The Anarchist Encyclopedia — A





ABDICATION n. Abdication is the act of someone who renounces, voluntarily or through force, something et, in general, high office; the word abdication is also used to designate the act of someone who, yielding to considerations of interest, abandons their opinions or neglects their moral qualities. Example: abdication of all dignity. The politicians are the professionals of this sort of abdication (see apostasy). Here is the list of the principal historical abdications: abdications of Cincinnatus, who returned twice to his plow (458 and 438 B. C.); of Sulla (10 B. C.), who retired to Pozzuoli; of Diocletian (305 A. D.) who retired to Salona; of Pope Benedict IX (1045 and 1048), of Pope Felix V (1449), of Charles V (1555) who went to finish his days in the monastery of Yuste; of Christina, queen of Sweden (1654) who retired to Rome, of Casimir V, king of Poland (1667), of Stanislaw II, king of Poland (1795) ; of the king of Spain Charles IV (1808); those of Napoleon, the first to Fontainebleau, the second to Paris (1814 and 1815); of Bolivar, of Spanish America (1825); of Charles X (1830) who died at Goritz, en Italy; of Pedro IV, king of Portugal (1831); of Louis-Philippe (1848) who went to end his days in England; of William I, king of Holland (1840); of Charles-Albert, king of Sardinia; of Otto, king of Greece (1862) ; of Isabella II, queen (1870); of Amadeo I, king of Spain (1873) ; Alexander of Bulgaria (1886); of Milan I, (1889); of Nicholas II, czar of Russia (1917); Constantine, king of Greece (1917); of Wilhelm II, emperor of Germany (1918); of Ferdinand, czar of Bulgaria (1918). As you can see by reading this list, royal puppets are very rare who have abdicated without being constrained and forced to it. Tyrants are those people who say with great ceremony that they are leaving when they have been sent packing.


ABNEGATION n. Renunciation, sacrifice… Example: For the advent of a better humanity, the anarchists are prepared for every sort of abnegation. Indeed, the life of the revolutionary militant is made of continual sacrifices and cruel renunciations. The militant and their loved ones are exposed to poverty. Persecutions of every sort fall on their shoulders. Their liberty is always compromise and their life itself is often threatened. But their will to self-sacrifice triumphs over the obstacles that are raised in their path. Despondency is unknown to them. To make known and to love the ideas that are dear to them, they stop at nothing. Their life, their liberty, their labor, their intelligence no longer belong to them; they have dedicated them forever to the service of the cause that appears to them the most beautiful and noble of all. They have sacrificed themselves absolutely. Meanwhile, on the contrary, politicians, under the cover of false ideas, seek only the satisfaction of their personal ambitions. Social climbers with many appetites, the good of others is of no interest to them. They have allied themselves with the men-of-prey who prefer the death of a crowd to the loss of a bit of their riches. Alas! the people too often let themselves be hoodwinked by these unscrupulous acrobats, whose lying mouths promise the world. Each time, however, the awakening is cruel, but it only takes a new intrigue for the people, too confident, to let themselves be manipulated once more. — The anarchists, tirelessly, strive to denounce the brazen commerce of the politicians and their acolytes. Let us hope that the people will end by choosing between the abnegation of one and the criminal ambition of the others.


ABSOLUTISM n. Theory or practice of an absolute authority. System of government where the authority of the monarch is absolute. Example: absolute monarchy. Under an absolute monarchy, it is the reign of good pleasure, of arbitrariness, and the citizens are turned over, without defense, to the tyrannical authority of a caste. In our times, however, there are hardly any more governments practicing the absolute power of one alone. The last kings have no more power than the president of a republic. But we must not rely on appearances. Authority, though less openly absolute, nevertheless exists, hypocritical and insidious, under the mask of the democracies. An avowed absolutism would encourage the people to rise up. The rulers have understood this and have substituted for that absolutism a parliamentarianism under the cover of which they can act at their ease. (See Parliament.)

For some years now we have witnessed a sort of resurrection of Absolutism in new forms, born of circumstances. Absolute Power, in the hands of a Mussolini, in Italy, is called Fascism; in Spain, in the person of a Primo de Rivera, it is called the Directorate; in Russia, exercised by a political party, or, more precisely, the few men who make up the managing committee of the Communist Party, absolute power is practiced under the name of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. (See Fascism, Directorate, Dictatorship, Communist Party, Bolshevism.)


Luigi Bertoni


ABSTRACTION n. Abstraction is an operation of the mind by which we consider qualities independently from the substances in which they can be found. Ex.: when we consider goodness, in general, without applying it to an individual, we perform an abstraction.

In philosophy, abstraction consists of separating one thing from another of which it is a part: abstract ideas are partial ideas separated from their context and abstraction is the faculty of the mind that produces these ideas. Abstraction is spontaneous when it comes from the senses, from involuntary attention, etc…; reflective when we deliberately fix our attention on a certain property, neglecting the others. As long as the ideas represent a particular quality of an object, they are abstract; they become general when, from a new point of view, they represent a quality common to several objects. Abstraction is the condition of science, because it allows us to isolated each of the qualities whose sum forms an object. We can say that each science is a system of abstractions: arithmetic abstracts number; geometry extent; mechanics movement, etc.

[In French] it is common to use the expressions faire abstraction de or abstraction faite de, leaving aside, taking no account of. Ex.: the anarchist must strive to judge soundly, by setting aside hatred and love. In the plural the word abstraction often serves to designate vague and confused ideas, fanciful preoccupations. Ex.: at the moment of action, anarchists must beware of losing themselves in abstractions.


ABUSE n. (from Latin, prefix ab and usus, usage). Bad, excessive or unfair use. Example: Every government is forced, by its very function, to commit criminal abuses. In all countries and in all times, authority has always been a source of abuse. The ruling classes have used — and still use, for that matter — their force to despoil the weak and violate the rights of the individual. On the other hand, the religious charlatans have abused the credulity of the crowd and have striven to stifle the critical spirit and the need for understanding in men. While the former enslaved the body, the others enslaved the mind. It is against these countless abuses that the anarchists never cease to rise up. And they will not cease to struggle as long as the peoples are each day the victims of the arbitrary will of the powerful or the venality of the stupifiers.


Pierre Besnard


MONOPOLIZATION n. Act of monopolizing, of taking everything for oneself. Monopolization, in matters of commerce and industry, has always been a very commonplace thing and it is only one of the sad consequences of the society we endure. Monopolization consists, for a trade or a consortium, of withdrawing from circulation a large quantity of foodstuffs or goods of the same sort, in order to have the monopoly and to be able, by removing all competition, to resell them at the highest price. The measures against monopolization, so severe under the old monarchy, abolished by the Constituent Assembly, reappeared under the Convention, which declared monopolization a capital crime. Today, in principle, the law punishes with fines and prison the monopolization of actual merchandise and also of everything that is an object of commerce or competition, for example, monopolization of the means of transport. The punishment should be more severe in the speculation has involved grain, flour, bread and beverages. In reality, the wolves do not eat each other and the monopolists need not fear these severe laws much. In all eras some traders have attempted to starve the country in order to increase their profits; each time that they were denounced, there were not any the worse for it and continued to enjoy the fruits of their crimes in peace. For the evil of monopolization there is only a single remedy, that recommended by the anarchists: the organized pooling of foodstuffs and goods in common. All the other measures are just trickery intended to conceal a shameless trafficking under a shallow semblance of “justice.”


ACCLIMATION n. Action of acclimating artificially. Human beings acclimate rather easily in cold countries or regions of high altitude, but it is very difficult for them to become accustomed to warm countries. It is around the age of 35 years that acclimation is the easiest and around the age of 12 years that it is most painful. Europeans established in tropical countries must send their children to their country of origin from the ages of 2 to 20. The acclimation of animals is prepared by making them pass gradually from their country of origin to the country where one wishes them to acclimate, ans when one has obtained their multiplication. The acclimation is accomplished after several generations. The Greeks have acclimated the peacock and pheasant in Europe; the Romans the guinea fowl; in the 16th century, the Spanish would acclimate the turkey and the guinea pig. The most remarkable acquisitions of our era have been made in matter of pisciculture. Likewise, certain vegetable species—the plantain, the lilac, the tulip, tobacco, the potato—are the products of a relatively recent acclimation. In 1854, Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire founded the Société nationale d’acclimatation with the aim of multiplying useful species. — The word acclimation is also used in a figurative sense. Example: the acclimation of an individual within a social class other than their own.


HABITUATION n. Habit; the act of becoming familiar with a thing, often followed by the passive acceptance of that thing. It is necessary to beware of habituation, as it is a formidable auxiliary of slavery. Just as the lack of initiative reinforces routine, just so habituation breaks the urges for and liberation. The individual who is accustomed, little by little, to support sans mot dire the exploitation of a caste, will gradually acquire a slave mentality. Instead of supporting the rebelling workers, they will become the guard dog of their boss. Habituation is thus a dangerous thing. It kills the need for liberty in the individual; it makes the most artificial conditions of life seem natural. Let us not be lulled to sleep by habit.

Habituation is the slippery slope on which we let ourselves slide, slide, slide so easily along that we cease to be conscious of our fall, so much that, when we are led by serious circumstances to not it, we no longer have the strength (habit is a second nature) to react.

Habituation has effects that can be compared with those of the paralysis, more or less slow, that gradually extends to the whole of the individual and totally deprives them of the faculty of movement.

ACCUMULATION (des richesses)

Sébastien Faure


ACHEMINEMENT n. Acheminement is a march forward, by degrees, toward a goal. It is an advance, by stages, towards progress. Example: the slow acheminement of humanity toward the anarchist idea. Society, despite the conservatives, is subject to a continuous acheminement toward an ideal of kindness and fraternity. That advance is sometimes imperceptible, but it is guaranteed. Certainly, there is a lot of road to traverse, many stages to cross before arriving at the wished-for end. But it is enough to glance behind us, to consider the déroulement of the centuries that have preceded us, to note the undeniable progress, moral as well as material, of humanity. Nothing could hinder or delay that forward march. The forces of reaction will unite in vain to prevent the dawning of a better society. Their efforts will be powerless. A day will come, soon perhaps, when the new society will blossom freely, a society of love, of healthy labor and universal peace.

Applied to history, the expression « acheminement » characterizes the mechanism of the process of human societies toward the ensemble of the improvements and developments toward which their constant effort is directed.

Most often, that acheminement is achieved slowly and in a concealed manner; it escapes observation and the most clairvoyants suspect it more than they truly distinguish it. It happens sometimes that the advance becomes hurried and crosses immense spaces in a short period of time.

In the first case, it is evolution; in the second, it is Revolution.


ACTION n. “In the beginning was the action,” said Gœthe. What distinguishes the living from the dead. Not to act is not to live, it is to commit suicide. To act is to think, it is to create, it is to translate into positive reality the needs, the aspirations, the desires, the wills that move us. Action is to writing and speech what the fruit is to the tree. The spoken word and writing would be in vain if they did not give rise to Action. Action cause an impact, constitutes an example, possesses an incomparable power of momentum. Real action is profound and disdains the artificial. It is not a simple semblance, but a sensible, real, concrete fact. It can be silent and develop in mystery and shadow; it is not always necessarily perceived; but it always creates and it is to the degree that it gives birth that it is affirmed: noble, strong and beautiful. The most humble actions are often the most admirable; they do not concern themselves with noise, nor with glare; they often work more and better in the darkness than in the bright light. They do not require the theatrical apparatus that frequently diminishes the the sincerity and disinterestedness of its authors. We say “he is a man of action” to designate an energetic man, loving truth, committed to justice and determined to struggle fiercely for them and make them triumph. Men of action are rare, much rarer than the talkers and the ranters. Many pass for “men of action” who are not even men, but inert posts along the road of life. Action is Life; Inaction is Death.

— Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers


ART-ACTION. Disinterested and living action, expressed not only by the creation of actual works of art, but by the manifestation of beauty in all the acts of life for the independence of the individual in the heart of every environment; action of protest, of rebellion — useful, not utilitarian, human, not humanitarian. Every honest action is an action of art. (Contrast: political action, warlike action, religious action, etc.: forms of inaction).


Pierre Besnard


DIRECT ACTION. It is not only the action by which Syndicalism and certain revolutionary schools think to successfully achieve their demands that we can consider direct action. There is also — and parallel to that collective form of Direct Action — its individual form. That form has the individuals themselves for terrain. It consists of the internal evolution of individuals, of the violence that they exert upon themselves, of their efforts to master, embellish and better themselves, of the war that they make on their passions, of the victories that they achieve each day over ugliness. The results of that Direct Action are positive. Art, thought and books help individuals to discover themselves; they reveal them to theemselves. They act directly on their consciousness, to reform, enlarge and strengthen it.

— Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers


ADAPTATION. n. f. Action of applying, of suiting one thing to another. — In biology, we mean by adaptation the modification that makes an organ more capable of its function. A particular organ is adapted when, among the various possible ways of being, it produces the maximum effects; a being is adapted when its organs are adapted. Adaptation dominates all the evolutionist theories.

Darwin has clearly shown that among the variations, only those that can adapt are preserved. In the natural classifications, it is necessary to eliminate all the adaptive resemblances. Thus, among the vertebrates that fly, and, as a result, resemble one another through adaptation to that function, some will be ranked among the mammals, others among the reptiles and the largest number among the birds.

The word adaptation is also used in a figurative sense. Example: an individual can adapt to a milieu other than their own. The nationalists maintain that man cannot adapt in a nation other than their own or at least that this adaptation will always be artificial and shallow. Their reasoning is too self-serving for it to be accepted as they wish. If, thus far, men experience great difficulties in adapting in a country that is foreign to them, if men still fraternize with difficulty across border, the fault is precisely in the nationalists, who are happy to kindle false quarrels between the nations and who like to raise boundaries of hatred and incomprehension between them. However, the conquering nationalists do not hesitate, on occasion, to annex regions to their countries with different languages and customs. And that scarcely makes they case they have made themselves with their arguments about the impossible fusion of races and nations. When the workers decide to be the victims of the diplomats no longer, they will realize that nothing is truly opposed to a broad fraternity among the nations. And they could mutually adapt to the customs and ways of thinking of their neighbors. The only obstacle to a complete understanding, language, would disappear quickly through the use of an international language.



ADMIRATION. n. (pref. ad, towards and Lat. mirari, to look at). Quasi-instinctive attraction towards all that is beautiful and deep sympathy for everything that is useful and alive. It is befitting to admire the beautiful gestures, the great and lofty thoughts. Let us admire courage, sincerity and true independence. Let us admire, in short, all that is worthy of being admired and let us not peddle, then, our admiration: let us grant it widely and without restrictions. Let us leave the ifs and the buts, the distinctions, the quibbles and all the cheap considerations to the stiff, to the pedants, to the pygmies. Let us not deprive those who deserve it of our admiration. But let us not tarnish it, not squander it on that which is nonexistent; let us not dispense it without sufficient motives. Let us refuse it to the cowards, the renegades and the rulers. Let us make a choice in our admiring sentiments. Let us beware of imitating, in that order of ideas, the ignorant mob, the multitude fooled by appearances. No admiration for the stripes won in the blood of the battlefield; no admiration for the “chasubled prelates” who only owe the veneration that surrounds them to the sum of the impostures embody; no admiration for the millionaires whose opulence is measured in the privations and humiliations that they have savagely imposed on those they exploit; no admiration for the men of State whose every step towards Power marks a retraction, a reversal or a treason; no admiration for the false savants and false artists; no admiration for the “Great Men” fabricated with beats of the bass drum and noisy publicity. Let us admire all the true artists, all the prestigious poets, all the superior minds, all the savants without charlatanism and the whole host of torches who pierce and dissipate the shadows of ignorance, servitude poverty. To admire is to participate the work admired; it is almost to create ourselves the work that we admire; it is almost to raise ourselves to the level of the one we admire. The one who admires the work of genius equals its author and when we applaud a fine gesture, it is — morally — as if we had accomplished it ourselves.


Jean Marestan




Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers


Sébastien Faure


Georges Vidal

AGRAIRE (La question)

Georges Bastien

AGRICOLE (Le travail)

Georges Bastien


P. Maugé, aîné (Petit Agriculteur)


Georges Bastien


Docteur F. Elosu



Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers


Sébastien Faure


Sébastien Faure




Pierre Besnard



Sébastien Faure


Han Ryner


Jean Marestan


E. Armand


Gérard de Lacaze-Duthiers






ANARCHY n. (from the Greek: a privative and archè, command, power, authority)

Preliminary observation. The object of this Anarchist Encyclopedia being to make known the full range of conceptions—political, economic, philosophical, moral, etc.—that arise from the anarchist idea or lead there, it is in the course of this work and in the very place that each of them must occupy within it, that the multiples theses contained in the exact and complete study of this subject will be explained. So it is only by drawing and joining together, methodically and with continuity, the various parts of this Encyclopedia that it will be possible for the reader to achieve the complete understanding of Anarchy, Anarchism and the Anarchists.

Consequently, I will show here only in its outlines, in a narrow and synthetic fashion, what constitutes the very essence of Anarchy and Anarchism. For the details—and it is appropriate to note that none have a great importance—the reader should consult the various words to which this text will ask them to refer.

Etymologically, the word “Anarchy” (which should be spelled An-Archy) signifies: the state of a people and, more precisely still, of a social milieu without government.

As a social ideal and in its actual fulfillment, Anarchy answers to a modus vivendi in which, stripped of all legal and collective restraint having the public force at its service, the individual would have no obligations but those imposed on them by their own conscience. They would possess the ability to give themselves up to rational inspirations of their individual initiative; they would enjoy the right to attempt all the experiments that appear desirable or fruitful to them; they would freely commit themselves to contracts of all sorts—always temporary, and revocable or revisable—that would link them to their fellows and, not wishing to subject anyone to their authority, they would refuse to submit to the authority of anyone. Thus, sovereign master of themselves, of the direction that it pleases them to give their life, of the use that they will make of their faculties, of their knowledge, of their productive activity, of their relations of sympathy, friendship and love, the individual will organize their existence as it seems good to them: radiating in every sense, blossoming as they please, enjoying, in all things, a full and complete liberty, without any limits but those that would be allocated to them by the liberty—also full and complete—of other individuals.

This modus vivendi implies a social regime from which would be banished, in right and in fact, any idea of employer and employed, of capitalist and proletarian, of master and servant, of governor and governed.

You will see that, thus defined, the world “Anarchy” has been insidiously and over time distorted from its precise meaning, that it has been taken, little by little, in the sense of “disorder” and that, in the majority of dictionaries and encyclopedias, it is only mentioned in that sense: chaos, upheaval, confusion, waste, disarray, disorder.

Apart from the Anarchists, all the philosophers, all the moralists, all the sociologists—including the democratic theorists and the doctrinaire socialists—maintain that, in the absence of a Government, of a legislation and a repression that assures respect for the law and cracks down on every infraction of it, there is and can only be disorder and criminality.

And yet!… Don’t the moralists and philosophers, men of State and sociologists perceive the frightful disorder that reigns, despite the Authority that governs and the Law that represses, in all domains? Are they so deprived of critical sense and the spirit of observation, that they are unaware that the more regulation increases, the more the more the web of legislation tightens, the more the field of repression extends, and the more immorality, disgrace, offenses and crimes increase?

It is impossible that these theorists of “Order” and these professors of “Morals” think, seriously and honestly, of confounding with what they call “Order” the atrocities, horrors, and monstrosities, the revolting spectacle of which observation places before our eyes.

And—if there are degrees of impossibility—it is still more impossible that, in order to diminish and a fortiori to make these infamies disappear, these learned doctors count on the virtue of Authority and the force of Law.

That pretension would be pure insanity.

The law has only a single aim: to first justify and then sanction all the usurpations and iniquities on which rest what the profiteers of these iniquities and usurpations call “the Social Order.” The holders of wealth have crystallized in the Law the original legitimacy of their fortune; the holders of Power have raised to the level of an immutable and sacred principle the respect owed by the crowds to the privileged, the to power and majesty with which they are invested. We can search, to the bottom or even deeper, all of the monuments to hypocrisy and violence that are the Codes, all the Codes, but we will never find a disposition that is not in favor of these two facts—facts of a historical and circumstantial order, which we tend to convert into facts of a natural and inevitable order—Property and Authority. I abandon to the official tartuffes and to the professionals of bourgeois charlatanism all that which, in the Legislation, deals with “Morals,” as that is, and can only be, in a social state based on Authority and Property, only the humble servant and brazen accomplice of those things.

[translation in progress]

Sebastien Faure




















ANTINOMY (Etym. : gr. anti, et Nomos, laws).—Impossibility of granting the for or the against, the yes or the no. Opposition of two sentiments, two incompatible phenomena. Thus, the individual does not get along well with authority, genius will not tolerate mediocrity (and mediocrity will tolerate genius even less), beauty and ugliness will never agree. It is impossible to love life and nothingness at the same time. One must be for or against. No ambivalent attitude, no compromise. The rupture is inevitable between the past and the future, and there is not rapprochement possible between the intelligent and brutes. However, harmony can and must exist between thought and action, sentiment and logic. Art joins and reconciles what mediocrity separates. On the other hand, in the uncertain domain of politics, some things that seem irreconcilable seem to be reconciled. The renegades (see that word) take the hands of their worst enemies, when they expect to gain something by it. Where we thought that there was opposition, there was tacit agreement: the opposition only existed formally, only to pull the wool over eyes! This is an example of the false antinomy. Another example of an antinomy: the sacred union. Antinomy can also mean the powerlessness of the administration to resolve certain problems, of the law to satisfy everyone, the inconsistency of authority and the struggle that the authorities engage in among themselves. Antinomy, these baroque, appalling judgments of our civil and military judges; antinomy, that immoral morality, these prescriptions violated by those who decree them… Antinomy, that charity that claims to reduce the evils that it should have sought to eliminate from the beginning, accepting and deploring war all at once; antinomies, these articles of the pseudo-journalists affirming at the end what they deny in the beginning, or denying at the end what they affirm from the first words, etc… The entire society is one vast antinomy, a web of contradictions and inconsistencies (like human nature). Some claim to resolve that antinomy, to make room for both sides, to agree with everyone, to serve lies and truth at once, and to live on an uncertainty!










APOSTASY n. (from the Greek apostasia, abandonment) Formerly, the word apostasy was hardly ever used except to designate the abandonment of one religion in favor of another: Ex.: The apostasy of the Emperor Julian. But the word has not taken long to take on a wider meaning and to also designate the abandonment of a party or a social doctrine. Ex.: The apostasy of the politician Alexandre Millerand, in France; The apostasy of the politician Mussolini, in Italy; The apostasy of the politician Vandervelde, in Belgium; of the politician Branting, in Sweden, of the base, the revolting Gustave Hervé, in France, etc… Apostasy, in matters of politics, can sometimes be caused by motives of the intellectual or sentimental order. But these cases are very rare. Partisans of absolute liberty of thought and action for each, we can only deplore the lack of consistency and perseverance of the comrades who withdraw from the struggle after having openly campaigned. But we cannot condemn them, if they have the modesty to disappear from the social scene and not exacerbate their desertion with a betrayal. For that matter, it can be that the struggle has exhausted the energy of the intellectual strength of a man: in this case, their withdrawal inspires our regret, but calls for all our indulgence. However, as we have said, cases of literal apostasy are very rare. Generally the apostate is a politician who reckon that by joining another camp, they will profit more than by remaining in the camp where they find themselves. As the basis of an apostasy, we almost uniformly find these two motives: money and reputation. It is for this reason that when a party or social group is poor, we can count its militants. But as soon as the party becomes rich, politicians present themselves from all sides, desiring to offer their services. The parties that are richest in money are often richest in politicians, as politicians come from other parties or other sects where the coffers have an empty ring. On the other hand, newborn political parties are generally poor in money, but they are rich in hopes of growth. So they easily recruit ambitious types who calculate that by having a little patience, it could be made the coveted place. These ambitious types know, in fact, that in the parties that are already old, the ranks are already full and they would have to surmount countless difficulties in order to carve out a sufficient piece of the pie. And it is because of all these considerations that the anarchists can have full confidence in their militants. The politicians do not venture among them, since they could only reap poverty and persecutions. It is useless, naturally, to multiply the examples of apostasy: the thing has become so commonplace in politics that we need only look around us to regard renegades of every sort. — Georges Vidal


APOSTLE n. (from the Greek apostolos; from apo, far and stellein, to send) The word apostle has served first of all the designate each of the twelve disciples that Jesus Christ appointed, according to the legend, to go preach the gospel. But the sense of the word has since broadened. Today the world apostle serves to designate one who devotes themselves to the propagation and defense of a doctrine. Ex.: Kropotkin and Bakunin are apostles of anarchism. But here, as in many instances, it is right to pay attention to the false apostles, to the individuals who seek to pass themselves off as martyrs to a cause, for the sole purpose of being able to more easily dupe the crowd. The distinctive trait of every true apostle is selflessness, the true apostle thumbs their nose at everything: money and popularity. To the sincere apostle, money and glory have little importance. They would propagate the ideas they consider just even — and especially — if the propaganda is arduous and attracts only persecution. Their attachment to the doctrines that they serve is so vivace that they are ready to sacrifice all — their liberty, their friendships, even their life if necessary — to the triumph of their convictions. Nothing will stop them. They have given their person to their ideal and their devotion is absolute. The false apostle, on the contrary, under an appearance of devotion, seeks only to satisfy their appetites and their own interests. He is an actor who sometimes knows to play the persecuted. All the politicians of the so-called popular parties manage to pass, to some extent, for good apostles concerned to the point of abnegation for the the mass of workers. They are unscrupulous cheats, who must be constantly unmasked. Indeed, let the least danger to them arrive and these sham apostles know to disappear or to maneuver skillfully. It is up to the anarchist to denounce to the people the parasites who gain a flashy reputation at their expense. And it is equally up to the anarchists to be able to surround the true apostles with an unwavering affection and companionship. — Georges Vidal


APPEL (Cour d’)





ARCHIES (from Greek arché.) This ending designates the different powers that exercise authority and command in society, powers that are harmful from every point of view, incapable of insuring true order, whether it is a question of monarchy (monos, one alone), power left to the arbitrary will of one individual, or of oligarchy (oligos, few in number), the power of a clique (an olig-archy of businessmen, politicians, soldiers, etc…, enslaving the world to its whims, — one hundred tyrants instead of one), or of all the archies past, present and future. Whether it is the expression of the will of one alone or several, archy suppose the division of humanity into masters and slaves, all incapable of governing themselves. — Hier-archy (Gr. hieros, sacred). Society cannot do without a hierarchy. This follows from authority itself. Individuals are subordinated to one another. Some command and others obey. Some occupy the highest reaches of the social edifice and some the lowest degrees, the rich and powerful not being able to do without the poor and lowly any more than the latter can do without them. Everywhere there are classes, castes, barriers, divisions, distinctions… Individuals do not differ among themselves in originality (they are all alike, equally corrupted), but by title, costume, function, grade… The principle of every hierarchy is the subordination of inferiors to superiors (which is arbitrary, nothing proving the superiority of those who, charged with directing the slaves, are equally enslaved, from those who, masters of society, are not masters of themselves.) A hierarchy is necessary, it is said, to insure the proper functioning of the State. What would become of a society in which each did what they wished? It would be arbitrary. But what do we see in a hierarchized society, if not the triumph of disorder? No one is in their place, no one fulfills their role, each things to do what they wish, but only makes themselves insufferably to their neighbor: it is the good pleasure of the rulers that dominates, offering the spectacle of an unimaginable incoherence, served and maintained by the spinelessness of the ruled. Hierarchy is only a subordination of the intelligent to the imbeciles. It is a hier-archy overturned, a mystification. — Synarchy (Gr. sun, with). Union, solidarity of archies. Synthesis of government, law of social organization. According to St-Yves d’Alvevdre, Barlet, Lelay and Papus, there exists an analogy between the law that directs human beings and the law that directs society. The divisions of the human organism (stomach, chest, head) are also found in society (economy, power, authority.) Syn-archy establishes once and for all (?) the law for the rulers and the ruled. A questionable theory. — Ant-archie. The prefix ant designates the struggle against archy. It is emplyed here as in anti-clericalism, anti-alcoholism, anti-social, anti-slavery, anti-revolutionary, anti-militarism, anti-patriotism, etc… while the term anarchy signifies the very absence of all archy, the elimination of all authority, designates an attitude above and outside, as in a-legal, a-patriotic, a-social, a-religious, a-clerical, a-moral, a-political, a-nomie (absence of law imposed from outside on the individual, their own law), etc… The ant-archist lacks the selflessness and nobility of the an-archist (the anti designating a polical, utilitarian, non-aesthetic attitude.) However, an-archy does not imply an absolute indifference with regard to the social world: to place oneself outside of authority is to enter into conflict with it. Nevertheless, we can escape the fixed idea of combating it, an idea that ends by engendering slavery, by subordinating us to what we combat, and makes us use the same weapons as the enemy. An-archy is preferable in all respects to ant-archy. — Aut-archy (not to be confused with the previous term) government of oneself (autos), the “self-government” of the English, a system of moral autonomy recommended by [Louis Marie de] La Réveillère-Lepault. Anarchy for the use of the fashionable and old military figures. Suitable for retired civil servants, the correpondents of scientific societies, energetic professors… The autarchist accepts the State, authority, property, law and hierarchy. He is proud to have a traditional conception. He is, it is true, the enemy of certain prejudices and of administrative routine. He does not play politics (?). He is a reformist. The autarchist attends religious services or is content to believe in the Supreme Being: M. Homais [in Madame Bovary] is an autarchist. Autarchy, which claims to have its foundation in individual autonomy and liberty of thought, like an-archy, pursues a different end. While an-archy makes a tabula rasa of the social (to the extent that it is possible), aut-archy takes the social into account. While the an-archist strives to break every link with the so-called civilized world, profound attachments tie the autarchist to the past. He is not liberatred. He is altruistic and does not reject association (La Réveillère even recognized a communal autarchy), accepts the organization of society with reshufflings, modifications, and remains in the realm of legality. Autarchy is a compromise.

Other words constructed with archy: idiarchy (government by the idea); logo-archy (a theory recommending the link between rational socialists and logo-archists (logos, link)); poly-archy (polus, several): the republican regime is a poly-archy; pan-archy (pan, all): we can say that all of society is a vast pan-archy: authority exercises its tyranny there in all forms and spreads its limitless incoherence. This system reduces the entire world to authority; archist (partisan of archy.)







ARMÉE (Le rôle véritable de l’)


ULTERIOR MOTIVE n. By ulterior motive we mean the hidden intention that guides an individual. For example, the ulterior motive of the candidate in the legislative elections is that he absolutely could not care less about his voters and wishes to be sent to Parliament to satisfy his ambition or to gain a privileged position. With him there is the facade: the beautiful promises, the professions of faith, etc…, then the ulterior motive: the honors, the money, etc… With the priest there is also the facade: the man who represents God, who blesses, who confesses, who absolves, who excommunicates, etc…, then the ulterior motive: he knows very well that his job is to tell nonsense, but he also knows very well that it is by preaching such nonsense with the greatest seriousness that he will be able to preserve his power and his authority. And one could choose a hundred other examples… The desire of the anarchists is precisely to rise up against this multiple deceit, of which the people are always the victim. It is the sly immorality of the bourgeoisie that thus encourages lies and makes them a weapon in the hands of its lackeys.











ASSISES (Cour d’)



ASSISTANCE PUBLIQUE A PARIS (Administration générale de l’)









Pierre Besnard


WORKSHOP n. The workshop is the place where workers, artists, etc. labor. In our time, when the artisan class has almost totally disappeared, there are immense workshops that generally supply industry. These workshops, where the workers remain confined for long workdays, are nearly always unhealthy and uncomfortable. The boss, not fretting about the health of his employees, cuts costs as much as possible. So he does not hesitate to make his personnel work in pitiful premises. Many legislative measures exist regulating the hygiene and security of the workers in the workshops, but they always forget to apply these wise measures: the wolves do not eat each other, the wolves of politics are careful not to disturb the wolves of the industry. However, the workshop being a place where men furnish a useful labor and do so for long hours, it is intolerable that those who labor there cannot find all the conveniences and wholesome conditions desirable. The workshops should be large, with high ceilings, always kept very clear, well ventilated and well lighted. In cases where asphyxiating or toxic gases (phosphorous, carbon monoxide) are released, it would be necessary, either by means of smoke vents, or by means of closed, airtight machines, to prevent the diffusion of these gases. It would be necessary, besides, to eliminate the dust emitted by certain industries and prevent their penetration into the respiratory paths. It would also be necessary to take many other measures. But that will only be possible on the day with the workshops no longer belong to rapacious industrialists who prefer to sacrifice the life and health of their workers to the increase of their dividends. It is this task — among a thousand others — that the anarchists have their hearts set on accomplishing in the days following the Social Revolution.














AVATAR n. (Sanskrit avatâra). Avatar is the name given, in India, to the incantations of a god, especially to those of Vishnu. By analogy, the word avatar has come to designate a transformation, a metamorphosis. Ex: The avatars of a political man. Like apostasy, the avatar is a very common thing in politics; what politician has not had his avatars? In general, a lack of money, the fall of a ministry or the chance of obtaining a profitable post is enough to bring them into being. These are, indeed, contingencies that could not leave a politician indifferent, and regularly add another avatar to his credit. The anarchists do not tolerated avatars in political matters, and know to chastise them when they arise. (Compare with apostasy.)








About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.