little
industries, but it is not conceivable that groups of "self-governing,"
"autonomous," and "independent" workmen could, or would, be allowed by a
highly industrialized society to direct and manage such vast enterprises
as the trusts have built up. If each group is to run industry as it
pleases, the Standard Oil workers or the steel workers might menace
society in the future as the owners of those monopolies menace it in the
present. There is no indication in the literature of the syndicalists,
and certainly no promise in a system of completely autonomous groups of
producers, of any solution of the vast problems of modern trustified
industry. It may be that such ideas corresponded to the state of things
represented in early capitalism. But the socialist ideas of the present
are the product of a more advanced state of capitalism than Owen,
Proudhon, Lassalle, and Bakounin knew, or than the syndicalists of
France, Italy, and Spain have yet been forced seriously to deal with.
Indeed, it was necessary for Marx to forecast half a century of
capitalist development in order to clarify the program of socialism and
to emphasize the necessity for that program.

It is a noteworthy and rather startling fact that Sidney and Beatrice
Webb had pointed out the economic fallacies of syndicalism before the
French Confederation of Labor was founded or Sorel, Berth, and
Lagardelle had written a line on the subject. In their "History of Trade
Unionism" they tell most interestingly the story of Owen's early
trade-union socialism. The book was published in 1894, two or three
years before the theories of the French school were born. Nevertheless,
their critique of Owenism expresses as succinctly and forcibly as
anything yet written the attitude of the socialists toward the economics
of modern syndicalism. "Of all Owen's attempts to reduce his socialism
to practice," write the Webbs, "this was certainly the very worst. For
his short-lived communities there was at least this excuse: that within
their own area they were to be perfectly homogeneous little socialist
States. There were to be no conflicting sections, and profit-making and
competition were to be effectually eliminated. But in 'the Trades
Union,' as he conceived it, the mere combination of all the workmen in a
trade as coöperative producers no more abolished commercial competition
than a combination of all the employers in it as a joint stock company.
In effect, his Grand Lodges would have been simply the head offices of
huge joint stock companies owning the entire means of production in
their industry, and subject to no control by the community as a whole.
They would, therefore, have been in a position at any moment to close
their ranks and admit fresh generations of workers only as employees at
competitive wages instead of as shareholders, thus creating at one
stroke a new capitalist class and a new proletariat.[29] ... In short,
the socialism of Owen led him to propose a practical scheme which was
not even socialistic, and which, if it could possibly have been carried
out, would have simply arbitrarily redistributed the capital of the
country without altering or superseding the capitalist system in the

Although this "group socialism" would certainly necessitate a Parliament
in order to harmonize the conflicting interests of the various
productive associations, there is nothing, it appears, that the
syndicalist so much abhors. He is never quite done with picturing the
burlesque of parliamentarism. While, no doubt, this is a necessary
corollary to his antagonism to the State, it is aggravated by the fact
that one of the chief ends of a political party is to put its
representatives into Parliament. The syndicalist, in ridiculing all
parliamentary activity, is at the same time, therefore, endeavoring to
prove the folly of political action. That you cannot bring into the
world a new social order by merely passing laws is something the
syndicalist never wearies of pointing out. Parliamentarism, he likes to
repeat, is a new superstition that is weakening the activity and
paralyzing the mentality of the working class. "The superstitious belief
in parliamentary action," Leone says, " ... ascribes to acts of
Parliament the magic power of bringing about new social forces."[31]
Sorel refers to the same thing as the "belief in the magic influence of
departmental authority,"[32] while Labriola divines that "parties may
elect members of Parliament, but they cannot set one machine going, nor
can they organize one business undertaking."[33] All this reminds one of
what Marx himself said in the early fifties. He speaks in "Revolution
and Counter-Revolution," a collection of some articles that were
originally written for the New York _Tribune_, of "parliamentary
_crétinism_, a disorder which penetrates its unfortunate victims with
the solemn conviction that the whole world, its history and future, are
governed and determined by a majority of votes in that particular
representative body which has the honor to count them among its members,
and that all and everything going on outside the walls of their
house--wars, revolutions, railway constructing, colonizing of whole new
continents, California gold discoveries, Central American canals,
Russian armies, and whatever else may have some little claim to
influence upon the destinies of mankind--is nothing compared with the
incommensurable events hinging upon the important question, whatever it
may be, just at that moment occupying the attention of their honorable

No one can read this statement of Marx's without realizing its essential
truthfulness. But it should not be forgotten that Marx himself believed,
and every prominent socialist believes, that the control of the
parliaments of the world is essential to any movement that seeks to
transform the world. The powerlessness of parliaments may be easily
exaggerated. To say that they are incapable of constructive work is to
deny innumerable facts of history. Laws have both set up and destroyed
industries. The action of parliaments has established gigantic
industries. The schools, the roads, the Panama Canal, and a thousand
other great operations known to us to-day have been set going by
parliaments. Tariff laws make and destroy industries. Prohibition laws
have annihilated industries, while legality, which is the peculiar
product of parliaments, has everything to do with the ownership of
property, of industry, and of the management of capital. For one who is
attacking a legal status, who is endeavoring to alter political,
juridical, as well as industrial and social relations, the conquering of
parliaments is vitally necessary. The socialist recognizes that the
parliaments of to-day represent class interests, that, indeed, they are
dominated by class interests, and, as such, that they do not seek to
change but to conserve what now exists. As a result, there _is_ a
parliamentary _crétinism_, because, in a sense, the dominant elements in
Parliament are only managing the affairs of powerful influences outside
of Parliament. They are not the guiding hand, but the servile hand, of

For the above reason, chiefly, the syndicalists are on safe ground when
they declare that parliaments are corrupt. Corruption is a product of
the struggle of the classes. To obtain special privilege, class laws,
and immunity from punishment, the "big interests" bribe and corrupt
parliaments. However, corruption does not stop there. The trade unions
themselves suffer. Labor leaders are bought just as labor
representatives are bought. Insurrection itself is often controlled and
rendered abortive by corruption. Numberless violent uprisings have been
betrayed by those who fomented them. The words of Fruneau at Basel in
1869 are memorable. "Bakounin has declared," he said, "that it is
necessary to await the Revolution. Ah, well, the Revolution! Away with
it! Not that I fear the barricades, but, when one is a Frenchman and has
seen the blood of the bravest of the French running in the streets in
order to elevate to power the ambitious who, a few months later, sent us
to Cayenne, one suspects the same snares, because the Revolution, in
view of the ignorance of the proletarians, would take place only at the
profit of our adversaries."[35] There is no way to escape the corrupting
power of capitalism. It has its representatives in every movement that
promises to be hostile. It has its spies in the labor unions, its
_agents provocateurs_ in insurrections; and its money can always find
hands to accept it. One does not escape corruption by abandoning
Parliament. And Bordat, the anarchist, was the slave of a mania when he
declared: "To send workingmen to a parliament is to act like a mother
who would take her daughter to a brothel."[36] Parliaments are perhaps
more corrupt than trade unions, but that is simply because they have
greater power. To no small degree bribery and campaign funds are the
tribute that capitalism pays to the power of the State.

The consistent opposition of the syndicalists to the State is leading
them desperately far, and we see them developing, as the anarchists did
before them, a contempt even for democracy. The literature of
syndicalism teems with attacks on democracy. "Syndicalism and
Democracy," says Émile Pouget, "are the two opposite poles, which
exclude and neutralize each other.... Democracy is a social superfluity,
a parasitic and external excrescence, while syndicalism is the logical
manifestation of a growth of life, it is a rational cohesion of human
beings, and that is why, instead of restraining their individuality, it
prolongs and develops it."[37] Democracy is, in the view of Sorel, the
régime _par excellence_, in which men are governed "by the magical power
of high-sounding words rather than by ideas; by formulas rather than by
reasons; by dogmas, the origin of which nobody cares to find out, rather
than by doctrines based on observation."[38] Lagardelle declares that
syndicalism is post-democratic. "Democracy corresponds to a definite
historical movement," he says, "which has come to an end. Syndicalism is
an anti-democratic movement."[39] These are but three out of a number
of criticisms of democracy that might be quoted. Although natural enough
as a consequence of syndicalist antagonism to the State, these ideas are
nevertheless fatal when applied to the actual conduct of a working-class
movement. It means that the minority believes that it can drive the
majority. We remember that Guérard suggested, in his advocacy of the
general strike, that, if the railroad workers struck, many other trades
"would be compelled to quit work." "A daring revolutionary minority
conscious of its aim can carry away with it the majority."[40] Pouget
confesses: "The syndicalist has a contempt for the vulgar idea of
democracy--the inert, unconscious mass is not to be taken into account
when the minority wishes to act so as to benefit it...."[41] He refers
in another place to the majority, who "may be considered as human zeros.
Thus appears the enormous difference in method," concludes Pouget,
"which distinguishes syndicalism and democracy: the latter, by the
mechanism of universal suffrage, gives direction to the unconscious ...
and stifles the minorities who bear within them the hopes of the

This is anarchism all over again, from Proudhon to Goldman.[43] But,
while the Bakouninists were forced, as a result of these views, to
abandon organized effort, the newest anarchists have attempted to
incorporate these ideas into the very constitution of the French
Confederation of Labor. And at present they are, in fact, a little
clique that rides on the backs of the organized workers, and the
majority cannot throw them off so long as a score of members have the
same voting power in the Confederation as that of a trade union with ten
thousand members. All this must, of course, have very serious
consequences. Opposition to majority rule has always been a cardinal
principle of the anarchists. It is also a fundamental principle of every
American political machine. To defeat democracy is obviously the chief
purpose of a Tammany Hall. But, when this idea is actually advocated as
an ideal of working-class organization, when it is made to stand as a
policy and practice of a trade union, it can only result in suspicion,
disruption, and, eventually, in complete ruin. It appears that the
militant syndicalist, like the anarchist, realizes that he cannot expect
the aid of the people. He turns, then, to the minority, the fighting
inner circle, as the sole hope.

It is inevitable, therefore, that syndicalism and socialism should stand
at opposite poles. They are exactly as far apart as anarchism and
socialism. And, if we turn to the question of methods, we find an
antagonism almost equally great. How are the workers to obtain
possession of industry? On this point, as well as upon their conception
of socialism, the syndicalists are not advanced beyond Owenism. "One
question, and that the most immediately important of all," say the
Webbs, speaking of Owen's projects, "was never seriously faced: How was
the transfer of the industries from the capitalists to the unions to be
effected in the teeth of a hostile and well-armed government? The answer
must have been that the overwhelming numbers of 'the trades union' would
render conflict impossible. At all events, Owen, like the early
Christians, habitually spoke as if the day of judgment of the existing
order of society was at hand. The next six months, in his view, were
always going to see the 'new moral world' really established. The change
from the capitalist system to a complete organization of industry under
voluntary associations of producers was to 'come suddenly upon society
like a thief in the night.'... It is impossible not to regret that the
first introduction of the English Trade Unionist to Socialism should
have been effected by a foredoomed scheme which violated every economic
principle of collectivism, and left the indispensable political
preliminaries to pure chance."[44] Little need be added to what the
Webbs have said on the utopian features of syndicalism or even upon the
haphazard method adopted to achieve them. "No politics in the unions"
follows logically enough from an avowed antagonism to the State. If one
starts with the assumption that nothing can be done through the
State--as Owen, Bakounin, and the syndicalists have done--one is, of
course, led irretrievably to oppose parliamentary and other political
methods of action.

When the syndicalists throw over democracy and foreswear political
action, they are fatally driven to the point where they must abandon the
working class. In the meantime, they are sadly misleading it. It is when
we touch this phase of the syndicalist movement that we begin to
discover real bitterness. Here direct action stands in opposition to
political action. The workers must choose the one method or the other.
The old clash appears again in all its tempestuous hate. Jules Guesde
was early one of the adherents of Bakounin, but in all his later life he
has been pitiless in his warfare on the anarchists. As soon, therefore,
as the direct-actionists began again to exercise an influence, Guesde
entered the field of battle. I happened to be at Limoges in 1906 to hear
Guesde speak these memorable words at the French Socialist Congress:
"Political action is necessarily revolutionary. It does not address
itself to the employer, but to the State, while industrial action
addresses itself to the individual employer or to associations of
employers. Industrial action does not attack the employer _as an
institution_, because the employer is the effect, the result of
capitalist property. As soon as capitalist property will have
disappeared, the employer will disappear, and not before. It is in the
socialist party--because it is a political party--that one fights
against the employer class, and that is why the socialist party is truly
an economic party, tending to transform social and political economy. At
the present moment words have their importance. And I should like to
urge the comrades strongly never to allow it to be believed that
trade-union action is economic action. No; this latter action is taken
only by the political organization of the working class. It is the party
of the working class which leads it--that is to say, the socialist
party--because property is a social institution which cannot be
transformed except by the exploited class making use of political power
for this purpose....

"I realize," he continued, "that the direct-actionists attempt to
identify political action with parliamentary action. No; electoral
action as well as parliamentary action may be forms; pieces of political
action. They are not political action as a whole, which is the effort to
seize public powers--the Government. Political action is the people of
Paris taking possession of the Hôtel de Ville in 1871. It is the
Parisian workers marching upon the National Assembly in 1848.... To
those who go about claiming that political action, as extolled by the
party, reduces itself to the production of public officials, you will
oppose a flat denial. Political action is, moreover, not the production
of laws. It is the grasping by the working class of the manufactory of
laws; it is the political expropriation of the employer class, which
alone permits its economic expropriation.... I wish that someone would
explain to me how the breaking of street lights, the disemboweling of
soldiers, the burning of factories, can constitute a means of
transforming the ownership of property.... Supposing that the strikers
were masters of the streets and should seize the factories, would not
the factories still remain private property? Instead of being the
property of a few employers or stockholders, they would become the
property of the 500 or the 5,000 workingmen who had taken them, and that
is all. The owners of the property will have changed; the system of
ownership will have remained the same. And ought we not to consider it
necessary to say that to the workers over and over again? Ought we to
allow them to take a path that leads nowhere?... No; the socialists
could not, without crime, lend themselves to such trickery. It is our
imperative duty to bring back the workers to reality, to remind them
always that one can only be revolutionary if one attacks the government
and the State."[45] "Trade-union action moves within the circle of
capitalism without breaking through it, and that is necessarily
reformist, in the good sense of the word. In order to ameliorate the
conditions of the victims of capitalist society, it does not touch the
system. All the revolutionary wrangling can avail nothing against this
fact. Even when a strike is triumphant, the day after the strike the
wage earners remain wage earners and capitalist exploitation continues.
It is a necessity, a fatality, which trade-union action suffers."[46]

Any comment of mine would, I think, only serve to mar this masterly
logic of Guesde's. There is nothing perhaps in socialist literature
which so ably sustains the traditional position of the socialist
movement. The battles in France over this question have been bitterly
fought for over half a century. The most brilliant of minds have been
engaged in the struggle. Proudhon, Bakounin, Briand, Sorel, Lagardelle,
Berth, Hervé, are men of undoubted ability. Opposed to them we find the
Marxists, led in these latter years by Guesde and Jaurès. And while
direct action has always been vigorously supported in France both by the
intellectuals and by the masses, it is the policy of Guesde and Jaurès
which has made headway. At the time when the general strike was looked
upon as a revolutionary panacea, and the French working class seemed on
the point of risking everything in one throw of the dice, Jaurès uttered
a solemn warning: "Toward this abyss ... the proletariat is feeling
itself more and more drawn, at the risk not only of ruining itself
should it fall over, but of dragging down with it for years to come
either the wealth or the security of the national life."[47] "If the
proletarians take possession of the mine and the factory, it will be a
perfectly fictitious ownership. They will be embracing a corpse, for the
mines and factories will be no better than dead bodies while economic
circulation is suspended and production is stopped. So long as a class
does not own and govern the whole social machine, it can seize a few
factories and yards, if it wants to, but it really possesses nothing. To
hold in one's hand a few pebbles of a deserted road is not to be master
of transportation."[48] "The working class would be the dupe of a fatal
illusion and a sort of unhealthy obsession if it mistook what can be
only the tactics of despair for a method of revolution."[49]

The struggle, therefore, between the syndicalists and the socialists is,
as we see, the same clash over methods that occurred in the seventies
and eighties between the anarchists and the socialists. In abandoning
democracy, in denying the efficacy of political action, and in
resorting to methods which can only end in self-destruction, the
syndicalist becomes the logical descendant of the anarchist. He is at
this moment undergoing an evolution which appears to be leading him into
the same _cul-de-sac_ that thwarted his forefather. His path is blocked
by the futility of his own weapons. He is fatally driven, as Plechanoff
said, either to serve the bourgeois politicians or to resort to the
tactics of Ravachol, Henry, Vaillant, and Most. The latter is the more
likely, since the masses refuse to be drawn into the general strike as
they formerly declined to participate in artificial uprisings.[AE] The
daring conscious minority more and more despair, and they turn to the
only other weapon in their arsenal, that of sabotage. There is a kind of
fatality which overtakes the revolutionist who insists upon an
immediate, universal, and violent revolution. He must first despair of
the majority. He then loses confidence even in the enlightened minority.
And, in the end, like the Bakouninist, he is driven to individual acts
of despair. What will doubtless happen at no distant date in France and
Italy will be a repetition of the congress at The Hague. When the
trade-union movement actually develops into a powerful organization, it
will be forced to throw off this incubus of the new anarchism. It is
already thought that a majority of the French trade unionists oppose the
anarchist tendencies of the clique in control, and certainly a number of
the largest and most influential unions frankly class themselves as
reformist syndicalists, in order to distinguish themselves from the
revolutionary syndicalists. What will come of this division time only
can tell.

In any case, it is becoming clear even to the French unionists that
direct action is not and cannot be, as Guesde has pointed out,
revolutionary action. It cannot transform our social system. It is
destined to failure just as insurrection as a policy was destined to
failure. Rittinghausen said at Basel in 1869: "Revolution, as a matter
of fact, accomplishes nothing. If you are not able to formulate, after
the revolution, by legislation, your legitimate demands, the revolution
will perish miserably."[50] This was true in 1848, in 1871, and even in
the great French Revolution itself. Nothing would have seemed easier at
the time of the French Revolution than for the peasants to have directly
possessed themselves of the land. They were using it. Their houses were
planted in the midst of it. Their landlords in many cases had fled. Yet
Kropotkin, in his story of "The Great French Revolution," relates that
the redistribution of land awaited the action of Parliament. To be sure,
some of the peasants had taken the land, but they were not at all sure
that it might not again be taken from them by some superior force. Their
rights were not defined, and there was such chaos in the entire
situation that, in the end, the whole question had to be left to
Parliament. It was only after the action of the Convention, June 11,
1793, that the rights of ownership were defined. It was only then, as
Kropotkin says, that "everyone had a right to the land. It was a
complete revolution."[51] That the greatest of living anarchists should
be forced to pay this tribute to the action of Parliament is in itself
an assurance. For masses in the time of revolution to grab whatever
they desire is, after all, to constitute what Jaurès calls a fictitious
ownership. Some legality is needed to establish possession and a sense
of security, and, up to the present, only the political institutions of
society have been able to do that. For this precise reason every social
struggle and class struggle of the past has been a political struggle.

There remains but one other fundamental question, which must be briefly
examined. The syndicalists do not go back to Owen as the founder of
their philosophy. They constantly reiterate the claim that they alone
to-day are Marxists and that it is given to them to keep "pure and
undefiled" the theories of that giant mind. They base their claim on the
ground of Marx's economic interpretation of history and especially upon
his oft-repeated doctrine that upon the economic structure of society
rises the juridical and political superstructure. They maintain that the
political institutions are merely the reflex of economic conditions.
Alter the economic basis of society, and the political structure must
adjust itself to the new conditions. As a result of this truly Marxian
reasoning, they assert that the revolutionary movement must pursue
solely economic aims and disregard totally the existing and, to their
minds, superfluous political relations. They accuse the socialists of a
contradiction. Claiming to be Marxists and basing their program upon the
economic interpretation of history, the socialists waste their energies
in trying to modify the results instead of obliterating the causes.
Political institutions are parasitical. Why, therefore, ignore economic
foundations and waste effort remodeling the parasitical superstructure?
There _is_ a contradiction here, but not on the part of the socialists.
Proudhon was entirely consistent when he asked: "Can we not administer
our goods, keep our accounts, arrange our differences, look after our
common interests?"[52] And, moreover, he was consistent when he
declared: "I want you to make the very institutions which I charge you
to abolish, ... so that the new society shall appear as the spontaneous,
natural, and necessary development of the old."[53] If that were once
done the dissolution of government would follow, as he says, in a way
about which one can at present make only guesses. But Proudhon urged his
followers to establish coöperative banks, coöperative industries, and a
variety of voluntary industrial enterprises, in order eventually to
possess themselves of the means of production. If the working class,
through its own coöperative efforts, could once acquire the ownership of
industry, if they could thus expropriate the present owners and
gradually come into the ownership of all natural resources and all means
of production--in a word, of all social capital--they would not need to
bother themselves with the State. If, in possessing themselves thus of
all economic power, they were also to neglect the State, its machinery
would, of course, tumble into uselessness and eventually disappear. As
the great capitalists to-day make laws through the stock exchange,
through their chambers of commerce, through their pools and
combinations, so the working class could do likewise if they were in
possession of industry. But the working class to-day has no real
economic power. It has no participation in the ownership of industry. It
is claimed that it might withdraw its labor power and in this manner
break down the entire economic system. It is urged that labor alone is
absolutely necessary to production and that if, in a great general
strike, it should cease production, the whole of society would be
forced to capitulate. And in theory this seems unassailable, but
actually it has no force whatever. In the first place, this economic
power does not exist unless the workers are organized and are
practically unanimous in their action. Furthermore, the economic
position of the workers is one of utter helplessness at the time of a
universal strike, in that they cannot feed themselves. As they are the
nearest of all classes to starvation, they will be the first to suffer
by a stoppage of work. There is still another vital weakness in this
so-called economic theory. The battles that result from a general strike
will not be on the industrial field. They will be battles between the
armed agents of the State and unarmed masses of hungry men. Whatever
economic power the workers are said to possess would, in that case,
avail them little, for the results of their struggles would depend upon
the military power which they would be able to manifest. The individual
worker has no economic power, nor has the minority, and it may even be
questioned if the withdrawal of all the organized workers could bring
society to its knees. Multitudes of the small propertied classes, of
farmers, of police, of militiamen, and of others would immediately rush
to the defense of society in the time of such peril. It is only the
working class theoretically conceived of as a conscious unit and as
practically unanimous in its revolutionary aims, in its methods, and in
its revolt which can be considered as the ultimate economic power of
modern society. The day of such a conscious and enlightened solidarity
is, however, so far distant that the syndicalism which is based upon it
falls of itself into a fantastic dream.


[W] His words are: "What is the General Confederation of Labor, if not
the continuation of the International?" _Documents et Souvenirs_, Vol.
IV, p. vii.

[X] In justice to the French unions it must be said that a large number,
probably a considerable majority, do not share these views. The views of
the latter are almost identical with those of the American and English
unions; but at present the new anarchists are in the saddle, although
their power appears to be waning.

[Y] See pp. 234, 235, _supra_.

[Z] See p. 52, _supra_.

[AA] I have not dealt in this chapter with the Industrial Workers of the
World, which is the American representative of syndicalist ideas. First,
because the American organization has developed no theories of
importance. Their chief work has been to popularize some of the French
ideas. Second, because the I. W. W. has not yet won for itself a place
in the labor movement. It has done much agitation, but as yet no
organization to speak of. Furthermore, there is great confusion of ideas
among the various factions and elements, and it would be difficult to
state views which are held in common by all of them. It should be said,
however, that all the American syndicalists have emphasized industrial
unionism, that is to say, organization by industries instead of by
crafts--an idea that the French lay no stress upon.

[AB] At the Sixth International Conference of the National Trade Union
Centers, held in Paris, 1909, the French syndicalists endeavored to
persuade the trade unions to hold periodical international trade-union
congresses that would rival the international socialist congresses. The
proposition was so strongly opposed by all countries except France that
the motion was withdrawn.

[AC] The comments are by Plechanoff.[20]

[AD] It should, however, be pointed out that the German social democrats
voted at first against the State ownership of railroads, because it was
considered a military measure.

[AE] The committee on the general strike of the French Confederation
said despairingly in 1900: "The idea of the general strike is
sufficiently understood to-day. In repeatedly putting off the date of
its coming, we risk discrediting it forever by enervating the
revolutionary energies." Quoted by Levine, "The Labor Movement in
France," p. 102.



It is perhaps just as well to begin this chapter by reminding ourselves
that anarchy means literally no government. Consequently, there will be
no laws. "I am ready to make terms, but I will have no laws," said
Proudhon; adding, "I acknowledge none."[1] However revolutionary this
may seem, it is, after all, not so very unlike what has always existed
in the affairs of men. Without the philosophy of the idealist anarchist,
with no pretense of justice or "nonsense" about equality, there have
always been in this old world of ours those powerful enough to make and
to break law, to brush aside the State and any and every other hindrance
that stood in their path. "Laws are like spiders' webs," said
Anacharsis, "and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and
weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them." He
might have said, with equal truth, that, with or without laws, the rich
and powerful have been able in the past to do very much as they pleased.
For the poor and the weak there have always been, to be sure, hard and
fast rules that they could not break through. But the rich and powerful
have always managed to live more or less above the State or, at least,
so to dominate the State that to all intents and purposes, other than
their own, it did not exist. When Bakounin wrote his startling and now
famous decree abolishing the State, he created no end of hilarity among
the Marxists, but had Bakounin been Napoleon with his mighty army, or
Morgan and Rockefeller with their great wealth, he could no doubt in
some measure have carried out his wish. Without, however, either wealth
or numbers behind him, Bakounin preached a polity that, up to the
present, only the rich and powerful have been able even partly to
achieve. The anarchy of Proudhon was visionary, humanitarian, and
idealistic. At least he thought he was striving for a more humane social
order than that of the present. But this older anarchism is as ancient
as tyranny, and never at any moment has it ceased to menace human
civilization. Based on a real mastery over the industrial and political
institutions of mankind, this actual anarchy has never for long allowed
the law, the Constitution, the State, or the flag to obstruct its path
or thwart its avarice.

Moreover, under the anarchism proposed by Proudhon and Bakounin, the
maintenance of property rights, public order, and personal security
would be left to voluntary effort, that is to say, to private
enterprise. As all things would be decided by mutual agreement, the only
law would be a law of contracts, and that law would need to be enforced
either by associations formed for that purpose or by professionals
privately employed for that purpose. So far as one can see, then, the
methods of the feudal lords would be revived, by which they hired their
own personal armies or went shares in the spoils with their bandits,
buccaneers, and assassins. By organizing their own military forces and
maintaining them in comfort, they were able to rob, burn, and murder, in
order to protect the wealth and power they had, or to gain more wealth
and power. For them there was no law but that of a superior fighting
force. There was an infinite variety of customs and traditions that
were in the nature of laws, but even these were seldom allowed to stand
in the way of those who coveted, and were strong enough to take, the
land, the money, or the produce of others. Indeed, the feudal duke or
prince was all that Nechayeff claimed for the modern robber. He was a
glorified anarchist, "without phrase, without rhetoric." He could scour
Europe for mercenaries, and, when he possessed himself of an army of
marauders, he became a law unto himself. The most ancient and honorable
anarchy is despotism, and its most effective and available means of
domination have always been the employment of its own personal military

It will be remembered that Bakounin developed a kind of robber worship.
The bandit leaders Stenka Razin and Pougatchoff appeared to him as
national heroes, popular avengers, and irreconcilable enemies of the
State. He conceived of the brigands scattered throughout Russia and
confined in the prisons of the Empire as "a unique and indivisible
world, strongly bound together--the world of the Russian revolution."
The robber was "the wrestler in life and in death against all this
civilization of officials, of nobles, of priests, and of the crown." Of
course, Bakounin says here much that is historically true. Thieves,
marauders, highwaymen, bandits, brigands, villains, mendicants, and all
those other elements of mediæval life for whom society provided neither
land nor occupation, often organized themselves into guerilla bands in
order to war upon all social and civil order. But Bakounin neglects to
mention that it was these very elements that eagerly became the
mercenaries of any prince who could feed them. They were lawless,
"without phrase, without rhetoric," and, if anyone were willing to pay
them, they would gladly pillage, burn, and murder in his interest. They
would have served anybody or anything--the State, society, a prince, or
a tyrant. They had no scruples and no philosophies. They were in the
market to be bought by anyone who wanted a choice brand of assassins.
And the feudal duke or prince bought, fed, and cared for these
"veritable and unique revolutionists," in order to have them ready for
service in his work of robbery and murder. To be sure, when these
marauders had no employer they were dangerous, because then they
committed crimes and outrages on their own hook. But the vast majority
of them were hirelings, and many of them achieved fame for the bravery
of their exploits in the service of the dukes, the princes, and the
priests of that time. There were even guilds of mercenaries, such as the
_Condottieri_ of Italy; and the Swiss were famous for their superior
service. They were, it seems, revolutionists in Bakounin's use of the
term, and every prince knew "no money, no Swiss" ("_point d'argent,
point de Suisse_").

A very slight acquaintance with history teaches us that this anarchy has
been checked and that the history of recent times consists largely of
the struggles of the masses to harness and subdue this anarchy of the
powerful. And perhaps the most notable step in that direction was that
development of the State which took away the right of the nobles to
employ and maintain their own private armies. In England, policing by
the State began as late as 1826, when Sir Robert Peel passed the law
establishing the Metropolitan force in London, and these agents of order
are even now called "Bobbies" and "Peelers," in memory of him.
Throughout all Europe the military, naval, and police forces are to-day
in the hands of the State. We have, then, in contradistinction to the
old anarchy, the State maintenance of law and order, and of protection
to life and property. Even in Russia the coercive forces are under the
control of the Government, and nowhere are individuals--be they Grand
Dukes or Princes--allowed to employ their own military forces. When
trouble arises without, it is the State that calls together its armed
men for aggression or for defense. When trouble arises within--such as
strikes, riots, and insurrections--it is the State that is supposed to
deal with them. Individuals, no matter how powerful, are not to-day
permitted to organize armies to invade a foreign land, to subdue its
people, and to wrest from them their property. In the case of uprisings
within a country, the individual is not allowed to raise his armies,
subdue the troublesome elements, and make himself master. Within the
last few centuries the State has thus gradually drawn to itself the
powers of repression, of coercion, and of aggression, and it is the
State alone that is to-day allowed to maintain military forces.

At any rate, this is true of all civilized countries except the United
States. This is the only modern State wherein coercive military powers
are still wielded by individuals. In the United States it is still
possible for rich and powerful individuals or for corporations to employ
their own bands of armed men. If any legislator were to propose a law
allowing any man or group of men to have their own private battleships
and to organize their own private navies and armies, or if anyone
suggested the turning over of the coercive powers of the State to
private enterprise, the masses would rise in rebellion against the
project. No congressman would, of course, venture to suggest such a law,
and few individuals would undertake to defend such a plan. Yet the fact
is that now, without legal authority, private armies may be employed and
are indeed actually employed in the United States. In the most stealthy
and insidious manner there has grown up within the last fifty years an
extensive and profitable commerce for supplying to the lords of finance
their own private police. And the strange fact appears that the newest,
and supposedly the least feudal, country is to-day the only country that
allows the oldest anarchists to keep in their hands the power to arm
their own mercenaries and, in the words of an eminent Justice, to expose
"the lives of citizens to the murderous assaults of hireling
assassins."[2] It is with these "hireling assassins," who, for the
convenience of the wealthy, are now supplied by a great network of
agencies, that we shall chiefly concern ourselves in this chapter. We
must here leave Europe, since it is in the United States alone that the
workings of this barbarous commerce in anarchy can be observed.

Robert A. Pinkerton was the originator of a system of extra-legal police
agents that has gradually grown to be one of the chief commercial
enterprises of the country. According to his own testimony,[3] he began
in 1866 to supply armed men to the owners of large industries, and ever
since his firm has carried on a profitable business in that field.
Envious of his prosperity, other individuals have formed rival agencies,
and to-day there exist in the United States thousands of so-called
detective bureaus where armed men can be employed to do the bidding of
any wealthy individual. While, no doubt, there are agencies that conduct
a thoroughly legitimate business, there are unquestionably numerous
agencies in this country where one may employ thugs, thieves,
incendiaries, dynamiters, perjurers, jury-fixers, manufacturers of
evidence, strike-breakers and murderers. A regularly established
commerce exists, which enables a rich man, without great difficulty or
peril, to hire abandoned criminals, who, for certain prices, will
undertake to execute any crime. If one can afford it, one may have
always at hand a body of highwaymen or a small private army. Such a
commerce as this was no doubt necessary and proper in the Middle Ages
and would no doubt be necessary and proper in a state of anarchy, but
when individuals are allowed to employ private police, armies, thugs,
and assassins in a country which possesses a regularly established
State, courts, laws, military forces, and police the traffic constitutes
a menace as alarming as the Black Hand, the Camorra, or the Mafia. The
story of these hired terrorists and of this ancient anarchy revived
surpasses in cold-blooded criminality any other thing known in modern
history. That rich and powerful patrons should be allowed to purchase in
the market poor and desperate criminals eager to commit any crime on the
calendar for a few dollars, is one of the most amazing and incredible
anachronisms of a too self-complaisant Republic.

For some reason not wholly obscure the American people generally have
been kept in such ignorance of the facts of this commerce that few even
dream that it exists. And I am fully conscious of the need for proof in
support of what to many must appear to be unwarranted assertions.
Indeed, it is rare to find anyone who suspects the character of the
private detective. The general impression seems to be that he performs a
very useful and necessary service, that the profession is an honorable
one, and that the mass of detectives have only one ambition in life, and
that is to ferret out the criminal and to bring him to justice. To
denounce detectives as a class appears to most persons as absurdly
unreasonable. To speak of them with contempt is to convey the impression
that detectives stand in the way of some evil schemes of their
detractor. Fiction of a peculiarly American sort has built up among the
people an exalted conception of the sleuth. And it must appear with
rather a shock to those persons who have thus idealized the detective to
learn that thousands of men who have been in the penitentiaries are
constantly in the employ of the detective agencies. In a society which
makes it almost impossible for an ex-convict to earn an honorable living
it is no wonder that many of them grasp eagerly at positions offered
them as "strike-breakers" and as "special officers." The first and most
important thing, then, in this chapter is to prove, with perhaps undue
detail, the ancient saying that "you must be a thief to catch a thief,"
and that possibly for that proverbial reason many private detectives are
schooled and practiced in crime.

So far as I know, the first serious attempt to inform the general public
of the real character of American detectives and to tell of their
extensive traffic in criminality was made by a British detective, who,
after having been stationed in America for several years, was impelled
to make public the alarming conditions which he found. This was Thomas
Beet, the American representative of the famous John Conquest, ex-Chief
Inspector of Scotland Yard, who, in a public statement, declared his
astonishment that "few ... recognize in them [detective agencies] an
evil which is rapidly becoming a vital menace to American society.
Ostensibly conducted for the repression and punishment of crime, they
are in fact veritable hotbeds of corruption, trafficking upon the honor
and sacred confidences of their patrons and the credulity of the public,
and leaving in their wake an aftermath of disgrace, disaster, and even
death."[4] He pointed out the odium that must inevitably attach itself
to the very name "private detective," unless society awakens and
protects in some manner the honest members of the profession. "It may
seem a sweeping statement," he says, "but I am morally convinced that
fully ninety per cent. of the private detective establishments,
masquerading in whatever form, are rotten to the core and simply exist
and thrive upon a foundation of dishonesty, deceit, conspiracy, and
treachery to the public in general and their own patrons in

The statements of Thomas Beet are, however, not all of this general
character, and he specifically says: "I know that there are detectives
at the head of prominent agencies in this country whose pictures adorn
the rogues' gallery; men who have served time in various prisons for
almost every crime on the calendar.... Thugs and thieves and criminals
don the badge and outward semblance of the honest private detective in
order that they may prey upon society.... Private detectives such as I
have described do not, as a usual thing, go out to learn facts, but
rather to make, at all costs, the evidence desired by the patron."[6] He
shows the methods of trickery and deceit by which these detectives
blackmail the wealthy, and the various means they employ for convicting
any man, no matter how innocent, of any crime. "We shudder when we hear
of the system of espionage maintained in Russia," he adds, "while in the
great American cities, unnoticed, are organizations of spies and
informers."[7] It is interesting to get the views of an impartial and
expert observer upon this rapidly growing commerce in espionage,
blackmail, and assault, and no less interesting is the opinion of the
most notable American detective, William J. Burns, on the character of
these men. Speaking of detectives he declared that, "as a class, they
are the biggest lot of blackmailing thieves that ever went unwhipped of
justice."[8] Only a short time before Burns made this remark the late
Magistrate Henry Steinert, according to reports in the New York press,
grew very indignant in his court over the shooting of a young lad by
these private officers. "I think it an outrage," he declared, "that the
Police Commissioner is enabled to furnish police power to these special
officers, many of them thugs, men out of work, some of whom would commit
murder for two dollars. Most of the arrests which have been made by
these men have been absolutely unwarranted. In nearly every case one of
these special officers had first pushed a gun into the prisoner's face.
The shooting last night when a boy was killed shows the result of giving
power to such men. It is a shame and a disgrace to the Police Department
of the city that such conditions are allowed to exist."[9]

Anyone who will take the time to search through the testimony gathered
by various governmental commissions will find an abundance of evidence
indicating that many of these special officers and private detectives
are in reality thugs and criminals. As long ago as 1892 an inquiry was
made into the character of the men who were sent to deal with a strike
at Homestead, Pennsylvania. A well-known witness testified: "We find
that one is accused of wife-murder, four of burglary, two of
wife-beating, and one of arson."[10] A thoroughly reliable and
responsible detective, who had been in the United States secret service,
also gave damaging testimony. "They were the scum of the earth.... There
is not one out of ten that would not commit murder; that you could not
hire him to commit murder or any other crime." Furthermore, he declared,
"I would not believe any detective under oath without his evidence was
corroborated." He spoke of ex-convicts being employed, and alleged that
the manager of one of the large agencies "was run out of Cincinnati for
blackmail."[11] Similar statements were made by another detective, named
Le Vin, to the Industrial Commission of the United States when it was
investigating the Chicago labor troubles of 1900. He declared that the
Contractors' Association of Chicago had come to him repeatedly to employ
sluggers, and that on one occasion the employers had told him to put
Winchesters in the hands of his men and to manage somehow to get into a
fight with the pickets and the strikers. The Commission, evidently
surprised at this testimony, asked Mr. Le Vin whether it was possible to
hire detectives to beat up men. His answer was: "You cannot hire every
man to do it." "Q. 'But can they hire men?' A. 'Yes, they could hire

"Q. 'From other private detective agencies?' A. 'Unfortunately, from
some, yes.'"[12]

In the hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary,
United States Senate, August 13, 1912, lengthy testimony was given
concerning a series of two hundred assaults that had been made upon the
union molders of Milwaukee during a strike in 1906. One of the leaders
of the union was killed, while others were brutally attacked by thugs in
the employ of a Chicago detective agency. A serious investigation was
begun by Attorney W. B. Rubin, acting for the Molders' Union, and in
court the evidence clearly proved that the Chicago detective agency
employed ex-convicts and other criminals for the purposes of slugging,
shooting, and even killing union men. When some of these detectives were
arrested they testified that they had acted under strict instructions.
They had been sent out to beat up certain men. Sometimes these men were
pointed out to them, at other times they were given the names of the men
that were to be slugged. They told the amounts that they had been paid,
of the lead pipe, two feet long, which they had used for the assault,
and of the fact that they were all armed. There was also testimony given
that nearly twenty-two thousand dollars had been paid by one firm to
this one detective agency for services of this character. It was also
shown that immediately after the assaults were committed the thugs were,
if possible, shipped out of town for a few days; but, if they were
arrested, they were defended by able attorneys and their fines paid.
Although many assaults were committed where no arrests could be made,
over forty "detectives" were actually arrested, and, when brought into
court, were found guilty of crimes ranging from disturbing the peace and
carrying concealed weapons to aggravated assault and shooting with
intent to kill. Many of these detectives convicted in Milwaukee had been
previously convicted of similar crimes committed in other cities.
Although some of them had long criminal records, they were,
nevertheless, regularly in the employ of the detective agency. It
appeared in one trial that one of the men employed was very much
incensed when he saw three of his associates attack a union molder with
clubs, knocking him down and beating him severely. With indignation he
protested against the outrage. When the head of the agency heard of this
the man was discharged. The court records also show that the head of the
detective agency had gone himself to Chicago to secure two men to
undertake what proved to be a fatal assault upon a trade-union leader
named Peter J. Cramer. When arrested and brought into court they
testified that they received twenty dollars per day for their services.

Equally direct and positive evidence concerning the character of the
men supplied by detective agencies for strike-breaking and other
purposes is found in the annual report of the Chicago & Great Western
Railway for the period ending in the spring of the year 1908. "To man
the shops and roundhouses," says the report, "the company was compelled
to resort to professional strike-breakers, a class of men who are
willing to work during the excitement and dangers of personal injury
which attend strikes, but who refuse to work longer than the excitement
and dangers last.... Perhaps ten per cent. of the first lot of
strike-breakers were fairly good mechanics, but fully 90 per cent, knew
nothing about machinery, and had to be gotten rid of. To get rid of such
men, however, is easier said than done.

"The first batch which was discharged, consisting of about 100 men,
refused to leave the barricade, made themselves a barricade within the
company's barricade, and, producing guns and knives, refused to budge.
The company's fighting men, after a day or two, forced them out of the
barricade and into a special train, which carried them under guard to
Chicago." Here was one gang of hired criminals, "the company's fighting
men," called into service to fight another gang, the company's
strike-breakers. The character of these "detectives," as testified to in
this case by the employers, appears to have been about the same as that
of those described by "Kid" Hogan, who, after an experience as a
strike-breaker, told the New York Sunday _World_: "There was the finest
bunch of crooks and grafters working as strike-breakers in those
American Express Company strikes you would ever want to see. I was one
of 'em and know what I am talking about. That gang of grafters cost the
Express Company a pile of money. Why, they used to start trouble
themselves just to keep their jobs a-going and to get a chance to swipe
stuff off the wagons.

"It was the same way down at Philadelphia on the street car strike.
Those strike-breakers used to get a car out somewhere in the suburbs and
then get off and smash up the windows, tip the car over, and put up an
awful holler about being attacked by strikers, just so they'd have to be
kept on the job."[13]

Thus we see that some American "detective" agencies have many and varied
trades. But they not only supply strike-breakers, perjurers, spies, and
even assassins, they have also been successful in making an utter farce
of trial by jury. It appears that even some of the best known American
detectives are not above the packing of a jury. At least, such was the
startling charge made by Attorney-General George W. Wickersham, May 10,
1912. In the report to President Taft Mr. Wickersham accused the head of
one of the chief detective agencies of the country of fixing a jury in
California. The agents of this detective, with the coöperation of the
clerk of the court, investigated the names of proposed jurors. In order
to be sure of getting a jury that would convict, the record of each
individual was carefully gone into and a report handed to the
prosecuting attorneys. Some of the comments on the jurors follow:
"Convictor from the word go." "Socialist. Anti-Mitchell." "Convictor
from the word go; just read the indictment. Populist." "Think he is a
Populist. If so, convictor. Good, reliable man." "Convictor. Democrat.
Hates Hermann." "Hidebound Democrat. Not apt to see any good in a
Republican." "Would be apt to be for conviction." "He is apt to wish
Mitchell hung. Think he would be a fair juror." "Would be likely to
convict any Republican politician." "Convictor." "Would convict
Christ." "Convict Christ. Populist." "Convict anyone. Democrat."[14]
This great detective even had the audacity, it seems, to telegraph
William Scott Smith, at that time secretary to the Hon. E. A. Hitchcock,
the Secretary of the Interior: "Jury commissioners cleaned out old box
from which trial jurors were selected and put in 600 names, _every one
of which was investigated before they were placed in the box. This
confidential._"[15] It is impossible to reproduce here some of the
language of this great detective. The foul manner in which he comments
upon the character of the jurors is altogether worthy of his vocation.
That, however, is unimportant compared to the more serious fact that a
well-paid detective can so pervert trial by jury that it would "convict

I shall be excused in a matter so devastating to republican institutions
as this if I quote further from the disclosures of Thomas Beet: "There
is another phase," he says, "of the private detective evil which has
worked untold damage in America. This is the private constabulary system
by which armed forces are employed during labor troubles. It is a
condition akin to the feudal system of warfare, when private interests
can employ troops of mercenaries to wage war at their command.
Ostensibly, these armed private detectives are hurried to the scene of
the trouble to maintain order and prevent destruction of property,
although this work always should be left to the official guardians of
the peace. That there is a sinister motive back of the employment of
these men has been shown time and again. Have you ever followed the
episodes of a great strike and noticed that most of the disorderly
outbreaks were so guided as to work harm to the interests of the
strikers?... Private detectives, unsuspected in their guise of workmen,
mingle with the strikers and by incendiary talk or action sometimes
stir them up to violence. When the workmen will not participate, it is
an easy matter to stir up the disorderly faction which is invariably
attracted by a strike, although it has no connection therewith.

"During a famous strike of car builders in a western city some years
ago, ... to my knowledge much of the lawlessness was incited by private
detectives, who led mobs in the destruction of property. In one of the
greatest of our strikes, that involving the steel industry, over two
thousand armed detectives were employed supposedly to protect property,
while several hundred more were scattered in the ranks of strikers as
workmen. Many of the latter became officers in the labor bodies, helped
to make laws for the organizations, made incendiary speeches, cast their
votes for the most radical movements made by the strikers, participated
in and led bodies of the members in the acts of lawlessness that
eventually caused the sending of State troops and the declaration of
martial law. While doing this, these spies within the ranks were making
daily reports of the plans and purposes of the strikers. To my
knowledge, when lawlessness was at its height and murder ran riot, these
men wore little patches of white on the lapels of their coats that their
fellow detectives of the 'two thousand' would not shoot them down by
mistake.... In no other country in the world, with the exception of
China, is it possible for an individual to surround himself with a
standing army to do his bidding in defiance of law and order."[16]

That the assertions of Thomas Beet are well founded can, I think, be
made perfectly clear by three tragic periods in the history of labor
disputes in America. At Homestead in 1892, in the railway strikes of
1894, and in Colorado during the labor wars of 1903-1904 detectives
were employed on a large scale. For reasons of space I shall limit
myself largely to these cases, which, without exaggeration, are typical
of conditions which constantly arise in the United States. Within the
last year West Virginia has been added to the list. Incredible outrages
have been committed there by the mine guards. They have deliberately
murdered men in some cases, and, on one dark night in February last,
they sent an armored train into Holly Grove and opened fire with machine
guns upon a sleeping village of miners. They have beaten, clubbed, and
stabbed men and women in the effort either to infuriate them into open
war, or to reduce them to abject slavery. Unfortunately, at this time
the complete report of the Senate investigation has not been issued, and
it seems better to confine these pages to those facts only that careful
inquiry has proved unquestionable. We are fortunate in having the
reports of public officials--certainly unbiased on the side of labor--to
rely upon for the facts concerning the use of thugs and hirelings in
Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado during three terrible battles
between capital and labor.

The story of the shooting of Henry C. Frick by Alexander Berkman is
briefly referred to in the first chapter, but the events which led up to
that shooting have well-nigh been forgotten. Certainly, nothing could
have created more bitterness among the working classes than the act of
the Carnegie Steel Company when it ordered a detective agency to send to
Homestead three hundred men armed with Winchester rifles. There was the
prospect of a strike, and it appears that the management was in no mood
to parley with its employees, and that nineteen days before any trouble
occurred the Carnegie Steel Company opened negotiations for the
employment of a private army. It had been the custom of the Carnegie
Company to meet the representatives of the Amalgamated Association of
Iron and Steel Workers from time to time and at these conferences to
agree upon wages. On June 30, 1892, the agreement expired, and previous
to that date the Company announced a reduction of wages, declaring that
the new scale would terminate in January instead of June. The employees
rejected the proposed terms, principally on the ground that they could
not afford to strike in midwinter and in that case they would not be
able to resist a further reduction in wages. Upon receiving this
statement the company locked out its employees and the battle began.

The steel works were surrounded by a fence three miles long, fifteen
feet in height, and covered with barbed wire. It was called "Fort
Frick," and the three hundred detectives were to be brought down the
river by boat and landed in the fort. Morris Hillquit gives the
following account of the pitched battle that occurred in the early
morning hours of July 6: "As soon as the boat carrying the Pinkertons
was sighted by the pickets the alarm was sounded. The strikers were
aroused from their sleep and within a few minutes the river front was
covered with a crowd of coatless and hatless men armed with guns and
rifles and grimly determined to prevent the landing of the Pinkertons.
The latter, however, did not seem to appreciate the gravity of the
situation. They sought to intimidate the strikers by assuming a
threatening attitude and aiming the muzzles of their shining revolvers
at them. A moment of intense expectation followed. Then a shot was fired
from the boat and one of the strikers fell to the ground mortally
wounded. A howl of fury and a volley of bullets came back from the line
of the strikers, and a wild fusillade was opened on both sides. In vain
did the strike leaders attempt to pacify the men and to stop the
carnage--the strikers were beyond control. The struggle lasted several
hours, after which the Pinkertons retreated from the river bank and
withdrew to the cabin of the boat. There they remained in the sweltering
heat of the July sun without air or ventilation, under the continuing
fire of the enraged men on the shore, until they finally surrendered.
They were imprisoned by the strikers in a rink, and in the evening they
were sent out of town by rail. The number of dead on both sides was
twelve, and over twenty were seriously wounded."[17]

These events aroused the entire country, and the state of mind among the
working people generally was exceedingly bitter. It was a tension that
under certain circumstances might have provoked a civil war. Both the
Senate and the House of Representatives immediately appointed committees
to inquire into this movement from state to state of armed men, and the
employment by corporations of what amounted to a private army. It seems
to have been clearly established that the employers wanted war, and that
the attorney of the Carnegie Company had commanded the local sheriff to
deputize a man named Gray, who was to meet the mercenaries and make all
of them deputy sheriffs. This plan to make the detectives "legal"
assassins did not carry, and the result was that a band of paid thugs,
thieves, and murderers invaded Homestead and precipitated a bloody
conflict. This was, of course, infamous, and, compared with its
magnificent anarchy, Berkman's assault was child-like in its simplicity.
Yet the enthusiastic and idealistic Berkman spent seventeen years in
prison and is still abhorred; while no one responsible for the murder of
twelve workingmen and the wounding of twenty others, either among the
mercenaries or their employers, has yet been apprehended or convicted.
With such equality of justice do we treat these agents of the two

However, if Berkman spent seventeen years in prison, the other
anarchists were mildly rebuked by the Committee of Investigation
appointed by the Senate. "Your committee is of the opinion," runs the
report, "that the employment of the private armed guards at Homestead
was unnecessary. There is no evidence to show that the slightest damage
was done, or attempted to be done, to property on the part of the
strikers...."[18] "It was claimed by the Pinkerton agency that in all
cases they require that their men shall be sworn in as deputy sheriffs,
but it is a significant circumstance that in the only strike your
committee made inquiry concerning--that at Homestead--the fact was
admitted on all hands that the armed men supplied by the Pinkertons were
not so sworn, and that as private citizens acting under the direction of
such of their own men as were in command they fired upon the people of
Homestead, killing and wounding a number."[19] "Every man who testified,
including the proprietors of the detective agencies, admitted that the
workmen are strongly prejudiced against the so-called Pinkertons, and
that their presence at a strike serves to unduly inflame the passions of
the strikers. The prejudice against them arises partly from the fact
that they are frequently placed among workmen, in the disguise of
mechanics, to report alleged conversations to their agencies, which, in
turn, is transmitted to the employers of labor. Your committee is
impressed with the belief that this is an utterly vicious system, and
that it is responsible for much of the ill-feeling and bad blood
displayed by the working classes. No self-respecting laborer or mechanic
likes to feel that the man beside him may be a spy from a detective
agency, and especially so when the laboring man is utterly at the mercy
of the detective, who can report whatever he pleases, be it true or
false....[20] Whether assumedly legal or not, the employment of armed
bodies of men for private purposes, either by employers or employees, is
to be deprecated and should not be resorted to. Such use of private
armed men is an assumption of the State's authority by private citizens.
If the State is incapable of protecting citizens in their rights of
person and property, then anarchy is the result, and the original law of
force should neither be approved, encouraged, nor tolerated until all
known legal processes have failed."[21]

We must leave this black page in American history with such comfort as
we can wring from the fact that the modern exponents of the oldest
anarchy have been at least once rebuked, and with the further
satisfaction that the Homestead tragedy brought momentarily to the
attention of the entire nation a practice which even at that time was a
source of great alarm to many serious men. In the great strikes which
occurred in the late eighties and early nineties there was a great deal
of violence, and C. H. Salmons, in his history of "The Burlington
Strike" of 1888, relates how private detectives systematically planned
outrages that destroyed property and how others committed murder. A few
cases were fought out in the courts with results very disconcerting to
the railroads who had hired these private detectives. In the strike on
the New York Central Railroad which occurred in 1890 many detectives
were employed. They were, of course, armed, and, as a result of certain
criminal operations undertaken by them, Congress was asked to consider
the drafting of a bill "to prevent corporations engaged in
interstate-commerce traffic from employing unjustifiably large bodies of
armed men denominated 'detectives,' but clothed with no legal
functions."[22] Roger A. Pryor, then Justice of the Supreme Court of New
York, vigorously protested against these "watchmen." "I mean," he said,
"the enlistment of banded and armed mercenaries under the command of
private detectives on the side of corporations in their conflicts with
employees. The pretext for such an extraordinary measure is the
protection of the corporate property; and surely the power of this great
State is adequate to the preservation of the public order and security.
At all events, in this particular instance, it was not pretended either
that the strikers had invaded property or person, or that the police or
militia in Albany had betrayed reluctance or inability to cope with the
situation. On the contrary, the facts are undisputed that the moment the
men went out Mr. Pinkerton and his myrmidons appeared on the scene, and
the police of Albany declared their competency to repel any trespass on
person or property. The executive of the State, too, denied any
necessity for the presence of the military.

"I do not impute to the railroad officials a purpose, without
provocation, to precipitate their ruffians upon a defenseless and
harmless throng of spectators; but the fact remains that the ruffians in
their hire did shoot into the crowd without occasion, and did so shed
innocent blood. And it is enough to condemn the system that it
authorizes unofficial and irresponsible persons to usurp the most
delicate and difficult functions of the State and exposes the lives of
citizens to the murderous assaults of hireling assassins, stimulated to
violence by panic or by the suggestion of employers to strike terror by
an appalling exhibition of force. If the railroad company may enlist
armed men to defend its property, the employees may enlist armed men to
defend their persons, and thus private war be inaugurated, the authority
of the State defied, the peace and tranquillity of society destroyed,
and the citizens exposed to the hazard of indiscriminate slaughter."[23]

Perhaps the most extensive use of these so-called detectives was at the
time of the great railway strike of 1894. The strike of the workers at
Pullman led to a general sympathetic strike on all the railroads
entering Chicago, and from May 11 to July 13 there was waged one of the
greatest industrial battles in American history. A railway strike is
always a serious matter, and in a short time the Government came to the
active support of the railroads. At one time over fourteen thousand
soldiers, deputy marshals, deputy sheriffs, and policemen were on duty
in Chicago. During the period of the strike twelve persons were shot and
fatally wounded. A number of riots occurred, cars were burned, and, as a
result of the disturbances, no less than seven hundred persons were
arrested, accused of murder, arson, burglary, assault, intimidation,
riot, and other crimes. The most accurate information we have concerning
conditions in Chicago during the strike is to be found in the evidence
which was taken by the United States Strike Commission appointed by
President Cleveland July 26, 1894. There seems to be no doubt that
during the early days of the strike perfect peace reigned in Chicago. At
the very beginning of the trouble three hundred strikers were detailed
by the unions to guard the property of the Pullman company from any
interference or destruction. "It is in evidence, and uncontradicted,"
reports the Commission, "that no violence or destruction of property by
strikers or sympathizers took place at Pullman."[24] It also appears
that no violence occurred in Chicago in connection with the strike until
after several thousand men were made United States deputy marshals.
These "United States deputy marshals," says the Commission, "to the
number of 3,600, were selected by and appointed at the request of the
General Managers' Association, and of its railroads. They were armed and
paid by the railroads."[25] In other words, the United States Government
gave over its police power directly into the hands of one of the
combatants. It allowed these private companies, through detective
agencies, to collect as hastily as possible a great body of unemployed,
to arm them, and to send them out as officials of the United States to
do whatsoever was desired by the railroads. They were not under the
control of the army or of responsible United States officials, and their
intrusion into a situation so tense and critical as that then existing
in Chicago was certain to produce trouble. And the fact is, the
lawlessness that prevailed in Chicago during that strike began only
after the appearance of these private "detectives."

It will astonish the ordinary American citizen to read of the character
of the men to whom the maintenance of law and order was entrusted.
Superintendent of Police Brennan referred to these deputy marshals in an
official report to the Council of Chicago as "thugs, thieves, and
ex-convicts," and in his testimony before the Commission itself he said:
"Some of the deputy marshals who are now over in the county jail ...
were arrested while deputy marshals for highway robbery."[26] Several
newspaper men, when asked to testify regarding the character of these
United States deputies, referred to them variously as "drunkards,"
"loafers," "bums," and "criminals." The now well-known journalist, Ray
Stannard Baker, was at that time reporting the strike for the _Chicago
Record_. He was asked by Commissioner Carroll D. Wright as to the
character of the United States deputy marshals. His answer was: "From my
experience with them I think it was very bad indeed. I saw more cases of
drunkenness, I believe, among the United States deputy marshals than I
did among the strikers."[27] Benjamin H. Atwell, reporter for the
_Chicago News_, testified: "Many of the marshals were men I had known
around Chicago as saloon characters.... The first day, I believe, after
the troops arrived ... the deputy marshals went up into town and some of
them got pretty drunk."[28] Malcomb McDowell, reporter for the _Chicago
Record_, testified that the deputy marshals and deputy sheriffs "were
not the class of men who ought to be made deputy marshals or deputy
sheriffs.... They seemed to be hunting trouble all the time.... At one
time a serious row nearly resulted because some of the deputy marshals
standing on the railroad track jeered at the women that passed and
insulted them.... I saw more deputy sheriffs and deputy marshals drunk
than I saw strikers drunk."[29] Harold I. Cleveland, reporter for the
_Chicago Herald_, testified: "I was ... on the Western Indiana tracks
for fourteen days ... and I suppose I saw in that time a couple of
hundred deputy marshals.... I think they were a very low, contemptible
set of men."[30]

In Mr. Baker's testimony he speaks of seeing in one of the riots "a big,
rough-looking fellow, whom the people called 'Pat.'"[31] He was the
leader of the mob, and when the riot was over, "he mounted a beer keg in
front of one of the saloons and advised men to go home, get their guns,
and come out and fight the troops, fire on them.... The same man
appeared two nights later at Whiting, Indiana, and made quite a
disturbance there, roused the people up. In all that mob that had hold
of the ropes I do not think there were many American Railway Union men.
I think they were mostly roughs from Chicago.... The police knew well
enough all about this man I have mentioned who was the ringleader of the
mob, but they did nothing and the deputy marshals were not any
better."[32] For some inscrutable reason, certain men, none of whom were
railroad employees, were allowed openly to provoke violence.
Fortunately, however, they were not able to induce the actual strikers
to participate in their assaults upon railroad property, and every
newspaper man testified that the riots were, in the main, the work of
the vicious elements of Chicago. They were, said one witness, "all
loafers, idlers, a petty class of criminals well known to the
police."[33] Malcomb McDowell testified concerning one riot which he had
reported for the papers: "The men did not look like railroad men....
Most of them were foreigners, and one of the men in the crowd told me
afterward that he was a detective from St. Louis. He gave me the name of
the agency at the time."[34]

Mr. Eugene V. Debs, the leader of that great strike, in a pamphlet
entitled _The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike_, calls
particular attention to the following declaration of the United States
Strike Commission: "There is no evidence before the Commission that the
officers of the American Railway Union at any time participated in or
advised intimidation, violence or destruction of property. _They knew
and fully appreciated that, as soon as mobs ruled, the organized forces
of society would crush the mobs and all responsible for them in the
remotest degree, and that this means defeat._"[35] Commenting upon this
statement, Mr. Debs asks: "To whose interest was it to have riots and
fires, lawlessness and crime? To whose advantage was it to have
disreputable 'deputies' do these things? Why were only freight cars,
largely hospital wrecks, set on fire? Why have the railroads not yet
recovered damages from Cook County, Illinois, for failing to protect
their property?... The riots and incendiarism turned defeat into victory
for the railroads. They could have won in no other way. They had
everything to gain and the strikers everything to lose. The violence was
instigated in spite of the strikers, and the report of the Commission
proves that they made every effort in their power to preserve the

This history is important in a study of the extensive system of
subsidized violence that has grown up in America. Nearly every witness
before the Commission testified that the strikers again and again gave
the police valuable assistance in protecting the property of the
railroads. No testimony was given that the workingmen advocated violence
or that union men assisted in the riots. The ringleaders of all the
serious outbreaks were notorious toughs from Chicago's vicious sections,
and they were allowed to go for days unmolested by the deputy
marshals--who, although representatives of the United States Government,
were in the pay of the railroads. In fact, the evidence all points to
the one conclusion, that the deputy marshals encouraged the violence of
ruffians and tried to provoke the violence of decent men by insulting,
drunken, and disreputable conduct. The strikers realized that violence
was fatal to their cause, and the deputy marshals knew that violence
meant victory for the railroads. And that proved to be the case.

Before leaving this phase of anarchy I want to refer as briefly as
possible to that series of fiercely fought political and industrial
battles that occurred in Colorado in the period from 1894 to 1904. The
climax of the long-drawn-out battles there was perhaps the most
unadulterated anarchy that has yet been seen in America. It was a
terrorism of powerful and influential anarchists who frankly and
brutally answered those who protested against their many violations of
the United States Constitution: "To hell with the Constitution!"[37] The
story of these Colorado battles is told in a report of an investigation
made by the United States Commissioner of Labor (1905). The reading of
that report leaves one with the impression that present-day society
rests upon a volcano, which in favorable periods seems very harmless
indeed, but, when certain elemental forces clash, it bursts forth in a
manner that threatens with destruction civilization itself. The trouble
in Colorado began with the effort on the part of the miners' union to
obtain through the legislature a law limiting the day's work to eight
hours in all underground mines and in all work for reducing and refining
ores. That was in 1894. The next year an eight-hour bill was presented
in the legislature. Expressing fear that such a bill might be
unconstitutional, the legislature, before acting upon it, asked the
Supreme Court to render a decision. The Supreme Court replied that, in
its opinion, such a bill would be unconstitutional. In 1899, as a result
of further agitation by the miners, an eight-hour law was enacted by the
legislature--a large majority in both houses voting for the bill. By
unanimous decision the same year the Supreme Court of Colorado declared
the statute unconstitutional. The miners were not, however, discouraged,
and they began a movement to secure the adoption of a constitutional
amendment which would provide for the enactment of an eight-hour law.
All the political parties in the State of Colorado pledged themselves in
convention to support such a measure. In the general election of 1902
the constitutional amendment providing for an eight-hour day was adopted
by the people of the State by 72,980 votes against 26,266. This was a
great victory for the miners, and it seemed as if their work was done.
According to all the traditions and pretensions of political life, they
had every reason to believe that the next session of the legislature
would pass an eight-hour law. It appears, however, that the corporations
had determined at all cost to defeat such a bill. They set out therefore
to corrupt wholesale the legislature, and as a result the eight-hour
bill was defeated. After having done everything in their power,
patiently, peacefully, and legally to obtain their law, and only after
having been outrageously betrayed by corrupt public servants, the miners
as a last resort, on the 3d of July, 1903, declared a strike to secure
through their own efforts what a decade of pleading and prayers had
failed to achieve.

I suppose no unbiased observer would to-day question that the political
machines of Colorado had sold themselves body and soul to the mine
owners. There can surely be no other explanation for their violation of
their pledges to the people and to the miners. And further evidence of
their perfidy was given on the night of September 3, 1903, at a
conference between some of the State officials and certain officers of
the Mine Owners' Association. Although the strike up to this time had
been conducted without any violence, the State officials agreed that the
mine owners could have the aid of the militia, provided they would pay
the expenses of the soldiers while they remained in the strike district.
Two days later over one thousand men were encamped in Cripple Creek. All
the strike districts were at once put under martial law; the duly
elected officials of the people were commanded to resign from office;
hundreds of unoffending citizens were arrested and thrown into "bull
pens"; the whole working force of a newspaper was apprehended and taken
to the "bull pen"; all the news that went out concerning the strike was
censored, the manager of one of the mines acting as official censor. At
the same time this man, together with other mine managers and friends,
organized mobs to terrorize union miners and to force out of town anyone
whom they thought to be in sympathy with the strikers.

In the effort to determine whether the courts or the military powers
were supreme, a writ of _habeas corpus_ was obtained for four men who
had been sent by the military authorities to the "bull pen." The court
sent an order to produce the men. Ninety cavalrymen were then sent to
the court house. They surrounded it, permitting no person to pass
through the lines unless he was an officer of the court, a member of the
bar, a county official, or a press representative. A company of
infantrymen then escorted the four prisoners to the court, while
fourteen soldiers with loaded guns and fixed bayonets guarded the
prisoners until the court was called to order. When the court was
adjourned, after an argument upon the motion to quash the return of the
writ, the soldiers took the prisoners back to the "bull pen." The next
day Judge Seeds was forced to adjourn the court, because the prisoners
were not present. An officer of the militia was ordered to have them in
court at two o'clock in the afternoon, but, as they did not appear at
that time, a continuance was granted until the following day. On
September 23 a large number of soldiers, cavalry and infantry,
surrounded the court house. A Gatling gun was placed in position nearby,
and a detail of sharpshooters was stationed where they could command
the streets. The court, in the face of this military display, cited the
Constitution of Colorado, which declares that the military shall always
be in strict subordination to the civil power, and pointed out that this
did not specify sometimes but always, declaring: "There could be no
plainer statement that the military should never be permitted to rise
superior to the civil power within the limits of Colorado."[38] The
judge then ordered the military authorities to release the prisoners,
but this they refused to do.

At Victor certain mine owners commanded the sheriff to come to their
club rooms, where his resignation was demanded. When he refused to
resign, guns were produced, a coiled rope was dangled before him, and on
the outside several shots were fired. He was told that unless he
resigned the mob outside the building would be admitted and he would be
taken out and hanged. He then signed a written resignation, and a member
of the Mine Owners' Association was appointed sheriff. With this new
sheriff in charge, the mine owners, mine managers, and all they could
employ for the purpose arrested on all hands everybody that seemed
unfriendly to their anarchy. The new sheriff and a militia officer
commanded the Portland mine, which was then having no trouble with its
employees, to shut down. By this order four hundred and seventy-five men
were thrown out of employment. In these various ways the mobs organized
by the mine owners were allowed to obliterate the Government and abolish
republican institutions, under the immediate protection of their leased
military forces.

At Telluride, also, the military overpowered the civil authorities. When
Judge Theron Stevens came there to hold the regular session of court he
was met by soldiers and a mob of three hundred persons. Seeing that it
was impossible for the civil authorities to exercise any power, he
decided to adjourn the court until the next term, declaring: "The
demonstration at the depot last night upon the arrival of the train
could only have been planned and executed for the purpose of showing the
contempt of the militia and a certain portion of this community for the
civil authority of the State and the civil authority of this district. I
had always been led to suppose from such research as I have been able to
make that in a republic like ours the people were supreme; that the
people had expressed their will in a constitution which was enacted for
the government of all in authority in this State. That constitution
provides that the military shall always be in strict subordination to
the civil authorities."[39]

While this terrorism of the powerful was in full sway in Colorado, the
entire world was being told through the newspapers of the infamous
crimes being committed daily by the Western Federation of Miners.
Countless newspaper stories were sent out telling in detail of mines
blown up, of trains wrecked, of men murdered through agents of this
federation of toilers engaged day in and day out at a dangerous
occupation in the bowels of the earth. Not loafers, idlers, or
drunkards, but men with calloused hands and bent backs. Stories were
sent around the world of these laborers being arraigned in court charged
with the most infamous and dastardly crimes. Yet hardly once has it been
reported in the press of the world that in "every trial that has been
held in the State of Colorado during the present strike where the
membership has been charged with almost every perfidy in the catalogue
of crime, a jury has brought in a verdict of acquittal."[40] On the
other hand, a multitude of murders, wrecks, and dynamite explosions
have been brought to the door of the detectives employed by the Mine
Owners' Association. It was found that many ex-convicts and other
desperate characters were employed by the detective agencies to commit
crimes that could be laid upon the working miners. The story of Orchard
and the recital of his atrocious crimes have occupied columns of every
newspaper, but the fact is rarely mentioned that many of the crimes that
he committed, and which the world to-day attributes to the officials of
the Western Federation of Miners, were paid for by detective agencies.
The special detective of one of the railroads and a detective of the
Mine Owners' Association were known to have employed Orchard and other
criminals. When Orchard first went to Denver to seek work from the
officials of the Western Federation of Miners he was given a railroad
pass by these detectives and the money to pay his expenses.[41] During
the three months preceding the blowing up of the Independence depot
Orchard had been seen at least eighteen or twenty times entering at
night by stealth the rooms of a detective attached to the Mine Owners'
Association, and at least seven meetings were held between him and the
railroad detective already mentioned.

Previous to all this--in September and in November, 1903--attempts were
made to wreck trains. A delinquent member of the Western Federation of
Miners was charged with these crimes. He involved in his confession
several prominent members of the Western Federation of Miners. On
cross-examination he testified that he had formerly been a prize-fighter
and that he had come to Cripple Creek under an assumed name. He further
testified that $250 was his price for wrecking a train carrying two
hundred to three hundred people, but that he had asked $500 for this
job, as another man would have to work with him. Two detectives had
promised him that amount. An associate of this man was discovered to
have been a detective who had later joined the Western Federation of
Miners. He testified that he had kept the detective agencies informed as
to the progress of the plot to derail the train. The detective of the
Mine Owners' Association admitted that he and the other detectives had
endeavored to induce members of the miners' union to enter into the
plot; while the railroad detective testified that he and another
detective were standing only a few feet away when men were at work
pulling the spikes from the rails. An engineer on the Florence and
Cripple Creek Railroad testified that the railroad detective had, a few
days before, asked him where there was a good place for wrecking the
train. The result of the case was that all were acquitted except the
ex-prize-fighter, who was held for a time, but eventually released on
$300 bond, furnished by representatives of the mine owners.[42]

On June 6, 1904, when about twenty-five non-union miners were waiting at
the Independence depot for a train, there was a terrible explosion which
resulted in great loss of life. It has never been discovered who
committed the crime, though the mine owners lost no time in attributing
the explosion to the work of "the assassins" of the Federation of
Miners. When, however, bloodhounds were put on the trail, they went
directly to the home of one of the detectives in the employ of the Mine
Owners' Association. They were taken back to the scene of the disaster
and again followed the trail to the same place. A third attempt was made
with the hounds and they followed a trail to the powder magazine of a
nearby mine. The Western Federation of Miners offered a reward of $5,000
for evidence which would lead to the arrest and conviction of the
criminal who had perpetrated the outrage at Independence. Unfortunately,
the criminal was never found. Orchard, a year or so later, confessed
that he had committed the crime and was paid for it by the officials of
the Western Federation of Miners. The absurdity of that statement
becomes clear when it is known that the court in Denver was at the very
moment of the explosion deciding the _habeas corpus_ case of Moyer,
President of the Western Federation of Miners. In fact, a few hours
after the explosion the decision of the court was handed down. As the
action of the court was vital not only to Moyer but to the entire
trade-union movement, and, indeed, to republican institutions, it is
inconceivable that he or his friends should have organized an outrage
that would certainly have prejudiced the court at the very moment it was
writing its decision. On the other hand, there was every reason why the
mine owners should have profited by such an outrage and that their
detectives should have planned one for that moment.[AF]

The atrocities of the Congo occurred in a country without law, in the
interest of a great property, and in a series of battles with a
half-savage people. History has somewhat accustomed us to such
barbarity; but when, in a civilized country, with a written
constitution, with duly established courts, with popularly elected
representatives, and apparently with all the necessary machinery for
dealing out equal justice, one suddenly sees a feudal despotism arise,
as if by magic, to usurp the political, judicial, and military powers of
a great state, and to use them to arrest hundreds without warrant and
throw them into "bull pens"; to drive hundreds of others out of their
homes and at the point of the bayonet out of the state; to force others
to labor against their will or to be beaten; to depose the duly elected
officials of the community; to insult the courts; to destroy the
property of those who protest; and even to murder those who show signs
of revolt--one stands aghast. It makes one wonder just how far in
reality we are removed from barbarism. Is it possible that the
likelihood of the workers achieving an eight-hour day--which was all
that was wanted in Colorado--could lead to civil war? Yet that is what
might and perhaps should have happened in Colorado in 1904, when, for a
few months, a military despotism took from the people there all that had
been won by centuries of democratic striving and thrust them back into
the Middle Ages.

Chaotic political and industrial conditions are, of course, occasionally
inevitable in modern society--torn as it is by the very bitter struggle
going on constantly between capital and labor. When this struggle breaks
into war, as it often does, we are bound to suffer some of the evils
that invariably attend war. Certainly, it is to be expected that the
owners of property will exercise every power they possess to safeguard
their property. They will, whenever possible, use the State and all its
coercive powers in order to retain their mastery over men and things.
The only question is this, must people in general continue to be the
victims of a commerce which has for its purpose the creation of
situations that force nearly every industrial dispute to become a bloody
conflict? When men combine to commit depredations, destroy property,
and murder individuals, society must deal with them--no matter how
harshly. But it is an altogether different matter to permit privately
paid criminals to create whenever desired a state of anarchy, in order
to force the military to carry out ferocious measures of repression
against those who have been in no wise responsible for disorder.

If we will look into this matter a little, we shall discover certain
sinister motives back of this work of the detective agencies. It is well
enough understood by them that violence creates a state of reaction. One
very keen observer has pointed out that "the anarchist tactics are so
serviceable to the reactionaries that, whenever a draconic, reactionary
law is required, they themselves manufacture an anarchist plot or
attempted crime."[43] Kropotkin himself, in telling the story of "The
Terror in Russia," points out that a certain Azeff, who for sixteen
years was an agent of the Russian police, was also the chief organizer
of acts of terrorism among the social revolutionists.[44] Every
conceivable crime was committed under his direct instigation, including
even the murder of some officials and nobles. The purpose of the work of
this police agent was, of course, to serve the Russian reactionaries and
to furnish them a pretext and excuse for the most bloody measures of
repression. In America "hireling assassins," ex-convicts, and thugs in
the employ of detective agencies commit very much the same crimes for
the same purpose. And the men on strike, who have neither planned nor
dreamed of planning an outrage, suddenly find themselves faced by the
military forces, who have not infrequently in the past shot them down.
That the lawless situations which make these infamous acts possible, and
to the general public often excusable, are the deliberate work of
mercenaries, is, to my mind, open to no question whatever.

Anyone who cares to look up the history of the labor movement for the
last hundred years will find that in every great strike private
detectives and police agents have been at work provoking violence. It is
almost incredible what a large number of criminal operations can be
traced to these paid agents. From 1815 to the present day the bitterness
of nearly every industrial conflict of importance has been intensified
by the work of these spies, thugs, and _provocateurs_. "It was not until
we became infested by spies, incendiaries, and their dupes--distracting,
misleading, and betraying--that physical force was mentioned among us,"
says Bamford, speaking of the trade-union activity of 1815-1816. "After
that our moral power waned, and what we gained by the accession of
demagogues we lost by their criminal violence and the estrangement of
real friends."[45] Some of the notable police agents that appear in the
history of labor are Powell, Mitchell, Legg, Stieber, Greif, Fleury,
Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, Schroeder-Brennwald, Krueger, Kaufmann,
Peukert, Haupt, Von Ehrenberg, Friedeman, Weiss, Schmidt, and
Ihring-Mahlow. In addition we find André, Andrieux, Pourbaix, Melville,
and scores of other high police officials directing the work of these
agents. In America, McPartland, Schaack, and Orchard--to mention the
most notorious only--have played infamous rôles in provoking others, or
in undertaking themselves, to commit outrages. There were and are, of
course, thousands of others besides those mentioned, but these are
historic characters, who planned and executed the most dastardly deeds
in order to discredit the trade-union and socialist movements. The space
here is too limited to go into the historic details of this commerce in
violence. But he who is curious to pursue the study further will find a
list of references at the end of the volume directing him to some of the
sources of information.[46] He will there discover an appalling record
of crime, for, as Thomas Beet points out, hardly a strike occurs where
these special officers are not sent to make trouble. There are sometimes
thousands of them at work, and, if one undertook to go into the various
trials that have arisen as a result of labor disputes, one could prepare
a long list of murders committed by these "hireling assassins."

The pecuniary interest of the detective agencies in provoking crime is
immense. It is obvious enough, if one will but think of it, that these
detective agencies depend for their profit on the existence, the
extension, and the promotion of criminal operations. The more that
people are frightened by the prospect of danger to their property or
menace to their lives, the more they seek the aid of detectives. Nothing
proves so advantageous to detectives as epidemics of strikes and even of
robberies and murders. The heyday of their prosperity comes in that
moment when assaults upon men and property are most frequent. Nothing
would seem to be clearer, then, than that it is to the interest of these
agencies to create alarm, to arouse terror, and, through these means, to
enlarge their patronage. When a trade or profession has not only every
pecuniary incentive to create trouble, but when it is also largely
promoted by notorious criminals and other vicious elements, the amount
of mischief that is certain to result from the combination may well
exceed the powers of imagination.

And it must not be forgotten that this trade has developed into a great
and growing business, actuated by exactly the same economic interests as
any other business. With the agencies making so much per day for each
man employed, the way to improve business is to get more men employed.
Rumors of trouble or actual deeds, such as an explosion of dynamite or
an assault, help to make the detective indispensable to the employer. It
is with an eye to business, therefore, that the private detective
creates trouble. It is with a keen sense of his own material interest
that he keeps the employer in a state of anxiety regarding what may be
expected from the men. And, naturally enough, the modern employer,
unlike a trained ruler such as Bismarck, never seems to realize that
most of the alarming reports sent him are masses of lies. Nothing
appears to have been clearer to the Iron Chancellor than that his own
police forces, in order to gain favor, "lie and exaggerate in the most
shameful manner."[47] But such an idea seems never to enter the minds of
the great American employers, who, although becoming more and more like
the ruling classes of Europe, are not yet so wise. However, the great
employer, like the great ruler, is unable now to meet his employees in
person and to find out their real views. Consequently, he must depend
upon paid agents to report to him the views of his men. This might all
be very well if the returns were true. But, when it happens that evil
reports are very much to the pecuniary advantage of the man who makes
them, is it likely that there will be any other kind of report?
Thousands of employers, therefore, are coming more and more to be
convinced that their workmen spend most of their time plotting against
them. It seems unreasonable that sane men could believe that their
employees, who are regularly at work every day striving with might and
main to support and bring up decently their families, should be at the
same time planning the most diabolical outrages. Nothing is rarer than
to find criminals among workingmen, for if they were given to crime
they would not be at work. But with the great modern evil--the
separation of the classes--there comes so much of misunderstanding and
of mistrust that the employer seems only too willing to believe any paid
villain who tells him that his tired and worn laborers have murder in
their hearts. The class struggle is a terrible fact; but the class
hatred and the personal enmity that are growing among both masters and
men in the United States are natural and inevitable results of this
system of spies and informers.

How widespread this evil has become is shown by the fact that nearly
every large corporation now employs numerous spies, informers, and
special officers, from whom they receive daily reports concerning the
conversations among their men and the plans of the unions. Thousands of
these detectives are, in fact, members of the unions. The employers are,
of course, under the impression that they are thus protecting themselves
from misinformation and also from the possibility of injury, but, as we
have seen, they are in reality placing themselves at the mercy of these
spies in the same manner as every despot in the past has placed himself
at the mercy of those who brought him information. It may, perhaps, be
possible that the Carnegie Company in 1892, the railroads in 1894, and
the mine owners in 1904 were convinced that their employees were under
the influence of dangerous men. Very likely they were told that their
workmen were planning assaults upon their lives and property. It would
not be strange if these large owners of property had been so informed.
Indeed, the economics of this whole wretched commerce becomes clear only
when we realize that the terror that results from such reports leads
these capitalists to employ more and more hirelings, to pay them larger
and larger fees, and in this manner to reward lies and to make even
assaults prove immensely profitable to the detectives. So it happens
that the great employers are chiefly responsible for introducing among
their men the very elements that are making for riot, crime, and

Close and intimate relations with the employers and with the men during
several fiercely fought industrial conflicts have convinced me that the
struggle between them rarely degenerates to that plane of barbarism in
which either the men or the masters deliberately resort to, or
encourage, murder, arson, and similar crimes. So far as the men are
concerned, they have every reason in the world to discourage violence,
and nothing is clearer to most of them than the solemn fact that every
time property is destroyed, or men injured, the employers win public
support, the aid of the press, the pulpit, the police, the courts, and
all the powers of the State. Men do not knowingly injure themselves or
persist in a course adverse to their material interests. It is true, as
I think I have made clear in the previous chapters, that some of the
workers do advocate violence, and, in a few cases that instantly became
notorious, labor leaders have been found guilty of serious crimes. That
these instances are comparatively rare is explained, of course, by the
fact that violence is known invariably to injure the cause of the
worker. It would be strange, therefore, if the workers did
systematically plan outrages. On the other hand, it would be strange if
the employers did not at times rejoice that somebody--the workmen, the
detectives, or others--had committed some outrage and thus brought the
public sentiment and the State's power to the aid of the employers. One
cannot escape the thought that the employers would hardly finance so
readily these so-called detectives, and inquire so little into their
actual deeds, if they were not convinced that violence at the time of a
strike materially aids the employer. Yet, despite evidence to the
contrary, it may, I think, be said with truth that the lawlessness
attending strikes is not, as a rule, the result of deliberate planning
on the part of the men or of the masters.

There are, of course, numerous exceptions, and if we find the McNamaras
on the one side, we also find some unscrupulous employers on the other.
To the latter, violence becomes of the greatest service, in that it
enables them to say with apparent truth that they are not fighting
reasonable, law-abiding workmen, but assassins and incendiaries. No
course is easier for the employer who does not seek to deal honestly
with his men, and none more secure for that employer whose position is
wholly indefensible on the subject of hours and wages, than to sidetrack
all these issues by hypocritically declaring that he refuses to deal
with men who are led by criminals. And it is quite beyond question that
some such employers have deliberately urged their "detectives" to create
trouble. Positive evidence is at hand that a few such employers have
themselves directed the work of incendiaries, thugs, and rioters. With
such amazing evidence as we have recently had concerning the
systematically lawless work of the Manufacturers' Association, it is
impossible to free the employers of all personal responsibility for the
outrages committed by their criminal agents. There are many different
ways in which violence benefits the employer, and it may even be said
that in all cases it is only to the interest of the employer. As a
matter of fact, with the systems of insurance now existing, any injury
to the property of the employer means no loss to him whatever. The only
possible loss that he can suffer is through the prolongation and
success of the strike. If the workers can be discredited and the strike
broken through the aid of violence, the ordinary employer is not likely
to make too rigid an investigation into whether or not his "detectives"
had a hand in it.

Curiously enough, the general public never dreams that special officers
are responsible for most of the violence at times of strike, and, while
the men loudly accuse the employers, the employers loudly accuse the
men. The employers are, of course, informed by the detectives that the
outrages have been committed by the strikers, and the detectives have
seen to it that the employers are prepared to believe that the strikers
are capable of anything. On the other hand, the men are convinced that
the employers are personally responsible. They see hundreds and
sometimes thousands of special officers swarming throughout the
district. They know that these men are paid by somebody, and they are
convinced that their bullying, insulting talk and actions represent the
personal wishes of the employers. When they knock down strikers, beat
them up, arrest them, or even shoot them, the men believe that all these
acts are dictated by the employers. It is utterly impossible to describe
the bitterness that is aroused among the men by the presence of these
thugs. And the testimony taken by various commissions regarding strikes
proves clearly enough that strikes are not only embittered but prolonged
by the presence of detectives. Again and again, mediators have declared
that, as soon as thugs are brought into the conflict, the settlement of
a strike is made impossible until either the employers or the men are
exhausted by the struggle. A number of reputable detectives have
testified that the chief object of those who engage in "strike-breaking"
is to prolong strikes in order to keep themselves employed as long as
possible. Thus, the employers as well as the men are the victims of this
commerce in violence.

It will, I am sure, be obvious to the reader that it would require a
very large volume to deal with all the various phases of the work of the
detective in the numerous great strikes that have occurred in recent
years. I have endeavored merely to mention a few instances where their
activities have led to the breaking down of all civil government. It is
important, however, to emphasize the fact that there is no strike of any
magnitude in which these hirelings are not employed. I have taken the
following quotation as typical of numerous circulars which I have seen,
that have been issued by detective agencies: "This bureau has made a
specialty of handling strikes for over half a century, and our clients
are among the largest corporations in the world. During the recent
trouble between the steamboat companies and the striking longshoremen in
New York City this office ... supplied one thousand guards.... Our
charges for guards, motormen, conductors, and all classes of men during
the time of trouble is $5.00 per day, your company to pay
transportation, board, and lodge the men."[48] Here is another agency
that has been engaged in this business for half a century, and there are
thousands of others engaged in it now. One of them is known to have in
its employ constantly five thousand men. And, if we look into the deeds
of these great armies of mercenaries, we find that there is not a state
in the Union in which they have not committed assault, arson, robbery,
and murder. Several years ago at Lattimer, Pennsylvania, a perfectly
peaceable parade of two hundred and fifty miners was attacked by guards
armed with Winchester rifles, with the result that twenty-nine workers
were killed and thirty others seriously injured. This was deliberate
and unprovoked slaughter. Recently, in the Westmoreland mining district,
no less than twenty striking miners have been murdered, while several
hundred have been seriously injured. On one occasion deputies and
strike-breakers became intoxicated and "shot up the town" of Latrobe. In
the recent strike against the Lake Carriers' Association six union men
were killed by private detectives. In Tampa, Florida, in Columbus, Ohio,
in Birmingham, Alabama, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania, in the mining districts of West Virginia, and in
innumerable other places many workingmen have been murdered, not by
officers of the law, but by privately paid assassins.

Even while writing these lines I notice a telegram to the _Appeal to
Reason_ from Adolph Germer, an official of the United Mine Workers of
America, that some thugs, formerly in West Virginia, are now in
Colorado, and that their first work there was to shoot down in cold
blood a well-known miner. John Walker, a district president of the
United Mine Workers of America, telegraphs the same day to the labor
press that two of the strikers in the copper mines in Michigan were shot
down by detectives, in the effort, he says, to provoke the men to
violence. Anyone who cares to follow the labor press for but a short
period will be astonished to find how frequently such outrages occur,
and he will marvel that men can be so self-controlled as the strikers
usually are under such terrible provocation. I mention hastily these
facts in order to emphasize the point that the cases in which I have
gone into detail in this chapter are more or less typical of the bloody
character of many of the great strikes because of the deeds of the
so-called detectives.

Brief, however, as this statement is of the work of these anarchists
"without phrase" and of the great commerce they have built up, it must,
nevertheless, convince anyone that republican institutions cannot long
exist in a country which tolerates such an extensive private commerce in
lawlessness and crime. Government by law cannot prevail in the same
field with a widespread and profitable traffic in disorder, thuggery,
arson, and murder. Here is a whole brood of mercenaries, the output of
hundreds of great penitentiaries, that has been organized and
systematized into a great commerce to serve the rich and powerful. Here
is a whole mess of infamy developed into a great private enterprise that
militates against all law and order. It has already brought the United
States on more than one occasion to the verge of civil war. And, despite
the fact that numerous judges have publicly condemned the work of these
agencies, and that various governmental commissions have deprecated in
the most solemn words this traffic in crime, it continues to grow and
prosper in the most alarming manner. Certainly, no student of history
will doubt that, if this commerce is permitted to continue, it will not
be long until no man's life, honor, or property will be secure. And it
is a question, even at this moment, whether the legislators have the
courage to attack this powerful American Mafia that has already
developed into a "vested interest."

As I said at the beginning, no other country has this form of anarchy to
contend with. In all countries, no doubt, there are associations of
criminals, and everywhere, perhaps, it is possible for wealthy men to
employ criminals to work for them. But even the Mafia, the Camorra, and
the Black Hand do not exist for the purpose of collecting and organizing
mercenaries to serve the rich and powerful. Nor anywhere else in the
world are these criminals made special officers, deputy sheriffs,
deputy marshals, and thus given the authority of the State itself. The
assumption is so general that the State invariably stands behind the
private detective that few seem to question it, and even the courts
frequently recognize them as quasi-public officials. Thus, the State
itself aids and abets these mercenary anarchists, while it sends to the
gallows idealist anarchists, such as Henry, Vaillant, Lingg, and their
like. That the State fosters this "infant industry" is the only possible
explanation for the fact that in every industrial conflict of the past
the real provokers and executors of arson, riot, and murder have escaped
prison, while in every case labor leaders have been put in jail--often
without warrant--and in many cases kept there for many months without
trial. Even the writ of _habeas corpus_ has been denied them repeatedly.
Without the active connivance of the State such conditions could not
exist. However, the State goes even further in its opposition to labor.
The power of a state governor to call out the militia, to declare even a
peaceful district in a state of insurrection, and to abolish the writ of
_habeas corpus_ is a very great power indeed and one that is
unquestionably an anomaly in a republic. If that power were used with
equal justice, it might not create the intense bitterness that has been
so frequently aroused among the workers by its exercise. Again and again
it has been used in the interest of capital, but there is not one single
case in all the records where this extraordinary prerogative has been
exercised to protect the interest of the workers. It is not, then,
either unreasonable or unjustifiable that among workmen the sentiment is
almost unanimous that the State stands invariably against them. The
three instances which I have dealt with here at some length prove
conclusively that there is now no penalty inflicted upon the capitalist
who hires thugs to invade a community and shoot down its citizens, or
upon those who hire him these assassins, or upon the assassins
themselves. Nor are the powerful punished when they collect a great army
of criminals, drunkards, and hoodlums and make them officials of the
United States to insult and bully decent citizens. Nor does there seem
to be any punishment inflicted upon those who manage to transform the
Government itself into a shield to protect toughs and criminals in their
assaults upon men and property, when those assaults are in the interest
of capital. Moreover, what could be more humiliating in a republic than
the fact that a governor who has leased to his friends the military
forces of an entire state should end his term of office unimpeached?

These various phases of the class conflict reveal a distressing state of
industrial and political anarchy, and there can be no question that, if
continued, it has in it the power of making many McNamaras, if not
Bakounins. It will be fortunate, indeed, if there do not arise new
Johann Mosts, and if the United States escapes the general use in time
of that terrible, secretive, and deadly weapon of sabotage. Sabotage is
the arm of the slave or the coward, who dares neither to speak his views
nor to fight an open fight. As someone has said, it may merely mean the
kicking of the master's dog. Yet no one is so cruel as the weak and the
cowardly. And should it ever come about that millions and millions of
men have all other avenues closed to them, there is still left to them
sabotage, assassination, and civil war. These can neither be outlawed
nor even effectively guarded against if there are individuals enough who
are disposed to wield them. And it is not by any means idle speculation
that a country which can sit calmly by and face such evils as are
perpetrated by this vast commerce in violence, by this class use of the
State, and by such monstrous outrages as were committed in Homestead, in
Chicago, and in Colorado, will find one day its composure interrupted by
a working class that has suffered more than human endurance can stand.

The fact is that society--the big body of us--is now menaced by two sets
of anarchists. There are those among the poor and the weak who preach
arson, dynamite, and sabotage. They are the products of conditions such
as existed in Colorado--as Bakounin was the product of the conditions in
Russia. These, after all, are relatively few, and their power is almost
nothing. They are listened to now, but not heeded, because there yet
exist among the people faith in the ultimate victory of peaceable means
and the hope that men and not property will one day rule the State. The
other set of anarchists are those powerful, influential terrorists who
talk hypocritically of their devotion to the State, the law, the
Constitution, and the courts, but who, when the slightest obstacle
stands in the path of their greed, seize from their corrupt tools the
reins of government, in order to rule society with the black-jack and
the "bull pen." The idealist anarchist and even the more practical
syndicalist, preaching openly and frankly that there is nothing left to
the poor but war, are, after all, few in number and weak in action. Yet
how many to-day despair of peaceable methods when they see all these
outrages committed by mercenaries, protected and abetted by the official
State, in the interest of the most sordid anarchism!

As a matter of fact, the socialist is to-day almost alone, among those
watching intently this industrial strife, in keeping buoyant his abiding
faith in the ultimate victory of the people. He has fought successfully
against Bakounin. He is overcoming the newest anarchists, and he is
already measuring swords with the oldest anarchists. He is confident as
to the issue. He has more than dreams; he knows, and has all the comfort
of that knowledge, that anarchy in government like anarchy in production
is reaching the end of its rope. Outlawry for profit, as well as
production for profit, are soon to be things of the past. The socialist
feels himself a part of the growing power that is soon to rule society.
He is conscious of being an agent of a world-wide movement that is
massing into an irresistible human force millions upon millions of the
disinherited. He has unbounded faith that through that mass power
industry will be socialized and the State democratized. No longer will
its use be merely to serve and promote private enterprise in foul
tenements, in sweatshops, and in all the products that are necessary to
life and to death. All these vast commercial enterprises that exist not
to serve society but to enrich the rich--including even this sordid
traffic in thuggery and in murder--are soon to pass into history as part
of a terrible, culminating epoch in commercial, financial, and political
anarchy. The socialist, who sees the root of all anti-social
individualism in the predominance of private material interests over
communal material interests, knows that the hour is arriving when the
social instincts and the life interests of practically all the people
will be arrayed against anarchy in all its forms. Commerce in violence,
like commerce in the necessaries of life, is but a part of a social
régime that is disappearing, and, while most others in society seem to
see only phases of this gigantic conflict between capital and labor,
and, while most others look upon it as something irremediable, the
socialist, standing amidst millions upon millions of his comrades, is
even now beginning to see visions of victory.


[AF] The Supreme Court sustained the action of the military authorities,
Chief Justice William H. Gabbert, Associate justice John Campbell,
concurring, Associate Justice Robert W. Steele dissenting. The
dissenting opinion of Justice Steele deserves a wider reading than it
has received, and no doubt it will rank among the most important
statements that have been made against the anarchy of the powerful and
the tyranny of class government. See Report, U. S. Bureau of Labor,
1905, p. 243.



We left the socialists, on September 30, 1890, in the midst of
jubilation over the great victory they had just won in Germany. The Iron
Chancellor, with all the power of State and society in his hands, had
capitulated before the moral force and mass power of the German working
class. And, when the sensational news went out to all countries that the
German socialists had polled 1,427,000 votes, the impulse given to the
political organizations of the working class was immense. Once again the
thought of labor throughout the world was centered upon those stirring
words of Marx and Engels: "Workingmen of all countries, Unite!" First
uttered by them in '47, repeated in '64, and pleaded for once again in
'72, this call to unity began to appear in the nineties as the one
supreme commandment of the labor movement. And, in truth, it is an
epitome of all their teachings. It is the pith of their program and the
marrow of their principles. Nearly all else can be waived. Other
principles can be altered; other programs abandoned; other methods
revolutionized; but this principle, program, and method must not be
tampered with. It is the one and only unalterable law. In unity, and in
unity alone, is the power of salvation. And under the inspiration of
this call more and more millions have come together, until to-day, in
every portion of the world, there are multitudes affiliated to the one
and only international army. In '47 it was not yet born. In '64 efforts
were made to bring it into being. In '72 it was broken into fragments.
In '90 it won its first battle--its right to exist. Now, twenty-three
years later, nothing could be so eloquent and impressive as the figures
themselves of the rising tide of international socialism.


                1887       1892        1897        1903         1913
Germany       763,000   1,786,000   2,107,000   3,010,000    4,250,329
France         47,000     440,000     790,000     805,000    1,125,877
Austria                               750,000     780,000    1,081,441
United States   2,000      21,000      55,000     223,494      931,406
Italy                      26,000     135,000     300,000      825,280
Australia                                                      678,012
Belgium                   320,000     457,000     464,000[AG]  600,000
Great Britain                          55,000     100,000      373,645
Finland                                            10,000      320,289
Russia                                                         200,000
Sweden                        723                  10,000      170,299
Norway                                  7,000      30,000      124,594
Denmark         8,000      20,000      32,000      53,000      107,015
Switzerland     2,000      39,000      40,000      70,000      105,000
Holland         1,500                  13,000      38,000       82,494
New Zealand                                                     44,960
Spain                       5,000      14,000      23,000       40,725
Bulgaria                                                        25,565
Argentina                                                       54,000
Chile                                                           18,000
Greece                                                          26,000
Canada                                                          10,780
Servia                                                           9,000
Luxembourg                                                       4,000
Portugal                                                         3,308
Roumania                                                         2,057
              -------   ---------   ---------   ---------   ----------
Total         823,500   2,657,723   4,455,000   5,916,494   11,214,076

The above table explains, in no small measure, the quiet patience and
supreme confidence of the socialist. He looks upon that wonderful array
of figures as the one most significant fact in the modern world. Within
a quarter of a century his force has grown from 800,000 to 11,000,000.
And, while no other movement in history has grown so rapidly and
traversed the entire world with such speed, the socialist knows that
even this table inadequately indicates his real power. For instance, in
Great Britain the Labor Party has over one million dues-paying members,
yet its vote is here placed at 373,645. Owing to the peculiar political
conditions existing in that country, it is almost impossible for the
Labor Party to put up its candidates in all districts, and these figures
include only that small proportion of workingmen who have been able to
cast their votes for their own candidates. The two hundred thousand
socialist votes in Russia do not at all represent the sentiment in that
country. Everything there militates against the open expression, and,
indeed, the possibility of any expression, of the actual socialist
sentiment. In addition, great masses of workingmen in many countries are
still deprived of the suffrage, and in nearly all countries the wives of
these men are deprived of the suffrage. Leaving, however, all this
aside, and taking the common reckoning of five persons to each voter,
the socialist strength of the world to-day cannot be estimated at less
than fifty million souls.

Coming to the parliamentary strength of the socialists, we find the
table on the following page illuminating.


                  Number of Seats         Per
                  in Lower House.        Cent.
                 Total   Socialist.    Socialist
  Australia        75       41           54.61
  Finland         200       90           45.00
  Sweden          165       64           38.79
  Denmark         114       32           28.07
  Germany         397      110           27.71
  Belgium         186       39           20.96
  Norway          123       23           18.70
  Holland         100       17           17.00
  Austria         516       82           15.89
  Italy           508       78           15.35
  Luxembourg       53        7           13.21
  France          597       75           12.56
  Switzerland     170       15            8.82
  Great Britain   670       41            6.12
  Russia          442       16            3.62
  Greece          207        4            2.00
  Argentina       120        2            1.67
  Servia          160        1             .62
  Portugal        164        1             .61
  Bulgaria        189        1             .53
  Spain           404        1             .25

It appears that labor is in control of Australia, that 45 per cent. of
the Finnish Parliament is socialist, while in Sweden more than a third,
and in Germany and Denmark somewhat less than a third, is socialist. In
several of the Northern countries of Europe the parliamentary position
of the socialists is stronger than that of any other single party. In
addition to the representatives here listed, Belgium has seven senators,
Denmark four, and Sweden twelve, while in the state legislatures Austria
has thirty-one, Germany one hundred and eighty-five, and the United
States twenty. Here again the strength of socialism is greatly
understated. In the United States, for instance, the astonishing fact
appears that, with a vote of nearly a million, the socialist party has
not one representative in Congress. On the basis of proportional
representation it would have at least twenty-five Congressmen; and, if
it were a sectional party, it could, with its million votes, control all
the Southern states and elect every Congressman and Senator from those
states. The socialists in the German Reichstag are numerous, but on a
fair system of representation they would have two or three score more
representatives than at present. However, this, too, is of little
consequence, and in no wise disturbs the thoughtful socialist. The
immense progress of his cause completely satisfies him, and, if the rate
of advance continues, it can be only a few years until a world victory
is at hand.

If, now, we turn from the political aspects of the labor movement to
examine the growth of coöperatives and of trade unions, we find a
progress no less striking. In actual membership the trade unions of
twenty nations in 1911 had amassed over eleven million men and women.
And the figures sent out by the international secretary do not include
countries so strongly organized as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to add here reliable figures regarding
the wealth of the great and growing coöperative movement. In Britain,
Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as in the
Northern countries of Central Europe, the coöperative movement has made
enormous headway in recent years. The British coöperators, according to
the report of the Federation of Coöperative Societies, had in 1912 a
turnover amounting to over six hundred millions of dollars. They have
over twenty-four hundred stores scattered throughout the cities of Great
Britain. The Coöperative Productive Society and the Coöperative
Wholesale Society produced goods in their own shops to a value of over
sixty-five millions of dollars; while the goods produced by the
Coöperative Provision Stores amounted to over forty million dollars.
Seven hundred and sixty societies have Children's Penny Banks, with a
total balance in hand of about eight million dollars. The members of
these various coöperative societies number approximately three
million.[AH] Throughout all Europe, through coöperative effort, there
have been erected hundreds of splendid "Houses of the People," "Labor
Temples," and similar places of meeting and recreation. The entire
labor, socialist, and coöperative press, numbering many thousands of
monthly and weekly journals, and hundreds of daily papers, is also
usually owned coöperatively. Unfortunately, the statistics dealing with
this phase of the labor movement have never been gathered with any idea
of completeness, and there is little use in trying even to estimate the
immense wealth that is now owned by these organizations of workingmen.

America lags somewhat behind the other countries, but nowhere else have
such difficulties faced the labor movement. With a working class made up
of many races, nationalities, and creeds, trade-union organization is
excessively difficult. Moreover, where the railroads secretly rebate
certain industries and help to destroy the competitors of those
industries, and where the trusts exercise enormous power, a coöperative
movement is well-nigh impossible. Furthermore, where vast numbers of the
working class are still disfranchised, and where elections are
notoriously corrupt and more or less under the control of a hireling
class of professional political manipulators, an independent political
movement faces almost insurmountable obstacles. Nor is this all. No
other country allows its ruling classes to employ private armies, thugs,
and assassins; and no other country makes such an effort to prevent the
working classes from acting peaceably and legally. While nearly
everywhere else the unions may strike, picket, and boycott, in America
there are laws to prevent both picketing and boycotting, and even some
forms of strikes. The most extraordinary despotic judicial powers are
exercised to crush the unions, to break strikes, and to imprison union
men. And, if paid professional armies of detectives deal with the
unions, so paid professional armies of politicians deal with the
socialists. By every form of debauchery, lawlessness, and corruption
they are beaten back, and, although it is absolutely incredible, not a
single representative of a great party polling nearly a million votes
sits in the Congress of the United States.

Nevertheless, the American socialist and labor movement is making
headway, and the day is not far distant when it will exercise the power
its strength merits. Although somewhat more belated, the various
elements of the working class are coming closer and closer together, and
it cannot be long until there will be perfect harmony throughout the
entire movement. In many other countries this harmony already exists.
The trade-union, coöperative, and socialist movements are so closely
tied together that they move in every industrial, political, and
commercial conflict in complete accord. So far as the immediate aims of
labor are concerned, they may be said to be almost identical in all
countries. Professor Werner Sombart, who for years has watched the world
movement more carefully perhaps than anyone else, has pointed out that
there is a strong tendency to uniformity in all countries--a "tendency,"
in his own words, "of the movement in all lands toward socialism."[1]
Indeed, nothing so much astonishes careful observers of the labor
movement as the extraordinary rapidity with which the whole world of
labor is becoming unified, in its program of principles, in its form of
organization, and in its methods of action. The books of Marx and
Engels are now translated into every important language and are read
with eagerness in all parts of the world. The Communist Manifesto of
1847 is issued by the socialist parties of all countries as the
text-book of the movement. Indeed, it is not uncommon nowadays to see a
socialist book translated immediately into all the chief languages and
circulated by millions of copies. And, if one will take up the political
programs of the party in the twenty chief nations of the world, he will
find them reading almost word for word alike. For these various reasons
no informed person to-day questions the claims of the socialist as to
the international, world-wide character of the movement.

Perhaps there is no experience quite like that of the socialist who
attends one of the great periodical gatherings of the international
movement. He sees there a thousand or more delegates, with credentials
from organizations numbering approximately ten million adherents. They
come from all parts of the world--from mills, mines, factories, and
fields--to meet together, and, in the recent congresses, to pass in
utmost harmony their resolutions in opposition to the existing régime
and their suggestions for remedial action. Not only the countries of
Western Europe, but Russia, Japan, China, and the South American
Republics send their representatives, and, although the delegates speak
as many as thirty different languages, they manage to assemble in a
common meeting, and, with hardly a dissenting voice, transact their
business. When we consider all the jealousy, rivalry, and hatred that
have been whipped up for hundreds of years among the peoples of the
various nations, races, and creeds, these international congresses of
workingmen become in themselves one of the greatest achievements of
modern times.

Although Marx was, as I think I have made clear, and still is, the
guiding spirit of modern socialism, the huge structure of the present
labor movement has not been erected by any great architect who saw it
all in advance, nor has any great leader molded its varied and wonderful
lines. It is the work of a multitude, who have quarreled among
themselves at every stage of its building. They differed as to the
purpose of the structure, as to the materials to be used, and, indeed,
upon every detail, big and little, that has had to do with it. At times
all building has been stopped in order that the different views might be
harmonized or the quarrels fought to a finish. Again and again portions
have been built only to be torn down and thrown aside. Some have seen
more clearly than others the work to be done, and one, at least, of the
architects must be recognized as a kind of prophet who, in the main,
outlined the structure. But the architects were not the builders, and
among the multitude engaged in that work there have been years of
quarrels and decades of strife. The story of terrorism, as told, is that
of a group who had no conception of the structure to be erected. They
were a band of dissidents, without patience to build. They and their
kind have never been absent from the labor movement, and, in fact, for
nearly one hundred years a battle has raged in one form or another
between those few of the workers who were urging, with passionate fire,
what they called "action" and that multitude of others who day and night
were laying stone upon stone.

No individual--in fact, nothing but a force as strong and compelling as
a natural law--could have brought into existence such a vast solidarity
as now exists in the world of labor. Like food and drink, the
organization of labor satisfies an inherent necessity. The workers
crave its protection, seek its guidance, and possess a sense of security
only when supported by its solidarity. Only something as intuitively
impelling as the desire for life could have called forth the labor and
love and sacrifice that have been lavishly expended in the disheartening
and incredibly tedious work of labor organization. The upbuilding of the
labor movement has seemed at times like constructing a house of cards:
often it was hardly begun before some ill wind cast it down. It has cost
many of its creators exile, imprisonment, starvation, and death. With
one mighty assault its opponents have often razed to the ground the work
of years. Yet, as soon as the eyes of its destroyers were turned, a
multitude of loving hands and broken hearts set to work to patch up its
scattered fragments and build it anew. The labor movement is

Unlike many other aggregations, associations, and benevolent orders,
unlike the Church, to which it is frequently compared, the labor
movement is not a purely voluntary union. No doubt there is a
_camaraderie_ in that movement, and unquestionably the warmest spirit of
fellowship often prevails, but the really effective cause for
working-class unity is economic necessity. The workers have been driven
together. The unions subsist not because of leaders and agitators, but
because of the compelling economic interests of their members. They are
efforts to allay the deadly strife among workers, as organizations of
capital are efforts to allay the deadly strife among capitalists. The
coöperative movement has grown into a vast commerce wholly because it
served the self-interest of the workers. The trade unions have grown big
in all countries because of the protection, they offer and the insurance
they provide against low wages, long hours, and poverty. The socialist
parties have grown great because they express the highest social
aspirations of the workers and their antagonism toward the present
régime. Moreover, they offer an opportunity to put forward, in the most
authoritative places, the demands of the workers for political, social,
and economic reform. The whole is a struggle for democracy, both
political and industrial, that is by no means founded merely on whim or
caprice. It has gradually become a religion, an imperative religion, of
millions of workingmen and women. Chiefly because of their economic
subjection, they are striving in the most heroic manner to make their
voice heard in those places where the rules of the game of life are
decided. Thus, every phase of the labor movement has arisen in response
to actual material needs.

And, if the labor movement has arisen in response to actual material
needs, it is now a very great and material actuality. The workingmen of
the world are, as we have seen, uniting at a pace so rapid as to be
almost unbelievable. There are to-day not only great national
organizations of labor in nearly every country, but these national
movements are bound closely together into one unified international
power. The great world-wide movement of labor, which Marx and Engels
prophesied would come, is now here. And, if they were living to-day,
they could not but be astonished at the real and mighty manifestation of
their early dreams. To be sure, Engels lived long enough to be jubilant
over the massing of labor's forces, but Marx saw little of it, and even
the German socialists, who started out so brilliantly, were at the time
of his death fighting desperately for existence under the anti-socialist
law. Indeed, in 1883, the year of his death, the labor movement was
still torn by quarrels and dissensions over problems of tactics, and in
America, France, and Austria the terrorists were more active than at
any time in their history. It was still a question whether the German
movement could survive, while in the other countries the socialists were
still little more than sects. That was just thirty years ago, while
to-day, as we have seen, over ten millions of workingmen, scattered
throughout the entire world, fight every one of their battles on the
lines laid down by Marx. The tactics and principles he outlined are now
theirs. The unity of the workers he pleaded for is rapidly being
achieved throughout the entire world, and everywhere these armies are
marching toward the goal made clear by his life and labor. "Although I
have seen him to-night," writes Engels to Liebknecht, March 14, 1883,
"stretched out on his bed, the face rigid in death, I cannot grasp the
thought that this genius should have ceased to fertilize with his
powerful thoughts the proletarian movement of both worlds. Whatever we
all are, we are through him; and whatever the movement of to-day is, it
is through his theoretical and practical work; without him we should
still be stuck in the mire of confusion."[2]

What was this mire? If we will cast our eyes back to the middle of last
century we cannot but realize that the ideas of the world have undergone
a complete revolution. When Marx began his work with the labor movement
there was absolute ignorance among both masters and men concerning the
nature of capitalism. It was a great and terrible enigma which no one
understood. The working class itself was broken up into innumerable
guerilla bands fighting hopelessly, aimlessly, with the most antiquated
and ineffectual weapons. They were in misery; but why, they knew not.
They left their work to riot for days and weeks, without aim and without
purpose. They were bitter and sullen. They smashed machines and burned
factories, chiefly because they were totally ignorant of the causes of
their misery or of the nature of their real antagonist. Not seldom in
those days there were meetings of hundreds of thousands of laborers, and
not infrequently mysterious epidemics of fires and of machine-breaking
occurred throughout all the factory districts. Again and again the
soldiers were brought out to massacre the laborers. In all England--then
the most advanced industrially--there were few who understood
capitalism, and among masters or men there was hardly one who knew the
real source of all the immense, intolerable economic evils.

The class struggle was there, and it was being fought more furiously and
violently than ever before or since. The most striking rebels of the
time were those that Marx called the "bourgeois democrats." They were
forever preaching open and violent revolution. They were dreaming of the
glorious day when, amid insurrection and riot, they should stand at the
barricades, fighting the battle for freedom. In their little circles
they "were laying plans for the overthrow of the world and intoxicating
themselves day by day, evening by evening, with the hasheesh-drink of:
'To-morrow it will start;'"[3] Before and after the revolutionary period
of '48 there were innumerable thousands of these fugitives, exiles, and
men of action obsessed with the dream that a great revolutionary
cataclysm was soon to occur which would lay in ruins the old society.
That a crisis was impending everyone believed, including even Marx and
Engels. In fact, for over twenty years, from 1847 to 1871, the
"extemporizers of revolutions" fretfully awaited the supreme hour.
Toward the end of the period appeared Bakounin and Nechayeff with their
robber worship, conspiratory secret societies, and international network
of revolutionists. Wherever capitalism made headway the workers grew
more and more rebellious, but neither they nor those who sought to lead
them, and often did, in fact, lead them, had much of any program beyond
destruction. Bakounin was not far wrong, at the time, in thinking that
he was "spreading among the masses ideas corresponding to the instincts
of the masses,"[4] when he advocated the destruction of the Government,
the Church, the mills, the factories, and the palaces, to the end that
"not a stone should be left upon a stone."

This was the mire of confusion that Engels speaks of. There was not one
with any program at all adequate to meet the problem. The aim of the
rebels went little beyond retaliation and destruction. What were the
weapons employed by the warriors of this period? Street riots and
barricades were those of the "bourgeois democrats"; strikes,
machine-breaking, and incendiarism were those of the workers; and later
the terrorists came with their robber worship and Propaganda of the
Deed. In the midst of this veritable passion for destruction Marx and
Engels found themselves. Here was a period when direct action was
supreme. There was nothing else, and no one dreamed of anything else.
The enemies of the existing order were employing exactly the same means
and methods used by the upholders of that order. Among the workers, for
instance, the only weapons used were general strikes, boycotts, and what
is now called sabotage. These were wholly imitative and retaliative. It
is clear that the strike is, after all, only an inverted lockout; and as
early as 1833 a general strike was parried by a general lockout. The
boycott is identical with the blacklist. The employer boycotts union
leaders and union men. The employees boycott the non-union products of
the employer; while sabotage, the most ancient weapon of labor, answers
poor pay with poor work, and broken machines for broken lives. And, if
the working class was striking back with the same weapons that were
being used against it, so, too, were the "pan-destroyers," except that
for the most part their weapons were incredibly inadequate and
ridiculous. Sticks and stones and barricades were their method of
combating rifles and trained armies. All this again is more evidence of
the mire of confusion.

However, if the weapons of the rebellious were utterly futile and
ineffectual, there were no others, for every move the workers or their
friends made was considered lawless. All political and trades
associations were against the law. Peaceable assembly was sedition.
Strikes were treason. Picketing was intimidation; and the boycott was
conspiracy in restraint of trade. Such associations as existed were
forced to become secret societies, and, even if a working-class
newspaper appeared, it was almost immediately suppressed. And, if all
forms of trade-union activity were criminal, political activity was
impossible where the vast majority of toilers had no votes. With methods
mainly imitative, retaliative, and revengeful; with no program of what
was wanted; in total ignorance of the causes of their misery; and with
little appreciation that in unity there is strength, the workers and
their friends, in the middle of the last century, were stuck in the
mire--of ignorance, helplessness, and confusion.

This was the world in which Marx and Engels began their labor. Direct
action was at its zenith, and the struggle of the classes was ferocious.
Indeed, all Europe was soon to see barricades in every city, and thrones
and governments tumbling into apparent ruin. Yet in the midst of all
this wild confusion, and even touching elbows with the leaders of these
revolutionary storms, Marx and Engels outlined in clear, simple, and
powerful language the nature of capitalism--what it was, how it came
into being, and what it was yet destined to become. They pointed out
that it was not individual employers or individual statesmen or the
Government or even kings and princes who were responsible for the evils
of society, but that unemployment, misery, and oppression were due to an
economic system, and that so long as capitalism existed the mass of
humanity would be sunk in poverty. They called attention to the long
evolutionary processes that had been necessary to change the entire
world from a state of feudalism into a state of capitalism; and how it
was not due to man's will-power that the great industrial revolution
occurred, but to the growth of machines, of steam, and of electrical
power; and that it was these that have made the modern world, with its
intense and terrible contrasts of riches and of poverty. They also
pointed out that little individual owners of property were giving way to
joint-stock companies, and that these would in turn give way to even
greater aggregations of capital. An economic law was driving the big
capitalists to eat up the little capitalists. It was forcing them to
take from the workers their hand tools and to drive them out of their
home workshops; it was forcing them also to take from the small property
owners their little properties and to appropriate the wealth of the
world into their own hands. As a result of this economic process,
"private property," they said, "is already done away with for
nine-tenths of the population."[5] But they also pointed out that
capitalism had within itself the seeds of its own dissolution, that it
was creating a new class, made up of the overwhelming majority, that was
destined in time to overthrow capitalism. "What the bourgeoisie
therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers."[6] In the
interest of society the nine-tenths would force the one-tenth to yield
up its private property, that is to say, its "power to subjugate the
labor of others."[7]

Taking their stand on this careful analysis of historic progress and of
economic evolution, they viewed with contempt the older fighting methods
of the revolutionists, and turned their vials of satire and wrath upon
Herwegh, Willich, Schapper, Kinkel, Ledru-Rollin, Bakounin, and all
kinds and species of revolution-makers. They deplored incendiarism,
machine destruction, and all the purely retaliative acts of the
laborers. They even ridiculed the general strike.[AI] And, while for
thirty years they assailed anarchists, terrorists, and
direct-actionists, they never lost an opportunity to impress upon the
workers of Europe the only possible method of effectually combating
capitalism. There must first be unity--world-wide, international
unity--among all the forces of labor. And, secondly, all the energies of
a united labor movement must be centered upon the all-important contest
for control of political power. They fought incessantly with their pens
to bring home the great truth that every class struggle is a political
struggle; and, while they were working to emphasize that fact, they
began in 1864 actually to organize the workers of Europe to fight that
struggle. The first great practical work of the International was to get
votes for workingmen. It was the chief thought and labor of Marx during
the first years of that organization to win for the English workers the
suffrage, while in Germany all his followers--including Lassalle as well
as Bebel and Liebknecht--labored throughout the sixties to that end. Up
to the present the main work of the socialist movement throughout the
world has been to fight for, and its main achievement to obtain, the
legal weapons essential for its battles.

Let us try to grasp the immensity of the task actually executed by Marx.
First, consider his scientific work. During all the period of these many
battles every leisure moment was spent in study. While others were
engaged in organizing what they were pleased to call the "Revolution"
and waiting about for it to start, Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, and all
this group were spending innumerable hours in the library. We see the
result of that labor in the three great volumes of "Capital," in many
pamphlets, and in other writings. By this painstaking scientific work of
Marx the nature of capitalism was made known and, consequently, what it
was that should be combated, and how the battle should be waged. In
addition to these studies, which have been of such priceless value to
the labor and socialist movements of the world, Marx, by his pitiless
logic and incessant warfare, destroyed every revolution-maker, and then,
by an act of surgery that many declared would prove fatal, cut out of
the labor movement the "pan-destroyers." Once more, by a supreme effort,
he turned the thought of labor throughout the world to the one end and
aim of winning its political weapons, of organizing its political
armies, and of uniting the working classes of all lands. Here, then, is
a brief summary of the work of this genius, who fertilized with his
powerful thoughts the proletarian movements of both worlds. The most
wonderful thing of all is that, in his brief lifetime, he should not
only have planned this gigantic task, but that he should have obtained
the essentials for its complete accomplishment.

And, as we look out upon the world to-day, we find it actually a
different world, almost a new world. The present-day conflict between
capital and labor has no more the character of the guerilla warfare of
half a century ago. It is now a struggle between immense organizations
of capital and immense organizations of labor. And not only has there
been a revolution in ideas concerning the nature of capitalism but there
has been as a consequence a revolution in the methods of combat between
labor and capital. While all the earlier and more brutal forms of
warfare are still used, the conflict as a whole is to-day conducted on a
different plane. The struggle of the classes is no longer a vague,
undefined, and embittered battle. It is no longer merely a contest
between the violent of both classes. It is now a deliberate, and largely
legal, tug-of-war between two great social categories over the _ends_ of
a social revolution that both are beginning to recognize as inevitable.
The representative workers to-day understand capitalism, and labor now
faces capital with a program, clear, comprehensive, world-changing; with
an international army of so many millions that it is almost past
contending with; while its tactics and methods of action can neither be
assailed nor effectively combated. From one end of the earth to the
other we see capital with its gigantic associations of bankers,
merchants, manufacturers, mine owners, and mill owners striving to
forward and to protect its economic interests. On the other hand, we see
labor with its millions upon millions of organized men all but united
and solidified under the flag of international socialism.

And, most strange and wondrous of all--as a result of the logic of
things and of the logic of Marx--the actual positions of the two classes
have been completely transposed. Marx persuaded the workers to take up a
weapon which they alone can use. Like Siegfried, they have taken the
fragments of a sword and welded them into a mighty weapon--so mighty,
indeed, that the working class alone, with its innumerable millions, is
capable of wielding it. The workers are the only class in society with
the numerical strength to become the majority and the only class which,
by unity and organization, can employ the suffrage effectively. While
fifty years ago the workers had every legal and peaceable means denied
them, to-day they are the only class which can assuredly profit through
legal and peaceable means. It is obvious that the beneficiaries of
special privilege can hope to retain their power only so long as the
working class is divided and too ignorant to recognize its own
interests. As soon as its eyes open, the privileged classes must lose
its political support and, with that political support, everything else.
That is absolutely inevitable. The interests of mass and class are too
fundamentally opposed to permit of permanent political harmony.

Nobody sees this more clearly than the intelligent capitalist. As the
workers become more and more conscious of their collective power and
more and more convinced that through solidarity they can quietly take
possession of the world, their opponents become increasingly conscious
of their growing weakness, and already in Europe there is developing a
kind of upper-class syndicalism, that despairs of Parliaments, deplores
the bungling work of politics, and ridicules the general incompetence of
democratic institutions. At the same time, however, they exercise
stupendous efforts, in the most devious and questionable ways, to retain
their political power. Facing the inevitable, and realizing that
potentially at least the suffrages of the immense majority stand over
them as a menace, they are beginning to seek other methods of action. Of
course, in all the more democratic countries the power of democracy has
already made itself felt, and in America, at any rate, the powerful have
long had resort to bribery, corruption, and all sorts of political
conspiracy in order to retain their power. Much as we may deplore the
debauchery of public servants, it nevertheless yields us a certain
degree of satisfaction, in that it is eloquent testimony of this
agreeable fact, that the oldest anarchists are losing their control over
the State. They hold their sway over it more and more feebly, and even
when the State is entirely obedient to their will, it is not
infrequently because they have temporarily purchased that power. When
the manufacturers, the trusts, and the beneficiaries of special
privilege generally are forced periodically to go out and purchase the
State from the Robin Hoods of politics, when they are compelled to
finance lavishly every political campaign, and then abjectly go to the
very men whom their money has put into power and buy them again, their
bleeding misery becomes an object of pity.

This really amounts to an almost absolute transposition of the classes.
In the early nineties Engels saw the beginning of this change, and, in
what Sombart rightly says may be looked upon as a kind of "political
last will and testament" to the movement, Engels writes: "The time for
small minorities to place themselves at the head of the ignorant masses
and resort to force in order to bring about revolutions is gone. A
complete change in the organization of society can be brought about only
by the conscious coöperation of the masses; they must be alive to the
aim in view; they must know what they want. The history of the last
fifty years has taught that. But, if the masses are to understand the
line of action that is necessary, we must work hard and continuously to
bring it home to them. That, indeed, is what we are now engaged upon,
and our success is driving our opponents to despair. The irony of
destiny is turning everything topsy-turvy. We, the 'revolutionaries,'
are profiting more by lawful than by unlawful and revolutionary means.
The parties of order, as they call themselves, are being slowly
destroyed by their own weapons. Their cry is that of Odilon Barrot:
'Lawful means are killing us.'... We, on the contrary, are thriving on
them, our muscles are strong, and our cheeks are red, and we look as
though we intend to live forever!"[8]

And if lawful means are killing them, so are science and democracy. We
no longer live in an age when any suggestion of change is deemed a
sacrilege. The period has gone by when political, social, and industrial
institutions are supposed to be unalterable. No one believes them
fashioned by Divinity, and there is nothing so sacred in the worldly
affairs of men that it cannot be questioned. There is no law, or
judicial decision, or decree, or form of property, or social status that
cannot be critically examined; and, if men can agree, none is so firmly
established that it cannot be changed. It is agreed that men shall be
allowed to speak, write, and propagate their views on all questions,
whether religious, political, or industrial. In theory, at least, all
authority, law, administrative institutions, and property relations are
decided ultimately in the court of the people. Through their press these
things may be discussed. On their platform these things may be approved
or denounced. In their assemblies there is freedom to make any
declaration for or against things as they are. And through their votes
and representatives there is not one institution that cannot be molded,
changed, or even abolished. Upon this theory modern society is held
together. It is a belief so firmly rooted in the popular mind that,
although everything goes against the people, they peacefully submit. So
firmly established, indeed, is this tradition that even the most irate
admit that where wrong exists the chief fault lies with the people

Whatever may be said concerning its limitations and its perversions,
this, then, is an age of democracy, founded upon a widespread faith in
majority rule. Whether it be true or not, the conviction is almost
universal that the majority can, through its political power, accomplish
any and every change, no matter how revolutionary. Our whole Western
civilization has had bred into it the belief that those who are
dissatisfied with things as they are can agitate to change them, are
even free to organize for the purpose of changing them, and can, in
fact, change them whenever the majority is won over to stand with them.
This, again, is the theory, although there is no one of us, of course,
but will admit that a thousand ways are found to defeat the will of the
majority. There are bribery, fraudulent elections, and an infinite
variety of corrupting methods. There is the control of parliaments, of
courts, and of political parties by special privilege. There are
oppressive and unjust laws obtained through trickery. There is the
overwhelming power exercised by the wealthy through their control of the
press and of nearly all means of enlightenment. Through their power and
the means they have to corrupt, the majority is indeed so constantly
deceived that, when one dwells only on this side of our political life,
it is easy to arrive at the conviction that democracy is a myth and
that, in fact, the end may never come of this power of the few to divert
and pervert the institutions for expressing the popular will.

But there is no way of achieving democracy in any form except through
democracy, and we have found that he who rejects political action finds
himself irresistibly drawn into the use of means that are both
indefensible and abortive. Curiously enough, in this use of methods, as
in other ways, extremes meet. Both the despot and the terrorist are
anti-democrats. Neither the anarchist of Bakounin's type nor the
anarchist of the Wall Street type trusts the people. With their cliques
and inner circles plotting their conspiracies, they are forced to travel
the same subterranean passages. The one through corruption impresses the
will of the wealthy and powerful upon the community. The other hopes
that by some dash upon authority a spirited, daring, and reckless
minority can overturn existing society and establish a new social order.
The method of the political boss, the aristocrat, the self-seeker, the
monopolist--even in the use of thugs, private armies, spies, and
_provocateurs_--differs little from the methods proposed by Bakounin in
his Alliance. And it is not in the least strange that much of the
lawlessness and violence of the last half-century has had its origin in
these two sources. In all the unutterably despicable work of detective
agencies and police spies that has led to the destruction of property,
to riots and minor rebellions that have cost the lives of many thousands
in recent decades, we find the sordid materialism of special privilege
seeking to gain its secret ends. In all the unutterably tragic work of
the terrorists that has cost so many lives we find the rage and despair
of self-styled revolutionists seeking to gain their secret ends. After
all, it matters little whether the aim of a group of conspirators is
purely selfish or wholly altruistic. It matters little whether their
program is to build into a system private monopoly or to save the world
from that monopoly. Their methods outrage democracy, even when they are
not actually criminal. The oldest anarchist believes that the people
must be _deceived_ into a worse social order, and that at least is a
tribute to their intelligence. On the other hand, the Bakouninists, old
and new, believe that the people must be _deceived_ into a better social
order, and that is founded upon their complete distrust of the people.

And, rightly enough, the attitude of the masses toward the secret and
conspiratory methods of both the idealist anarchist and the materialist
anarchist is the same. If the latter distrust the people, the people no
less distrust them. If the masses would mob the terrorist who springs
forth to commit some fearful act, the purpose of which they cannot in
the least understand, they would, if possible, also mob the individual
responsible for manipulation of elections, for the buying of
legislatures, and for the purchasing of court decisions. They fear,
distrust, and denounce the terrorist who goes forth to commit arson,
pillage, or assassination no less than the anarchist who purchases
private armies, hires thugs to beat up unoffending citizens, and uses
the power of wealth to undermine the Government. In one sense, the acts
of the materialist anarchist are clearer even than those of the other.
The people know the ends sought by the powerful. On the other hand, the
ends sought by the terrorist are wholly mysterious; he has not even
taken the trouble to make his program clear. We find, then, that the
anarchist of high finance, who would suppress democracy in the interest
of a new feudalism, and the anarchist of a sect, who would override
democracy in the hope of communism, are classed together in the popular
mind. The man who in this day deifies the individual or the sect, and
would make the rights of the individual or the sect override the rights
of the many, is battling vainly against the supreme current of the age.

Democracy may be a myth. Yet of all the faiths of our time none is more
firmly grounded, none more warmly cherished. If any man refuses to abide
by the decisions of democracy and takes his case out of that court, he
ranges against himself practically the entire populace. On the other
hand, the man who takes his case to that court is often forced to suffer
for a long time humiliating defeats. If the case be a new one but little
understood, there is no place where a hearing seems so hard to win as in
exactly that court. Universal suffrage, by which such cases are decided,
appears to the man with a new idea as an obstacle almost overwhelming.
He must set out on a long and dreary road of education and of
organization; he must take his case before a jury made up of untold
millions; he must wait maybe for centuries to obtain a majority. To go
into this great open court and plead an entirely new cause requires a
courage that is sublime and convictions that have the intensity of a
religion. One who possesses any doubt cannot begin a task so gigantic,
and certainly one who, for any reason, distrusts the people cannot, of
course, put his case in that court. It was with full realization of the
difficulties, of the certainty of repeated defeats, and of the
overwhelming power against them that the socialists entered this great
arena to fight their battle. Universal suffrage is a merciless thing.
How often has it served the purpose of stripping the socialist naked and
exposing him to a terrible humiliation! Again and again, in the history
of the last fifty years, have the socialists, after tremendous
agitation, gigantic mass meetings, and widespread social unrest, marched
their followers to the polls with results positively pitiful. A dozen
votes out of thousands have in more cases than one marked their relative
power. There is no other example in the world of such faith, courage,
and persistence in politics as that of the socialists, who, despite
defeat after defeat, humiliation after humiliation, have never lost
hope, but on every occasion, in every part of the modern world, have
gone up again and again to be knocked down by that jury.

And let it be said to their credit that never once anywhere have the
socialists despaired of democracy. "_Socialism and democracy ... belong
to each other, round out each other, and can never stand in
contradiction to each other. Socialism without democracy is
pseudo-socialism, just as democracy without socialism is
pseudo-democracy. The democratic state is the only possible form of a
socialised society._"[9] The inseparableness of democracy and socialism
has served the organized movement as an unerring guide at every moment
of its struggle for existence and of its fight against the ruling
powers. It has served to keep its soul free from that cynical distrust
of the people which is evident in the writings of the anarchists and of
the syndicalists--in Bakounin, Nechayeff, Sorel, Berth, and Pouget. It
has also served to keep it from those emotional reactions which have led
nearly every great leader of the direct-actionists in the last century
to become in the end an apostate. Feargus O'Connor, Joseph Rayner
Stephens, the fierce leaders of Chartism; Bakounin, Blanc, Richard,
Jaclard, Andrieux, Bastelica, the flaming revolutionists of the
Alliance; Briand, Sorel, Berth, the leading propagandists and
philosophers of modern syndicalism; every one of them turned in despair
from the movement. Cobden, Bonaparte, Clémenceau, the Empire, the "new
monarchy," or a comfortable berth, claimed in the end every one of these
impatient middle-class intellectuals, who never had any real
understanding of the actual labor movement. And, if the union of
democracy and socialism has saved the movement from reactions such as
these, it has also saved it from the desperation that gives birth to
individual methods, such as the Propaganda of the Deed and sabotage.
That is what the inseparableness of democracy and socialism has done for
the movement in the past; and it has in it an even greater service yet
to perform. It has the power of salvation for society itself in the not
remote future, when it will be face to face, throughout the world, with
an irresistible current toward State socialism. Industrial democracy and
political democracy are indissolubly united; their union cannot be
sundered except at the cost of destruction to them both.

In adopting, then, the methods of education, of organization, and of
political action the socialists rest their case upon the decision of
democracy. They accept the weapons that civilization has put into their
hands, and they are testing the word of kings and of parliaments that
democracy can, if it wishes, alter the bases of society. And in no small
measure this is the secret of their immense strength and of their
enormous growth. There is nothing strange in the fact that the
socialists stand almost alone to-day faithful to democracy. It simply
means that they believe in it even for themselves, that is to say, for
the working class. They believe in it for industry as well as for
politics, and, if they are at war with the political despot, they are
also at war with the industrial despot. Everyone is a socialist and a
democrat within his circle. No capitalist objects to a group of
capitalists coöperatively owning a great railroad. The fashionable clubs
of both city and country are almost perfect examples of group socialism.
They are owned coöperatively and conducted for the benefit of all the
members. Even some reformers are socialists in this measure--that they
believe it would be well for the community to own public utilities,
provided skilled, trained, honorable men, like themselves, are permitted
to conduct them. Indeed, the only democracy or socialism that is
seriously combated is that which embraces the most numerous and most
useful class in society, "the only class that is not a class";[10] the
only class so numerous that it "cannot effect its emancipation without
delivering all society from its division into classes."[11]

In any case, here it is, "the self-conscious, independent movement of
the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority,"[12]
already with its eleven million voters and its fifty million souls. It
has slowly, patiently, painfully toiled up to a height where it is
beginning to see visions of victory. It has faith in itself and in its
cause. It believes it has the power of deliverance for all society and
for all humanity. It does not expect the powerful to have faith in it;
but, as Jesus came out of despised Nazareth, so the new world is coming
out of the multitude, amid the toil and sweat and anguish of the mills,
mines, and factories of the world. It has endured much; suffered ages
long of slavery and serfdom. From being mere animals of production, the
workers have become the "hands" of production; and they are now reaching
out to become the masters of production. And, while in other periods of
the world their intolerable misery led them again and again to strike
out in a kind of torrential anarchy that pulled down society itself,
they have in our time, for the first time in the history of the world,
patiently and persistently organized themselves into a world power.
Where shall we find in all history another instance of the organization
in less than half a century of eleven million people into a compact
force for the avowed purpose of peacefully and legally taking possession
of the world? They have refused to hurry. They have declined all short
cuts. They have spurned violence. The "bourgeois democrats," the
terrorists, and the syndicalists, each in their time, have tried to
point out a shorter, quicker path. The workers have refused to listen to
them. On the other hand, they have declined the way of compromise, of
fusions, and of alliances, that have also promised a quicker and a
shorter road to power. With the most maddening patience they have
declined to take any other path than their own--thus infuriating not
only the terrorists in their own ranks but those Greeks from the other
side who came to them bearing gifts. Nothing seems to disturb them or to
block their path. They are offered reforms and concessions, which they
take blandly, but without thanks. They simply move on and on, with the
terrible, incessant, irresistible power of some eternal, natural force.
They have been fought; yet they have never lost a single great battle.
They have been flattered and cajoled, without ever once anywhere being
appeased. They have been provoked, insulted, imprisoned, calumniated,
and repressed. They are indifferent to it all. They simply move on and
on--with the patience and the meekness of a people with the vision that
they are soon to inherit the earth.


[AG] The vote for Belgium is estimated. The Liberals and the Socialists
combined at the last election in opposition to the Clericals, and
together polled over 1,200,000 votes. The British Socialist Year Book,
1913, estimates the total Socialist vote at about 600,000.

[AH] Above data taken from International News Letter of National Trade
Union Centers, Berlin, May 30, 1913.

[AI] "The general strike," Engels said, "is in Bakounin's program the
lever which must be applied in order to inaugurate the social
revolution.... The proposition is far from being new; some French
socialists, and, after them, some Belgian socialists have since 1848
shown a partiality for riding this beast of parade." This appeared in a
series of articles written for _Der Volksstaat_ in 1873 and republished
in the pamphlet "_Bakunisten an der Arbeit_."



[1] Macaulay, Critical, Historical, and Miscellaneous Essays: The Earl
of Chatham, p. 3.

[2] Bakounin, _OEuvres_, Vol. III, p. 21. (P. V, Stock, Paris,

[3] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. xiv.

[4] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. xlvii.

[5] _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste et l'Association
Internationale des Travailleurs_, p. 121. (Secret Statutes of the
Alliance.) A. Darson, London, and Otto Meissner, Hamburg, 1873.

[6] _Idem_, p. 125. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[7] _Idem_, p. 128. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[8] _Idem_, p. 11. (The Secret Alliance.)

[9] _Idem_, p. 129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[10] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. viii.

[11] _L'Alliance_, etc., p. 95.

[12] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. viii.

[13] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. xxiii.

[14] Quoted in _L'Alliance_, etc., p. 112.

[15] _Idem_, p. 117.

[16] _L'Alliance_, etc., p. 129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[17] _Idem_, pp. 128-129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[18] _Idem_, p. 132. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[19] _Cf._ Guillaume, _L'Internationale; documents et souvenirs_
(1864-1878). Vol. I, p. 131. (Édouard Cornély et Cie., Paris,

[20] _Cf. Idem_, Vol. I, pp. 132-133, for entire program.

[21] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. V, p. 53.

[22] _L'Alliance_, etc., pp. 64-65.

[23] _Idem_, p. 65 (quotations from The Principles of the Revolution).

[24] _Idem_, p. 66 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[25] _Idem_, p. 68 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[26] _Idem_, pp. 90-92.

[27] _Idem_, pp. 93-94.

[28] _Idem_, pp. 94-95.

[29] _Idem_, p. 95.

[30] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 60.

[31] _Idem_, Vol. II, pp. 61-63.

[32] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 312.


[1] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 90.

[2] Lefrançais, _Mémoires d'un révolutionnaire_, p. 348 (Paris).

[3] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. 92 (Oscar Testut).

[4] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 92.

[5] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 93.

[6] _Idem_, Vol. II. pp. 94-95.

[7] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 96.

[8] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 96.

[9] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 96.

[10] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 97.

[11] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 97.

[12] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 97.

[13] _Idem_, Vol. II, pp. 98-99.

[14] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 98.

[15] Quoted by _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 101. Cf. The Social Democrat, April
15, 1903.

[16] _L'Alliance_, etc., p. 21.

[17] Marx, The Commune of Paris (Bax's translation), p. 123. (Twentieth
Century Press, Ltd., London, 1895.)

[18] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. III, p. 100.

[19] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 98.

[20] _Bakunisten an der Arbeit_, I, by Frederick Engels, printed in _Der
Volksstaat_, October 31, 1873, No. 105.

[21] Quoted by Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. III, p. 154.

[22] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 100.

[23] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 204.

[24] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 207.

[25] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 208.

[26] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 186.

[27] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 186.

[28] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 146.

[29] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 237.


[1] Kropotkin, Memoirs of a Revolutionist, p. 394. (Houghton, Mifflin &
Co., Boston, 1899.)

[2] _Idem_, p. 287.

[3] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. IV, pp. 113-114.

[4] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 225.

[5] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 225.

[6] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 226.

[7] Kropotkin, _Paroles d'un révolté_, pp. 285-288 (E. Flammarion,
Paris, 1885).

[8] _L'Alliance_, etc., p. 65 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[9] Prolo, _Les Anarchistes_, pp. 14-15 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris,
1912); _or_ Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. IV, pp. 160-168.

[10] Prolo, _op. cit._, pp. 15-17; _or_ Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. IV,
pp. 184-188.

[11] Bebel, My Life, p. 330 (Chicago University Press, 1912).

[12] Zenker, Anarchism: A Criticism and History of the Anarchist Theory,
p. 282 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New Y
ork, 1901).

[13] _Idem_, pp. 294-295.

[14] Kropotkin, _op. cit._, pp. 448-449.

[15] Zenker, _op. cit._, p. 286.


[1] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. IV, p. 209.

[2] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 227.

[3] Quoted by Zenker, _op. cit._, pp. 235-236.

[4] Zenker, _op. cit._, pp. 282-283.

[5] Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, p. 47 (Mother Earth
Publishing Co., New York, 1911).

[6] Quoted in History of Socialism in the United States, p. 219 (Funk &
Wagnalls, New York, 1910), by Morris Hillquit, who gives a fuller
account of this period.

[7] Quoted by Ely, The Labor Movement in America, p. 262 (Thomas Y.
Crowell, New York, 3d ed., 1910).

[8] _Idem_, p. 263.

[9] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 30 (Free Society Publishing Co., San
Francisco, 1899).

[10] Reprinted in Instead of a Book, by Benjamin R. Tucker, pp. 429-432
(Benj. R. Tucker, New York, 1897).

[11] _Idem_, p. 429.

[12] Bebel, My Life, p. 237.

[13] Alexander Berkman, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, p. 7 (Mother
Earth Publishing Company, New York, 1912).


[1] Quoted by Prolo, _Les Anarchistes_, p. 44.

[2] Prolo, _op. cit._, p. 45.

[3] Quoted from _L'Éclair_ by Prolo, _op. cit._, p. 46.

[4] Quoted by Prolo, _op. cit._, p. 47.

[5] Quoted by _Idem_, p. 47.

[6] Quoted by _Idem_, p. 47.

[7] Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, p. 101.

[8] _Idem_, pp. 99-100.

[9] _Idem_, pp. 102-103.

[10] Prolo, _op. cit._, p. 52.

[11] _Idem_, pp. 54-55.

[12] _Pall Mall Gazette_, April 29, 1912.


[1] Emma Goldman, _op. cit._, p. 98.

[2] _Idem_, p. 113.

[3] _Idem_, pp. 113-114.

[4] Percy Bysshe Shelley, Julian and Maddalo.

[5] _Idem._

[6] Angiolillo, quoted by Goldman, _op. cit._, pp. 104-105.

[7] Goldman, _op. cit._, p. 103.

[8] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 30.

[9] Alfred Tennyson, The Vision of Sin, IV.

[10] Lombroso, _Les Anarchistes_, pp. 184, 181-183, 196 (Flammarion,
Paris, 1896).

[11] _Idem_, pp. 205-207.

[12] Quoted by Lombroso, _op. cit._, p. 207.

[13] Zenker, _op. cit._, pp. 306-307.

[14] Bebel, _Attentate und Sozialdemokratie_, p. 6, a speech delivered
at Berlin, November 2, 1898 (_Vorwärts_, Berlin, 1905).

[15] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 130.

[16] _Idem_, p. 16.

[17] _Idem_, p. 62.

[18] Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own, p. 477 (A. C. Fifield, London,

[19] _Idem_, p. 425.

[20] _Idem_, p. 394.

[21] Lombroso, _op. cit._, pp. 52-54.

[22] Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, p. 29 (C. H. Kerr & Co.,
Chicago, 1906).

[23] Reprinted in Guesde's _Quatre ans de lutte des classes_, pp. 88-91
(G. Jacques et Cie., Paris, 1901).

[24] _Idem_, p. 92.

[25] Bebel, _Attentate und Sozialdemokratie_, pp. 12-14.

[26] _Idem_, p. 1.

[27] Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, pp. 92-93.

[28] _Idem_, pp. 85-86.

[29] This is a translation of an editorial that has appeared in various
foreign newspapers and also, it is said, in the _Illinois
Staats-Zeitung_; _Cf._ De Leon, Socialism _versus_ Anarchism, p. 61 (New
York Labor News Company, New York).


[1] _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_, etc., p. 48.

[2] George Brandes, Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature, Vol.
VI (The Macmillan Company, New York, 1906).

[3] Engels in the introduction to _Révélations sur le Procès des
Communistes_, published together with, and under the title of, Marx's
_L'Allemagne en 1848_, p. 268 (Schleicher Frères, Paris, 1901).

[4] _Idem_, p. 268.

[5] _Idem_, pp. 268-269. My italics.

[6] _Idem_, pp. 269-270.

[7] Communist Manifesto, p. 12.

[8] _Idem_, p. 44.

[9] _Idem_, p. 15.

[10] _Idem_, p. 25.

[11] _Idem_, p. 25.

[12] _Idem_, p. 26.

[13] _Idem_, p. 30.

[14] _Idem_, p. 44.

[15] _Idem_, pp. 42, 46.

[16] Engels, _op. cit._, p. 287.

[17] _Idem_, p. 287.

[18] Quoted by Engels in _op. cit._, p. 297.

[19] Albion W. Small, Socialism in the Light of Social Science,
reprinted from the _American journal of Sociology_, Vol. XVII, No. 6
(May, 1912), p. 810.

[20] Communist Manifesto, pp. 12, 13.

[21] Albion W. Small, article cited, p. 812.

[22] _Idem_, p. 812.

[23] Address and Provisional Rules of the International Working Men's
Association (London, 1864), p. 12.

[24] Letter of Marx's of October 9, 1866, published in the _Neue Zeit_,
April 12, 1902.

[25] Address and Provisional Rules of the International Working Men's
Association (London, 1864), p. 9.

[26] _Idem_, p. 9.

[27] _Idem_, p. 10.

[28] _Idem_, p. 11.

[29] Engels, _op. cit._, p. 287.

[30] Marx, _L'Allemagne en 1848_, p. 188.

[31] Letter of October 9, 1866, published in the _Neue Zeit_, April 12,

[32] Quoted by Jaeckh, The International, p. 32 (Twentieth Century
Press, Ltd., London).

[33] Nicolay and Hay, Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. X, p. 53
(Francis D. Tandy Co., New York). My italics.

[34] Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, p. 133 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New
York, 1906, translated by Mildred Minturn).


[1] Bakounin, _OEuvres_, Vol. II, p. viii.

[2] _Idem_, Vol. II, pp. xi-xii.

[3] _L'Allemagne en 1848_, p. 279.

[4] Liebknecht, Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs, pp. 62-63 (C. H. Kerr,
Chicago, 1904).

[5] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. xvii.

[6] _Cf._ Marx, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, p. 126 (Scribner's,
New York, 1896).

[7] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. II, p. xx.

[8] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 383.

[9] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. I, p. 103.

[10] _Idem_, Vol. I, p. 103.

[11] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fourth International Congress of the
International Working Men's Association, Basel, 1869, pp. 6-7
(Bruxelles, 1869).

[12] _Idem_, p. 7.

[13] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. I, p. 202.

[14] I am following here the English version, published by the General
Council, pp. 26-27.

[15] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fourth International Congress of the
International Working Men's Association, pp. 85-86.

[16] _Idem_, p. 89.

[17] _Idem_, pp. 144-145.

[18] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. I, p. 204.

[19] Quoted by Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. V, p. 223.

[20] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. V, p. 232.

[21] _Idem_, Vol. V, p. 233.

[22] _Idem_, Vol. V, pp. 234-235.

[23] _Idem_, Vol. I, pp. xxxii-xxxiii.

[24] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 62.

[25] Communist Manifesto, p. 44.

[26] Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, pp. 69-70 (Scribner's,
New York, 1892).

[27] _Idem_, pp. 71-72. Italics mine.

[28] _Idem_, p. 86.

[29] _Idem_, pp. 86-87.

[30] _Idem_, pp. 76-77.

[31] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fourth International Congress of the
International Working Men's Association, p. 86.

[32] Bakounin, _op. cit._, Vol. IV, pp. 31-32.

[33] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 32.

[34] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 32.

[35] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 37.

[36] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 39.

[37] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 40.

[38] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 59.

[39] _Idem_, Vol. IV, pp. 191-192.

[40] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 31.

[41] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 40.

[42] _Idem_, Vol. III, p. 72.

[43] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 415.

[44] _Idem_, Vol. VI, p. 38.

[45] _Idem_, Vol. VI, pp. 38-39.

[46] _Idem_, Vol. IV, pp. 438-439.

[47] _Idem_, Vol. VI, p. 75.

[48] Engels, Landmarks of Scientific Socialism, p. 190 (Kerr, Chicago,

[49] _Idem_, p. 186.

[50] _Idem_, pp. 184-185.

[51] _Idem_, p. 190. My italics.

[52] Resolutions of the Conference of Delegates of the International
Working Men's Association, Assembled at London from the 17th to the 23d
of September, 1871, No. IX (London, 1871).


[1] _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_, etc., p. 12.

[2] Bakounin, _OEuvres_, Vol. IV, p. 342.

[3] _Cf._ _Compte-Rendu Officiel_ of the Geneva Congress, 1873, p. 51
(Locle, 1873).

[4] _Idem_, pp. 55-56.

[5] _Idem_, p. 86.

[6] _Idem_, p. 87.

[7] _Idem_, p. 85.

[8] _Idem_, p. 35.

[9] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. III, p. 118.

[10] Plechanoff, Anarchism and Socialism, p. 84 (The Twentieth Century
Press, Ltd., London, 1906; trans, by Eleanor Marx Aveling).

[11] Guillaume, _op. cit._, Vol. IV, pp. 114-115.

[12] _Idem_, Vol. IV, p. 115.

[13] _Idem_, Vol. IV, pp. 223-224.

[14] Dawson, German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle, p. 169,
(Scribner's Sons, New York, 1899).

[15] Ferdinand Lassalle, _Reden und Schriften_, Vol. II, pp. 543-544
(_Vorwärts_, Berlin, 1893).

[16] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 383.

[17] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 22.

[18] _Idem_, Vol. II, p. 104.

[19] Quoted by Dawson, _op. cit._, p. 187.

[20] _Idem_, p. 168; _Cf._ also, Bernstein, Ferdinand Lassalle as a
Social Reformer, pp. 167-170 (Scribner's Sons, New York, 1893).

[21] Quoted by Dawson, _op. cit._, p. 168.

[22] Quoted by Milhaud, _La Démocratie socialiste allemande,_ p. 32
(Félix Alcan, Paris, 1903).

[23] _Idem_, pp. 32-33.

[24] _Idem_, p. 41.

[25] _Idem_, p. 42.

[26] These sections are reduced from Dawson's summary in _op. cit._, pp.

[27] Quoted in Dawson, _op. cit._, p. 260.

[28] Bebel, _Attentate und Sozialdemokratie_, p. 2.

[29] _Protokoll_ of the Congress of the German Social-Democracy, Wyden,
1880, p. 38 (Zurich, 1880).

[30] _Idem_, p. 42.

[31] _Idem_, p. 43.

[32] Quoted by Dawson, _op. cit._, p. 265.

[33] Speech in the Reichstag, March 21, 1884; quoted by Dawson, _op.
cit._, pp. 268-269.

[34] Speech in the Reichstag, April 2, 1886; quoted by Dawson, _op.
cit._, p. 271.

[35] _Protokoll_ of the Proceedings of Party Conferences of the German
Social-Democracy, Erfurt, 1891, p. 206 (Berlin, 1891).


[1] Quoted by Prolo, _Les Anarchistes_, p. 66.

[2] International Socialist Workers and Trade Union Congress, London,
1896, p. 31.

[3] _Idem_, p. 50.

[4] De Seilhac, _Les Congrès Ouvriers en France_, p. 331 (Armand Colin
et Cie., Paris, 1899).

[5] _Idem_, pp. 331-332.

[6] _Compte-Rendu du Congrès National Corporatif_, Montpelier, 1902.

[7] _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_, etc., pp. 48-49.

[8] Sombart, Socialism and the Socialist Movement, pp. 98-99 (E. P.
Dutton & Co., New York, 1909; trans, from 6th German edition).

[9] Louis Levine, The Labor Movement in France, p. 147 (Columbia
University, New York, 1912).

[10] Arthur D. Lewis, Syndicalism and the General Strike, p. 70 (T.
Fisher Unwin, London, 1912).

[11] Berth, _Les Nouveaux aspects du Socialisme_, p. 36 (Marcel Rivière
et Cie., Paris, 1908).

[12] Robert Browning, Cleon.

[13] Sombart, _op. cit._, p. 110.

[14] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Seventh International Socialist Congress,
Stuttgart, 1907, p. 202.

[15] _Cf._ _Compte-Rendu_ of the Sixth International Socialist Congress,
Amsterdam, 1904, p. 53.

[16] Levine, _op. cit._, p. 195.

[17] _Compte-Rendu du Congrès National Corporatif_, Toulouse, 1910, p.

[18] Étienne Buisson, _La Grève Générale_, p. 59 (Librairie George
Bellais, Paris, 1905).

[19] Labriola, Karl Marx, pp. 255-259 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris,

[20] Plechanoff, Anarchism and Socialism, p. 63.

[21] Kampffmeyer, Changes in the Theory and Tactics of the German Social
Democracy, pp. 87-88 (C. H. Kerr, Chicago, 1908).

[22] Quoted in Kampffmeyer, _op. cit._, p. 88.

[23] _Idem_, p. 89.

[24] Quoted in Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, pp. 75-76.

[25] Kautsky, _Das Erfurter Programm_, pp. 117-119 (8th Edition,
Stuttgart, 1907); _Cf._ also The Socialist Republic, by Kautsky, pp.

[26] Communist Manifesto, p. 15.

[27] Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, p. 76.

[28] _Cf._ Menger, The Right to the Whole Produce of Labor, p. 117
(Macmillan & Co., London, 1899).

[29] Webb, The History of Trade Unionism, p. 145.

[30] _Idem_, p. 146.

[31] Quoted by Sombart, _op. cit._, p. 118.

[32] Sombart, _op. cit._, p. 118.

[33] _Idem_, p. 118.

[34] Marx, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, pp. 109-110.

[35] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fourth International Congress of the
International Working Men's Association, p. 88.

[36] Quoted by Plechanoff, _op. cit._, p. 90.

[37] Émile Pouget, _Le Syndicat_, p. 13 (Émile Pouget, Paris, 2d

[38] Sorel, _Illusions du progrès_, p. 10 (Marcel Rivière et Cie.,
Paris, 1911).

[39] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fifth National Congress of the French
Socialist Party, 1908, p. 352.

[40] _XIe. Congrès National Corporatif_, Paris, 1900, p. 198; quoted by
Levine, _op. cit._, p. 97.

[41] _La Confédération Générale du Travail_; II _La Tactique_.

[42] _Idem._

[43] _Cf._ Proudhon, _La Révolution sociale et le coup d'État_, (Ernest
Flammarion, Paris); Goldman, Minorities _versus_ Majorities, in
Anarchism and Other Essays; and Kropotkin, _Les Minorités
Révolutionnaires_, in _Paroles d'un révolté_.

[44] Webb, The History of Trade Unionism, pp. 147-148.

[45] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Third National Congress of the French
Socialist Party, 1906, pp. 189-192.

[46] _Idem_, p. 186.

[47] Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, pp. 127-128.

[48] _Idem_, pp. 124-125.

[49] _Idem_, pp. 128-129.

[50] _Compte-Rendu_ of the Fourth International Congress of the
International Working Men's Association, Basel, 1869, p. 6.

[51] Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution, p. 423 (G. P. Putnam's
Sons, New York, 1909).

[52] Proudhon, _Idée Générale de la Révolution au XIXe. Siècle_, p. 304
(Garnier Frères, Paris, 1851).

[53] _Idem_, p. 197.


[1] Proudhon, _Idée Générale de la Révolution_, p. 149.

[2] Roger A. Pryor, quoted in the report of the Investigation of the
Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House Special Committee Report,
1892, p. 225.

[3] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: Senate
Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 247.

[4] Thomas Beet, Methods of American Private Detective Agencies,
_Appleton's Magazine_, October, 1906.

[5] _Idem._

[6] _Idem._

[7] _Idem._

[8] _New York Sun_, May 8, 1911.

[9] _New York Call_, September 14, 1910.

[10] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House
Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 226.

[11] See his testimony, pp. 92-94 of the Senate Report.

[12] Report of the Industrial Commission, 1901, Vol. VIII, pp. 257-258,
261 (Chicago Labor Disputes).

[13] _American Federationist_, November, 1911, Vol. XVIII, p. 889.

[14] Limiting Federal Injunction: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the
Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Jan. 6, 1913, Part I,
p. 19.

[15] _Idem_, p. 20.

[16] _Appleton's Magazine_, October, 1906.

[17] Hillquit, History of Socialism in the United States, pp. 280-281.

[18] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives, Senate
Special Committee Report, 1892, p. xiii.

[19] _Idem_, p. ii.

[20] _Idem_, p. xii.

[21] _Idem_, p. xv.

[22] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House
Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 224.

[23] _Idem_, p. 225.

[24] Report on the Chicago Strike of June-July, 1894, by the United
States Strike Commission, p. xxxviii.

[25] _Idem_, p. xliv.

[26] _Idem_, p. 356.

[27] _Idem_, p. 370.

[28] _Idem_, p. 397.

[29] _Idem_, pp. 366-367.

[30] _Idem_, p. 371.

[31] _Idem_, p. 368.

[32] _Idem_, pp. 368-369.

[33] _Idem_, p. 372 (from the testimony of Harold I. Cleveland).

[34] _Idem_, p. 360.

[35] Debs, The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike, p. 24
(Standard Publishing Co., Terre Haute, Ind., 1904).

[36] _Idem_, p. 24.

[37] Emma F. Langdon, The Cripple Creek Strike, p. 153 (The Great
Western Publishing Co., Denver, 1905).

[38] Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1905, on Labor Disturbances in
Colorado, p. 186.

[39] _Idem_, p. 206.

[40] _Idem_, p. 304.

[41] Cf. Clarence S. Darrow, Speech in the Haywood Case, p. 56
(_Wayland's Monthly_, Girard, Kan., October, 1907).

[42] Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1905, on Labor Disturbances in
Colorado, p. 192.

[43] C. Dobrogeaunu-Gherea, Socialism _vs._ Anarchism, _New York Call_,
February 5, 1911.

[44] Kropotkin, The Terror in Russia, p. 57 (Methuen & Co., London,

[45] Bamford, Passages in the Life of a Radical, Vol. II, p. 14 (T.
Fisher Unwin, London, 1893).

[46] In Bamford's "Passages in the Life of a Radical" (T. Fisher Unwin,
London, 1893), we find that spies and _provocateurs_ were sent into the
labor movement as early as 1815. In Holyoake's "Sixty Years of an
Agitator's Life" (Unwin, 1900), in Howell's "Labor Legislation, Labor
Movements, Labor Leaders" (Unwin, 1902), and in Webb's "History of Trade
Unionism" (Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1902), the work of several
noted police agents is spoken of. In Gammage's "History of the Chartist
Movement" (Truslove & Hanson, London, 1894) and in Davidson's "Annals of
Toil" (F. R. Henderson, London, n.d.) we are told of one police agent
who gave balls and ammunition to the men and endeavored to persuade them
to commit murder.

Marx, in "Revolution and Counter-Revolution" (Scribner's Sons, 1896),
and Engels, in _Révélations sur le Procès des Communistes_ (Schleicher
Frères, Paris, 1901), tell of the work of the German police agents in
connection with the Communist League; while Bebel, in "My Life" (Chicago
University Press, 1912), and in _Attentate und Sozialdemokratie_
(_Vorwärts_, Berlin, 1905), tells of the infamous work of _provocateurs_
sent among the socialists at the time of Bismarck's repression.
Kropotkin, in "The Memoirs of a Revolutionist" (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.,
Boston, 1899), and in "The Terror in Russia" (Methuen & Co., London,
1909), devotes many pages to the crimes committed by the secret police
of Russia, not only in that country but elsewhere. Mazzini, Marx,
Bakounin, and nearly all prominent anarchists, socialists, and
republicans of the middle of the last century, were surrounded by spies,
who made every effort to induce them to enter into plots.

In the "Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House
and Senate Special Committee Reports, 1892"; in the "Report on Chicago
Strike of June-July, 1894; U. S. Strike Commission, 1895"; in the
"Report of the Commissioner of Labor on Labor Disturbances in Colorado,
1905"; in the "Report of the Industrial Commission, 1901, Vol. VIII",
there is a great mass of evidence on the work of detectives, both in
committing violence themselves and in seeking to provoke others to

In "Conditions in the Paint Creek District of West Virginia: Hearings
before a subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor, U. S.
Senate; 1913"; in "Hearings before the Committee on Rules, House of
Representatives, on Conditions in the Westmoreland Coal Fields"; in the
"Report on the Strike at Bethlehem, Senate Document No. 521"; in
"Peonage in Western Pennsylvania: Hearings before the Committee on
Labor, House of Representatives, 1911," considerable evidence is given
of the thuggery and murder committed by detectives, guards, and state
constabularies. Some of this evidence reveals conditions that could
hardly be equaled in Russia.

"History of the Conspiracy to Defeat Striking Molders" (Internatl.
Molders' Union of N. America); "Limiting Federal Injunction: Hearings
before the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. Senate,
1912, Part V"; the report of the same hearings for January, 1913, Part
I, "United States Steel Corporation: Hearings before Committee on
Investigation, House of Representatives, Feb. 12, 1912"; the "Report on
Strike of Textile Workers in Lawrence, Mass.: Commissioner of Labor,
1912"; and "Strike at Lawrence, Mass.: Hearings before the Committee on
Rules, House of Representatives, March 2-7, 1912," also contain a mass
of evidence concerning the crimes of detectives and the terrorist
tactics used by those employed to break strikes.

Alexander Irvine's "Revolution in Los Angeles" (Los Angeles, 1911); F.
E. Wolfe's "Capitalism's Conspiracy in California" (The White Press, Los
Angeles, 1911); Debs's "The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike"
(Standard Publishing Co., Terre Haute, Ind., 1904); Ben Lindsey's "The
Rule of Plutocracy in Colorado"; the "Reply of the Western Federation of
Miners to the 'Red Book' of the Mine Operators"; "Anarchy in Colorado:
Who Is to Blame?" (The Bartholomew Publishing Co., Denver, Colo., 1905);
the _American Federationist_, April, 1912; the _American Federationist_,
November, 1911; Job Harriman's "Class War in Idaho" (_Volks-Zeitung_
Library, New York, 1900), Emma F. Langdon's "The Cripple Creek Strike"
(The Great Western Publishing Co., Denver, 1905); C. H. Salmons' "The
Burlington Strike" (Bunnell & Ward, Aurora, Ill., 1889); and Morris
Friedman's "The Pinkerton Labor Spy" (Wilshire Book Co., New York,
1907), contain the statements chiefly of labor leaders and socialists
upon the violence suffered by the unions as a result of the work of the
courts, of the police, of the militia, and of detectives. "The Pinkerton
Labor Spy" gives what purports to be the inside story of the Pinkerton
Agency and the details of its methods in dealing with strikes. Clarence
S. Darrow's "Speech in the Haywood Case" (_Wayland's Monthly_, Girard,
Kan., Oct., 1907) is the plea made before the jury in Idaho that freed
Haywood. Only the oratorical part of it was printed in the daily press,
while the crushing evidence Darrow presents against the detective
agencies and their infamous work was ignored.

Capt. Michael J. Schaack's "Anarchy and Anarchists" (F. J. Schulte &
Co., Chicago, 1899); and Pinkerton's "The Molly Maguires and Detectives"
(G. W. Dillingham Co., New York, 1898) are the naïve stories of those
who have performed notable rôles in labor troubles. They read like
"wild-west" stories written by overgrown boys, and the manner in which
these great detectives frankly confess that they or their agents were at
the bottom of the plots which they describe is quite incredible.

"The Chicago Martyrs: The Famous Speeches of the Eight Anarchists in
Judge Gary's Court and Altgeld's Reasons for Pardoning Fielden, Neebe
and Schwab" (Free Society, San Francisco, 1899), contains the memorable
message of Governor Altgeld when pardoning the anarchists. In his
opinion they were in no small measure the dupes of police spies and the
victims of judicial injustice. I have dealt at length with Thomas
Beet's article on "Methods of American Private Detectives" in
_Appleton's Magazine_ for October, 1906, but it will repay a full
reading. "Coeur d'Alene Mining Troubles: The Crime of the Century"
(Senate Document) and "Statement and Evidence in Support of Charges
Against the U. S. Steel Corporation by the American Federation of Labor"
are perhaps worth mentioning.

I have not attempted to give an exhaustive list of references, but only
to call attention to a few books and pamphlets which have found their
way into my library.

[47] Quoted by August Bebel in _Attentate und Sozialdemokratie_, p. 12.

[48] Limiting Federal Injunctions: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the
Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 1913, Part I, p. 8.


[1] Sombart, Socialism and the Socialist Movement, p. 176.

[2] Liebknecht, Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs, p. 46.

[3] _Idem_, p. 85.

[4] _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_, etc., p. 132 (Secret
Statutes of the Alliance).

[5] Communist Manifesto, p. 37.

[6] _Idem_, p. 32.

[7] _Idem_, p. 38.

[8] Engels' introduction to Struggle of the Social Classes in France;
quoted by Sombart, _op. cit._, pp. 68-69.

[9] Liebknecht, No Compromise, No Political Trading, p. 28; my italics.

[10] Frederic Harrison, quoted in Davidson's Annals of Toil, p. 273 (F.
R. Henderson, London, n.d.).

[11] Engels in _L'Allemagne en 1848_, p. 269.

[12] Communist Manifesto, p. 30.



Adam, Paul, quoted concerning case of Ravachol, 81-82.

_Agents provocateurs_, work of, in popular uprisings and socialist
  and labor movements, 110-120, 203-204, 264;
  use of private detectives as, in United States, 290-292, 312-314.

Alexander II of Russia, assassination of, 56, 221.

America. _See_ United States.

Anarchism, introduction of doctrines of, in Western Europe by
  Bakounin, 5 ff.;
  secret societies founded in interests of, 11-14;
  insurrections under auspices of, 28-39;
  criticism of, by socialists, 40;
  uprisings in Italy fathered by, 41-44;
  unbridgeable chasm between socialism and, 47-48;
  with the Propaganda of the Deed becomes synonymous with violence
  and crime, 55;
  foothold secured by, in Germany, 55-57;
  in Austria-Hungary, 57-58;
  agitation in France, 58-60;
  doctrines of, carried to America by Johann Most, 64-68;
  the Haymarket tragedy, 68-70;
  defense of, by Benjamin R. Tucker, and disowning of terrorist
  tactics, 70-74;
  responsibility for deeds of leaders of, laid at Bismarck's
  door, 74-75;
  assassination of President McKinley and shooting of H. C. Frick, 75;
  failure of, to take firm root in America any more than in Germany
  and England, 75-76;
  in the Latin countries, 76;
  acts of violence in name of, in Europe, 77-89;
  question of responsibility of, for acts of violence committed by
  terrorists, 90 ff.;
  different types attracted by socialism and, 92-93;
  the psychology of devotees of, 93-94;
  causes of terrorist tactics assigned by Catholic Church to
  doctrines of socialism, 98-100;
  source of, traceable to great-man theory, 102 ff.;
  work of police agents in connection with, 110-120;
  the battle between socialism and, 154-192;
  emergence of, as a distinct philosophy, 193;
  history of, after Hague congress of 1872, 194 ff.;
  congress in Geneva in 1873, 196-199;
  insolvable problem created by, in rejecting political action of the
  working class, 200;
  assaults on the Marxists by adherents of, 201-204;
  bitter warfare between socialism and, 201-205;
  appearance of syndicalism as an aid to, 229-239;
  ignoring of, in socialist congresses, 232;
  appearance of the "intellectuals" in ranks of, 239-241;
  similarities between philosophies and methods of syndicalism
  and, 239-245;
  differences between syndicalism and, 245-246;
  consideration of the oldest form of, that of the wealthy and ruling
  classes, 276-326;
  of the powerful in the United States, 280 ff.

Andrieux, French revolutionist, 29.

Angiolillo, Italian terrorist, 87.

Anti-socialist law, Bismarck's, responsible for Most's career as a
  terrorist, 74-75;
  passage of, and chief measures contained in, 214-217;
  growth of socialist vote under, 225;
  failure and repeal of, 225-226.

Arson practiced by revolutionists in America, 73-74.

Assassination, preaching of, by Bakounin and Nechayeff, 18;
  practice of, by anarchists in France, 77-89;
  the Catholic Church and, 98-100;
  glorification of, in history, 101-103.

Atwell, B. A., on character of deputy marshals in Chicago railway
  strike, 300.

Australia, parliamentary power of socialists in, 329, 330.

Austria, Empress of, assassinated by Italian anarchist, 87.

Austria-Hungary, development and checking of anarchist movement
  in, 57-58;
  growth of socialist and labor vote in, 328.


Baker, Ray Stannard, quoted on character of deputy marshals in
  Chicago railway strike, 299-300.

Bakounin, Michael, father of terrorism, 4;
  admiration of, for Satan, 5;
  views held by, on absolutism, 5-6;
  destruction of all States and all Churches advocated by, 6;
  varying opinions of, 7;
  shown to be human in his contradictions, 7-8;
  chief characteristics and qualities of his many-sided nature, 8;
  birth, family, and early life, 8-9;
  leaves Russia for Germany, Switzerland, and France, 9;
  meets Proudhon, Marx, George Sand, and other revolutionary
  spirits, 9;
  leads insurrectionary movements, 9-10;
  captured, sentenced to death, and finally banished to Siberia, 10;
  escapes and reaches England, 10;
  change in views shown in writings of, 10-11;
  spends some time in Italy, 11-12;
  forms secret organization of revolutionists, 11-13;
  the International Brothers, the National Brothers, and the
  International Alliance of Social Democracy, 12-14;
  enters the International Working Men's Association, with the hope
  of securing leadership, 15;
  declares war on political and economic powers of Europe and assails
  Marx, Engels, and other leaders, 15-16;
  interest of, in Russian affairs, 16;
  collaborates with Sergei Nechayeff, 16-17;
  expounds doctrines of criminal activity, 17-22;
  the "Words Addressed to Students," 17-19;
  the "Revolutionary Catechism," 19-22;
  quarrel between Nechayeff and, 23-26;
  remains in Switzerland and trains young revolutionists, 26-27;
  takes part in unsuccessful insurrection at Lyons, 28-35;
  Marx quoted concerning action of, at Lyons, 35-36;
  influence of, felt in Spanish revolution of 1873, 37-41;
  in Italy, during uprisings of 1874, 42-43;
  retires from public life, 45-46;
  humiliating experiences of last years, 46-47;
  opinions expressed by anarchists and by socialists concerning, upon
  death of, 47-48;
  teachings of, the inspiration of the Propaganda of the Deed, 52;
  principles of, preached by Johann Most, 65;
  spread of terrorist ideas of, in America, 65;
  history of the battle between Marx and, 154-193;
  suspected and charged with being a Russian police agent, 156, 158;
  quoted on Marx, 157;
  victory won over Marx by, at Basel congress of International in
  1869, 162-169;
  attack of Marx and his followers on, and reply by, in the "Study upon
  the German Jews," 169-171;
  flood of literature by, based on his antagonism to religion and to
  Government, 172-174;
  inability of, to comprehend doctrines of Marxian socialism, 178-179;
  irreconcilability of doctrines of, with those of socialists, 179-185;
  expulsion of, from the International, 191;
  attacks the General Council of the International as a new incarnation
  of the State, 195;
  quoted to show antagonism between his doctrines and those of
  Marxists, 251;
  the robber worship of, 278-279.

Barcelona, bomb-throwing in, 87.

Barrot, Odilon, 348.

Basel, congress of International at (1869), 162-169.

Bauer, Heinrich, 131.

Bauler, Madame A., quoted on influence of Bakounin, 26-27.

Bebel, August, quoted on Bismarck's repressive measures, 55-56;
  quoted on Johann Most, 74-75;
  on the condoning of assassination by the Catholic Church, 98-99;
  reveals participations of high officials in crimes of the
  anarchists, 114-118;
  mentioned, 205, 209-210;
  account of struggle between Bismarck and party of, 211-227;
  State-socialist propositions favored by, 255-256.

Beesby, E. S., 35; urges political activity on early trade unions, 151.

Beet, Thomas, exposure by, of evils attending use of detectives in
  United States, 283-284, 290-291, 314.

Berkman, Alexander, shooting of H. C. Frick by, 75;
  motive which actuated, 101;
  events which led up to action of, 292-295;
  fate of, contrasted with that of agents of the anarchy of the wealthy
  during Homestead strike, 295.

Bern, revolutionary manifestation at (1877), 53.

Berth, Edward, quoted in connection with the "intellectuals," 240-241;
  mentioned, 270, 353.

Bismarck, stirs up Germany against social-democratic party on account
  of anarchistic acts, 55;
  effect of action of, on anarchism in Germany, 56;
  responsibility of, for Johann Most and other terrorists, and for
  Haymarket tragedy, 74-75;
  Bebel quoted in connection with the hero-worship of, in
  Germany, 103-104;
  admiration of, for Lassalle, 206;
  corruption introduced into German labor movement by, 210-211;
  exposed by Liebknecht and Bebel, begins war upon Marxian
  socialists, 211-212;
  futile efforts of, to provoke social democrats to violence, 218-219;
  reaction of his violent measures upon himself, 227.

Blanc, Gaspard, 29, 31.

Blanc, Louis, 128, 129, 353;
  Lassalle's views compared with those of, 207.

Blanqui, socialist insurrectionist, 128-129.

Bonnot, French motor bandit, 88-89, 104.

Booth, J. Wilkes, motive which actuated, in killing of Lincoln, 101.

Brandes, George, "Young Germany" by, 132;
  quoted on Lassalle, 205-206.

Brass, August, tool of Bismarck, 211.

Bray, J. F., 130.

Bresci, Gaetano, assassin of King Humbert, 87.

Briand, Aristide, 184 n., 270, 353.

Brousse, Paul, 49, 196-197, 198;
  originates phrase, "the Propaganda of the Deed," 51-52;
  leads revolutionary manifestation at Bern, 53;
  leaves the Bakouninists, 204.

Bucher, Lothar, tool of Bismarck, 210.

Burlington strike, outrages by private detectives during, 296.

Burns, William J., quoted on character of detectives as a
  class, 284-285.


Cabet, utopian socialism of, 144.

Cafiero, Carlo, Italian revolutionist, disciple of Bakounin, 38,
  45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 54.

Camorra, an organization of Italians which pursues terrorist
  tactics, 100.

"Capital," Marx's work, 152, 344.

Capitalism, workingmen's ignorance concerning, previous to advent of
  Karl Marx, 338-341.

Carnot, President, assassination of, 85.

Caserio, assassin of President Carnot, 79, 85-86.

Castillo, Canovas del, torture of suspected terrorists by, 87.

Catholic Church, burden of anarchism laid on doctrines of socialism
  by, 98;
  right of assassination upheld by clergy of, 98-99;
  terrorist tactics pursued by organizations of, 100.

Cerretti, Celso, Italian insurrectionist, 42.

Chartists, the, 130, 136, 137, 149.

Cluseret, General, 29, 32, 36.

Colorado, governmental tyranny during labor wars in, 217;
  political and industrial battles in (1894-1904), 302-311.

Commune of Paris, viewed as a spontaneous uprising of the working
  class, 36-37.

Communist League, Marx presents his views to, resulting in the
  Communist Manifesto, 137-138.

Communist Manifesto, of Marx and Engels, 137-141;
  the universal text-book of the socialist movement, 334.

Communist societies in Germany, 131.

Congress of United States, socialists not represented in, 330, 333.

Congresses, international, of socialists, 334.

Cooper, Thomas, 130.

Coöperative movement, beginning of, in England, 130;
  progress in growth of, 331-332.

Corruption, the omnipresence of, 263-264.

Costa, Andrea, 42;
  at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 197-198;
  article by, attacking socialists, 201;
  leaves the Bakouninists, 204.

Courts, prevalence of violence set down to corruption of, 107, 108.

Cramer, Peter J., union leader killed by special police, 287.

Criminal elements, part played by, in uprisings, 109-110;
  use of, as the tool of reactionary intrigue, 110 ff., 281-326.

Cripple Creek, Colo., strike, 304-306.

Cyvoct, militant anarchist of Lyons, 59-60.

Czolgosz, assassin of President McKinley, 75, 88;
  motive which actuated, 101.


Debs, Eugene V., on instigation to violence by deputies in Chicago
  railway strike, 301-302.

Decamps, French terrorist, 79.

Delesalle, French anarchist, a sponsor of sabotage as a war measure
  of trade unionists, 236.

Democracy, attacks of syndicalism on, 264-265;
  view of the present day as the age of, 349;
  to be achieved only through democracy, 350, 352;
  eternal faith of socialists in, 353.

Detectives, employment of, as weapons of anarchists of the wealthy
  class in the United States, 281 ff.;
  character of the so-called, employed during big strikes in United
  States, 282-290;
  use of, as instigators and perpetrators of acts of violence, 290-292,
  299-302, 312-314;
  pecuniary interest of, in provoking crime, 314;
  intentional misleading of employers by, 316-319;
  prolongation of strikes by, 319-320;
  a few of the outrages committed by, 320-321.

Deville, Gabriel, 202.

Direct action, opposed by syndicalists to the political action of
  socialists, 267 ff.;
  cannot be revolutionary action and is destined to failure, 272.

Duehring, Eugene, mistaken views of socialism held by, 186.

Duval, Clément, French anarchist and robber, 77-78.

Dynamite, glorifying of, by terrorists, as the poor man's weapon
  against capitalism, 69.


Eccarius, reply of, to Bakounin at Basel congress, 178;
  at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 196.

Egoistic conception of history, carried to its extreme by
  anarchism, 102 ff.

Engels, Frederick, 15;
  criticism by, of position of Bakouninists in Spanish
  revolution, 40, 41;
  description by, of early communist societies in Germany, 131;
  first meeting of Marx and, and beginning of their coöperative
  labors, 132-133;
  reply of, to Dr. Duehring, 186;
  socialist view of the State as expressed by, 257-258;
  on the lasting power exercised by Marx over the labor movement, 338;
  on the reorganization of society through the conscious coöperation
  of the masses, 347-348.


Fenians, an organization of Irishmen which pursued terrorist
  tactics, 100.

Feudal lords, anarchism of the, 277-278, 279.

Fortis, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Fourier, 128;
  utopian socialism of, 144.

France, anarchist activities in (1882), 58-60;
  deeds of terrorists in, 77-86;
  effects of terrorist tactics in, 86-87;
  crimes of motor bandits in, 88-89;
  early days of socialism in, 128-129;
  launching of socialist labor party in (1878), 202-203;
  individualism in, one cause for rise of syndicalism, 242-243;
  poverty as a cause for reliance upon violence of trade unions
  in, 244.

Frick, Henry C., shooting of, 75;
  events which led up to shooting of, 292-295.

Fruneau, quoted on corruption in revolutions, 263.


General Confederation of Labor, organization of, 233.

General strike, inauguration of idea, by French trade
  unionists, 233-234;
  Guérard's argument for, 234-235;
  notable points in program of action of, 235-236;
  program of trade unionists in case of success in, 237-238;
  conditions which produce agitation for, 243-244;
  doubts of syndicalists as to success of a peaceable strike, 246-247;
  Jaurès' warning against the, 270;
  ridicule of, by Marx and Engels, 343.

Geneva, congress of anarchists at, in 1873, 196-199.

Germany, beginning of anarchist activity in, 55-57;
  great political organization built up by socialists in, 203;
  meteoric career of Lassalle in, 205-209;
  history of Bismarck's losing battle with social democracy
  in, 211-227;
  State ownership favored by socialists in, 254-256;
  growth of socialist and labor vote in, 328;
  strong parliamentary position of socialists in, 329-330.

Goldman, Emma, quoted on Johann Most, 67;
  quoted on causes of violent acts by terrorists, 91;
  on the connection of police with anarchist outrages, 119.

Grave, Jean, French anarchist, 81.

Gray, John, 130.

Great-man theory, terrorist deeds of violence traceable to, 102 ff.

Guérard, argument of, for revolutionary general strike, 234-235.

Guesde, Jules, 202, 204;
  quoted on direct action vs. political action, 267-269.

Guillaume, James, Swiss revolutionist, friend of Bakounin, 28,
  38, 42, 45, 47, 53, 197, 199, 229;
  takes part in manifestation at Bern (1877), 53.


Hales, John, at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 196-199.

Hall, Charles, 130.

Harney, George Julian, 137.

Harrison, Frederic, quoted, 151.

Hasselmann, German revolutionist, 56, 65;
  ejection of, from socialist party, 220.

Haymarket catastrophe, Chicago, 68-70.

Henry, Émile, French terrorist, 79, 84-85, 104.

Herwegh, German poet and revolutionist, 157-158.

Hess, Moritz, secret history of Basel congress of 1869 by, 169-170.

Hillquit, Morris, description by, of battle between strikers and
  detectives at Homestead, 293-294.

Hins, follower of Bakounin, quoted, 163;
  outlines, in 1869, program of modern syndicalists, 166-167.

Hödel, assassin of Emperor William, 55, 213.

Hodgskin, Thomas, 130.

Hogan, "Kid," quoted on strike-breakers, 288-289.

Homestead strike, character of Pinkertons employed in, 285-286;
  account of battle between strikers and special police, 292-294.

Houses of the People, in Europe, 332.

Humbert, King, attempt upon life of, 55;
  assassination of, 87.

Hume, Joseph, 130.


Individualism in France a contributing cause to rise of
  syndicalism, 242-243.

Industrial Workers of the World, American syndicalism, 247 n.

Inheritance, abolition of right of, advocated by Bakounin, 163-164.

Intellectuals, appearance of, as an aid to anarchism, 239-241;
  lack of real understanding of labor movement by, and fate of, 354.

International Alliance of Social Democracy, 12-14.

International Brothers, 12-14.

International Working Men's Association (the "International"),
  Bakounin's attempt to inject his ideas into, 7, 15;
  launching of the, 145-146;
  beginning made by, in actual political work, 150-152;
  struggles in, between followers of Marx and followers of Bakounin's
  anarchist doctrines, 154 ff.;
  congress of, at Basel in 1869 the turning-point in its
  history, 162-168;
  overturning of foundation principles of, owing to anarchist
  tendencies of the congress, 168;
  period of slight accomplishment, from 1869 to 1873, 189-190;
  congress of 1873 at The Hague, 191;
  expulsion of Bakounin and removal of seat of General Council to New
  York, 191-192;
  motives of Marx in destroying, 192;
  one chief result of existence of, the distinct separation of
  anarchism and socialism, 192-193;
  attempts of Bakouninists to revive, after Hague congress, 196 ff.;
  end of efforts of anarchists to build a new, 200.

International Working People's Association, anarchist society in
  America, 68, 73.

Italy, anarchist uprisings in, in 1874, 41-44;
  demonstration under doctrines of Propaganda of the Deed in (1877),
  reasons for individual execution of justice in, found in expense of
  official justice and corruptness of courts, 108;
  conditions in, leading to rise of syndicalism, 242, 243;
  socialist and labor vote in, 328;
  parliamentary strength of socialists in, 330.

Iwanoff, Russian revolutionist, 22-23.


Jaclard, Victor, 14, 29.

Jaurès, tribute paid to Marx by, 152-153;
  warning pronounced by, against the general strike, 270.

Jesuits and doctrine of assassination, 98-99.

Jones, Ernest, 130.


Kammerer, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58.

Kampffmeyer, Paul, quoted on State-socialist propositions in
  Germany, 255.

Kautsky, Karl, on the Statism of the socialist party, 256.

Kropotkin, Prince, 49-50;
  enthusiasm of, over the Propaganda of the Deed, 52;
  quoted on anarchist activities at Lyons, 59;
  on act of United States Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional
  the eight-hour law on Government work, 62-63;
  quoted on the Pittsburgh strike, 63-64;
  on treatment of anarchists by socialists, 92 n.;
  quoted on Russian secret police system, 113 n.;
  articles by, attacking socialist parliamentary tactics, 201-202;
  on the necessity of parliamentary action in distribution of land
  after the French Revolution, 272.


Labor movement, violence characteristic of early years of the, 125-126;
  beginning of real building of, in the middle of the last century, 127;
  profit to, from aid of "intellectual" circles, 127;
  in France, 128-129;
  in England, 129-131;
  setback to, in England due to various causes, 131;
  beginnings of, in Germany, 131-134;
  beginning of work of Marx and Engels in connection with, 132 ff.;
  attempt of early socialist and anarchist sects to inject their ideas
  into, 145;
  launching of the International, 145 ff.;
  entrance of the International into actual political work, 150-152;
  the ideal of the labor movement as expressed by Lincoln, 152;
  part played by the International as an organization of labor, 192;
  origins of, in Germany, 209;
  Bismarck's persecution of social democrats in Germany, 211-227;
  entrance of anarchism into, in France, 231 ff.;
  illegitimate activities of capital against, in United States, 280-326;
  process of building structure of the present, 335-337;
  position as a great and material actuality, 337;
  tracing of work done by Marx in connection with, 338 ff.;
  progress of, as indicated by socialist and labor vote, 328-329;
  parliamentary strength of, 329-331;
  growth of coöperations and trade unions, 331-333.

_Labor Standard_ article on United States Supreme Court decision, 62-63.

Labor Temples in Europe, 332.

Labriola, Arturo, syndicalist criticism of socialism by, 249-251;
  views of, on Parliamentarism, 261.

Lafargue, Paul, 202.

Lagardelle, on the antagonism of syndicalism and democracy, 264-265.

Lankiewicz, Valence, 28.

Lassalle, German socialist agitator, 205 ff.;
  by organizing the Universal German Working Men's Association, becomes
  founder of German labor movement, 209;
  relations between Bismarck and, 210.

Legien, Carl, quoted on French labor movement, 243.

Le Vin, detective, quoted on character of special police, 286.

Levine, Louis, "The Labor Movement in France" by, quoted, 244.

Liebknecht, Wilhelm, quoted on Marx's opposition to insurrection led by
  Herwegh, 158;
  mentioned, 205, 209-210;
  efforts of Bismarck to corrupt, 211;
  persecution of, by Bismarck, 211-212;
  frank statement of republican principles by, 212-213;
  quoted on defeat of Bismarck by socialists, 226;
  quoted as in favor of State-socialist propositions in Germany, 256.

Lincoln, Abraham, ideal of the labor movement as expressed by, 152.

Lingg, Louis, Chicago anarchist, 70, 95.

Lombroso, on corrective measures to be used with anarchists, 96-97;
  on the complicity of criminality and politics, 109.

Lovett, William, 130.

Luccheni, Italian assassin, 87.

Lynchings, an explanation given for, 107, 108.

Lyons, unsuccessful insurrection at, in 1870, 28-35.


McDowell, Malcomb, on character of deputy marshals in Chicago railway
  strike, 300-301.

McKinley, President, assassination of, 75, 88.

McNamaras, the, 318, 324.

Mafia, the, an organization of Italians which pursues terrorist
  tactics, 100.

Malatesta, Enrico, Italian revolutionist, 43-44, 49, 51.

Manufacturers' Association, lawless work of the, 318.

Mariana, Jesuit who upheld assassination of tyrants, 98, 99.

Marx, Karl, view of Bakounin held by, 7;
  meeting of Bakounin and, 9;
  assailed by Bakounin upon latter's entrance into the
  International, 15-16;
  quoted on the insurrection at Lyons in 1870, 35-36;
  on Bakounin's "abolition of the State," 36;
  on the Commune of Paris, 37;
  education and early career of, 132-134;
  the Communist Manifesto, 137-141;
  resignation of, from central council of Communist League, 141-142;
  gives evidence of perception of lack of revolutionary promise in
  sectarian organizations, secret societies, and political
  conspiracies, 142;
  gigantic intellectual labors of, in laying foundations of a
  scientific socialism, 143;
  the International launched by, 145-146;
  essence of socialism of, in Preamble of the Provisional Rules of the
  International, 147-148;
  statement of idea of, as to revolutionary character of political
  activity, 149-150;
  immense work of, in connection with the International, and publishing
  of "Capital" by, 152;
  summing up of services of, by Jaurès, 152-153;
  the battle between Bakounin and, 154 ff.;
  annoyance and humiliation of, by victory of Bakouninists at Basel
  congress, 168-169;
  bitter attack made on Bakounin and his circle by, 169-170;
  motives of, in destroying the International by moving seat of General
  Council to New York, 191-192;
  Bismarck's attempt to corrupt, 210;
  view held by, of the State and its functions, 257;
  quoted on "parliamentary crétinism," 261-262;
  battles of workingmen fought on lines laid down by, 338;
  immensity of task actually executed by, 344-356.

Merlino, Italian anarchist, 81.

Michel, Louise, French anarchist, 60.

Milwaukee, character of special police employed during molders' strike
  in, 286-287.

Mine Owners' Association, anarchism of, in Colorado, 304-311.

Moll, Joseph, 132, 137.

Molly Maguires, an organization of Irishmen which pursued terrorist
  tactics, 100.

Most, Johann, a product of Bismarck's man-hunting policy and legal
  tyranny, 56;
  the Freiheit of, 57, 65;
  brings terrorist ideas of Bakounin and Nechayeff to America, 64-65;
  early history of, 65-66;
  Emma Goldman's description of, 67;
  effect of agitation and doctrines of, on socialism in America, 67-68;
  climax of theories of, reached in the Haymarket tragedy, Chicago,
  article on "Revolutionary Principles" by, 69-70;
  history of terrorist tactics in America centers about career of, 74;
  responsibility of anti-socialist laws for misguided efforts and final
  downfall of, 74-75;
  ejected from socialist party for advocating violence in war with
  Bismarck, 219-220.

Motor bandits, career of, in France, 88-89.

Museux, quoted on Ravachol, 82.

"Muzzle Bill," Bismarck's, 221.


National Brothers, the, 12-14.

Nechayeff, Sergei, young Russian revolutionist, 16;
  collaboration of, with Bakounin, 16 ff.;
  question of share of "Words Addressed to Students" and "The
  Revolutionary Catechism" to be attributed to, 22;
  activities of, in Russia, 22-23;
  murder of Iwanoff by, 23;
  quarrels with Bakounin, steals his papers, and flees to London, 23;
  subsequent career and death, 25-26.

Nobiling, Dr. Karl, 55, 214.


O'Brien, J. B., 130.

O'Connor, Feargus, 130, 353.

Orchard, Harry, crimes of, paid for by detective agencies, 307-310.

Owen, Robert, 130;
  utopian socialism of, 144;
  in the Webbs' critique of, the economic fallacies of syndicalism are
  revealed, 260-261.

Ozerof, revolutionary enthusiast, friend of Bakounin, 28, 30, 34.


Paris, anarchist movement in (1883), 60;
  acts of violence in, 77-89.

Parliamentarism, criticism of, by syndicalists, 249, 261;
  attitude of socialism toward, 262-263.

Parliamentary strength of socialism at present day, 329-331.

Pelloutier, leader in French labor movement, 231.

Peukert, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58;
  found to be a police spy, 113-114.

Pinkerton detectives, the tools of anarchists of the capitalist class
  in the United States, 281 ff.

Place, Francis, 130.

Plechanoff, George, 53;
  quoted, 200;
  breaks with the Bakouninists, 204.

Pini, French anarchist and robber, 96.

Police agents, work of, against anarchism, socialism, and trade-union
  movements, 110-120, 203-204;
 infamous rôles played by, in United States, 290-292, 299-302, 312-314;
  list of notable, who have played a double part in labor
  movements, 313.

Policing by the State, a check on anarchism of individuals, 279.

Political action, dependence of Marx's program on, 137-141;
  fight of anarchists against, 232;
  criticism of, by syndicalists, 249 ff.;
  direct action placed over against, by the syndicalists, 267 ff.

Pougatchoff, Bakounin's idealizing of, 278.

Pouget, Émil, French anarchist, 60;
  origin of modern syndicalism with, 231;
  sabotage introduced by, at trade-union congress in Toulouse, 235;
  attack of syndicalism on democracy voiced by, 264;
  on the syndicalist's contempt for democracy, 265.

Poverty, as a cause of reliance upon violence by French
  trade-unions, 244.

Propaganda of the Deed, origin of the, 49-52;
  inspiration of, found in the teachings of Bakounin, 52;
  revolutionary demonstrations organized under doctrines of, 52-54;
  as the chief expression of anarchism, makes the name anarchism
  synonymous with violence and crime, 55;
  progress of, as shown by anarchist activities in Germany,
  Austria-Hungary, and France, 55-60;
  influence of, in Italy, Spain, and Belgium, 60-61;
  bringing of, to America by Johann Most, 62-76.
  _See_ Terrorism.

Proudhon, acquaintance between Bakounin and, 9;
  the father of anarchism, 129.

Proudhonian anarchists, inability of, to comprehend socialism of Marx,

Pryor, Judge Roger A., condemnation by, of use of private detectives by
  corporations, 297-298.

Pullman strike, employment and character of private detectives in,


Ravachol, French terrorist, 79-82, 104.

Razin, Stenka, leader of Russian peasant insurrection, 17;
  Bakounin's robber worship of, 278.

Reclus, Élisée, 14;
  quoted concerning Ravachol, 81.

_Red Flag_, Hasselmann's paper, 56.

Reinsdorf, August, assassin of German Emperor, 69-70.

"Revolutionary Catechism," by Bakounin and Nechayeff, 19-22.

Rey, Aristide, 14.

Richard, Albert, 29, 32.

Rittinghausen, delegate to congress of the International, quoted,
  on the futility of insurrection as a policy, 272.

Robber-worship, Bakounin's, 17, 278.

Rochdale Pioneers, the, 130.

Rochefort, Henri, remarks of, on anarchists, 70-71.

Rubin, W. B., investigation of character of special police by, 286-287.

Rull, Juan, Spanish gang leader, 119.


Sabotage, danger of use of, in United States, 324-325;
  appearance of, and explanation, 236;
  as really another name for the Propaganda of the Deed, 247.

Saffi, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Saignes, Eugène, 30, 31.

Saint-Simon, 128.

Salmons, C. H., on outrages by private detectives during Burlington
  strike, 296.

Sand, George, 9, 158.

Schapper, Karl, 131, 141.

Secret societies organized by Bakounin, 11-14.

Shelley, P. B., psychology of the anarchists depicted by, 93.

Small, Albion W., estimate of Marx by, 143.

Socialism, early use of word, 34 n.;
  split between anarchism and, in 1869, 47-48, 162-169;
  rapid spread of, in America after panic of 1873, 64-65;
  disastrous effect on, of Most's agitation in America, 67-68;
  contrasted with anarchism on the point of the latter's inspiring
  deeds of violence by terrorists, 90-92;
  different types attracted by anarchism and, 92-93;
  burden of anarchism placed on, by Catholic clergy, 98;
  growth of, 125 ff., 202-203;
  early days of, in France, 128-129;
  in England, 129-131;
  in Germany, 131-134;
  Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels a part of the basic literature
  of, 138;
  the utopian, destroyed by Marx's scientific theory, 144-145;
  the blending of labor and, a matter of decades, 145;
  essence of Marx's, found in the Preamble of the Provisional Rules of
  the International, 147-148;
  routing of, by anarchist doctrines in congress of International at
  Basel in 1869, 162-169;
  inquiry into and exposition of the aims of the Marxian, 174-178;
  attacks on, by anarchists after Hague congress of 1872, 201 ff.;
  fruitless war waged on German social democracy by Bismarck, 211-227;
  defeat and humiliation of Bismarck by, 225-227;
  strength of, throughout Europe shown in elections of 1892, 227-228;
  difference between aims and methods of, and those of syndicalism,
  antagonism between syndicalism and, 247 ff., 266;
  Statism of, criticised by syndicalists, 249-251, 252;
  real position of, regarding State ownership and State capitalism,
  criticism of, by syndicalists on grounds of Parliamentarism, 261;
  real attitude of, toward control of parliaments, 262-263;
  battle of, is against both the old anarchists, and the new anarchists
  of the wealthy class in the United States, 325-326;
  statistics of increase in vote of, 328-329;
  parliamentary strength of, 329-331;
  conditions which retard progress of, in United States, 332-333;
  tendency of labor movement in all lands toward, 333-334;
  international congresses of party, 334;
  results of inseparableness of democracy and, 353-354;
  slow but sure and steady progress of, 355-356.

Sombart, Werner, quoted on syndicalism and the "social sybarites,"
  quoted on tendency of labor movement in all lands toward
  socialism, 333.

Sorel, quoted to show hostility of syndicalism to democracy, 264.

Spain, revolution of 1873 in, 37-41;
  repression of terrorist tactics in, 87.

Spies, August, "revenge circular" of, 68.

State, check placed on anarchism of the individual by the, 279-280;
  activity of, in opposition to labor in United States, 322-324.

Statism, criticism of, of the socialist party, by syndicalists, 249-252;
  statement of attitude of socialism toward, 252-258;
  economic fallacies of syndicalists regarding, pointed out by the Webbs
  on their critique of Owen's trade-union socialism, 260-261.

Steinert, Henry, quoted on special police and detectives, 285.

Stellmacher, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58.

Stephens, Joseph Rayner, 130, 353.

Stirner, Max, "The Ego and His Own" by, quoted, 105.

"Study upon the German Jews," Bakounin's, 170-171.

Supreme Court of United States, act of, declaring unconstitutional the
  eight-hour law on Government work, 62-63.

Syndicalism, program of, outlined at congress of International in 1869,
  forecast of, contained in Bakounin's arguments, 185;
  revival in 1895 of anarchism under name of, 229;
  explanation of, and reason for existence, 230 ff.;
  wherein aim and methods differ from those of socialism, 238-239;
  connection of the "intellectuals" with, 239-241;
  reasons found for, in certain French and Italian conditions, 242-245;
  essential differences between anarchism and, 245-246;
  necessary antagonism between socialism and, 247 ff.;
  objections to the outline of a new society contemplated by, 259 ff.;
  criticism of Parliamentarism of socialism by, 261;
  attacks of, on democracy, 264-265;
  antagonism of socialism and, in aim and methods, 266 ff.;
  proven to be the logical descendant of anarchism, 270-271;
  its fate to be the same as that of anarchism, 271-272;
  claim of, that revolutionary movement must pursue economic aims and
  disregard political relations, 273.


Tennyson, quotation from, 96.

Terrorism, doctrine of, brought into Western Europe by Bakounin, 4,
  9-10, 17 ff.;
  set forth in "Revolutionary Catechism" by Bakounin and Nechayeff,
  practical introduction of, in insurrections of the early seventies,
  28 ff., 41-44;
  criticism of, by socialists, 40;
  advent of the Propaganda of the Deed, and resultant acts of violence
  in Italy, 50-55;
  carried into Germany, Austria-Hungary, and France, 56-60;
  doctrine of, spread in America by Johann Most, 65-68;
  protest voiced by Tucker, American anarchist, against terrorist
  tactics, 70-74;
  failure of, to take deep root in America, 75-76;
  acts of, committed by anarchists in France, 77-89;
  causes of, 90 ff.;
  due to hysteria and pseudo-insanity, 93-94;
  wrong attitude of society as to corrective measures, 94-98;
  burden of, placed by Catholics on socialism, 98-101;
  glorification of, in annals of history, 101;
  egoistic conception of history carried to an extreme in, 102-106;
  caused by corruption of courts and oppressive laws, 107-108;
  complicity of criminality and, 109;
  use of, by European governments, 110-120, 219 ff.;
  introduced into the International by Bakounin, and struggles of
  Marxists against, 154-193;
  part played by, in Bismarck's war on social democracy, 213, 217, 218;
  attempts of Bismarck to provoke, 219 ff.;
  reaction of, on Bismarck, 227;
  employed by ruling class in America, by means of private detectives
  and special police, 276-324.

Thompson, William, 130.

Tolstoi, Berth's characterization of, 241.

Tortellier, French agitator and anarchist, 231;
  declaration of, against political action, 232.

Trade unions, at basis of Spanish revolution of 1873, 39;
  entrance into, of anarchism, resulting in syndicalism, 231 ff.
  _See_ Labor movement.

Tucker, Benjamin R., New York anarchist, quoted on "The Beast of
  Communism," 70-74.


United States, unsettled conditions in, after panic of 1873, 62-64;
  development of socialist and trade-union organizations in, 64;
  Bakounin's terrorist ideas brought to, by Johann Most, 65;
  acts of violence in, 67-70;
  protests of anarchists of, against terrorism, 70-74;
  failure of anarchism to take firm root in, 75;
  anarchism of the powerful in, 280 ff.;
  system of extra-legal police agents in, 281-291, 311 ff.;
  account of tragic episodes in history of labor disputes in, 291-311;
  abetting by the State of mercenary anarchists in, 322-325;
  figures of socialist and labor vote in, 328;
  socialists of, wholly lacking in representation in Congress, 330, 333;
  conditions in, calculated to retard progress of socialist and labor
  movement, 332-333.

Universal German Working Men's Association, organization of, 209.

Utopian socialism destroyed by Marx's scientific socialism, 144.


Vaillant, August, French terrorist, 79, 82-84, 104.

Valzania, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Vincenzo, Tomburri, Italian revolutionist, 54.

Violence, analysis of causes of, 90-122.
  _See_ Terrorism.

Vliegen, Dutch labor leader, on the general strike, 243-244.

Von Schweitzer, leader in German labor movement, reported to have sold
  out to Bismarck, 211.

Vote of socialists and laborites (1887-1913), 328, 329.


Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, economic fallacies of syndicalism indicated
  by, 260-261.

Weitling, early German socialist agitator, 132.

Western Federation of Miners, crimes falsely attributed to, 307-310.

West Virginia, governmental tyranny during labor troubles in, 217;
  outrages committed by special police in, 292.

Wickersham, George W., testimony of, as to packing of a jury by private
  detectives, 289.

William I., Emperor, attempts on life of, 55, 213-214.

"Words Addressed to Students," Bakounin and Nechayeff's, 17.

Wyden, secret conference of German social democrats at, 219-220.


Yvetot, quoted on syndicalism and anarchism, 245.


Zenker, quoted on anarchist movement in Austria-Hungary, 57-58;
  on association formed by Most for uniting revolutionists, 66;
  on motives behind deeds of violence, 100.

Zola, psychology of the anarchist depicted by, 93.

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