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Title: Anarchism - A Criticism and History of the Anarchist Theory
Author: Zenker, Ernst Viktor, 1865-
Language: English
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                       A CRITICISM AND HISTORY
                           OF THE ANARCHIST


                             E. V. ZENKER

                         G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
                         NEW YORK AND LONDON
                       The Knickerbocker Press

                           COPYRIGHT, 1897
                         G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

                  The Knickerbocker Press, New York


On the day of the bomb outrage in the French Parliament I gave an
impromptu discourse upon Anarchism to an intelligent audience anxious
to know more about it, touching upon its intellectual ancestry, its
doctrines, propaganda, the lines of demarcation that separate it from
Socialism and Radicalism, and so forth. The impression which my
explanations of it made upon my audience was at the same time
flattering and yet painful to me. I felt almost ashamed that I had
told these men, who represented the pick of the middle-class political
electorate, something entirely new to them in speaking of matters
which, considering their reality and the importance of the question,
ought to be familiar to every citizen. Having thus had my attention
drawn to this _lacuna_ in the public mind, I was induced to make a
survey of the most diverse circles of the political and Socialist
world, both of readers and writers, and the result was the resolve to
extend my previous studies of Anarchism (which had not extended much
beyond the earliest theorists), and to develop my lecture into a book.
This book I now present to my readers.

The accomplishment of my resolve has been far from easy. What little
literature exists upon the subject of Anarchism is almost exclusively
hostile to it, which is a great drawback for one who is seeking not
the objects of a partisan, but simply and solely the truth. One had
constantly to gaze, so to speak, through a forest of prejudices and
errors in order to discover the truth like a little spot of blue sky
above. In this respect I found it mattered little whether I applied to
the press, or to the so-called scientific Socialists, or to fluent

  "In vielen Worten wenig Klarheit,
  Ein Fünkchen Witz und keine Wahrheit."[1]

    [1] Many words, but little light; a spark of wit, but no

Laveleye, for instance, does not even know of Proudhon; for him
Bakunin is the only representative of Anarchism and the most
characteristic; Socialism, Nihilism, and Anarchism mingle together in
wild confusion in the mind of this social historian. Garin, who wrote
a big book, entitled _The Anarchists_, is not acquainted with a single
Anarchist author, except some youthful writings of Proudhon's and a
few agitationist placards and manifestoes of the modern period. The
result of this ignorance is that he identifies Anarchism completely
with Collectivism, and carries his ridiculous ignorance so far as to
connect the former Austrian minister Schäffle, who was then the chief
adviser of Count Hohenwart, in some way or other with the Anarchists.
Professor Enrico Ferri, again, exposes his complete ignorance of the
question at issue sufficiently by branding Herbert Spencer as an
Anarchist. In fact, the only work that can be called scientifically
useful is the short article on "Anarchism" in the _Cyclopædia of
Political Science_, from the pen of Professor George Adler. All
pamphlets, articles, and essays which have since appeared on the same
subject are, conveniently but uncritically, founded upon this short
but excellent essay of Adler's. Since the extraordinary danger of
Anarchist doctrines is firmly fixed as a dogma in the minds of the
vast majority of mankind, it is apparently quite unnecessary to obtain
any information about its real character in order to pronounce a
decided, and often a decisive, judgment upon it. And so almost all who
have hitherto written upon or against Anarchism, with a few very rare
exceptions, have probably never read an Anarchist publication, even
cursorily, but have contented themselves with certain traditional

As a contrast to this, it was necessary, for the purposes of a
critical work upon Anarchism, to go right back to its sources and to
the writings of those who represented it. But here I found a further
difficulty, which could not always be overcome. Where was I to get
these writings? Our great public libraries, whose pride it is to
possess the most complete collections possible of all the texts of
Herodotus or Sophocles, have of course thought it beneath their
dignity to place on their shelves the works of Anarchist doctrinaires,
or even to collect the pamphlet literature for or against
Anarchism--productions which certainly cannot take a very high rank
from the point of view either of literature or of fact. The
consequence of this foresight on the part of our librarians is that,
to-day, anyone who inquires into the development of the social
question in these great libraries devoted to science and public study
has nothing to find, and therefore nothing to seek. I have thus been
compelled to procure the materials I wanted partly through the
kindness of friends and acquaintances, and partly by purchase of
books--often at considerable expense,--but always by roundabout means
and with great difficulty. And here I should like specially to
emphasise the fact that it was the literary representatives of
Anarchism themselves who, although I never concealed my hostility to
Anarchism, placed their writings at my disposal in the kindest and
most liberal manner; and for this I hereby beg to offer them my
heartiest thanks, and most of all Professor Elisée Reclus, of

But if I thus enter into details of the difficulties which met me in
writing the present book, it is not with the object of surrounding
myself with the halo of a pioneer. I only wish to lay my hand on a
sore which has no doubt troubled other authors also; and, at the same
time, to explain to my critics the reason why there are still so many
_lacunæ_ in this work. I have, for instance, been quite unable to
procure any book or essay by Tucker, or a copy of his journal
_Liberty_, although several booksellers did their best to help me, and
although I applied personally to Mr. Tucker at Boston. It was all in
vain. _Ut aliquid fecisse videatur_, I ordered from Chicago M. J.
Schaack's book, _Anarchy and Anarchists, a History of the Red Terror
and the Social Revolution in America and Europe: Communism, Socialism,
and Nihilism, in Doctrine and in Deed_. After waiting four months, and
repeatedly urging things on, I at last received it, and soon perceived
that I had merely bought a pretty picture book for my library for my
five dollars. The book contains, in spite of its grandiloquent title,
its six hundred and ninety-eight large octavo pages, and its "numerous
illustrations from authentic photographs and from original drawings,"
not a single word about the doctrine of Anarchism in general, or
American Anarchism in particular. The author, a police official, takes
up a standpoint which is certainly quite explicable in one of his
position, but which is hardly suitable for a social historian. To him
"all Socialists are Anarchists as a first step, although all
Anarchists are not precisely Socialists" (see page 22),--which is
certainly praiseworthy moderation in a police officer. He calls
Ferdinand Lassalle "the father of German Anarchism as it exists
to-day" (page 23); on the other hand he has no knowledge of Tucker (of
Boston), the most prominent exponent of theoretical Anarchism in
America. This, then, was the literature which was at my disposal.

As regards the standpoint which I have taken in this book upon
questions of fact, it is strictly the coldly observant and critical
attitude of science and no other. I was not concerned to write either
for or against Anarchism, but only to tell the great mass of the
people that concerns itself with public occurrences for the first time
what Anarchism really is, and what it wishes to do, and whether
Anarchist views are capable of discussion like other opinions. The
condemnation of Anarchism, which becomes necessary in doing this,
proceeds exclusively from the exercise of scientific criticism, and
has nothing to do with any partisan judgment, be it what it may. It
would be a contradiction to adopt a partisan attitude at the very time
when one is trying to remind public opinion of a duty which has been
forgotten in the heat of party conflict.

But I do not for a moment allow myself to be deluded into thinking
that, with all my endeavours to be just to all, I have succeeded in
doing justice to all. Elisée Reclus wrote to me, when I informed him
of my intention to write the present book, and of my opinion of
Anarchism, that he wished me well, but doubted the success of my work,
for (he said) _on ne comprend rien que ce qu'on aime_. Of this remark
I have always had a keen recollection. If that great savant and gentle
being, the St. John of the Anarchists, thinks thus, what shall I have
to expect from his passionate fellow-disciples, or from the
terror-blinded opponents of Anarchism? "We cannot understand what we
do not love," and unfortunately we do not love unvarnished truth.
Anarchists will, therefore, simply deny my capacity to write about
their cause, and call my book terribly reactionary; Socialists will
think me too much of a "Manchester Economist"; Liberals will think me
far too tolerant towards the Socialistic disturbers of their peace;
and Reactionaries will roundly denounce me as an Anarchist in
disguise. But this will not dissuade me from my course, and I shall be
amply compensated for these criticisms which I have foreseen by the
knowledge of having advanced real and serious discussion on this
subject. For only when we have ceased to thrust aside the theory of
Anarchism as madness from the first, only when we have perceived that
one can and must understand many things that we certainly cannot like,
only then will Anarchists also place themselves on a closer human
footing with us, and learn to love us as men even though they often
perhaps cannot understand us, and of their own accord abandon their
worst argument, the bomb.

                                                       E. V. ZENKER.


                      PART I.--EARLY ANARCHISM.

  PREFACE                                                          v

  I. PRECURSORS AND EARLY HISTORY                                  3

    Forerunners and Early History -- Definitions -- Is Anarchism
    a Pathological Phenomenon? -- Anarchism Considered
    Sociologically --Anarchist Movements in the Middle Ages --
    The Theory of the Social Contract with Reference to Anarchism
    -- Anarchist Movements during the French Revolution -- The
    Philosophic Premises of the Anarchist Theory -- The Political
    and Economic Assumptions of Anarchism.

  II. PIERRE JOSEPH PROUDHON                                      32

    Biography -- His Philosophic Standpoint -- His Early Writings
    -- The "Contradictions of Political Economy" -- Proudhon's
    Federation -- His Economic Views -- His Theory of Property --
    Collectivism and Mutualism -- Attempts to Put his Views into
    Practice -- Proudhon's Last Writings -- Criticism.


    Germany in 1830-40 and France -- Stirner and Proudhon --
    Biography of Stirner -- _The Individual and his Property_
    (_Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum_) -- The Union of Egoists --
    The Philosophic Contradiction of the _Einziger_ -- Stirner's
    Practical Error -- Julius Faucher -- Moses Hess -- Karl Grün
    -- Wilhelm Marr.

                     PART II.--MODERN ANARCHISM.

  CHAP.                                                         PAGE
  IV. RUSSIAN INFLUENCES                                         141

    The Earliest Signs of Anarchist Views in Russia in 1848 --
    The Political, Economic, Mental, and Social Circumstances
    of Anarchism in Russia -- Michael Bakunin -- Biography --
    Bakunin's Anarchism -- Its Philosophic Foundations --
    Bakunin's Economic Programme -- His Views as to the
    Practicability of his Plans -- Sergei Netschajew -- The
    Revolutionary Catechism -- The Propaganda of Action -- Paul

  V. PETER KROPOTKIN AND HIS SCHOOL                              172

    Biography -- Kropotkin's Main Views -- Anarchist Communism
    and the "Economics of the Heap" (_Tas_) -- Kropotkin's
    Relation to the Propaganda of Action -- Elisée Reclus: his
    Character and Anarchist Writings -- Jean Grave -- Daniel
    Saurin's _Order through Anarchy_ -- Louise Michel and G.
    Eliévant -- A. Hamon and the Psychology of Anarchism --
    Charles Malato and other French Writers on Anarchist
    Communism -- The Italians: Cafiero, Merlino, and Malatesta.

  VI. GERMANY, ENGLAND, AND AMERICA                              213

    Individualist and Communist Anarchism -- Arthur Mülberger --
    Theodor Hertzka's _Freeland_ -- Eugen Dühring's "Anticratism"
    -- Moritz von Egidy's "United Christendom" -- John Henry
    Mackay -- Nietzsche and Anarchism -- Johann Most -- Auberon
    Herbert's Voluntary State -- R. B. Tucker.


  CHAP.                                                         PAGE

    Spencer's Views on the Organisation of Society -- Society
    Conceived from the Nominalist and Realist Standpoint -- The
    Idealism of Anarchists -- Spencer's Work: _From Freedom to

  VIII. THE SPREAD OF ANARCHISM IN EUROPE                        260

    First Period (1867-1880): The Peace and Freedom League -- The
    Democratic Alliance and the Jurassic Bund -- Union with and
    Separation from the "International" -- The Rising at Lyons --
    Congress at Lausanne -- The Members of the Alliance in Italy,
    Spain, and Belgium -- Second Period (from 1880): The German
    Socialist Law -- Johann Most -- The London Congress -- French
    Anarchism since 1880 -- Anarchism in Switzerland -- The
    Geneva Congress -- Anarchism in Germany and Austria -- Joseph
    Penkert -- Anarchism in Belgium and England -- Organisation
    of the Spanish Anarchists -- Italy -- Character of Modern
    Anarchism -- The Group -- Numerical Strength of the Anarchism
    of Action.

  IX. CONCLUDING REMARKS                                         304

    Legislation against Anarchists -- Anarchism and Crime --
    Tolerance towards Anarchist Theory -- Suppression of
    Anarchist Crime -- Conclusion.

                                PART I

                           EARLY ANARCHISM

    "A hundred fanatics are found to support a theological or
    metaphysical statement, but not one for a geometric theorem."
                                              CESARE LOMBROSO.

                              CHAPTER I


    Forerunners and Early History Definitions -- Is Anarchism
    a Pathological Phenomenon? -- Anarchism Considered
    Sociologically --Anarchist Movements in the Middle Ages --
    The Theory of the Social Contract with Reference to Anarchism
    -- Anarchist Movements during the French Revolution -- The
    Philosophic Premises of the Anarchist Theory -- The Political
    and Economic Assumptions of Anarchism.

        "Die Welt wird alt und wird wieder jung
        Doch der Mensch hofft immer auf Besserung."

Anarchy means, in its ideal sense, the perfect, unfettered
self-government of the individual, and, consequently, the absence of
any kind of external government. This fundamental formula, which in
its essence is common to all actual and real Theoretical Anarchists,
contains all that is necessary as a guide to the distinguishing
features of this remarkable movement. It demands the unconditional
realisation of freedom, both subjectively and objectively, equally in
political and in economic life. In this, Anarchism is distinct from
Liberalism, which, even in its most radical representatives, only
allows unlimited freedom in economic affairs, but has never questioned
the necessity of some compulsory organisation in the social
relationships of individuals; whereas Anarchism would extend the
Liberal doctrine of _laisser faire_ to all human actions, and would
recognise nothing but a free convention or agreement as the only
permissible form of human society. But the formula stated above
distinguishes Anarchism much more strongly (because the distinction is
fundamental) from its antithesis, Socialism, which out of the
celebrated trinity of the French Revolution has placed another figure,
that of Equality, upon a pedestal as its only deity. Anarchism and
Socialism, in spite of the fact that they are so often confused, both
intentionally and unintentionally, have only one thing in common,
namely, that both are forms of idolatry, though they have different
idols, both are religions and not sciences, dogmas and not
speculations. Both of them are a kind of honestly meant social
mysticism, which, anticipating the partly possible and perhaps even
probable results of yet unborn centuries, urge upon mankind the
establishment of a terrestrial Eden, of a land of the absolute Ideal,
whether it be Freedom or Equality. It is only natural, in view of the
difficulty of creating new thoughts, that our modern seekers after the
millennium should look for their Eden by going backwards, and should
shape it on the lines of stages of social progress that have long
since been passed by; and in this is seen the irremediable internal
contradiction of both movements: they intend an advance, but only
cause retrogression.

       *       *       *       *       *

Are we, then, to take Anarchism seriously, or shall we pass it by
merely with a smile of superiority and a deprecating wave of our hand?
Shall we declare war to the knife against Anarchists, or have they a
claim to have their opinions discussed and respected as much as those
of the Liberals or Social Democrats, or as those of religious or
ecclesiastical bodies? These questions we can only answer at the
conclusion of this book; but at this point I should like to do away
with one conception of Anarchism which is frequently urged against it.

Those who wish nowadays to seem particularly enlightened and tolerant
as regards this dangerous movement, describe it as a "pathological
phenomenon." We have done our best to make some sense of this
mischievous, though modern, analogy, but have never succeeded, in
spite of Lombroso, Kraft-Ebing, and others undeniably capable in their
own department. The former, in his clever book on this subject,[1] has
confused individual with social pathology. When Lombroso completely
identified the Anarchist theory and idea--with which he is by no means
familiar--with the persons engaged in Anarchist actions, and made an
attempt (which is certainly successful) to trace the political methods
of thought and action of a great many of them to pathological
premises, he reached the false conclusion that Anarchism itself was a
pathological phenomenon. But in reality the only conclusion from his
demonstration is that many unhealthy and criminal characters adopt
Anarchism, a conclusion which he himself admits in this remark, that
"Criminals take part specially in the beginnings of insurrections and
revolutions in large numbers, for, at a time when the weak and
undecided are still hesitating, the impulsive activity of abnormal and
unhealthy characters preponderates, and their example then produces
epidemics of excesses." This fact we fearlessly acknowledge; and it
gains a special significance for us in that the Anarchists themselves
base their system of "propaganda by action" upon this knowledge. But
if we are therefore to call this phenomenon a symptom that Anarchism
itself is a pathological phenomenon, to what revolutionary movement
might we not then apply this criterion, and what would it imply if we

    [1] Cesare Lombroso, _The Anarchists, a Study in Criminal
    Psychology and Sociology_. (German translation by Dr. Hans
    Kneller, after the 2d edition of the original. Hamburg,

I have stated, and (I hope) have shown elsewhere[2] what may be
understood by "pathological" social phenomena, namely, an abnormal
unhealthy condition of the popular mind in the sense of a general
aberration of the intellect of the masses, as is possibly the case in
what is known as Anti-Semitism. But even in this limited sense it
appears quite inadmissible and incorrect to call Anarchism a
pathological phenomenon. Let us be fair and straightforward, if we
wish to learn; let us be just, even if we are to benefit our most
dangerous enemies; for in the end we shall benefit ourselves. With
Anarchism there is no question of transitory anomalies of the public
mind, but of a well defined condition which is visibly increasing and
which is necessarily connected with all previous and accompanying
conditions; it is a question of ideas and opinions which are the
logical, even if in practice inadmissible, development of views that
have long been well known and recognised by the majority of civilised
men. A further test of every unhealthy phenomenon, namely, its local
character, is entirely lacking in Anarchism; for we meet with it
to-day extending all over the world, wherever society has developed in
a manner similar to our own; we meet it not merely in one class, but
see members of all classes, and especially members of the upper
classes, attach themselves to it. The fathers, as we may call them, of
the Anarchist theory are almost entirely men of great natural gifts,
who rank high both intellectually and morally, whose influence has
been felt for half a century, who have been born in Russia, Germany,
France, Italy, England, and America, men who are as different one from
another as are the circumstances and environment of their respective
countries, but who are all of one mind as regards the theory which we
mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.

    [2] _Rupticism, Pietism, and Anti-Semitism at the Close of
    the Nineteenth Century_, a study in social history. Vienna,

And that is what Anarchism undoubtedly is: a theory, an idea, with all
the failings and dangers, but also with all the advantages which a
theory always possesses, with just as much, and only as much,
validity as a theory can demand as its due, but at any rate a theory
which is as old as human civilisation, because it goes back to the
most powerful civilising factor in humanity.

       *       *       *       *       *

The care for the bare necessities of life, the inexorable
struggle for existence, has aroused in mankind the desire for
fellow-strugglers, for companions. In the tribe his power of
resistance was increased, and his prospect of self-support grew in
proportion as he developed together with his fellows into a new
collective existence. But the fact that, notwithstanding this, he did
not grow up like a mere animal in a flock, but in such a way that he
always--even if often only after long and bitter experience--found his
proper development in the tribe--this has made him a man and his tribe
a society. Which is the more ancient and more sacred, the unfettered
rights of the individual or the welfare of the community? Can anyone
take this question seriously who is accustomed to look at the life and
development of society in the light of facts? Individualism and
Altruism are as inseparably connected as light and darkness, as day
and night. The individualistic and the social sense in human society
correspond to the centrifugal and centripetal forces in the universe,
or to the forces of attraction and repulsion that govern molecular
activity. Their movements must be regarded simply as manifestations of
forces in the direction of the resultants, whose components are
Individualism and Altruism. If, to use a metaphor from physics, one of
these forces was excluded, the body would either remain stock-still,
or would fly far away into infinity. But such a case is, in society as
in physics, only possible in imagination, because the distinction
between the two forces is itself only a purely mental separation of
one and the same thing.

This is all that can be said either for or against the exclusive
accentuation of any one single social force. All the endeavours to
create a realm of unlimited and absolute freedom have only as much
value as the assumption, in physics, of space absolutely void of air,
or of a direction of motion absolutely uninfluenced by the force of
gravity. The force which sets a bullet in motion is certainly
something actual and real; but the influence which would correspond to
this force, this direction in the sense in which the physicist
distinguishes it, exists only in theory, because the bullet will, as
far as all actual experience goes, only move in the direction of a
resultant, in which the impetus given to it and the force of gravity
are inseparably united and appear as one. If, therefore, it is also
clear that the endeavour to obtain a realm of unconditional freedom
contradicts _ipso facto_ the conception of life, yet all such
endeavours are by no means valueless for our knowledge of human
society, and consequently for society itself; and even if social life
is always only the resultant of different forces, yet these forces
themselves remain something real and actual, and are no mere fiction
or hypothesis; while the growing differentiation of society shows how
freedom, conceived as a force, is something actual, although as an
ideal it may never attain full realisation. The development of society
has proceeded hand in hand with a conscious or more often unconscious
assertion of the individual, and the philosopher Hegel could rightly
say that the history of the world is progress in the consciousness of
freedom. At all events, it might be added, the statement that the
history of the world is progress in the consciousness of the universal
interdependence of mankind would have quite as much justification, and
practically also just the same meaning.

The circumstance that, apart from the events of what is comparatively
a modern period, the great social upheavals of history have not taken
place expressly in the name of freedom, although they have
indisputably implied it, only proves that in this case we have to deal
not with a mere word or idea, but with an actual force which is active
and acting, without reference to our knowledge or consciousness of it.
The recognition of individual freedom, and much more the endeavour to
make it the only object of our life, are certainly of quite recent
date. But these presuppose a certain amount of progress in the actual
process of setting the individual free in his moral and political
relationships, which is not to be found in the whole of antiquity, and
still less in the middle ages.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is not possible to point to clearer traces of Anarchist influences
in the numberless social religious revolutions of the close of the
middle ages, without doing violence to history, although, as in all
critical periods, even in that of the Reformation,--which certainly
implied a serious revolt against authority,--there was no lack of
isolated attempts to make the revolt against authority universal, and
to abolish authority of every kind. We find, for instance, in the
thirteenth century, a degenerate sect of the "Beghards," who called
themselves "Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit," or were also
called "Amalrikites," after the name of their founder.[3] They
preached not only community of goods but also of women, a perfect
equality, and rejected every form of authority. Their Anarchist
doctrines were, curiously enough, a consequence of their Pantheism.
Since God is everything and everywhere, even in mankind, it follows
that the will of man is also the will of God; therefore every
limitation of man is objectionable, and every person has the right,
indeed it is his duty, to obey his impulses. These views are said to
have spread fairly widely over the east of France and part of Germany,
and especially among the Beghards on the Rhine.[4] The "Brothers and
Sisters of the Free Spirit" also appear during the Hussite wars under
the name of "Adamites"; this name being given them because they
declared the condition of Adam to be that of sinless innocence. Their
enthusiasm for this happy state of nature went so far that they
appeared in their assemblies, called "Paradises," literally in Adamite
costume, that is, quite naked.

    [3] Amalrich of Bena, near Chartres, was, about 1200 A.D., a
    professor of theology at Paris. He had to defend himself
    before Pope Innocent III. on a charge of pantheistic
    teaching, and then recanted. His follower, David of Dinant,
    however, continued his work after his master's death (in 1206
    or 1207), and this caused a condemnation of Amalrich's
    teaching by the Synod of Paris in 1210, and by the Lateran
    Council in 1215, and also led to a severe persecution of the

    [4] E. Bernstein and K. Kautsky, _Die Vorläufer des Neueren
    Socialismus_, Stuttgart, 1895. Part i., pp. 169 and 216.

But that, in spite of all this, the real Communism of this sect went
no farther than a kind of patriarchal Republicanism, certainly not as
far as actual Anarchy, is proved by the information given by Æneas
Sylvius: that they certainly had community of women, but that it was
nevertheless forbidden to them to have knowledge of any woman without
the permission of their leader.

There is one other sect met with during the Hussite wars in Bohemia,
which bears some similarity to the Anarchical Communism of the present
day, that of the Chelcicians.[5] Peter of Chelcic, a peaceful
Taborite, preached equality and Communism; but this universal equality
should not (he said) be imposed upon society by the compulsion of the
State, but should be realised without its intervention. The State is
sinful, and an outcome of the Evil One, since it has created the
inequality of property, rank, and place. Therefore the State must
disappear; and the means of doing away with it consists not in making
war upon it, but in simply ignoring it. The true follower of this
theory is thus neither allowed to take any office under the State nor
call in its help; for the true Christian strives after good of his own
accord, and must not compel us to follow it, since God desires good to
be done voluntarily. All compulsion is from the Evil One; all
dignities or distinctions of classes offend against the law of
brotherly love and equality. This pious enthusiast easily found a
small body of followers in a time when men were weary of war after the
cruelties of the Hussite conflicts; but here, too, his theory
developed in practice into a kind of Quietism under priestly control,
an austere Puritanism, which is the very opposite of the personal
freedom of Anarchism.

    [5] _Vorläufer des Neueren Socialismus_, Pt. i., p. 230.

Once more the Anarchist views of the Amalrikite appear at the
beginning of the sixteenth century among the Anabaptists in the sect
of the "Free Brothers," who considered themselves set free from all
laws by Christ, had wives and property in common, and refused to pay
either taxes or tithes, or to perform the duties of service or
serfdom.[6] The "Free Brothers" had a following in the Zürich
highlands, but they were of no more importance than the other sect, we
have mentioned; utterly incomprehensible to those of their own time,
they formed the extreme wings of the widespread Communist movement
which, coming at the same time as the Reformation in the Church,
separates the (so-called) middle ages from modern times like a
boundary line. We observe in it nothing but the naïvely logical
development of a belief that is common to most religions: the
assumption of a happy age in the childhood of mankind (Golden Age,
Paradise, and so on), when men followed merely the laws of reason
(Morality, God, or Nature, or whatever else it is called), and needed
no laws or punishments to tell them to do right and avoid wrong; when
mankind, as every schoolboy knows from his Ovid,--

                          "Vindice nullo
  Sponte sua sine lege fidem rectumque colebat;
  Poena metusque aberant, nec verba minacia fixo
  Ære legebantur, nec supplex turba timebat
  Judicis ora sui, sed erant sine judice tuti."

    [6] "_Der Wideräufferen vosprung, fürgang, Secten v.s.w. ...
    beschreiben durch Heinerrychen Bullingern...._" Zurich, 1561.
    Fol. 32.

The transition from this primeval Anarchy to the present condition of
society has been presented by religion, both Græco-Roman and
Judaic-Christian, as the consequence of a deterioration of mankind
("the Fall"), and as a condition of punishment, which is to be
followed, in a better world and after the work of life has been well
performed, by another life as Eden-like as the first state of man, and
eternal. But it must not be forgotten that Christianity was at first a
proletarian movement, and that a great part of its adherents certainly
did not join it merely with the hope of a return to the original state
of Paradise in a future world. Perhaps (thought they) this Paradise
might be attainable in this world. It can be seen that the Church had
originally nothing to lose by at least not opposing this hope of a
millennium[7]; and so we see not only heretics like Kerinthos, but
also pillars of orthodoxy, like Papios of Hieropolis, Irenæus, Justin
Martyr, and others, preaching the doctrine of the millennium. In later
times, indeed, when the Church had long since ceased to be a mainly
proletarian movement, and when Christianity had risen from the
Catacombs to the palace and the throne, the hopes of the poor and
oppressed for an approaching millennial reign lost their harmless
character, and "Millennialism" became _ipso facto_ heresy. But this
heresy was, as may be understood, not so easy to eradicate; and when,
in the closing centuries of the middle ages, the material position of
large classes of people had again become, in spite of Christianity,
most serious and comfortless, Millennialism awoke again actively in
men's minds, and formed the prelude, as well as the Socialist
undercurrent, of the Reformation. Some Radical offshoots of this
medieval Millennialism we have already noticed in the "Brothers and
Sisters of the Free Spirit," the Adamites, Chelcicians, and "Free

    [7] Or, from the Greek, chiliad; and hence the word
    _chiliasm_, expressing the belief in a millennium.

       *       *       *       *       *

The presuppositions of this flattering superstition are so deeply
founded in the optimism of mankind, that it remained the same even
when divested of its religious, or rather its confessional, garment;
and could be no more eradicated by the Rationalistic tendency that
arose after the Reformation than by the interdict of Rome or the
brutal cruelties of ecclesiastical justice.

If we look more closely into the doctrine of the so-called _contrat
social_, which was destined to form the programme of the French
Revolution, we again recognise without much difficulty the fundamental
ideas of the Millennialists, hardly altered at all. A Paradise
without laws, existing before civilisation, which is considered as a
curse, and another like unto it, when "this cursed civilisation" is
abolished, is what a modern Anarchist would say. The names only are
different, and are taken from the vocabulary of Rationalism, instead
of from that of religious mythology. Instead of divine rights men
spoke now of the everlasting and unalterable rights of man; instead of
Paradise, of a happy state of nature, in which there is, however, an
exact resemblance to Ovid's golden age, the transition into the
present form of society was represented to be due to a social contract
or agreement, occasioned, however, by a certain moral degeneracy in
mankind, only differing in name from the "Fall." In this case, also,
Anarchy is regarded as underlying society as the ideal state of
nature; every form of society is only the consequence of the
degeneration of mankind, a _pis aller_, or, at any rate, only a
voluntary renunciation of the original, inalienable, and unalterable
rights of man and nature, the chief of which is Freedom.

In the further development of this main idea the believers in the
_contrat social_ have been divided. While some, foremost among whom is
Hobbes, declared the contract thus formed once and for all as
permanent and unbreakable, and hence that the authority of the
sovereign was irrevocable and without appeal, and thus arrived at
Monarchism pure and simple; others, and these the great majority,
regarded the contract merely as provisional, and the powers of the
sovereign as therefore limited. In this case everyone is not only free
to annul the contract at any time and place himself outside the
limits of society,[8] but the contract is also regarded as broken if
the sovereign--whether a person or a body corporate--oversteps his
authority. Here the return to the primeval state of Anarchy not only
shines, as it were, afar off as a future ideal, but appears as the
permanently normal state of mankind, only occasionally disturbed by
some transitory form of social life. This idea cannot be more clearly
expressed than in the words which the poet Schiller--certainly not an
advocate of bombs--puts into the mouth of Stauffacher in _William

  "When the oppressed . . .
  . . . makes appeal to Heaven
  And thence brings down his everlasting rights,
  Which there abide, inalienably his,
  And indestructible as are the stars,
  Nature's primeval state returns again,
  Where man stands hostile to his fellow-man."

How nearly the doctrine of the "social contract" corresponds to the
idea of Anarchy is shown by the circumstance that one of the first
(and what is more, one of the ecclesiastical) representatives of this
doctrine, Hooker, declared, that "it was in the nature of things not
absolutely impossible that men could live without any public form of
government." Elsewhere he says that for men it is foolish to let
themselves be guided, by authority, like animals; it would be a kind
of fettering of the judgment, though there were reasons to the
contrary, not to pay heed to them, but, like sheep, to follow the
leader of the flock, without knowing or caring whither. On the other
hand, it is no part of our belief that the authority of man over men
shall be recognised against or beyond reason. Assemblies of learned
men, however great or honourable they may be, must be subject to
reason. This refers, of course, only to spiritual and ecclesiastical
authority; but Locke, who followed Hooker most closely, discovered
only too clearly what the immediate consequences of such assumptions
would be, and tried to avoid them by affirming that the power of the
sovereign, being merely a power entrusted to him, could be taken away
as soon as it became forfeited by misuse, but that the break-up of a
government was not a break-up of society. In France, on the other
hand, Étienne de la Boëtie had already written, when oppressed by the
tyranny of Henry II., a _Discours de la Servitude Volontaire, ou
Contr'un_ (in 1546), containing a glowing defence of Freedom, which
goes so far that the sense of the necessity of authority disappears
entirely. The opinion of La Boëtie is that mankind does not need
government; it is only necessary that it should really wish it, and
it would find itself happy and free again, as if by magic.

    [8] "Cette liberté commun est une consequence de la nature
    de l'homme. Sa première loi est de veiller à sa propre
    conservation, ses premiers soins sont ceux qu'il se doit à
    lui-même: et sitôt qu'il est en âge de raison, lui seul étant
    juge des moyens propres à le conserver, devient par là son
    propre maitre."--_Rousseau._

So we see how the upholders of the social contract are separated into
a Right, Central, and Left party. At the extreme right stands Hobbes,
whom the defenders of Absolutism follow; in the centre is Locke, with
the Republican Liberals; and on the extreme left stand the pioneers of
Anarchism, with Hooker the ecclesiastic at their head. But of all the
theoretical defenders of the "social contract," only one has really
worked out its ultimate consequences. William Godwin, in his _Inquiry
concerning Political Justice_,[9] demanded the abolition of every form
of government, community of goods, the abolition of marriage, and
self-government of mankind according to the laws of justice. Godwin's
book attracted remarkable attention, from the novelty and audacity of
his point of view. "Soon after his book on political justice
appeared," writes a young contemporary, "workmen were observed to be
collecting their savings together, in order to buy it, and to read it
under a tree or in a tavern. It had so much influence that Godwin said
it must contain something wrong, and therefore made important
alterations in it before he allowed a new edition to appear. There can
be no doubt that both Government and society in England have derived
great advantage from the keenness and audacity, the truth and error,
the depth and shallowness, the magnanimity and injustice of Godwin, as
revealed in his inquiry concerning political justice."

    [9] London, 1795, 2 vols.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our next business is to turn from theoretical considerations of the
=contrat social= to the practice based upon this catchword; and to
look for traces of Anarchist thought upon the blood-stained path of
the great French Revolution--that typical struggle of the modern
spirit of freedom against ancient society. We are the more desirous to
do this, because of the frequent and repeated application of the word
Anarchist to the most radical leaders of the democracy by the
contemporaries, supporters, and opponents of the Revolution. As far as
we in the present day are able to judge the various parties from the
history of that period,--and we certainly do not know too much about
it,--there were not apparently any real Anarchists[10] either in the
Convention or the Commune of Paris. If we want to find them, we must
begin with the Girondists and not with the Jacobins, for the
Anarchists of to-day recognise--and rightly so--no sharper contrast
to their doctrine than Jacobinism; while the Anarchism of Proudhon
is connected in two essential points with its Girondist
precursors--namely, in its protest against the sanction of property
and in its federal principle. But, nevertheless, neither Vergniaud nor
Brissot was an Anarchist, even though the latter, in his
_Philosophical Examination of Property and Theft_ (1780), uttered a
catchword, afterwards taken up by Proudhon. At the same time, they
have no cause and no right to reproach the "Mountain" with Anarchist

    [10] Jean Grave says in his book, _La Société Mourante_, p.
    21: "In the year 1793 one talked of Anarchists. Only Jacques
    Roux and the '_suragés_' appear to have been those who saw
    the Revolution most clearly, and wished to turn it to the
    benefit of the people; and, therefore, the bourgeois
    historian has left them in the background; their history has
    still to be written; the documents buried in archives and
    libraries are waiting for one who shall have time and courage
    to exhume them, and bring to light the secrets of events that
    are to us almost incomprehensible. Meanwhile, we can pass no
    judgment on their programme." Of course _we_ can do so still

Neither Danton nor Robespierre, the two great lights of the
"Mountain," dreamed of making a leap into the void of a society
without government. Their ideal was rather the omnipotence of society,
the all-powerful State, before which the interests of the individual
were scattered like the spray before the storm; and the great
Maximilian, the "Chief Rabbi" of this deification of the State,
accordingly called himself "a slave of freedom." Robespierre and
Danton, on their side, called the Hebertists Anarchists. If one can
speak of a principle at all among these people, who placed all power
in the hands of the masses who had no votes, and the whole art of
politics in majorities and force, it was certainly not directed
against the abolition of authority. The maxims of these people were
chaos and the right of the strongest. Marat, the party saint, had
certainly, on occasion, inveighed against the laws as such, and
desired to set them aside; but Marat all the time wanted the
dictatorship, and for a time actually held it. The Marat of after
Thermidor was the infamous Caius Gracchus Baboeuf, who is now
usually regarded as the characteristic representative of Anarchism
during the French Revolution--and regarded so just as rightly, or
rather as wrongly, as those mentioned above. Baboeuf was a more
thorough-going Socialist than Robespierre; indeed he was a Radical
Communist, but no more. In the proclamation issued by Baboeuf for
the 22d of Floreal, the day of the insurrection against the
Directoire, he says: "The revolutionary authority of the people will
announce the destruction of every other existing authority." But that
means nothing more than the dictatorship of the mob; which is rejected
in theory by Anarchists of all types, just as much as any other kind
of authority. That the followers of Baboeuf had nothing else in view
is shown by the two placards prepared for this day, one of which said,
"Those who usurp the sovereignty ought to be put to death by free
men," while the other, explaining and limiting the first, demanded the
"Constitution of 1793, liberty, equality, and universal happiness."
This constitution of 1793 was, however, Robespierre's work, and
certainly did not mean the introduction of Anarchy.

Echoes and traditions of Baboeuf's views, often passing through
intermediaries like Buonarotti, are found in the Carbonarists of the
first thirty years of our own century, and applied to this (as to so
many other popular movements) the epithet "Anarchical," so glibly
uttered by the lips of the people. But among the chiefs, at least, of
that secret society that was once so powerful, we find no trace of it;
on the contrary they declared absolute freedom to be a delusion which
could never be realised. Yet even here, though the fundamental dogma
of Anarchism is rejected, we notice a step forward in the extension of
the Anarchist idea. It was indeed rejected by the members of that
society, but it was known to them, and what is more, they take account
of it, and support every effort which, by encouraging individualism
to an unlimited extent, is hostile to the union of society as such.
Thus we even find individual Carbonarists with pronounced Anarchist
views and tendencies. Malegari, for instance, in 1835, described the
_raison d'être_ of the organisation in these words[11]: "We form a
union of brothers in all parts of the earth; we all strive for the
freedom of mankind; we wish to break every kind of yoke."

    [11] J. A. M. Brühle: _Die Geheimbunde gegen Rom. Zur Genesis
    der italien. Revolution._ Prague, 1860.

Between the time when these words were spoken and the appearance of
the famous _What is Property?_ and the _Individual and his Property_,
there elapsed only about ten years. How much since then has been
changed, whether for better or worse, how much has been cleared up
and confused, in the life and thought of the nations!

       *       *       *       *       *

Feuerbach described the development which he had passed through as a
thinker in the words: "God was my first thought, Reason my second, Man
my third and last." Not only Feuerbach, but all modern philosophy, has
gone through these stages; and Feuerbach is only different from other
philosophers, in having himself assisted men to reach the third and
final stage. The epoch of philosophy that was made illustrious by the
brilliant trinity of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibnitz, however far it
may have departed or emancipated itself from the traditions of
religion, not only never deposed the idea of God, but actually for the
first time made the conception of the Deity the starting-point of all
Thought and Existence. The philosophy which abolished this, whether we
consider Locke and Hume the realists, or Kant and Hegel the idealists,
is philosophy of intellect; absolute reason has taken the place of an
absolute God, criticism and dialectics the place of ontology and
theocracy. But in philosophy we find the very opposite of the
mythological legend, for in it Chronos instead of devouring his
children is devoured by them. The critical school turned against its
masters, who were already sinking into speculative theology again,
quite forgetting that its great leader had introduced a new epoch with
a struggle against ontology; and losing themselves in the heights of
non-existence, just as if they had never taken their start from the
thesis, that no created mind can comprehend the nature of the Being
that is behind all phenomena. From such heights a descent had to be
made to our earth; instead of immortal individuals, as conceived by
Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling, the school of Feuerbach, Strauss, and
Bauer postulated "human beings, sound in mind and body, for whom
health is of more importance than immortality." Concentration upon
this life took the place of vague trancendentalism, and anthropology
the place of theology, ontology, and cosmology. Idealism became
bankrupt; God was regarded no longer as the creator of man, but man as
the creator of God. Humanity now took the place of the Godhead.

The new principle was now a universal or absolute one; but, as with
Hegel, universal or absolute only in words, for to sense it is
extremely real, just as Art in a certain sense is more real than the
individual. It was the "generic conception of humanity, not something
impersonal and universal but forming persons, inasmuch as only in
persons have we reality." (D. F. Strauss.)

If philosophic criticism were to go still farther than this, there
remained nothing more for it than to destroy this generalisation, and
instead of Humanity to make the individual, the person, the centre of
thought. A strong individualistic and subjective feature, peculiar to
the Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy, favoured such a process.
Although in the case of Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling this feature had
never outstepped the limits of the purely comprehensible, yet such a
trait makes philosophy infer a similarly strongly developed feature of
individualism in the people, especially as at that time it was so
closely connected with popular life. Moreover, at that period there
was a great desire (as we see in Fichte and his influence on the
nation) to translate philosophy at once into action; and so it was not
remarkable that a thinker regardless of consequences should introduce
the idea of individualism into the field of action, and regard this
also as suitable for "concentration of thought upon this present
life." Herewith began a new epoch; just as formerly human thought had
proceeded from the individual up to the universal, so now it descended
from the highest generalisation down again to the individual; to the
process of getting free from self followed the regaining of self.

Here was the point at which an Anarchist philosophy could intervene,
and, as a matter of fact did intervene, in Stirner.

       *       *       *       *       *

In another direction also, and about the same time, the critical
philosophy had reached a point beyond which it could not go without
attacking not only the changing forms, but also the very foundations
of all organisations of society which were then possible. However far
the Aufklärer, the Encyclopædists, the heedless fighters in the
political revolution, and the leading personages in the spiritual
revolution, had gone in their unsparing criticism of all institutions
and relationships of life, they had not as yet, except in a few
isolated cases, attacked Religion, the State, and Property, as such in
the abstract.

However manifold and transitory their various forms might be, these
three things themselves still seemed to be the incontrovertible and
necessary conditions of spiritual, political, and social life, merely
the different concrete formulæ for the one absolute idea which could
not be banished from the thought of that age.

But if we approach these three fundamental ideas with the probe of
scientific criticism, and resolutely tear away the halo of the
absolute, it does not on that account seem necessary for us to declare
that they are valueless or even harmful in life. We read Strauss's
_Life of Jesus_, and put it down perhaps with the conviction that the
usually recognised sources of inspired information as to revealed
religion and the divine mission of Christianity are an unskilful
compilation of purely apocryphal documents; but are we on that account
to deny the importance of Judaism and Christianity in social progress
and ethics? Or again, I may read E. B. Tyler's _Primitive Culture_ and
see the ideas of the soul and God arise from purely natural and (for
the most part) physiological origins, just as we can trace the
development of the skilful hand of Raphael or Liszt from the
fore-limbs of an ape; but am I from that to conclude that the idea of
religion is harmful to society? It is just the same with the ideas of
the State and Property. Modern science has shown us beyond dispute the
purely historical origin of both these forms of social life; and both
are, at least as we find them to-day, comparatively recent features of
human society. This, of course, settles the question as to the State
and Property being inviolable, or being necessary features of human
society from everlasting to everlasting; but the further question as
to how far these forms are advantages and _relatively_ necessary for
society in general, or for a certain society, has nothing to do with
the above, and cannot be answered by the help of a simple logical
formula. But though this fact seems so clear to us, it is even to-day
not by any means clear to a great portion of mankind. And how much
less clear it must have been to thinkers at the beginning of this
century when thought was still firmly moulded upon the conception of
the Absolute. To them there could only be either absolute Being or
absolute Not-Being; and as soon as ever critical philosophy destroyed
the idea of the "sacredness" of the institutions referred to
(Property and the State), it was almost unavoidable that it should
declare them to be "unholy," _i. e._, radically bad and harmful. The
logic which underlies this process of thought is similar to that which
concludes that if a thing is not white it must be black. But it cannot
be denied that just at this time--during the celebrated _dix ans_
after the Revolution of July--many circumstances seemed positively to
favour such an inference.

Not only were economic conditions unsatisfactory (though pauperism
alone will never produce Anarchism), but even hope and faith had gone.
Idealism was bankrupt, not only in the political but also in the
economic world. Full of the noblest animation, and with the most
joyous confidence, the French nation had entered upon the great
Revolution, and all Europe had looked full of hope towards France,
whence they expected to see the end of all tyranny and--since such
things at that time were not well understood--the end of all misery.
We may be spared the detailed description of the transition by which
this hope and these childish expectations, this Millennialism, were
bitterly disillusioned, and how the excitement of 1789 to 1791 ended
in a great wail of woe; and that too not only in France, where
absolute monarchy _post tot discrimina verum_ had merely changed into
an absolute empire, but also in Germany, whose princes hastened to
recall the concessions made under the pressure of the Revolution. The
monarchs of Europe then celebrated an orgie of promise-breaking, from
which even to-day the simple mind of the people revolts with deep
disgust. It need only be remembered how in the Napoleonic wars of
Germany noble princes exploited the flaming enthusiasm and the naïve
confidence of their people for their own dynastic purposes, and then,
after the downfall of the Corsican, drove them back again through the
old Caudine yoke. If, after such unfortunate experiences, the people,
and especially the insatiate elements amongst them, had retained any
remains of confidence in help from above, it must have perished in the
sea of disgust and bitterness at the Revolution of July.

In a struggle for a free form of the State, which lasted almost half a
century, the proletariat and its misery had grown without cessation.
They had fought for constitutional monarchy, for the Republic, and for
the Empire; they had tried Bourbons and Bonapartes and Orleanists;
they had gone to the barricades and to the field of battle for
Robespierre, Napoleon, and finally for Thiers; but of course their
success was always the same: not only their economic position, but
also the social condition of the lower masses of the people had
remained unchanged. It was recognised more and more that between the
proletariate and the upper classes there was something more than a
separation of mere constitutional rights; in fact, that the privileges
of wealth had taken the place of the privileges of birth; and the more
the masses recognised this the more did their interest in purely
political questions, and, above all, the question as to the form of
the State, sink into the background, while it became more and more
clearly seen that the equality of constitutional rights was no longer
real equality, and that the attainment of equality necessitated the
abolition of all privileges, including also the privilege of free
possession or of property. Henceforth, therefore, every revolutionary
power attacks no longer political points but the question of property,
and even though all movements did not proceed so far as to open
Communism, yet they were animated by the main idea that the question
of human poverty was to be solved only by limitation of the right of
free acquisition, possession, and disposal of property.

The dogma of the sanctity of property was in any case gone for ever.
But still the last dogma, that of the inviolability of the State,
remained. The Franco-German Socialists of the third and fourth decades
of our century, Saint-Simon, Cabet, Weitling, Rodbertus, down to Louis
Blanc himself, did not think of denying the State as such, but had
thought of it as playing the principal part in the execution of their
new scheme of organisation of industry and society. But the very
character of the new reforming tendencies necessitated an unlimited
preponderance of State authority which would crush out the freedom of
decision in the individual. And a directly opposite tendency, opposed
to all authority, could appear, therefore,--though certainly from the
nature of the case necessary,--at first only as a very feeble

The principle of equality was not disputed, but the use of brute force
through the power of the State was regarded with horror in the form in
which the followers of Baboeuf, the enthusiasts for Utopianism,
preached it. The necessity for an organisation of industry was not
denied, but men began to ask the question whether this organisation
could not proceed from below upwards till it reached freedom? Already
Fourier's phalanxes might be regarded as such an attempt to organise
industry through the formation of free groups from below upwards; an
attempt to which the Monarchists and Omniarchists are merely an
exterior addition. If we leave out of consideration the rapid failure
of the various Socialistic attempts at institutions based upon the
foundation of authority, yet the sad experiences of half a century
filled with continual constitutional changes would have sufficed to
undermine the respect for authority as such. Absolute monarchy as well
as constitutional, the Republic just as much as Imperialism, the
dictatorship of an individual just as much as that of the mob, had all
alike failed to remove pauperism, misery, and crime, or even to
alleviate them; was it not then natural for superficial minds to
conclude that the radical fault lay in the authoritative form of
society in the State as such? did not the thought at once suggest
itself that a further extension of Fourier's system of the formation
of groups on the basis of the free initiative of the individual might
be attempted without taking the State into account at all? But here
was a further point at which a system of social and political
Anarchism might begin with some hope of success, and here it actually
did begin with Proudhon.

                              CHAPTER II

                        PIERRE JOSEPH PROUDHON

    Biography -- His Philosophic Standpoint -- His Early Writings
    -- The "Contradictions of Political Economy" -- Proudhon's
    Federation -- His Economic Views -- His Theory of Property --
    Collectivism and Mutualism -- Attempts to Put his Views into
    Practice -- Proudhon's Last Writings -- Criticism.

The man who had such a powerful, not to say fateful, influence upon
the progress of the proletarian movement of our century was himself
one of the proletariat class by birth and calling.

Pierre Joseph Proudhon was born 15th January, 1809, in a suburb of
Besançon. His father was a cooper, his mother a cook; and Pierre
Joseph, in spite of his thirst for knowledge, had to devote himself to
hard work, instead of completing his studies; he became a proofreader
in some printing works at Besançon, and as a journeyman printer
wandered all through France. Having returned to Besançon, he entered
the printing house again as a factor. In the year 1836 he founded,
with a fellow-workman in the same town, a little printing shop,
which, however, he wound up after his partner had died in 1838, being
determined to change the occupation he had followed so far, for
another for which he had already long been preparing by diligent study
both during his wanderings and in his leisure hours in past years.
Proudhon's activity as an author began in the year 1837. The Academy
at Besançon had to award a three years' scholarship, which had been
founded by Suard, the secretary of the French Academy, for poor young
men of Franche-Comte who wished to devote themselves to a literary or
scientific career. Proudhon entered as a competitor, and won the
scholarship. In the memoir of his life, which he drew up for the
Academy, he said: "Born and reared in the midst of the working
classes, to which I belong with my heart and in my affections, and
above all by the community of sufferings and aspirations, it will be
my greatest joy, if I receive the approval of the Academy, to work
unceasingly with the help of philosophy and science, and with the
whole energy of my will and all my mental powers, for the physical,
moral, and intellectual improvement of those whom I call brothers and
companions, in order to sow amongst them the seeds of a doctrine which
I consider as the law of the moral world, and hoping to succeed in my
endeavours, to appear before you, gentlemen, as their representative."
As to the studies to which he devoted himself in Paris for several
years after receiving the scholarship, Proudhon relates himself that
he received light, not from the socialistic schools which then existed
and were coming into fashion, not from partisans or from journalists,
but that he began with a study of the antiquities of Socialism, a
study which, according to his opinion, was absolutely necessary in
order to determine the theoretical and practical laws of the social

It gives us a somewhat strange sensation to learn that Proudhon, the
father of Anarchism, made these sociological studies in the Bible; and
this Book of books is even to-day the most important source of empiric
sociology. For no other book reflects so authentically and elaborately
the development of an important social Individualism, and in
Proudhon's time the Bible (in view of the complete lack of
ethnographic observations which then prevailed) was also almost the
only source of studies of this kind. And if also it must be admitted
that these studies could not fail to be one-sided, yet it cannot be
denied that Proudhon proceeded in a way incomparably more correct than
most social philosophers have done either before or since, for they
have built up their systems generally by deductive and dogmatic

An essay which Proudhon wrote upon the introduction of Sunday rest,
from the point of view of morality, health, and the relations of a
family estate, brought him a bronze medal from the Academy, and he was
able afterwards to say with truth: "My Socialism received its baptism
from a learned society, and I have an academy as sponsor"; certainly a
remarkable boast for one who denied all authority.

Proudhon appears to have travelled very quickly along the road which
led from the regions of faith to the metaphysics prevailing at that
time; and already he took for his criterion--as he tells us later in
his _Confessions_--the proposition (drawn up according to the Hegelian
theory, that everything when it is legalised at the same time brings
its opposite with it), "that every principle which is pursued to its
farthest consequence arrives at a contradiction when it must be
considered false and repudiated; and that, if this false principle has
given rise to an institution, this institution itself must be regarded
as an artificial product and as a Utopia." This proposition Proudhon
later on formulated as follows: "Every true thought is conceived in
time once, and breaks up in two directions. As each of these
directions is the negation of the other and both can only disappear in
a higher idea, it follows that the negation of law is itself the law
of life and progress, and the principle of continual movement." Here,
indeed, we have Proudhon's whole teaching; with this magic wand of
negation of law he thought he could open the magic world of social
problems, and heal up the wounds of the social organisation.

"My masters," said Proudhon to his friend Langlois in the year 1848,
"that is those who woke fruitful ideas in me, are three: first of all,
the Bible, then Adam Smith, and finally Hegel." Proudhon always
boasted of being Hegel's pupil, and Karl Marx maintained that it was
he who, during his stay in Paris in the year 1844, in debates which
often lasted all night long, inoculated Proudhon (to the latter's
great disadvantage) with Hegelianism, which he nevertheless could not
properly study owing to his ignorance of the German language. A
well-known anecdote attributes to Hegel the witty saying that only one
scholar understood him and he misunderstood him. We do not know who
this scholar was, but it might just as well have been Marx as
Proudhon, for that which both of them took from the great philosopher,
and applied as and how and when they did, is common to both: namely,
the dialectic method applied to the problems of social philosophy.

The similarity between them in this respect is so striking that one
might call both these embittered opponents the personal antitheses of
the great master, Hegel. As for the rest, Proudhon's inoculation with
Hegelianism, which was afterwards continued by K. Grün and Bakunin,
must have been very marked and continuous, for we shall constantly be
meeting with traces of it as we go on. Powerful as was the influence
of Hegel upon Proudhon, the Anarchist was but little affected by the
fashionable philosophy of his contemporary and fellow-countryman, A.
Comte; which is all the more remarkable since it is Comte's Positivism
which, proceeding along the lines of Spencer's philosophy, has in no
small degree influenced modern Anarchism, while echoes of the Comtian
individualist doctrine are even to be found in the German contemporary
of Proudhon, Stirner; echoes which, although numerous, are perhaps
unconscious. Proudhon attached himself, as already mentioned,
specially to the Hegelian dialectic and to the doctrine of Antitheses.
Using this criterion, Proudhon proceeded to the consideration and
criticism of social phenomena; and just as beginners and pupils in the
difficult art of philosophy, instead of contenting themselves with
preliminary questions, attack the very kernel of problems, with all
the rashness of ignorance, so Proudhon also attacked, as his first
problem, the fundamental social question of property, taking it up for
the subject of his much-quoted though much less read work, _What is
Property?_ (_Qu'est-ce que la Propriété?_--First essay in _Recherches
sur le Principe du Droit et du Gouvernement_). Proudhon has been
judged and condemned, though, and wrongly, yet almost exclusively, by
this one essay, written at the beginning of his literary career.
Friends and foes alike have always contented themselves with regarding
the celebrated dictum there uttered, Property is Theft, as the Alpha
and the Omega of Proudhon's teaching, without reading the book itself.
And because it has been thought sufficient to catch up a phrase
dragged from all its context, so it has happened that Proudhon to-day,
although he is one of the most frequently mentioned authors, is hardly
either known or read. Although the question of property forms the
corner-stone of all Proudhon's teaching, yet it would be wrong to
identify it with his doctrine entirely. And it is no less wrong to
represent the first attempt which Proudhon made to solve so great a
problem as the whole of his views about property, as unfortunately
even serious authors have hitherto done almost without exception, and
especially those who make a special study of him, such as Diehl. As a
matter of fact, Proudhon has carefully and elaborately set forth his
theory of property in several other works which are mixed up for the
most part with his other numerous writings, and has left behind a
fragment of a book on the theory of property, in which he meant to
produce a comprehensive theory of property as the foundation of his
whole work. We must, therefore, in order not to anticipate, leave a
complete exposition of Proudhon's theory of property to a later
portion of this book, hence we will merely glance at the work, _What
is Property?_ and also at another study which appeared in 1843 called
_The Creation of Order in Humanity_, which shows the second, or I
might say, the political side of Proudhon's train of thought in its
first beginnings, and of which Proudhon himself said later, that it
satisfied neither him nor the public, and was worse than mediocre,
although he had very little to retract in its contents. "This book, a
veritable infernal machine, which contains all the implements of
creation and destruction," he said in his _Confessions_, "is badly
done, and is far below that which I could have produced if I had taken
time to choose and arrange properly my materials. But however full of
faults my work may now appear, it was then sufficient for my purpose.
Its object was to make me understand myself. Just as contradiction had
been useful to me to destroy, so now the processes of development
served me to build up. My intellectual education was completed, the
_Creation of Order_ had scarcely seen the light, when, with the
application of the creative method which followed immediately upon it,
I understood that in order to obtain an insight into the revolution
of society the first thing must be to construct the whole series of
its antitheses, or the system of opposites."

This was done in the book which appeared at Paris in two volumes in
1846, _The System of Economic Contradictions, or the Philosophy of
Misery_, which deserves to be called his masterpiece, both because it
contains the philosophic and economic foundations of his theory in a
perfectly comprehensive and clear exposition, and because it is
impossible to understand Proudhon without a knowledge of these
contradictions. In his first work upon property, Proudhon had
represented it as something equivalent to theft. But now we have
another doctrine proposed: that Property is Liberty. These two
propositions were thought by Proudhon to be proved in the same way.
"Property considered in the totality of social institutions has, so to
speak, two current accounts. One is the thought of the good which it
produces, and which flows directly from its nature; the other is the
disadvantages which it produces, and the sacrifices which it causes,
and which also result directly, just as much as the good, from its
nature. In property evil, or the abuse of it, is inseparable from the
good, just as in book-keeping by double entry the debtor is
inseparable from the creditor side. The one necessarily implies the
other. To suppress the abuse of property means to extinguish it, just
as much as to strike out an entry on the debtor side means also
striking it out on the creditor side of an account." He proceeded in
the same way with all "economic categories." Labour, he tells us in
the _Contradictions_ more explicitly, is the principle of wealth, the
power which creates or abolishes values, or puts them in proportion
one to another, and also distributes them. Labour thus in itself, at
the same time, is a force that makes for equilibrium and productivity,
which one might think should secure mankind against every want. But in
order to work, labour must define and determine itself--that is,
organise itself. What are, then, the organs of labour, that is, the
forms in which human labour produces and fixes values and keeps off
want? These forms or categories are: division of labour, machinery,
competition, monopoly, the State or centralisation, free exchange,
credit, property, and partnership.

However much labour in itself is the source of wealth, yet those means
which are invented for the purpose of increasing wealth, become,
through their antagonism and through that antithetical character,
which, according to Proudhon, lies in the very nature of all social
forms, just as many causes of want and pauperism. Labour gains by its
division a more than natural fertility, but, at the same time, this
divided labour, which debases the workman, sinks, owing to the manner
in which this division is carried out, with great rapidity below its
own level and only creates an insufficient value. After it has
increased consumption by the superfluity of products, it leaves them
in the lurch owing to the low rate of pay; instead of keeping off want
it actually produces it.

The deficiency caused by the division of labour is said to be filled
by machinery, which not only increases and multiplies the productivity
of labour, but also compensates for the moral deficiency caused by the
division of labour, and supplies a higher unity and synthesis in place
of the division of labour. But according to Proudhon this is not the
case; with machinery begins the distinction between masters and
wage-earners, between capitalists and workmen. Thus mankind, instead
of being raised up by machinery from degradation, sinks deeper and
deeper. Man loses both his character as a man, and freedom, and
becomes only a tool. Prosperity increases for the masters, poverty for
the men; the distinction of caste begins, and a terrible struggle
becomes manifest, which consists in increasing men in order to be able
to do without them. And so the general pressure becomes more and more
severe; poverty, already heralded by the division of labour, at last
makes its appearance in the world, and henceforth becomes the soul and
sinews of society.

As opposed to its aristocratic tendencies, society places freedom or
competition. Competition emancipates the workman and produces an
incalculable growth in wealth. By competition the productions of
labour continually sink in price, or (what comes to the same thing)
continually increase in quality: and since the sources of competition,
just like mechanical improvements and combinations of the division of
labour, are infinite, it may be said that the productive force of
competition is unlimited as regards intensity and scope. At last, by
competition, the production of wealth gets definitely ahead of the
production of men, by which statement Proudhon destroys the dogma of
Malthus, which, we may remark, was no more proved than his own. But
this competition is also a new source of pauperism, because the
lowering of prices which it brings with it only benefits, on the one
hand, those who succeed, and, on the other, leaves those who fail
without work and without means of subsistence. The necessary
consequence, and, at the same time, the natural antithesis of
competition is monopoly. It is that form of social possession without
which no labour, no production, no exchange, and no wealth would be
possible. It is most intimately connected with individualism and
freedom, so that without it we can hardly imagine society, and yet it
is, quite as much as competition, anti-social and harmful. For
monopoly attracts everything to itself--land, labour, and the
implements of labour, productions and the distribution thereof--and
annihilates them; or it annihilates the natural equilibrium of
production and consumption; it causes the labourer to be deceived in
the amount of his reward, and it causes progress in prosperity to be
changed into a continual progress in poverty. Finally, it inverts all
ideas of justice in commerce.

The State, in its economic relations, should, according to Proudhon,
eventuate in an equalisation between the patricians and the
proletariat; its regulations (such as taxation) should, in the first
place, be an antidote against the arrogance and excessive power of
monopoly; but even the institution of the State fails in its purpose,
since taxes, instead of being paid by those who have wealth, are
almost exclusively paid by those who have not; the army, justice,
peace, education, hospitals, workhouses, public offices, even
religion,--in short, everything which is intended for the advance,
emancipation, and the relief of the proletariat being first paid for
and supported by the proletariat, and then either turned against it or
lost to it altogether.

It would be useless to repeat what Proudhon says about the beneficial,
and at the same time fateful, consequences both of free-trade and its
opposite. Who does not know the arguments which even to-day are used
by politicians and savants in the still undecided controversy for and
against it?

In this system of contradiction, then, in this antithesis of society,
Proudhon believed he had discovered the law of social progress, while
as a matter of fact he had only given a very negative proof (though he
certainly would hardly have acknowledged it) that there is not in
economics any more than in ethics anything absolute, and that
"benefit" and "harm" are relative terms which have nothing in common
with the essence of things; and it is just as wrong in the one case to
regard the existing social order as the best of all possible worlds,
as it is in the other to regard any one economic institution as a
social panacea, or to blame one or the other for all the evils of an
evil world. Such a confession of faith might easily be considered
trivial, and it might even give rise to a supercilious smile if it
required nothing less than the doctrine of antithesis taught by Kant
and Hegel to be brought in to prove what are obviously matters of
fact. But perhaps it is just this superficial smile which is the
justification of Proudhon, who had to fight a severe and not always
victorious battle for an apparently trivial cause. We do not forget
how helplessly the age in which he lived was tossed to and fro in all
social questions, from casuistical Agnosticism to arbitrary Dogmatism;
from extreme Individualism to Communism, from the standpoint of
absolute _laisser faire_ to the uttermost reliance on authority. In
placing these two worlds in sharp contrast one to another,
_Contradictions_, with all its acknowledged faults and errors,
performed an undeniable service; and this book--against which Karl
Marx has written a severe attack--will retain for all time its value
as one of the most important and thorough works of social philosophy.
In any case, the net result of the lengthy discussion, in view of the
purpose which Proudhon had before him, was absolutely nil. Proudhon
certainly endeavoured in his dialectic method to find a solution of
antitheses, and to come to some positive result; but even this
solution, which was to have been the great social remedy, is, when
divested of its philosophical garments, such a general and indefinite
draft upon the bank of social happiness that it could never be
properly paid.

"I have shewn," said Proudhon, at the close of his _Contradictions_,
"how society seeks in formula after formula, institution after
institution, that equilibrium which always escapes it, and at every
attempt always causes its luxury and its poverty to grow in equal
proportion. Since equilibrium has never yet been reached, it only
remains to hope something from a complete solution which synthetically
unites theories, which gives back to labour its effectiveness and to
each of its organs its power. Hitherto pauperism has been so
inextricably connected with labour, and want with idleness, and all
our accusations against Providence only prove our weakness." This
solution of the great problem of our century by the synthetic union of
economic and social antithesis, or, as Proudhon calls it in another
place, by a scientific, legal, immortal, and inseparable combination,
is certainly a beautiful and noble philosophy. It cannot be denied
that herewith Proudhon, who, in all his works, raged furiously against
Utopians, has none the less created a Utopia of his own, not, indeed,
by forcibly urging mankind through an ideal change, but by attempting
to mould life into an ideal shape without, like others, appealing to
force, or venturing to organise the forces of terror, in order to
accomplish his ideal.

       *       *       *       *       *

Just as Proudhon differed from the ready-made Socialism of his age by
a conception which he opposed to pauperism, so, too, he differed in
the method which he recommended should be adopted for the removal of
pauperism. He certainly accepted the proposition that poverty could
only be removed by the labourer receiving the entire result of his
labour, and that social reform must, accordingly, consist of an
organisation of labour. In this he was quite at one with Louis Blanc,
but only in this; for while Louis Blanc claimed for the organisation
of labour the full authority of the State, Proudhon desired it to
arise from the free initiative of the people, without the interference
of the State in any way. This is the parting of the roads between
Anarchism and authoritative Socialism; here they separate once for
all, never to meet again, except in the most violent opposition. This
was the starting-point of Proudhon's Anarchist views. The experiences
of the Revolution of 1848, which, from the social standpoint, failed
entirely, might well have fitted in with these views of his. Proudhon
had taken a very active part in the occurrences of this remarkable
year, as editor of the _People_, and as a representative of the
Department of the Seine, and in other capacities, and thought that the
cause of the fruitlessness of all attempts to solve the social problem
and to reap the fruits of the Revolution lay in the fact that the
Revolution had been initiated from above instead of from below, and
because the revolutionary principle had been installed in power, and
therefore had destroyed itself. But ultimately the opposition of
Proudhon to Blanc goes back to the fundamental difference alluded to

Society, as Proudhon explains in his _Contradictions_, and as he
applies his doctrine of politics in his book called the _Confessions
of a Revolutionary_, written in prison in 1849, is essentially of a
dialectic nature and is founded upon opposites, which are all mingled
one with another, and the combinations of which are infinite. The
solution of the social problem he finds in placing the different
expressions of the problem no longer in contradiction but in their
"dialectic developments," so that for example the right to work, to
credit, and to assistance, rights whose realisation under an
antagonistic legislation is impossible or dangerous, gradually result
from an already established, realised, and undoubted right; and so
instead of being stumbling-blocks one to another they find in their
mutual connection their most lasting guarantee. But since such
guarantees should lie in the institutions themselves the authority of
the State becomes neither necessary nor justifiable for the carrying
out of this revolution.

But why should revolution from above be impossible? The doctrine of
antithesis, applied to politics, implies freedom and order. The first
is realised by revolution, the second by government. Thus there is
here a contradiction; for the government can never become
revolutionary for the very simple reason that it is a government. But
society alone--that is, the masses of the people when permeated by
intelligence--can revolutionise itself, because it alone can express
its free will in a rational manner, can analyse and develop and unfold
the secret of its destination and its origin, and alter its beliefs
and its philosophy.

"Governments are the scourge of God, introduced in order to keep the
world in discipline and order. And do you demand that they should
annihilate themselves, create freedom, and make revolutions? That is
impossible. All revolutions, from the anointing of the first king to
the declaration of the Rights of Man, have been freely accomplished by
the spirit of the people. Governments have always hindered, oppressed,
and crushed them to the ground. They have never made a revolution. It
is not their function to produce movements but to keep them back. And
even if they possessed revolutionary science--which is a contradiction
of terms--they would be justified in not making use of it. They must
first let their knowledge be absorbed by the people in order to
receive the support of the citizens, and that would mean to refuse to
acknowledge the existence of authority and power."

It follows through this that the organisation of work by the State--as
was attempted by Fourier, Louis Blanc, and their followers in a more
or less remote degree--is an illusion, and on this theory revolution
can only take place through the initiative of the people
itself--"through the unanimous agreement of the citizens, through the
experience of the workmen, and through the progress and growth of

We here have laid bare the yawning gulf which lies between Proudhon
and the State Socialism of his time, and over this gulf there is no
bridge. We see how from these premises has been developed gradually
and logically that which Proudhon himself has called Anarchy
(_An-arche_, without government). The Socialists have made the
statement that the political revolution is the means of which the
social revolution is the end. Proudhon has inverted this statement
and regards the social revolution as the means and a political
revolution as the end. It is therefore a great mistake to consider
him, as is always done, as a political economist, for he was first and
foremost a social politician. The Socialists place as the ultimate
object of revolution, the welfare of all, enjoyment; but for Proudhon
the principle of revolution is freedom, that is:

(1) Political freedom by the organisation of universal suffrage, by
the independent centralisation of social functions, and by the
continual and unceasing revision of the constitution.

(2) Industrial freedom through the mutual guarantee of credit and
sale. In other words "no government by men by means of the
accumulation of power, no exploitation of men by means of the
accumulation of capital."

       *       *       *       *       *

Proudhon thought that the fault of every political or social
constitution, whether it was the work of political or social
Radicalism, that which produces conflicts, and sets up antagonism in
society, lies in the fact that on the one hand the division of powers,
or rather of functions, is badly and incompletely performed, while on
the other hand centralisation is insufficient. The necessary
consequence of this is that the chief power is inactive and the
"thought of the people," or universal suffrage, is not exercised.
Division of functions then must be completed, and centralisation must
increase; universal suffrage must regain its prerogative and therewith
give back to the people the energy and activity which is lacking to

The manner in which Proudhon proposed this constitution of society by
the initiative of the masses and the organisation of universal
suffrage cannot be better or more simply explained than in the words
and examples which he himself has used in the _Confessions_ in order
to interpret his views. He says:

"For many centuries the spiritual power, according to the traditional
conception of it, has been separated from the temporal power. I
remark, by the way, that the political principle of the division of
powers, or functions, is the same as the principle of the division of
the departments of industry or of labour. Here already we see a
glimpse of the identity of the political and social constitution. But
now I say that the division of the two powers, the spiritual and
temporal, has never been complete; and that their centralisation,
which was a great disadvantage both for ecclesiastical administration
and for the followers of religion, was never sufficient. A complete
division would take place if the temporal power never mingled in
religious solemnities, in the administration of the sacraments, in the
government of parishes, and especially in the nomination of bishops.
There would then be a much greater centralisation, and consequently
still more regular government, if in every parish the people had the
right to choose their clergymen and chaplains themselves, or even not
to have any at all; if the priests in every diocese chose their
bishops; if the assembly of bishops alone regulated religious affairs
in theological education and in divine worship. By this division the
clergy would cease to be a tool of tyranny in the hands of the
political power against the people; and by this application of
universal suffrage the Church Government, centralised in itself, would
receive its inspiration from the people, and not from the Government
or from the Pope: it would continually find itself in harmony with the
needs of society and with the spiritual condition of the citizens. In
order thus to return to organic, economic, and social truth, it is
necessary (1) To do away with the constitutional accumulation of
power, by taking away the nomination of bishops from the State, and
separating once for all spiritual from temporal affairs; (2) To
centralise the Church in itself by a system of elective grades; (3) To
give to the ecclesiastical power, as to all other powers of the State,
the right of voting as its foundation. By this system, that which
to-day is 'government' becomes nothing more than administration. And
it will be understood if it is possible to organise the whole country
in all its temporal affairs, according to the rules which we have just
laid down for its spiritual organisation, the most perfect order and
the most powerful centralisation would exist without there being
anything of what we now call the constituted authority of a

"One other example: formerly there existed besides the legislative and
executive powers a third, the judicial power. This was an abolition of
the dividing dualism, a first step towards the complete separation of
political functions as of the departments of industry. The judicial
functions--with their different specialties, their hierarchy, their
irremovability, their union in a single ministry--testify undoubtedly
to their privileged position and their efforts towards centralisation.
But these functions do not arise from the people upon whom they are
exercised; their purpose is the administration of executive power;
they are not subordinated to the country by election, but to the
Government, president, or princes, by nomination. The consequence is
that the liberties of the people who are judged are given into the
hands of those who are supposed to be their natural judges, like
parishioners into the hands of their pastor, so that the people belong
to the magistrates as an inheritance, while the litigants exist for
the sake of the judge, and not the judge for the sake of the
litigants. Apply universal suffrage and the system of elective grades
to judicial functions in the same way as to ecclesiastic; take away
their irremovability which is the denial of the right of election;
take away from the State all action and influence upon the judges; let
this order, centralised in and for itself, arise solely from the
people, and you have taken away from the State its most powerful
implement of tyranny. You have made out of justice a principle of
freedom and order, and unless you suppose that the people from whom,
by means of universal suffrage, all power must proceed is in
contradiction with itself, and that it does not wish in the case of
justice what it wishes in the case of religion, or _vice versa_, you
may rest assured that the division of power can produce no conflict.
You can confidently establish the principle that division and
equilibrium will in future be synonymous.

"I pass over to another case, to the military power. It belongs to the
citizens to nominate their military commanders in due order, by
advancing simple privates and national guards to the lower grades and
officers to the higher grades in the army. Thus organised the army
maintains its citizen-like sentiment. There is no longer a nation in a
nation, a country in a country, a kind of wandering colony where the
citizen is a citizen amongst soldiers, and learns to fight against his
own country. The nation itself, centralised in its strength and youth,
can, independently of the power of the State, appeal to the public
power in the name of the law, just like a judge or police official,
but cannot command it or exercise authority over it. In the case of a
war the army owes obedience only to the representative assembly of the
nation, and to the leaders appointed by it.

"It is clear that in this, no judgment is passed upon the necessity of
these great manifestations of the social mind, and that if we wish to
abide by the judgment of the people, which alone is competent to
decide as to the importance and duration of its institutions, we can
do nothing better (as has just been said) than to constitute them in a
democratic manner.

"Societies have at all times experienced the need of protecting their
trade and industry against foreign imports; the power or function
which protects native labour in each country and guarantees it a
national market, is taxation in the shape of Customs. I will not here
say anything at all about the morality, or want of it, the usefulness
or the harm of Customs duties. I take it as I see it in society, and
confine myself to examining it from the point of view of the
constitution of powers. Taxation, by the very fact that it exists, is
a centralised function. Its origin like its action, excludes every
idea of division or dismemberment. But how does it happen that this
function, which belongs specially to the province of merchants and
those concerned with industry, and proceeds exclusively from the
authority of the Chambers of Commerce, yet belongs to the State? Who
can know better than industry itself wherein and to what extent it
requires protection, where the compensation for the taxation which has
to be raised must come from, and what products require bounties and
encouragement? And as for the Customs service itself, is it not
obvious that it is the business of those interested to reckon up the
expenses of it, while it is not at all suitable for the Government to
make of it a source of emolument for its favourites by procuring an
income for its extravagances by differential taxes?

"Besides the ministries of justice, religion, war, and international
trade, the Government appoints yet others; the ministry for
agriculture, public works, public instruction, and finally to pay for
all these, the ministry of finance. Our so-called division of powers
is only an accumulation of all kinds of powers, our centralisation is
an absorption. Do you not think that the agriculturists, who are
already all organised in their communities and committees, would
perform their own centralisation very well, and could guide their
common interests without this being done by the State? Do you not
think that the merchants, manufacturers, agriculturists, the
industrial population of every kind, who have their books open before
them in the Chambers of Commerce, could in the same way, without the
help of the State, without expecting their salvation from its
good-will, or their ruin from its inexperience, organise at their own
cost a central administration for themselves; could debate their own
affairs in general assemblies; could correspond with other
administrations; could pass all their useful decisions without waiting
for the sanction of the President of the Republic; and could entrust
the execution of their will to one amongst themselves, who would be
chosen by his fellows to be the Minister? It is clear that the public
works which concern agricultural industry and trade, or the
departments and the communes, might in future be assigned to the local
and central administrations which have an interest in them; and should
no more be a special corporation in the hands of the State than is the
army, the customs, or monopolies. Or should the State have its
hierarchy, its privileges, its ministry, so that it may carry on a
trade in mining, canals, or railways, may speculate on the Stock
Exchange, grant leases for ninety-nine years, and leave the building
of streets, bridges, dams, water-ways, excavations, sluices, etc., to
a legion of contractors, speculators, usurers, destroyers of morality,
and extortioners, who live upon the public wealth by the exploitation
of workmen and wage-earners, and upon the folly of the State?

"Can it not be believed that public instruction could be just as well
made universal, be administered, directed, and that the teachers,
professors, and inspectors could be just as well elected, and the
system of studies would be just as much in harmony with the habits and
interests of the nation if it was the business of municipal and
general councils to appoint teachers, while the universities only had
to grant them their diplomas; if in public instruction, as in the
military career, merit in the lower grades was necessary for promotion
to the higher, if our dignitaries of the university must first have
gone through the duties of an elementary teacher and supervisor of

"Does one imagine that this perfectly democratic system would do harm
to the discipline of schools, to morality, education, the dignity of
instruction, or the peace of the family?

"And as the sinews of every administration are money, as the budget
is made for the country and not the country for the budget, as the
taxes must every year be granted freely by the representatives of the
people, as this is the original and inalienable right of the people
both under a monarchy and a republic, since the country must first
sanction the income and expenditure before it can be applied by the
Government,--does it not follow that the consequence of this financial
initiative, which is formally recognised as belonging to the citizens
in all our constitutions, will consist in the fact that the finance
minister, or, in a word, the whole fiscal organisation, belongs to the
country and not to its ruler; that it depends directly upon those who
pay the budget and not upon those who spend it; that there would be
infinitely fewer abuses in the administration of public money, fewer
extravagances and deficits, if the State had just as little power over
public finances as over religion, justice, the army, taxes, public
works, and public instruction?

"Supposing the heads of the different branches of administration were
grouped together, we should have then a council of ministry or an
executive power which would serve just as well as a State Council.
Place over this a great 'jury,' legislative body, or national
assembly, elected and commissioned directly by the whole of the
country, whose duty it is not to nominate the ministers, for these
receive their office from the members of their special departments,
but to look through accounts, to make laws, to draw up the budget, and
to decide the differences between the different administrations after
having received the report of the Public Minister or the Minister of
the Interior, to which in the future the whole Government will be
reduced,--and there you would have a centralisation which would be all
the stronger the more its different centres were multiplied. You would
have responsibility, which is all the more real because the separation
between various powers is more sharply defined; you would have a
constitution which at the same time is political and social."

Here we have the picture of the society of the future, as Proudhon
imagined it when the principles of democracy and, above all, of
universal suffrage have become a reality--the celebrated federative
principle of Proudhon, the inheritance of the most talented party of
any age, the Girondists, locally developed, and to some extent not
without a profound knowledge of politics. It cannot be denied that the
federal principle, as Proudhon here explains it, means the integration
of social force, which in its differentiation meets us sometimes as a
special and sometimes as the common interest, sometimes as
Individualism or again as Altruism. According to this, federation is
nothing more than the translation into politics of the metaphor (which
we formerly used from physics) of the resultants of several component
forces; a metaphor which not only suits the genius of Proudhon, but
also is frequently found in his language. Proudhon was deeply
permeated by the reality of Collectivism, but saw it in the light both
of Physics and Physiology, so that the word "resultants" is with him
more than a metaphor. In this respect Proudhon far surpassed in
insight all the social philosophers of his age, and anticipated the
pioneers of modern sociology. But he contradicted himself, and lost
his special merits by wishing to make out of a social law an absolute
formula; by abandoning the scientific standpoint which he once
attained, and falling back again into dogmatism. If we conceive all
society in the mechanical manner in which Proudhon did; or if we think
(as he did) that we have at least partially discovered the laws of
its movement, then all further politics exhaust themselves in an
experimental verification of the laws in question. But to anticipate
any point of the development which one expects, and to regard it as
something absolute, is a process irreconcilable with an exact
scientific method. In brief, Proudhon's federalism is a political
principle; his Anarchism is a dogma, or at best an hypothesis which
cannot even be logically proved from the first-named, for it is not
true, as Proudhon maintains, that the idea of agreement excludes that
of lordship.

       *       *       *       *       *

But if Proudhon conceives all society in a mechanical manner, it is to
be expected that he would again seek--and find--the same laws that he
saw operating in the political constitution also in economic life.
This is, as a matter of fact, the case. "Agreement solves every
problem"; only agreement in economic life means with him exchange.
"Social agreement," he says, "is in its essence like the agreement of
exchange." Therefore the corner-stone in his economic system is
exchange. But Proudhon transposed into this purely empiric idea a
moral element, by presupposing equality and justice as necessary to
exchange. Economic freedom, he reasons, is free exchange; but an
exchange can only be called free which presupposes the equality of
values, or, in other words, equality and justice. This again
presupposes a just balance and constitution of values--a mutual
balance of all economic and social forces. What, then, is economic
freedom? It is equality and justice. And what is the opposite--the
hindrance of these principles? It is inequality, injustice, slavery,
which means property. This is the reason why Proudhon's doctrine of
property stands at the centre of his system, which it by no means
exhausts; it is the reason why he always proceeded from this point,
and always returned to it again. Here we have clearly the reason for
all his numberless and endless mistakes in the province of economics,
the weak point of this otherwise great and noble mind. As we already
have remarked about the _Contradictions_, Proudhon did not attack
property in itself; he tried to ennoble it and bring it into harmony
with the claims of justice and equality by taking away from it what
to-day is a _jus utendi et abutendi_, that is, its rights over the
substance of a thing, and the right of devolving it for ever. The
ominous statement "Property is Theft" was directed only against this.
This kind of property (_propriété_, _dominium_) was to be replaced by
individual possession (_possession individuelle_): as to which one
must take care to understand the distinction between "property" and
"possession" in the legal sense.

Proudhon sought in his first and larger work, which is mainly of a
critical nature, to put forward the negative proof that property is
impossible, by inverting all the proofs hitherto brought forward in
its favour, so that instead of justifying the possession of property
they seemed rather to make for freedom. It is, however, quite wrong to
regard this dialectic jugglery as the essence of Proudhon's system. A
proof, such as that here proposed by Proudhon, is not only quite
inadmissible as logic, but it cannot even be said that Proudhon
himself (usually so accurate in this respect) turned out here a really
good piece of work. On the one hand he attacks the defenders of
property, who, after all, are not very difficult to controvert; while,
at the same time, his attempt itself does not always succeed. Of
course it does not mean very much when he cleverly riddles the old
argument for property drawn from divine right or the right of nature;
for in any case he was only attacking dead theories. In the attack on
really living arguments, as in the case of his theory of labour, he
does not succeed.

Property cannot be explained by labour because

(1) The land cannot be appropriated,

(2) Labour leads to equality, and in the sight of justice labour, on
the contrary, abolishes property.

The proposition that property, _i. e._, the right to the substance of
the thing appropriated, cannot be created by labour, because the land
cannot be appropriated, is at least a _petitio principii_ or
tautology. But, leaving that, let us suppose that the land really
cannot be appropriated; yet there is always some kind of property
which has nothing to do with the land. It will not do always to speak
of landed property only, as Proudhon invariably does. Movable property
(in weapons, utensils, ornaments, animals, etc.) precedes immovable
property, owing to its origin, which was only created in imitation of
the other much later, and is entirely property due to work; thus not
only property, but not even the origin of the idea of property in
men, can be explained from the point of view of social history
otherwise than by work.

If it is right, as one of our most acute thinkers says, to declare
that mankind has placed his tools between himself and the animal
world, then another proposition follows directly from this, namely,
that man has placed property between himself and animals. It is true
that the animal develops as far as the family, for if this also is
founded merely upon thought, it cannot be a conscious one. Property
presupposes a definite mental equipment, which even in the case of
primitive men must be important, implying subjectively an already
clear consciousness of self; objectively a certain capacity for
measuring even the remoter consequences of an action; for the desire
for special possession could only exist with reference to a pronounced
consciousness of the self, and to the recognised purpose and further
utility of an object. Neither of these mental presuppositions are
anywhere fulfilled in the animal world. It need hardly be mentioned
that labour in the technical sense has developed naturally and
gradually from physiological labour and the bodily functions; that is,
that even between the natural implement and the artificial there is no

Espinas says (_Animal Communities_, by A. Espinas, p. 338): "Every
living being, however lonely its life may be, can in case of need
build itself some protective covering, and that is the beginning of
the artistic impulse (_Kunst-trieb_), unless, perhaps, this is to be
found in the formation of the organism itself. Leaving out of
consideration the tubicolous annelidæ, the mussels and stone-boring
molluscs, the weaving caterpillars, and finally spiders, even the
non-social hymenoptera present, among many insects, examples of a very
skilful adaptation of materials. But it is equally undeniable that,
since the appearance of communities whose purpose is the rearing of
their offspring, the artistic tendency receives a considerable impulse
and produces unexpected marvels. Here it decidedly abandons its usual
procedure in order to take up a new one. Hitherto the lower animals
have, to a great extent, taken the materials for their places of
refuge and their implements from their own bodies: the former an
extension of the organism that produces it; the latter, as in the case
of the spider, only an enlargement of the animal itself which forms
the centre. The productions of the social artistic impulse, on the
other hand, are made out of materials which are more and more foreign
to the substance of the artificer, and are worked up externally by
means which become more and more exclusively mechanical. Hence it
follows that the living body is no longer so directly interested in
the preservation of its work; it can alter and again build up this
structure to an almost infinite extent--in short, the structure
becomes more and more an implement instead of an organ. That was the
inevitable result of animal life, which, being essentially capable of
transference, and presupposing an intercourse of several separate
existences, must necessarily raise itself above external substances,
or else organise them according to the purposes of its life. But must
we now conceive its operations as altogether distinct from those of
physiological life?

"If one reflects that unnoticed steps connect the unconscious work
which produces the organ with the conscious work which produces the
implement, then it does not appear so. Speaking exactly, the waxen
cell in which the larvæ of the bee wait for their daily food is
external for every individual of the race, but internal for the whole
of the community; since this forms one single consciousness, or a
collective individuality. The mind of the race is to some extent a
common function, its body a common apparatus; the one is only the
material translation of the other, and the implement performs its
function as faithfully as does the organ. One might even go farther
and maintain that the implement in the full sense of the word is an
organ; for it serves a function that is vital for the community, and
this is exposed to every change, and derives benefit from every growth
which circumstances bring to it."

The work of animals, therefore, only differs in its highest
developments from purely physiological functions, in that the animal
becomes more independent of its implements and of the product of its
labour. Notice, for instance, the progress which is shown in the
series of the mussel's shell, the spider's web, the bee's cell, the
bird's nest, and the mole's burrow. The progressive differentiation
of the products of labour keeps step with the progressive
individualisation of the labourer and with the growing material
independence of the body from its products. Mussel shell, cobweb, and
bee's cell are still produced from the secretions of the body; but
while the mussel is inseparable from its shell, the spider, at least
without immediate harm, can be detached from its web; while the bee is
still further emancipated from its structure of cells. The bird's nest
and the mole's burrow have been formed already by a manipulation of
materials foreign to the body, though in the case of the first still
by the help of secretions from the body. In both cases the animal is
almost completely independent of its product. Still the most
complicated product of animal labour is, after all, connected
inseparably with the body of the worker; and to a much less extent can
the animal be separated from its implements; therefore complete
emancipation never takes place in the animal world.

Even in the case of the anthropoid apes the transition to the
instrument and to a product of labour entirely artificial and
perfectly independent of the animal's own body, is only very slowly
completed. This is clear from a consideration of the slow process by
which man has progressed in perfecting the implements which he has
invented. From the action of the bird which beats open a nut with its
beak, or the squirrel which cracks it with its teeth, up to that of
man who, in order to open the nut, makes use of a stone lying near
him, is only a step, and yet by that step the destiny of the _genus
homo_ is settled. The application of natural objects, such as sticks
and stones, to the purposes of daily life, to defence against animals
and men, to hunting, to cutting down fruits, and so on, does not
certainly become a habit all at once. Indeed, a very long time
elapsed before this adaptation became a general and even a conscious
one, and it was only possible when the advantages of such objects had
been perceived through many experiences.

It needed a still longer time before man learned to choose between the
various objects offered to him by nature, and understood how to
distinguish a more pointed and sharper or a harder stone from one of
those less useful for his purpose. Perhaps it required the experience
and disappointments of uncounted ages to bring the consciousness of
purpose even up to this point. But when this was once done, when man
could judge as to the usefulness of the implement which nature offered
him, then a further step of progress, and certainly the most important
in this series of developments, was taken. To natural selection
follows immediately artificial. The need for suitable and useful
implements became more general and greater, and at the same time it
became more difficult to satisfy, since nature is not so generous with
objects of this kind, and (as was soon seen) only very few substances
united all these qualities which hitherto had been recognised as
necessary or useful. But by this time individuals who were already
better provided for had made other discoveries; they had, for example,
in cracking a nut, broken a stone with which they cracked it, and
noticed that the broken pieces had greater sharpness and pointedness
on their edges than those which nature afforded; or they had found the
pieces of some tree split by lightning, and discovered their greater
hardness and capacity for resistance. What was more natural under the
pressure of the necessity, than to produce intentionally those
processes by which the objects afforded by nature became more
usable--to break the stone in pieces or to burn the wood?

And now at last the artificial implement was produced, and all future
progress was but a trifle compared to the development which had gone
before. The wonders of modern technical art are child's-play compared
to the difficulties with which the anthropoid ape succeeded in making
the first stone celt. The most urgent need of primitive life, the
bitterest competition for the necessities of existence, and the
concentration of the highest mental gifts then possessed, were
necessary to guide the sight of primitive man to the remoter
consequences of an action or of a quality. That his sight became
sharper and sharper in proportion as the implement once invented
showed itself to be insufficient, and became more and more
differentiated in its adaptation to the different kinds of labour,
follows as a matter of course. But the decisive action occurred when
the anthropoid ape for the first time mechanically worked up natural
objects, for by doing so he was enabled to exploit nature rationally,
according to his desires and requirements, to emancipate himself from
the limitations of existence as regards place and climate, to break
those chains of partial action which weigh upon everything belonging
to the animal world.

One must take fully into consideration the difficulties under which
primitive man made his first tools; but one must, however, realise
still more the immeasurable advantages which proceed from the
possession, and the disadvantages which arise from the want, of a
tool, in order to perceive that man had a vital interest in preserving
permanently by him the objects which he had produced. If in his
inexperience he at first threw away his laboriously acquired treasure
after using it, yet soon the oft-recurring need for it, and the
trouble of remaking it, must have taught him better. And by not
leaving the tool behind him for someone else, he made not only a
tremendous step in advance in the satisfaction of his needs, but also
took a step higher in the social scale of his tribe. The others had
need of him, admired him, feared or flattered him; they perhaps sought
to take his treasured tool away from him; he had therefore to defend
himself against others, and all these facts formed still more strongly
the desire to keep it for himself permanently and exclusively. The
conception of property flashed upon the human mind. It sprang from the
sweat of labour; and human culture begins not with equality but with

This rather lengthy digression has been necessary in order that we may
be able to oppose actual facts to the logical subtlety of Proudhon,
which appears to-day to have a greater power than ever of leading men
astray. The question whether the producer of a stone celt was merely
the user of its advantages (Latin, _possessor_) or its actual owner
and master; whether he also had the right to the substances of which
it was composed, appears, after what we have said above, to be simply
childish. The property, which was absolutely labour-property, was at
once perceived to be such, to be _dominium_ and not merely
_possessio_; it never occurred to anybody either to doubt it or to
believe it. Now, Proudhon declares that general consent cannot justify
property, because general consent to an injustice cannot form the
basis of justice. But apart from the fact that the innate sense of
justice in society is merely a fiction of Proudhon's, as of all
earlier or later Utopians, this proposition may perhaps belong to
metaphysics or ethics, but certainly not to the empirical science of
sociology. For he who puts on the crown, and whom all agree to obey,
is really king, even if he has waded to the throne through seas of
blood. The question, in so far as it is neither political nor a
justification of his mode of action, is not a legal one but purely
ethical. The answer to this question prejudges nothing either as to
life or society, and history knows cases enough of actions which
cannot be approved from the moral standpoint, and yet have turned out
to the advantage of the community.

The opinion that agrarian communism, or the village community, is the
most primitive form of property and the natural form of society, is
also quite untenable. In the first place, because the word _naturally_
cannot be taken in the sense that it implies an unalterable normal
condition, or something fixed; for, in reality, _naturally_ means that
which develops itself, and therefore something in the highest degree
changeable. In the second place, because tribal communism is by no
means such a primitive condition as the Socialists, from Rousseau's
time downwards, seem to believe, and wish to make others believe.
Rather, a state preceded it, in which only movable property, the _jus
utendi atque abutendi re_, was known to man. Races have been found
which possess very scanty conceptions of religion, which have not
recognised the family in the widest implication of the idea; whereas,
on the other hand, no race has been found to whom the idea of property
was not known. Certainly in this case it was only a question of the
possession of weapons and ornaments, and so forth; possession of land,
especially as a communal possession, has only been found among a
comparatively small number of primitive peoples, and implies a very
advanced state of social culture. But, however little this condition
is the natural one, [Greek: kat' exochên], still less is it
particularly moral or just.

We know to-day for certain that the rise of communal possession in
land was always inseparably connected with the introduction of
slavery, and that one cannot be thought of without the other. But to
wish to imagine equality in addition to the collective possession of
primitive society is to a great extent a distortion of the facts of
history. Whatever facts we may produce from the actual and not merely
imaginary primitive history of property would be so many arguments
against Proudhon's contention. His economic argument is just as
untenable, that labour should lead to equality. All work, according
to Proudhon, is the effective of a collective force, which is equal to
the resultants of the forces of the single individuals who form the
labour group. Consequently, the product of labour is the property of
the whole community, and every worker has an equal claim to it. This
is, briefly, the argument which, from premises that are possibly
correct, draws conclusions that are entirely false. Proudhon gives the
following example: "Two hundred grenadiers placed the obelisk of Luxor
on its pedestal in a few hours, and yet we do not believe that one man
could have performed the same work in two hundred days. The collective
force is greater than the sum of individual forces and individual
efforts. Therefore the capitalist has not rewarded the labourer fairly
when he pays wages for one day multiplied by the number of
day-labourers employed by him."

It will be seen that Proudhon here proceeds from the assumption that
the value of a product of a labour is a firmly established and easily
fixed amount, as John Grey and Rodbertus had taught before him; for
only in this case could it be exactly stated how great the claim is
which belongs to a labourer. In fact, the characteristic feature of
Proudhon's theory of value lies in his endeavour to determine and fix
values; that is, to use his own dialectic jargon, according to the
synthetic solution of the antithesis of value in use and value in
exchange, in which our economic life fluctuates. Supply and demand,
considered by others as the factors which regulate and determine
value, are to him only forms which serve to contrast with one another
the value in use and value in exchange, and to cause these values to
combine. From justice, which ought to be the foundation of society, he
concludes the necessity, and from general obedience of life to law the
possibility, of a determination of values. Even this value, thus
determined, will be a variable amount, a proportionate figure, similar
to the index which in the case of chemical elements gives their
combining weights. "But this value will none the less be strictly
fixed. Value may alter, but the law of values is unalterable; indeed,
the fact that value is capable of alteration only results from its
being subject to a law whose principle is essentially fluctuating, for
it is labour measured by time." (_Contradictions_, i., "On the Theory
of Value.") Value is thus brought into consideration within the
community which producers form among themselves by means of the
division of labour and exchange, the relation of the proportion of the
products which compose riches, and that which is specially termed the
value of a product is a formula which assigns a proportion of this
product in coins in the general wealth.

Leaving out of the question the moral arrangement of the world, which
even here has contributed to this definition of double meaning, we may
ask, how is this formula, which assigns in coins the proportion of the
product in the general wealth, reckoned? Proudhon has always appealed
only to the realisation of the idea through the actual circulation of
values on the one hand, and to the law-abiding character of nature on
the other. Upon the point of "realisation" we shall have something to
say later. But the law-abiding character of life is, however, just as
much an algebraical expression as the "proportion of the product."
Supposing both are not disputed, what follows, then? If I know the
exact formula for the direction and velocity of a projectile, shall I
now be able to protect myself from every bullet by merely getting out
of its way? The introduction of statistical methods into the general
formula for special values Proudhon has himself excluded as incorrect.
The question settles itself. Society goes on of its own
accord--_laissez aller, laissez faire_--everything remains in the old
way. In addition to this mistake, we find that there is in Proudhon's
mind great confusion with regard to the two ideas of time of labour
and value of labour.

"Adam Smith takes as a measure of value sometimes the time necessary
to produce a commodity and sometimes the value of labour," says Marx
in his celebrated polemic against Proudhon.[1] "Ricardo discovered
this error by clearly proving the difference between these two modes
of measurement. Proudhon, however, goes even farther than the error of
Adam Smith, by identifying two things which Smith has only brought
into juxtaposition. To find the right proportion according to which
the labourers should have their share in the products of their labour,
or, in other words, to determine the relative value of labour,
Proudhon seeks some measure for the relative value of commodities. To
determine the measure for the relative value of commodities he cannot
invent anything better than to give us as an equivalent for a certain
quantity of work, the total of the products made by it; which leaves
us to suppose that the whole of society consists of nothing but
labourers, who receive as wages what they themselves produce. In the
second place, he maintains the equal value of the working days of
different labourers as an actual fact; in a word, he seeks the measure
for the relative value of commodities in order to discover the equal
payment of labourers, and assumes the equality of payment as a settled
fact, in order to proceed to search for the relative value of

    [1] _Das Elend der Philosophie: An Answer to Proudhon's
    Philosophie des Elends._ Stuttgart, 1892 (German ed.).

If we turn back to the question, What is property? we find this
confusion of ideas is answerable for his unsuccessful attempt to prove
that labour must create equality and annihilate property. Here, too,
the equality of the working days is assumed, and therefore the
equality of wages is demanded. But, then, immediately this working day
is changed into his work done in a day (_tâche sociale journalière_).
"Let us assume," says he, "that this social day's work amounts to the
cultivation or weeding or harvesting of two square decametres, and the
mean average of all the time necessary for these amounts to seven
hours. One labourer will finish it in six hours; another in eight
hours; the majority will work seven hours; but so long as each
performs the amount of work required of him, he deserves the same
wages as all the others, however long he may have worked at it." Here
time of work has imperceptibly changed into quantity of work, and
wages are given, not according to the measure of equal working times
but according to the measure of equal performances. Proudhon here
seeks for a solution by saying that the more capable workman, who
performs his day's work in six hours, should never have the right to
usurp the day's work of a less capable labourer, under the pretext of
greater strength and activity, and thus rob him of work and bread; it
is advantage enough derived from his greater capacities that, by this
shortening of his time of labour, he has greater opportunity to work
for his own personal education and culture, or to enjoy himself, and
so on. But Proudhon must be driven even from this last corner of
refuge by the question, What will take place if anyone will perform
only the half of his day's work? Proudhon says: "That is all right;
obviously half of his wages are sufficient for that man. What has he
to complain of if he is rewarded according to the work which he has
performed? and what does it matter to others? In this sense it is
right and proper to apply the text, 'to each according to his work';
that is the law of equality."[2]

    [2] _Qu'est-ce que la Propriété?_ p. 102.

But this is to retract all along the line. Proudhon, who assumes the
equality of all working days, and has made it the basis of his theory
of value, must now admit the dependence of wages upon the performance
of work, and admit also, although reluctantly, the statement of St.
Simon, "to each according to his work," which he had set out to
refute. He ought to have gone still farther and said: "If anyone will
not do any work, what happens then? Obviously the man needs no wages;
why should the others then trouble about it?--it is the law of
equality." But what becomes then of the equality to which work was
said to lead? Further, what about the impossibility of proving the
right of property through work? All Proudhon's arguments in proof of
the impossibility of property are mere dialectic sword-play which
hardly anyone takes seriously. Proudhon does not even criticise actual
circumstances, but proves that, following his ideal assumptions (which
in any case exclude property), property is impossible.

The supposed result of his book he sums up in the Hegelian formula:
"Communism, the first form and the final destiny of society, is the
first terminus of social development, the thesis; property, the
contradictory opposite to communism, forms the second terminus, the
antithesis; it remains for us to determine the third terminus, the
synthesis, and then we have the required solution. The synthesis
results necessarily from the correction of the thesis by the
antithesis. It is therefore necessary to examine closely its
peculiarities, and to exclude that which there is in them hostile to
society. The two that remain will, when united, form the true formula
of human social life."[3]

    [3] _Qu'est-ce que la Propriété?_ p. 202.

Karl Marx, who made very merry over Proudhon's dialectic, thought he
had played his trump card against the capitalistic method of
production in almost the same way, namely, with the Hegelian
proposition of the negation of negation. If they both explained
themselves by bringing forward, besides the dialectic proof, also an
historical and economic one for their contentions, the answer is that
historic proof cannot be brought forward for Proudhon's synthetic
conception of property or for Marx's method of production, since
history only concerns itself with the past or the present; whereas
such conditions as they imagine exist only in the future, and can only
be derived from the past or present conditions by the dialectic
method, and only can be assumed as hypotheses.

This standpoint unites Proudhon and Karl Marx, the Anarchists and the
Social Democrats; they both call each other Utopians, and both are

       *       *       *       *       *

Proudhon in his book upon property did not answer the question put in
its title, _What is Property?_ as he had promised in the introduction.
From his statement "property is theft," which was uttered with so much
_éclat_, and of which, according to his own account at least, he was
prouder than if he had possessed all the millions of Rothschild--from
this paradox one might conclude, and certainly the great majority of
his readers do conclude usually that Proudhon was an enemy of property
in general. That is not at all the case. "What I have been seeking
since 1840 in defining property," said he much later (in _Justice_,
i., p. 302), "and what I wish to-day, as I have repeated over and over
again, is certainly not abolition of property. For this would be to
fall into Communism with Plato, Rousseau, Louis Blanc, and other
opponents of property, against whom I protest with all my strength.
What I demand from property is _a balance_." But all his life Proudhon
was unable to dispel the misunderstanding which he carelessly brought
upon his doctrine in his first writing by a talented paradox. We say
carelessly, for the concluding answer which Proudhon gives to the
question, "What is property?" was, even in his first work, not
"property is theft" but "property is liberty;" only the use of all his
great scientific apparatus was quite superfluous, because it was in no
way connected with the chief purpose of his book. Proudhon might just
as well have placed the supposed conclusion, the Ten Commandments of
his economic doctrine, at the beginning of his book, for they were
arrived at not by the method of science but of speculation. These Ten
Commandments run:

(1) Individual possession is the fundamental condition of social life;
five thousand years of the history of property prove it; property is
the suicide of society. Possession is a right; property is against all
right; suppress property and maintain possession, and you would by
this one main alteration transform everything--laws, government,
economy, statesmanship; you would make evil disappear from the earth.

(2) Since the right of occupation is the same for all, possession
changes according to the number of possessors; thus property can no
longer be created.

(3) Since the result of labour remains the same for the whole of the
community, property, which arising from the exploitation of others and
from rent, disappears.

(4) Since every human work necessarily arises from a collective force,
every piece of property becomes both collective and indivisible--to be
exact, labour annihilates property.

(5) Since every capacity for any occupation, including all the
instruments of labour and capital, is collective property, the
inequality of treatment and of goods, which rests upon the inequality
of capabilities, is injustice and theft.

(6) Trade necessarily presupposes the freedom of the contracting
parties and the equivalence of the products exchanged; but since value
is determined by the amount of time and expense which each product
costs, and since freedom is inviolable, the workers remain necessarily
equal in reward as also in rights and duties.

(7) Products are only exchanged again for products; but since every
bargain presupposes the equality of products, profit is impossible and
unjust. Take heed to this, the first and the most elementary principle
of economics, and pauperism, luxury, servitude, vice, crime, and
hunger will disappear from our midst.

(8) Men are already, before they fully agreed to do so, associated
from the physical and mathematical law of production; the equality of
external conditions of existence is thus a demand of the justice of
social right, of strict right; friendship, respect, admiration, and
recognition alone enter into the province of equity or proportion.

(9) Free association, or freedom which limits itself to expressing
equality in the means of production and equivalence in articles of
exchange, is the only possible, the only right, and the only true form
of society.

(10) Politics is the science of freedom; the government of men by men,
under whatever name it may be concealed, is servitude; the highest
consummation of society is found in the union of order and anarchy.

We will only select from this Decalogue of Collectivist Anarchism one
dogma, the seventh; because it contains a fundamental error of
Proudhon's, which must continually produce other errors. "Products,"
he says, "are only exchanged for products; but since every bargain
presupposes the equality of products, profit is impossible and not
right." By this proposition the question of pauperism and everything
evil is to be solved, and, in fact, Proudhon even made some attempts
to realise the theory contained therein. But that every bargain
presupposes the equality of products in any other than the sense
determined by supply and demand, is untrue; yet even this equality is
not regarded by Proudhon as such. He understands thereby equivalence
or the equality of values, which again is determined by the time of
labour, and accordingly he makes it a presupposition of a free bargain
that only products which represent equal times of labour can be
exchanged. Thus a hat which took six hours to make, should be
exchanged for a poem which was written in the same time. And if we are
startled by the incorrectness of this assumption, what can be said for
the converse of this statement, namely, that products of equal value,
_i. e._, such as represent equal times of labour, must be accepted at
any time in place of payment, just as money is accepted to-day?
Proudhon ascribed the utility of money as a universal medium of
exchange to the supposed circumstance that its value was fixed or
established, and concluded therefrom that whenever the value of other
commodities was determined, they would have the same utility as money;
thus, that it would be possible to exchange at any time a watch which
represented three days' work for a pair of boots which had been made
in the same time. And to complete this economic and logical confusion,
Proudhon once again inverts history, and makes the just and free
exchange of products and the circulation of values the starting-point
for the determination of values, and thereby also the foundation of
his realm of justice, freedom, and equality, in which economic forces
have free play.

If values circulate themselves, then too they determine themselves,
and thus only is there a just bargain; profit is impossible, so too is
the accumulation of capital and property. Since all have equal share
in production as in consumption, commodities will always be where they
are needed, and they will always be needed where they exist; supply
and demand will equal one another, value in use and value in exchange
will be the same, value is determined, and the circle (which is in
any case a vicious circle) is completed. Land, like all the means of
labour, is a collective possession. Every one will enjoy the full
results of his labour, but no one will be able to heap up riches
because profit in any form is impossible. Men will collect through
their own free choice in productive groups, which again will be in
direct intercourse one with another, and will exchange their products
as may be required, without profit. Common interests will be
determined by Boards of Experts, who will be chosen by the members of
these groups by means of universal suffrage. The total of all these
boards, which are completely autonomous, forms the only existing and
only possible administration. Governments become superfluous, since
the economic life must entirely absorb political life. And since there
will be no property and no distinction of rich and poor, there will
also be no rule of one man over another, there will be no criminals,
judicial and civil power, militarism and bureaucracy become
superfluous and disappear of themselves. In spite of anarchy (_i. e._,
no government), or rather because of it, the greatest, the only order
will prevail.

In fact, if anything ever deserved the name ideal it is this reform of
society sketched by Proudhon, to which he himself has given the name
"Mutualism." He did not suspect or notice that he had done nothing
more than express the abstract formula of existing relationships, the
most general conception of the liberal scheme of economics. Things
happen in our own world just as Proudhon wished in his kingdom of the
future, only there are a few insignificant factors of friction,
extensions of co-efficients, and so on, which he, if he had been
familiar with scientific methods, would have added as "corrections" to
his universal formula. The present world is related to his as any one
triangle is to the triangle absolute. The triangle which is neither
obtuse-angled, nor acute-angled, nor right-angled, neither equilateral
nor isosceles, nor of unequal sides, whose sides and angles are not
confined to any particular measurement, may certainly be a real
triangle and contain no contradiction in itself (which is by no means
the case in Proudhon's realm of justice), but this triangle cannot be
drawn or even imagined. This is the old dispute of nominalists and
realists, a piece of scholasticism long since obsolete applied to the
problems of modern society, and not even worth refutation, least of
all worthy of any man who has once correctly recognised the reality of
human society, and made it the guiding motive of his thought.

On two occasions Proudhon seemed to have the alluring opportunity of
being able to realise his Utopian visions. The first was in the time
of the Revolution. In February, 1849, he founded the People's Bank
(_Banque du Peuple_),[4] which was to take the initiative in free
economic organisation, and, according to Proudhon's expectations,
would have introduced "free society" if, at the decisive moment, he
had not been sent for three years to the prison of Saint Pélagie for a
political offence, and the Bank was therefore compelled to liquidate.
The second opportunity occurred in the year 1855. Napoleon had asked
for opinions as to how the _Palais de l'Industrie_, in which the Paris
Exhibition had been held, could be used after its close as an
institution of public utility. Among those to whom this question was
addressed we find Proudhon, who answered it with the project of a
permanent exhibition,[5] which was to be conducted by a society
proceeding from very much the same point of view as the People's Bank.
This project was, of course, left unnoticed, and Proudhon became
deeply disgusted and discouraged at this new disappointment.

    [4] After Proudhon's paper, _Le Réprésentant du Peuple_, had
    published the statutes of the Exchange Bank, he tried in
    numerous articles to explain the mechanism and necessity of
    it. These articles have been collected in a book, and
    appeared under the title, _Résumé de la Question Sociale,
    Banque d'Échange_.

    [5] The scheme appeared in Proudhon's posthumous works.

The People's Bank, like its subsequent second edition, the Permanent
Exhibition Company, was to be founded (in Proudhon's Hegelian method
of expression) upon the identity of the shareholders and their
clients. The producers who had a share in the People's Bank were to
deliver their products to the bank, which would control and determine
the prices of those commodities by assessors, the prices being
determined only with reference to the time of labour spent upon them
and the necessary expenses of production; profit was forbidden since
the bank was not to operate upon its own account. The producer
received upon delivery of his goods "exchange bonds," in return for
which he then could take from the bank other commodities. As the bank
also granted its customers loans without charging interest, money and
interest would become unnecessary, trade would gradually be carried on
only by means of the bonds of the bank, and thus would be brought
about the harmony of social intercourse of which Proudhon dreamed.

The Permanent Exhibition Company was to be a new edition of the
People's Bank, perfected and enlarged in every direction. Since the
shareholders of this company consisted of producers, and their purpose
was above all the sale and interchange of products, so therefore the
subscription for the formation of the capital was not to be, as in the
case of other companies, merely in money, but was to be nine-tenths in
products, which were to be sold by the company, and the receipts of
the sale were then to be credited to the shareholders. As the State
was to become surety for the interest on these shares, Proudhon
thought that these must become actual money, representing rights to
dividend, which could only lose their value by the destruction of the
company's depot for goods. Against the goods which were deposited with
it or the sale of which it undertook, as well as against the bills
which were given to it to discount, the company was to issue, together
with the cash which it had at disposal, general bonds of exchange (_la
bons généraux d'échange_) which would represent the goods stored in it
and realised by it, and should give the claim to an equal value in
goods which the holder of the bond could take from the storehouses as
he wished. These bonds were to be the circulating money of the
company, and were to be accepted by it instead of cash payments in all
transactions with goods or with bills. The circulating paper of the
company, held by it at par, owing to the fact that it could be
exchanged into money or the goods of the company upon presentation,
would become the great lever of its operations and the irresistible
instrument of its power. The company was to undertake banking and
commission business of all kinds, grant credit in money and goods, and
support industry, trade, and agriculture.

All objects deposited with this society, including gold and silver,
and especially all articles composing its balance, were to be arranged
in an exchange tariff, which would be continually changeable, and the
object of which was to secure the equivalence of values. "Certainly
every rise in the exchange of an article would be balanced by an
equivalent fall of exchange in one or more articles, if one regards
the existing total sum, one-tenth being allowed in fluctuations either
up or down. The differences in time in the balance would be entered in
a special balance book which would finally equalise itself from time
to time."

That is the project; and its author gives the following example: Since
the company carries on no business on its own account, and neither
acquires nor possesses products itself, and thus does not lose money
on the rise or fall, it is only guided in directing the course of
prices by one object, viz., to moderate one by the other, and to
create a permanent and a daily compensation; thus, if demand arises
for one product while it falls off for one or several others, the
company raises the price of the first 4 per cent., and at the same
time lowers, according to the quantity of the first, the price of the
other in such a way that the compensation is as exact as possible.
Because it is difficult to reach this mathematical exactitude, a
certain margin is allowed, which again, compensating itself from time
to time, never can amount to the assets of the society. If we assume,
for the sake of example, that the price of gold has fallen--that is,
that gold is freely offered, while silver has risen, that is, is more
in demand--the company, since its bills are discounted with its own
notes, will give 100 francs of its money for 105 francs of gold, equal
to 100 francs in silver; or, to express myself more exactly, for a
weight of gold which is only one-twentieth higher than five
twenty-five franc pieces, and the weight of silver which is only
one-twentieth lower than twenty-five franc pieces. From this
compensation no profit accrues to the company; it has only intervened
with its own money in order again to re-establish equilibrium.

From this process of compensation carried on by the company, which was
to be applied in like manner to all products, raw materials and food
stuffs, and so on, Proudhon hoped for that much talked of and much
promising fixity of values, since all products would (so to speak) be
monetised and made into money, and would maintain the highest degree
of circulating power. Branches of the company over all France and a
complete public administration were to complete the system, which
should have as its object the organisation and centralisation of
exchange of products in return for products, according to the formulæ
of J. B. Say, with as little money as possible, as few intermediaries
as possible, with the least possible expense, and for the exclusive
benefit of producers and consumers.

It hardly need be observed that the rise and prosperity of these
institutions must stand or fall by the correctness of the assumption
of fixed values and of the monetisation of all products. Proudhon's
opponents wished to make out, that in view of this knowledge his
sudden arrest and imprisonment in Saint Pélagie, by which he was
divested of all responsibility for the liquidation of the company, was
not altogether unwished for by him. But this is contradicted by the
attempt which was renewed later on to realise the project of the
People's Bank. We have, indeed, no cause to suspect Proudhon's good
faith in the matter; on the other hand, the supposed originality of
this idea of his is all the more open to suspicion, because in all
essential particulars it reminds us too closely of the "labour paper
money" of Rodbertus that was to be issued by the State after the
determination of values, an idea with which Proudhon's economics had
many points in common. There is a still greater similarity between
Proudhon's projects and the Boards of Trade thought of by Bray ten
years before the beginning of the People's Bank; and it is also like
John Gray's Central Bank.

       *       *       *       *       *

In later years Proudhon not only outwardly, owing either to compulsion
or prudence, renounced all immediate realisation of his intentions,
but even became convinced and expressed his conviction in his work
upon the federative principle (_Du Principe Fédératif_, 1852), that
ordered anarchy was an ideal, and as such could never be realised, but
that nevertheless human society should strive to attain it by means of
federative organisations, as he had sketched it in his earlier
writings. Even in this period of mental maturity, when removed from
political agitation, he remained the sworn enemy and direct opponent
of the Communists, and wished to see the great problem of the best
arrangement of society solved, not by universal levelling down, but by
the general perfection and development of society; not by revolution
from which he had gained nothing but disgust and disillusionment, but
by evolution. "If ideas will rise up," he used to say, "then even the
paving stones would rise up themselves if the Government were so
imprudent as to wait for this."

With true prophetic insight Proudhon perceived the fact that even in
human society revolution is everything; with a clearness of vision
such as none before him, and only very few after him, have possessed,
he always insisted upon the organic character of human society and the
natural continuity between animal and human social life; and in this
lies his greatness, which will never be diminished by any of his
numerous errors. But while he thus with one foot for the first time
trod upon the ground of a new discovery, with the other he stood on
the standpoint of social philosophy of previous centuries. He could
neither externally nor internally disassociate himself from its
baseless assumptions of a social contract, the absolute rights of man,
a moral order of the universe, and similar ethical views of politics;
and herein lies the contradiction upon which his great mental talents
were shipwrecked. If we once regard human society as Proudhon did, as
something real, the product of nature which is moved and develops
itself according to the laws of the rest of nature, then we have once
for all given up the right to mark out for it a line of development
determined merely by speculation, or to demand from it that it should
move towards any particular goal, however well-intentioned it may be.
A breeder may produce in his pigeons or fowls a certain kind of
feather or a certain form of pouting, but he cannot change the pigeon
into a hen. The artificial selection of breeding is all that man can
do (_pour corriger la nature_) against the free progress of natural
development. This is not so insignificant as one may be inclined to
believe at the first glance. The latter belongs to the category of
Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, and of that Utopian social philosophy which
began with Plato, and in all human probability will not end for a long
time. Proudhon wished to unite both, one with another,--to unite water
with fire. Like all Utopians, he desired--he who all his life, in his
numerous writings, so frequently confuted and sneered at them--that
the human race might be metamorphosed in order to accept unanimously
his ideas about society. For that the men of his day were not fit for
a true democracy--that is, for anarchy--he was honest enough to admit.

"Nothing is in reality less democratic than the people," said he,
occasionally, and he did not allow himself the least delusion as
regards their slavish love for authority. For that very reason, he
thought democracy must be changed into "demopædy," and a complete
revolution of a popular spirit must be caused by education. But to
prove that, even with the help of democracy, people would not be ripe
for pure democracy, or, rightly speaking, for anarchy, we can quote an
authority which he never doubted, namely, himself. In an access of
pessimism, he said once, "I have thought I have noticed (may
philosophy pardon me for it!) that the more reason develops in us the
more brutal becomes passion when once it is let loose. It appears then
that the angel and the biped brute which together compose our human
nature in their intimate union, instead of mingling their attributes,
only live side by side with one another. If progress leads us to that,
of what use is it?" This is a bad look-out for the great moral
revolution upon which Proudhon more and more based all his hopes.

Proudhon has had the most varied judgment passed upon him. Some have
treated him as an obscure pamphlet writer. Louis Blanc calls him a
prizefighter; Laveleye, in a history of Socialism, only considers him
worth mentioning in order to call his ideas "the dreams of a raving
idiot"; Karl Marx denies him either talent or knowledge; many have
considered him as a Jesuitical hypocrite; others, again, his
followers and representatives, have called him the greatest man of the
century. Ludwig Pfau called him the clearest thinker that France had
produced since Descartes. But the spectacle is by no means new. In
reality, but little courage and wit are to-day needed to acquire the
applause of an ignorant multitude which has no idea of Proudhon's
train of thought by the condemnation of the father of Anarchism.
"Justice must be done to all, even to Louis Napoleon," exclaimed
Proudhon, to the great astonishment _orbis et urbis_ after the _coup
d'état_; and not to take a lower standard than the father of
Anarchism, we exclaim also, "Justice must be done to all, even to

The most usual reproach which is cast against Proudhon is that he is
contradictory and confused. This reproof is generally made by people
who know no more about Proudhon than the paradox "Property is Theft,"
and from this one expression call him confused and contradictory.

Proudhon saw very clearly the end before his eyes, strove to attain it
unfalteringly and steadily, and amid all the variety of the
developments in which he preached his ideas to the world for a quarter
of a century, never betrayed one iota of its contents. The
contradiction from which his work suffered lay deeper. It lay in the
form of his thought, and partly in the period to which he belonged.
Placed on the boundary line between two epochs of social science and
of social forms, one of which is marked by dogma and the other by
induction, he had not the strength to break completely with one or
give himself up completely to the other. His whole life and thought
was a constant fight against dogma in every form. He fought against
social Utopianism as against religious dogmatism, and fought against
the dogmatism of property as against political authority; he sought to
transform Socialism upon severely scientific and realistic lines, and
to free it from all the fetters of dogmatic religion; and yet, just as
Rousseau did, he placed at the head of his system a dogma: "Man is
born free"; and at the conclusion of it the teleological phrase of a
moral order of society--two propositions which can never be proved by
experience, but rather contradict all experience.

In the same way this internal contradiction is shown in the principal
work of his last period, the _Justice dans le Révolution et dans
l'Église_, in which Proudhon endeavours to show these two separate
worlds in their marked difference one from another without suspecting
that he himself fluctuated between both.

After he, as a logical idealist, had denied all external force and all
authority, and nevertheless as a realist had supported society as the
unalterable condition of human life and civilisation, he seeks at the
same time to save anarchy and society by a new bond between
individuals who have been set free and find this in some internal
necessity and internal authority, in a principle which acts upon the
will like a force, and determines it in the direction of the general
interest independently of all consideration of self-interest.

And so the man, who had put away from himself everything of an
absolute and _a priori_ nature because he declared a purely empirical
foundation of social science to be the source of all immorality,
arrived at the assumption of an innate, immanent justice as the first
principle of society which he, with the arbitrariness of a catechism
writer, declared to be "the first and most essential of our faculties;
a sovereign faculty which, by that very fact, is the most difficult to
know, the faculty of feeling and affirming our dignity, and
consequently of wishing it and defending it as well in the person of
others as in our own person."

As Proudhon, in spite of the fact that he was always opposing
Utopianism, nevertheless fell into the chief error of the Utopians,
so, too, finally he shared the destiny of Auguste Comte, upon whom
during his life he had rather looked down. Both had started with a
sworn antagonism to every speculative foundation of social philosophy,
and both finally adopted a _deus ex machina_ in order to preserve the
world that was falling into individual pieces before them from a
complete atomisation. With Comte it is called "love," with Proudhon
"justice." The distinction between the two is somewhat childish. Both
perceived the standpoint of evolution, the mechanical conception which
overcomes all deviations, without assigning to it the part which it
deserves. One may safely say that if Proudhon had been brought into
connection with the doctrine of evolution, he would have been one of
the leading sociologists. He had an infinitely keen sense of the most
secret motions of the social soul, but he believed that he might not
approach it lovingly in its nudity of nature, and therefore degraded
it to a Platonic idea, after having affirmed its utmost reality. This
was an action like that of Kronos, the curse of which never departed
from his thought.

To this was added a very scanty and transitory acquaintance with
political economy which allowed the practicability of his ideas to
appear to him in the easiest light, but which, when he was opposed to
one so thoroughly acquainted with it as Karl Marx, placed him in the
most piteous position.

One of the commonest reproaches which is made against Proudhon, and
which is partly a personal one, refers to his attitude towards
Napoleon III. In the little political catechism which is found in his
_Justice_, Proudhon answered the question "Whether Anarchy can be
united with the dynastic principle," in the following way: "It is
clear that France till now was not of opinion that freedom and dynasty
were incompatible ideas. When the old monarchy called together the
States General it kindled the Revolution. The constitution of 1791 and
those of 1814 and 1830, proved the desire of the country to reconcile
a monarchical principle with the democracy. The popularity of the
First Empire was one argument more for the possibility of this
supposition; the people believed they found in it all their
preconceived ideas, and apparently surrender was reconciled with
progress. Thus men satisfied their habits of subjection under a
lordship, and their need for unity; they exercised the danger of a
president dictator or an oligarchy. When in 1830 Lafayette defined the
new order of affairs as 'a monarchy surrounded by republican
arrangements,' he perceived the identity of the political and economic
order. While the true republic consists in the equilibrium of forces
and efforts, people pleased themselves by seeing a new dynasty hold
the balance and guaranteeing justice. And finally, this theory is
confirmed by the example of England (although equality is unknown
there), and by the new constitutional states. No doubt the union of
the dynastic principle with that of freedom and equality in France has
not produced the fruits that were expected from it, but that was the
fault of Governmental fatalism; the mistake was made just as much by
the princes as by the people. Although dynastic parties since 1848
have shown themselves by no means friendly to revolution, the force of
circumstances will again bring them to it, and as France at all stages
of her fortunes has always liked to give herself a ruler and to
manifest her unity by a symbol, so it would be exaggeration to deny
even now the possibility of a restoration of the dynasty. We have
heard Republicans say, 'He will be my master who shall wear the purple
robe of equality,' and those who speak thus form neither the smallest
nor the least intelligent portion; but it is also true that they did
not wish for a dictatorship. At any rate, one must admit that there
are no symptoms of a restoration in the near future. And what makes us
suppose that the dynastic principle is, at least, under a cloud, is
the fact that the pretenders and their advisers have no heart for the
affair. 'After you, gentlemen,' they appear to say to the Democrats.
But after the democracy there will not remain much for a dynasty to
pick up, or the economic equilibrium would be false. _Non datur regnum
aut imperium in oeconomiæ._"

This certainly reasonable and moderate point of view, which proceeds
from the perception that in an organic society the caprice of one
individual cannot possibly stop or disturb the course of the social
function, and that king or emperor accordingly could at most be a
symbol, is also at the bottom of the book on social revolution. In the
_coup d'état_ of the 2d of December, Proudhon only saw a stage of the
great social revolution, the manifestation of the will of the people,
striving in the direction of social equalisation; although perhaps
mistakenly, and challenged Louis Napoleon, whose _coup d'état_ he had
prophesied, condemned, and sought to prevent, to show himself worthy
of public opinion, and to use the mandate given him by destiny and by
the French people in the sense that it was entrusted to him.[6]
Proudhon probably did not believe, when he was writing the _Sociale
Révolution_, by any means too much in the willingness of Napoleon to
take upon himself such a mission as he assigned to him. The language
of the book is in any case very reserved, and there is no trace of the
apotheosis of the author of the _coup d'état_.

    [6] It must not be forgotten that the people expected in
    Louis Napoleon "the social emperor," and that he had in
    earlier times played upon this expectation. Compare his work
    on _The Abolition of Pauperism_, German translation by R. V.
    Richard. Leipsic, 1857. Volume ii.

Nevertheless some have wished to represent this as Proudhon's
intention; his early release from the prison in which the little book
was written as the immediate effect, and as being the thanks of the
Emperor, thus representing Proudhon as a mercenary time-server. But
this is not in accordance with the facts. Proudhon remained in his
imprisonment almost till the very last day of his sentence, and the
attitude of the authorities towards his writings afterwards does not
seem to show that any relationship, even a secret one, existed between
Proudhon and Napoleon. Proudhon might write what he liked, it was
confiscated; in vain he applied for permission to be allowed to issue
his paper, _Justice_; a book which no longer showed the violence of
his youth brought him three more years' imprisonment again, which he
only escaped by a rapid flight to Belgium, and in the general amnesty
of the year 1859 he was specially excepted from its conditions. When
the Emperor in 1861, as a special favour, granted him permission to
return home before the proper time, Proudhon proudly refused this
favour, much as he wished to be in Paris, and only returned there at
the expiration of the three years' period, at the end of 1863. These,
at least, are no proofs that the author of _What is Property?_ allowed
himself to be brought over by the man on the 2d December. But Proudhon
was not to breathe the air of his native land much longer. Broken by
the troubles of persecution, he died, after a long illness, on the
19th June, 1865, in the arms of his wife, who, like himself, belonged
to the working classes, and with whom he had led a life full of
harmony and love.

                            CHAPTER III


    Germany in 1830-40 and France -- Stirner and Proudhon --
    Biography of Stirner -- _The Individual and his Property_
    (_Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum_) -- The Union of Egoists --
    The Philosophic Contradiction of the _Einziger_ -- Stirner's
    Practical Error -- Julius Faucher -- Moses Hess -- Karl Grün
    -- Wilhelm Marr.

In the first half of the forties, almost about the same time, but
completely independent one from another, there appeared, on each side
of the Rhine, two men who preached a new revolution in a manner
totally different from the ordinary revolutionist, and one from which
at that time even the most courageous hearts and firmest minds shrank
back. Both were followers of the "royal Prussian Court philosopher"
Hegel, and yet took an entirely different direction one from the
other: but both met again at the end of their journey in their
unanimous renunciation of all political and economic doctrines
hitherto held; in their thorough opposition to every existing and
imagined organisation of society upon whatever compulsion of right it
might be founded; and in their desire for free organisation upon the
simple foundation of rules made by convention or agreement--in their
common desire for Anarchy.

The contemporaneous appearance of Proudhon and Stirner is of as much
importance as their, in many ways, fundamental difference. The first
circumstance shows their appearance was symptomatic, and raises it
above any supposed or probable outcome of chance; Stirner and Proudhon
support each other mutually with all their independence, and with all
their difference one from another. As to this, it cannot be denied
that it is to be traced, first and foremost, to the totally different
environment in which the two authors grew up.

Ludwig Pfau, in a talented essay, has sought to derive the literary
peculiarities of Proudhon from the Gallic character and from his
French _milieu_. But even besides the purely literary aspect, Proudhon
shows all the gifts and all the weaknesses of his people and of his
time; he shares with all Frenchmen their small inclination to real
criticism, but also their faculty of never separating themselves from
the stream of practical life; and thus, before everything, we perceive
in Proudhon's earlier works a strong tendency towards the part of an
agitator. L. Pfau asserts that it is a specific peculiarity of the
French nation, with all their notorious sentiment for freedom, "to
discipline their own reluctant personality, and subject it to the
common interest"; and therein lies, perhaps, the reason why Proudhon,
although an enthusiastic advocate of personal freedom, never wished
this to be driven to the point of the disintegration of collective
unity and to the sacrifice of the idea of society.

Stirner is the German thinker who is carried away by the unchecked
flow of his thoughts far from the path of the actual life into a misty
region of "Cloud-cuckoo-land," where he actually remains as the "only
individual," because no one can follow him. There is no trace in
Stirner's book of any intention of being an agitator. As far as
political parties are mentioned in it, they do appear as such, but
merely as corollaries of certain tendencies of philosophic thought.
Stirner keeps himself even anxiously apart from politics, and a
certain dislike to them is unmistakable in him. All parties have in
his eyes only this in common, that they all strive to actualise
conceptions and ideas which lie beyond them, whether these be called
God, State, or humanity. Stirner stands in the same relation to the
philosophic tendencies of his own and earlier times. He sees them all
run into the great ocean of generality the absolute, nothingness. The
distinction between Saint Augustine and L. Feuerbach is for him purely
a superficial and not an essential one; for the "man" of the latter is
as foreign to him as the "God" of the former. And so Stirner carries
his disinclination to politics, as being inimical to the philosophy of
his time, almost to disgust, being herein a genuine son of his country
and of his period.

Upon the philosophic exaltation and the speculative "foundation
period" of the beginning of the century there had followed a severe
depression; to the over-eager expectations which had been placed in
philosophy there followed just as severe a disappointment; to the
metaphysical orgy there followed a moral headache, which might be
designated not inaptly by the motto which Schopenhauer gave in mockery
to Feuerbach's philosophy, so well suited to his time--

  "Edite, bibite, collegiales!
   Post multa sæcula
   Pocula nulla."

The political attitude of the forties was very much the same. The
national enthusiasm, the wars of freedom, and the sanguine hopes which
had attended the downfall of the Corsican, had, like the expectations
aroused by the Revolutionists of the days of July, ended in miserable
disaster. The touching confidence which a nation, all too naïve in
politics, had placed in its princes had been shamefully deceived and
abused. All dreams of union and freedom seemed to be extinguished for
a long time, and the flunkeyism which was unfortunately only too
rampant in the nation, ran riot, while frank souls stood aside in
disgust. The more eager the spiritual enthusiasm had been on the
threshold of two centuries, the deeper now did apathy weigh upon men's
spirits in the period of the forties. The fuller men's souls had been
of surging and stormy ideals, and wishings and vague longings of all
kinds, the emptier did they now become, and not only Stirner could
with justice give to his "only individual" the motto, "I have placed
my all on nothing," but it was the motto of all Germany at that time.
And yet in one thing Stirner is the type of his people as contrasted
with Proudhon. He is the most complete example of the German who lacks
that proud self-sacrificing view of the life of the community, that
feeling of the inseparability of the individual from the mass of his
people--which is the token of the French,--but who at all times has
suffered from a separatism that destroys everything. He is the typical
representative of that nation to whom its best sons have denied the
capacity of being a nation, but which has therefore been able to
produce more striking individualities than all other civilised nations
of the time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Caspar Schmidt--for this is Stirner's real name[1]--was born at
Baireuth on the 25th October, 1806, and, like Strauss, Feuerbach,
Bruno Bauer, and other thinkers of the same kind, devoted his time to
theological and philosophic studies. After completing these, he took
the modest position of a teacher in a high school, and in a girls'
school in Berlin. In 1844 there appeared, under the pseudonym "Max
Stirner," a book called _The Individual_ _and his Property_, with the
dedication which, under these circumstances, is touching: "To my
Darling, Marie Döhnhardt." The book appeared like a meteor; it caused
for a short time a great deal of talk, and then sank into oblivion for
ten years, till the growing stream of Anarchist thought again came
back to it in more recent times. A _History of the Reaction_, written
after the year 1848, is esteemed as a good piece of historical work;
and, besides this, Caspar Schmidt also produced translations of Say,
Adam Smith, and other English economists. On the 26th of June, 1856,
he ended his life, poor in external circumstances, rich in want and
bitterness. That is all that we know of the personality of the man who
has raised the idea of personality to a Titanic growth that has
oppressed the world.

    [1] Stirner's chief work, _The Individual and his Property_
    (_Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum_, Leipsic, 1845), has been
    reprinted by P. Reclam, at Leipsic, with a good introduction
    by Paul Lauterbach. The literature about Stirner is almost
    exclusively confined to a few scattered remarks in larger
    works, which are not always very appropriate. J. H. Mackay is
    said to be working at a biography of Stirner. The monograph
    by Robert Schellwien, _Max Stirner und Friedrich Nietzsche_
    (Leipsic, 1892), is quite worthless for our purpose.

Stirner proceeds from the fact, the validity of which we have placed
in the right light at the beginning of this book, that the development
of mankind and of human society has hitherto proceeded in a decidedly
individualistic direction, and has consisted predominantly in the
gradual emancipation of the individual from his subjection to general
ideas and their corresponding correlatives in actual life, in the
return of the Ego to itself. Starting from the school of Fichte and
Hegel, he pursued this special individualistic tendency till close
upon the limits of caricature; he formally founded a cultus of the
Ego, all the while being anxious that it should not return again to
the region of metaphysical soap-bubbles, and leave its psychological
and practical sphere. On the contrary, Stirner appears to be rather
inclined to Positivism, and to consider the details of life and of
perception as real, and as the only ones whose existence is justified.
All that is comprehensible and general is secondary, a product of the
individual, the subject turned into an object, a creation that is
looked upon and honoured by the creator as the only actual reality,
the highest end--indeed, as something sacred. In the origin of this
generalisation, as well as in emancipation from it, Stirner perceives
the course of progressive culture.

The ancients only got so far as generalisations of the lower order;
they lived in the feeling that the world and worldly relationships
(for example, the natural bond of blood) were the only true things
before which their powerless self must bow down. Man, in the view
of life taken by the ancient world, lived entirely in the region of
perception, and therefore all his general ideas, even the highest type
of them, not excluding Plato's, retained a strongly sensuous

Christianity only went a step higher with its generalisations out
of the region of the senses; ideas became more spiritual and less
corporeal in proportion as they became more general. Antiquity sought
the true pleasure of life, enjoyment of life; Christianity sought the
true life; antiquity sought complete sensuousness, Christianity
complete morality and spirituality; the first a happy life here,
the latter a happy life hereafter; antiquity postulated as the
highest moral basis, the State, the laws of the world; Christianity
postulated God, imperishable, everlasting Law. The ancient world
did not get beyond the rule of formal reason, the Sophists;
Christianity put the heart in the place of reason, and cultivation
of sentiment in that of one-sided cultivation of the intellect.
Nevertheless, this is, according to Stirner (as has already been
mentioned), the same process, the objectivisation of the Self, which
comes out of itself, and considers itself as some foreign body
striving upwards--unconscious self-deification.

Even in the Reformation Stirner recognises nothing more than the
continuation of the same process. Up to the time of the period
preceding the Reformation, reason, that was condemned as heathenish,
lay under the dominion of dogma; shortly before the Reformation,
however, it was said, "If only the heart remains Christianly minded,
reason may after all have its way." But the Reformation at last places
the heart in a more serious position, and since then hearts have
become visibly less Christian. When men began with Luther "to take the
matter to heart," this step of the Reformation led to the heart being
lightened from the heavy burden of Christianity. The heart becomes
from day to day less Christian; it loses the contents with which it
occupies itself, until at last nothing remains to it but empty
"heartiness," general love of man, the love of humanity, the
consciousness of freedom. It need hardly be mentioned that this view
of history is quite arbitrary and distorted. Who requires to be told
that the Reformation was, perhaps, the greatest historical act in
favour of the individual, because it freed him from the most powerful
of all authorities, from the omnipotence of the Roman dogma? With the
Reformation the conscious movement for freedom received its first
great impulse.

But Stirner places the reverence of the ancients for the State, the
reverence of the Christian for God, and of modern times for humanity
and freedom, all upon the same level,--they all seem to him ghosts,
spectres, possession by spirits and hauntings,--and he seeks to
establish the same conclusion as regards the ideas of truth, right,
morality, property, and love,--the so-called sacred foundations of
human society. They are all ghost-imaginations of our own mind,
creations of our own Ego, before which the creator of them bows in the
impotence of ignorance, considering them as something unalterable,
eternal, and sacred, to which every activity of the creative idea is
placed in contrast as Egoism.

"Men have got something into their heads which they think ought to be
actualised. They have ideas of love, goodness, and so on, which they
would like to see realised; and therefore they wish for a kingdom of
love upon earth in which no one acts out of self-interest, but
everyone from love. Love shall rule. But what they have placed in
their heads, how can it be called other than 'a fixed idea' (_idée
fixe_)? Their heads are haunted by spectres. The most persistently
haunting spectre is Man himself. Remember the proverb, 'The way to
ruin is paved with good intentions.' The proposal to actualise
humanity in itself, to become wholly human, is of just the same
disastrous character, and to it belong the intentions of becoming
good, noble, loving, and so forth."

The dominion of the idea, whether it is religious or humanitarian or
moral, is for Stirner mere priest-craft; philanthropy is merely a
heavenly, spiritual, but priest-imagined love. Man must be restored,
and in doing so we poor wretches have ruined ourselves. It is the same
ecclesiastic principle as that celebrated motto, _Fiat justitia,
pereat mundus_; humanity and justice are ideas and ghosts to which
everything is sacrificed. The enthusiast for humanity leaves out of
consideration persons as far as his enthusiasm extends, and walks in a
vague ideal of sacred interest. Humanity is not a person but an
ideal--an imagination.

All progress of public opinion or emancipation of the human mind, as
hitherto proceeding, is accordingly for Stirner worthless labour, a
mere scene-shifting. As Christianity not only did not free mankind
from the power of ancient spectres, but rather strengthened and
increased them, so too the Reformation did not remove the chains of
mankind a hair's-breadth. "Because Protestantism broke down the
medieval hierarchy, the opinion gained ground that hierarchy in
general had been broken down by it, while it was quite overlooked that
the Reformation was even a restoration of a worn-out hierarchy. The
hierarchy of the middle ages had been only a feeble one, since it had
to allow all possible barbarity to persons to go on unchecked with it,
and the Reformation first steeled the strength of the hierarchy. When
Bruno Bauer said: 'As the Reformation was principally the abstract
separation of the religious principle from art, government, and
science, and thus was its liberation from those powers with which it
had been connected in the antiquity of the Church and in the hierarchy
of the middle ages, so also the theological and ecclesiastical
movements that proceeded from the Reformation were only the logical
carrying out of this abstraction or separation of the religious
principle from other powers of humanity';--and so I see on the
contrary that which is right, and think that rule of the mind or
mental freedom (which comes to the same thing) has never been before
so comprehensive and powerful as at the present time, because now,
instead of separating the religious principle from art, government,
and science, it is rather raised entirely from the kingdom of this
world into the realm of the spirit and made religious."

From the same point of view he considers the whole of the mental
attitude introduced by the Reformation.

"How can one," he says, "maintain of modern philosophy and of the
modern period that they have accomplished freedom when it has not
freed us from the power of objectivity? Or am I free from despots when
I no longer fear a personal tyrant, but am afraid of every outrage
upon the loyalty which I owe to him?"

This is just the case in the modern period. It only changes existing
objects, the actual ruler and so on, to an imagined one, that is, into
ideas for which the old respect not only has not been lost but has
increased in intensity. If a piece was taken off the idea of God and
the devil in their former gross realism, nevertheless only so much the
more attention has been devoted to our conceptions of them. "They are
free from devils, but evil has remained." To revolutionise the
existing State, to upset the existing laws, was once thought little
of, when it had once been determined to allow oneself to be no longer
imposed upon by what was tangible and existing; but to sin against the
conception of the State and not to submit to the conception of
law--who has ventured to do that? So men remained "citizens" and
"law-abiding, loyal men"; indeed, men thought themselves all the more
law-abiding in proportion as they more rationalistically did away with
the previous faulty law in order to do homage to the spirit of law. In
all this it is only the objects that have changed but which have
remained in their supremacy and authority; in short, men still
followed obedience, lived in reflection, and had an object upon which
they reflected, which they respected, and for which they felt awe and
fear. Men have done nothing else but changed things into ideas of
things, into thoughts and conceptions, and thus their dependence
became all the more innate and irrevocable. It is, for example, not
difficult to emancipate oneself from the commands of one's parents, or
to pay no heed to the warnings of an uncle or an aunt, or to refuse
the request of a brother or a sister; but the obedience thus given up
lies easily upon one's conscience, and the less one gives way to
individual sentiments, because one recognises them from a rational
point of view, and from our own reason to be unreasonable, the more
firmly does one cleave conscientiously to piety and family love, and
with greater difficulty does one forgive an offence against the idea
which one has conceived of family love and the duty of piety. Released
from our dependence upon the existing family life, we fall into the
more binding submission to the idea of the family; we are governed by
family spirit. And the family, thus raised up to an idea or
conception, is now regarded as something "sacred," and its despotism
is ten times worse, because its power lies in my conscience. This
despotism is only broken when even the ideal conception of the family
becomes nothing to me. And as it is with the family, so it is with
morality. Many people free themselves from customs, but with
difficulty do they get free from the idea of morality. Morality is the
"idea" of custom, its spiritual power, its power over the conscience;
on the other hand, custom is something too material to have power over
the spirit, and does not fetter a man who is independent, a "free

Humanity strives for independence, and strives to overcome everything
which is not a self, says Stirner; but how does this agree with the
above-mentioned spread of the power of the mental conception and of
the idea? To-day mankind is less free than before; so-called
Liberalism only brings other conceptions forward; that is, instead of
the divine, the human; instead of ecclesiastical ideas, those of the
State; instead of those of faith, those of science; or general
statements, instead of the rough phrases and dogmas, actual ideas and
everlasting laws.

In the movement for emancipation in modern times Stirner distinguishes
three different varieties, the political, social, and humanitarian

Political Liberalism, according to Stirner, culminates in the thought
that the State is all in all, and is the true conception of humanity;
and that the rights of man for the individual consist in being the
citizen of the State. Political Liberalism did away with the
inequality of rights of feudal times, and broke the chains of
servitude which at that period one man had forced upon another, the
privilege upon him who was less privileged. It did away with all
special interests and privileges, but it by no means created freedom;
it only made one independent of the other, but yet made all the most
absolute slaves to the State. It gave all power of right to the State,
the individual only becomes something as a citizen, and only has those
rights which the State gives him. Political Liberalism, says Stirner,
created a few people, but not one free individual. Absolute monarchy
only changed its name, being known formerly as "king," now as
"people," "State," or "nation."

"Political freedom says that the _polis_, the State, is free; and
religious freedom says that religion is free, just as freedom of
conscience means that the conscience is free; but not that I am free
from the State, from religion, or from conscience. It does not mean my
freedom, but the freedom of some power which governs and compels me;
it means that one of my masters, such as State, religion, or
conscience, is free. State, religion, and conscience, these despots
make me a slave, and their freedom is my slavery." "If the principle
is that only facts shall rule mankind, namely, the fact of morality or
of legality, and so on, then no personal limitations of one individual
by the other can be authorised--that is, there must be free
competition. Only by actual fact can one person injure another, as the
rich may injure the poor by money--that is, by a fact, but not as a
person. There is henceforth only one authority, the authority of the
State; personally no one is any longer lord over another. But to the
State, all its children stand exactly in the same position; they
possess 'civic or political equality,' and how they get on one with
another is their own affair; they must compete. Free competition means
nothing else than that everyone may stand up against someone else,
make himself felt, and fight against him."

At this point (wherein Stirner by no means recognises immediate or
economic individualism) social Liberalism--that which we to-day call
social Democracy or communal Socialism--separates from the political.
With a cleverness which we cannot sufficiently admire, Stirner
proceeds to show that these directions which are so totally opposed
are essentially the same, and regards the latter merely as the logical
outcome from the former.

"The freedom of man is, in political Liberalism, the freedom from
persons, from personal rule, from masters; security of any individual
person, as regards other persons, is personal freedom. No one can
give any commands; the law alone commands. But if persons have become
equal, their positions certainly have not. And yet the poor man needs
the rich, and the rich man needs the poor; the former needs the money
of the rich, the latter the work of the poor. Thus no one needs anyone
else as a person; but he needs him as a giver, or as one who has
something to give, as a proprietor or possessor. Thus what he has,
that makes a man. And in having or in possession people are unequal.
Consequently, so social Liberalism concludes, no one must possess,
just as, according to political Liberalism, no one must command--that
is, as here the State alone has the power of command, so now society
alone has the power of possessing." As in political Liberalism, the
State is the source of all right; the individual only enjoys so much
of it as the State gives him, so the social State, now called society,
is also the only master of all possessions, and the individual must
only have so much as society lets him share in. "Before the highest
Ruler," says Stirner in his rough language, "before the only
Commander, we all become equal--equal persons, that is, nonentities.
Before the highest owner of property we all become vagabonds alike.
And now one person is, in the estimation of another, a vagabond, a
'havenought,' but then this estimate of each other stops, we are all
at once vagabonds, and we can only call the totality of communist
society 'a conglomeration of vagabonds.'"

That which Stirner, finally, under the name of humanitarian
Liberalism, places side by side with the two tendencies just mentioned
has nothing to do, generally speaking, with the political and material
relations of mankind, and is the philosophical Liberalism of
Feuerbach, who places freedom of thought in the same position as his
predecessors put freedom of the person. "In the human society which
humanitarianism promises," says Stirner, "nothing can be recognised
which any person has as something 'special,' nothing shall have any
value which bears the mark of a 'private' individual. In this way the
circle of Liberalism completes itself, having in humanity its good
principle, in the egotist and every 'private' person its evil one; in
the former its God, in the latter its devil. If the special or private
person lost his value in the State, and if special or private property
ceased to be recognised in the community of workers or vagabonds, then
in human society everything special or private is left out of
consideration, and when pure criticism shall have performed its
difficult work, then we shall know what is private, and what one must
leave alone in _seines Nichts durchbohrendem Gefühle_." Political
Liberalism regulated the relations of might and right, social
Liberalism wishes to regulate those of property and labour,
humanitarian Liberalism lays down the ethical principles of modern

       *       *       *       *       *

As may be seen, Stirner does not recognise the efforts and endeavours
of all these tendencies to which we ascribe the complete
transformation of Europe in the last century, but, on the contrary,
is prepared to perceive in them rather an intensification of the
servitude in which the free Ego is held. The more spiritual, the more
interesting, the more sublime and the more sacred ideas become for
men, the greater becomes their respect for them, and the less becomes
the freedom of the Ego as regards them. But as these ideas are merely
creations of man's own spirit,--fiction and unreal forms,--all the
so-called progress made by Liberalism is regarded by Stirner as
nothing else than increasing self-delusion and constant retrogression.
True progress evidently lies for him only in the complete emancipation
of the Ego from this dominion of ideas that is in the triumph of
egotism. "For Individualism (egotism) is the creator of everything,
just as already genius [a definite egotism] which is always
originality, is regarded as the creator of new historical productions.
Freedom teaches us: set yourselves free, get rid of everything
burdensome; but it does not teach you who you yourselves are. Free!
free! so sounds its cry, and you eagerly follow it; become free from
yourselves, and renounce yourselves. But Individualism calls you back
to yourselves, and says: 'Come to yourself!' Under the ægis of freedom
you become free from many things, but become subject again to some new
thing; you are free from the Evil One, but abstract evil still
remains. As individuals you are really free from everything, and what
clings to you you have accepted. That is your choice and your wish.
The individual is the one who is born free, the man who is free by
birth. The 'free man,' on the other hand, is he who only looks for
freedom, the dreamer, the enthusiast." Freedom is only possible
together with the power to acquire it and to maintain it; but this
power only resides in the individual. "My power is my property; my
power gives me property; I am myself my own power, and am thereby my
own property." This is, in a nutshell, Stirner's positive doctrine.

Right is power or might. "What you have the power to be, that you have
the right to be. I derive all right and justification from myself
alone; for I am entitled to everything which I have power to take or
to do. I am entitled to overthrow Zeus, Jehovah or God, if I can; if I
can _not_, these gods will always retain their rights and power over
me; but I shall stand in awe of their rights and their power in
impotent reverence, and shall keep their commands and believe I am
doing right in everything that I do, according to their ideas of
right, just as a Russian frontier sentry considers himself justified
in shooting dead a suspicious person who runs away, because he relies
upon a 'higher authority,' in other words, commits murder legally. But
I am justified in committing a murder by myself, if I do not forbid it
to myself, if I am not afraid of murder in the abstract as of
'something wrong.' I am only not justified in what I do not do of my
own free will, that is, that which I do not give myself the right to
do. I decide whether the right resides in me; for there is some right
external to myself. If it is right to me, then it is right. It is
possible that others may not regard it as right, but that is their
affair, not mine, and they must take their own measures against it.
And if something was in the eyes of the whole world not right, and yet
seemed right to me, that is, if I wished it, even then I should ask
nothing from the world: thus does everyone who knows how to value
himself, and each does it to the extent that he is an egotist, for
might goes before right, and quite rightly too."

All existing right is external to the Ego; no one can give me my
right, neither God, nor reason, nor Nature, nor the State; as to
whether I am right or not there is only one judge and that is myself;
others at most can pass a judgment and decide whether they support my
right and whether it also exists as a right for them. Law is the will
of the dominating power in a community. Every State is a despotism,
whether the dominant power belongs to one, to many, or to all. A
despotism would remain then, if, for example, in the national assembly
the national will, that is to say, the individual wills of each
person, really had overwhelmingly expressed itself, including also my
own will; if then this wish becomes law I am bound to-morrow by what I
wished yesterday, and then I thus become a servant, even though it be
only the servant of myself. How can this be changed? "Only by my
recognising no duty, neither letting myself bind nor be bound. If I
have no duty then I also know no law." Wrong goes side by side with
right, crime with legality. The unfettered Ego of Stirner is the
never-ceasing criminal in the State; for only he who denies his
"self," and who practises self-denial is acceptable to the State. And
thus with the disappearance of right comes also the disappearance of

"The dispute about the right of property is violently waged. The
Communists maintain that the earth belongs properly to him who
cultivates it; and the products of the same to those who produce them.
I maintain it belongs to him who knows how to take it, or who does not
let it be taken from him or let himself be deprived of it; if he
appropriates it, not merely the earth but also the right to it belongs
to him. This is the egotistical right, that is, it is right for me,
and therefore it is right." How far Stirner is separated from Proudhon
is shown most clearly in the question of property. Proudhon denied
property because it was incompatible with justice. Stirner denies
justice, and maintains property upon the grounds of the right of
occupation. Proudhon declared that property was theft, but Stirner
entirely reverses the phrase, and answers to the question, What is my
property?--"Nothing but what is in my power." To what property am I
entitled?--"To that which I entitle myself." "I give myself the right
to property by taking property or by giving myself the power of the
proprietor, a full power or title."

The theory of occupation or seizure here appears to us in all its
brutality. Nevertheless, even here Stirner is not frightened at the
most extreme consequences of this theory, nor at the thought that one
would have to defend one's property daily and hourly with a weapon in
one's hand; and he is therefore inclined to make some concession to a
voluntary form of organisation. "If men reach the point of losing
respect for property, each will have property; just as all slaves
become freemen as soon as they regard their master no longer as
master. Union will then multiply the means of the individual, and
secure for him the property he has acquired by fighting. In the
opinion of the Communists the community should be the only proprietor.
The converse of this is, I am the proprietor, and merely come to some
agreement with others about my property. If the community does not do
right by me, I revolt against it, and defend my property. I am an
owner of property, but property is not sacred." The regulation of
society by itself is accepted by Stirner just as little as in the
question of property, when it comes to the question of obtaining for
the labourers a full reward of their labour. "They must rely upon
themselves and ask nothing from the State," he answers. Only to a
third very difficult question does this thoroughgoing theorist fail in
an answer. He declares pauperism to be "lack of value of myself, when
I cannot make my value felt; and, therefore, I can only get free from
pauperism if I make my value felt as an individual, if I give myself
value, and put my own price upon myself. All attempts at making the
masses happy, and philanthropic associations arising from the
principle of love, must come to grief, for help can only come to the
masses through egotism, and this help they must and will procure for
themselves. The question of property cannot be solved in such a legal
way as the Socialists, and even the Communists, imagine. It can only
be solved by the war of all against all. The poor will only become
free and be owners of property by revolting, rising, and raising
themselves. However much is given them, they will always wish to have
more; for they wish nothing less than that, at last, there shall
remain nothing more to give. It will be asked: But what will happen
then, when those who have nothing take courage and rise? What kind of
equalisation will be made? One might just as well ask me to determine
a child's nativity; what a slave will do when he has broken his chains
one can only wait and see."

Step by step Stirner departs from Proudhon; the latter demands, in
order to create his paradise, a balance, the former lays down the
principle of natural selection as the highest and only law in social
matters. The fight, the struggle for existence, which Proudhon strove
to recognise in economic life, here enters upon its rights in all its
brutality. The realisation of the self is, for Stirner, the key to the
solution of the problems of work, property, and pauperism. He will
have no division of goods, no organisation of labour. For Proudhon
every piece of work is the result of a collective force, for Stirner
the most valuable works are those of "individual" artists, savants,
and so on, and their value is always to be determined only from the
egoist standpoint.

To the question whether money should be maintained or done away with
among egoists, he answers: "If you know a better medium of exchange,
all right; but it will always be 'money.' It is not money that does
you harm, but your lack of power to take it. Let your power be felt,
nerve yourselves, and you will not lack money--_your_ money, the money
of your own coining. But working I do not call letting your power be
felt. Those who only 'seek for work, and are willing to work hard,'
prepare for themselves inextinguishable lack of work." What we
now-a-days call free competition, Stirner refuses to regard as free,
since everyone has not the means for competing. "To abolish
competition only means to favour members of some craft. The
distinction is this: in a craft, such as baking, baking is the
business of the members of the craft; under a system of competition it
is the business of anyone who likes to compete; but in societies it is
the business of those who use what is baked; thus, my or your
business, not the business of the members of the craft, nor of the
baker who has a concession given him, but of those in the union or
society." Here for the second time we meet with the idea of a union,
without Stirner expressing himself exactly about its character. Only
in one other place does he happen to speak about the ideas of this
union. He says the end of society is agreement or union. A society
also certainly arises through union, but only in the same way as a
fixed idea arises from a thought, namely, by the fact that the energy
of the thought, thinking itself the restless absorption of all rising
thoughts, disappears from thought. When a union has crystallised
itself into a society, it has ceased to be an active union; for the
act of union is a ceaseless uniting of individuals, it has become a
united existence, has come to a standstill, has degenerated into a
fixity; it is dead as a union; it is the corpse of union, and of the
act of union; that is, it is a society or community. What is known as
"party" is a striking example of this.

Stirner admits that union cannot exist without freedom, being limited
in all manner of ways. But absolute freedom is merely an ideal, a
spectre, and the object of the union is not freedom, which it, on the
contrary, sacrifices to individualism, but its object is only
individualism. "Union is my creation, my implement, sacred to me, but
has no spiritual power over my mind, and does not make me bow down to
it; but I make it bow down to me, and use it for my own purposes. As I
may not be a slave of my maxims, but without any guarantee expose them
to my own continual criticism, and give no guarantee of their
continuance, so, still less, do I pledge myself to the union for my
future, or bind my soul to it; but I am and remain to myself more than
State or Church, and consequently infinitely more than the union."

Just as we again recognise in this loose and always breakable union
(although Stirner does not say so) that union whose mission he had
declared it to be "to render secure property gained by force," to
arrange the relations of production and consumption, and at the same
time to create a certain unity of the means of payment; so, too, we
have in this "union of egoists," as its author called it, all the
constructive thought that Stirner's book either can or does contain.
For a man who only acknowledges one dimension, and only operates with
one, considering everything not contained therein as non-existing,
cannot form any of the combinations of which life consists, without
coming into hopeless conflict with his principles. This Stirner has
done, in spite of the vague and imaginary nature of his "union of

As Stirner had to acknowledge that this union or society cannot exist
without freedom being limited in every way, he declared--since after
all he requires union for some things--"absolute freedom" a creature
of the imagination, as the opposite to "individuality," which is the
main thing. But can it be believed that Stirner has set up an
"absolute freedom" all of his own making, to place it in contrast with
individuality. In other words, freedom is merely the possibility of
living one's individuality, of being an "individual" in Stirner's
sense. Freedom is the absence of every outside influence; it may be
understood in an exoteric or esoteric sense; and throughout his whole
book Stirner has done nothing but strip the "Ego" from every sign of
outside compulsion; he has made it the "only one" by freeing it with
relentless logic from everything external. He has depicted this act of
liberation as the goal of all culture; and it finally emerges that all
this story of the "only Ego" is a delusion, for "union" excludes
"absolute individuality" as well as "absolute freedom"--because the
two are identical.

Stirner, indeed, only spoke of an "absolute freedom" to represent it
as a fiction of the imagination, and on the other hand only of an
individuality. Now his union does not exclude individuality and
freedom, but only absolute individuality. But this last Stirner cannot
admit, because it also he regards merely as a "spectre," an
"obsession," a "fixed idea." But whether he admits it or not, what is
Stirner's "individual" but an idea, something absolute? Stirner had
begun with the intention of slaying Feuerbach's idea of "man" as a
retrograde idealist fallacy, and of creating, like Prometheus, a new
man, the _Unmensch_, in the Ego completed into a microcosm, and, as
such, complete in itself, separate and independent. But that is, as a
matter of fact, not the "no-man" but the superhuman Prometheus
himself, the idea of Man which he attacked in Feuerbach. "Might," he
says in one part of his book, "goes before right, and rightly too."
This is exactly the logical scheme of the whole book. Away with
everything absolute! Individuality goes before every idea, just
because it is itself the absolute idea of the much-despised Hegel.

But suppose we do not take into consideration this fundamental
contradiction. Let us suppose there is none, and that all Stirner's
other assumptions are indisputable, that God, Humanity, Society,
Right, the State, the Family are all classed in one category, as were
abstractions and creations of my own "Ego," what follows? That these
ideas, now that they have lost their absolute character, are no longer
to be reckoned as factors in the organisation of life? It is so, if
one regards only that which is absolute as entitled to exist; but
Stirner would drive everything absolute from its very last positions.
And does it follow further from the circumstance that one of these
factors has lost its controlling influence over mankind that all the
others, because they too are not absolute, should be denied all
practical significance? Put in concrete form, the question stands
thus: (1) Has the idea of Deity lost its practical significance,
because it has been divested of its absolute character, and its purely
empiric origin has been recognised? and (2) If the idea of Right is no
more an absolute one than the idea of Deity, does it follow that the
influence of Right must be placed upon the same plane as the influence
of conscience?

As to the first point, I am relieved from any answer in view of the
thorough treatment of these questions by the light of modern
investigation. The second question I prefer to leave to some
professional jurist, who knows the nature of law, and at the same time
has every intention of doing justice to Stirner.

Dr. Rudolf Stammler says,[2] after showing that the necessity of the
influence of Law for human society cannot be proved _a priori_: "It is
the theory of Anarchism which must lead us with special force to a
train of thought that has never yet appeared in the literature of
legal philosophy, although it makes clear, in a manner universally
valid, the necessity of legal compulsion in itself and justifies legal
organisation. For the antithesis of our present mode of social life,
based on law and right, is, as conceived by Anarchism as its ideal and
goal, the union and ordering of men in freely formed communities, and
entirely under rules framed by convention. Though the individual
Anarchist may regard a union of egoists as a postulate, or may desire
fraternal Communism, yet each must determine for himself his
connection with such a community. Let him enter freely into the
supposed agreement and break it again as seems good to him, it is
still the stipulations of the agreement that bind him as long as the
agreement exists; an agreement which he must first enter into and can
at any time break regardless of conditions by a new expression of his
will. From this it is that this kind of organisation, which forms the
core of the theory of Anarchism, is only possible for such of mankind
as are actually qualified and capable of uniting with others in some
form of agreement. Those who are not capable of acting for themselves,
as we jurists say, such as the little child, those who are of unsound
mind, incapacitated by illness and old age, all these would be
entirely excluded from such an organisation and from all social life.
For as soon as, for example, an infant has been taken into this
society and subjected to its rules, the compulsion of law would have
been again introduced, and authority would have been exercised over a
human being without the proper rules for his assent being observed.
The Anarchist organisation of man's social life therefore fails,
inasmuch as it is possible only for certain special persons, qualified
empirically, and excludes others who lack these qualifications. I
therefore conclude the necessity of legal compulsion, not from the
fact that without it the small and weak would fare but badly; for I
cannot know this for certain beforehand and as a general rule. Nor do
I deduce the recognised and justified existence of legal arrangements
from the fact that only by these can the 'true' freedom of each
individual be attained without the interference of any third person;
for that would not be justified by the facts of history, and would
certainly not follow from formal legal compulsion in itself. Rather, I
base the lawfulness of law and the rightness of right, in its formal
state, upon the consideration that a legal organisation is the only
one open to all human beings without distinction of special fortuitous
qualifications. To organise means to unite under rules. Such a
regulation of human relationships is a means to an end, an instrument
serving the pursuit of the final end of the highest possible
perfection of man. Hence only that regulation of human society can be
universally justified which can embrace universally all human beings
without reference to their subjective or different peculiarities. Law
alone can do this. So even under a bad law legal compulsion in itself
retains its sound foundation. Its existence does not cease to be
justified, nor is it even touched, by any chance worthlessness of the
concrete law in question: it is firmly founded, because it alone
offers the possibility of a universally valid, because universally
human, organisation. Therefore social progress can only be made by
perfecting law as handed down by history, according to its content,
and not by abolishing legal compulsion as such."

    [2] Stammler, _Die Theorie des Anarchismus_, Berlin, 1894, p.

These conclusions block the way for the mischievous misapplications of
distorted expressions of an exact thinker such as Ihering. Ihering
certainly took away ruthlessly the ideological basis of law, but he
never denied or attacked necessity of legal compulsion as Stirner did.
We might just as well ascribe to Darwin the intention of disowning man
because he set forth man's natural descent.

It is of just as little use to claim that past master of sociology,
Herbert Spencer, in support of Stirner's views, because Spencer too
recognises the purely egoistical origin of law and of social
organisation. Egoism and Anarchism are not so mutually interchangeable
as Stirner thinks. The question is, first of all, whether egoism after
all really finds its account in the "union of egoists." It has been
already more than once remarked that here too, as in the case of
Proudhon, we only have to do, at bottom, with the logical extension of
the present order of society that rests on free competition. "Make
your value felt" is still to-day the highest economic principle; and
he whose value, whose individuality consists in knowledge alone
without an adequate admixture of worldly wisdom, would probably fare
no better in the more perfect Anarchist world than the poor
schoolmaster Caspar Schmidt in our _bourgeois_ society, who suffered
all the pangs of hunger and greeted Death as his redeemer.

       *       *       *       *       *

Stirner did not form any school of followers in Germany in his own
time, but Julius Faucher (1820-78) who was known as a publicist and a
rabid Freetrader, represented his ideas in his newspaper _Die
Abendpost_ (_The Evening Post_), published in Berlin in 1850. This
paper was, of course, soon suppressed, and the only apostle of
Stirner's gospel thereupon left the Continent and went to England, to
turn to something more practical than Anarchism, or (to use Stirner's
own jargon) to realise his "Ego" more advantageously. How strange and
anomalous Stirner's individualism appeared even to the most advanced
Radicals of Germany in that period appears very clearly from a
conversation recorded by Max Wirth,[3] which Faucher had with the
stalwart Republican Schlöffel, in an inn frequented by the Left party
in the Parliament of Frankfort. "Schlöffel loved to boast of his
Radical opinions, just as at that time many men took a pride in being
as extreme as possible among the members of the Left. He expressed his
astonishment that Faucher held aloof from the current of politics. 'It
is because you are too near the Right party for me,' answered Faucher,
who delighted in astonishing people with paradoxes. Schlöffel stroked
his long beard proudly, and replied, 'Do you say that to _me_?' 'Yes,'
continued Faucher, 'for you are a Republican incarnate; you still want
a State. Now _I_ do not want a State at all, and, consequently, I am a
more extreme member of the Left than you.' It was the first time
Schlöffel had heard these paradoxes, and he replied: 'Nonsense; who
can emancipate us from the State?' 'Crime,' was Faucher's reply,
uttered with an expression of pathos. Schlöffel turned away, and left
the drinking party without saying a word more. The others broke out
laughing at the proud demagogue being thus outdone: but no one seems
to have suspected in the words of Faucher more than a joke in
dialectics." This anecdote is a good example of the way in which
Stirner's ideas were understood, and shows that Faucher was the only
individual "individual" among the most Radical politicians of that
time.[4] On the other hand, Proudhon's doctrines, which in their
native France could not find acceptance, gained a few proselytes among
the Radical Democrats, and especially among the Communists of
Switzerland and the Rhine.

    [3] "Zur Geschicte des Anarchismus," _Neue Freie Press_, 26th
    July 1894 (No. 10,748).

    [4] It is characteristic that even the German followers of
    Proudhon, as, _e. g._, Marr, Grün, and others, had a very
    poor opinion of Stirner, and never dreamed of any connection
    between his views and those of Proudhon.

Moses Hess was, among Germans, the first to seize hold upon the word
"Anarchy" fearlessly and spread it abroad. This was in 1843, thus
shortly after the appearance of Proudhon's sensational book on
property, where the word was first definitely adopted as the badge of
a party. Hess was born at Bonn in 1812, and was meant for a merchant's
life, but turned his attention to studies picked up later, more
especially to Hegelian philosophy, and entered upon the career of
literature. In the beginning of the forties he propounded in his works
on _The Philosophy of Action_ and _Socialism_ a confused programme,
in which the Communism of Weitling was curiously intermingled with the
views of Proudhon. In 1845 he expressed his views in a paper called
_The Mirror of Society_ (_Gesellschaftspiegel_), that appeared later
in 1846, under the title of _The Social Conditions of the Civilised
World_, and represented the extreme views of Rhenish Socialism. Moses
Hess died in obscurity in 1872.

Hess went farther than Proudhon, in that he differed from Proudhon's
carefully thought-out and measured organisation of society by
demanding, under Anarchy, the abolition of the influence, in social,
mental, and moral life, not only of the State and the Church, but also
in like manner of any or all external dominion. All action, he
declared, must proceed exclusively from the internal decision of the
individual acting upon the external world, and not _vice versa_.
Action which did not proceed from internal impulse, but from
external--whether from external compulsion, necessity, desire for
gain, or enjoyment--was "not free," and thus merely "a burden or a
vice." This cannot be the case under Anarchy, for there every work
will bring its own reward in itself. The manner and duration of a
man's work will depend entirely on his inclination, thus introducing
an individual arbitrary will unknown as yet to Proudhon. Society will
offer to each just as much as he "reasonably" needs for
self-development and the satisfaction of his wants. As the means of
introducing "Anarchism" Hess mentions the improvement of the system of
education, the introduction of universal suffrage, and--a thing which
Proudhon always opposed--the erection of national workshops.

Karl Grün, however, was not only in friendly personal relationship
with Proudhon, but also perfectly imbued with his ideas. Born on
September 30, 1817, at Ludenscheid, in Westphalia, he studied at Bonn
and Berlin, and later became a teacher of German at the college of
Colmar. Later he founded in Mannheim the radical newspaper, the
_Mannheimer Zeitung_, and when expelled from Baden and Bavaria went to
Cologne, where for some time he continued active as a lecturer and
journalist. During the winter of 1844 and 1845 he had made the
acquaintance of Proudhon personally in Paris, and had inoculated him
with Hegelian philosophy, and in return brought back Proudhon's views
with him to Germany. The result of this first visit to Paris was the
work entitled, _The Social Movement in France and Belgium_,[5] one of
the most important works on advanced Socialism in Germany, which made
known the Socialist views of Frenchmen, and especially of Proudhon, to
the German public in an attractive form. In 1849 Grün made another
stay in Paris. Returning thence to Germany, he was elected a member of
the Prussian National Assembly; then, being arrested for alleged
complicity in the Palatinate rising, was at length acquitted after
eight months' imprisonment. He then lived in Belgium and Italy,
engaged actively in literary work; later on became a teacher at the
School of Commerce in Frankfort, visited the Rhine towns on a
lecturing tour from 1865 to '68, and migrated in 1868 to Vienna, where
he resided till his death in 1887.

    [5] Grün wrote many works on literature and the history of
    art, and also _Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, the Sphinx on the
    French Throne_ (3d ed., 1866); _France before the Judgment
    Seat of Europe_ (1860); Italy (1861), etc.

Grün goes farther than his master Proudhon, and, like Hess, sowed the
seed of the Communist Anarchy which has only attained its full growth
as a doctrine in quite recent years. In this he totally rejected the
principle of reward or wages maintained by Proudhon. "Proudhon never
got beyond this obstacle," he says; "he anticipates it, seeks it, he
would like it, he introduces it: the farther association extends, the
greater the number of workmen, the less becomes the work of each, the
more distinction between them disappears. That is a mathematical
proceeding, not social or human. What distinction is to disappear? The
distinction among producers is to become progressively smaller. The
natural distinction of capacity which society abolishes by the social
equality of wages. Preach the social freedom of consumption, and then
you have at once the true freedom of production. Reverse the case: are
you so anxious about lack of production? Recent progress in science
may assure you. Perhaps children up to fifteen years of age would be
able to perform all necessary household duties as mere guides of
machineryeven in holiday attire, as a game of play! Everyone is paid
according to what he produces, and the production of each is limited
by the right of all. But no! no limitation! Let us have no right of
all against the right of the individual. On the contrary, the
consumption of each is guaranteed by the consumption of all. The
production of one is not paid for by the product of another, but each
pays out of the common product."[6] We shall meet with the same ideas
in Kropotkin, only more definite.

    [6] Die sociale Bewegung, p. 433. Darmstadt, 1845.

Proudhon found an ardent disciple in Wilhelm Marr, who at that time
stood at the head of the German Democratic Union of manual workmen of
"young Germany" in Switzerland. Born on May 6, 1819, at Magdeburg,
Marr was originally intended for a merchant's calling, but after his
stay in Switzerland (1841) gave it up entirely, and turned his
attention to a political and literary career. At first, attracted by
Weitling's Communism, he later on came into decided opposition to it
from his accentuation of the individualist standpoint, which he, as an
ardent follower of Feuerbach, pursued according to Proudhon's rather
than Stirner's views. In conjunction with a certain Hermann Döleke,
Marr endeavoured to instil these views into the above-mentioned Swiss
workmen's unions. His programme was quite of a negative character; as
he himself describes it: "The abolition of all prevailing ideas of
Religion, State, and Society was the aim, which we followed with a
full knowledge of its logical consequences." Döleke called it the
"theory of no consolation"[7] (_Trostlosigkeits-theorie_). In
December, 1844, Marr published a journal in Lausanne called _Pages of
the Present for Social Life (Blätter der Gegenwart für sociales
Leben)_, to promote the literary acceptance of this theory. "With
remorseless logic," says Marr himself (_Das junge Deutschland_, p.
271) "we attacked not only existing institutions in State and Church,
but State and Church themselves in general; and as a first attempt,
which we in the second number made in the shape of an article upon the
Tschech outrage, produced no ill consequences for us, our audacity
grew to such a pitch that Döleke often preached Atheism, and the word
'Atheism' was to be seen at the head of his articles. I did the same
in the department of social criticism, while, following the example of
Proudhon, I put before my readers at the very beginning the final
consequences of my argument." For a time the Government did not
interfere with Marr's propaganda, but in July, 1845, it stopped the
publication of his journal, and Marr was soon after expelled from the
country. This was the end of the results of his propaganda in
Switzerland; for in the popular reflex of Marr's doctrines we can
hardly find more than the Radicalism of German Democrats, as preached
by Börne, coloured by a few traces of Proudhon's teaching. This shade
of opinion was then quite modern; we recognise it in Alfred Meisener,
Ludwig Pfau, and the Vienna group, even in Börne, who died in the
forties; the doctrine was part of the spirit of the age, and did not
need to be derived from Proudhon.

    [7] Wilhem Marr, _Das junge Deutschland in der Schweiz_, p.
    135. Leipsic, 1846.

Wilhelm Marr, after many and various political metamorphoses, took
sides with the Anti-Semites, and acquired the unenviable reputation
of being one of the literary fathers of this questionable movement.
Recently he has again abandoned this movement, and living embittered
in retirement in Hamburg, has once more devoted the flabby sympathies
of his old age to the Anarchist ideals of his youth.

Marr forms the link between the pure theory of Anarchism and active
Anarchist agitation, between the older generation who laid down the
principles and the modern Anarchists. The acute reaction following
upon the years 1848 and '49 extinguished the scanty growth that had
sprung from the seed sown by Proudhon and Stirner. Only when in the
sixties, with the reviving Social-Democratic movement there naturally
arose also its opposite, the "Anti-Authoritative Socialism," did men
proceed to complete the work begun by Proudhon and Stirner. Recent
proceedings in this direction have, however, not only not added any
essential feature to the theory of Anarchism, but rather have obscured
the former sharp outlines of its ideas, and introduced into its theory
elements which are really quite foreign and contradictory to it, and
have prevented that peaceful discussion of it which might be
advantageous to all parties. This distinction between the older and
the more modern theorists of Anarchism is most clearly marked in
Bakunin with his introduction of "Russian influence"; with Bakunin
begins the theory of active agitation.

                               PART II

                           MODERN ANARCHISM

                              CHAPTER IV

                          RUSSIAN INFLUENCES

    The Earliest Signs of Anarchist Views in Russia in 1848 --
    The Political, Economic, Mental, and Social Circumstances of
    Anarchism in Russia -- Michael Bakunin -- Biography --
    Bakunin's Anarchism -- Its Philosophic Foundations --
    Bakunin's Economic Programme -- His Views as to the
    Practicability of his Plans -- Sergei Netschajew -- The
    Revolutionary Catechism -- The Propaganda of Action -- Paul

       "L'Église et l'État sont
        Mes deux bêtes noires."--BAKUNIN.

In Russia traces of Anarchist views are found as far back as the
stormy period of 1848-49. The extent of poverty, both mental and
material, in the vast dominion of the Czar caused the Russian people
to be less ready to accept and propagate political ideals of freedom
than to comprehend the Socialist doctrines that were then first
springing up in Western Europe. The great movement that seized upon
and shook all Central and Western Europe died down in Russia to a few
isolated centres of life, and was felt chiefly in secret debating
societies which eagerly received and disseminated the writings of
Considerant, Fourier, Saint-Simon, Blanc, and Proudhon.

The reading of Proudhon's works was even undertaken as a duty by the
most important of these societies, the so-called "Association of
Petraschewski." The extent to which his teaching impressed the
thoughtful members of this society, which included among others
Dostojewski, cannot easily be determined, since the companions of
Petraschewski, like the Nihilists of to-day, have always liked to
preserve a certain electicism. However, one trace of the influence of
Proudhon's doctrines upon its members is distinctly visible. Thus, an
associate, Lieutenant Palma of the Guards, had designed a book of
laws, in which we are surprised to meet the following passage, quite
in the Anarchist vein: "The chief distinctive feature of man is that
he is a being endowed with a personality, _i. e._, with reason and
freedom, which is an end in itself, and ought not under any
circumstances to be regarded as a means or end for others. From the
idea of personality is derived the idea of right. I may do everything
that I please, because each of my actions is the result of my reason."
Petraschewski himself, in a satirical _Dictionary_ which he published
under the pseudonym of Kirilow, praised as one of the merits of early
Christianity the abolition of private property and so on. We can
easily recognise here the elements of Proudhon's and Stirner's

In spite of the severe prohibitive system that came in force after
1848, the teachings of English and French Socialists penetrated into
Russia even in this period, and were disseminated by such eminent men
as Tschernichevsky, Dobrolinbow, Herzen, Ogarjow, and others, to wider
circles, and again we see that interest is chiefly taken in Proudhon's
doctrines. These found their way deep into the heart of the masses,
even to the peasants. It must not be forgotten that to the Russian
peasants, with their already existing collectivist village
communities, Proudhon's ideas were far more easy to understand than an
educated Frenchman or German found them. There is probably no country
in the world where the principles of "federative Socialism," as taught
by Proudhon and later by Bakunin, were better understood than in
Russia, and Bakunin even denied the necessity of a Socialist
propaganda among Russian peasants, because he said that they already
possessed a knowledge of its elements.

The broad, subterranean stream of Nihilism, which, swelling from these
small beginnings to a dread power and strength, has undermined both
feet of the Colossus of the Russian Empire, disappears here from our
view. We can only notice individual men who, separated from the main
body of the movement, made ready the path of revolution in their
native land while living as voluntary or involuntary exiles in Western
Europe. It may appear superfluous to remark upon the important _rôle_
played by Russians on the revolutionary committees of every country.
And in no revolutionary movement have they gained such a disastrous
influence or played such a leading part as in Anarchism. When, in the
sixties, Socialism, with its organisation of the working-class
movement, grew up side by side with the revival of political
Liberalism, then, too, by a natural law, arose the extreme form of
protest against the aggregation of human society by Communism; the
Anarchist doctrine naturally rose up from the complete oblivion in
which it had lain for ten years. But modern Anarchism celebrated its
renascence in a totally different form: times and men had changed; the
philosophic period was passed, Stirner was dead, and Proudhon near his
end; Russian godfathers stood round the cradle of modern Anarchism.
Men of lofty idealism, who, impregnated with Western culture, with
bold violence, wished to anticipate by several ages the natural
development of mankind, have given up to Anarchy, as the empire of
perfect and free personality, their whole heart and mind. But those
who gave to this doctrine--justified to some extent, like every other
one-sided view, in spite of all its extravagance, contradictions, and
inherent impossibility--the sanction of the dagger, the revolver,
petroleum, and dynamite, were neither Frenchmen nor Germans, but the
half-civilised barbarians of the East.

The older form of Anarchism is marked by that lofty idealism which was
the general mental attitude of civilised Western Europe in the first
half of this century. The modern Anarchism of Bakunin, Netschajew,
Kropotkin, and others, is branded by the semi-civilised culture of
Russia, whose only object is the destruction of every existing state
of things, and indeed under existing circumstances it cannot be
otherwise. Dislike of, and discontent with real or fancied grievances,
combined with a stiff-necked, _doctrinaire_ attitude unprepared for
any _sacrificio del intelletto_, may indeed lead the children of
Western civilisation to a logical denial of the existing order of
society. But from this to the actual overthrow of all existing
conditions is a still farther step; and the positive intention of
annihilating the infinite mental and material inheritance which is the
outcome of civilisation, and which is not even denied by Anarchists
themselves, could only be conceived by a few degenerate individuals
who could only wish to see themselves _vis-à-vis de rien_ because of
their own utter lack of moral, intellectual, or material possessions.
Against these individuals there will always be arrayed an overwhelming
majority, who are ready to pledge the whole weight of their
superiority in culture for these possessions and guarantees of the
undeniable progress of mankind.

It is different in Russia. The political and social, the mental and
moral conditions of this large but barbarian empire do not afford much
opportunity for the growth even of a moderate amount of conservatism.
For what can there be to conserve, to maintain, or to improve in those
lives that depend on the mere sign of a bloodthirsty and savage
despotism, in that society that has hardly raised itself from the
primitive tribal level, in those rotten national economics, trade and
industry, in a spiritual life groaning under the banner of orthodoxy
and an arbitrary police, of popes and Tschinowniks? Must not the only
possible way, the inevitable presupposition of any possible
improvement be a desire for a total and universal overthrow, a radical
annihilation of all these conditions that render life and development
impossible? The Russian need not shrink from the thought that all
present conditions should be annihilated, for when he looks round
about him he finds nothing that his heart would care to preserve; and
the higher he ranks in the mental or social sphere, the stronger must
this "Nihilist" feeling naturally become. We who are citizens of a
State that, with all its faults, is yet richly blessed by
civilisation, show our comprehension of these facts by regarding with
a milder and more sympathetic glance the acts of a few desperate men
in Russia, which we should condemn severely if they occurred under the
happier circumstances that surround ourselves. In fact, nothing is
more natural--lamentable as it may be--than that, under circumstances
such as those of Russia, revolutionary Radicalism should assume this
purely negative "Nihilist" and murderously destructive character in
the desperate struggle of the individual against a society that is
totally degenerate.

"Among us," says Stepniak,[1] "a revolution or even a rising of any
importance, such as those in Paris, is absolutely impossible. Our
towns contain barely a tenth of the total population, and most of them
are merely great villages, miles and miles away one from another. The
real towns, such as, _e. g._, those of from 10,000 or 15,000
inhabitants, contain only 4 or 5 per cent. of the total
population--that is, about three or four million people. And the
Government which rules over the military contingent of the whole
people--that is, over 1,200,000 soldiers--can transform the five or
six chief towns, the only places where any movement would be possible,
into veritable camps, as is indeed the case. Against such a Government
any means are permissible; for it is no longer the guardian of the
people's will or even of the will of a majority. It is injustice
organised; a citizen need respect it no more than a band of highway
robbers. But how can we shake off this Camarilla that shelters itself
behind a forest of bayonets? How can we free the country from it?
Since it is absolutely impossible to remove this hindrance by force,
as in other more fortunate countries, a flank movement was necessary
in order to attack this Camarilla before it could make use of its
power, which thus was made useless in fruitless positions. Thus
Terrorism arose. Nurtured in hatred, suckled by patriotism and hope,
it grew up in an electric atmosphere, filled by the enthusiasm that is
awakened by a noble deed."

    [1] _Underground Russia_, 3d edition, pp. 34 ff. and 41.
    London, 1890.

These same features were necessarily assumed in Russia by Anarchist
doctrines, which from their very nature found a friendly and (as we
have seen) an early reception, and were practically incorporated with
Nihilism, but, as must be distinctly noted, without becoming identical
with it, or even forming an essential and integral part of it. In
fact, we find in avowed Nihilists and Panslavists, such as Herzen,
the fundamental Anarchist ideas present just as much as in Bakunin and
Kropotkin, whose Anarchism was superior to their Panslavism. In his
book, _After the Storm (Après la Tempête)_, composed under the
impression made by the disappointed hopes and expectations of 1848,
Herzen exclaimed: "Let all the world perish! Long live Chaos and
Destruction"; and in a work that appeared almost at the same time,
_The Republic One and Indivisible_, he attacked the Republican form of
government as "the last dream of the old world," which yet could not
succeed in carrying out the great fundamental law of social justice.
Only when this has become really a truth, only when there is an end of
men being devoured by men, will humanity, born again, rise free and
happy from the ruins of this present cursed social structure: "Spring
will come; young, fresh life will blossom on the graves of the races
who have died as victims of injustice; nations will rise up full of
chaotic but healthy forces. A new volume of the world's history will
begin." The share of Nihilism in such ideas cannot be borrowed
altogether from Western Anarchism. There was perhaps a mutual
interaction of intellectual growth. But one gift Anarchism certainly
did receive from Nihilism: "the propaganda of action" does not spring
from the logical development of Proudhon's and Stirner's ideas, and
cannot be extorted or extracted from it in any way; it is rather the
consequence of the mixture of these ideas with Nihilism, a result of
Russian conditions. This was the pretty embellishment with which the
West received back Anarchism from Russian hands in the era of the
sixties and seventies. Bakunin was entrusted with the gloomy mission
of handing this gift over to us, and it is noticeable that in
Bakunin--as in Nihilism generally--Anarchism by no means takes up that
exclusively commanding position as in Proudhon, with whom he yet is so
closely connected.

       *       *       *       *       *

Michael Bakunin was born in 1814 at Torschok in the Russian province
of Tver, being a scion of a family of good position belonging to the
old nobility. An uncle of Bakunin's was an ambassador under Catherine
II., and he was also connected by marriage with Muravieff. He was
educated at the College of Cadets in St. Petersburg, and joined the
Artillery in 1832 as an ensign. But either, as some say, because he
did not get into the Guards, or, as others say, because he could not
endure the rough terrorism of military life, he left the army in 1838,
and returned first to his father's house, where he devoted himself to
scientific studies. In 1841 Bakunin went to Berlin, and next year to
Dresden, where he studied philosophy, chiefly Hegel's but was also
introduced by Ruge into the German democratic movement. Even at that
time he had come to the conclusion (in an essay in the _Deutschen
Jahrbücher_ on "The Reaction in Germany") that Democracy must proceed
to the denial of everything positive and existing, without regard for
consequences. Pursued by Russian agents, he went in 1843 to Paris, and
thence to Switzerland, where he became an active member of the
Communist-Socialist movement. The Russian Government now refused him
permission to stay abroad any longer, and as he did not obey repeated
commands to return to his native land, it confiscated his property.
From Zürich, Bakunin returned a second time to Paris, and made the
acquaintance of Proudhon. If here was laid the foundation for his
later Anarchist views, we still find him active in another political
direction. In a high-flown speech made at the Polish banquet on the
anniversary of the Warsaw Revolution (29th November, 1847), Bakunin
recommended the union of Russia and Poland in order to revolutionise
the former. The Russian Government thereupon demanded his extradition,
and set a price of ten thousand silver roubles on his head. In spite
of this, Bakunin escaped safely to Brussels. After the Revolution of
February, he returned to Paris, then went in March to Berlin, and in
June to attend the Slav Congress in Prague.

The question has not unnaturally been raised, What had Bakunin the
cosmopolitan to do at such an institution of national Chauvinism as
the Congress? What had the ultra-radical Democrat and sworn enemy of
the Czar to do with a congress held by the favour of Nicholas, and
visited by orthodox Archimandrites, by the envoys of Slav princes, and
privy councillors decorated with Russian orders? When the drama at
Prague ended with a sanguinary insurrection and the bombardment of
Prague, Bakunin disappeared, only to re-appear again, now in Saxony
and now in Thuringia, under all kinds of disguises, and (as those who
are well-informed maintain)[2] constantly occupied with the intention
of causing a new insurrection at Prague. Here too he was in
contradiction with the attitude that he had adopted both before and
after this event, for he must have known what a sorry part the Czechs
had played and still were playing as regards the Vienna Democracy and
the efforts for Hungarian emancipation.

    [2] Karl Blind, "Väter des Anarchismus" (Persönliche
    Erinnerungen), 4 feuilletons in the _Neue Freie Presse_,

During the insurrection in May, 1849, we find Bakunin in Dresden, as a
member of the provisional government, and taking a prominent part in
the defence of the city against the Prussian troops. Bakunin here
appears as a champion of the very same cause that he had attacked at
the Prague Congress. After the fall of Dresden he went with the
provisional government to Chemnitz, where on the 10th of May he was
captured and condemned to death by martial law. The sentence, however,
was not carried out, since Austria had demanded his extradition. Here
he was also condemned at Olmutz to be hanged; but Austria handed this
offender, who was so much in request, over to Russia, which country
also wished to get hold of him. By a remarkable chance, Bakunin
escaped the death to which here also he was condemned, by receiving a
pardon from the Czar; he was imprisoned first in the fortress of SS.
Peter and Paul, and then at that of Schlüsselburg; and in 1855,
through the exertions of his influential relatives, was banished to
Siberia. At that time a report had generally gained credence in
Europe, although lacking any foundation, that Bakunin had by no means
owed his life, that three countries had already condemned, to the
chance favour of a monarch usually far from gracious; and the distrust
of the apostle of Revolution was still more greatly increased when, in
1861, he succeeded in escaping from the penal settlement in the Amur
district, and returned to Europe _via_ Japan and America. Now the
otherwise mysterious success of this escape has been explained. The
Governor of the Amur (Muravieff-Amurski) happened to be a cousin of
Bakunin's relation, Muravieff, and moreover (according to Bakunin's
own statement),[3] a secret adherent of the revolutionary movement. He
appears to have lived on a very intimate footing with Bakunin, and
granted the exile all kinds of favours and freedom; and thus Bakunin
was entrusted with the mission of travelling through Siberia in order
to describe its natural resources. While on this journey he succeeded
in embarking on a ship in the harbour of Nikolajewsk, and escaping. In
1861 he arrived in England, and settled in London, where he entered
into relations with the members of the "International." As to the part
that Bakunin played here, as he did later, as an agitator for
Anarchist ideas, we will speak later when we come to the history of
the spread of Anarchism.

    [3] There is a kind of autobiography for the period 1849-60,
    by Bakunin himself in a letter, dated from Irkutsk (8th
    December, 1860) to Herzen. _Michael Bakunin's
    Social-Political Correspondence with Alexander Iw. Herzen and
    Ogarjow_, with a biographical introduction, appendices, and
    notes by Professor Michael Dragomanoff. Authorised
    translation from the Russian, by Dr. Boris Minzés, Stuttgart,
    1895 (_Bibl. russischer Denkwürdigkeiten_, edited by Dr. Th.
    Schiemann, vol. vi.), No. 6, pp. 29 and 99.

When the Revolution broke out in Poland in 1863, Bakunin was one of
the leaders of the expedition of Polish and Russian emigrants that was
planned in Stockholm, and which was to revolutionise Russia from the
Baltic coast. When this attempt also failed, he stayed sometimes in
Russia and sometimes in Italy, devoting himself to Socialist
agitation, and being always on every favourable opportunity active
either as an apostle of Anarchist doctrine or as an agitator in the
preparations and _mise-en-scène_ of a revolution. We shall speak of
this later. The last years of his life were spent alternately in
Geneva, Locarno, and Bern, where he died on July 1, 1878, at the
hospital, after refusing all nourishment, and thus hastening his end.

The Anarchist epoch of his life is included mainly in the last ten
years of his career, so fertile in mistakes and changes of opinion.
Anarchism owes its renascence to his active agitation, regardless of
all consequences; and even in his writings the thinker lags far behind
the agitator. Bakunin at best could only be called the theorist of
action; his activity as an author was limited to scattered articles in
journals and a few (mostly fragmentary) pamphlets. He was right in his
answer to those critics who reproached him with this: "My life itself
is but a fragment." Where could he have found in his life-long
wanderings the peaceful leisure in which to develop his thoughts
quietly or to express them in a work such as Proudhon's _Justice_ or
Stirner's _Einziger_? Besides, he lacked the gift of mental depth and
firmly grounded knowledge. His style possesses something of his
fluency as a demagogue, but his procedure in science reminds of the
soaring dialectics of the revolutionary orator, full of repetitions,
and attractive rather than convincing. In his case a pose always takes
the place of an argument.

It is said that during the period of his association with the
"International" Bakunin had had the intention of setting forth his
ideas in two large works, one of which would have been a criticism of
the existing arrangements of the State, property, and religion, while
the other would have treated of the problems of the European nations,
especially the Slavs, and have shown their solution by social
revolution and anarchy. But, of course, these two works were never
written, and there remain to us only some remnants of numerous
fragmentary and formless manuscripts, originating in the period of
1863-73. Among these is a _Catechism of Modern Freemasonry_, the
_Revolutionary Catechisms_, not to be compared with the later
catechism of Netschajew, which was wrongly ascribed to Bakunin; also
the wordy essay on _Federation, Socialism, and Anti-theology_, which
as a proposal designed for the central committee of the League of
Freedom and Peace at Geneva, but never published, presents a short
reprint of Proudhon's _Justice_; and lastly, a fragment published in
1882 by C. Cafiero and Elisée Reclus, after his manuscript, _Dieu et
l'État_, which seems intended to lay a philosophic foundation for
Bakunin's Anarchism.

This fragment, in which Bakunin follows the lead of the great
materialists and Darwinians, begins with Hegelianism. Man (it says) is
of animal origin; all development proceeds from the "animal nature" of
man, and strives to reach the negation of this, or humanity.
"Animality" is the starting-point; "humanity," its opposite, is the
goal of development. The first human being, the pitheco-anthropus,
distinguished itself, according to Bakunin, from other apes, by two
gifts: the capacity for thinking, and, thereby, for raising itself.
Bakunin, therefore, distinguishes three elements in all life: (1)
animality; (2) thought; and (3) rising. To the first corresponds
social and private economy; to the second, science; to the third,
freedom. After establishing these peculiar categories, Bakunin never
troubles about them again throughout his book, and does not know what
use to make of them; they were nothing but a pretty philosophic pose,
sand thrown in one's eyes. He goes farther, and declares next that he
intends to penetrate into the reason "of the idealism of Mazzini,
Michelet, Quinet, and [_sic!_] Stuart Mill." Again we hear nothing
more throughout this fragmentary work of the thus announced refutation
of Mill's idealism. It is limited to giving a rather shallow
reproduction of Proudhon's contrast between religion and revolution.

"The idea of God," says Bakunin, "implies the abdication of human
reason and justice; it is the most decisive denial of human freedom,
and leads necessarily to the enslaving of humanity, both in theory and
practice.... The freedom of man consists solely in following natural
laws, because he has recognised them himself as such, and not because
they are imposed upon him from without by the will of another, whether
divine or human, collective or individual.... We reject all
legislation, every authority, and every privileged, recognised
official and legal influence, even if it has proceeded from the
exercise of universal suffrage, since it could only benefit a ruling
and exploiting minority against the interests of the great enslaved
majority." And so forth.

Here already, in this partial repetition of Proudhon's views, we see
Bakunin go far beyond Proudhon in an essential point, the question of
universal suffrage. Proudhon had already perceived in "the
organisation of universal suffrage" the only possible means of
realising his views. Bakunin rejects this view, and, as will be shown
later, this question formed the chief stumbling-block in his
differences with the "International." But in a much more important and
decisive point Bakunin goes farther than Proudhon, or rather sinks
behind him.

Proudhon always based all his hopes on the diffusion of knowledge; the
demo-cracy was to be changed into a demo-pædy, and thus gradually led
up to Anarchy of its own accord. Bakunin anathematises knowledge just
as much as religion; for it also enslaves men. "What I preach," he
says in the book quoted, "is to a certain extent the revolt of life
against knowledge, or rather against the domination of knowledge, not
in order to do away with knowledge--that would be a crime of high
treason against humanity (_læsæ humanitatis_)--but in order to bring
it back to its place so surely that it would never leave it again....
The only vocation of knowledge is to illuminate our path; life alone,
in its full activity, can _create_, when freed from all fetters of
dominion and doctrine." He also thinks that knowledge should become
the common possession of all, but to the question as to whether men
should, until this takes place, follow the directions of knowledge, he
answers at once, "No, not at all."

In these two divergences from Proudhon lies the essential difference
between the modern and the older Anarchism. Bakunin rejects the
proposal to bring about Anarchy gradually by a process of political
transformation by means of the use of universal suffrage, equally with
the gradual education of mankind up to this form of society by
knowledge. Not by evolution, but by revolt, revolution, and similar
means is Anarchy to be installed to-day--Anarchy in the sense of the
setting free of all those elements which we now include under the name
of evil qualities, and the annihilation of all that is termed "public
order." Everything else will look after itself.

Bakunin wisely did not enter into descriptions of the future: "All
talk about the future is criminal, for it hinders pure destruction,
and steers the course of revolution." His views as to the nearest
goal, after general expropriation and the annihilation of all powers,
are almost exclusively derived from Proudhon's, and at most go beyond
them only in so far as Bakunin does not recognise as obligatory that
coalescence of "productive" groups into a higher collective entity,
which Proudhon regarded as an organic society, but merely allows them
to remain as groups. If several such local groups wish to unite into a
larger association, this might be done, but no compulsion must thereby
be exercised upon individuals. The influence of Stirner, with whom
Bakunin was acquainted before 1840, must account for this. We
recognise Bakunin's theory best and most authentically from the
following extract, in which he comprises it in the programme of the
"Alliance de la Democratie Socialiste" of Geneva,[4] founded by
himself. It runs thus:

    [4] Compare the chapter on "The Spread of Anarchy."

1. The alliance professes atheism; it aims at the abolition of
religious services; the replacement of belief by knowledge, and divine
by human justice; and the abolition of marriage as a political,
religious, judicial, and civic arrangement.

2. Before all it aims at the definite and complete abolition of all
classes, and the political, economic, and social equality of the
individual, of either sex; and to attain this end it demands, before
all, the abolition of inheritance, in order that for the future
usufruct may depend on what each produces, and that, in accordance
with the decision of the last Congress of Workmen at Brussels [in
1868], the land, the instruments of production, as well as all other
capital, can only be used by the workers, _i. e._, by the agricultural
and industrial communities.

3. It demands for all children of both sexes, from their birth
onwards, equality of the means of development, education, and
instruction in all stages of knowledge, industry, and art, with the
general object that this equality, at first only economic and social,
will ultimately result in producing more and more a greater natural
equality of individuals, by causing to disappear all those artificial
inequalities which are the historic products of a social organisation
which is as false as it is unjust.

4. As an enemy of all despotism, recognising no other form of policy
than Republicanism, and rejecting unconditionally every reactionary
alliance, it rejects all political action that does not aim directly
and immediately at the triumph of the cause of labour against capital.

5. It recognises that all existing political States, having authority,
by gradually confining themselves to merely administrative functions
of the public service in their respective countries, will be immerged
into the universal union of free associations, both agricultural and

6. Since the social question can only be solved, definitely and
effectively, on the basis of the universal and international
solidarity of the workmen of all countries, the alliance rejects any
policy founded on so-called patriotism and the rivalry of nations.

7. It desires the universal association of all local associations by
means of freedom.[5] The question as to how this Anarchist condition
of society, which Bakunin himself described as "amorphism," was to be
brought about has been answered in no dubious fashion by Bakunin and
his adherents in deeds of violence, such as that attempted by the
leader himself in the Lyons riot of 1870 and the occurrences in Spain
in 1873.[6] Bakunin tried to deceive himself into thinking that he
deplored the violence that was sometimes necessary, and wrapped
himself in the protecting cloak of the believer in evolution, who
would wake up some fine morning and find that Anarchy had become an
accomplished fact. By passive resistance in politics and economics, by
complete abstention from politics, and by a "universal strike,"
Anarchy would suddenly come into being of itself. At the proper time
all the workmen of every industry of a country, or indeed of the whole
world, would stop work, and thereby, in at most a month, would compel
the "possessing" classes either to enter voluntarily into a new form
of social order, or else to fire upon the workmen, and thus give them
the right to defend themselves, and at this opportunity to upset
entirely the whole of the old order of society. Again we see that
force is the ultimate resort; nor could it be otherwise after Bakunin
had uncompromisingly rejected every attempt to arrive gradually at his
ideal end by means of political and intellectual progress. In the
_Letter to a Frenchman_ he confesses the true character of the
revolution which he advocates:

    [5] Testut Oscar, _Die Internationale, ihr Wesen und ihre

    [6] Friedrich Engels, _Die Bakunisten an der Arbeit_,
    Denkschrift über den Aufstand in Spanien im Winter, 1873;
    reprinted in _Internationales aus dem Volkstaate_ (1871-75),
    Berlin, 1894.

"Of course matters will not be settled quite peacefully at first," he
says; "there will be battles; public order, the sacred _arche_ of the
bourgeois, will be disturbed, and the first facts that will emerge
from such a state of affairs can only end in what people like to call
a civil war. For the rest, do not be afraid that the peasants will
mutually devour each other; even if they attempt to do so at first, it
will not be long before they are convinced of the obvious
impossibility of continuing in this way, and then we may be certain
that they will attempt to unite among themselves, to agree and to
organise. The need of food and of feeding their families, and (as a
consequence of this) of protecting their houses, family, and their own
life against unforeseen attacks--all this will compel them to enter
upon the path of mutual adjustment. Nor need we believe, either, that
in this adjustment, that has been come to without any public
guardianship of the State, the strongest and richest will exert a
preponderating influence by the mere force of circumstances. The
wealth of the rich will cease to be a power as soon as it is no longer
secured by legal arrangements. As to the strongest and most cunning,
they will be rendered harmless by the collective power of the
multitude of small and very small peasants: so, too, in the case of
the rural proletariat, who are to-day merely a multitude given over to
dumb misery, but who will be provided by the revolutionary movement
with an irresistible power. I do not assert that the rural districts
that will thus have to reorganise themselves from top to bottom will
create all at once an ideal organisation which will in all respects
correspond to our dreams. But of this I am convinced, that it will be
a living organisation, and, as such, a thousand times superior to
that which now exists. Besides, this new organisation, since it is
always open to the propaganda of the towns, and can no longer be
fettered and so to speak petrified by the legal sanctions of the
State, will advance freely and develop and improve itself, in ways
that are uncertain, yet always with life and freedom, and never merely
by decrees and laws, till it reaches a standpoint that is as rational
as we could possibly hope at the present day."

Bakunin has expressly excepted secret societies and plots from the
means of bringing about this revolution. But this did not hinder him
from becoming himself, as occasion suited, the head of a secret
society, formed according to all the rules of the conspirator's art.

Fundamentally opposed as our minds must be to men like Proudhon and
Stirner, we yet readily recognise in them their undoubted personal
talents, both of mind, spirit, and character, and, above all, have
never questioned their good faith. But we cannot speak thus of
Bakunin. In all the changes and chances of a life that was singularly
rich in change, there were far too many dark points, to which evil
report had ample opportunity to attach itself. We do not see in
Bakunin that proletarian in wooden sabots and blouse, with the eager
thirst for knowledge and keen desire to raise himself, who dreams as
he works before the compositor's frame of a juster order of things in
this world, yet more for others than for himself, and would like to
arrange society itself laboriously in a well-ordered compositor's
case; nor do we see in Bakunin that plain German schoolmaster who
would people society with mere sons of Prometheus, while he himself
totters starving to the grave; who dedicates his gospel of a doctrine
that would overthrow the world from pole to pole "to his Darling,
Marie Donhardt," as though it were a tender love-song. Bakunin remains
to us for ever as the commercial traveller of eternal revolution in a
magnificent pose, and from the red cloak so picturesquely cast around
him peeps out unpleasantly the dagger of Caserio.

       *       *       *       *       *

We cannot leave Bakunin without a passing mention of his favourite
pupil Sergei Netschajew,[7] although he was still less of a pure
Anarchist than Bakunin, and can still less easily be separated from
Russian Nihilism.

    [7] For Netschajew, cf. the article "Anarchism" in Wurm's
    _Volks-lexicon_, vol. i., and in the _Handwörterbuch der
    Staatswissenschaften_, Jena, 1890, vol. i.; also E. von
    Laveleye, _Socialism of the Present_ (German ed. by Ch.
    Jasper, Halle, A.D. S., 1895). All these, however, are based
    almost exclusively on the information in the memoir,
    _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste et l'Association
    Internationale des Travailleurs_: Report and documents
    published by order of the International Congress at The Hague
    (London and Hamburg, 1873)--a very one-sided party brochure
    of the Marxists against the Bakuninists, which has been
    proved wrong on more points than one. We regret all the more
    that we are limited to this source of information.

But a picture of this pair of twin brothers will show us better than
long essays how much of the total phenomenon of modern Anarchism is a
product of Western hyper-philosophy, and how much is an inheritance of
Russian Nihilism. Sergei Netschajew, the apostle and saint of Nihilist
poesy, was born at St. Petersburg in 1846, the son of a court
official, and in time became teacher at a parish school in his native
town. In 1865 he went to Moscow, where he became associated with the
students of the Academy of Agriculture, and founded a secret society
that called itself "The People's Tribunal," and formed ostensibly the
"Russian Branch of the International Workers' Union." Both in St.
Petersburg and elsewhere he appeared as the founder of such branch
societies, attached to the Bakuninist section of the "International,"
and chiefly recruited from the ranks of youthful students. In a
pamphlet issued later (1869), in conjunction with his master, Bakunin,
called _Words Addressed to Students_, he exhorted the students not to
trouble about this "empty knowledge" in whose name it was meant to
bind their hands, but to leave the University and go among the
people.[8] The Russian people, he said, were now in the same condition
as in the time of Alexis, the father of Peter the Great, when Stenka
Razin, a robber chieftain, placed himself at the head of a terrible
insurrection. The young people who now leave their place in society
and lead the life of the people would form an invincible, collective
Stenka Razin, who would put themselves at the head of the fight for
emancipation, and carry it through successfully. For this purpose they
should not merely turn to the peasants and make them revolt, but also
call in the help of robbers. "Robbery," he said, "was one of the most
honourable forms of Russian national life." The robber is a hero, the
protector and avenger of the people, the irreconcilable enemy of the
State, and of all civic and social order founded by the State, who
fights to the death against all this civilisation of officials,
nobles, priests, and the crown. The Russian robber is the true and
only revolutionary, the revolutionary _sans phrase_, without rhetoric
derived from books, indefatigable, irreconcilable, and in action
irresistible, a social revolutionary of the people, not a political
revolutionary of the classes.

    [8] The expression "go among the people" has since become a
    well-known Nihilist term.

This was the programme of the society called "The People's Tribunal,"
as it was that of Nihilism generally, and, transferred from this into
Western conditions, became the active programme of the "propaganda of
action." At the same time as the _Words_, there were circulating in
the circles influenced by Netschajew other writings, either written
exclusively by himself or in conjunction with Bakunin, such as the
_Formula of the Revolutionary Question, the Principles of Revolution,
the Publications of the People's Tribunal_,--all of which preached
"total destruction" and Anarchism. The opponents of the Bakuninists
maintain that the only purpose of these writings was, by their
bloodthirsty tone, to compromise genuine revolutionaries, and give the
police a weapon against them. But the whole spirit of Bakunin is
expressed in the revolutionary _Catechism_,[9] first made accessible
to the public in the trial of Netschajew. It was formerly thought that
Bakunin was the author, but now it is pretty well agreed that it was

    [9] The _Catechism_ is reproduced in the before-mentioned
    memoir, _L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste_, viii.
    (_L'Alliance en Russie et le Catéchisme Révolutionnaire_),
    pp. 90-95.

The catechism, a condensation of revolutionary fanaticism,
commands the revolutionary to break with all that is dear to him,
and, troubling nought about law or morality, family or State,
joy or sorrow, to devote himself wholly to his task of total
_bouleversement_. "If he continues to live in this world, it is only
in order to annihilate it all the more surely. A revolutionary
despises everything _doctrinaire_, and renounces the science and
knowledge of this world in order to leave it to future generations; he
knows but one science: that of destruction. For that, and that only,
he studies mechanics, physics, chemistry, and even medicine. For the
same purpose he studies day and night living science--men, their
character, positions, and all the conditions of the existing social
order in all imaginary spheres. The object remains always the same:
the quickest and most effective way possible of destroying the
existing order" (§§ 2, 3). "For him exists only one pleasure, one
consolation, one reward, one satisfaction, the reward of revolution.
Day and night he must have but one thought--inexorable destruction" (§
6). "For the purpose of irrevocable destruction a revolutionary can,
and may, often live in the midst of society and appear to have the
most complete indifference as to his surroundings. A revolutionary may
penetrate everywhere, into high society, among the nobility, among
shopkeepers, into the military, official, or literary world, into the
'third section' [the secret police], and even into the Imperial
palace" (§ 14). The catechism divides society into several categories:
those in the first of these categories are condemned to death without
delay. "In the first place we must put out of the world those who
stand most in the way of the revolutionary organisation and its work"
(§ 16). The members of the second category are to be allowed to live
"provisionally," in order that, "by a series of abominable deeds they
may drive the people into unceasing revolt" (§ 17). The third class,
the rich and influential, must be exploited for the sake of the
revolution, and made to become "our slaves." With the fourth class,
Liberals of various shades of opinion, arrangements must be made on
the basis of their programme, they must be initiated and compromised,
and made use of for the perturbation of the State. The fifth class,
the doctrinaires, must be urged forward; while the sixth and most
important class consists of the women, for making use of whom for the
purposes of the revolution Netschajew gives explicit directions. It is
the tactics of the Jesuits in all their details that are here
recommended for the inauguration of the most moral ordering of the
universe. The last section of the catechism, which treats of the duty
of the People's Tribunal Society towards the people, reads: "The
Society has no other purpose but the complete emancipation and
happiness of the people, _i. e._, of hardworking humanity. But
proceeding from the conviction that this emancipation and this
happiness can only be reached by means of an all-destroying popular
revolution, the Society will use every effort and every means to
heighten and increase the evils and sorrows which at length will wear
out the patience of the people and encourage an insurrection _en
masse_. By a popular revolution the Society does not mean a movement
regulated according to the classic patterns of the West, which is
always restrained in face of property and of the traditional social
order of so-called civilisation and morality, and which has hitherto
been limited merely to exchanging one form of politics for another,
and at most to founding a so-called revolutionary State. The only
revolution that can do any good to the people is that which utterly
annihilates every political idea. With this end in view, the People's
Tribunal has no intention of imposing on the people an organisation
coming from above. The future organisation will, without doubt,
proceed from the movement and life of the people; but that is the
business of future generations. Our task is terrible, inexorable, and
universal destruction."

The views thus expressed are quite in harmony with what Netschajew has
written about revolutionary action in the writings mentioned above.
"Words," he exclaims, "have no value for us, unless followed at once
by action. But all is not action that is so-called: for example, the
modest and too-cautious organisation of secret societies without
external announcements to outsiders is in our eyes merely ridiculous
and intolerable child's-play. By external announcements 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, we must break into the life of the people
with a series of rash, even senseless, actions, and inspire them with
a belief in their powers, awake them, unite them, and lead them on to
the triumph of their cause."

The tendency which here develops into the recommendation of violence
should be carefully noticed; outrage is no longer recommended, because
the purposes of revolution can be served thereby directly, but
indirectly, as a kind of sanguinary advertisement to the indolent
masses, who would thus have their attention drawn to the theory by
such terrible events. That is the diabolical basis of the "propaganda
of action," which was defined by another follower of Bakunin--Paul
Brousse, the man of the Jura Federation (see the chapter on "The
Spread of Anarchy"). "Deeds," says Brousse, "are talked of on all
sides; the indifferent masses inquire about their origin, and thus pay
attention to the new doctrine, and discuss it. Let men once get as far
as this, and it is not hard to win over many of them." Therefore he
recommended revolution and outrage, not in order to upset existing
society thereby, but for the purpose of the "propaganda." Brousse only
had to borrow the thought, as we see, from Netschajew; and it is not
difficult to say whence the latter got it. The opinion which ascribes
the authorship of the _Catechism of Revolution_, and of the other
writings above mentioned not to Netschajew but to Bakunin himself, has
perhaps some foundation. But it matters little who is the author of
these works. Netschajew is thoroughly imbued with his master's spirit,
and he might even say to him (p. 115):

  "... What thou hast thought in thy mind
    That I do, that I perform.

  And e'en though years may pass away
    I never rest, until to fact
  Is changed the word that thou did'st say,
    'T is thine to think and mine to act.

  Thou art the judge, the headsman I;
    And as a servant I obey;
  The sentence which thou dost imply,
    E'en though unjust, I never stay.

  In ancient Rome, a lictor dark
    An axe before the consul bore;
  Thou hast a lictor too, but mark!
    The axe comes after, not before.

  I am thy lictor; and alway
    With bare, bright axe behind thee tread;
  I am the deed, be what it may,
    Begotten from thy thought unsaid."

In the year 1869 a sudden end was put to Netschajew's activity in
Russia. Among his most trusted friends in Moscow was a certain Iwanow,
one of the most respected and influential members of the secret
society. Iwanow himself lived in ascetic seclusion, and in his leisure
time gave the peasants instruction gratis, establishing classes of
poor students, and so forth. He was a fanatic in his belief in the
social revolution. He had also established cheap eating-houses for
poor students, and one day these were closed by the police, and their
founder vanished, because Netschajew had placarded revolutionary
appeals in them. In despair at this, Iwanow wished to retire from the
secret society. Netschajew, believing that he might betray its
secrets, enticed Iwanow one evening into a remote garden, and with the
help of two fellow-conspirators, Pryow and Nicolajew, shot him, and
threw the corpse into a pond. He then fled, and arrived safely in
Switzerland, where, in conjunction with Bakunin, he produced the
literary efforts referred to above. Soon, however, he quarrelled with
Bakunin, owing to certain sharp practices of which he was guilty, went
to London, edited a paper called _The Commonwealth_ (_Die Giemeinde_),
in which he bitterly attacked his former master, and at last, in 1872,
was handed over to Russia at the request of the Russian Government.
Since then nothing more was heard of him; Netschajew disappeared, like
the demon in a pantomime, "down below."

                              CHAPTER V


    Biography -- Kropotkin's Main Views -- Anarchist Communism
    and the "Economics of the Heap" (_tas_) -- Kropotkin's
    Relation to the Propaganda of Action -- Elisée Reclus: his
    Character and Anarchist Writings -- Jean Grave -- Daniel
    Saurin's _Order through Anarchy_ -- Louise Michel and G.
    Eliévant -- A. Hamon and the Psychology of Anarchism --
    Charles Malato and other French Writers on Anarchist
    Communism -- The Italians: Cafiero, Merlino, and Malatesta.

    "Seek not to found your comfort and freedom on the servitude
    of another; so long as you rule others, you will never be
    free yourself. Increase your power of production by studying
    nature; your powers will grow a thousandfold, if you put them
    at the service of Humanity. Free the individual: for without
    the freedom of the individual, it is impossible for society
    to become free. If you wish to emancipate yourselves, set not
    your hope on any help from this life or the next: help
    yourselves! Next you must free yourselves from all your
    religious and political prejudices. Be free men and trust the
    nature of a free man: all his faults proceed from the power
    which he exercises over his own kind or under which he
    groans."--P. KROPOTKIN.

One more Russian, a _déclassé_, as Bakunin was, has exercised
considerable influence on the development of modern Anarchism; and, in
fact, although he has introduced but few new doctrines into it, has
made, in the truest sense, a school of his own. Kropotkin, is regarded
everywhere as the father of "Anarchist Communism," which is, to some
extent, directly opposed both to the collectivist and evolutionist
Anarchism of Proudhon and to the other philosophic and individual
Anarchism of Stirner. In future we must carefully discriminate between
these two directions of individual and communal Anarchism; moreover
they are sharply distinguished not only in their intellectual but also
their actual form. The former tendency seems more adapted to the
Teutonic races in Germany, England, and America, whilst the Anarchists
of the Romance nations, but especially the French, are devoted to the
latter--the communist doctrine of Kropotkin.

Peter Alexandriewitsch Kropotkin is a descendant of the royal house of
the Ruriks, and it used to be said in jest in the revolutionary
circles of St. Petersburg that he had more right to the Russian throne
than the Czar Alexander II., who was only a German. Born at Moscow in
1842, he was first a page at court, then an officer in the Amur
Cossacks, and next, Chamberlain to the Czarina. In this atmosphere
grew up the man who is now developing a perfectly feverish activity
not only in the realm of intellect and science, but also in propaganda
of the most destructive character. Prince Kropotkin studied
mathematics in his youth at the High School, and during his extensive
travels, which led him to Siberia and even to China, acquired a great
knowledge of geography. The dreaded Anarchist is and has always been
active as a writer of geographical and geological works, and enjoys a
considerable reputation in these sciences, apart from his activity as
a Socialist teacher and agitator. During a journey to Switzerland and
Belgium in the year 1872, Prince Kropotkin became more closely
connected with the "International," and especially with men of
Bakunin's school; and so shortly as a year later we find him in his
native land compromised and arrested because of Nihilist intrigues. He
spent three years as a prisoner in the fortress of SS. Peter and Paul,
where, however, he was allowed to pursue his scientific studies.[1] In
the year 1876 he succeeded in escaping from there and reaching
Switzerland. Here Kropotkin devoted himself to a feverish activity in
the service of the new doctrines by which he is known. In Geneva he
immediately joined the leaders of the Anarchist agitation known as the
"Jurassic Union" (see the chapter on the "Spread of Anarchy"), founded
the paper _Révolt_, and greatly assisted in extending the Union so
widely in Switzerland and the South of France. After a short stay in
England we find him at the beginning of the eighties in France, busy
here and there with the founding of "groups," delivery of lectures,
and so forth. In the sensational Anarchist trial at Lyons in 1883 he
was also involved, and was condemned to five years' imprisonment upon
his own confession of having been the "intellectual instigator" of the
bloody demonstrations and riots at Montceau-les-Mines and Lyons in
1882. Kropotkin was, however, set free after only three years'
imprisonment, and betook himself to London, where he has lived till
recently.[2] But the more watchful supervision of Anarchists that has
been exercised since the murder of President Sadi Carnot, appears to
have disgusted him with London, for his present place of abode is not

    [1] See his life in Stepniak, _u. s._, pp. 90-101.

    [2] He was living in Kent in 1897.--TRANS.

Kropotkin's Anarchism rests upon the most scientific and humane
foundations, and yet assumes the most unscientific and brutal forms.
To him the Anarchist theory appears to be nothing but a necessary
adaptation of social science to that modern tendency in all other
sciences which, leaving on one side abstract and collective
generality, turn to the individual, as, _e. g._, the cellular theory,
the study of molecular forces, and so on. Just as all great
discoveries of modern science have proceeded by rejecting the
unfruitful deductive method and beginning to build up from below, so
also, Kropotkin maintains, society must be built up afresh by
realising all power, all reality, all purpose in individuals, and can
only arise again new-born synthetically, from the free grouping of
these individuals. With unconscious self-irony, Kropotkin remarks that
he would like to call this system the "synthetic," if Herbert Spencer
had not already applied that name "to another system." Anyone who
would conclude from this that the learned prince would build up
scientifically a well-founded system, as his earlier predecessors
tried to do, would be mistaken. With a few exceptions, Kropotkin has
only published short works, though certainly numerous, in which he
uses epithets rather than arguments, and those in an intentionally
trivial tone; indeed he sometimes mocks at the "wise and learned
theorists," and regards one deed as worth more than a thousand
books.[3] The same internal contrast is seen in him in another
direction. He is apparently a philanthropist of the purest water,
wishing to see the foundation of an universal brotherhood of humanity,
based upon what he regards as the innate feeling of solidarity in man;
we seem to see in this Proudhon's "justice," Comte's "love," in short,
the moral order of the world, however materialist Kropotkin may be in
action, and however much he may deny all moral element therein. But
how does he mean to bring about this moral order? By any means that is
suitable, even by the sanguinary "propaganda of action," and finally
by the re-establishment of the actual conditions of the primeval
ape-man, or tribal life on the level of the inhabitants of Tierra del

    [3] The chief work of Kropotkin is _La Conquête du Pain_,
    Paris, 1892. (The chapter on agriculture was printed
    separately as a pamphlet in 1892.) We quote below his
    numerous smaller writings in the editions which we possess,
    without vouching for the chronological order or completeness
    of the list. _Les Paroles d'un Révolté_, 1885; _Revolutionary
    Governments_ (trans. from German to French, Anarchist
    Library, vol. i.); _Un Siècle d'Attente_, 1789-1889, Paris,
    1893; _La Grande Révolution_, Paris, 1893; _Les Temps
    Nouveaux_ (conference at London), Paris, 1894; _Jeunes Gens_,
    4th ed., Paris, '93; _La Loi et l'Autorité_, 6th ed., Paris,
    '92; _Les Prisons_, 2d ed., Paris, '90; _L'Anarchie dans
    l'Évolution Socialiste_, 2d ed., Paris, '92; _Esprit de
    Révolte_, Paris, '92, 5th ed.; _le Salariat_, 2d ed., Paris,
    '92; _La Morale Anarchiste_, 1890; "Anarchist Communion: its
    Basis and Principles" (republished by permission of the
    editor of the _Nineteenth Century_), London, 1887.

For Kropotkin Anarchy consists in (1) the liberation of the producer
from the yoke of capital, in production in common, and the free
enjoyment of all products of common work; (2) in freedom from any yoke
of government, in the free development of individuals in groups, of
groups in federations, in free organisation rising from the simple to
the complex according to men's needs and mutual endeavours; and (3) in
liberation from religious morality, and a free morality without duty
or sanctions proceeding and becoming customary from the life of the
community itself.[4]

    [4] _L'Anarchie_, p. 26.

The postulate of the abolition of the authority of the State is the
well-known, old stock proposal of the Anarchists. But it is noticeable
that Kropotkin attacks the State among other things, because it does
not carry out the maxim of _laisser faire_ so often imposed upon it by
another party. Kropotkin thinks that the State acts rather on the
principle of _not laisser faire_, and is always intervening in favour
of the exploiter as against the exploited (_Les Temps Nouveaux_, p.
46). The State is accordingly a purely civic idea (_l'idée
bourgeoise_), utterly rotten and decaying, only held together by the
plague of laws. All law and dominion, including parliamentary
government, must therefore be put aside, and be replaced by the
"system of no government" and free arrangement (_la libre entente_).
Kropotkin sees everywhere already, even at present in public, and
especially in economic life, germs of this free understanding or
_entente_, in which government never intervenes; what, for example,
in isolated cases two railway companies do in making a free
arrangement about fares and time-tables, is to be the universal form
of society.

In this society the feeling of solidarity alone, which Kropotkin
assumes as a sort of _à priori_ axiom of society, will determine men's
actions: "Each must retain the right of acting as he thinks best, and
the right of society to punish any one for a social action in any way
must be denied...." "We are not afraid of doing without judges and
their verdicts," says he, in _La Morale Anarchiste_. "With Guyon we
renounce each and every approval of morality or any duties to
morality. We do not shrink from saying: Do what pleases you! Act as
you think fit! for we are convinced that the great majority of
mankind, in proportion to their enlightenment and to the completeness
with which they throw off their present fetters, will always act in a
manner beneficial to society--just as we are certain that some day or
other a child will walk upon its two feet and not on all fours,
because it is born of parents that belong to the genus _homo_." But
the comparison is incorrect. There are, as a matter of fact,
degenerate children of human kind who, deprived of all understanding,
creep on all fours quite unconcernedly. Equally insufficient is
another proof adduced by Kropotkin, who is a great friend of animals,
from the animal world. Looking around among animals, he finds in them
also an innate feeling of sympathy with their own species, expressed
in mutual assistance in time of need or danger. By this he wishes to
prove that men likewise would act in the same way to their fellow-men
merely from the feeling of solidarity, and without laws or government.
Elsewhere certainly, in a later work, he has to confess that there are
among men an enormous number of individuals who do not understand that
the welfare of the individual is identical with that of the race. But
supposing that man were exactly like the animals, then--speaking in
Kropotkin's manner--he would stand no higher in morality than they.
But then do we really find that, in the animal world, the number of
cases in which they act from a feeling of solidarity is greater than
those in which they simply make use of brute force or blind want of
forethought, and have animals the sense to do away with organised
solidarity, the State, in order to replace it by something unorganised
and consequently less valuable?

But Prince Kropotkin, who appears to be such a stern materialist, is a
very enthusiast, who gives way to utter self-deception as to human
nature. "We do not want to be governed!" he says; "and do we not
thereby declare that we ourselves wish to rule no one? We do not wish
to be deceived; we always would hear nothing but the truth. Do we not
declare by this that we ourselves wish to deceive no one, and that we
promise to speak always the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth?" Who can fail to recognise here the exact opposite to the
real facts of the case? The Anarchists, and especially those who
acknowledge Kropotkin as their highest "authority," do not wish force
used against them, yet use it themselves; they do not wish to be
killed, and yet kill others. Can there be a stronger refutation of
Anarchist morality?

       *       *       *       *       *

Kropotkin has finally broken with the Communism of Proudhon, and
placed Anarchist Communism in its stead. Proudhon, and, to a certain
extent, Bakunin also--who always called himself a Collectivist, and
repelled the charge of Communism[5]--certainly attacked property as
_rente_ or profit derived from the appropriation of the forces of
nature; but they have also not only not denied the right to individual
possession of property, but even sought to make it general. Everyone
should become a possessor of property; only land and the means of
labour, which must be accessible to all, may not be appropriated; they
are collective property, and are applied to employment in a proportion
equal to the quotient of the amount of land at disposal, or the means
of production on the one hand and the number of members of free
"groups" on the other. We have already seen to what a complicated
organisation of economic life this led in the case of Proudhon's
theory; but he did not entrust the maintenance of this economic order
to the strong hand of the State, but believed that life, when once
brought into equilibrium or "balance," could never fall away from it
again. We will not repeat here what an illusion is contained in this.
Collectivism left to itself must degenerate again at once into a state
of economic inequality, and accordingly those Collectivists who make
the maintenance of economic equilibrium the business of the State,
possess at least the merit of consistency. But then the very
foundation idea of Anarchism is hereby lost.

    [5] At the Peace Congress at Bern in 1869, Bakunin defended
    himself against the reproach of Communist tendencies, saying:
    "I abominate Communism, because it is a denial of freedom,
    and I cannot understand anything human without freedom. I am
    no Communist, because Communism concentrates all the forces
    of society in the State, and lets them be absorbed by it,
    because it necessarily results in the centralisation of
    property in the hands of the State; whereas I wish to do away
    with the State, to utterly root out the principle of the
    authority and guardianship of the State, which, under the
    pretence of improving and idealising men, has hitherto
    enslaved, oppressed, exploited, and ruined them. I wish for
    the organisation of society and of collective and social
    property from below upwards, by means of free association,
    and not from above downwards by means of authority, be it
    what it may. In demanding the abolition of the State, I mean
    to abolish the inheritance of property by an individual,
    _i. e._, of property that is only a matter of the State's
    arrangement, and is only a consequence of the principle of
    the State itself. In this sense I am a Collectivist and by no
    means a Communist."

This irreconcilable contradiction between Anarchism and Collectivism
decided Kropotkin to give up the latter entirely, and to set up in its
stead Anarchist Communism, thus attaching himself to the lines already
indicated by Hess and Grün. He criticised unsparingly (in _La Conquête
du Pain_ and _Le Salariat_) every system of reward or wages, whether
based on Saint-Simon's principle of "To each according to his
capacity, and to every capacity according to its results"; or on
Proudhon's rule, "to each according to his powers, to each according
to his needs." With the reward of labour he rejects the period of
labour, possession even in the form of Collective possession, and also
the payment of labour (_les bons du travail_), equally with other
forms of property, capital, or exploitation. He even attacks the
theory of the full result of labour that ought to accrue to every
labourer, this most stalwart hobby-horse of Socialism. "It would mean
the annihilation of the race," he says, "if the mother would not
sacrifice her life to save the life of her children; if man would not
give where he could expect no recompense."

Kropotkin's motto, that has been so eagerly accepted by the Anarchists
of Romance nationality, is on the contrary: "Everything belongs to
all," _tout est à tous; i. e._, no one is any longer a possessor; if
after the Revolution all goods and property were expropriated and
given back to the community, then everybody would take what he
pleased, according to his needs. Anyone might just as well appropriate
the land as another object or commodity. "Heap together all the means
of life, and let them be divided according to each man's need," he
cries[6]; "let each choose freely from this heap everything of which
there is a superfluity, and let only those commodities be divided of
which there might be some lack. That is a solution of the problem
according to the wish of the people." Again, "free choice from the
heap in all means of life that are abundant, proper division
(_rationement_) of all those things the production of which is
limited; division according to needs, with special regard to children,
old people, and the weak generally. The enjoyment of all this not in a
social feeding-institution (_dans la marmite sociale_), but at home
in the family circle with our friends, according to the taste of the
individual, that is the ideal of the masses, whose mouthpiece we are."

    [6] In _Anarchy_, p. 13.

It is interesting to see how all attempts to do away with individual
property come back again at once in thought to that same property, and
in opposition Proudhon might on this basis write a very pretty retort
to _What is Property?_ Kropotkin wishes first of all a general
expropriation, and then each person is to have what he likes. But what
is the use of an expropriation, which only means one thing, if a
division to all is to follow it? Would it not be simpler as the
inauguration of Anarchist Communism, to do away with the guarantee of
property at once, and then to watch quietly and see how individuals
deprived each other of their possessions? The result would be just the
same, but there is a well-understood contradiction in first declaring
all property as a common possession--in which the reality of society
which Kropotkin denies is thereby recognised--and then giving to each
person the right to dispose as he pleases of everything. Stirner was
at least logical when he declared: "All belongs to me!" As a matter of
fact the statements, "All belongs to me," "All belongs to all,"
"Nothing belongs to me," and "Nothing belongs to all," are perfectly
identical. The difference between all these conceptions of property
according to the principles of individualist or Communist Anarchism,
and the relations of property as they exist to-day, merely reduces
itself to this, that with us the State affords the guarantee of
property, while Anarchy, at most, places the guarantee of it in free
association or agreement, proceeding from a "group" or a "union of
egotists." Here we come face to face with the purely formal question
of whether right is derived from convention or compulsion; but as
regards individual property as such no alteration is thereby made.

But Kropotkin's "economics of the heap" (_la mise au tas, la prise au
tas_) has another fault besides this matter of logic. Its talented
inventor proceeds from two assumptions, which characterise him as a
Utopian of the first water; on the one hand the old and incorrect
assumption of the inexhaustible productivity of the earth, and on the
other the assumption of the innate solidarity of mankind.

Kropotkin maintains that production now already outweighs consumption,
and that the former is growing with unsuspected rapidity together with
scientific insight into the methods of production and with freedom of
production. A piece of land which to-day is cultivated by ten persons,
and feeds one hundred, would with rational cultivation feed one
thousand people, and with the general employment of machinery would
only require five persons to cultivate it. In fact, diminution of
labour, with increase of production under rational cultivation, is
perhaps the quintessence of Kropotkin's argument. Men will then
quickly leave the less productive countries to settle in the most
suitable and most productive districts, and from these they will
extract with proportionately little labour a never-ending superfluity,
so that the economic arrangement proposed by Kropotkin will become
not only possible, but there will even be too much to distribute. Here
again we have the Land of Idleness in the disguise of science, the
millennium of the revolution. Let us listen to the description of this
return to Paradise in Kropotkin's own words:

"The workers will [after the Revolution] go away from the city and
return to the country. With the help of machinery which will enable
the weakest among us to support it, they will introduce the revolution
into the methods of cultivation, as they had previously with the ideas
and conditions, of those who were before but slaves. Here hundreds of
acres will be covered with glass houses, and men and women will tend
with gentle hands the young plants. Elsewhere hundreds of acres will
be cleared and broken up by machinery worked by steam, improved by
manures and enriched by phosphates. Laughing troops of workers will in
due time cover these fields with seeds, guided in their work and in
their experiments by those who understand agriculture, but all of them
continually animated by the powerful and practical spirit of a people
that has waked up from a long sleep and sees before it the happiness
of all, that light-house of humanity shedding its rays afar. And in
two or three months an early harvest will relieve their most pressing
needs, and provide with food a people who after centuries of silent
hope will at last be able to satisfy its hunger or eat as its appetite
desires. Meanwhile the popular genius, the genius of a people that is
rising and knows its own requirements, will seek new means of
production which only need the test of experiment in order to come
into general use. Attempts will be made to concentrate light, that
well-known factor in agriculture, which in the latitude of Yakutsk
ripens barley in forty-five days, and to produce it artificially, and
with light rival heat in promoting the growth of plants. Some genius
of the future will invent an instrument to guide the rays of the sun,
and compel them to do work without it being necessary to seek in the
depths of the earth for the heat contained in coal. Efforts will be
made to water the ground with solutions of minute organisms--an idea
of yesterday that will make it possible to introduce into the ground
the little living cells that are necessary for plants in order to feed
the young roots, and to decompose the component parts of the earth,
and make them fit to be assimilated." Kropotkin adds, rendering
criticism unnecessary: "We shall make experiments, but we need go no
farther, for we should enter upon the realms of romance."

We need not now consider whether the statement that production is
already surpassing the capacity of consumption is really quite true;
the vast majority of economists is of a different opinion. But even if
it were so, and if production should further increase, Kropotkin
himself admits that the necessary presupposition of abundant
production is rational cultivation. But the first condition of such
rational agriculture is fixed organisation. This condition is to-day
fulfilled; but in Kropotkin's scheme there would only be cultivation
by robbery, and that invariably leads at last to want, and a lack of
production. Kropotkin has seen this himself, for otherwise his
proposal to distribute those products, the growth of which is limited,
and of which there might be a lack, would be most superfluous; for in
the land of lotus-eaters there is no want.

This admission that such a case might happen is, however, not only a
relapse from the promised land of the future into the sober reality of
to-day, but it is the negation of Anarchy. Where is the line to be
drawn between the superfluous and the non-superfluous? Who is to draw
it, and still more, who would recognise it? Who will undertake the
distribution, and who will respect it? Every form of authority is
abolished, and no one is pledged to anything. What if I simply refuse
to recognise the limits made by the Commission of Distribution or to
obey their decisions? Will anyone compel me? In that case Anarchy
would be a fraud; but if I am allowed to do as I like, distribution is
impossible and Communism a fraud.

From this dilemma Kropotkin has endeavoured to extricate himself, in
the fashion of certain celebrated examples, by invoking a _deus ex
machina_. Comte called it love, Proudhon justice, and Kropotkin calls
it "the solidarity of the human race,"--three different words, but
they imply one and the same thing: the moral order of the universe--a
dogma which anyone may believe or not, as he likes. Kropotkin assures
us that, when once the great revolution has taken place, human
solidarity will arise like a phoenix from the smoking ashes of the
old order. We do not consider ourselves better or worse than other
men, but we doubt very seriously whether we ourselves, if confronted
on the one hand by want, and on the other by Kropotkin's famous "heap
of commodities," would give up the chief necessaries of life (and it
is these in which want must first be felt, just because they are the
most necessary) merely out of a feeling of solidarity with a man who
next moment, if he is stronger than I, might turn me out of my house,
kill me, or part with my books or pictures as if they were his own,
with impunity. This sort of Communism would only be possible under the
rule of a despotic authority, such as the social-democratic State of
the future must inevitably possess; but it would never be possible for
a _libre entente_ of perfectly free individuals; "free" men in the
Anarchist sense will never let themselves be made equal and never have
done so.

But Kropotkin thinks otherwise. He goes back to those dear, good, and
too happy savages of Rousseau, and tells us[7] that primitive peoples,
so long as they submit to no authority but live in Anarchy, lead a
most enviably happy life. "Apart from the occurrences of natural
forces, such as sudden changes of weather, earthquakes, frost, etc.,
and apart from war and accidents, primitive races lead a rich and full
life out of their own resources, following their own wishes, at the
cost of the minimum of labour. Read the descriptions left by the great
voyagers of early centuries, read certain modern records of travel,
and you will see that where society has not yet sunk under the yoke of
priests and warriors, plenty prevails among savages. Like gregarious
birds they spend the morning in common labour; in the evening they
rest in common and enjoy themselves. They have none of the troubles of
life known to the proletariat in the great centres of industry of our
time. Misery only overtakes them when they fall under the yoke of some
form of authority."

    [7] _Les Temps Nouveaux_, p. 21.

Here we have the golden age existing before any form of society, just
as previously we heard the description of a golden age after the fall
of forms of society, and that the misery of this "cursed civilisation"
can only be removed by doing away with such a society and returning
again to the same primitive condition. It is the same old tale of the
"social-contract" theory to which our Anarchists one and all
invariably recur after manifold scientific toil and trouble. In fact
this primitive paradise described by Kropotkin is just as much a
figment of his imagination as the Anarchist paradise of the future. He
speaks of early travellers. Now, as regards the ethnographic
observations of old travellers, they are a very doubtful source of
information. Formerly it was frequently declared off-hand that this or
that people had no idea of religion or lived in Anarchy. The reason
was that travellers completely underrated primitive forms in
comparison with their own preconceived religious or political ideas
and regarded them as naught. Exact observations have shown that a
complete lack of all religious conceptions is as rare in primitive
races as complete lack of all social organisation or form of
authority. Kropotkin unfortunately does not mention the "certain new
travellers" in whose books he has read those descriptions of the happy
state of primitive peoples produced by Anarchy. As far as we know,
Anarchy in the proper sense can only be stated of a very small number
of races like the Tierra del Fuegans, the Eskimos, etc.; but the life
of these people is, to their disadvantage, exceedingly different from
the fancied paradise of Kropotkin. If we read the unanimous
descriptions given by Fitzroy, Darwin, Topinard, and others about the
inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego, we shall very quickly abjure our
belief--if we ever held it--that they lead such an Eden-like existence
as Kropotkin's Anarchist savages. We find, rather, misery and hunger
as permanent conditions, that appear here as consequences of Anarchy,
and the blame cannot be laid entirely upon the lack of fertility of
the soil. Narborough[8] says of the Tierra del Fuegans: "If any desire
for civilisation arose, the forests that cover the country would not
be an obstacle thereto, for in many parts there appear open, grassy
spots, which are frequently regarded by seamen as the remnants of
attempts at agriculture by the Spaniards." But in general the
statements of all travellers and ethnographers agree in showing that
the existence of these so-called "savages" is a continual and bitter
struggle against nature and against each other for the barest
necessaries of life, and that if hunger is not a constant guest, their
mode of living is a very irregular alternation between surfeit and
prolonged fast. How difficult it is to rear children among these
primitive people and even among others more advanced in civilisation
is proved by the terrible custom, common to all parts of the globe, of
infanticide, which has no other object than artificial selection for
breeding in view of the harsh conditions of existence. Persons who are
regarded by the community only as mouths to feed and not as actual
workers, the old and weak, are simply killed off by many races--even
by those who, in other respects, do not stand upon a low level; and
the murder of the parents and the aged appears to be as widespread
among primitive races as infanticide. But these are facts which not
only contradict the Anarchist assumption of a golden age of Anarchy,
but still more contradict that of an innate feeling of solidarity in
the human race.

    [8] Quoted in Ratzel's _F. Völkerkunde_, vol. ii., p. 668.
    Leipsic and Vienna, 1890.

A further remark remains to be made as to Kropotkin's attitude toward
the "propaganda of action." It is often said that he rejects it. But
that is quite contrary to the facts. In his _Psychology of Revolution_
(_L'Esprit de Révolte_, p. 7) he takes up quite a decisive attitude in
reply to the question how words must be translated into deeds: "The
answer is easy," says he; "it is action, the continual, incessantly
renewed action of the minority that will produce this transformation.
Courage, devotion, self-sacrifice, are as contagious as cowardice,
subjection, and terror. What forms is action to take? Any form--as
different as are circumstances, means, and temperaments. Sometimes
arousing sorrow, sometimes scorn, but always bold; sometimes isolated,
sometimes in common, it despises no means ready to hand, it neglects
no opportunity of public life to propagate discontent, and to clothe
it in words, to arouse hatred against the exploiter, to make the
ruling powers ridiculous, to show their weakness, and ever to excite
audacity, the spirit of revolt, by the preaching of example. If a
feeling of revolution awakes in a country, and the spirit of open
revolt is already sufficiently alive among the masses to break out in
tumultuous disorders in the streets, _émeutes_ and risings,--then it
is 'action' alone by which the minority can create this feeling of
independence and that atmosphere of audacity without which no
revolution can be completed. Men of courage who do not stop at words
but seek to transform them into deeds, pure characters for whom the
action and the idea are inseparable, who prefer prison, exile, or
death, rather than a life not in accordance with their principles,
fearless men, who know what must be risked in order to win
success,--those are the devoted outposts who begin the battle long
before the masses are sufficiently moved to unfurl the standard of
insurrection, and to march sword in hand to the conquest of their
rights. Amid complaints, speeches, theoretical discussions, an act of
personal or general revolt takes place. It cannot be otherwise than
that the great mass at first remains indifferent; those especially
who admire the courage of the person or group that took the initiative
will apparently follow the wise and prudent in hastening to describe
this act as folly, and in speaking of the fools and hot-headed people
who compromise everything. These wise and prudent ones had fully
calculated that their party, if it slowly pursued its objects, would
perhaps have conquered the world in one, two, or three centuries, and
now the unforeseen intrudes! The unforeseen is that which was not
foreseen by the wise and prudent. But those who know history and can
lay claim to any well-ordered reasoning power, however small, know
quite well that a theoretical propaganda of revolution must
necessarily be translated into action long before theorists have
decided that the time for it has come. None the less the theorists are
enraged with the 'fools' and excommunicate and ban them. But the fools
find sympathy, the mass of the people secretly applaud their boldness,
and they find imitators. In proportion as the first of them fill the
prisons, others come forward to continue their work. The acts of
illegal protest, of revolt, of revenge, increase. Indifference becomes
impossible. Those who at first only asked what on earth the fools
meant, are compelled to take them seriously, to discuss their ideas,
and to take sides for or against. By acts which are done under the
notice of the people, the new idea communicates itself to men's minds
and finds adherents. One such act makes in a few days more proselytes
than thousands of books."

This is precisely the view of the followers of Bakunin, only obscured
and founded on a psychological basis.

Kropotkin forms the centre of a large number of Anarchist authors, who
are working at the development or the popularising of Anarchist theory
on the same lines as he is doing. From the mass of unimportant writers
two rise up prominently, both essentially differing one from the
other, Elisée Reclus, the savant, and Jean Grave, editor of the

Jean Jacques Elisée Reclus[9] was born on March 15, 1830, at Ste. Foy
la Grande, in the Gironde, the son of a Protestant minister. He was
the eldest but one of twelve children, and early became acquainted
with want and distress, a circumstance which, in conjunction with his
warm and affectionate heart, sufficiently explains his later social
views. Educated in Rhenish Prussia, he attended the Protestant Faculty
at Montauban, in Southern France, and then the University of Berlin,
where he studied geography under Ritter. At present Reclus is regarded
as one of the best geographers, and is the author of the famous and
much admired _Nouvelle Géographie Universelle_, in nineteen volumes,
and of the great popular physical geography _La Terre_, which has also
been translated into German. His student life and also his stay at
Berlin coincided with the stormy period of the Revolution of 1848, and
Reclus eagerly accepted the views of the political and social
Radicalism of that day. The _coup d'état_ of December 2, 1851,
compelled him to leave France; he fled to England, visited Ireland,
and then from 1852 to 1857 travelled in the United States, North
America, Central America, and Colombia. Returning to Paris, he devoted
himself to a scientific arrangement of his studies during his travels,
but at the same time took a more and more active part in the social
and political movements of the day. Thus he was one of the first
authors in France who eagerly supported the war of the Northern States
of America for freedom, and defended Lincoln. When the American
Minister in Paris wished to express his recognition to the savant,
then living in extremely modest circumstances, by the present of a
considerable sum of money, Reclus angrily rejected it. During the
siege of Paris in 1870, Elisée Reclus joined the National Guard, and
was one of the crew of the balloon under Nadar who endeavoured to
convey news outside Paris. As a member of the International
Association of Workmen, he published in the _Cri du Peuple_, at the
time of the outbreak of the 18th March, 1871, a hostile manifesto
against the Government at Versailles. Still belonging to the National
Guard, which had now risen, he took part in a reconnaissance on the
plateau of Chatillon, in which he was taken prisoner on the 5th of
April. After seven months' imprisonment in Brest, during which he
taught his fellow-prisoners mathematics, the court-martial in St.
Germain condemned him, on 16th November, 1871, to be transported. This
sentence caused a great outcry in scientific circles, and from
different quarters, especially from eminent English statesmen and men
of letters, among them being Darwin, Wallace, and Lord Amberley, the
President of the French Republic was urged to mitigate his punishment.
Accordingly, Thiers commuted the sentence of transportation on 4th
January, 1872, to one of simple banishment. Reclus then proceeded to
Lugano, but soon afterwards lost his young wife there, whom he loved
passionately, and who had followed him into banishment. Later on he
went to Switzerland, where he settled at Clarens, near Montreux, on
the Lake of Geneva, and devoted himself again to Communist and
geographical studies. In 1879, Reclus returned to Paris, was appointed
in 1892 Professor of Geography at Brussels, but in 1893 was again
deprived of his post on account of Anarchist outrages, in which he was
quite unjustly supposed to be implicated. The students thereupon left
the university, and founded a free university, in which Reclus is at
present a professor.

    [9] _Cf._ Wolkenhauer, _Elisée Reclus_ (_Globus_, vol. lxv.,
    No. 8, Feb., 1894). Reclus's Anarchist writings are: _Produit
    de la Terre et de l'Industrie_, 1885; _Richesse et Misère;
    Évolution et Révolution_, 6th ed., Paris, 1891; and _À mon
    Frère le Paysan_, Geneva, 1894.

Elisée Reclus's Anarchism is explained externally not only by his
intimate friendship with Kropotkin, but still more from his connexion
with an "Anarchist family," for his brother, the eminent
anthropologist Elié, and several of his nephews as well as their wives
are devoted adherents of Anarchism. But while the younger members of
the Reclus family are more closely connected with the "propaganda of
action" (the engineer Paul Reclus was accused of being an accomplice
of Vaillant), the older members, especially Elisée, are learned
dreamers who have nothing in common with the folly of the dynamitard.
"The idea of Anarchism is beautiful, is great," says Elisée, "but
these miscreants sully our teaching: he who calls himself an Anarchist
should be one of a good and gentle sort. It is a mistake to believe
that the Anarchist idea can be promoted by acts of barbarity." And in
the preface to the last volume of his _Universal Geography_ he says of
his travels: "I have everywhere found myself at home, in my own
country, among men, my brothers. I have never allowed myself to be
carried away by sentiment, except that of sympathy and respect for all
the inhabitants of the one great Fatherland. On this round earth that
revolves so rapidly in space, a grain of sand amid infinity, is it
worth while for us to hate one another?"

Reclus has no special doctrine, but shares generally the views of his
friend Kropotkin, although his greater scientific insight on many
points leads him to incline rather to the Collectivism of Proudhon and
Bakunin. The "economy of the heap" (_tas_) appears to Reclus, at any
rate in the province of agriculture, to be unworkable. He prefers a
distribution of land among individuals, family groups, and
communities, according to the proposition of individual and collective
power of labour. "The moment a piece of landed property surpasses the
limits which can be properly cultivated, the holder should have no
right to claim the surplus for himself; it will fall to the share of
another worker." The Russian _mir_ is always before his thoughts as
the patron of peasant organisation. Nothing is more remarkable than
the affection of the Anarchist followers of Proudhon and Bakunin for
the Russian _mir_ system. It would be a meritorious piece of
sociological work to show the fundamental errors which underlie the
agricultural systems that have been tried and have failed in modern
attempts to revive them. The endeavour to revive them is now so
general that it is no longer to be wondered at that we see those who
are apparently most extreme, and even Anarchists, following the same
reactionary stream as the Socialist Catholics and their followers. The
folly of their proceedings is best seen in those people who angrily
reject a revival of the guilds, but by no means object to the revival
of the old village communism, which implies a far earlier stage of
development. We are, however, digressing, but must add one further
remark. The Anarchists are accustomed to say that their free economic
organisation will quite absorb and devour politics, authority, and
government, so that nothing of them remains; while, on the other hand,
they represent the _mir_ as the pattern of such an organisation. But
how comes it that, in the very country where the _mir_, this "just"
village communism, exists, in Russia itself, on the one hand famine is
never absent,[10] and on the other the Czar's bureaucracy and Cossack
tyranny flourish so exceedingly, and that the peasant population
itself is the most powerful support of the arbitrary rule of their
"Little Father," the Czar?

    [10] This is seen, _inter alia_, by the number of persons
    wandering about seeking food--"a vagabond proletariat." In
    1886 no less than 4,951,000 were wandering more than thirty
    versts from their dwellings. Even the women have to leave the
    villages to seek support elsewhere, and the number of women
    and children who thus are compelled to seek work at a
    distance is increasing every year. Thus, _e. g._, in the
    district of the Government of Wjatka, in 1874, 2.68 per
    cent.; in 1883, 6.46 per cent.; in 1885, 7.22 per cent. of
    the women capable of work did this. Often whole families
    wander about, and women with children at the breast are no
    uncommon sight among the troops of wandering workmen.
    (Westländer, A., _Russland vor einem Regime-Wechsel_,
    Stuttgart, 1894, p. 28.)

It might seem surprising that a savant of Reclus's calibre does not
himself perceive a refutation that is so obvious. But Reclus is a
type: who does not know the figure--even here not seldom seen--of the
earnest savant, full of the purest love and devotion for mankind, who
dabbles in politics in his leisure hours? It is as if in this time of
leisure his spirit seeks to free itself from the severe discipline of
his professional life. The man who, in his capacity as a doctor, a
geographer, or physicist, would never allow subjective influences to
trouble his method, deals with politics quite apart, as if there were
not also a science of politics that, like any other science, regards
freedom from the subjective standpoint, or from love and hatred as the
first condition of the validity of its propositions. Reclus, the
celebrated geographer, goes so far, as a politician, as to deny the
value of political economy and to assert that every workman knows
more, and is better acquainted with social laws, than the learned

On the other hand, it is just this circumstance that gives this aged
savant an importance in Anarchist theory, to which the originality and
the teaching of his Anarchist writings could give him no claim. The
pamphlet _Evolution and Revolution_ is nothing but a _rechauffé_ of
the well-known commonplaces of Anarchism; but the noble personality of
Reclus that stands out before us at every sentence, the honourable
intention, the high moral desire, the inspired hope which make even
the errors of opponents so touching, give the little book the same
importance for his followers as the _Contrat Social_ once possessed,
and makes his decoction the quintessence of Anarchist thought, in its
noblest, purest, and also--as a consequence--its most nebulous form.

       *       *       *       *       *

A man of quite a different stamp is Jean Grave, the soul of the chief
Anarchist organ, the Parisian _Révolte_, which originated from the
earlier paper, the _Révolte_ of Kropotkin, which appeared previously
in Geneva, and was suppressed there in 1885. Among the multitude of
_déclassés_ who gave up their millions, their rank, and their estates
in order to preach Anarchy, Grave has been, since Proudhon, the only
member of the proletariat who has made any important contributions to
the theoretical edifice of the new doctrine. He was first a cobbler
and then a printer, before becoming editor of the Parisian weekly

Grave is the Netschajew of Kropotkin. In the year 1883 he published,
under the name of Jehan Levagre, a production entitled _Publication du
Groupe de se et 43e Arrondissements_, wherein he maintained the thesis
that public propaganda must serve the secret "propaganda of action" as
a means of defence; it must offer it the means of action, namely,
men, money, and influence; and especially must contribute to place
these actions in the right light by commenting upon them. That is also
the method in which Grave edits the _Révolte_. He is every inch the
man of action, both in his journal and in his other writings, most of
all in his book _La Société Mourante et l'Anarchie_ (printed in
London; the original edition is suppressed in France), which in 1894
brought upon its author a sentence of two years' imprisonment on
account of its provocative tone. On the other hand, in his latest
work, _La Société au Lendemain de la Révolution_ (3d ed., Paris,
1893), Grave endeavours not only to write as a theorist, but has even
sketched a definite picture of the Anarchist paradise. Adorned with
the exterior drapery of the modern doctrine of descent and by the
influence of H. Spencer, who has been totally misunderstood by Grave
as by all other Anarchists, the teaching of Kropotkin here meets us
without essential addition, but clear and precise. Grave only admits
an organisation in the society of the future in the sense of a
friendly agreement, formed by the identity of interests among
individuals who group themselves together for the common execution of
some task. These societies, which are formed and dissolved again
merely according to the needs of the moment, are the _alpha_ and
_omega_ of social organisation. From the group will proceed the
production of shoes and the construction of further railways; there
may be co-operation of groups, but no centralisation in the shape of
commissions, delegations, or similar "parasitic" institutions. The
ticklish question of the position of children under Anarchy is solved
(with the resolute optimism peculiar to Grave) by a _libre entente_.
Naturally there can be no right to any child, since there will be at
most merely a "family group," and not a family. Those who wish to
nurse and look after their children can, of course, do so; and those
who do not wish to, can probably find some enthusiast who will with
pleasure relieve them of the burden of humanity to which they have
certainly given life, but which concerns them no more from the moment
when the umbilical cord between mother and child is severed. Of course
there can be no talk of education under Anarchy, because education and
discipline presuppose authority; and therefore education will be a
matter of "individual initiative." On the other hand, education will
flourish luxuriantly because every one will perceive its value; and so

The internal contradiction of Anarchism is nowhere so clearly seen as
when it is a question of children, who form the most important group
of "the weak." We have already touched upon this in connection with
Stirner's union of egoists. But the more one attempts to understand
this state of society in detail, the more violent becomes the
contradiction between its supposed purpose and its actual
consequences. For what purpose are we to overthrow the present order
of society, and make any other form of society resting upon authority
impossible? Is it in order to make the oppression of the weak by the
strong, of minorities by majorities, of one man by another,
impossible; to give each individual his full "integral" freedom? And
what, as a matter of fact, would be the consequences of Anarchy?
Imagine wanton, idle mothers, without conscience and seeking only
enjoyment--and Grave admits that such exist to-day, and that in a
future society they cannot be compelled to support their
children,--imagine that such persons are set free from the duty of
caring for their own offspring, of suckling and attending to them, and
that it is to be left to mere chance and the "enthusiasm" of others,
whether a child gets milk, or even is fed and cared for. How many
children would perish? How many "weaker ones" would fall victims to
the brutality of the stronger in the valuation of their individuality?
We cannot be deceived with the "innate harmony or solidarity, justice
or love of mankind," or whatever other name may be given to this
figment of the imagination; still less with the Land of Indolence,
overflowing with plenty, promised by Kropotkin and his followers. Both
of these suppositions must first of all be proved actually to exist;
at present they are only maintained obstinately because, as a matter
of fact, they cannot be proved.

Nature and life speak another language, perhaps more sorrowful and
more convincing. The appeals to Darwin and Büchner are, in the
language of Darwinism, the society of to-day, and any other form of
society based upon the principle of the State implies a softening of
the struggle for existence by artificial selection; but Anarchy would
be natural selection, and thus would be a step lower in development.
The return to primitive stages, which have long since been passed
through, would be the external form in which this fact would appear;
thus, for example, the conditions described by Grave in "the sexual
group" would mean a return to the times and conditions which, in all
races of a primitive type living in total or partial Anarchy, have led
to the dreadful custom of murdering children and old people. But this
would mean a return to artificial selection in its most primitive and
sanguinary form. Anarchists want us to undergo once again all the
errors, terrors, and madness associated with the results won by human
culture; and that there will not be even a respectable minority
prepared to do. But they wish to do it in order to introduce
"happiness for all" (_le bonheur de l'humanité_), to change the
"struggle for existence" into a general "struggle with nature," as all
Anarchists from Proudhon to Grave have dreamed; and in this lies the
incomprehensible and ineffable contradiction.

       *       *       *       *       *

More original than Reclus and Grave, if only after the fashion of the
eclectic who can quicken the various ancient and modern elements of
thought into a new spirit, is Daniel Saurin, who, in his work on
_Order through Anarchy_ (_L' Ordre par l'Anarchie_, Paris, 1893),
tries to find a philosophic foundation for Anarchism. For Saurin,
humanity is something substantial and real, not that _tohuwabohn_ from
which even Reclus cannot rescue Kropotkin's "economics of the heap."
According to Saurin the normal man combines two elements: a constant
something that is permanent throughout the centuries, and, surpassing
space and time, comes back again in all nations and persons; and a
variable. The first is "man," the latter the individual. The human
average (_le minimum humain_) appears in the bodily, moral, and mental
equality of men; the individual is determined by the relation of these
constants to an environment (_milieu_). Above the individual stands
Man, and Man includes all individuals in himself. The laws of each
individual are thus the laws of humanity; the law of society resides
in ourselves; to recognise the essential conditions of our being is to
recognise the essential form of society; to realise them, to be what
man is, is to respect the reality of others, is to be "sociable." The
most perfect form of society, therefore, is found in the fullest
freedom of the ego; for this no human laws are needed. "To what
purpose is it to re-enact natural laws and to wish to confirm their
powerful commands by the ridiculous sanctions of men? Our obedience to
them can add nothing to them; without our knowing or wishing it, we
must obey them. Anarchy is thus not lack of order but the most natural
order.... From the real society which binds us individuals together
springs the universal law, the irrevocable moral order, to which each
existence is bound and which it follows, without thereby belying the
principle of Anarchy; for Anarchy cannot possibly be a mere
unconditioned loosing of all bonds, the unreal absolute.... Man is
higher than the individual; at least he stands before the individual,
and in him is the passing of phenomena. Thus, also, morals must come
before sociology, and form the foundation of a society which seeks to
be permanent."

Here, _post tot discrimina rerum_, we have again the moral order of
the universe, to which we may apply the words of a celebrated
Englishman, who said of certain moralists: "It would be thought absurd
to say the planets must move in circles because the circle is the most
perfect figure, and yet the dogmas of certain politicians are just as
absurd as this assertion."

As the caricature of the social revolutionist in petticoats, Louise
Michel[11] has, perhaps wrongly, obtained a kind of celebrity as a
type. Her memoirs show her, as Zetkin proves, as a noble,
self-sacrificing, unselfish, and mild character. "Like all
sharply-defined characters, Louise Michel suffers from the defects of
her qualities. She is courageous to the point of aimless recklessness,
so full of character that she might be termed obstinate; sympathetic
and soft-hearted to the verge of sentimentality. Her idealism often
loses itself in the misty regions of indistinctness, and borders on
mysticism; her kindness degenerates into weakness, her trustfulness
into credulity. But all these faults cannot weaken the general
impression of this pure and noble character; on the contrary, they are
the shadows which show up the lights more clearly and distinctly. Her
Anarchism, Socialism, or whatever else it may be called, has nothing
in common with modern scientific Socialism, except its unsparing
criticism of the modern form of society and its persistent attempt to
transform it and to produce a state of things more suitable to modern
conditions. But her criticism finds support in quite different
arguments; an idealist lack of clearness enfolds the end to be
attained, and still more the means to it. She knows historical facts
well enough, but lacks insight into the historical process of
development; and still less does she possess a clear comprehension of
economic relationships. To her a social transformation is not the
natural and necessary product of historical and economic development,
but the demand made by a passionate feeling of justice, a categorical
imperative. If Louise Michel had lived in the middle ages, she would,
without doubt, have been the foundress of a new religious order; as a
child of the nineteenth century, as an atheist, who cannot postpone
the redress of injustice into another life, she became a social

    [11] Her books, _Le Livre de Misères_ and _Prise de
    Possession_, were not procurable by me, and I had to depend
    upon Ossip Zetkin's sketch of her in _Charakterköpfen aus der
    französischen Arbeiterbewegung_, pp. 40-48, Berlin, 1893, and
    the _Volkslexikon, l. c._

Her career shows the unselfishness and self-sacrifice with which
Louise Michel carried out her ideas. She was born in 1836 at the
French castle of Broncourt; she calls herself "a bastard"; her mother
was a simple peasant girl, an orphan without either brothers or
sisters, brought up in the castle, and seduced by the son of its
owner. The young man's parents decided that Louise and her mother
should remain in the castle, as an act of justice, not of kindness.
After the death of her grandparents Louise left the castle with her
mother in 1850, passed her examination as a teacher, and, as she would
not take the oath necessary for holding office in Napoleonic France,
she opened a "free school," _i. e._, a private school in a little
village. In 1856 she came to Paris as assistant teacher in another
private school, lived in extreme poverty, took a most active part in
the struggles of the Commune in May, 1871, was taken prisoner and was
to have been shot, but was condemned in December, 1871, to be
transported to New Caledonia, whence she returned in 1880, in
consequence of the general amnesty then given. She took part in
editing Anarchist journals, and was condemned in 1886 to five years'
imprisonment "for incitement to plunder." After three years she was
pardoned by the President, but "she regarded this as a disgraceful
insult," against which she protested violently, and absolutely refused
to accept it, so that she had to be turned out of prison by force.
Since then she has lived in London, where she acts as head of the
"_Réveil International des Femmes_," an organisation possessing a
journal and preaching an exceedingly confused and old-maidish form of
female emancipation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Around these figures of modern French Anarchism are grouped a number
of theorists of inferior rank, partly belonging to the literary
aftergrowth and Bohemia, partly learned persons, contributors to the
_Révolté_, the _Père Peinard_, the _Revue Anarchiste_, the _L'en
Dehors_, and other Anarchist prints in Paris,[12] mostly of a very
ephemeral character.

    [12] _Cf._ F. Dubois, _Le Péril Anarchiste_, pp. 93-120;
    mostly superficial, but good on this topic.

Thus we have G. Eliévant, who wrote a declaration of Anarchist
principles (_Déclarations_, Paris, 1893), in consequence of a charge
made against him in 1893 in connection with the dynamite robbery at
Soisy-sous-Etiolles, a book regarded by the Anarchists as one of the
standard works of their literature. A. Hamon, a learned sociologist,
has written a pamphlet, _Les Hommes et les Théories de l'Anarchie_
(Paris, 1893), which has enjoyed a wide circulation; and is preparing
a large _Psychology of Anarchists_, of which he has already published
a short summary (see Dubois, _u. s._, pp. 207-243). Hamon, in order to
gain a knowledge empirically of the assumptions of psychology, has set
on foot an inquiry (enquête), and put to several Anarchists the
question, how and why they have become Anarchists. An examination of
the confessions thus obtained showed that the chief peculiarity of the
Anarchist mind is the inclination to revolt, which displays itself in
the most various forms, such as a desire for opposition, criticism,
and love of modernity (_philoneismus_); and that this tendency is
combined with a remarkable love of freedom and strongly developed
individuality. "The Anarchist must be free: he hates laws and
authority"--all three traits unite in one; but Hamon's investigations
completely confirm our assertion, that Anarchism is principally an
emphasising of the sentiment of individuality and freedom, and cannot
be explained sufficiently--perhaps not at all--by mere pauperism; in
other words, Anarchism is not an economic but a political question.
But to this predisposition to individualism, says Hamon, there must be
united, in order to produce an Anarchist, also a strongly developed
sentiment of Altruism, a fanatical love of humanity, a strong sense of
justice, and finally, a keen faculty for logic. We do not wish to deny
this; but we have seen that Cosmopolitanism, an over-excited sense of
justice, and a certain tendency to dialectic _jeux d'esprit_, has been
a common quality of all the doctrines we have hitherto described.

Charles Malato (de Corné), of the old Italian nobility, the son of a
Communist, with whom he went to New Caledonia, is one of the chief
literary representatives and more eager supporters of the propaganda
of Anarchism in Paris. Besides a _Philosophy of Anarchy_, a book
called _Révolution Chrétienne et Révolution Sociale_, and the widely
circulated pamphlet, _Les Travailleurs des Villes aux Travailleurs des
campagnes_ (issued anonymously in 1888, and recently again at Lyons in
1893), he has written a long-winded diary, _De la Commune à
l'Anarchie_ (Paris, 1894), a kind of family history of Anarchism in
Paris, its press, its groups, and its representatives, from
doctrinaires like Grave and Kropotkin to the men of action like Pini,
Ravachol, and Vaillant.

Other names of some note in the Anarchist world are Zo d'Axa (his real
name is Galland), the former editor of _L'en Dehors_, a literary
adventurer who has wandered into the camp of every party; Sebastian
Faure, the father of the _Père Peinard_ and author of _Le Manchinisme
et ses Conséquences_; Bernard Lazare, Octave Mirbeau, François Guy,
author of _Les Préjugés et l'Anarchie_ (Béziers, 1888); Emil Darnaud,
author of _La Société Future_ (1890), _Mendiants et Vagabonds, une
Revolution à Foix_, and others. The programme of these men is almost
without exception that of Kropotkin, which they water down and
popularise in numerous newspaper articles and pamphlets. Some of them,
like Faure and Duprat, are decidedly men of action; others, like
Saurin and Mirbeau, condemn bombs as the most sanguinary of all forms
of authority.

France does not to-day possess any representatives of individualist
Anarchism. An isolated adherent of the Anarchist Collectivism of
Proudhon is Adolphe Bonthons, for some time business manager of an
Anarchist paper in Lyons, showing himself an eager Collectivist and
opponent of rent and profit in many writings (_e. g._, _Menace à la
Bourgeoisie_, Lyons, 1882, and _La Répartition des Produits du
Travail_, 1881; of Garin, _Die Anarchisten_, p. 94), and demanding
quite in the style of the Anarchist agitator the absolute abolition of
all authority. To-day Bonthons is quite behind the times, and does not
himself regard himself as an Anarchist.

Finally, we note as eager defenders of Anarchist Communism the
Italians Carlo Cafiero, the former friend of Bakunin, who devoted the
whole of his great wealth to the Anarchist cause; Merlino, and
Malatesta[13]--all of them men of action of the most reckless
character, who have become acquainted with the prisons of many lands,
and still wander through life as homeless revolutionaries.

    [13] I have only seen Malatesta's dialogue _Between Peasants_
    in a French translation: _Entre Paysans, Traduit de
    l'Italien_, 6th ed., Paris, 1892.

                              CHAPTER VI

                    GERMANY, ENGLAND, AND AMERICA

    Individualist and Communist Anarchism -- Arthur Mülberger --
    Theodor Hertzka's _Freeland_ -- Eugen Dühring's "Anticratism"
    -- Moritz von Egidy's "United Christendom" -- John Henry
    Mackay -- Nietzsche and Anarchism -- Johann Most -- Auberon
    Herbert's "Voluntary State" -- R. B. Tucker.

There is a well-marked geographical division, not only in the
Anarchism of agitation, but also in Anarchist theory. The Anarchist
Communism, to which the "propaganda of action" is allied, appears to
be almost exclusively confined to the Romance peoples, the French,
Spaniards, and Italians; while the Teutonic nations appear to incline
more towards individualist Anarchism. If this geographical division is
not quite exact, it must be remembered that these views themselves are
not so clearly separated, and that the ideas of Proudhon rarely
develop into pure Individualism as proclaimed by Stirner. The external
distinction between Individualists and Communists is certainly marked
most clearly by the condemnation of the foolish propaganda of action
of the former; and in order to prevent the disagreeable confusion of
their views with the perpetrators of bomb outrages, the theorists of
Germany and England give their systems more harmless names, such as
Free Land, Anticratism, United Christianity, Voluntarism, and so on.
It is perhaps owing to this circumstance that States which supervise
mental movements in the minds of their citizens so closely, so
anxiously, as do Austria and Germany, allow the extension of the
theoretical propaganda of a movement which is only distinguished from
the doctrines of Kropotkin, as explained above, by a difference in
formulating the common axiom on which they are based.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the beginning of the seventies there appeared in Germany an eager
worshipper of Proudhon, named Arthur Mülberger, born in 1847, who has
practised since 1873 as a physician, and lately as medical officer in
Crailsheim, and who has explained with great clearness separate
portions of Proudhon's teaching in various articles in magazines and
reviews.[1] Mülberger's writings have certainly chiefly an historical
value; but he is one of the few who have not merely written about and
criticised Proudhon, but have thoroughly studied him. He is
accordingly, in spite of his somewhat partisan attitude as a supporter
of Proudhon, certainly his most trustworthy and faithful interpreter.

    [1] Now collected as _Studien über Proudhon_, Stuttgart,

Of all modern phenomena, which, according to Proudhon's assumption
that complete economic freedom must absorb all political authority,
should introduce Anarchy by means of economic institutions, the most
important is undoubtedly the so-called "Free Land" movement, whose
"father" is Theodor Hertzka. Born on the 13th July, 1845, at Buda
Pesth, Hertzka studied law, but afterwards turned to journalism, in
which he gained the reputation of the most brilliant journalist in
Vienna. In the seventies he was editor of the _Neue Freie Presse_, and
in 1880 he founded the Vienna _Allgemeine Zeitung_; but since 1889 he
has been editor of the _Zeitschrift für Staatsund Volkwirthschaft_.
His book _Freeland_, a picture of the society of the future
(_Freiland, ein Sociales Zukunftsbild_), which appeared in 1889, had
an extraordinary success, and produced a movement for the realisation
of the demands and ideas therein expressed. The expedition which was
sent out to "Freeland," after years of agitation, prepared at great
expense and watched with the eager curiosity of all Europe, appears
to-day, however--as was hardly to be wondered at--to have failed.

"Freeland," as depicted by Hertzka in his social romance, is a
community founded upon the principle of unlimited publicity combined
with unlimited freedom. Everyone throughout "Freeland" must be able to
know at any time what commodities are in greater or less demand, and
what branches of work produce greater or less profit. Thus in
"Freeland" everybody has the right and the power to apply himself, as
far as he is capable, to those forms of production that are at any
time most profitable. A careful department of statistics publishes in
an easily read and rapid form every movement of production and
consumption, and thus the movement of prices in all commodities is
quickly brought to everyone's notice. But in order that everyone may
undertake that branch of production most suitable and profitable to
him, from the information thus obtained, the necessary means of
production, including the forces of nature, are freely at the disposal
of all, without interest, but a repayment has to be made out of the
result of production.

Each has a right to the full return from his labour; this is obtained
by free association of the workers. The entrance into each association
is free to everyone, and anyone can leave any association at any time.
Each member has a right to a share in the net product of the
association corresponding to the work done by him. The work done is
reckoned for each member in proportion to the number of hours worked.
The work done by the freely elected and responsible managers or
directors is reckoned, by means of free agreement made with each
member of the union, as equal to a certain number of hours' work per
day. The profit made by the community is reckoned up at the close of
each working year, and after deduction for repayment of capital, and
the taxes payable to the "Freeland" commonwealth, is divided amongst
its members. The members, in case of the failure or liquidation of the
association, are liable for its debts in proportion to their share of
the profits. This liability for the debts of the association
corresponds, in case of dissolution, to the claim of the guarantor
members on the property available. The highest authority of the
association is the General Assembly, in which every member possesses
the same voting power, active and passive. The conduct of the business
of the company is placed in the hands of a directorate, chosen by the
General Assembly for a certain period, whose appointment is, however,
revocable at any time. Besides this the General Assembly elects every
year an overseer who has to watch over the conduct of the directors.
There are neither masters nor servants; only free workers; there are
also no proprietors, only employers of the capital of the association.
The forms of capital necessary for production are therefore as free
from owners as is the land.

The most extensive publicity of all business proceedings is the prime
supposition for the proper working of this organisation, which can
only exist by the removal of all hindrances to the free activity of
the individual will guided by enlightened self-interest. There can and
need be no business secrets; on the contrary, it is the highest
interest of all to see that everyone's capacity for work is directed
to where it will produce the best results. The working-statements of
the producers are therefore published; the purchase and sale of all
imaginable products and commodities of "Freeland" trade takes place in
large warehouses, managed and supervised for the benefit of the

The highest authority in "Freeland" is at the same time the banker of
the whole population. Not merely every association, but every person
has his account in the books of the Central Bank, which looks after
all payments inwards as well as all money paid out from the greatest
to the smallest by means of a comprehensive clearing system.

All the expenditure of the community is defrayed by all in common, and
by each person singly, exactly in proportion to its income; for which
purpose the Central Bank debits each with his share in the total.

The chief item in the budget of "Freeland" expenditure is
"maintenance"; which includes everything spent on account of persons
incapacitated for work or excused from it, and who therefore have a
right to free support, such as all women, children, sick persons,
defectives, and men over sixty years of age. On the other hand,
justice, police, military, and finance arrangements cost nothing in
"Freeland." There are no paid judges or police officials, still fewer
soldiers, and the taxes, as seen above, come in of their own accord.
There is not even a code of criminal or civil law. For the settlement
of any disputes that may arise, arbitrators are chosen, who make their
decisions verbally, and from whom there is an appeal to the Board of
Arbitrators. But they have practically nothing to do, for there is
neither robbery nor theft in "Freeland"; since "men who are normal in
mind and morals cannot possibly commit any violences against other
people in a community in which all proper interests of each member are
equally regarded." Criminals are therefore treated as people who are
suffering from mental or moral disease.

We need not point out that we here have to deal with an attempt to
revive Proudhon's thoughts and plans, and that our criticisms on these
apply equally to _Freeland_. If to-day extravagant praise is lavished
on Hertzka's originality, that only proves that people who criticise
and condemn Proudhon so readily have not read him; and even when
Archdukes give the "Freeland" project their moral and financial
support, that only proves again how little, even now, the real meaning
of Anarchism is understood, and how slavishly people submit to words.

       *       *       *       *       *

Eugen Dühring has raved against "the State founded on force" as often
as against Anarchism, in his various writings; he has as often
pronounced a scornful judgment upon the literary connections of
Anarchism as he has sought to ally himself with the so-called
"honourable" Anarchists in his little paper (_The Modern Spirit--Der
Moderen Völkergeist_, in Berlin) that is apparently brought out for
the sake of a Dühring cult. There appears at least to be a
contradiction between the theory of Anarchism and Dühring's
Anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, Dühring undoubtedly belongs to the
Anarchists, and has never very seriously defended himself against this
charge. His haughty and biassed criticisms of Proudhon, Stirner, and
Kropotkin (he excepts only Bakunin, the enemy of the "Hebrew" Marx)
are sufficiently explained by his own unexampled weakness and love of
belittling others, without seeking any further motives; "it must be
night where his own stars shine"; and as his followers have generally
read nothing else beside his lucubrations, it is very easy to explain
the great influence which Dühring exercises at present upon the youth
of Germany, and why he is regarded by some people as the only man of
genius since Socrates, and as a man of the most unparalleled
originality, which he is not, by a long way.

However much Dühring may belittle Proudhon, he is himself, at least as
a social politician, and certainly as an economist, merely a weak
dilution of Proudhon. In _The Modern Spirit_ Proudhon's Anarchism was
recently credited with the intention of abolishing not only all
government, but all organisation. Dühring, it was said, had reduced
this mistaken view to its proper origin, and in place of Anarchism had
set up "Anticratism," which does not intend to overthrow direction and
organisation, but merely to abolish all unjust force, "the State
founded on force." We who know Proudhon, know that what is here
ascribed to Dühring is exactly what Proudhon taught as "no-government"
(_An-arche_); and there was nothing left to the great Dühring but to
bluff his half-fledged scholars with a new word that means nothing
more or less than Anarchy. That which is Dühring's own, namely, the
so-called "theory of force," has not an origin of any great
profundity. He takes as the elements of society two human beings--not
at all the sexual pair--but the celebrated "two men" of Herr Dühring,
one of whom oppresses the other, uses force to him, and makes him work
for him. These "two men" explain, for him, all economic functions and
social problems; the origin of social distinctions, of political
privileges, of property, capital, betterment, exploitation, and so on.
By these two famous men he lets himself be guided directly into
Proudhon's path. "Wealth," declares Dühring, "is mastery over men and
things." Proudhon would never have been so silly--although Dühring
means the same as he does--as to call wealth the mastery over men and
things, and Engel formulates the proposition more correctly as:
"Wealth is the mastery over men, by means of mastery over things";
although this deserves the name of a definition neither in the logical
nor economic sense. But Dühring uses his ambiguous proposition in
order to be able to represent riches on the one hand as being
something quite justifiable and praiseworthy (the mastery over
things), and on the other as robbery (mastery over men), as "property
due to force." Here we have a miserable degradation and commonplace
expression of the antimony of Proudhon: "Property is theft," and
"Property is liberty." We also find Proudhon, again distorted, in
Dühring's statement that the time spent in work by various workers,
whether they be navvies or sculptors, is of equal value.

The "personalist Sociality" of Dühring, as its creator terms it
elsewhere, is the conception of arrangements and organisations
by means of which every individual person may satisfy all the
necessities and luxuries of life, from the lowest to the highest,
through the mutual working together and combination with every
other individual. This personalist Sociality is, of course,
anti-monarchical, and opposed to all privileges of position and birth;
it is also "anti-religionist," for it recognises no authorities that
are beyond control, except only conformity to nature. It starts from
the actual condition of the individual; but this can only be known by
its actions, and is not determined by birth. As regards public
affairs, positions that are technically prominent should be given by
universal, direct, and equal suffrage to persons who have shown by
their actions that they possess the necessary qualifications for them.
As regards the anti-religious element, which in Dühring's case really
implies Anti-Semitism, the place of all religion and everything
religious is taken by Dühring's philosophy of actuality or being.
Among the just claims of the individual person Dühring reckons not
only bodily freedom and immunity from injury, but also immunity from
economic injury. Just as on the one hand every kind of slavery or
limitation by united action or social forms must be unhesitatingly
rejected, so, on the other hand, unlimited power of disposal over the
means of production and natural capital must be limited by suitable
public laws in such a way that no one can be excluded from the means
supplied by nature, and reduced to a condition of starvation. The
right to labour, as well as freedom of choice in labour, must
everywhere be maintained.

The economic corner-stones of personalist Sociality are, as Dühring's
follower, Emil Döle,[2] explains, "metallic currency as the foundation
of all economic relationships, and individual property, especially
capital, as the necessary and inviolable foundation for every
condition that is not based on robbery and violence. The logic and
necessity of any form of society rests on private property, and that
is also the basis of Dühring's system; but his reforms are directed to
rejecting the ingredients of injustice, robbery, and violence towards
persons that are commingled with these fundamental forms. To bring
this about, the principle under which the merely economic mechanics of
values have free play must be rejected; and instead of it, the
original personal and political rights of men must be recognised.
Dühring therefore regards a general association of workers as far more
essential than strikes, and would wish political means (in the
narrower sense of politics) brought once more into the foreground, and
extended much farther than before. He certainly rejects the trickery
of Parliament, but not a representation of the working classes
seriously meant and honourably carried out. He also does not yield to
that logic of wretchedness which expects every reform to arise from
ever-increasing misery, but takes into account material and mental
progress and the condition of the masses."

    [2] Döle, _Eugen Dühring, etwas von dessen Charakter,
    Leistungen, und reformatorischen Beruf_, Leipzig, 1893.
    Compare also Fr. Engel's, Dühring's _Umwälzung der
    Wissenschaft_, 3d ed. Stuttgart, 1894.

In all this it is easy to recognise Proudhon's views; even sometimes
his theory of property. And even if their views are not alike
formally, and Dühring does not quite understand Proudhon's
"Mutualism," yet he ought to have regarded the French social reformer
somewhat less condescendingly and confusedly. But he has also had a
very low opinion of Stirner; yet, however persistently he and his
followers may deny it, Dühring's "Personalism" is not only exactly the
same as Stirner's "individual" (_Einziger_), but Dühring himself is
the most repellent illustration of the egoist-individual of Stirner.
Both Stirner and Proudhon have assumed as the necessary
pre-supposition of the abolition of government, individuals who are
able to govern themselves, _i. e._, moral individuals, which means

When, finally, Dühring apparently seeks to limit the Anarchist phrase
of the abolition of all government, by saying that Anticratism is the
denial of all unrighteous exercise of force and usurpation of
authority, this is palpable fencing. Dühring would tell the masses
which form of force is right and which wrong; which should be
maintained, and which not; and the masses will hasten to follow his
dictates. Dühring, the great opponent of all metaphysics and _a
priori_ conceptions, at once sets up, just like Jean Jacques Rousseau,
"the modern Hebrew," an absolute concept "justice," and transforms the
world according to it. Who can help laughing at this?

Dühring has tried to reconcile his prejudice against the Jews with the
foregoing doctrine, by distinguishing nations from the standpoint of
personalism, and regarding the existence of higher races side by side
with lower races as a hindrance--indeed the most serious hindrance--to
the realisation of "personalist Sociality."

"Nothing is easier than to make a wise grimace."

       *       *       *       *       *

Perhaps the most peculiar of the circle of theoretical Anarchists is
Herr von Egidy. If Dühring has succeeded in enlivening Anarchism by an
admixture of Anti-Jewish persecution, Herr von Egidy has accomplished
the far greater success of enlivening Anarchism with a new religious
cult, called "United Christianity," added to the spirit of Prussian
militarism and squiredom. When the new Apostle stood as a candidate
for the Reichstag in 1893, supporting his new Christianity and the
military programme rejected by the dissolved Parliament, he was able
to secure 3000 votes. This is a piece of statistics that shows the
confusion of ideas existing in so-called intelligence.

Moritz von Egidy[3] was born at Mainz on 29th August, 1847, served in
the Prussian army, and reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Afterwards he exchanged his military command for an apostleship, after
gaining knowledge by private study. His Christianity is a religion
without dogma or confession, _a lucus a non lucendo_, but deserves
respect as a social phenomenon in view of conditions in Germany.

    [3] See, for a study of his views, the popular publication,
    _Einiges Christenthum_, Berlin, 1893, and the weekly paper
    (since 1894), _Versöhrung_ (_Reconciliation_).

The "United Christendom" is to be the union of all men in the idea of
time and applied Christianity, in the sense of a humanity that
approaches more nearly to God. The new religion only values and lays
stress on life, on "morality lived"; doctrine and dogma must be laid
aside; and thus Von Egidy arrives at the remarkable paradox of "a
religion without dogma or confession." The purpose of religion is
practical, and in dogmas he sees forms, among which each individual
may choose for himself, forms which (according to the main principle
of development which he places in the forefront of all his arguments)
are in a state of continual flux and change. What religion has to
offer is to be expressed not in dogmas, but only in points of view;
not in institutions, but in directions for guidance. For this purpose
it is not necessary that Egidy's disciples should form themselves into
a church, for that even contradicts the spirit of this religion; their
master rather tells them "to organise nothing, to actualise nothing."
Not parties, nor unions, but only persons and actions, is what he
wants, and these will each in his own way lead men into the earthly
paradise of which Egidy speaks with truly prophetic confidence.

The State, as we now know it, is for Egidy, who goes to work very
cautiously, no more and no less than a link in the eternal chain of
development; a stage, beyond which he looks into a divinely appointed
kingdom of the future, that will no longer rest upon the pillars of
force and fear, which "contradict the consciousness of God, wherein
there will be no difference between governed and government." He
quickly disposes of the objection that men are not fit for such an
ideal State. "Once we have created conditions in accordance with the
divine will, the men for them will be there. If there was a paradise
for the first primitive man, why should there not be one for civilised
man of to-day? We only need to create it for ourselves; and once we
have gained entrance to it we shall not be driven out of it a second
time--we have had our warning. Of course the 'old Adam' must be left
outside." Of course! But Egidy forgets in the ardour of inspiration
that it is not so easy to leave the old Adam outside, and that his
assumption of a primitive paradise for mankind, for the _homme
sauvage_ of the "social contract," directly contradicts the theory of
evolution which he has just unhesitatingly accepted. He also
contradicts himself when he at first maintains that the "conditions in
accordance with the divine will" will produce men fitted for them, and
afterwards says: "Do not let us trouble about programmes and systems,
or modes of execution; only get the right men, and we need not trouble
ourselves about how to realise our proposals."

As may be seen, his "United Christianity" not only has a Socialist
side, but it is sheer Socialism, the main basis of which is moral and
intellectual self-consciousness. Egidy has certainly not drawn up a
definite programme, and could not draw it up; "since we are all at the
present moment, without exception, undergoing a thorough
transformation of 'the inner man,' it is more reasonable to defer
single efforts till the general consciousness has become enlightened
on essential points." Egidy can thus only open up "points of view" on
the social question, leaving everything else to the individual and to
natural evolution. Hence a definite social doctrine is excluded.

Thus, upon the question of property, he says that property is "not so
much the source as the logical consequence of the immature ideas of
human rights and duties which we still hold. With the progressive
transformation of our ideas generally, with the adoption of a totally
different view of life, with the dawn of a new view of the world, our
conceptions of property will also alter; not sooner, but surely. This
new view of life will give a direction and aim to our endeavours for
improvement. The new treatment of the question of property, however,
will only be one of the results of the general new tendencies.
Certainly it will be one of the most important; but we do not need
beforehand to recognise any one of the manifold tendencies indicated
as a binding law; just as we may generally take what is called
Socialism into consideration, as soon as it is offered to us on a
firmly defined form, but never accept it without further demur as a
new law.

"Instead of the words 'equality' and 'freedom,' I say 'self-reliance'
and 'independence.' They express better that which concerns the
individual; and they also avoid the objection of being 'impossible.'
That even self-reliance and independence may experience a certain
limitation from the demands of our life in common one with another, I
know quite well; but they do not mislead us beforehand to the same
erroneous ideas and especially not to the same demands, so impossible
of fulfilment, as the word equality. The highest attainable is always
merely that we create for the individual equal, _i. e._, equally good,
conditions of existence. But owing to the inequality of individuals
similar conditions do not always produce by any means the same result
of well-being; the utilisation of the conditions is a matter for the
individual, and is unequal. Thus we should have to arrange these
conditions as _un_equal for each individual in order to give all
individuals really equal conditions of existence. Apart from the
fundamental impossibility in our human imperfection, of doing absolute
justice to these requirements, the equality thus restored would the
very next moment be impaired in a thousand different directions."

Egidy is a pure Anarchist, perhaps the purest of all, but he is
certainly not the wisest. "The greatest fault in Anarchism," he says,
"in the eyes of the opponent whom it has to overcome, is its name.
This, however, is not quite fair to the representatives of these
ideas; for why must everything have a name, and why must names be
sought which annihilate what at present exists, instead of choosing
names which indicate the highest connotation of meanings so far
recognised? Why say, 'without government'? Why not rather,
'self-discipline, self-government'? Discipline and government mean
things of great value; without which we could not imagine human
existence. The only question is, who exercises government over us, and
who wields the rod of discipline: whether it is others or we
ourselves?" To be sure, he draws a distinction between "Anarchists of
Blood" and "noble Anarchists"; he condemns the former and associates
himself with the latter. But that does not hinder this remarkable man
from having a Bismarckian patriotism, sullen prejudices against the
Jews, and, above all, incomprehensible zeal on behalf of Prussian
Militarism and Monarchy.

"The monarchical idea in itself," says this most remarkable of all
Anarchists, "by no means contradicts the idea of the self-reliance and
independence of the individual. The prince will not be lacking in the
comprehension necessary for a redrafting of the monarchical idea to
suit the people when they have attained their majority. The prince
belongs to the people; the prince the foremost of the people; the
prince in direct intercourse with the people. The prince neither
absolute ruler nor constitutional regent; but the prince a
personality, an ego; with a right to execute his will as equal as that
of any one of the people. No confused responsibility of ministers
thrust in between people and prince. There is no 'crown' as a
conception; there is only a living wearer of the crown--the king, the
prince--as responsible head of the people. The present servants of the
crown become commissioners of the people." Compare these expressions
with Proudhon's attitude in regard to the dynastic question described
above, and consider, in order to do justice to each, that Egidy as
well as Proudhon had in view when speaking a monarch who knew how to
surround himself at least with the appearance of "social imperialism."
If, indeed, Egidy were one day to be disillusioned by his "social
prince," just as Proudhon was by _his_ monarch, yet it should not be
forgotten that the "social prince" might also likewise be greatly
disillusioned some day as to the loyalty of Egidy's followers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Germany possesses an honest and upright Anarchist of a strongly
individualist tendency in the naturalised Scot, John Henry Mackay, who
was born at Greenock on 6th February, 1864. In Mackay we find again
one of those numerous persons who have descended from that sphere of
society where want and distress are only known by name, into the
habitations of human pity, and have risen from these upon the wings of
poetic fancy and warmheartedness into the "regions where the happy
gods do dwell," and where Anarchy does not need to be brought into
being. Mackay is of an essentially artistic nature; like Cafiero, he
is also a millionaire, which means a completely independent man. Both
these circumstances are needed to explain his individualist Anarchism.
His novel, which created some sensation, entitled _The Anarchist: A
Picture of Society at the Close of the Nineteenth Century_,[4] which
appeared in 1891, is a pendant to Theodor Hertzka's novel, _Freeland_,
to which it is also not inferior in genuinely artistic effects, as
_e. g._, the development of the character of Auban, an egoist of
Stirner's kind, and in touching description, as that of poverty in
Whitechapel. The book does not contain any new ideas: but is
nevertheless important as making a thorough and clear distinction
between individualist and communist Anarchism; while, on the other
hand, the glaring colouring of the descriptions of misery possesses a
certain provocative energy which the author certainly did not intend,
for he rejects the "propaganda of action."

    [4] _Die Anarchisten_, etc.; _Zürich Verlagsmagazin_; a
    popular edition has also appeared in Berlin; also an English
    translation. Boston, 1891; and in French, Paris, 1892.

It is only to be expected as a matter of course that in Germany as in
France, that literary Bohemia, certain "advanced minds" should prefer
to give themselves out as Anarchists and Individualists, as _Einzige_;
but it must not therefore be concluded that it is our duty to concern
ourselves with writers such as Pudor, Bruno Wille, and others. We
might indeed utter a warning against extending too widely the
boundaries of Anarchist theory, and thus obliterating them altogether.
In our opinion it is quite incorrect to regard as a theoretical
Anarchist every author who, like Nietzsche,[5] preached a purely
philosophic individualism or egotism, without ever having given a
thought to the reformation of society. To what does this lead? Some
even include Ibsen among theoretical Anarchists because in a letter to
Brandes he exclaims: "The State is the curse of the individual. The
State must go. I will take part in this revolution. Let us undermine
the idea of the State; let us set up free will and affinity of spirit
as the only conditions for any union: that is the beginning of a
freedom that is worth something." Such expressions may certainly show
Ibsen's Anarchist tendencies, but they by no means elevate him to the
position of a teacher; for that position one might sooner quote one of
his own most powerful characters, Brand, that modern Faust after the
style of Stirner. But Brand is a gloomy figure, who would not make
many converts to individualism.

    [5] Even in a philosophic sense, Nietzsche's Anarchism is a
    mere fable. Schellwien truly remarks: "Max Stirner replaces
    freedom by individuality, by the evolution of the individual
    as such, but he cannot shew that anything else would happen
    but the oppression of the weaker individuality by the
    stronger; a state of things in which not individuality but
    brute force would reign. Friedrich Nietzsche draws this
    conclusion, and would have this oppression of the weak by the
    strong; he would have the aristocratic will of the stronger,
    who in his eyes are alone the good. He raises the 'will for
    power' to a world-principle." Elsewhere Nietzsche positively
    advocates, _e. g._, the reduction of some men to slavery for
    the benefit of the aristocracy of the strong. This sort of
    thing is hardly Anarchism.

       *       *       *       *       *

We may here cursorily notice the position of Johann Most in the theory
of Anarchism, although this man, fateful and gloomy as has been his
rôle in the history of Anarchist action, can hardly be taken into
account as a theorist, and, moreover,--which is more important,--he is
not even a pure Anarchist. Johann Most forms the link between social
Democracy, to which he formerly attached himself, and Anarchism, to
which he now devotes his baleful talents. But, as a matter of fact,
Most goes no farther than ancient and modern followers of Baboeuf have
gone at all times; the "decision of society" is the authoritative
boundary which separates him from the communist Anarchists.

Land and all movable and immovable capital should, in his opinion, be
the property of the whole of society,--here we perceive a very
conservative notion as compared with Kropotkin,--but should be given
up for the use of the single groups of producers, which may be formed
by free agreement (_libre entente_) among themselves. The products of
industry should remain the property of those organisations whose work
and creation they are, thus becoming collective property. To determine
value and price, bureaux of experts should be formed by society--an
arrangement which Grave considers highly reactionary, because implying
authority,--and these bureaux are to calculate how much work is
represented in each community, and what is its value on this basis.
The price thus determined cannot be altered, because consumers will
also form free groups, for the purpose of buying, just as the
producers did. Other free groups will look after the bringing up of
children. Marriage becomes a free contract between man and woman, and
can be entered into or dissolved at pleasure. There are no laws, but
only a "decision of society" in each case.

If with these views Most must be regarded among Anarchist
theorists--if he is an Anarchist at all--as a representative of
extreme Conservatism, yet, on the other hand, there is not the
slightest doubt that he must be looked upon as the theorist of force,
the apostle of the most violent propaganda of action. In his notorious
journal, _Freiheit_ (_Freedom_), as well as in numberless pamphlets,
Johann Most has drawn up an inexhaustible compendium for "the men of
action." The little groups, which are to-day characteristic of
Anarchism, are his idea, and his, too, are the tactics of
bomb-throwing. In the pamphlet[6] on the scientific art of
revolutionary warfare and dynamiters, he explains exactly where bombs
should be placed in churches, palaces, ballrooms, and festive
gatherings. Never more than one Anarchist should take charge of the
attempt, so that in case of discovery the Anarchist party may suffer
as little harm as possible. The book contains also a complete
dictionary of poisons, and preference is given to.... Poison should be
employed against politicians, traitors, and spies. _Freedom_, his
journal, is distinguished from the rest of the Anarchist press--which
is mostly merely _doctrinaire_--by its constant provocation to a war
of classes, to murder and incendiarism. "Extirpate the miserable
brood!" says _Freedom_, speaking of owners of property--"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 proletariate army when the battle has been won. For at the
critical moment the executioner's block must ever be before the eyes
of the revolutionary. 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," and so forth.

    [6] Die _wissenschaftliche revolutionäre Kriegskunst und der
    Dynamit Führer._

These are only a few specimens of the jargon of "Anarchism of action,"
of which Johann Most is the classic representative; we shall refer
elsewhere to his varied activity as such.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most, whose special Anarchist influence is exercised on English soil,
is also the link between German and English Anarchism.

England possesses a theorist of a higher type in Auberon Herbert, who,
like Bakunin and Kropotkin, is a scion of a noble house. Herbert began
as a representative of Democracy in the seventies, and to-day edits in
London a paper called _The Free Life_, in which he preaches an
individualist Anarchism of his own, or, as he himself calls it,
"Voluntarism." He does not wish constituted society, as such, to be
abolished; his "voluntary State" is distinguished from the present
compulsory State in that it is absolutely free to any individual to
enter or leave the State as he wishes.

"I demand," says Herbert,[7] "that the individual should be
self-owner, the actual owner of his bodily and mental capacities, and
in consequence owner of all that he can acquire by these capacities,
only assuming that he treats his fellow-men as his equals and as
owners of their own capacities."

    [7] Anarchy and Voluntarism (_The Free Life_), vol. ii., p.
    99, October, 1894.

"If thus the individual is legally master of himself and legally owner
of all that he has won by the aid of his own capabilities, then we
must further conclude that the individual as such has the right to
defend what is his own, even by force against force (understanding by
force those forms of deception which are in reality only an equivalent
of force); and since he now has this right of defence by force, he can
transfer it to a corporation and to men who undertake to watch over
the practical application of this right on his behalf; which
corporation may be denoted by the practical term of 'State.' The State
is rightfully born, only if the individuals have the choice of handing
over to it their right of defence, and that no individual is compelled
to take part in it when once formed, or to maintain it. When we
consider that every force must be set in action for some definite
purpose, the State or the sphere of society's force must be organised;
yet every individual must retain his natural right of deciding for
himself whether he will join the State and maintain it or not. If then
the State is legitimate as an agreement to defend one's self-ownership
against all attacks, there are sufficient reasons for creating such an
organisation and placing the exercise of the forces mentioned in its
hands, instead of keeping them in our hands as individuals.... I fully
admit that the right of exercising force in self-defence belongs to
the individual and is transferred by him to the State; but the moral
pressure on the individual to transfer this right is overwhelming. Who
of us would care to be judge and executioner at once in one's own
person? Who would wish to exercise Lynch law?[8] What is to be gained
thereby? It is not a question of right, for, as we have seen, the
individual, who may exercise force in self-defence, can also transfer
this exercise of his power, and if he can do this legally, is it not a
hundred times better if he also does so actually? I willingly admit
that, when it is solely a question of a group, even the group, as the
source of law, may, if it wishes, organise its own defence, and
isolate itself from the general organisation of other groups. But I do
not admit that the group can also separate itself, when the question
directly concerns other groups besides itself. I would not, for
example, allow a group the right to conduct its sewers to a certain
point in a stream, because this directly affects the interests of
other groups at other points of the stream. The first group must come
to an understanding with the other groups concerned; in other words,
it must enter into a common organisation with other groups. Or again:
group A decides to punish those who instigate to murder, while group B
is of opinion that one need not trouble about words, but only about
deeds. Such a difference of views and procedure is unimportant, so
long as the members of group A merely associate with one another; but
suppose a member of group B were to incite a person to murder a member
of group A, it is clear that we should be confronted by a civil war
between the two groups the moment that group A seeks to seize and
punish the instigator. It also happens that in all cases where force
has to be exercised against persons outside their own group as well as
in it, some organisation must exist between the groups--a State--in
order to determine the conditions under which force can be
exercised.... For these reasons I consider pure Anarchy an
impossibility; it rests upon a misunderstanding, and is founded upon
the mingling of two things which are by nature entirely different....
Anarchy is the rule of an individual over himself; but the actions of
an individual in self-defence, however just they may be, are not
founded entirely upon self-ownership, but are of a mixed nature, since
they include rule over one's self and over others. The object of
Anarchy is self-government, but we exceed the sphere of
self-government as soon as we stretch out our hand to exercise force.
The error which pure Anarchists commit lies in the fact that they
apply the ideas of self-government, self-ownership, or freedom to
force. Between actions of freedom and actions involving force a line
must necessarily be drawn, which separates them for ever. As far as
concerns a question of free will, _e. g._, the posting of letters,
arrangements for education, all contracts of labour and capital, we
can dispense with any authority; we can be Anarchists, because in
these cases it is not necessary for me or for you to exercise or to
undergo compulsion. We may leave the group whose actions we do not
approve of, we may stand alone as individuals, we may follow
exclusively the law of our nature; but the moment we proceed to
measures of defence, to actions implying limitation or discipline, to
actions which encroach upon the self-ownership of others, the whole
state of things is altered. The moment force has to be exercised, an
apparatus of force must be set up; if we wish to exercise force, it
must be publicly proclaimed, and we must publicly agree upon what
conditions it is to be applied; it must be surrounded by guarantees
and so on. Force and the unconditional freedom of the individual, or
Anarchy, are incompatible ideas, and therefore I am a Voluntarist, not
an Anarchist--a Voluntarist in all questions where Voluntarism is
admissible; but I return into the State when by the nature of things
some organisation is necessary."

    [8] The answer is obvious: the inhabitants of Texas.

Practically Auberon Herbert's distinction of terms is merely playing
with words; for the "voluntary State," which I can leave at any
moment, from which I can withdraw my financial support if I do not
approve of its actions, is Proudhon's federation of groups in its
strictest form; perhaps it is even the practical outcome of Stirner's
_Union of Egoists_; at any rate Herbert, like Stirner, prefers the
unconditional acceptance of the principle of _laisser faire_, without
reaching it, like Proudhon, by means of the thorny circumlocution of a
complicated organisation of work. Carried into practice, Voluntarism
would be as like Anarchism as two peas. None the less we must not
undervalue the theoretical progress shown in the distinction quoted
above. Herbert approaches within a hair's-breadth of the standpoint of
Sociology, and what separates him from it is not so much the logical
accentuation of the social-contract theory as the indirect assumption
of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

In America we find views similar to Auberon Herbert's.

The traces of Anarchist ideas in the United States go back as far as
the fifties. Joseph Dejacque, an adherent of Proudhon, and compromised
politically in 1848, edited in New York, from 1858-61, a paper, _Le
Libertaire_, in which he at first preached the collective Anarchism of
his master, but later--though long before Kropotkin--drifted into
communist Anarchism.

Side by side there also arose, almost, as it seems, independently of
Europe, an individualist school, the origin of which goes back
somewhere to the beginning of the century. Here the ideas of a free
society, such as Thompson had imagined and taught, found rapid and
willing acceptance, and were expanded, by men like Josiah Warren,
Stephen Pearl Andrews, Lysander Spooner, and others, to the idea of
"individual sovereignty," which to-day possesses its most important
champion in R. B. Tucker, the editor of the journal, _Liberty_, in
Boston, and which approaches most closely to Herbert's idea of the
"voluntary State."

                               PART III


                             CHAPTER VII


    Spencer's Views on the Organisation of Society -- Society
    Conceived from the Nominalist and Realist Standpoint -- The
    Idealism of Anarchists -- Spencer's Work: _From Freedom to

When Vaillant was before his judges he mentioned Herbert Spencer,
among others, as one of those from whom he had derived his Anarchist
convictions. Anarchists refer not seldom to the gray-headed Master of
Sociology as one of themselves; and still more often do the Socialists
allude to him as an Anarchist. People like Laveleye, Lafarque, and
(lately) Professor Enrico Ferri,[1] have allowed themselves to speak
of Spencer's Anarchist and Individualist views in his book, _The
Individual versus the State_. If Vaillant, the bomb-thrower, rejoiced
in such ignorance of persons and things as to quote Spencer, without
thinking, as a fellow-thinker, we need hardly say much about it; but
when men who are regarded as authorities in so-called scientific
Socialism, do the same, we can only perceive the small amount either
of conscientiousness or science with which whole tendencies of the
social movement are judged, and judged too by a party which, before
all others, is interested in procuring correct and precise judgments
on this matter. For those who number Herbert Spencer among the
Anarchists, either do not understand the essence of Anarchism, or else
do not understand Spencer's views; or both are to them a _terra

    [1] _Socialismus und Moderne Wissenschaft_, p. 129. Leipsic,

As far as concerns the book, _The Individual versus the State_
(London, 1885), this is really only a closely printed pamphlet of some
thirty pages, in which Spencer certainly attacks Socialism severely as
an endeavour to strengthen an organisation of society, based on
compulsion, at the expense of individual freedom and of voluntary
organisations already secured; but not a single Anarchist thought is
to be found in his pages, unless any form of opposition to forcing
human life into a social organisation of regimental severity is to be
called Anarchism. We may remark _en passant_ that here we have a
splendid example of freedom of thought as understood by the
Socialists; in their (so-called) free people's State the elements of
Anarchism would assume a much more repulsive form than under the
present _bourgeois_ conditions. And that is just what Spencer
prophesies in his little book.

Spencer appeals in this work to his views upon a possible organisation
of society better than the present, as he has indicated in _The Study
of Sociology_, _Political Institutions_, and elsewhere; and we think
we ought to permit the appeal and present Spencer's views, not for the
sake of Herbert Spencer--for we cannot undertake to defend everyone
who is suspected of Anarchism,--but because he is the most important
representative of a school of thought which some day or other will be
called upon to say the last word in the scientific discussion of the
so-called social question, and because we now wish to set forth
clearly, once for all, what Anarchism is, in whatever disguise it may
cloak itself, and what Anarchism is not, however far it may go in
accentuating freedom of development.

       *       *       *       *       *

The quintessence of Spencer's views upon the organisation of
society--the point from which the pamphlet so misused by Ferri
proceeds--is something like this. The organisation which is the
necessary preliminary to any form of united social endeavour is,
whether regarded historically or _a priori_, not of a single but of a
twofold nature, a nature essentially different both in origin and
conditions. The one arises immediately from the pursuit of individual
aims, and only contributes indirectly to the social welfare; it
develops unconsciously, and is not of a compulsory character. The
other, which proceeds directly from the pursuit of social aims, and
only contributes indirectly to the welfare of the individual, develops
consciously, and is of a compulsory character (_cf. Principles_, iii.,
p. 447). Spencer calls the first, voluntary, organisation the
industrial type, because it always accompanies the appearance of
industrial and commercial interests; but the second, compulsory,
organisation the warlike type, because it is a consequence of the need
of external defence for the community. The industrial type of Spencer,
based upon the individualist sentiment, results in what we have come
to know as convention; the military or warlike type, which addresses
itself exclusively to altruistic feelings, leads to the State
(status). The "social" question, when solved exclusively by the first
method, we know already as Anarchy; solved by the second, it is
Socialism in the narrower sense.

However much these two types may seem to exclude each other in their
conception, and actually do so when translated into the jargon of
party, in reality they are by no means mutually exclusive. Those forms
of human society which we see both in the present and the past are by
no means pure types, but show the most varied gradation and
interpenetration of both types; according as the need for common
defence or for individual interests comes to the fore, the military
type, that rules and regulates everything, or the industrial, that
aims at free union, will preponderate. The vast majority of all forms
of society, including the modern Great Powers, are still of the
military type, for obvious reasons. The "idea of the State" is
powerful within them, but only some of the most advanced, which from
their peculiar circumstances are less threatened by the danger of war,
and therefore devote themselves more largely to industry and commerce,
such as England and America, are now inclining more to the industrial

Which of the two forms deserves the preference cannot, of course, be
determined _a priori_. Spencer gives it evidently to the industrial
type, as being a higher form of development, and he thinks that, in
the more or less distant future, this will acquire the supremacy
(_Principles_, iii., § 577). But he recognises also, as was only to be
expected, that it has only rarely been possible to dispense with the
military and compulsory organisation, whether in the present or the
past, and that even in the future it will still in many cases be
necessary for social development according to local conditions; and
that accordingly a universal acceptance of co-operative work by
convention, on the Anarchist's plan, cannot be imagined as possible,
because, in social organisms as well as in individual organisms, the
development of higher forms by no means implies the extirpation of
lower forms. If we miss already, at this point, one of the most
essential traits of Anarchist doctrine, viz., its absolute character,
Spencer's so-called Anarchism shrinks still more into nothingness,
when we approach the industrial type as he describes it in its
complete state.

While the requirements of the industrial type (he says) simply exclude
a despotic authority, they demand on the other hand, as the only
suitable means of carrying out the requisite actions of common
benefit, an assembly of representatives to express the will of the
whole body. The duty of this controlling agency, which may be denoted
in general terms as the administration of justice, merely consists in
seeing that every citizen receives neither more nor less benefit than
his own efforts normally afford him. Hence public efforts to effect
any artificial division of the result of labour is of itself excluded.
When the _régime_ peculiar to militarism, the status, has disappeared,
the _régime_ of convention appears in its stead, and finds more and
more general acceptance, and this forbids any disturbance of the
relations of exchange between the performance and the product of
labour by arbitrary division. Looked at from another standpoint, the
industrial type is distinguished from the military by the fact that it
has a regulating influence, not simultaneously, both positive and
negative, but only negative (_cf. Principles_, iii., § 575). In this
ever-increasing limitation of the influence of constituted society
lies another sharply defined line of demarcation, from even the most
conservative forms of Anarchism, whether it be Proudhon's federal
society or Auberon Herbert's "voluntary State." For Spencer recognises
even for the most perfect form of his society the necessity of some
administration of law; he speaks of a Head of the State, even though
he be merely elected (_Principles_, § 578); he would like to see
development continued along the beaten track of the representative
system (which the Anarchists mainly reject), and even in certain
circumstances would retain the principle of a second chamber (_ib._,
p. 770). For however high may be the degree of development reached by
an industrial society, yet the difference between high and low,
between rulers and ruled, can never be done away with. All the new
improvements which the coming centuries may have in store for industry
cannot fail to admit the contrast between those whose character and
abilities raise them to a higher rank and those who remain in a lower
sphere. Even if any mode of production and distribution of goods was
carried out exclusively by corporations of labourers working together,
as is done even now in some cases to a certain extent, yet all such
corporations must have their chief directors and their committees of
administration. A Senate might then be formed either from an elective
body that was taken, not from a class possessing permanent privileges,
but from a group including all leaders of industrial associations, or
it might be formed from an electorate consisting of all persons who
took an active share in the administration; and finally it might be so
composed as to include the representatives of all persons engaged in
governing, as distinguished from the second chamber of representatives
of the governed.

Moreover, Spencer himself claims no sort of dogmatic obligatory force
for these deductions with regard to the most favourable possible form
of future organisation; rather he expressly warns us that different
organisations are possible, by means of which the general agreement of
the whole community in sentiment and views might make itself felt, and
declares that it is rather a question of expediency than of principle
which of the different possible organisations should finally be
accepted (_Principles_, p. 766).

       *       *       *       *       *

Incomprehensible as it may seem that Spencer, holding such views,
should be regarded as an Anarchist, and that too by men who ought to
have understood him as well as the Anarchists, yet this has been the
case. Therefore we must guard against his lack of Radicalism (as shown
in the foregoing remarks) being regarded by various parties less as a
necessary result of his first premises than as the result of personal
qualities of opportunism, of a lack of courage in facing the ultimate
consequences of his reasoning. We should like, therefore, briefly to
note the wide differences which separate the purely sociological
standpoint of Spencer from the unscientific standpoint of the

It may be considered as indifferent whether we are accustomed to
regard society as a natural thing or only as a product of my thought,
as something real and concrete or as a mere conception, and yet the
range of this first assumption far surpasses the value of academic
contention. No bridge leads from one of these standpoints to the
other, and as deep a gulf separates the conclusions which are drawn
from these premises. If society is a thing, something actual like the
individual, then it is subject to the same laws as the rest of nature;
it changes and develops, grows and decays, like all else. If, on the
other hand, it is a mere conception, then it stands and falls with
myself, with my wish to set it up or destroy it. Indeed, if society is
nothing but an idea, a child of my thought, what hinders me from
throwing it away as soon as I have recognised its nothingness, since
it is no more use to me? Have not some already done so with the idea
of God, because they thought it merely a product of their own mind?
Here we may remember Stirner's argument, which was only rendered
possible because he placed society upon exactly the same level as the
Deity, _i. e._, regarding both as mere conceptions. But, on the other
hand, if society exists apart from me, apart from my thought about it,
then it will also develop without reference to my personal opinions,
views, ideas, or wishes. In other words: if society is nothing but the
summary idea of certain institutions, such as the family, property,
religion, law, and so on, then society stands or falls with their
sanctity, expediency and utility; and to deny these institutions is to
deny society itself. On the other hand, if society is the aggregate of
individuals forming it, then the institutions just mentioned are only
functions of this collective body, and the denial or abolition of them
means certainly a disturbance, though not an annihilation of society.
Society then can no more be got rid of, as long as there are
individuals, than matter or force. We can destroy or upset an
aggregation, but can never hinder the individuals composing it from
again uniting to form another aggregation.

From these two divergent points of view follows the endless series of
irreconcilable divergencies between Realists and Idealists. For the
former, evolution is a process that is accomplished quite
unconsciously, and is determined exclusively by the condition at any
time of the elements forming the aggregate, and their varying
relations. The Idealist also likes to talk of an evolution of
society, but since this is only the evolution of an idea, there can be
no contradiction, and it is only right and fair for him to demand that
this evolution should be accomplished in the direction of other and
(as he thinks) higher ideas, the realisation of which is the object of
society. So he comes to demand that society should realise the ideas
of Freedom, Equality, and the like. A society which does not wish, or
is unfitted to do this, can and must be overthrown and annihilated.

When we hear these destructive opinions, which are continually
spreading, characterised as a lack of idealism, we cannot restrain a
smile at the confusion of thought thus betrayed. As a matter of fact,
the social revolutionaries of the present day, and especially the
Anarchists, are idealists of the first rank, and that too not merely
because of their nominalist way of regarding society, but they are
idealists also in a practical sense. The society of the present is in
their eyes utterly bad and incapable of improvement, because it does
not correspond to the ideas of freedom and equality. But the fault of
this does not lie in men as such, or in their natural attributes and
defects, but in society, that is (since it is merely an idea), in the
faulty conceptions and prejudices which men have as to the value of
society. Men in themselves are good, noble, and possess the most
brotherly sentiments; and not only that, but they are diligent and
industrious from an innate impulse; society alone has spoiled them.
These assumptions we have seen in all Anarchists; they are the
inevitable premises of their ideal of the future, an ideal of a free,
just, and brotherly form of society; but they are the necessary
consequence of the first assumption, of the idealist conception of
society itself, which is common to all Anarchists, with the single
exception of Proudhon, whose peculiarities and contradictions we have
dealt with above.

Herbert Spencer, and with him the sociological school generally,
cannot of course accept the conclusions of a premise which they do not
assume. Comparative study of the life of primitive races, scientific
anthropology, and exact psychology, all show this well-meaning
assumption to be a mere delusion. Philoneism may be nobler and more
humane, but, unfortunately, it is only misoneism that is true.
Generally speaking, every man only works in order to avoid
unpleasantness. One man is urged on by his experience that hunger
hurts him, the other by the whip of the slave-driver. What he fears is
either the punishment of circumstances, or the punishment given by
someone set over him (_cf._ Spencer, _From Freedom to Restraint_, p.
8). Work is the enemy of man; he struggles with it because he must do
so in order to live; his life is a continual struggle but not (as all
the Anarchists from Proudhon down to Grave try to persuade themselves
and others) a united struggle of man against nature, but a struggle of
men one against the other, a murderous, fratricidal conflict, from
which in the end only the most suitable and capable emerges ("the
survival of the fittest"). Short-sighted people and one-sided
doctrinaires can never be convinced of the fact that in this brutal
fact lies not only the end but also the proper beginning of unfeigned
morality. And so too in social relations. Conflict, war, and
persecution stand at the beginning of every civilisation and every
social development; but the ceaseless hostilities of man with man have
populated the earth from pole to pole with those who are most capable,
powerful, and most fitted for evolution; we owe to man's hatred and
fear of work the rich blessings of civilisation; and only from the
swamp of servitude can spring the flower of freedom.

But we must return once more to our idealists.

According to the view common to all Anarchists, the fault of our
present circumstances, which scorn freedom and equality, lies not in
the natural limitation of mankind, but in the limitation entailed upon
him by society, that is, by his own faulty conceptions and ideas. It
is therefore only a question of convincing men that they hitherto have
erred, that they should see in the State their enemy and not their
protector and champion--and the world is at once turned upside down
"like an omelet," society as now constituted is annihilated, and
Anarchy is triumphant. Anarchists since Bakunin are of the opinion
that, in order to reach this end, there is no need of weary evolution
or of an education of the human race for Anarchy; on the contrary, it
can be set up at once, immediately, with these same men; it merely
requires the trifling circumstance that men should be convinced of its
truth. Therefore they despise every political means, and their whole
strategy, not excepting the propaganda of action, only aims at
convincing men of the nothingness of society as such, and of the harm
done by its institution. This fact can only be understood in view of
the purely idealist starting-point from which the Anarchists proceed.
The man to whom society is a fact, a reality, only recognises an
evolution that excludes any sudden leap, and above all, the leap into

A radical error (as Herbert Spencer remarks in the very book which
Ferri adduces as a proof of his Anarchist tendency) which prevails in
the mode of thought of almost all political and social parties, is the
delusion that there exist immediate and radical remedies for the evils
that oppress us. "Only do thus, and the evil will disappear"; or "act
according to my method and want will cease"; or "by such and such
regulations the trouble will undoubtedly be removed"--everywhere we
meet such fancies, or modes of action resulting from them. But the
foundation of them is wrong. You may remove causes that increase the
evil, you may change one evil into another, and you may, as frequently
occurs, even increase the evil by trying to cure it: but an immediate
cure is impossible. In the course of centuries mankind, owing to the
increase of numbers, has been compelled to expand from the original,
ancient condition, wherein small groups of men supported themselves
upon the free gifts of nature, into a civilised condition, in which
the things necessary to support life for such great masses can only be
acquired by ceaseless toil. The nature of man in this latter mode of
existence is very different from what it was in the first period; and
centuries of pain have been necessary to transform it sufficiently. A
human constitution that is no longer in harmony with its environment
is necessarily in a miserable position, and a constitution inherited
from primitive man does not harmonise with the circumstances to which
those of to-day have to adapt themselves. Consequently it is
impossible to create immediately a social condition that shall bring
happiness to all. A state of society which even to-day fills Europe
with millions of armed warriors, eager for conquest or thirsting for
revenge; which impels so-called Christian nations to vie with one
another all over the world in piratical enterprises without any regard
to the rights of the aborigines, while thousands of their priests and
pastors watch them with approval; which, in intercourse with weaker
races, goes far beyond the primitive law of revenge, "a life for a
life," and for one life demands seven--such a state of human society,
says Spencer, cannot under any circumstances be ripe for a harmonious
communal existence. The root of every well-ordered social activity is
the sense of justice, resting, on the one hand, on personal freedom,
and, on the other on the sanctity of similar freedom for others; and
this sense of justice is so far not present in sufficient quantity.
Therefore a further and longer continuance of a social discipline is
necessary, which demands from each that he should look after his own
affairs with due regard to the equal rights of others, and insists
that everyone shall enjoy all the pleasures which naturally flow from
his efforts, and, at the same time, not place upon the shoulders of
others the inconveniences that arise from the same cause, in so far as
others are not ready to undertake them. And therefore it is Spencer's
conviction that the attempts to remove this form of discipline will
not only fail, but will produce worse evils than those which it is
sought to avoid.

We need not discuss Spencer's views further in a book about Anarchism.
But to those representatives of so-called scientific Socialism, as
well as to those Liberals who are so ready to condemn as "Anarchist"
any inconvenient critic of their own opinions, we should like to
remark that Anarchism will only be overcome by free and fearless
scientific treatment, and not by violent measures dictated by
stupidity and hatred.

                             CHAPTER VIII


    First Period (1867-1880) -- The Peace and Freedom League --
    The Democratic Alliance and the Jurassic Bund -- Union with
    and Separation from the "International" -- The Rising at
    Lyons -- Congress at Lausanne -- The Members of the Alliance
    in Italy, Spain, and Belgium -- Second Period (from 1880) --
    The German Socialist Law -- Johann Most -- The London
    Congress -- French Anarchism since 1880 -- Anarchism in
    Switzerland -- The Geneva Congress -- Anarchism in Germany
    and Austria -- Joseph Penkert -- Anarchism in Belgium and
    England -- Organisation of the Spanish Anarchists -- Italy --
    Character of Modern Anarchism -- The Group -- Numerical
    Strength of the Anarchism of Action.

It is the custom to represent Bakunin as the St. Paul of modern
Anarchism. It may be so. The Anarchism of violence only acquired
significance, owing to later circumstances in which Bakunin had no
share; but the kind of prelude of the Anarchist movement, which was
noticeable at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies,
may certainly be attributed to the influence of Bakunin.

With the growth of the organisation of the proletariat in its
international relations in the second half of the sixties, it was only
too readily understood that a part of this organisation rested upon an
Anarchist basis, especially as the opposition to the social democratic
tendency had not yet been developed in practice. Among workmen using
the Romance languages, the free-collectivist doctrines of Proudhon
gained much ground; prominent labour journals, such as the Geneva
_Egalité_, the _Progrès du Locle_, and others, often represented these
views, and Switzerland especially was the chief country in which the
working classes had always inclined to radical opinions. We call to
mind, for example, the union of handicraftsmen of the forties, the
Young Germany, and the _Lemanbund_ (Lake of Geneva Union) which had
been led by Marr and Döleke, to however small an extent, into an
Anarchist channel. The same field was open to Bakunin as suitable for
his operations, after he had long enough sought for one.

After his return from his Siberian exile, Bakunin had looked out for
an organisation, by the help of which he could translate his Anarchist
ideas into action and agitation, the which were the proper domain of
his spirit. When, after restless wanderings, he came from Italy into
Switzerland, it appeared as if this wish were to be fulfilled.

In Geneva there happened to be a meeting of the Peace Congress, which
then had merely philanthropic aims, and was attended by members of the
most diverse classes of society and most different nations. Bakunin
hoped to win over to his ideas this company, consisting for the most
part of amiable enthusiasts, doctrinaires and congress haunters, and
to create in it a background for his own activity. He, therefore,
appeared at the Congress and made a speech that was highly applauded
in which he came to the conclusion that international peace was
impossible as long as the following principle, together with all its
consequences, was not accepted; namely: "Every nation, feeble or
strong, small or great, every province, every community has the
absolute right to be free and autonomous, to live according to its
interests and private needs and to rule itself; and in this right all
communities and all nations have a certain solidarity to the extent
that this principle cannot be violated for one of them without at the
same time involving all the others in danger. So long as the present
centralised States exist, universal peace is impossible; we must,
therefore, wish for their dismemberment, in order that, on the ruins
of these unities based on force and organised from above downwards by
despotism and conquest, free unities organised from below upwards may
develop as a free federation of communities with provinces, provinces
with nations, and nations with the united States of Europe." In
another speech at the same Congress he sums up the principles upon
which alone peace and justice rest, in the following:--(1) "The
abolition of everything included in the term of 'the historic and
political necessity of the State,' in the name of any larger or
smaller, weak or strong population, as well as in the name of all
individuals who are said to have full power to dispose of themselves
in complete freedom independently of the needs and claims of the
State, wherein this freedom ought only to be limited by the equal
rights of others; (2) Annulling of all the permanent contracts between
the individual and the collective unity, associations, departments or
nations; in other words, every individual must have the right to break
any contract, even if entered into freely; (3) Every individual, as
well as every association, province and nation, must have the right to
quit any union or alliance, with, however, the express condition that
the party thus leaving it must not menace the freedom and independence
of the State which it has left by alliance with a foreign power."

Although these utterances of the wily agitator implied a complete
diversion of the views of the Congress from purely philanthropic
intentions to open Collectivist Anarchism, yet they found support in
the numerous radical elements which took part in the Congress.

Bakunin, who now settled in Switzerland, was elected a permanent
member of the Central Committee of the newly-founded "Peace and
Freedom League," with its headquarters in Bern, and he prepared for it
his "proposal" already mentioned. Bakunin was feverishly active in
trying to lead the League into an Anarchist channel. Already in the
session of the Bern Central Committee, he proposed to the committee,
with the support of Ogarjow, Jukowsky, the Poles Mrockowski and
Zagorski, and the Frenchman Naquet, to accept a programme similar to
that which he had laid before the Geneva Congress. Then he carried,
by the aid of this submissive committee, a resolution, demanding the
affiliation of the League with the International Union of Workers. But
this demand of the League was refused by the congress of the
"International" at Brussels; but, already greatly compromised by its
position in regard to the League, the "International" still further
left the path of safety when Bakunin recommended his Socialist
programme to the congress of the League which sat at Bern in 1868.
Bakunin found himself in the minority, retired from the congress, and,
with a small band of faithful adherents, including the brothers
Réclus, Albert Richard, Jukowsky, mentioned above, and others, betook
himself to Geneva.

These faithful followers formed the nucleus of the Socialist
Democratic Alliance formed in Geneva in 1868, the first society with
avowedly Anarchist tendencies. We have already quoted its official
programme. It is an unimportant variation of Proudhon's Collectivism.
The "Alliance" was a union of public societies, as far as possible
autonomous federations, such as the Jurassic Bund; and, like the
"International," it was divided into a central committee and national
bureaus. But together with this division went a secret organisation.
Bakunin, the pronounced enemy of all organisations in theory, created
in practice a secret society quite according to the rules of
Carbonarism--a hierarchy which was in total contradiction to the
anti-authority tendencies of the society. According to the secret
statutes of the "Alliance" three grades were recognised--(1) "The
International Brethren," one hundred in number, who formed a kind of
sacred college, and were to play the leading parts in the soon
expected, immediate social revolution, with Bakunin at their head.
(2) "The National Brethren," who were organised by the International
Brethren into a national association in every country, but who
were allowed to suspect nothing of the international organisation.
(3) Lastly came the secret international alliance, the pendant to the
public alliance, operating through the permanent Central Committee.

If the "Alliance" made rapid progress in the first year of its
existence, and quickly spread into Switzerland, the South of France,
and large parts of Spain and Italy, and even found adherents in
Belgium and Russia, this was certainly not due to the playing at
secret societies affected by the International Brethren. It is
probably not a mistake to see in the growth of the first Anarchist
organisation first and foremost a natural reaction against the stiff
rule of the London General Council; but at the same time the Anarchism
of Proudhon contained (contradictory as it may sound) in many respects
an element of moderation, and was far more adapted to the limits of
the _bourgeois_ intellect than the tendencies of the Social Democracy,
which demand a full participation in party interests and party life.
Just as we find later, so also we find now at the time of the
"Alliance," numerous elements in the Anarchist ranks belonging to the
superior artisan and lower middle class. We therefore find strong
Anarchist influences even within the "International" before the
"Alliance" flourished. Thus one of the main events of the Brussels
Congress early in September, 1868, was a proposal of Albert Richard, a
follower of Bakunin, to found a bank of mutual credit and exchange
quite after the manner of Proudhon. In the discussion upon it
prominent representatives of Anarchist ideas took part, such as
Eccarius, Tolain, and others. The Congress, however, buried the
proposed statute in its sections--the last honor for Proudhon's much
harassed project.

But in the congress of the next year the Anarchists made quite another
kind of influence felt. In the meantime the "Alliance" had been
absorbed in the "International." A first attempt of Bakunin to
affiliate the "Alliance" to the great international association of
workmen, and thereby to secure for himself a leading part in it, was a
failure. The General Council, in which the influence of the clever
agitator was evidently feared, refused in December, 1868, to associate
itself with the "Alliance." Some months later the "Alliance" again
approached the General Council upon the question of affiliation, and
declared itself ready to fulfil all its conditions. The chief of these
was the dissolution of the "Alliance" as such and the division of its
sections into those of the "International," as well as the abolition
of its secret organisation. Thereupon the Bakuninist sections were in
July, 1869, declared to be "International," although in London it was
never believed that the members of the "Alliance" would keep the
conditions. Not only the Central Committee continued as before, but
also the secret organisation and Bakunin's leadership. If the
amalgamation of both parties was at length completed, it only happened
because at this stage each was in need of the other, and perhaps
feared the other. But the very origin of the union, as will readily be
understood, did not permit it to work together very harmoniously. And,
moreover, apart from the main points of difference, there were also a
series of minor divergencies of opinion, chiefly on the subject of
tactics. The followers of Marx strove for greater centralisation of
the directorate, the Bakuninists more for the autonomy of the separate
sections. The men of the General Council eagerly urged the adoption of
universal suffrage as the most prominent means of agitation for the
purpose of proletariat emancipation; Bakunin entirely rejected any
political action, including the exercise of the suffrage, since, in
his opinion, this would only become an instrument of reaction, and
since the workers could only use their rights by force and not votes.
It will be easily understood that the result of such differences of
opinion was a sharp divergence inside the "International" between the
"Marxists" and "Bakuninists"--a divergence that became irremediable at
the Basle Congress of 1869. At this Congress the "Alliance" succeeded,
if not in securing a decisive majority, yet in obtaining sufficient
influence to give the Congress a decidedly Anarchist character.

As the first item on the programme, the Belgian Proudhonist, De Pæpe,
proposed to the Congress to declare (1) that society had the right to
abolish individual ownership in the land, and give it back to the
community; (2) that it was necessary to make the land common property.
Albert Richard vehemently opposed individual ownership as the source
of all social inequalities and all poverty. "It arose from force and
from unlawful seizure, and it must disappear: and property in land
must be regulated by the federally organised communes." Bakunin
himself supported De Pæpe's proposal; but it is not hard to understand
that opposition made itself felt in the Anarchist ranks. Several
pronounced Anarchists, especially Murat and Tolain, supported
individual property with great decision and warmth. Nevertheless De
Pæpe's Collectivist proposal was accepted by fifty-four (or
fifty-three) votes to four.

But the Bakuninists did not gain the same success in the next
question, concerning the right of inheritance. This was a question
quite characteristic of Bakunin. The proposal ran:

"In consideration of the fact that inheritance as an inseparable
element in individual ownership contributes to the alienation of
property in land and of social riches for the benefit of the few and
the hurt of the majority; that consequently inheritance hinders land
and social wealth from becoming common property: that, on the other
hand, inheritance, however limited its operation may be, forms a
privilege, the greater or lesser importance of which does not remove
injustice, and continually threatens social rights; that, further,
inheritance, whether it appears either in politics or economics, forms
an essential element in all inequalities, because it hinders the
individual having the same means of moral and material development;
considering, finally, that the Congress has pronounced in favour of
collective property in land, and that this declaration would be
illogical if it were not strengthened by this following declaration:
the Congress recognises that inheritance must be completely and
absolutely abolished, and its abolition is one of the most necessary
conditions of the emancipation of labour."

One might have believed that a congress which had calmly agreed to the
abolition of individual property in land could have no objection to
make to the abolition of such an "unequal" and "feudal" institution as
inheritance. But it appears that it was desired to let Bakunin (whose
hobby the struggle against inheritance was well known to be) plainly
see that the Congress wished to have none of him, although they had
not ventured to oppose the views of his adherents upon the far more
important question. The proposal only received thirty-two votes for
it, twenty-three against it, and seventeen delegates refrained from
voting. Therefore the resolution was lost, since it could not obtain a
decisive majority.

This procedure of the Basle Congress was calculated to embitter both
parties. Open rupture could not be long delayed. Already, at the
Romance Congress[1] at Chaux-de-Fonds on April 4, 1870, the admission
of the Bakuninist sections had raised a veritable storm--twenty-one
delegates voting for the admission, and eighteen against it, and the
latter withdrew immediately from the Congress in consequence of the
decision. Nevertheless, at this Congress Bakunin's views practically
prevailed, for the Congress declared in favour of taking part in
politics, and putting up working-men candidates at elections as a
means of agitation.

    [1] The first groups of the "International" in the
    Romance-speaking portions of Switzerland had increased so
    quickly that at a congress in Geneva in 1869 they united
    themselves into a league of their own, the "Romance
    Federation," in harmony with the "International," to which
    members of the "Alliance" and Marxists belonged in almost
    equal numbers.

The day on which the Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris (the 4th
September, 1870) was considered by the "Alliance" to be the right
moment "to unchain the hydra of Revolution." This was first done in
Switzerland, where manifestoes were issued calling to the formation of
a free corps against the Prussians. The manifestoes were seized, and
the head of the revolutionary hydra cut off, as far as Switzerland was
concerned. On September 28th, Bakunin tried to organise a riot at
Lyons. Albert Richard, Bastelica, and Gaspard Blanc began it; the mob
took possession of the Town Hall; Bakunin installed himself there, and
decreed "abolition of the State." He had perhaps hoped that the
example of Lyons would encourage other cities in the circumstances
then prevailing, and these would likewise declare themselves to be
free communes, and the State to be abolished. But the State,--as the
opponents of the "Alliance" maliciously said,--in the shape of two
companies of the National Guard, found a way into Lyons through a gate
which the rioters had forgotten to watch, swept the Anarchists out of
the Town Hall, and caused Bakunin to seek his way back to Geneva in
great haste.

This intermezzo, the only historical moment which the "Alliance" had,
did not, of course, contribute to strengthen any friendship between
the Bakuninists and Marxists. The latter had a suitable excuse for
shaking off Bakunin, and making the Anarchists subservient to them. In
the conference at London (September, 1871) the sections of the Jura
were recommended to join the "Romance Union," and in case this was not
done, the conference determined the mountain sections should unite
into the Jurassic Federation. The conference passed a severe
resolution against Bakunin's tactics, and a resolution against
Netschajew's proceedings was also really directed against the leader
of the "Alliance."

Bakunin was right in taking this as a declaration of war, and his
followers accepted the challenge. On November 12, 1871, the Jura
sections met at a congress in Souvillier, in which they certainly
accepted the name "Jurassic Union," but declared the "Romance Union"
to be dissolved; appealed against the decisions of the London
Conference as well as against their legality, and appealed to a
general congress, to be called immediately.

These endless disputes came to a climax at the congress held at The
Hague in 1872, when Bakunin was excluded from the "International";
whereupon the Anarchist sections finally separated from the Social
Democrats, and in the same year called an "International Labour
Congress" at St. Imier. Here a provisional union of "Anti-Authority
Socialists" was resolved upon, and it was decided (1) that the
annihilation of every political power was the first duty of the
proletariat; (2) that every organisation of the political power, both
provisory and revolutionary, was merely a delusion, and was as
dangerous for the proletariat as any of the Governments now existing.
In the following year, 1873, another congress took place at Geneva,
which founded a new "International," which placed all power completely
in the hands of the sections, while the "Bureau" only was to serve as
a link between the autonomous unions, and to give information.

This first international Anarchist organisation never became of
practical importance; only the "Jurassic Union" formed for almost ten
years a much feared centre of Anarchism in Romance-speaking
Switzerland and Southern France. Indeed it became the cradle of the
"Anarchism of action" generally. "The Jura Federation,"[2] wrote
Kropotkin, "has played a most important part in the development of the
revolutionary idea. If, in speaking of Anarchy to-day, we can say that
there are three thousand Anarchists in Lyons, and five thousand in the
valley of the Rhone, and several thousands in the South, that is the
work mainly of the Jura Federation. Indeed I must ask, How was this
possible? Is Anarchy in Europe only ten years old? Of course the
_Zeitgeist_ has carried us along with it; but this was first openly
manifest in a group, the Jura Federation, which thus must gain credit
for it." The Jurassic Union was in fact the Anarchist party. The head
and soul of this union was the Bakuninist, Paul Brousse, a zealous and
reckless Anarchist and clever journalist, who in his paper
_Avantgarde_ was one of the first to preach the "propaganda of
action." In December, 1878, this paper was suppressed by the Swiss
Government because it had approved the attempts of Hödel and Nobeling.
Brousse himself was arrested and condemned to two months' imprisonment
and ten years' banishment, but after undergoing his imprisonment he
completely gave up Anarchism. Kropotkin, who had already helped him
with the _Avantgarde_, took his place, and founded in Geneva the
_Révolte_, directing with a feverish activity the work originally
begun by Bakunin into new channels, and afterwards doing so from

    [2] _Révolte_, July 8, 1862.

In the year 1876 the French Anarchists at the congress at Lausanne had
finally separated themselves from every party, by declaring the
Parisian Commune to be only another form of government by authority.
The congress of 1878 at Freiburg was of similar importance. Elisée
Reclus moved for the appointment of a commission, which was to
answer the following questions: (1) "Why we are revolutionaries";
(2) "Why we are Anarchists"; (3) "Why we are Collectivists." "We are
revolutionaries," said Reclus, "because we desire justice. Progress
has never been marked by mere peaceful development; it has always been
called forth by a sudden resolution. We are Anarchists, and as such
recognise no master. Morality resides only in freedom. We are
international Collectivists, because we perceive that an existence
without social grouping is impossible." The Congress accepted Reclus's
motion, and decided (1) in favour of the general appropriation of
social wealth; (2) for the abolition of the State in any form, even in
that of a so-called central point of public administration. Further,
the Congress declared in favour of the propaganda of theory, of
insurrectionary and revolutionary activity, and against universal
suffrage, since this was not adapted to secure the sovereignty of the

At a congress held in the following year (1879) at Chaux-de-Fonds,
Kropotkin definitely urged the policy of the propaganda of action, and
the Anarchist Labour Congress at Marseilles in the same year declared
itself unhesitatingly in favour of universal expropriation. At the
next Swiss Anarchist Congress in 1880 Kropotkin finally demanded the
abolition of the term "Collectivism" which had hitherto been retained,
and proposed to replace it by the term "Anarchist Communism."

Here we can see, even upon a point of theory, the deep divergence
which was proceeding at this time. Hitherto Anarchism--and at least in
this first period of its development we can speak of a party--has
proceeded quite on the lines of Proudhon's Collectivism. Its main
representative is the "Alliance," or rather Michael Bakunin, and after
him the Jurassic Federation. This period is, with the exception of a
few revolutionary attempts, free from outrage and crime. But all this
was changed at the London Congress. Before speaking of this, however,
we must just glance at the branches of the "Alliance" in Spain, Italy,
and elsewhere.

The Italian peninsula has always been one of the chief centres of
Anarchism. It has been said that this is the fault of the weakness and
deficiency of the police, although the Italian Government repeatedly,
both in 1866 and 1876, and again recently, has required and supported
the strengthening of the executive power in every possible way against
certain phenomena of political and social passion. The police alone,
whether zealous or lax, is here, as elsewhere, only the most
subordinate factor in history. But if we remember the proletariat that
swarms in the numerous cities of Italy, in its economic misery and
moral degradation; if we consider the peculiar tendency of this nation
towards political crime and the paraphernalia of secret conspiracy; if
we remember the days of the Carbonari, the Black Brothers, the
Acoltellatori, and others,--we shall find in Italy, quite apart from
the police and their work, sufficient other reasons for the growth of

During the war of independence, revolutionary literature in general,
and especially the works of Herzen and Michael Bakunin, had a great
sale among the younger generation, and so it came to pass that the
idea of nationalism was imperceptibly fostered by Socialist and
Nihilist influences. The leading part taken by a number of Italian
revolutionaries, especially Cipriani,--afterwards the leader of the
Apennine Anarchists,--in the Commune of 1871, contributed very
considerably to promote Socialist demagogy in the revolutionary
centres of Italy, in the Romagna, and the Marches. Closer contact with
Bakunin proved to be the decisive touch.

In those memorable days when the "International" separated into two
heterogeneous parts, we already find the majority of the Italian
Socialists adopting the standpoint of Bakunin; indeed the Italians,
even before the Hague Congress, took sides in favour of Bakunin
against the "Authority-Communists" of Marx. This first Anarchist
movement became no more important in Italy than elsewhere, and an
attempt at riot in April, 1877, near Benevento, headed by Cafiero and
Malatesta, gave an impression of childishness and comicality rather
than of menace. It was put down by a handful of soldiers; Malatesta
and Cafiero were taken prisoners, but set free. The severe repressive
measures afterwards adopted by the Government kept Anarchism down for
some time.

In Spain, also, at the beginning of the seventies, there was--as was
the case with all the Romance countries--a strong Bakuninist party,
which was said to have amounted to 50,000 men in 1873. During the
Federalist risings the Anarchists made common cause with the
Intransigeants, and succeeded in taking possession of several cities
for a short time. Their successes, however, did not last long, and
they were only able to hold out till 1874 in New Carthagena, where
they had finally to surrender after a regular siege by the Government
troops. The Anarchist societies and newspapers were suppressed, and
the severest measures taken against Anarchists, which only roused them
to the most sanguinary form of propaganda. The Anarchists declared
that if they were to be treated as wild beasts, they would act as
such, and cause death and destruction to the Government and to any
existing form of society at any time, in any place, and by any means.

In Belgium about this period there was also a great increase of
Proudhonish Anarchism, which, later on, as in Switzerland, Italy, and
Spain, attached itself to Bakunin, and at the congress at The Hague
formed the centre of the opposition to the Marxists. The rapid growth
of Social Democracy in Belgium during the second half of the seventies
almost extinguished Anarchism there.

       *       *       *       *       *

If we wish to characterise briefly this first period of the Anarchism
of action, a period terminated decisively by the year 1880, we should
define it as the process of separation between the Socialist and the
Anarchist tendency. Karl Marx, who had already come into opposition
with the "Father of Anarchism," and had attacked his "philosophy of
want" with the bitter criticism of "want of philosophy," noted the far
greater danger which threatened Socialism from the clever agitator
Bakunin, and entered into a life-and-death struggle against him.
Although there was a large personal element in this conflict, it was
really more than a personal struggle between two opponents. There was
a deep division among the proletariat themselves, separating
them--unconsciously for the most part--into two great and
irreconcilable camps; the first battle had been fought, and the result
was decidedly not in favour of the Anarchists. Towards the end of the
seventies we notice everywhere, except perhaps in France, where social
parties were strongly marked, a remarkable retrogression in Anarchism.
It appeared as if, after playing the part of an episode, it was to
disappear from the political stage.

In view of the fact that the history both of practical and theoretical
Anarchism is a history pure and simple of the most violent opposition
to Social Democracy inside its own camp, it shows both ignorance and
unfairness to make Socialists bear the blame of Anarchist propaganda.
It is undeniable that Anarchism can only flourish where Socialism is
generally prevalent. But that does not imply much, and no special
wisdom is needed to find the reason for this phenomenon. But that is
all. It is just as indisputable a fact, that Anarchism only flourishes
where Social Democracy is feeble, divided, and weak, and that it
always is unsuccessful in its efforts where the Social Democratic
party is strong and united, as in Germany. All attempts to plant
Anarchism in Germany have failed, not because of the preventive and
repressive measures of the Government, but because of the strength of
the party of Social Democracy. In England where there is a Socialist
movement among the working classes, with a definite aim, Anarchism has
remained merely an imported article; in Austria both parties have for
years fought fiercely, and in proportion as one rises the other sinks.
In Italy there are notorious centres of the Anarchism of action in
Leghorn, Lugo, Forli, Rome, and Sicily. In Milan and Turin, where
Social Democracy has established itself on the German pattern, and
has great influence among the lower classes, there are hardly any
"Anarchists of action." On the other hand, France, where the Socialist
party by being broken up into numerous small fragments is condemned to
lose its influence, is the headquarters of Anarchism. But anyone who
is not satisfied with these facts need only look at the causes of the
most significant turning-points which the history of modern Anarchism
has to offer, the London Congress of 1881, when the Anarchism of
action raised its Gorgon head, officially adopted the programme of the
propaganda of action, when the system of groups in every country was
accepted, and that era of outrages began which, instead of promoting
the work of the self-improvement of society, rather alienates it under
the pressure of a dreadful terrorism. To-day a small group, which in
number hardly equals a single one of the famous twelve nationalities
of Austria, has succeeded in making the whole world talk of them,
while the parliaments of every nation pass their laws with reference
to this group, and often in aiming their blows against Anarchists
strike those who are merely followers of a natural evolution.

And, it may be asked, On what day or by what act was so fortunate a
chance offered to Anarchism? The occasion was the German Socialist
law. This fact is indisputable.

It was only in the natural order of things that, in 1878, when the
German policy of force happened partially to paralyse the legal
agitation of the Social Democrats by exceptional legislation, a
radical group arose among the Socialist working classes which, led by
the agitator Most, always an extremist, and Hasselmann, drew from
these circumstances the lesson that now, being excluded from
constitutional agitation, they must devote all their powers to prepare
for revolution. This preparation, Most declared, should consist in the
arming of all Socialists, energetic secret agitation to excite the
masses, and, above all, revolutionary acts and outrages. The agitation
was to be carried on by quite small groups of at most five men. Like
Bakunin, Most, who, on being expelled from Berlin early in 1879,
emigrated to London, where he founded his journal _Freedom_, had gone
on in advance of the general Socialist movement, and for a time
proceeded with it; but, like Bakunin too, he had been disowned and
violently attacked by the Social Democratic party, when he showed the
Anarchist in him so openly. The immediate consequence of Most and
Hasselmann's programme was the formal expulsion of both agitators from
the party by the secret congress at Wyden, near Ossingen, in

But just because of the disposition engendered by the Socialist law,
this decision was quite powerless to stifle the Most and Hasselmann
movement. On the contrary, Most's following grew from day to day,
aided in no small degree by his paper _Freedom_, written in the
glowing language of the demagogue, and now calling itself openly an
"Anarchist organ." When Most came to London, he soon took the lead of
the "Social Democratic Working Men's Club," then a thousand strong,
the majority of which, after the separation of the more moderate
members who did not like the new programme, went over to Most's side.
From these adherents Most formed an organisation of the "United
Socialists," in which the "International" was to be revived again upon
the most radical basis. The seat of this organisation was to be
London, and from thence a Central Committee of seven persons was to
look after the linking together of revolutionary societies abroad.
Side by side with this public organisation, Most formed a secret
"Propagandist Club," to carry on an international revolutionary
agitation and to prepare directly for the general revolution which
Most thought was near at hand. For this purpose a committee was to be
formed in every country in order to form groups after the Nihilist
pattern, and at the proper time to take the lead of the movement. The
activity of all these national organisations was to be united in the
Central Committee in London, which was an international body. The
organ of the organisation was to be the _Freedom_. The following of
this new movement grew rapidly in every country, and already in 1881 a
great demonstration of Most's ideas took place at the memorable
International Revolutionary Congress in London, the holding of which
was mainly due to the initiative of Most and the well-known Nihilist,

Already, in April, 1881, a preliminary congress had been held in
Paris, at which the procedure of the "parliamentary Socialists" had
been rejected, since only a social revolution was regarded as a
remedy; in the struggle against present-day society all and any means
were looked upon as right and justifiable; and in view of this the
distribution of leaflets, the sending of emissaries, and the use of
explosives were recommended. A German living in London had proposed an
amendment involving the forcible removal of all potentates after the
manner of the assassination of the Russian Czar, but this was rejected
as "at present not yet suitable." The congress following this
preliminary one took place in London on July 14 to 19, 1881, and was
attended by about forty delegates, the representatives of several
hundred groups.

"The revolutionaries of all countries are uniting into an
'International Social Revolutionary Working Men's Association' for the
purpose of a social revolution. The headquarters of the Association is
at London, and sub-committees are formed in Paris, Geneva, and New
York. In every place where like-minded supporters exist, sections and
an executive committee of three persons are to be formed. The
committees of a country are to keep up with one another, and with the
Central Committee, regular communication by means of continual reports
and information, and have to collect money 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 committee of international
composition and an information bureau, whose duty is to carry out the
decisions of the chief committee and to conduct correspondence."

This Congress and the decisions passed thereat had very far-reaching
and fateful consequences for the development of the Anarchism of
action. The executive committee set to work at once, and sought to
carry out every point of the proposed programme, but especially to
utilise for purposes of demonstration and for feverish agitation every
revolutionary movement of whatever origin or tendency it might be,
whether proceeding from Russian Nihilism or Irish Fenianism. How
successful their activity was, was proved only too well by now
unceasing outrages in every country.

The London Congress operated as a beacon of fire; scarcely had it
uttered its terrible concluding words when it found in all parts of
Europe an echo multiplied a thousand-fold. Anarchism, which was
thought to be dead, celebrated a dread resurrection, and in places
where it had never existed it suddenly raised its Gorgon head aloft.
The reason is mainly to be found in the fact that all the numerous
radical-social elements which had not agreed with the tactics of the
Social Democrats in view of Government prosecutions, now adopted
Most's programme without asking in the least what the Anarchist theory
was or whether they believed in it. The two catchwords of the
Anarchism of action, Communism and Anarchy, did not fail to have
their usual effect upon the most radical and confused elements of
discontent. Communism is, to speak plainly, only "the absolute
average"; and as there are large numbers of men who fall even below
the average both mentally, morally, and materially, Communism can have
at any time nothing terrible in it for these people, and even
represents to them a highly desirable Eldorado. Collectivism is the
impractical invention of a man of genius, that may be compared to a
mechanical invention that consists of so many screws, wheels, and
springs that it never can be set going. But Communism seems an easy
expedient for the average man; it can always reckon upon a public;
certainly one is always to be found. By Anarchy, of course, the mob
understands always only its own dictatorship, and this remedy, too,
always has a great attraction for the uneducated masses. But as
regards the tactics commended by the London Congress, it was
completely adapted to the mental capacities of the representatives of
"darkest Europe." The "new movement" could thus count upon success,
especially as skilful agitators like Kropotkin, Most, Penkert,
Gautier, and others devoted to it all their remarkable powers. This
success was gained with surprising rapidity.

In Paris in 1880 Anarchism was almost extinguished; its organ, the
_Révolution Sociale_, had to cease when Andrieux, the Prefect of
Police, who had supplied it with money, left his appointment, and
supplies were stopped. The party was disorganised both in Paris and
the provinces, and the Jurassic Federation was nearly extinct.
Immediately after the London Congress, the "Revolutionary
International League" was established, an active intercommunication
was kept up with London, and an eager agitation was developed. In
consequence, however, of the strong opposition of the other
Socialists, this League remained weak, and scarcely numbered a hundred
members. On the other hand, Anarchism increased all the more in the
great industrial centres of the provinces. In the South were founded
the _Féderation Lyonnaise_ and the _Féderation Stéphanoise_, which,
especially after Kropotkin took over the leadership and cleverly took
advantage of the discords prevailing among other Socialists (_e. g._,
at the congress of St. Etienne), made astonishing progress in Lyons,
the main centre of the movement, St. Etienne, Roanne, Narbonne, Nîmes,
Bordeaux, and other places. According to Kropotkin, these unions
already numbered in a year's time 8000 members. In Lyons they
possessed an organ, which, like Most's _Freedom_, appeared under all
kinds of titles in order to elude the police, and which openly
advocated outrages and gave recipes for the manufacture of explosives.

The consequences of this unchecked agitation soon became visible. The
first opportunity was given by the great strikes which broke out at
the beginning of 1882 in Roanne, Bezières, Molières, and other
industrial centres of Southern France, and were used by the Anarchists
for their own purposes. A workman, Fournier, who shot his employer in
the open street, was honoured in Lyons by the summoning of a meeting
to present him with a presentation revolver. For the national fête on
the 14th July, 1882, a larger riot was planned to take place in Paris,
for which purpose help was also sought from London. But as there
happened to be a review of troops in Paris on that date, the
Anarchists contented themselves with issuing a manifesto "to the
Slaves of Labour," concluding with the words: "No Fêtes! Death to the
Exploiters of Labour! Long Live the Social Revolution!" In autumn,
1882, riots broke out in Montceau-les-Mines and Lyons, in which
violent means were employed, including dynamite. Next spring (March,
1883), there and in Paris great demonstrations of the "unemployed"
took place in the streets, combined with robbery and dynamite
outrages, and on July 14th there were sanguinary encounters with the
armed forces of the State in Roubaix and elsewhere, when the populace
was incited to arise 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 imprisonment."

The French Government now thought it no longer possible to look on
quietly at these proceedings, and sought to secure the agitators,
which proved no light task. Of the fourteen prisoners accused of
complicity in the riots of Montceau-les-Mines, only nine were
condemned to terms of imprisonment of one to five years or less
important counts. On the other hand, at the Lyons trial of 19th
January, 1883, only three out of sixty-six were acquitted; the
others, including Kropotkin, his follower Gautier, a brilliant orator
and fanatical propagandist, Bordas, Bernard, and others, were
condemned to imprisonment with the full penalty on the strength of
the law of March 14, 1872, against the "International." Almost
all the accused, including Kropotkin, openly confessed that both
intellectually and in deed they were the originators of the excesses
at Lyons and Montceau-les-Mines, and that they were Anarchists, but
denied the existence of an international organisation, and protested
against the application of the law of the 14th March, 1872.

Similarly the Government succeeded in securing the ringleaders of the
demonstrations in Paris. At the same time the Government endeavoured
to check the Anarchist agitation by administrative methods; but
nothing could stay the progress of the new movement that had started
since the London Congress. France is the headquarters of Anarchism,
Paris contains its leading journals, over all France there exists a
network of groups; the propaganda of action here celebrated its
saddest triumphs, as is only too well shown by the cases of Ravachol,
Henry, and Caserio.

Switzerland, the original home of the Anarchism of action, now gives
rise to but little comment. Immediately after the London Congress
Kropotkin developed his most active agitation in the old Anarchist
centre, the Lake of Geneva district. On July 4, 1882, at Lausanne, at
an annual congress of some thirty delegates, Kropotkin estimated the
number of his adherents at two thousand. Lausanne Congress adopted
the same attitude as the London Congress, and took the opportunity on
the occasion of the international musical festival at Geneva, August
12 to 14, 1882, to hold a secret international congress there. At this
the question of the separation of the Anarchists from every other
party was discussed. As a matter of fact this separation had long
since taken place; the long-drawn struggle between Marxists and
Bakuninists had caused a complete division between the Social
Democrats and Anarchists; latterly even the adherents of Collectivism,
the Possibilists, and other groups had separated from the Anarchists;
and thus the Geneva Congress merely gave expression to the complete
individualisation of the new movement, and it was decided to make the
new programme officially known in a manifesto. This manifesto ran:

"Our ruler is our enemy. We Anarchists, _i. e._, men without any
rulers, fight against all those who have usurped any power, or who
wish to usurp it. Our enemy is the owner who keeps the land for
himself, and makes the peasant work for his advantage. Our enemy is
the manufacturer who fills his factory with wage-slaves; our enemy is
the State, whether monarchical, oligarchical, or democratic, with its
officials and staff of officers, magistrates, and police spies. Our
enemy is every thought of authority, whether men call it God or devil,
in whose name the priests have so long ruled honest people. Our enemy
is the law which always oppresses the weak by the strong, to the
justification and apotheosis of crime. But if the landowners, the
manufacturers, the heads of the State, the priests, and the law are
our enemies, we are also theirs, and we boldly oppose them. We intend
to reconquer the land and the factory from the landowner and the
manufacturer; we mean to annihilate the State, under whatever name it
may be concealed; and we mean to get our freedom back again in spite
of priest or law. According to our strength, we will work for the
annihilation of all legal institutions, and are in accord with
everyone who defies the law by a revolutionary act. We despise all
legal means because they are the negation of our rights; we do not
want so-called universal suffrage, since we cannot get away from our
own personal sovereignty, and cannot make ourselves accomplices in the
crimes committed by our so-called representatives. Between us
Anarchists and all political parties, whether Conservatives or
Moderates, whether they fight for freedom or recognise it by their
admissions, a deep gulf is fixed. We wish to remain our own masters
and he among us who strives to become a chief or leader is a traitor
to our cause. Of course we know that individual freedom cannot exist
without a union with other free associates. We all live by the support
one of another, that is the social life which has created us, that is
the work of all, which gives to each the consciousness of his rights
and the power to defend them. Every social product is the work of the
whole community, to which all have a claim in equal manner. For we are
Communists; we recognise that unless patrimonial, communal,
provincial, and national limits are abolished, the work must be begun
anew. It is ours to conquer and defend common property, and to
overthrow governments by whatever name they may be called."

In spite of the severe repressive measures taken against the Swiss
Anarchists in consequence of the outrages in the south of France, in
which they were rightly supposed to be implicated, they held their
annual congress from July 7 to 9, 1883, at Chaux-de-Fonds, at which
the establishment of an international fund "for the sacrifice of the
reactionary _bourgeoisie_," the disadvantage from the Anarchist
standpoint of a union of revolutionary groups, and the necessity of
the propaganda of action were decided upon.

The beginnings of German Anarchism in Switzerland date from the
characteristic year 1880, when the division among German Socialists
(arising from Most's influence) was felt among the Swiss working
classes also. In the summer of 1880 Most himself was in Switzerland,
and succeeded in collecting round him a small following, which, as
early as October, felt itself strong enough to hold on the Lake of
Geneva a sort of opposition congress to the one at Wyden, in order to
declare its decisions null and void. At the same time the _Freedom_
was recognised as the organ of the party. The London Congress gave a
new impulse to the agitation. Proceedings were at once taken to
realise in Switzerland the London programme; groups were formed,
and connection made between them by special correspondents
(_trimardeurs_), a propaganda fund established, and messages sent to
Germany inciting to commit outrages as opportunity offered. In
consequence of this active agitation, the Anarchist groups in France
and N. E. Switzerland continually increased, and when in 1883 Most's
_Freedom_ no longer could be published in London, it appeared in
Switzerland under the editorship of Stellmacher, who was afterwards
executed in Vienna, until Most, after performing his sentence of
imprisonment in London, transferred it with him to New York. In this
year (1883) the growth of Anarchism was so rapid that its adherents
even succeeded in gaining the majority in many of the German
working-men's clubs or in breaking them up. In August, 1883, the
Anarchists held a secret conference in Zürich, which declared Most's
system of groups to be satisfactory; drew up a new plan for extending,
as far as possible and with all possible safety, the spread of
Anarchist literature; and considered the establishment of a secret
printing-press. The activity of the Swiss Anarchists consisted mainly
in smuggling Anarchist literature into Germany and Austria, while the
Jurassic Federation again concerned itself chiefly with doing the same
for Southern France. Both parties now had the most friendly relations
one with another.

Swiss Anarchism leads us directly to Germany and Austria. Germany may
be termed the most free from Anarchists of any country in Europe. In
the seventies a few groups had been founded here from Switzerland, and
by means of the _Arbeiterzeitung_ (_Working-Mens' Journal_), appearing
in Bern, and conducted by Reinsdorf, a former compositor and
enthusiastic agitator, an attempt was made to convert the working
classes of Germany to Anarchism. But owing to the strength of Social
Democracy in this country, all Reinsdorf's efforts at agitation were
in vain. Even the superior skill of Johann Most could only produce
very feeble and transitory results. When he openly professed
Anarchism, and was expelled from the Social Democratic party, a small
following remained to him in Germany; but in the German Empire only a
dozen or so groups were formed (chiefly in Berlin and Hamburg) which
adopted Most's programme; but their numbers did not rise above two
hundred, and they remained quite unimportant.

The effects, however, of Most's agitation in Switzerland were all the
more strongly felt in Austria, the classic land of political
immaturity and insecurity. To-day the Austrian Empire is almost free
from Anarchists; other elements have come to take up the _rôle_ of
fishing in troubled waters. But at the time of the general increase of
Anarchism, after the London Congress, Austria-Hungary was one of the
strongholds of Anarchism. A former house painter, Josef Penkert, a man
who had given himself a very fair education by his own efforts, and
was Most's most eager pupil, conducted the agitation in Vienna and
Pesth. Groups sprang up, and the agitation was so strong that the new
Social Democratic party was soon relegated to the background.
Everywhere Anarchist papers arose--in Vienna the _Zukunft_ (_Future_)
and the _Delnicke Listy_, in Reichenberg the _Radical_, in Prague the
_Socialist_ and the _Communist_, in Lemberg the _Praca_, in Cracow the
_Robotnik_ and the _Przedswit_, imported from Switzerland. The chief
organs of Austrian Anarchism, however, flourished on the other side of
the river Leitha, where the press laws were interpreted more liberally
than in the west of the kingdom. In Hungary there were numerous
Anarchist journals, some of which, like the Pesth _Socialist_,
preached the most sanguinary and merciless propaganda. This was acted
upon in Vienna, under the guidance of Penkert, Stellmacher, and
Kammerer, in such a way that Most's _Freedom_, which was smuggled in
in large quantities, was delighted at it. In 1881 Anarchist meetings
had collisions with the authorities. The money for the agitation was
obtained by robbery, as the trial of Merstallinger proved. The most
prominent Anarchist speakers were examined judicially in consequence
of this trial, which took place in March, 1882, but had to be
acquitted, which naturally only increased the confidence of the
propagandists. The Socialists succeeded no better in making headway
against this rapidly increasing movement. The "General Workmen's
Conference," sitting at Brünn on the 15th and 16th of October, 1882,
certainly passed an open vote of want of confidence against the
Anarchist minority, but a resolution to the effect that
Merstallinger's offence was a common crime, that the tactics preached
by the Anarchists ought to be rejected as unworthy of Social
Democrats, and that all adherents of such tactics were to be regarded
as enemies and traitors to the people--this was rejected after a hot
debate. All this naturally increased the confidence and recklessness
of the Anarchist agitation. Secret printing-presses were busily
engaged spreading incendiary literature, which advocated the murder of
police officials and explained the tactics suitable for this purpose.
On the 26th and 27th October, 1883, at a secret conference at Lang
Enzersdorf, 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 programme 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, Penkert
escaped to England, most of the other agitators were fast in prison,
the journals were suppressed and the groups broken up. The same
occurred in Hungary, which had only followed the fashion in Austria,
for in Hungary the social question is by no means so acute and the
public movement in it is merely political.

At present Anarchism in Germany and Austria is confined to an (at
most) harmless doctrinaireism, and it will be well to accept with
great reserve any statements to the contrary; for neither those who
were condemned at the last Anarchist trial at Vienna, nor the Bohemian
Anarchist and Omladinist trials, nor the suspected persons who have
recently migrated to Germany, appear to have been more than half
conscious of Anarchism, nor do they appear to have had any
international associations.

In Belgium, also, after the passing of the German Socialist laws, a
difference of opinion became manifest among the working classes, which
gave new life to Anarchism, almost extinct as it was at the end of the
seventies. The "German Reading Union" in Brussels split into two
parties, the more radical of which was filled with Most's ideas and
eagerly agitated for the dissemination of his _Freedom_. As this
radical tendency had found many supporters among the German
Socialists, it made itself noticeable at the Brussels Congress of
1880. The keener became the struggle between the Most-Hasselmann and
the Bebel-Liebknecht parties, the more sharply defined became the
opposition in the ranks of the Belgian working classes. The Radicals
united into a "Union Révolutionnaire"; founded their own party organ,
_La Persévérance_, at Verviers; and declared themselves in favour of
the London Congress as against that at Coire. The others held
quarterly advisory congresses at Brussels, Verviers, and Ceresmes, at
which it was agreed to revive the "International Working-Men's
Association" on a revolutionary basis and not to limit the various
groups in their autonomy. These meetings also adopted the resolution
which the German members in Brussels had suggested about the
employment of explosives. But in spite of the active agitation, and
the founding of the "Republican League" to show the activity of the
Anarchists as opposed to the Socialist "Electoral Reform League,"
Anarchism in Belgium made no progress, mainly on account of internal
dissension, and the annual congress arranged for 1882 did not even
take place. In spite of the most active propaganda, circumstances have
not altered in Belgium during the last ten years. We must be careful
not to set down to the Anarchists the repeated dynamite outrages which
are so common during the great strikes in Belgium, although in certain
isolated cases, as in the dynamite affair at Gomshoren, near Brussels,
in 1883, the hand of the Anarchists cannot be mistaken.

England, the ancient refuge of political offenders, although it has
sheltered Bakunin, Kropotkin, Reclus, Most, Penkert, Louise Michel,
Cafiero, Malatesta, and other Anarchist leaders, and still shelters
some of them; although London is rich in Anarchist clubs and
newspapers, meetings and congresses, yet possesses no Anarchism
"native to the soil," and has formed at all times rather a kind of
exchange or market-place for Anarchist ideas, motive forces, and the
literature of agitation. London is especially the headquarters of
German Anarchism; the English working classes have, however, always
regarded their ideas very coldly, while the Government have always
regarded the eccentric proceedings of the Anarchists, as long as they
confined themselves merely to talking and writing, in the most logical
spirit of the doctrine of _laisser faire_. Certainly, when Most went a
little too far in his _Freedom_, the full power of the English law was
put in motion against him, and condemned him on one occasion to
sixteen, and on another to eighteen months' imprisonment with hard
labour. But of greater effect than this punishment was the fact that
in all London no printer could be found to set up the type for
_Freedom_. Thereupon Most left thankless Old England grumbling, and
went to the New World, where, however, he was, if possible, taken even
less seriously.

Spain was the only country where Anarchism, even under the new impulse
of the London Congress, really kept in the main to its old
Collectivist principles. In consequence of the movement proceeding
from the London Congress, the Spanish Anarchists called a national
congress at Barcelona on September 24 and 25, 1881, at which, in the
presence of one hundred and forty delegates, a programme and statutes
of organisation were drawn up and a "Spanish Federation of the
International Working-Men's Association" was founded. Its aim was to
be the political, economic, and social emancipation of all the working
classes by the establishment of a form of society founded upon a
Collectivist basis, and guaranteeing the unconditional autonomy of the
free and federally united communes. The only means of reaching this
aim was declared to be a revolutionary upheaval carried out by force.
The organisation sketched out at the Barcelona Congress is quite in
Proudhon's spirit; the arrangement of its members was to be a double
one, both by trades and districts, and both divisions had mutually to
enlarge each other. The basis of the trade organisation was to be
formed by the single local groups; these were to be united into local
associations, these into provincial associations, and these again into
a national association, the "Union." Monthly, quarterly, and yearly
conferences, and the committees attached to them, were to form the
decisive and executive organs of these associations. Parallel with the
arrangement by trades was to be the territorial arrangement, all the
local trade associations of the same district being formed into one
united local association, this again into provincial associations,
these into the national association of the whole country, _i. e._,
into the "Federation"; and here again local, provincial, and national
congresses performed all executive functions as local, provincial, and
national committees. The National Committee established by the
Congress developed immediately an active agitation, so that at the
next congress at Seville (24th to 26th September, 1883), attended by
254 delegates, the Federation numbered already 10 provincial, 200
local unions, and 632 sections, with 50,000 members. Their organ, the
_Revista Social_, which appeared in Madrid, possessed about 10,000
subscribers, although besides this there were several local journals.

But this rapid growth of the Anarchist movement in Spain was followed
by a retrogression, mainly caused by the increased severity of the
measures taken by the Government in consequence of the terrorism
created by the Andalusian secret society of "The Black Hand" (Mano
Negra), and proceedings were taken against the Anarchists. Their
examination, however, failed to reveal the supposed connection between
the Mano Negra and Anarchism, and the Anarchists, who had been
arrested wholesale, had to be acquitted. The Federation itself had
expressed to every society its disapproval of the "secret actions of
those assassins," and had pointed to the legality and public nature of
their organisation and agitation, as well as to their statutes, which
had received the approval of the authorities. The congress at Valencia
(1883) repeated this declaration. Henceforth Spanish Anarchism
proceeded on peaceful lines, and only in the last few years did it
have recourse to force after the example of the French, as, _e. g._,
in the attack on Campos, and the outrage in the Liceo Theatre at

As to Italy, here also after 1880 Anarchism awoke to new life, as it
did everywhere else, and at the same time broke finally with the
Democratic Socialists. In December, 1886, the Anarchists held a secret
congress at Chiasso, at which fifteen delegates of cities of North
Italy took part. These professed Anarchist Communism, viewed with
horror any division _au choix_, and recommended "the use of every
favorable opportunity for seriously disturbing public order." In
agreement with this the Italians, represented by Cafiero and
Malatesta, took part in the London Congress in the following year. On
their return these two men developed an active agitation, and began a
bitter campaign against the moderate Socialists, especially when their
leader Costa was elected to Parliament, which the Anarchists regarded
as a betrayal of the proletariat to the _bourgeoisie_. In the year
1883 Malatesta was arrested at Florence, and, with several companions,
condemned by the royal courts, on February 1, 1884, to several years'
imprisonment, it being proved that groups had already been formed in
Rome, Florence, and Naples on the basis of the London programme, and
that these groups had planned and prepared dynamite outrages. Leghorn,
which in the time of the Romans was a refuge for criminals, may be
regarded as the centre of modern Italian Anarchism. "In Leghorn,"
writes one who knows his facts, "the number of the Anarchists of
action is legion. The idea of slaking their inborn thirst for blood on
the 'fat _bourgeoisie_' could not fail to gain many adherents among
the descendants of that Sciolla, who at the time of the last Grand
Duke founded the celebrated dagger-band and slew 700 people; how many
adherents it gained may be seen from the figures of the last election
(March, 1894), when 3200 electors voted for the Anarchist murderer
Merga." Lugo (the home of Lega), Forli, and Cesena form important
centres of Italian Anarchism. The _rôle_ which it has played in the
international propaganda is fresh in the memory of all, and is
sufficiently indicated by the names of Lega and Caserio.

       *       *       *       *       *

It will be seen from the foregoing that Anarchism, after retrograding
till the end of the seventies, made unexpectedly rapid progress in
every country after 1880, lasting till about 1884, but after that a
new reaction, or at least a diminution of propaganda, is to be
noticed. The renewed force with which the Anarchism of action has
during the last three years or so made itself felt in the Latin
countries, appears already to present new features; this may be termed
the third epoch of Anarchism. The epoch dating from the London
Congress is characterised by certain party features (federations,
alliances, etc.), which have now quite disappeared.

With Most's departure for America, the central government created by
him--if we can speak of a central government in view of the complete
autonomy of the groups--appears to have completely lost its power, and
when, at the congresses of Chicago (1891) and London (1892), Merlino
and Malatesta moved that some form of leadership of the party should
be established, their motion was rejected, it being pointed out that
it was inconsistent with the main Anarchist principle: "Do as thou
wilt." When nowadays we hear talk of an "International Organisation"
of an Anarchist party and so forth, this must be taken merely in the
very wide meaning of a completely free _entente_ between single

Everything at present rests with the "group," which is, at the same
time, very small and of an extremely fluctuating character. Five,
seven, or at most a dozen men unite in a group according to
occupation, personal relationships, propinquity of dwelling, or other
causes; only after a certain time to separate again. The groups are
only connected with each other almost entirely by means of moving
intermediaries, called _trimardeurs_, a slang expression borrowed from
the thieves. This organisation completely corresponds to the purely
individual character of their actions; Anarchist riots and
conspiracies are out of fashion; and the outrages of recent years have
arisen almost exclusively from the initiative of individuals. This
circumstance, as well as the whole organisation of the Anarchists, of
course renders difficult any summary proceedings on the part of the
Government of the country; which is probably by no means the least
important reason for the adoption of these tactics by the Anarchists.

As to the numerical strength of Anarchism, different estimates are
given by the Anarchists and their opponents; but all of them are very
untrustworthy. Kropotkin, in 1882, gave the numbers of those living at
Lyons at 3000; those in the basin of the Rhone at 5000; and spoke of
thousands of others living in the south of France. One of the
sixty-six defendants at the Lyons trial wrote: "We are _all_
captured"--a remarkable difference of numbers compared with
Kropotkin's 3000. Lately, the Paris _Figaro_ has published some data,
said to be from an authentic source, about the strength of the
Anarchists, and, according to this journal, about 2000 Anarchists are
known to the police in France, among whom are about 500 Frenchmen and
1500 foreigners. The majority of these foreign Anarchists consists of
the Italians (45 per cent.), then come the Swiss (25 per cent.), the
Germans and Russians (20 per cent., each), Belgians and Austrians (5
per cent., each), Spaniards and Bulgarians (each 2 per cent.), and the
natives of several minor States. This proportionate percentage of
course only refers to Anarchists living in France or known there, and
cannot be taken as trustworthy for international numbers. We have in
fact practically no knowledge of its present strength, for it is as
often undervalued as overrated. When this is done by those who are not
Anarchists, it cannot be wondered at, since one of the leaders of the
Anarchism of action in Paris confessed his own ignorance by the
remark: "There are in the world some thousands of us, perhaps some

                              CHAPTER IX

                          CONCLUDING REMARKS

    Legislation against Anarchists -- Anarchism and Crime --
    Tolerance towards Anarchist Theory -- Suppression of
    Anarchist Crime -- Conclusion.

When about a year ago (1894) the Italian Caserio, a baker's
apprentice, assassinated the amiable and respected President of the
French Republic, probably thinking that he was thereby ridding the
world of a tyrant, the public, in a mood perfectly comprehensible if
not justifiable, was ready to take the severest measures against
anyone suspected of Anarchism. An international convention against the
Anarchists was demanded, but this was almost unanimously rejected by
European diplomatists. Parliaments, however, showed themselves more
subservient to the anxiety of the public than the diplomatists. Italy
gave its Government full powers over administrative dealings with all
suspected persons, and France passed a Press law limiting very
considerably, not only the Anarchist press, but the press generally.
Spain had already anticipated this action. Germany took all manner of
trouble to frame exceptional laws, although one cannot quite see how
this country was concerned in the matter. England alone, true to its
traditions, rejected the proposal of the House of Lords to pass
exceptional laws against the Anarchists, Lord Rosebery, who was then
Premier, declaring that the ordinary law and the existing executive
organisation were amply sufficient to cope with the Anarchists.

The question as to which State has pursued the better policy appears
at first extremely difficult to answer. It is believed that we have in
Anarchism something quite new, which has never occurred before,
something monstrous and not human, against which quite extraordinary
measures are permissible. To judge whether this standpoint is correct,
we must, before everything, distinguish carefully the theory from the

The common view--or prejudice--soon disposes of the Anarchist theory:
the anxious possessor of goods thinks it is nothing less than a direct
incitement to robbery and murder; the practical politician merely
regards the Anarchist theory as not worth debate, because it could not
be carried out in practice; and even men of science, as we have seen
in the case of Laveleye, and could prove by other examples, look upon
Anarchist theories merely as the mad and feverish fancies of
extravagant minds.

None of them would much mind if all Anarchist literature were consumed
in an _auto da fé_ and the authors thereof rendered harmless by being
sent off to Siberia or New Caledonia. Such judgments are easily
passed, but whether one could settle the question permanently thereby
is another matter.

That the theory of Anarchism is not merely a systematic incitement to
robbery and murder we need hardly repeat, now that we have concluded
an exhaustive statement of it. Proudhon and Stirner, the men who have
laid down the basis of the new doctrine, never once preached force.
"If ideas once have originated," said Proudhon once, "the very
paving-stones would rise of themselves, unless the Government has
sense enough to avert this. And if such is not the case, then nothing
is of any use." It will be admitted that, for a revolutionary, this is
a very moderate speech. The doctrine of propaganda, which since
Proudhon's time has always accompanied a certain form of Anarchist
theory, is a foreign element, having no necessary or internal
connection with the fundamental ideas of Anarchism. It is simply a
piece of tactics borrowed from the circumstances peculiar to Russia,
and accepted moreover only by one fraction of the Anarchists, and
approved by very few indeed in its most crude form; it is merely the
old tactics of all revolutionary parties in every age. The deeds of
people like Jacques Clement, 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
Clement's from Catholicism, even when we learn that Sand was regarded
by his fellows as a saint, as was Charlotte Corday and Clement, or
even when learned Jesuits like Sa, Mariana, and others, _cum licentia
et approbatione superiorum_, in connection with Clement's outrage,
discussed the question of regicide in a manner not unworthy of
Netschajew or Most.

We may quote the remarks of a specialist[1] upon the connection
between politics and criminality. "History is rich in examples of the
combination of criminal acts with politics, wherein sometimes
political passion and sometimes a criminal disposition forms the chief
element. While Pompeius the Sober has all honest people on his side,
his talented contemporaries, Cicero, Cæsar, and Brutus have as
followers all the baser sort, men like Clodius and Cataline,[2]
libertines and drunkards like Antonius, the bankrupt Curio, the mad
Clelius, Dolabella the spendthrift, who wanted to repudiate all his
debts by passing a law. The Greek Clephts, those brave champions of
the independence of their home, were, in times of peace, brigands. In
Italy the Papacy and the Bourbons in 1860 kept the brigands in their
pay against the national party and its troops; and Garibaldi had on
his side in Sicily the Maffia, just as in Naples the Liberals were
supported by the Camorra. This alliance with the Camorra is not even
yet quite dissolved, as the occurrences in Naples at the time of the
recent disturbances in the Italian Parliament have shown, nor will
matters probably improve. Criminals usually take a large share in the
initial stages of insurrections and revolutions, for at a time when
the weak and undecided are still hesitating, the impulsive force of
abnormal and unhealthy natures preponderates, and their example calls
forth epidemics of excesses.

    [1] Lombroso, _Die Anarchisten_, p. 33. Hamburg, 1896.

    [2] Cataline as a follower of Cicero is a new version of the
    supposed facts.--TRANS.

"Chenn, in his remarks upon revolutionary movements in France before
1848, has shown that political passion gradually degenerated into
unconcealed criminal attempts; thus the precursors of Anarchism at
that time had for leader a certain Coffirean, who finally became a
raving Communist, and exalted thieving into a socio-political
principle, plundered the merchants with the aid of his adherents,
because in his opinion they cheated their customers; by thus doing
they believed they were only making perfectly justifiable reprisals,
and at the same time converting the plundered ones into discontented
men who would join the revolutionary cause. This group also occupied
themselves in the manufacture of forged bank notes, which led in 1847
to their being discovered and severely punished after the real
Republicans had disowned them. In England at the time of the
conspiracies against Cromwell, bands of robbers collected in the
neighbourhood of London, and the number of thieves increased; the
robber-bands assumed a political colouring and asked those whom they
attacked whether they had sworn an oath of fidelity to the Republic,
and according to their answer they let them go or robbed and
ill-treated them. Companies of soldiers had to be sent to repress
them, nor were the soldiers always victorious. Hordes of vagabonds,
bands of robbers, and societies of thieves in unheard-of numbers also
appeared as forerunners of the French Revolution. Mercier states that
in 1789 an army of 10,000 vagabonds gradually approached Paris and
penetrated into the city; these were the rabble that attended the
wholesale executions during the Reign of Terror and later took part in
the fusilades at Toulon and the wholesale drownings at Nantes; at the
same time the revolutionary troops and militia were, according to
Meissner, merely organised bands who committed every kind of murder,
robbery, and extortion. The criminals who happened to be caught
occasionally during the Revolution sought to save themselves by the
cry of _à l'aristocrate_; when on trial they behaved in the most
audacious manner, and grinned at the judges when condemned, and the
women behaved most shamelessly. In 1790 only 490 accused, and in 1791
not more than 1198, were sent to the Conciergerie. A similar state of
affairs prevailed in the Commune of 1871. Among the population then in
Paris, deceived as they were in their patriotic hopes, unnerved by
inglorious combats, weakened by hunger and alcohol, no one cared to
bestir themselves but the unruly elements, the _déclassés_, the
criminals, the madmen, and the drunkards who imposed their will upon
the city; that these were the main elements in the rising is shown by
the slaughter of helpless captives, by the refined cruelty of the
murderers, who compelled their victims to jump over a wall, and shot
them while doing so, while others were riddled by bullets; thus one
citizen received sixty-nine bullets, and Abbé Bengy had sixty-two
bayonet wounds."

The foregoing examples could easily be increased in order to show that
the criminal tactics of the Anarchists are nothing new. If they are
more formidable and more monstrous than those of the religious
dissenters of the Renaissance or the political criminals of the
Revolutionary period, the reason lies in the age in which we live. We
mean that those who use the progress of modern mechanics, chemistry,
technical science, and so on, solely in order to increase the terror
inspired by organised murder, and to make the furies of war
invincible, ought not to be so surprised if the revolutionaries in
their turn no longer content themselves with old-fashioned weapons,
but seek to utilise also the achievements of modern chemistry.
_Exampla trahunt._ The Anarchist propaganda should not be judged so
severely; new and wonderful as it appears to the majority, it is by no
means so in reality; it is the stock piece of all revolutionaries,
somewhat modernised and adapted to a new age and a new doctrine.

Certainly the Anarchist doctrine is something new, if you will; but we
consider this means little if it merely expresses the fact that these
new demands exceed all previous changes in society. This is too
trivial to justify the application of exceptional measures and the
suspension of the principle of tolerance to all opinions. The
Anarchists are not, after all, so very original; they are a modernised
version of the Chiliasts of more than a thousand years ago, and differ
from them only as the mental conception of the present differs from
that of Irenæus. For he sought to justify his dreams by an appeal to
religion, while the Anarchists appeal to modern science. That is all.
But if we blame for its intolerance, and stigmatise as belonging to
the "dark ages," the age that persecuted the Chiliasts with fire and
sword, we certainly ought not to show a still greater intolerance to
the Chiliasts of our own day.

But it may be said that this fantasy, this Anarchist theory, is far
more dangerous than all the other errors that have preceded it; it
wishes to abolish property, reduce the family to Hetairism, and so
forth. We hope we have shown clearly in the preceding pages that, at
bottom, all Anarchist theories, even Kropotkin's, are very harmless,
and would merely result in leaving everything as before, merely
changing the present compulsory system into a voluntary one. A large
group of Anarchists, indeed the most extreme, are pure Individualists,
even maintaining individual property; how this could be maintained
without some legal guarantee is a question for themselves; but it is
evident that the Anarchist theory would alter the existing state of
things much less than the social-democratic theory; for the latter
demands the cessation of Individualist economy, and would punish any
opposition to its views as a crime, just as we punish theft to-day. It
is the same with marriage. Anarchists of all parties merely wish the
family to be changed into the "family group"; but that means that
everything could practically remain unchanged; only the legal
guarantees and privileges associated with marriage must be abolished.
We will neither discuss the morality, or lack of it, nor the
practicability or impracticability of this idea; but in this the
Anarchists go no further than what Fichte, or that moderate liberal,
Wilhelm von Humboldt, or even F. A. Schlegel, the poet of Lucinde,
have demanded as regards natural marriage; and Schlegel certainly is
somewhat of the national-Christian-Socialism type. In any case, here,
too, Socialism with its more drastic measures is more formidable, for
even if it would respect the sexual group--which may be doubted in
view of the artificial organisation of work in the social State--yet
the character of the "family" would quite disappear owing to the
Socialists' violent interference with the care and bringing up of
children. It is certainly characteristic in this respect that the
authoritative Socialists regard even Anarchism as merely a modern form
of the Manchester Liberal School, sneering at Anarchists as "small
_bourgeoisie_," and representing them as quite harmless against the
reforms planned by themselves.

But whether it is more or less dangerous need not be considered, when
it is a question of whether an opinion is worth discussion. If an
opinion contains elements which are useful, serviceable, or necessary
for the majority of the members of society, these opinions will be
realised in practice without regard to whether danger thereby
threatens or does not threaten single forms or arrangements of present
society. Exceptional legislation may check criticism of unhealthy or
obsolete forms of society, but cannot hinder the organic development
of society itself; for society will then only develop through a
series of painful catastrophes instead of by a gradual evolution;
catastrophes which are the consequence of opinions which have not had
free discussion. It would be more than sad if we had to demonstrate
the truth of these views again to-day, although our own age, or at
least, we Continentals, seem in our condemnation of Anarchism to have
lost all calmness, and to have abandoned those principles of
toleration and Liberalism of which we are generally so proud. It has
been rightly said that the freedom of conscience must include not only
the freedom of belief, but also the freedom of unbelief. In that case
the right of freedom of opinions must not be confined merely to the
forms of the State: one should be equally free to deny the State
itself. Without this extension of the principle, freedom of thought is
a mockery.

We therefore demand for the Anarchist doctrine, as long as it does not
incite to crime, the right of free discussion and the tolerance due to
every opinion, quite without regard to whether it is more dangerous,
or more probable, or more practicable than any other opinion; and this
we do not merely from _a priori_ and academic reasons, but in the best
interests of the community.

We consider the Anarchist idea unrealisable, just as is any other
scheme based only on speculation; we think Proudhon's picture of
society quite as Utopian as Plato's, and certainly none the less a
product of genius. Moreover, we are convinced that grave complications
have already arisen in society owing to the fanatical pursuit of these
Utopian ideas, and still greater ones will arise; and yet we do not
belong to those who deplore the appearance of these ideas, or who
believe that serious and permanent danger is threatened to the
development of society by the Anarchist idea. This, indeed, would be
the place in which to write a chapter on the value of the error; but
we must leave this to writers on ethics, and content ourselves with
pointing out that the development of culture does not depend mainly
upon the truth or falsehood of ruling ideas. As we have often said in
these pages in our criticism of the Anarchists, life is not merely the
fulfilment of philosophic dreams or the embodiment of absolute truths;
on the contrary, it can easily be proved from history that error and
superstition have rather been the most potent factors in human
development. When discussing Stirner's views, we have shewn the
cardinal error that lies in the conclusion that only the absolutely
true is useful and admissible in practice. Certainly, philosophy has
taught us the insufficiency of all _a priori_ proofs of the truth of
the conception of God; critical science has shown us its empirical
origin, and taught us that our ideas of the soul, God, and the future
life have proceeded from the most erroneous and crudest attempts to
explain certain physiological and psychological phenomena: but even if
the conception of the Deity were the greatest error committed by
mankind, it is yet incontestable that this conception has produced and
still produces the greatest blessings for mankind. We have taken up
this standpoint against the Anarchists, and now it may turn out in
their favour; for, if it is not a question of doing away with the
State altogether, merely because (as Stirner discovered, though he was
not the first to do so) it is not sacred, nor absolute, nor real in
the philosophic sense, so one need not consider an idea absolutely
worthless, and therefore unworthy of discussion merely because it
arises from and leads to errors.

Anarchism is certainly one of the greatest errors ever imagined by
man, for it proceeds from assumptions and leads to conclusions which
entirely contradict human nature and the facts of life.

Nevertheless, it also has its purpose in social evolution, and that
not a small one, however frightened at this certain timid spirits may
be. What is this mission? In so small a space as is now left us, it is
hard to answer this without causing misunderstandings to arise on
every side. But after what has been said, it will readily be perceived
that Anarchism will be a factor in overcoming Socialism, if not by
Anarchy yet at least by freedom.

A military trait runs through the whole world; the great wars and
conquests of the last few decades and present international relations
which compel most European states to keep their weapons always ready;
all this has called forth a military strain of character, a necessity
for defence based upon guardianship and compulsory organisation, which
is increased by a similar need for defence in the province of
economics, as a consequence of previous economic and social phenomena.
This feature is seen in the universal endeavour to increase the power
of the State at the expense of the individual, and to solve economic
problems in the same way as one organises an army. State Socialism,
the Socialism of the chair, and the Christian Social movement prove
the simultaneity of this characteristic of the age in every circle of
modern society; the Social Democratic party merely represents the
group to whose impulse we must ascribe the fact of governments
including Socialism in their programme, of professors inoculating
young intelligences therewith from their chairs, of Rome eagerly
seizing it as a welcome instrument wherewith to revive her faded
popularity; and the fact of politicians, who still call themselves
liberal, giving up, often without a struggle, one position after the
other in the defence of economic freedom.

We will not go so far as to brand every concession to the Socialist
spirit of our time as blamable and harmful. After almost a century of
continually increasing economic freedom, after the old form of
society, with its ranks and institutions, has been completely broken
up by Liberalism, an increase of social discipline, a rallying of
mankind round new social standpoints, is perfectly natural. But it is
just as natural that evolution will not be able to proceed in the
one-sided direction begun by Socialism. Already the most unpleasant
phenomena are visible. The power of the State profits most of all by
the Socialist movement, which it combats as Social Democracy; the
rights of the individual retire to the background; in the "industrial
army," as in the military force, the individual is only a number, a
unit; the sense of freedom has almost disappeared from our age.
Freedom in its signification as to culture and civilisation is now
completely misunderstood and underrated, and even considered an idle
dream. But the gloomiest feature of Socialism is a renaissance of the
_religiose_ spirit and all the disadvantages it entails. The
_religiose_ attitude, as I have shown elsewhere,[3] is connected with
an inclination for tutelage, and places the individual in quite a
secondary position. In an age when the weak are only too surely
convinced of the impossibility of maintaining themselves in the midst
of the social whirlwind, when everyone seeks to join some community or
society, it is easy to make religious proselytes. People mostly
console a nation that has a low position in the economic scale with
religion, as we console the sick. To those who suffer so bitterly from
the inequality of power and wealth in our social system, there is
shown a prospect of a future eternal recompense; and those who are
continually seeking the support of some power higher than themselves
are referred to the Highest Power of all. That always convinces them.
The Socialist and the religious view of the world are one and the
same; the former is the religion of the absolute, infallible,
all-mighty, and ever-present State. The reawakening of the religious
spirit simultaneously with the growth of Socialist parties is no mere
chance. Socialism has slipped on the cowl and cassock with the
greatest ease, and we have every reason to believe that this sad
companionship is by no means ended; the regard for personal freedom
will decrease more and more; the tendency towards authority and
religion will increase; the comprehension of purely mental effort will
continue to disappear in proportion as society endeavours to transform
itself into an industrial barrack. Whether the end of it all will be
the Social Democratic popular State, or the Socialist Absolute
Monarchy, matters but little. In any case, before things reach this
point, a counteracting tendency will make itself felt from the needs
of the people, which will endeavour to force evolution back into the
opposite path. The old implacable struggle between the Gironde and the
Mountain will again be renewed; and the impulse in this contest of the
future will come from Anarchism, which is already preparing and
sharpening the weapons for it. That Socialism will be overthrown by
the introduction of Anarchism we do not believe; but the conquest will
be won under the banner of individual freedom. The centralising
tendency and the coercive character of the system of doing everything
in common, without which Socialism cannot have the least success, will
naturally and necessarily be replaced by Federalism and free
association. In these two distinctive features of a future reaction
against a Socialism that would turn everything into one vast army, we
recognise those two demands of theoretical Anarchism which are capable
of realisation, and capable of it because they are not dogmas, like
absolute freedom, but only methods.

    [3] _Mysticismus, Pietismus, Anti-Semitismus, am Ende des
    XIXten Jahrhunderts_, p. 5, foll. Wien, 1894.

Thus it appears not _a priori_ but _a posteriori_, that the Anarchist
theory must not be considered as absolutely worthless because in
itself it is an error and in its main demand is impracticable. Our
opinion is that it contains at least as many useful elements as
Socialism; and if to-day governments, men of learning, and even
bishops proceed without alarm upon the path of Socialism, then a
discussion of Anarchist theory should not be so coolly waved aside.

       *       *       *       *       *

But it is entirely different as regards the criminal propaganda of
action. If Anarchists wish to spread their opinions abroad, there are
quite sufficient means for doing so in civilised society. No one can
be allowed the right of giving a sanguinary advertisement to his views
by the murder of innocent visitors to a café or a theatre; still less
have Anarchists the right, when they appeal to force, to complain if
force is used against them.

It is perfectly fair that the State should proceed against criminal
propaganda by legal measures, and that Anarchist criminals should
suffer for their action, the punishment which a country inflicts even
if it be the death penalty. There is no difference of opinion[4] as
regards this view except among Anarchists themselves, who arrogate to
themselves the right to kill, but deny it to the State. There remain
only two points that we might add.

    [4] The opinion which would relegate Anarchist criminals to
    the madhouse instead of to the guillotine deserves mention.
    In this connection, in spite of Neo-Buddhist peculiarities,
    the little work _Anarchismus und Seine Heilung_, by Emanuel
    (Leipsic, 1894), gives fresh points of view.

First of all, exceptional legislation should be avoided. It is in no
way justified. Just as the motive of Anarchism to any offence affords
no extentuating circumstances, so, too, it should not make matters
worse. Secondly, we should not indulge in the vain hope that Anarchism
itself, or the criminal results of it, can be combated by mere
condemnation of Anarchist criminals, however just or unjust the
sentence may be. Punishment appears to fanatics who long for the
martyr's crown, no longer a deterrent but an atonement. In France in
less than two years, Ravachol, Henry, and Vaillant were guillotined;
but that did not deter Caserio in the least from his mad act.

Numerous Anarchist crimes are to be regarded merely as means to
indirect suicide, a method by which those who commit them may end
lives that are a burden to them, while they lack the courage to commit
suicide directly. Lombroso, Krafft, Ebbing, and others cite a long
list of political criminals who must certainly be regarded as such
indirect suicides.

We will not enter the controversial province of criminal pathology,
although it seems certain that in the criminal deeds of the Anarchism
of action a large share is taken by persons pathologically diseased or
mentally affected. For these also punishment loses its deterrent
effect. Taken all in all, one cannot expect any other result from the
punishment of Anarchist criminals, except the moral one of having
defended the rights of society. On the other hand, the Anarchists
regard the justification of one of their own party as the strongest
means of propaganda, and it cannot be denied that the Ravachol cult
resulting from the execution of that common criminal, Ravachol, caused
a considerable accession of strength to Communist Anarchism. The State
cannot, of course, allow itself to look on at Anarchist crimes and "to
shorten its arm"; but it must not delude itself that it will remove
such crime or stop the Anarchist movement by means of the guillotine.

Does this mean that society is helpless in face of Anarchism? It is,
if it possesses only force to suppress and not the power to convince;
if society is only held together by compulsion, as the present State
partly is, and the Socialist State would be still more, and threatens
to fall to pieces if the apparatus of compulsion were given up; if the
State, instead of trying to redress the unfortunately unalterable
natural inequality of its members, only intensifies them by legalising
all kinds of new inequalities, and if it regards its institutions, and
especially the law, as instruments for the unalterable conservation of
all present forms of society with all their imperfections and
injustices. If right is done, and right is uttered arbitrarily, in a
partisan and protectionist method; if equality before the law is
disregarded by those who are called to defend the law; if belief in
the reliability of the indispensable institutions of authority is
lightly shaken by these very institutions themselves, then it is no
wonder if men despair of the capability of the State to practice or to
maintain right; and if the masses, always ready to generalise, deny
right, law, State, and authority together. We have already pointed out
repeatedly that Anarchism cannot be explained by pauperism alone.
Pauperism justifies Socialism; but this movement against authority,
which certainly does not bear in all cases the name of Anarchism, but
which is to-day more widely spread than is often imagined, can only be
explained by a confused mass of injustice and wrongdoing, of which the
_bourgeois_ State is daily and hourly guilty towards the weak.

The average man does not much mind his rich fellow-man riding in his
carriage while he himself cannot even pay his tram fare; but that he
should be abandoned by society to every chance official of justice, as
a prey that has no rights, while justice often falters anxiously
before those who are shielded by coats of arms and titles,--that makes
his blood boil, and causes him to seek the origin of this injustice in
the institution itself instead of in the way it works. How many
Anarchists have become so merely because they were treated as common
criminals when they happened to have the misfortune to be suspected of
Anarchism? How many became Anarchists because they were outlawed by
society on account of free and liberal views?

Anarchism may be defined etiologically as disbelief in the suitability
of constituted society. With such views there would be only one way in
which we could cut the ground from under the Anarchists' feet. Society
must anxiously watch that no one should have reason to doubt its
intention of letting justice have free sway, but must raise up the
despairing, and by all means in its power lead them back to their lost
faith in society. A movement like Anarchism cannot be conquered by
force and injustice, but only by justice and freedom.

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                         TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Passages in bold are indicated by =bold=.

3. The words phoenix, Poena, Baboeuf and oeconomiæ use an oe ligature
in the original.

4. The words Chelcicians and Chelcic use c with caron in the original.

5. Some quotes are opened with marks but are not closed. Obvious ones
have been silently closed, while those requiring interpretation have
been left open.

6. The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version
these letters have been replaced with transliterations.

7. The following misprints have been corrected:
     "divison" corrected to "division" (page 40)
     "agains" corrected to "against" (page 53)
     "from" corrected to "form" (page 93)
     "that" corrected to "than" (page 131)
     "russicher" corrected to "russischer" (page 152)
     "the the" corrected to "the" (page 165)
     "Arbeiterfwegung" corrected to "Arbeiterbewegung" (page 206)
     "Socialty" corrected to "Sociality" (page 222)
     "pesecution" corrected to "persecution" (page 225)
     "Edigy" corrected to "Egidy" (page 230)
     "aer" corrected to "der" (page 235)
     "completly" corrected to "completely" (page 316)
     "iself" corrected to "itself" (page 318)

8. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies
in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and ligature usage have been

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