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. […]
J. F. Moncaleano, “Historia del Primer Anarquista,” Regeneración no. 127 (February 8, 1913): 1, 3. Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur.
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. […]
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. […]
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. […]
“Well,” he said, the smile still lingering in the corners of his mouth, “we are in one sense, my friend, a poverty-stricken people. We haven’t any institutions to speak of. All we can boast are certain outgrowths of our needs, which, for the most part, have taken care of themselves. We have, perhaps, an unwritten law, or general understanding, though no one to my knowledge has tried to state it. We all seem to know it when we meet it, and, as yet, have had no dispute about it. It may be said in a general way, however, as a matter of observation, that we are believers in liberty, in justice, in equality, in fraternity, in peace, progress, and in a state of happiness here on earth for one and all. What we mean by all this defines itself as we go along. It is a practical, working belief, we have. When we find an idea won’t work, we don’t decide against it; we let it rest; perhaps, later on, it will work all right. I don’t know as there is much more to say.” […]
It is only by anarchy and violence that a great accumulation of social wrongs can be removed. Anarchy is a good word. It means, “without a head.” Violence is the healing power of Nature applied to society. The violence which would follow from the abolishment of law, would be proportion to the number and magnitude of the wrongs that needed removal. There ought always to be anarchy, but there would be no violence where there were no wrongs. […]
It’s been several weeks since I proposed a new survey of anarchist opinion, in the spirit of those undertaken by anarchist in the early 20th century. A number of folks have agreed to work up answers to the initial questions and I’ll start things off by posting my own somewhat tentative responses. […]