Contr'un

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. […]

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Sébastien Faure, “Twelve Proofs of the Non-Existence of God” (1908)

Can any sensible and thoughtful man be found who could accept the existence of this God—of whom we speak as if he was not shrouded in any mystery, as if we were ignorant of nothing about him, as if we had penetrated all his thought and as if we had received all his confidences: “He has done this and done that, and then this and then that. He has said this and that, and then again that. He has acted and spoken with this aim and for that reason. He desires this thing, but he forbids this other thing. He will reward these actions and punish those others. And he has done this and wants that because he is infinitely wise, infinitely just, infinitely powerful, infinitely good”? […]

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Félix Frenay, “The Law” (1864) (FR/EN)

It is truly interesting to observe that over the course of the centuries that history allows us to nous survey, the human mind, in its slow, but continual march, while undermining institutions, beliefs and prejudices, while attacking all the abominations, has always made one exception. Indeed, when all the religions have fallen or totter on their foundations, one alone will remain upright and solid… and that is the law. […]

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Hector Morel, “Nationalities Considered from the Point of View of Liberty” (1862)

If there are words that we have used and abused, which we use and abuse every day, they are unquestionably the words nation and homeland. Everything in society which aims to muzzle and exploit the people, to paralyze and hold back the development of human intelligence, is always and invariably advanced in the name of the homeland: Laws and regulations, ordinances and decrees, scaffolds and prisons, police and gendarmes, etc., etc., all this hideous paraphernalia of chains and slavery, of plunder and misery, of exploitation and servitude, has only been invented, only exists, in the interest of the good order and internal security of nations. […]

Contr'un

Escheat and Anarchy

One of the difficulties in explaining the anarchist critique—and of distinguishing anarchist tendencies from those that propose only partial breaks with authority—has been the fact that the two fundamental critiques associated with anarchist thought—anti-capitalism and anti-governmentalism—have been difficult to unite, despite indications that they emerged together as part of a single critique in the work of Proudhon. […]

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The Life and Astonishing Adventures of John Daniel (1770)

The melancholy Occasion of his Travels, His Shipwreck with one Companion on a desolate Island. Their way of Life. His accidental discovery of a Woman for his Companion. Their peopling the Island and also a Description of a most surprising Eagle, invented by his Son Jacob, on which he flew to the Moon, with some Account of its Inhabitants. His return, and accidental Fall into the Habitation of a Sea Monster, with whom he lived two Years. His further Excursions in Search of England. His Residence in Lapland, and Travels to Norway, from whence he arrived at Aldborough, and farther Transactions till his Death, in 1711. Aged 97. […]

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J. K. Ingalls, “Reminiscences of an Octogenarian” (1897)

These Reminiscences, which largely refer to parties no longer dwellers of our sphere, are mainly the personal recollections of the author, who has never kept any regular diary. Where periodicals and books have been referred to, the memory has been relieved; but otherwise, it has been wholly relied upon. The motive leading to their publication, has been the request of friends, to have them put in readable form; but in addition to that, there are certain ideas I desired to put before the world in as familiar a form as possible. […]