J. William Lloyd, et al., “White-Flag Anarchism”—A Debate (1894)

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  • J. William Lloyd, “White-Flag Anarchism—A Color Line,” Liberty 10 no. 6 (July 28, 1894): 9.
  • Lizzie M. Holmes, “That ‘Color Line,’” Liberty 10 no. 7 (August 11, 1894): 8.
  • C. J. Zeitinger, “The White Flag” Liberty 10 no. 7 (August 11, 1894): 8.
  • J. William Lloyd, “White Anarchism, Force and Sentiment,” Liberty 10 no. 9 (September 8, 1894): 8.
  • William Bailie, “Away with the Red Flag,” Liberty 10 no. 9 (September 8, 1894): 8–9.
  • E. C. Walker, “Timely Utterance to Sane Thought,” Liberty 10 no. 11 (October 6, 1894): 5.
  • F. D. Tandy, “Reds We Remain,” Liberty 10 no. 12 (October 20, 1894): 2.
  • James Thierry, “Another New Name,” Liberty 10 no. 12 (October 20, 1894): 3.
  • Eleutheromaniac, “A Hand Contemptuous at a Nose Flippant,” Liberty 10 no. 13 (November 3, 1894): 8.
  • J. William Lloyd, The Red Heart in a White World (1898)

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White-Flag Anarchism — A Color Line.

At this time, when militant Anarchists, by deeds of fanatical violence and senseless destruction, are filling the timid and gentle with horror, darkening counsel, and stopping with prejudice the ears of the intellectual who were just beginning to listen and to think, when it is gravely proposed to make “organized murder” the legal definition of Anarchism, and when prominent Anarchists are repudiating the name Anarchist as one inevitably misunderstood, it is manifest that philosophical Anarchism is in danger of being altogether swamped and indefinitely postponed unless some decisive step be taken to render the distinction of our views clear.

If we do not do this we shall continually see, on the one hand, the credit of our good deeds transferred to our dynamiting namesakes; and, on the other, shall ourselves receive the blame of their fanatical outbreaks and follies.

And if it can be claimed that the dictionaries now justify Anarchism as the philosophical name of a sect of non-invasive Socialists, it must be admitted that they much more emphatically justify the popular use of the term as a synonym of disorder, chaos, and the propaganda of assassination.

And it is indisputable that the newspapers are the great teachers of the masses today, and that they almost invariably use the term in the latter sense.

And it is folly for us to keep asserting that we are the only Anarchists and that these dynamiters are not Anarchists at all. However true that may be philosophically, the practical fact is that they have the name, and will never lose it, — could not if they would.

If we do not therefore at once adopt some distinctive name, or use some unmistakable sign which reporters can grasp and the masses instantly comprehend, without the trouble of hairsplitting and philosophical explanations, we shall find ourselves in the amusing position of a certain reforming editor in Kansas, who is obliged to keep a standing advertisement to prove that the name of his paper does not necessarily mean the devil.

I believe I can furnish a sign (from which shall necessarily come a name) which will meet all the required indications and make the distinction instantly manifest, if not completely clear, to the dullest indifference.

And it is of the utmost practical importance that those whom we would teach should have this distinction always in mind.

In education, object teaching is the modern method, as it is also the most ancient and the most effective. From time immemorial all divisions of human thought have been symbolized by outward signs, badges, flags, and colors. We are not wise if we ignore human nature.

The Collectivists have one unmistakable sign — the red flag — under which they are all broadly grouped. If we permit ourselves to be enrolled under that banner we are hopelessly confounded with them.

Red has always been the color of piracy, war, blood, fire, and hate. If also the color of liberty and of love, very few will think of that when unfurled as the flag of a party whose avowed policy is terrorism and the appeal to force. I do not hesitate to say that when the red flag is unrolled the first thought of even a majority of its friends is of a sea of blood and fire. Passion, revenge, and hate are what it inspires, for non-invasion, intellectual evolution, and universal sympathy are not favorite thoughts in the brain of a man with a dagger in one hand and a bomb in the other, and who is nerving himself to use them.

I propose that instead of a red flag we have a white flag with a red heart in its centre. And over the heart our watchword, Equal Liberty; beneath, the motto, “The World Is Our Country,” in letters of green. Our object is the evolution of society to a normal order by untrammelled natural growth. Our methods are those of intelligent discussion, “moral suasion,” and economic equity, solely. We believe that the inevitable result of our doctrines is universal peace, reasonableness, prosperity, and fraternity.

Now, by the universal consent of mankind, white is the color of peace and of amicable and reasoning conference. A white flag needs no explanation where it is manifestly not used with the idea of surrender, which the red heart precludes. And the red heart is equally unmistakable, — all the symbolism of one blood, the Common Heart, fraternity, and universal love, which the most favorable imagination can discover in the red flag, are still more clearly contained in the white. The lettering is green, for that is the recognized color of youth, hope, growth, prosperity, and healthy vision.

Instantly, and to the dullest eye, without one word of explanation, such a flag will be understood to declare that we believe in peace, liberty, and fraternity, while the more thoughtful will perceive the deeper implications of the abolition of party, national lines, and local patriotism, the assertion of non-invasion, free-thought, free-trade, free-love, cooperation, social order, and prosperity. An opposition to the red flag will be equally manifest.

Display such a flag, at a public meeting, with a broad declaration of principles, and call the attention of the press, and within a month the whole civilized world will know that there is a distinction between red flag and white-flag Anarchism, and will be prepared to listen to the declaration that the one trusts in terrorism and enforced change, while the other looks to education and economic evolution.

As a means of propaganda, it would be unexcelled.

Such a distinction once made on the retina, as it were, would never be forgotten, and would be universally used by friend and foe alike. It is one that the press can easily employ and the people readily understand.

Mr. Walker would find, with this distinction, that he could still retain the name Anarchist and be understood.

Mr. Byington would find the ears of editors suddenly opened to the words of his Letter-Writing Corps, and a distinction made at once in their minds which it would take a lifetime of his praiseworthy efforts to establish or make plain.

Those who have read my poem, “No Flag,” may accuse me of inconsistency, but whatever apparent justification there may be for this in the outward form, there is clearly none in the essential spirit.

I respectfully submit this suggestion to my comrades.

A heart gules on a field argent.

J. Wm. Lloyd.

That “Color Line.”

J. William Lloyd, writing in Liberty of July 28, makes an effort to draw the lines taut between philosophical, non-invasive Anarchists, and those who “by deeds of fanatical violence and senseless destruction are filling the gentle with horror,” etc. His effort is not up to his usual standard. Compared with the excellent and logical editorial by Yarros in the same number, it shows a remarkable lack of comprehension of the position occupied by those known as “revolutionary Anarchists,” and also a sort of “back-number” manner of regarding existing conditions.

Carried out as Mr. Lloyd states his plan, I doubt if a dozen “plumb-liners” would step out from the crowd and form under his “heart gules on a field argent.” Judging by conversations held with professed plumb-liners, I come to this conclusion.

First allow me to state the position of those whom Mr. Lloyd calls “militant Anarchists,” and it will be apparent that he does not understand them.

They are not, in the first place, deliberate choosers of violence and destruction; no hater of established authority feels a natural inclination to kill, burn, and destroy, or to see it done, if by peaceable means the prevailing injustice can possibly be abolished. They recognize the fact that in the intellectual age we may hope for final adjustments of human relations without the use of force, and will heartily rejoice when this age shall come. They say, as does the writer above mentioned, “the use of force by the victims of plutocracy may not be wise or just in all cases, but it is natural and inevitable.”

Mark Twain, in “Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” gives a fine justification of revolts, beginning with these words: “A thousand years of villainy swept away in one tidal wave of blood, . . . . a half drop of blood for each hogshead of it that had been pressed by slow tortures out of the people in the weary centuries of wrong and shame and misery.”

A long course of brutal oppressions will engender a course of brutal reprisals, as certain as that lightning and storms follow a season of oppressive heat and varying Winds. There is no royal road over this stormy passage. The time of philosophic thought and calm consideration may be on the other side, but the whole unhappy, much-abused world cannot jump over to it in a single moment. Such poetic and gentle souls as the inventor of the passive emblem may be so far past that crude, turbulent stage as to see no excuse for its existence; but men who have drudged ten hours of every day from early childhood and borne all the hardships and biting anxieties of bitter poverty, are in no condition, mentally or physically, to reason themselves and their employers into a millennial state of equal freedom. If they are aroused at all, it will be by a shock; and their first effective revolt will be a shock to some one else.

It is perhaps to be regretted that men are not reasonable enough to settle all disputes without recourse to violence. But the cold fact must be admitted — they are not. The human race has had to pass through pain, struggle, storm, stress violence, suffering of every description, to arrive at the present stage of intellectual development. The earth passed through fire, storms, earthquakes, convulsions of all kinds, before it became a fit place for human habitation. If we had had the ordering of these things, we would have made people wise and good, and the world beautiful, in the first place. But we had not, and so the convulsions and storms were inevitable. No beautiful thing exists now but had its foundation down deep in the soil of earth, or the crude, rough material of nature. The beauty which we hope for in human relations will be built on painful experiences and bitter lessons.

On the other hand, as I understand it, passive-resistance Anarchists are not advocates of peace on sentimental grounds. I never talked with one yet who did not admit that if violent reprisals would bring us any nearer to the time of universal equal freedom he would be glad to see them occur. He will also inwardly rejoice to see a man who is bullying a small boy deliberately knocked down by some lover of justice, and, with precisely the same feeling, he will read of the punishment of some tyrant who has caused women and children to spend their lives in misery. These feelings are natural and cannot be checked even in the gentlest of philosophers. Mr. Lloyd bases his desire for a dividing line on sentimental lines alone. Thus: It is naughty to strike and throw dynamite, so let us all, who love peace at any price, find a nice spot by ourselves and stand under a beautiful red, white, and green flag. How many would care to label themselves as advocating peace under all circumstances, and as always condemning “an appeal to force” from every miserable victim of injustice? With the Quakers, this is part of their religion. Is it a religious principle, a “thus saith the Lord” mandate, with Mr. Lloyd?

I would like to ask my friend to read over his paragraph, “If we do not do this, we shall continue to see, on the one hand, the credit of our good deeds transferred to our dynamiting namesakes; and, on the other, shall ourselves receive the blame of their fanatical outbreaks and follies.”

Doesn’t it sound a bit pharisaical, self-righteous, unfair? Beside it, read that splendid sentence of Yarros: “What is claimed and emphasized is that, when workingmen do retaliate and force down their oppressors’ throats a dose of their own medicine, it is not the business of lovers of equity and justice to denounce them.”

Yes, I have read and admired “No Flag” until tears filled my eyes; and I think the author’s latest effort very inconsistent with that beautiful poem.

Lizzie M. Holmes.

The White Flag.

To the Editor of Liberty:

I most heartily agree with Comrade J. Wm. Lloyd in his views on the name Anarchist, as expressed in Liberty of July 28. I have experienced the displeasure of friends to whom I sent some copies of the paper, and in my opinion it was simply because they confounded philosophical Anarchy with the red-flag Anarchy, which is a most deadly poison to our progress. The sooner we make the distinction clear the better. The design of the white flag proposed seems very appropriate as far as it goes; but I would suggest that the red heart be placed in the centre of a diamond of green in the middle of the flag, horizontally, with the lettering over and beneath the diamond as Mr. Lloyd proposes, only leaving out “is,” Our Country the World, or the Planet Earth. The green diamond conveys more forcibly all we recognize in this color, — youth, hope, growth, prosperity, healthy vision, etc., and the cutting quality of the diamond, known to cut the hardest substances in existence, in addition, — this last being symbolical of the true cutting power of the principles of philosophical Anarchism, — and asserting our integrity of purpose, power, and confidence.

Respectfully submitted to our friends,

C. J. Zeitinger.

White Anarchism. Force, and Sentiment.

I am grateful to Mrs. Holmes for calling attention to my “Color Line” by criticising it. Knowing pretty well where her sympathies are, I did not expect her to applaud it.

She compares me very unkindly with Mr. Yarros as a student of the present conditions, but as I am really modest on that head, and conscious of my deficiencies, and sincerely admire most of Mr. Yarros’s recent editorials, we shall not quarrel here.

My “militant Anarchists,” she assures me, “are not, in the first place, deliberate choosers of violence and destruction; no hater of established authority feels a natural inclination to kill, burn, and destroy, or to see it done, if by peaceable means the prevailing injustice can possibly be abolished.”

As I copy these words, I lift my eyes to a little German paper sold me by one of Justus Schwab’s friends at a meeting in sympathy with Emma Goldman, held at Clarendon Hall, New York, last winter. I was assured that this was an Anarchist paper, and I know these were red Anarchists, because that banner was freely displayed.

The title of the paper is “Die Rache,” — “The Revenge.” I can read but little German, but this little paper bristles with ferocious and significant paragraphs and war-cries, which are not difficult to understand, and which, if they do not reveal a “natural inclination to kill, burn, and destroy,” at least indicate a fine development of “second nature” in that direction. I quote:

Die Rache.”

Die Rache der Unterdrückten.”

Hoch die Expropropriation!

Hurrah für die zwei Bomben, welche am 24. Sept…. des Marschalls Martinez Campos krachten!!!

Hurrah für den Genossen Paulina Pallaa, welcher die Bomben warf….!!!

Hurrah für das Dynamit…!!!

Hurrah für die Propaganda der…!!!”

Etc., etc., etc.

All this on the first page, but fairly representative of the tone of the entire contents. In short, the paper is, from beginning to end, one prolonged shout for dynamite, expropriation, and revenge, and of exultation over the wounds and death and ruin already wrought by dynamite explosions.

If it be objected that these are Germans, and that Americans do not feel so, then I reply that Dyer D. Lum, who was an American of the Americans, wrote very much such fireworks in the old “Alarm.” And I am certain that no competent jury will say these are the utterances of men who regard violence as a sad necessity. I, too, know something of “human nature”; I know that it has a “natural inclination” to revenge, a “natural inclination to kill, burn, and destroy” to get revenge, and a “natural inclination” to enjoy the process when once aroused.

And I feel equally certain that I do not slander the Anarchists of the red when I say that these utterances do not unfairly represent at least one side of their propaganda. They do not, as a rule, represent war as a sad necessity, but as something to be embraced with enthusiasm and exultation, as the certain and only remedy; they stir up class hatred and continually imply, and often directly assert, that the rich are the deliberate and intentional torturers of the poor, that a ferocious revenge is their just due, and that nothing short of that will ever turn their minds to justice.

That the Anarchists of the red include some of the most brilliant intellects, and some of the finest natures, I freely and gladly concede. Some of my dearest friends have held their views. But when they come to this subject, they seem to be seized with a sudden in- sanity and dilate with passion and excitement. Strangely enough, just when their own feelings seem to most predominate over their logical faculties, they are most prone to call me a “sentimentalist” if I urge the superior solvency of peace.

Let us look at this formidable accusation.

Webster defines “sentiment” as “a thought prompted by passion or feeling.” Let any one read my article on “White-Flag Anarchism” and compare it with any article in “Die Rache,” and tell which is the most “prompted by passion or feeling.”

But Webster has a second definition: “Hence, generally, the decision of the mind formed by deliberation or reasoning”; this after a quotation from D. Stewart, that “the word sentiment, agreeably to the use made of the word by our best English writers, expresses, in my own opinion, very happily those complex determinations of the mind which result from the cooperation of our entire rational powers and of our moral feelings.”

As a sentimentalist on this line I gladly plead guilty. My decision that peace is a much wiser condition than war to strive for as a condition under which social problems are to be satisfactorily solved, is not based on passion or feeling or tender susceptibility, but “formed by deliberation and reasoning.”

And this decision has been altogether formed since I became one of the Anarchists, and as a logical result of their teachings. Really, I believe Nature intended me for a soldier. My natural tastes are decidedly military, and it is not many years since I too looked upon war as the “great medicine.” But as soon as I became convinced of the superiority of intellectual methods and economic remedies, I lost all my senseless faith in bloodshed as a solvent of scientific problems.

But all this is aside from the main question. Whether the Anarchists for whom Mrs. Holmes speaks are apostles of passion and revenge, athirst for blood to slake their hate, or angels of mercy who fight with pitying hearts, all those who believe in bloodshed as a necessary and expedient remedy have an appropriate place under the red flag, are Anarchists of the Red; and all those for whom I speak, whether tender sentimentalists or cold-blooded scientists, who believe that violence is not a remedy, and that intellectual methods and the education of self-interest are alone efficient are appropriately Anarchists of the White.

That is the line I want to draw, that is the distinction I want to make, and could I succeed in drawing such a line, which everyone would recognize, and in establishing a name which every one would use in discussions anent Anarchy, my object would be accomplished. The flag itself is with me only a means unwillingly applied to that end. The poem “No Flag” expresses my preference. Flags are really tools of war, inappropriate to men of peace; fetiches, idols, which fools worship and to which they offer human sacrifices, of little value and shorn of all dignity among men who are sane and who intelligently love themselves.

I must thank Comrade Zeitinger for his kind endorsement. I am quite willing his device should be adopted, if the comrades prefer; but personally I believe the flag as I devised it would be aesthetically more beautiful, and that the fewer and simpler the symbols we employ the better.

A good deal has been said about human nature in this discussion, and I would like to continue a little further under that head.

It is not human nature to be just to an enemy. Before we have liberty and social order on a natural and self-supporting basis, — and nothing else deserves the name, — we must have a general inclination to do justice between man and man, a general conviction that self-interest is best served by justice, and a general knowledge of what justice requires. Human evolution has now progressed so far in the social direction that human beings generally are inclined to be just to each other and to regard justice to others as self-beneficial, except where those others are enemies. Between foes, Socialism ceases and antagonism begins; the social tie is forgotten, and each becomes a cruel and selfish savage. At present there is generally between the rich and the poor a justice of feeling, but an injustice of conditions due to privilege. The poor are painfully conscious that something is wrong, and the rich vaguely conscious, but neither know what ails them with any clearness, nor the remedy. To discover and teach this remedy is the Anarchist’s mission to rich and poor alike, a mission not difficult to accomplish if the present good feeling between the classes can be maintained and the remarkable interest in social and economic problems everywhere growing among the intelligent and influential can continue to a fruitful result. It only needs that passion shall be kept in abeyance and reason supreme. But every one who sows enmity between the rich and the poor checks this by the simplest operations of human nature. Let the rich and the middle classes be convinced that the poor are their enemies, and all desire to do them justice or right their wrongs ceases, and they listen at once to those who say: “We have always told you so; all history proves it; the mob must be ruled by the strong band; drop sentiment and theories and make a strong government.”

No man can excel me in sympathy with the poor, or in desire for their emancipation, or in pity when they are driven by desperation and suffering to desperate deeds; but I assert without the slightest hesitation that the greatest practical enemy the cause of liberty has today is the bomb-thrower.

Every bomb plays into the hand of government, inflames the passionate, terrifies the timid, stiffens the softening conservative, and unites all kinds and conditions of men in support of the stern authoritarian. Every bomb blocks the wheels of evolution and puts back the cause of liberty for years, if not generations.

Human nature is not cowardly; man is the bravest of the animals, and courage is the cheapest of the virtues. And everywhere those who are well fed, accustomed to rule, and conscious of power, are the bravest. It is a fact of the commonest observation that in every country the rich possess not only more intellect and more nerve force, but more physical and moral courage than the proletariat. If we attack the rich, then, by the argument of terror, we assail them with our poorest weapon at the precise point where they are most invulnerable. Poorer generalship could hardly be devised than that of those who push the “propaganda by deed.”

Time was when dynamite was a novelty; it inspired terror just as gunpowder did among the savages. But that time is pretty well past. It is observed that it is not so necessarily terrible as was supposed; the explosion of a bomb in a house does not necessarily wreck it, nor does the bursting of one in a crowd necessarily kill anybody, except, pretty certainly, the man who threw it and probably some of his friends.

Terror as an argument, poor enough at the beginning, grows ever weaker and more impotent. “Familiarity breeds contempt” is truer of peril than of anything else. The recruit who blanches at the first fire soon becomes the veteran who sleeps soundly on the coffin of a comrade, eats coolly from the plate the bullet has just cracked, and jests in the cannon‘s mouth. The dynamiter as a terror can never equal the red Indian, yet the red Indian never checked the settler who, with his single rifle, and impeded by his family, pressed ever upon him. Bombs will have to fall pretty last before they will send to a horrible death as many as the railroads, within any given time, yet no one hesitates to take the cars.

Bombs can have no good effect, except as they induce people to consider Anarchist arguments. And it is precisely because they end all reasonable discussion of, and all willingness to listen to, such arguments that I condemn them.

When war begins reason is paralyzed and prejudices are petrified indefinitely. It is more than thirty years since the War of the Rebellion commenced, yet neither side is prepared to consider itself in the wrong, as both sides certainly were.

Mark Twain’s “fine justification of revolts” is a fine piece of buncombe. No “thousand years of villainy” was ever “swept away” in any “tidal wave of blood,” nor ever will be; but, on the contrary, blood breeds villains as dead meat does maggots.

All the sympathy you please for the dynamiters as men, suffering and driven to madness, but no sympathy with the folly of their methods, promising a common ruin and defeat to us all for indefinite time.

Wm. Lloyd.

Away with the Red Flag.

To the Editor of Liberty:

With pleasure I read the noble utterances of Comrade Lloyd upon the time-worn bloody flag of Anarchy. His happy suggestion with regard to a new emblem to distinguish us philosophical, cultured, and physically harmless Anarchists from the vulgar, bloodthirsty stripe, has my sympathy and commendation, but still more enamored am I of the amendment to the “heart gules on a field argent” proposed by Comrade Zeitinger.

Although we must believe that the followers of Liberty’s Anarchism, whether or not the thing to them by any other name would sound much sweeter, or be less likely to confound and confuse the uninstructed, are squarely on the side of labor in the ceaseless struggle it is forced to wage with the exploiters; and al- though the red flag has been identified with labor back to the remotest antiquity, the banner of the uprisen slave, the toiler, the lowly, the rebel, economic, social, political, in Asia, Carthage, France. London, and Chicago down to the present day, — being the symbol of the sun, which through labor fructifies the earth, of the blood in all men’s veins, white, black, or yellow, the symbol of fraternity ‘and the common origin and destiny of man; although, for these reasons, it has always struck terror to the organized thieves and tyrants as the symbol of their just doom, and never been more respectable than it is today, — as why should it?—the fierce emblem of the downtrodden, for justice has always required blood, and now no less than in the past, in spite of the philosophical conviction of its futility: Despair and suffering being seldom philosophical; and while it seems a heavy undertaking to break away from so much well- grounded tradition and reject the simple and obvious symbol of militant labor, yet the reasons for so doing seem weighty and, if but of an ephemeral nature, still no less convincing. So, with one slight improvement on the Lloyd-Zeitinger tricolor, I hail the new flag of Anarchy.

N. B. The improvement referred to would be to have outside the green diamond a club yellow, and within the red heart the ace of spades in black. Then hoist our banner, comrades. “A heart gules with the ace of spades on a diamond verdant above a yellow club on a field argent.”

William Bailie.

Timely Utterance to Sane Thought.

To the Editor of Liberty: I feel that I am censurable for my tardiness in giving public expression to my gratitude to J. William Lloyd for his altogether admirable exposition and defence of scientific social reform. Nothing heretofore written on the subject of “propaganda by deed” can fairly, in my opinion, be compared with it. Mr. Lloyd’s presentation of the question is temperate, kindly, clear, forcible, unanswerable. He has triumphantly disposed of every objection to the methods of peace. He has shown that this ghastly gospel of violence is not only anti-social and barbarous, but inexpedient to the uttermost degree. The reply to Mrs. Holmes is the best thing written by any one on the methods of social teaching, and it is also the best thing ever written by J. William Lloyd on any subject. Such is the unqualified conviction of

Yours for equal freedom,

E. C. Walker.

Reds We Remain.

It is with some astonishment that I find a number of plumb-liners are in favor of J. W. Lloyd’s suggestion to adopt a white flag for our emblem. Philosophic Anarchists seldom have occasion to use any flag at all. We are not engaged in a “united army for reform,” or any other whoop and hurrah Salvation Army movement, where we can flaunt our ace of hearts before the gaze of an admiring crowd of “earnest searchers after truth.” The object- lesson to be gained from a flag that is so seldom unfurled is liable to be small indeed. Should we need a flag, let us use the red one. The same arguments which lead us to retain our name deter us from changing our flag. We are still Socialists, fighting the battle of the proletariat. Let us continue, then, if any flag is necessary, to fly the colors under which its battles have been fought and won for thousands of years, instead of changing to the color of aristocracy.

The name “White-flag Anarchists” might serve to distinguish us from the revolutionists, were not that distinction made far more effectually by the use of the term Philosophic Anarchists. It is as easy to use one term as the other, but the latter is far clearer, more descriptive, and less symbolical than the former. I do not believe in the courage myth at all, but the ordinary man does, and the white flag is invariably associated in his mind with cowardice and surrender, or else with virginity and moral purity. It would take long to explain away these false conceptions if once they gained ground, but the term “philosophic” explains itself. Besides, many who have considered the words philosophy and Anarchism to be diametrically opposed are led to inquire how they can be reconciled when they first hear them used in conjunction. It is bad enough to be confused with the revolutionists, but even that is better than to be confounded with the non- resistants and the white-ribbon corps of the W. C. T. U.

F. D. T.

Another New Name.

To the Editor of Liberty:

As the mountain refuses to come to us, I would propose that we go to the mountain.

I have no admiration for a flag which, in the absence of a common herd, would be a nuisance. And yet we should not be so obstinately conservative as to invite persecution for the sake of a name. As evolutionists, there can be no good reason why we should be branded, collectively, with revolutionists.

To avoid such a misfortune, I would suggest that philosophical Anarchists drop their old title and simply call themselves Antiarchists. What are Antiarchists? They are philosophers who believe in and progressively assist the evolution of an improved society based on liberty and equity and excluding majority and minority rules.

I think that with such a name and declaration of principles the ignorant and vicious would give us rest, as they could not possibly mistake and misrepresent our name and aim any longer.

What say the friends of Liberty?

Truly yours,

James Thierry.

A Hand Contemptuous at a Nose Flippant.

To the Editor of Liberty:

If we really must give up the name of Anarchists, let me suggest that Carlyle has made familiar, as signifying a passion for liberty, the word Eleutheromania. Let us call ourselves, then, Eleutheromaniacs, which ought, I am sure, to calm the perturbation of any timid capitalists. As for a flag for those who want one (personally I don’t want any), why not keep the red flag, if it must be, and adorn it with a hand, the fingers outspread and the thumb applied to a nose, and with the motto, “Who’s Afraid?”



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