The Shape of Anarchist History

Retracing steps I took in my research 20-25 years ago is a fascinating and frequently rewarding experience, particularly now that I’m working with some figures who are perhaps marginal even to the rather loose, broad account of the anarchist and near-anarchist traditions that I’ve been constructing. Most recently, I’ve been working my way back through the writings of Calvin Blanchard (“Announcer of the Religion of Science, Professor of Religio-Political Physics, Expositor of the Statics and Dynamics of God Almighty, Advocate for the Constitution Manifest in Human Nature, and Head Member of the Society for Abolishing Utopia, and Humbug, and Failure,” etc.), the libertarian Comtean who, perhaps even more than Stephen Pearl Andrews, made a practice of expressing anarchistic ideas in a language far more directly suited to the promotion of regimes of authority. […]


Calvin Blanchard — Those Peculiar Advertisements (1864–1865)

THE NATION’S CRISIS!—When Grant took Richmond, recaptured the “State prison birds” that had flown, and wrote himself “Your obedient servant” to Lee, he was perfectly consistent with the masked devilishness that underlies all government. There new was and never can be punishment for being criminal, but only for not being criminal enough! CALVIN BLANCHARD, No. 30 Ann st., has written a Book, scientifically showing a new way. Price 50 cents; by mail 60 cents. […]

From the Archives

O. A Verity, “Why I am An Anarchist” (1897)

Finding that we must be something—must hold to certain ideas and work for certain ends—if we work at all, or amount to any more in human life than an ox, or an ax, it very naturally follows that we will adapt and work for the prevalence of such ideas as will bring us the greatest happiness, now or bye and bye. That is why I am an Anarchist. I am convinced that to work for the realization of the Anarchist ideal will bring me more satisfaction than an adherence to, or working for any other ideal would bring me. […]

From the Archives

William B. Greene, Foreign Correspondence (1854–1855)

Do what you will, the crater of the revolutionary volcano is bound to be reopened. England must revolutionise Hungary, and put the nationalities of southern Europe once more upon their feet. The triumph of democracy is approaching. England and France have not two armies to lose, while Russia can have one army after another annihilated without feeling her energies exhausted. In Finland, Poland, Italy, Hungary, there and there only—with the assistance of certain populations of Asia—can the immense masses be found which are required for the adequate opposition of Russia. […]