When the average person hears the word “anarchy,” his mind immediately fills with misconceptions and false assumptions. Voluntaryists often have to spend more time explaining all the things that “anarchy” does NOT mean, than they do explaining what it does mean. Hopefully the following will help with that.
ANARCHY : From Greek PREFIX “AN”﹣﹕Without; The absence of; & the Greek noun ARCHON: MASTER/RULER. Anarchy does NOT mean ··WITHOUT RULES. ·· It literally means ··WITHOUT RULERS.·· Anarchy is the state of existence where there are no Masters and no Slaves. Therefore, ANARCHY means: “The absence of slavery.” In other words “FREEDOM”
“One of the most interesting questions in relation to anarchy is of the manner in which it may be expected to terminate … And it does not seem impossible that it should lead to the best form of human society, that the most penetrating philosopher is able to conceive. Nay, it has something in it that suggests the likeness, a tremendous likeness, of true liberty.”— William Godwin (1756–1836).
GOVERNMENT AND FRANCHISE
By Edward Cunningham
With increasing boldness, the politicians of every hue are trying to further emphasize the belief in the blessing of general franchise-a belief which they have fostered and impressed upon the minds of people. The right to vote, say they, implies that the citizenry is “master” of its destiny.
The anarchist, on the other hand, contends that the right to vote is, in reality, a delusion and a snare through which the present system-based on the shameful exploitation of other people’s toil-is protected and perpetuated.
Which of the two claims is correct?
Let us review a few political events of our own times and see what conclusion they will warrant.
Theodore Roosevelt was considered, in his time, a “trust buster” in the interests of the people. Yet, the facts reveal that under his administration the trusts that he was supposed to put out of business fleeced the people as much as ever before.
Woodrow Wilson, likewise, was considered another president fighting in the interests of the people. No other president knew better and more intrinsically the manner in which the industrialists of our land had established, built and managed to maintain their reign of plunder. In fact, he even wrote an exposé of this plunder in his book “The New Freedom Yet, as president of the United States, he did not even make an attempt to put the plundering industrialists out of business. On the contrary, when the richest band of plunderers-the House of Morgan-gave him the signal, Mr. Wilson dragged this country into the last world war. Supposedly, we were to “make the world safe for democracy.” In reality, as Mr. Wilson admitted afterwards, we fought to safeguard the interests of the House of Morgan.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt ascended to the presidency, he solemnly promised to “drive the money changers from the temples” and promote a “new deal for the forgotten man.”
Today, with Roosevelt’s second term near completion, we find that the money changers are managing to hoard more wealth than ever before. The new deal for the forgotten man still remains a promise while about 13 million men and women are hunting and begging for a chance to sell their labor to the money changers who control the industries of the land.
These, then, have been the results of three governmental administrations which professed to serve the interests of the people. These results damn the franchise of voting as an absolute fraud.
As each national election approaches, new candidates are put forward who repeat the promises made by the ones who “served” the people by not keeping their promises.
The truth of the matter is that no political candidate dares to speak about the causes of all the resulting evils which the people suffer from-capital and government. Capitalism could not exist without the forceful protection of government, and-the latter has been founded and is nurtured for the purpose of protecting and perpetuating the reign of the former.
No government official who takes the oath of office can do so without committing himself to the “sacred right of private property”.
Who possesses any property worth upholding or protecting at the point of a gun or a bayonet? Certainly not the great multitudes who are exploited and robbed of what they produce. The only class that needs such protection is the small class of plunderers representing capitalism.
Those who have open minds and are willing to reason can then realize that the very idea of government with its franchise is, in reality, one of the most sinister swindles ever conceived by the first band of pirates in man’s history. For any one who realizes this truth, to participate in the electioneering swindle is tantamount to willingly continue aiding and abetting in one’s own subjugation to the present capitalist system of plunder and injustice.
The anarchist holds that the misled masses can best serve their interests by not only refusing to continue participating in the governmental swindle, but even more effectively by refusing to pay homage to it through submission to taxation and obedience to fraudulent laws.
Against the institution of capitalism and its government, the anarchist advocates voluntary cooperation among men for the economic and social freedom of all. No law can substitute for this conception.
SOLUTIONS: THE THICK RED LINE
Howard Lichtman joins the Corbett Report to introduce ThickRedLine.org, an effort to restore respect for law enforcement by abolishing victimless crime. ThickRedLine seeks to upend the narrative that keeps the public afraid of breaking the unlawful orders of the politicians and prevents officers from following their own conscience.
Is Anarchy Possible?
by Marcus Graham
Of all the social ideas offered to mankind during the last two centuries as a solution to its problems, Anarchism alone has always been the most uncompromising of all. For this very reason, it should not surprise anyone to learn that Anarchism as a social idea has failed to progress, as compared with the social ideas of Karl Marx, but has, to all appearances, even regressed. This superficial appearance of regress cannot be construed as the end of Anarchism as a social idea of liberation. We find in the realm of science that the teacher often meets with momentary defeats and disappointments. In the end, however, truth does not fail to hold its own ground and win the battle.
Therefore, it is in the field of experimentation that the ideas embodied in the anarchist philosophy will meet the test. This will come when mankind realizes the need for making a change from an ORDAINED LIFE to a FREE LIFE.
How can mankind ever reach the state of mind whereby it should desire sufficiently strong enough to experiment with and put to a test the ideas of Anarchism? Is there any possibility that this stage will ever be reached, in view of the constantly increasing power assumed by the State in human relations everywhere?
In monarchical countries and republics, fascism-through the State-reigns supreme. In democratic countries, it is again the State which is in command. In the land of Marxian socialism-Russia the State is even more powerful than elsewhere.
In view of these realities, can the anarchist still hope and contend that the reign of the State is foredoomed? The answer to this is to be found in a closer examination of the origin, function and growth of the State throughout the world.
Has the State been conceived and brought into life in order to aid mankind to live in contentment and abundance? Has it developed and grown in a natural and healthy way? History gives us an unequivocal answer: It has not. It was born out of brigandage and has so remained. In capitalist countries; it is the legal protector of the wealth it has taken from the producing masses. Even in Russia, under a marxian socialist State, the liberty and life of the individual have been sacrificed for the sake of a promised but not given loaf of bread.
Every war which the State has engineered at the behest of Capitalism was imposed upon the people under fraudulent claims-as are the imposed systems of economic exploitation during times of peace. Even the imposed experimentation carried on in the name of the “proletariat”, with its army, must be classed as a fraud thrust upon the people.
Man can and will reach the stage of true contentment and freedom only when he realizes the imperative need for discarding every form of exploitation and rulership of man over man. Man will ultimately learn to rely upon his own initiative and upon cooperation and experimentation carried on between himself and his fellowman. For the best that lies dormant within man-love for Justice, Equality and Cooperation-can only be awakened with the dawn of a free society: Anarchy.
But how is man to reach the stage of the dawn of a free society?
He will grow tired of the State’s all powerful grip over life and happiness. He will grow tired of being slaughtered in economic wars on the battlefields, in the factories and on the land. He will grow tired, too, of politics and politicians, of saviours who have always proved deceiving, of trade union officials who aid in maintaining the status quo. He will grow tired of all sorts of compromising palliatives.
When this happens, the world will witness a series of social rebellions which will break every chain that has fettered mankind for ages. Governments will crumble to dust upon the very sandy foundations on which they were erected. All institutions which are part of the present system of society which functions by virtue of its exploitation will also fall. A freed mankind will no longer have any use for the policeman and judge, jail and jailer, soldier and gun, thieves and stocks. The monetary system, too, will disappear. Property will be worth no more than the exchange value which neighbor and neighbor will, by voluntary understanding, attach to it.
CENTRALIZATION, the chief prop of Capitalism and marxian socialism, will be replaced by DECENTRALIZATION. Centralization calls for exercise of power. Power denotes rulership. Where rulership prevails someone must be ruled. Thus, where centralization prevails freedom cannot thrive. Decentralization opens up every avenue for the expression and assertion of initiative, self-rule and equal responsibility. It is in the decentralized voluntary cooperation of man and fellowman that the anarchist foresees the future. It is a future with no coercion, no exploitation, no ridership. It is a future guided by and based on the voluntary associations and agreements made between FREE MEN.
The transformation from a society of rulership to an anarchist society cannot be accomplished overnight. It has taken man centuries to change his barbaric conditions to what we can offhand call semi-civilized conditions. The change from the present state to that of a truly emancipated one will undoubtedly take time. The freed man will learn by the test of experimentation what is best suited for his a well- being and happiness. The freed man will learn and at the same time bring about a science of social freedom.
What ground does the anarchist hold for entertaining so optimistic a view and hope?
Against the triumphant march of the State with its coercion in every phase of life, the anarchist points to the expression of freedom as achieved by science in its various physical branches. More than that, he looks toward art, in all its branches, as the effervescent fountain from which he has been drinking of imagination, knowledge and understanding.
By what standards do the critical minds of the world measure the work of the dramatist, novelist, poet, painter, sculptor and musician? The work of these artists is measured by its degree of truthfulness, imagination. beauty, by the imaginary dreams of a better and more beautiful life, by pointing at freedom as the sole guide and hope for the accomplishments of a civilization wherein justice and happiness for every human being will be possible.
Therefore, it is natural that in the realm of art and all its branches the anarchist finds the strongest substantiation for his ideal. In art he finds the embodiment of his dream and hopes: Freedom and justice, Beauty and Happiness for all mankind.
The Creating Force
I am the secret of perpetual youth, the everlasting creator of life; where I am not, death rages. I am the comfort, the hope, the dream of the oppressed. I destroy what exists; but from the rock whereon I light new life begins to flow. I come to you to break all chains which bear you down; to free you from the embrace of death, and instill a new life into your veins. All that exists must perish; that is the eternal condition of life, and I, the all destroying, fulfill that law to create a fresh new existence. I will renovate to the very foundations the order of things in which you live, for such is the offspring of sin, whose blossom is misery and whose fruit is crime. The grain is ripe, and I am the reaper. I will dissipate every delusion which has mastery over the human race. I will destroy the authority of the one over the many; of the lifeless over the living; of the material over the spiritual. I will break in pieces the authority of the great; OF’ THE LAW OF PROPERTY. Let the will of each be master of mankind, one’s own desires fashion laws, one’s own strength be one’s own property, for the freeman is the sacred man, and there is nothing sublimer than he. Let the delusion be trampled under foot which gives one individual power over millions; which reduces millions to the subjection of one; which would teach that one possesses the power to make others happy.
Let the delusion be destroyed which provides for the mastery of death over life, of the past over the future. The law of the dead, that is their own law; it shares their lot and dies with them-it must not prevail over life. Life is in itself a law. And since law is for the living and not for the dead, and since you are the living, there exists no one who dare master you; thus you alone are the law, your own free will the single sublime law, and therefore I will destroy the mastery of the dead over the living. Destroyed be the delusion which makes mankind the slave of his own work, of his own property. The noblest gift of mankind is his productive power; therein lies the source of all prosperity, and not in what is produced; in production itself is the employment of your power, therein lies your true and highest enjoyment.
Man’s work is his true life, the living must not be beholden to the lifeless, must not be made subject to it. Therefore, DESTROYED BE THE DELUSION WHICH HAMPERS ENJOYMENT AND LIMITS FREE WILL, which elevates property over man, and degrades him to become the slave of his own work. Look around you, misguided one, on these abundant meadows through which you wander, slaves, strangers. You shall walk them free, free from the yoke of the living, free from the chains of the dead. What nature has made, mankind cultivates and transforms into fruitful gardens; it belongs to mankind, to the needy, and no one dare come and say: “To me belongs this forever, and all you are only guests, whom I suffer as long as it pleases me, from whom I get rent and whom I drive away when it pleases me. What nature has given, and man has produced, and what the living stand in need of, is mine?’ Destroyed be this lie. To him who is in need belongs alone what satisfies, and of such super-abundance is offered you by nature, by your own resources. Behold the houses within the towns and everything that satisfies and pleases mankind. All of you must wander past as if strangers; the mind and the arm of men have created it, and therefore it belongs to man, the living. And no single person dare come and say: “To me belongs everything that man has produced in his diligence. I alone have a right to it, and others may only enjoy as it pleases me when they pay me rent.’ Destroyed be this lie along with the other; for what man has produced belongs to man for his boundless enjoyment, as do all other things on the earth.
I will destroy the existing order of things which divides the one humanity into hostile peoples, into strong and weak, into privileged and outlawed, into rich and poor, for that makes unfortunate creatures of one and all. I will destroy the order of things which makes millions the slaves of the few, and those few the slaves of their own power, of their own wealth. I will destroy the order of things which severs enjoyment from labor, which turns labor into a burden and enjoyment into a vice, which makes one man miserable through want and another miserable through super-abundance. I will destroy this order of things which consumes the vigor of manhood in the service of the dead, of inert matter, which sustains one part of mankind in idleness or useless activity, which forces thousands to devote their sturdy youth to the indolent pursuit of soldiery, officialism. speculation and usury, and the maintenance of such like despicable conditions, while the other half, by excessive exertion and sacrifice of all enjoyment of life, bears the burden of the whole infamous structure. I will destroy even the very memory and trace of this delirious order of things which, pieced together out of force, falsehood, trouble, tears, sorrow, suffering, need, deceit, hypocrisy and crime, is shut up in its own reeking atmosphere, and never receives a breath of pure air, to which no ray of pure joy ever penetrates.
Let everything be destroyed which oppresses you and makes you suffer, and from the ruins of the old let there arise a new undreamed of happiness. Let no hatred, envy, jealousy, animosity remain among you. You must recognize as brothers and sisters all who live; and free to will, free to act, free to enjoy, you shall know the worth of existence. Arise then, ye people of the earth, arise, ye sorrow stricken and oppressed. Ye, also, who vainly struggle to clothe the inner desolation of your hearts, with the transient glory of riches, arise! Come and follow in my track with the joyful crowd, for I know not how to make distinction between those who follow me. There are but two peoples from henceforth on earth-the one which follows me, and the one which resists me. The one I will lead to happiness, but the other I will crush in my progress. For I am the REVOLUTION, I am the new creating force. I am the divinity which discerns all life, which embraces, revives and rewards.
— RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883)
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