I. Summary and updated comments by IIFOR
II. The full and unabridged article by Kropotkin
I. Summary and updated comments by IIFOR
Anarcho-communism, communist anarchism, communalist anarchism and commune related anarchism in general are historically mainly rooted back to Pjotr Kropotkin, and his works on communist anarchism. Kropotkin and other writers developed anarcho-communism from Bakunin's anarchist collectivism, also investigating the anarchist ideal for a future with much higher labor productivity than today, optimal population etc. The communist remuneration principle "from each according to ability, to each according to needs" is a part of this form of anarchism. This principle may be implemented in different ways, and must be seen in connection with the principles of efficiency and fairness and other anarchist principles.
Kropotkin's hypothesis of the anarchist ideal, say, presented in his article on Anarchism in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, is a balanced society, based on standard free contracts with an average workday of 5 hours fixed, to achieve access to necesseties, and another 5 hours to get access to luxuries, thus usually 10 hours workday; - partly distributed according to the communist remuneration principle: "True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery... As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable.
He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city - if its inhabitants have accepted the idea could organize itself on the lines of free communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day's, or five-hours' work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by everyone if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims - educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on. In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work.
After his experience with the Russian Revolution he however found out that his hypothesis mentioned above indicating quite high labor-productivity in a revolutionary situation was too optimistic, thus he came to a quite contrary conclusion. He recognized the obstacles to production on a new basis as well as the poverty of the capitalist world and expressed his changed opinion in a postscript to the Russian edition of Words of a Rebel, published in 1919. Thus, to achieve middle class level of necesseties and luxury, Kropotkin finally indicated a much longer average workday than 10 hours, or very little luxuries in a revolutionary situation with an average 10 hours workday. Of course people working less, and not working according to a free contract of, say, 10 hours workday, would in general receive less consumer goods. To fulfill the free agreements, i.e. free contracts, etc. Kropotkin in The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910 suggests a federalist system, ideally based on the following:
In a society of this type the state (i.e social organization with statism and/or plutarchy, ed. note) would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement (i.e. free contracts, not slave-contracts) and regulated by mere account keeping (i.e. ecocirc and other accounting, also used in the free contracts and economic-political planning). The contests might be settled by arbitration (i.e. anarchist tribunals, - non-authoritarian rules/law and court systems in general)...
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. , and , contrary to authority) , the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, (i.e. political/administrative statism and/or economical plutarchy, authority and its authoritarian laws = the State = government in a societal perspective.), but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted (i.e. anarchist constitution) for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions (the State in societal perspective, i.e. social organization of political/adminstrative statism and/or economical plutarchy).
They would represent an
interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and
federations of all sizes and degrees (i.e.
the degree of "flatness" may variate for different
federations dependent of the purpose and aim, - the organization
being more or less "flat"), local, regional,
national and international temporary or more or less permanent -
for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of
the territory, and so on; and,
on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing
number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs.
Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On
the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony
would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment
and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences (i.e.
a balance of strength between countries, federations and in
general must be achieved to avoid (significant tendencies of)
power, in the meaning of domination), and this adjustment
would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a
special protection from the state.
Important keywords here are: 1) degrees (i.e. variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle.); 2) local, regional, national and international (i.e. the country - the central/federal/confederal area or plan is a main basis for many activities); 3) production, consumption and exchange, communications; accounting (i.e. the production and distribution system in general, ecocirc and other accounting a.o.t. cost benefit analysis, practice, empirical and theoretical); 4) sanitary arrangements (health, medicin and recreation); 5) education; 6) mutual protection, defence of the territory (i.e. private security federations (vaktselskaper) and public services of policing and antimilitarist defence corpses & anarchist tribunals and public sector court-organizations, to achieve real anarchist law and order based on libertarian human rights, and safety, based on balance of strength, against militarist attack, terrorism and ochlarchy (mob rule) Sufficient public service of policing is important. Man is not like ants who cooperate socially, naturally and voluntarely without coercion/repression automatically by themselves. Thus, doing away with the existing rule or tendencies of authority may easily result in ochlarchy, mob rule, and not anarchy, if not a firm horizontal social organization, ideally or practically is established with a sufficient police corps to create security and libertarian law and order and to do away with tendencies towards ochlarchy. Furthermore it must once more be mentioned that variation in the degree of "flatness" of organizations/federations of different purposes and aims may be optimal, say, a police or defence corps organization/federation may have a somewhat less degree of flatness than a study circle. And the police corps shall of course be well educated in libertarian human rights and policing and be democratically regulated and controlled, and bully types, corrupt and other "brown", ochlarchical elements should be expelled mainly during the education prosess and thus stopped from participating in the police corps. See The Oslo Convention and Anarchist systems theory and search for the keywords "law" and "corps".) ; 7) an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs (the ecological and environmental -- the green factors in general, are especially important).
Kropotkin and other anarchists of those days discussed several forms of anarchist-communism related to different levels of labor productivity, but an assumption, 1) that there would be sufficiency of goods for each to take what he needed and to work as much as he felt able, may of course only be valid for an enormous labor productivity, much higher than indicated above - and unpleasent and dirty work and production gone over to automation, and thus Kropotkin in general must not be wrongly interpreted towards supporting such a naive utopian commie political-economical point of view.
Kropotkin, after taking into account the experiences of the Russian revolution, indicated, say, a ca 7-8 hours workday free contract for the average producer to get normal access to necesseties, and proportionally more work to get access to luxuries, partly adjusted for differences in needs and ability to work. Adding the 5 hours extra work for luxuries indicated above, a 12 -13 hours work per day to achieve ordinary middleclass standard of those days may be the case, perhaps a longer work day, i.e. within the ramifications of the anarcho-communist ideal system. Thus Kropotkin's ideal of communist anarchism is quite far from utopian marxian work-shy council commie dreams of "peace, freedom and everything for free".
Today, at least in the developed industrial countries of OECD, there is at average a somewhat higher labor productivity than in Russia 1917-18 of course, but far from enormous - including automation of all unpleasent and dirty work, i.e. allowing for the assumption 1) mentioned above to be realistic and optimal. Thus, such naive utopian commie political-economical interpretations of anarcho-communism mentioned in 1) related to politics in the 21st century must be totally avoided, and basically rejected as not being valid anarchism.
Communist Anarchism has been seen as an ideal aim for most anarchist political tendencies in long term perspective. Communist Anarchism is of form of Anarchism, not Communism as such, i.e. without adjective. It must not be mixed up with marxism, marxian communism, communism, "libertarian" communism as a council communist or marxian concept, i.e. at best semilibertarian, council communism, soviet union, "one big union" as stated by the Industrial Workers of the World, statecommunism and statesocialism, i.e. the whole or a section of the marxian/marxist quadrant of the Economical-Political Map. Some council commies and neo-/trotskyites have introduced the term "anarcho-marxism", sometimes also wrongly called 'anarchist' or 'libertarian' communism or similar. This is however an extreme form of marxism, often based on ochlarchy, and not anarchism. Marxian policy with a dash of anarchist rhetorics is marxism - not anarchism. "Anarcho-marxism" is "anarchy-statism", "anarchy-archies", i.e. contradictive, and not a scientifical concept, and thus is not anarchist, i.e. scientifical. It must be mentioned that Kropokin uses the term anarchist-communism, this means communist Anarchism, and is not the same as anarchist communism, without the hyphen, which means Communism with "anarchist" just as an adjective, not the main tendency. Thus, anarchist communism is Communism, not Anarchism. Never forget: Anarchism is not Communism, which is statist, i.e. significant. Anarchists are not Communists.
Kropotkin discussed the four main tendencies of anarchism, individualist, collectivist, communist and mutualist (social individualist) anarchism in his book "Modern Science and Anarchism", 1903-1913, summarizing the research front of anarchism of those days. The research on the four main tendencies of anarchism continued in the 20th century and is still going on. A brief summary of this research is presented in the Basic Course of Anarchism, at Course .While there were a lot of discussions between the different tendencies of anarchism in the 19th and early 20th century, often based on misunderstandings, a more pluralist framework was developed in the later part of the 20th century.
That some of Kropotkin's own conclusions and hypothesis on a few details, say,
a) in biology (an openess towards Lamarckism, which later is rejected by other researchers. Kropotkin's viewpoint of mutual aid as one of the major tendencies in biological evolution is however still valid), and
b) in law (a tendency to avoid written laws; say, "... Anarchism - which aspires to Justice (a term synonymous with equality) more than any other lawgiver in the world - has..." rejected it (Kropotkin 1903). Kropotkins view in this matter is not 100% clear, but his main working hypothesis at that time clearly was a tendency towards natural law, customary law and (unwritten) common law, although written laws seem all in all not to be absolutely rejected by Kropotkin. This is so because he in the same chapter in the book where he is mainly rejecting written laws, he himself also declares the following written law: "Do not to others what you would not have done to yourself." (In Swedish the 1913/14 edition this is changed towards the similar biblical notion, however both are valid ethical laws of today and should be fulfilled). Thus in practice he uses written laws. As contradictions is not allowed according to Kropotkin's methodology, practice shows that his hypothesis about rejecting written laws, as a general always valid rule, must be rejected. Probably he in this case is also discussing the anarchist ideal, i.e. 100% anarchy, that is merely a theoretical concept that we only may asymptotically approximately achieve. For less ideal anarchist situations more written laws should probably be optimal. Anyway the opposite, only unwritten law will reduce the courts' quality and security and right-security, and probably open for ochlarchy, i.e. contradict real, libertarian law and optimal order and the principle of social justice, and thus must be rejected. Furthermore customary laws may sometimes be quite reactionary and difficult to renew in a progressive, libertarian way. In general the principles of anarchism should be more basic than customary law.
Thus, when Kropotkin in some of his works is very much against the laws, this is mainly referring to authoritarian juridical laws, especially the very authoritarian laws of those days authorities, serving mainly the upper classes and working against the people. He is not against laws in general, declaring load and clear that anarchism is a lawgiver, as stated above. Kropotkin also had probably a slight tendency to underestimate "free rider" problems, criminality, ochlarchy and chaos, and thus being a bit like a quasi-revolutionistic fog-arch (although not as much as Marx), which is clearly authoritarian. However a probably more than optimal number of written laws in many countries, should also be taken into account, in this perspective. This indicates too much bureaucracy costs and should be avoided. People must learn to solve conflicts peacefully without legal quibbling and calling on police for everything, i.e. as a part of the education broadly defined.
To have a good and libertarian moral in society, mostly based on unwritten common law and culture, generally accepted and working in society, and relatively few written laws, is of course an ideal of anarchism, including real law and order and human rights. A basically immoral, ochlarchical, authoritarian society, with no real culture based on efficiency and fairness and working libertarian unwritten common laws, due to lack of education broadly defined, combined with a lot of juridical, written laws and a police state, plus an "inform against" habit, is far from ideal. The anarchist theory of "optimal indoctrination", i.e. not meant in a derogative or authoritarian way, but just "in-learning" on equal footing, non-ochlarchical, in a libertarian way - of a sufficient amount of libertarian ethics and human rights through education broadly defined, private via the family, and public via day care centers and schools, and participation in relevant other organizations and via media, is a must in an anarchist society. A keyword in this education is large freedom of choice for the children, but with rational and relatively firm borders set according to anarchist priniciples in general. No education means "children power", and that is not anarchist. Parents must probably be educated to this task. No ethical education to produce moral, is no good education. The anarchist theory of "optimal indoctrination" was first formulated by the Culture Syndicate in Norway in the early 1970s. Although of course not meant in a derogative or authoritarian way, the term "indoctrination" indicates a libertarian, but firm in-learning of the basic principles and borders, not to take freedoms at others expense, making other people slave for you one way or the other, but also not accept to slave the other way around, say accepting slave-contracts. In moral and ethical education, consistency is a must, not dialictical, contradictive, Orwellian "1984" double-thinking. The liberation of grown up people must principally be based on own work, not others.
The opposite: Strong rule in education, and especially with chaotic tendencies according to the rule of the boss: §1 The parents are always right. §2 If this is not the case §1 at once rules, - sometimes allowing x and otherways not x, and ruling by violence and fear, imposing slavery and hierarchy, the right to the strongest, economical and non-economical, is making an authoritarian, cynical, criminal and psychopatic personality, i.e. fascistoid. This must be avoided.
Kropotkin mainly leaves the research and founding of optimal anarchist law and court systems to the future: "... We may analyze the extent to which the idea of Justice implies that of Equailty. The question is an important one, because only those who regard others as their equals can accept the rule, "Do not to others what you would not have done to yourself." The landlord and the slave-owner, who did not look upon "the serf" and the negro as their equals, did not recognize the "categorical imperative" and the "universal law" as applicable to these unhappy members of the human family. And then, if this observation of ours be correct, we shall wee whether it is at all possible to inculcate morality while teaching the doctrine of inequality.... We shall finally analyze ... the facts of self-sacrifice. And then we shall consider what has promoted the development in man of moral feelings - first, of those which are intimately connected with the idea of equality, and then of the others; and after this consideration we should be able to deduce from our study exactly what social conditions and what institutions promise the best results for the future ... now we are able to approach the study of burning social questions in exactly the same manner as the gardener and the physiologist take up the study of the conditions most favorable for the growth of a plant - let us do so!") and
c) in economics "first consumption" - "production on the other hand", (1903) a bit strange division that if taken literally may contribute to reduce real capital, goods in stock, or export surplus, in a disoptimal way; remember (consumption = production - real investment - exportsurplus), so consumption without production strictly means negative realinvestment and/or exportsurplus, i.e. a foregn trade deficit. Obviously this cannot go on for long, especially if the system shall be relatively efficient and fair, including ca. full employment at an optimal level. While it is going on, since it is work free consumption/income/profit, it may be seen as looting the future and/or foreigners. The "first consumption" - "production on the other hand" point of view is however modified a bit in the 1913 edition of "Modern Science and Anarchism", where consumption is closer connected to production. Kropotkin's partly rejection of Proudhon's "labor pollets", and implicitely also "time store" ideas, which is quite logical taking into account his valid rejection of the labor theory of value and the value added theory, but without really suggesting any better means of payment to allocate scarce resources, goods and services, in an efficient and fair way, indicates another weakness in his system.
Kropotkin indicated a system of accounting, plans and exchange without money, which is also found in Ragnar Frisch's work on a planned direct exchange economy, "varebyttesentraler" - "goods-exchange-centrals", which today is mainly rejected in anarchist economics as being too bureaucratic, inefficient and unfair in a modern society with a lot of goods and services of different kinds and quality characteristics broadly defined. The means of payment problem, i.e. to achieve efficient and fair transactions, i.e. also minimalizing transactions costs broadly defined, is however principally solved now, with, say, electronical accounting and convertible labor credits, by other anarchist researchers. (These labor credits are however not based on the bureaucratic rule "worktime for worktime exchange" of the "time store" idea, which is rejected because the labor theory of value is usually not valid. However if the population is approximately optimal in all societies in a country, and free contracts (i.e. not slave-contracts), etc. are in use, the system will end up with small rank and income differences, and thus approximately have one to one remuneration per work-hour, although this is rejected as a rule in itself, introduced as a bureaucratical tie on transactions.)
Not taken literally, Kropotkins "first ...on the other hand" hypothesis in this matter may just indicate that demand-management determines production via the anarchist economic law of employment, which is practically always valid. This was indicated already by Frisch (and Haavelmo), and more fully developed by later anarchist economists, but without the "varebyttesentraler" approach) ;
d) a slight tendency towards "anarchosophy", i.e. to not divide properly between anarchist science and anarchist politics, and thinking of the whole system as "scientifical". Such "scientosophy", sometimes also including tendencies of predeterministic "fate and destiny" - thinking, must principally be rejected, mainly because it is a form of totalitarianism, similar to marxism. However it is probably not in Kropotkin's spirit to interprete his contribution to anarchist science in a totalitarian direction, although he is a bit unclear on this item. We must of course admit that theoretically all events in society (and in general) may principally have a scientifical explaination, also political events. But this is not the same as to say that politics is identical to science, although politics always should take into account the results of scientifical research in a relevant way. Marxist "scientifical socialism" is a terrible example of how wrong it may go if anarchist science wrongly turns into "anarchosophy". Trofim Lysenko's quasibiology and the labor theory of value used in economical planning are just the top of the iceberg. A deterministic system is not the same as a predeterministic system based on "fate and destiny". People have a choice to act with purpose, optimize under socially and naturally given constraints, and to some extent they may define the purposes themselves. This praxeological approach was mainly introduced by L. v. Mises, however in a bit dogmatic manner, that are rejected today. There is also a slight chaotical contradictive tendency, in a few statements in the book. Kropotkin is not sticking 100% to the Proudhonian view that the anarchst ideal includes order. These few statements is today rejected by using the scientific method. Such statements are omitted in the summary on the method at Modern science and Anarchism .
Furthermore Kropotkin's slight tendency towards analogies from mechanical physics (Newton, Laplace) and machines, and/or biology, a bit similar to typical neoclassical economic theory, as a "world view" including social science, is today rejected by anarchist research. Mechanical and biological analogies are principally not scientifical, and should be avoided. Also non-anarchist so called "general systems theory" is based on analogies to biological and mechanical systems, and is rejected as non-scientifical by anarchism. The social, i.e. the economical-political, systems broadly defined; institutions, means of payment, structure and human relations, i.e. at least the man made parts of it, is principally no mystery to understand and map with approximately practical certainty, and the search for the basic relations must be found by direct research on such structures and relations, as they are, have been - or may be - constructed, and not by using mechanical or biological analogies. The origin of the social systems is not a basical mystery, as the natural science's fundamental questions of the origins of space, matter, forces and time, and the so far not exactly explained development from dead matter to life. Humans may do exactly what they want, creating new institutions, structures and relations, within the framework of the basical practically always valid relations, direct related to basic characteristics of the human constructions of society, the social, i.e. the economics and the political/administrative broadly defined, in private and public sectors. A combination of practically always valid basical social scientific relations, combined with scenario-analysis and simulation-models, is a useful tool in the investigations and for planning and action purposes, strategical as well as tactical.
e) a slight tendency to not divide clearly between normative (welfare theory) and principally descriptive relations and variables, clearify value judgements and principles from the rest of the relations, and analyse what is the impact of different value judgments on the conclusions, -
f) a tendency of advocating small scale firms, i.e. in "Fields, factories and workshops", in contrast to Proudhon, who advocated use of the collective force of industrial federations in production, i.e. large scale benefits. This tendency of Kropotkin is however not based on "Small is beautiful" as a principle, but what he believed was most valuable in a societal context, using statistics as background for the hypothesis. The decisions about small vs large scale production must of course be decided according to what is most valuable in a societal context, benefits - costs related to efficiency and fairness, also taking into account environmental factors, and not in advance, dogmatically. Sometimes small scale is optimal, sometimes not.
- today are mainly - or partly - rejected as being wrong or not sufficient, - do not reject his main works and conclusions. A lot of Kroptkins and also Proudhons works are part of the updated research front on anarchism, however as indicated, far from all. These rejections and additions have been done by using Kropotkin's own scientifical principles for anarchist investigations, the same methods as of the natural sciences, and thus must be considered as a victory for Kropotkin's main ideas on anarchism, and not a rejection of them. Kroptkin's broad based social scientific approach, with political economy broadly defined including law, economics, sociology, politology, social-anthropology, -psychology, -medicin, -ecology and -geography, as well as praxeology as a generalistic organizational theory, seen all in all, analysed by the methods of natural sciences, is still valid. This of course also implies use of the basic help sciences, mathematics, logic, statistics and information theory, broadly defined, as well as knowledge of the different basic natural sciences and pragmata. Anarchist science is also mainly theoretical knowledge, "the recipe", as seen apart from pure pragmata, "the cooking", although praxeology (the theory of human action in general) implies implemention of theory to practice, from words to deeds, strategically, and also tactical questions.
The Economical Political Map may be used to
explain Kropotkin's a bit misunderstood and too simplified
hypothesis that anarchism is a party to the left, say in the
article "Anarchism" in Encyclopædia Britannica 1910.
"As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists (i.e. the socialist section on the EP map, facing/opposed to capitalism), of whom they constitute the left wing (see explaination below), maintain that the ... capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility...[an]... obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being... But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists [i.e. the all in all the economical plutarchs] to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus [say, Gross National Product, GDP, environmental factors included, measured as benefit minus cost] of production. Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the state... Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.[NB! In some cases referendum used according to anarchist principles may be relevant]."
Thus, if you stand in the center of the Economical-political map (see map) with the nose fronting capitalism, you have anarchism on the left hand and marxism on the right of the socialist part of the map. In this his way anarchism constitute "the left wing" of socialists, as Kropotkin mentions, but anarchism is not far left on the economical-political map as it is usually drawn, standing on the ultrafascist corner, with the anarchist-communist ideal at the top, in the middle of the map. Anarchism is found from 25%-75%, i.e. in the middle on the left vs right axis on the EP-map, measured on a a scale from zero towards 100% leftism.
The hard criticism of Leninism by Kropotkin after the "Soviet" revolution clearly indicates he thinks marxism is reactionary, in a way to the "right", while anarchism is in a way to the "left". Kropotkins hard and still valid criticism of a) marxist economics, especially the labor theory of value, and the value added theory, which he clearly rejected with valid arguments, and b) the historical and other dialectics, which he also rejected as a non-scientific "method", in his book "Anarchism and modern science", also called "Modern science and anarchism", the unabridged full version, with preface written in Brighton 1913, must also be taken into account in this connection.
A basic principle of anarchism declared by Pjotr Kropotkin in "Modern science and Anarchism" 1903, and still valid anarchism, is the following:
"Anarchism is an attempt to apply to the study of the human institutions the generalizations gained by means of the natural-scientific inductive method; and an attempt to foresee the future steps of mankind on the road to liberty, equality, and fraternity, with a view to realizing the greatest sum of happiness for every unit of human society. This method it applies to all the so-called humanitarian sciences, and, availing itself of this method as well as of all researches which have recently been called forth by it... Anarchism endeavors to reconstruct all the sciences dealing with man, and to revise every current idea of right, justice, etc., on the bases [= metodhology] which have served for the revision of all natural sciences. Whether or not Anarchism is right in its conclusions, will be shown by a scientific criticism of its bases [i.e. the anarchist principles in general, the basic libertarian working hypothesis and theories udated] and by the practical life... But in one thing it is absolutely right: in that it has included the study of social institutions in the sphere of natural-scientific investigations; and makes use of the method by which modern natural science ... were developed.
Owing to this, the very mistakes which Anarchism may have made in its researches can be detected the more readily. But its conclusions can be verified only by the same natural-scientific, inductive-deductive method by which every science and every scientific concept of the universe is created. Anarchism does not recognize any method other than the natural-scientific. No struggle can be successful if it is an unconscious one, and if it does not render itself a clear and concise account of its aim... [The method is a part of Anarchism]: Perhaps we are wrong and they are right. But in order to ascertain who is right, it will not do either to quote this and that authority, to refer to Hegel's trilogy, or to argue by the "dialectic method." This question can be settled only by taking up the study of economic relations as facts of natural science. Whithout entering into further discussion of the principles of Anarchism and the Anarchist programme of action [called Anarchist praxeologi, human action research, today], enough has been said, I think, to show the place of Anarchism among the modern sociological sciences." [Thus Anarchism is a modern sociological science broadly defined, including political economy etc, based on the methodology of modern natural sciences, not allowing for any form of dialectics of Hegelian type based on the formulæ thesis - antithesis - synthesis and other forms of pseudoscience.]
A similar point of view was used by several other anarchists later on, that declared "the fight against fascism begins with the fight against bolshevism", a word of wisdom often connected to Otto Rühle, in is early days he was a council commie, but later on changed is policy into a form of anarchism, related to anarchosyndicalism. Today this is a rather general policy of anarchism. The concept "Bolshevism" means marxism in general, and especially council communism, i.e. marxist-lubbeism, marxist-ochlarchism, Pannekoekism, "anarchist" or "libertarian" (read: pseudo or semi-libertarian) communism, "platformism", and similar other forms, of (marxian) collectivism or leftism, Luxembourgism, plus leninism, stalinism, titoism, trotskyism and maoism, broadly defined.
While anarcho-communism is a) based on utilitarian and humanist principles, cost vs benefit analysis and other accounting etc. and as Kropotkin mentioned mainly against "a republic governed by means of the referendum", i.e as a principle, the marxian council communism and collectivism are principally based on referendum, in "workers' councils" on different leves of organization. Everyone that have been at a maoist, trotskyite, platformist and/or lubbeist "allmøtediktatur", workers' council "direct democracy" (read: dictatorship based on ochlarchy) know that this is not anarchism or anarchy, and usually not even semilibertarian, but clearly authoritarian. The utopian, unrealistic character of council commie referendum or consent based unionism in a modern society, should be clear to all, it may perhaps have functioned well locally in a Russian "Mir" agricultural co-operative small town with a few products and mainly autarki in the old days, however the total amount of cases and different ways of production and products in a modern society will make the system's cost, measured, say, in time used of discussion and deciding, be enormous, the system being very inefficent and unfair, and soon make way for party dictatorship. Thus, platformists and council commies and similar, if not directly troytskyite, maoist or leftist etc. provokers, are just the "useful" idiots of Lenin and authoritarians in general. The anarchists must of course as much as possible stop the platformist and other council commie and marxist-lubbeist infiltration, ochlarchy and false posing as 'anarchist' in general. We repeat, platformism and council commie "anarchism" is not anarchism or anarchist, have never been anarchy, anarchist, anarchists and/or anarchism, and will never be.
Council communism, platformism included, in its more radical utopian lubbeist variants, sometimes falsely posing as "anarchist" communism, i.e. "Children of Marx" and "socialist infantile disorder", as Lenin called it, functioning and/or directly being frontorganizations of trotskyite, maoist, and leftist marxism, have nothing to do with anarchism and anarchy, the "children of Marx" always acting as an authoritarian travesty of anarchy, throwing shit on the idea of anarchy, anarchism and freedom in general, and functioning reactionary. The fight against fascism starts with the fight against bolshevism, especially council commies and platformists and their lubbeist ochlarchy, falsely posing as anarchy, anarchists, anarchism.
These points of view may be considered as special forms of use of the economical political map, see Anarchist systems theory and not as arguments against it. The factual situation, that anarchism goes gliding from semilibertarian marxism on the left, sometimes wrongly called "anarchomarxism", via the middle of the map, over to semilibertarian liberalism, wrongly called "anarchocapitalism", on the right, also is a good argument for the way the map is put, i.e. standing on the ultrafascist extreme corner. Both "anarchomarxism", i.e. "anarcho-statism" [= anarchy-archies], and "anarchocapitalism", i.e. "anarchoplutarchy" are however not valid concepts, but contradictional and not scientifical, and thus should not be used. These "concepts" are not anarchist or anarchism, but strictly marxism and liberalism respectively, in a state of confusion. The collectivist "anarchomarxism" is too statist to be anarchist, i.e. it is based on statism. The "anarchocapitalism" is too capitalistic to be anarchist, i.e. it is plutarchist.
Also Kropotkin's antimilitarist and non-pacifist support for the allies in the 1st World War, together with several other prominent anarchists, in the famous "Manifesto of the 16", is probably a logical deduction of his consistent, scientifically based, general anarchist ideas. Thus, opportunistic to take a pasifist stand in this case, as, say, Malatesta did, but in general accept Kropotkins anarchist ideas, is probably inconsistent, and thus not a valid argument. Kropotkins hard criticism of neoclassical and classical liberalistic political economy, is still worth while reading.
It is clear from these arguments that anarchism is not leftism, or to the left on the economical-political map, or a part of the left side in politics, in the meaning relatively close to the left corner of the economical-political map. There exists a libertarian, i.e. anarchist, left, but it is not far left on the economical-political map. No anarchism is found more than half way (>50%) to the left on the map, i.e. of the distance from the middlepoint towards the left corner of the map, i.e. leftist. It is also clear that anarchism is not rightist. There exists a libertarian, i.e. anarchist right, but it is not far right on the map. No anarchism is found more than half way (>50%) to the right on the map, i.e. of the distance from the middlepoint towards the right corner of the map, i.e. rightist. To say that anarchism is far left or far right, leftist or rightist, is due to misunderstandings of realities and a scientifical point of view, as far as the arguments above are valid. And these arguments are difficult to reject, many have tried to test and reject them, using different alternatives in a consistent way, but it didn't work out. All alternatives so far have been rejected due to inconsistencies, Occhams razor, being explained better as special cases by use of the map, than separate alternative theories, or rejected by other arguments. The conclusion is: Anarchism may be to the left but not be leftism (far left), as well as be to the right, but not being rightist (far right).
Furthermore it must be mentioned that already Errico Malatesta criticised Kropotkin for believing to much in "natural harmony", a criticism also considered valid today.
With this introduction we now present the full and unabridged article by Kropotkin.
II. The full and unabridged article by Kropotkin
ANARCHISM (from the Gr., and , contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international temporary or more or less permanent - for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary - as is seen in organic life at large - harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.
If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind. He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings. Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number. He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).
The anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates. It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers. The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of &ee initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity - including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state - are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.
As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility. They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being. The anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress. But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production. Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system. Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.
The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian Empire, Roman Empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies. The anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life - the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on - as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, etc.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism. True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.
In common with most socialists, the anarchists recognize that, like all evolution in nature, the slow evolution of society is followed from time to time by periods of accelerated evolution which are called revolutions; and they think that the era of revolutions is not yet closed. Periods of rapid changes will follow the periods of slow evolution, and these periods must be taken advantage of - not for increasing and widening the powers of the state, but for reducing them, through the organization in every township or commune of the local groups of producers and consumers, as also the regional, and eventually the international, federations of these groups.
In virtue of the above principles the anarchists refuse to be party to the present state organization and to support it by infusing fresh blood into it. They do not seek to constitute, and invite the working men not to constitute, political parties in the parliaments. Accordingly, since the foundation of the International Working Men's Association in 1864-1866, they have endeavoured to promote their ideas directly amongst the labour organizations and to induce those unions to a direct struggle against capital, without placing their faith in parliamentary legislation.
The conception of society just sketched, and the tendency which is its dynamic expression, have always existed in mankind, in opposition to the governing hierarchic conception and tendency - now the one and now the other taking the upper hand at different periods of history. To the former tendency we owe the evolution, by the masses themselves, of those institutions - the clan, the village community, the guild, the free medieval city - by means of which the masses resisted the encroachments of the conquerors and the power-seeking minorities. The same tendency asserted itself with great energy in the great religious movements of medieval times, especially in the early movements of the reform and its forerunners. At the same time it evidently found its expression in the writings of some thinkers, since the times of Lao-tsze, although, owing to its non-scholastic and popular origin, it obviously found less sympathy among the scholars than the opposed tendency.
As has been pointed out by Prof. Adler in his Geschichte des Sozialismus und Kommunismus, Aristippus (b. c. 430 BC), one of the founders of the Cyrenaic school, already taught that the wise must not give up their liberty to the state, and in reply to a question by Socrates he said that he did not desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class. Such an attitude, however, seems to have been dictated merely by an Epicurean attitude towards the life of the masses.
The best exponent of anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 BC), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-utopia of Plato. He repudiated the omnipotence of the state, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual - remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct - that of sociability. When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the cosmos. They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money - free gifts taking the place of the exchanges. Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations. However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouthpiece.
In medieval times we find the same views on the state expressed by the illustrious bishop of Alba, Marco Girolamo Vida, in his first dialogue De dignitate reipublicae (Ferd. Cavalli, in Mem. dell'Istituto Veneto, xiii.; Dr E. Nys, Researches in the History of Economics). But it is especially in several early Christian movements, beginning with the ninth century in Armenia, and in the preachings of the early Hussites, particularly Chojecki, and the early Anabaptists, especially Hans Denk (cf. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertaufer), that one finds the same ideas forcibly expressed - special stress being laid of course on their moral aspects.
Rabelais and Fenelon, in their utopias, have also expressed similar ideas, and they were also current in the eighteenth century amongst the French Encyclopaedists, as may be concluded from separate expressions occasionally met with in the writings of Rousseau, from Diderot's Preface to the Voyage of Bougainville, and so on. However, in all probability such ideas could not be developed then, owing to the rigorous censorship of the Roman Catholic Church.
These ideas found their expression later during the great French Revolution. While the Jacobins did all in their power to centralize everything in the hands of the government, it appears now, from recently published documents, that the masses of the people, in their municipalities and 'sections', accomplished a considerable constructive work. They appropriated for themselves the election of the judges, the organization of supplies and equipment for the army, as also for the large cities, work for the unemployed, the management of charities, and so on. They even tried to establish a direct correspondence between the 36,000 communes of France through the intermediary of a special board, outside the National Assembly (cf. Sigismund Lacroix, Actes de la commune de Paris).
It was Godwin, in his Enquiry concerning Political Justice (2 vols., 1793), who was the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his remarkable work. Laws, he wrote, are not a product of the wisdom of our ancestors: they are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition. The remedy they offer is worse than the evils they pretend to cure. If and only if all laws and courts were abolished, and the decisions in the arising contests were left to reasonable men chosen for that purpose, real justice would gradually be evolved. As to the state, Godwin frankly claimed its abolition. A society, he wrote, can perfectly well exist without any government: only the communities should be small and perfectly autonomous. Speaking of property, he stated that the rights of every one 'to every substance capable of contributing to the benefit of a human being' must be regulated by justice alone: the substance must go 'to him who most wants it'. His conclusion was communism. Godwin, however, had not the courage to maintain his opinions. He entirely rewrote later on his chapter on property and mitigated his communist views in the second edition of Political Justice (8vo, 1796).
Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu'est-ce que la propriete? first memoir), the name of anarchy with application to the no government state of society. The name of 'anarchists' had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI, and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).
Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word anarchy to describe it. Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the collectivists. When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that 'Property is theft', he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of 'right of use and abuse'; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state. At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on. He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity. Under such a system, which Proudhon described as 'Mutuellisme', all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent. Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like I per cent, or even less, for covering the cost of administration. Everyone being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it. A general 'social liquidation' would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation. The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.
In a society of this type the state would be useless. The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping. The contests might be settled by arbitration. A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon's work.
It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a communist, and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour's Wrongs and Labour's Remedy, 1839). It had also its precursor in America. Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen's 'New Harmony', considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility. These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods. He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty. In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first 'equity store', and which the people called 'time store', because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce. 'Cost - the limit of price', and consequently 'no interest', was the motto of his store, and later on of his 'equity village', near New York, which was still in existence in 1865. Mr Keith's 'House of Equity' at Boston, founded in 1855, is also worthy of notice.
While the economical, and especially the mutual-banking, ideas of Proudhon found supporters and even a practical application in the United States, his political conception of anarchy found but little echo in France, where the Christian socialism of Lamennais and the Fourierists, and the state socialism of Louis Blanc and the followers of Saint-Simon, were dominating. These ideas found, however, some temporary support among the left-wing Hegelians in Germany, Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grün in 1845, who advocated anarchism. Besides, the authoritarian communism of Wilhelm Weitling having given origin to opposition amongst the Swiss working men, Wilhelm Marr gave expression to it in the 1840S.
On the other side, individualist anarchism found, also in Germany, its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay.
Prof. V. Basch, in a very able introduction to his interesting book, L'lndividualisme anarchiste: Max Stirner (1904), has shown how the development of the German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, and 'the absolute' of Schelling and the Geist of Hegel, necessarily provoked, when the anti-Hegelian revolt began, the preaching of the same 'absolute' in the camp of the rebels. This was done by Stirner, who advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds - the rehabilitation of the 'I', the supremacy of the individual, complete 'amoralism', and the 'association of the egotists'. The final conclusion of that sort of individual anarchism has been indicated by Prof. Basch. It maintains that the aim of all superior civilization is, not to permit all members of the community to develop in a normal way, but to permit certain better endowed individuals 'fully to develop', even at the cost of the happiness and the very existence of the mass of mankind. It is thus a return towards the most common individual ism, advocated by all the would-be superior minorities, to which indeed man owes in his history precisely the state and the rest, which these individualists combat. Their individualism goes so far as to end in a negation of their own starting-point - to say nothing of the impossibility for the individual to attain a really full development in the conditions of oppression of the masses by the 'beautiful aristocracies'. His development would remain unilateral. This is why this direction of thought, notwithstanding its undoubtedly correct and useful advocacy of the full development of each individuality, finds a hearing only in limited artistic and literary circles.
A general depression in the propaganda of all fractions of socialism followed, as is known, after the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 and the fall of the Republic. All the socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully twenty years. Nevertheless, even anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Caeurderoy), and especially Joseph Déjacque (Les Lazareacute'ennes, L 'Humanisphère, an anarchist-communist utopia, lately discovered and reprinted). The socialist movement revived only after 1864, when some French working men, all 'mutualists', meeting in London during the Universal Exhibition with English followers of Robert Owen, founded the International Working Men's Association. This association developed very rapidly and adopted a policy of direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation, and this policy was followed until 1871. However, after the Franco-German War, when the Inter national Association was prohibited in France after the uprising of the Commune, the German working men, who had received man hood suffrage for elections to the newly constituted imperial parliament, insisted upon modifying the tactics of the International, and began to build up a Social Democratic political party. This soon led to a division in the Working Men's Association, and the Latin federations, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Jurassic (France could not be represented), constituted among themselves a Federal union which broke entirely with the Marxist general council of the Inter national. Within these federations developed now what may be described as modern anarchism. After the names of 'Federalists' and 'Anti-authoritarians' had been used for some time by these federations the name of 'anarchists', which their adversaries insisted upon applying to them, prevailed, and finally it was revindicated.
Bakunin (q.v.) soon became the leading spirit among these Latin federations for the development of the principles of anarchism, which he did in a number of writings, pamphlets and letters. He demanded the complete abolition of the state, which - he wrote is a product of religion, belongs to a lower state of civilization, represents the negation of liberty, and spoils even that which it undertakes to do for the sake of general well-being. The state was an historically necessary evil, but its complete extinction will be, sooner or later, equally necessary. Repudiating all legislation, even when issuing from universal suffrage, Bakunin claimed for each nation, each region and each commune, full autonomy, so long as it is not a menace to its neighbours, and full independence for the individual, adding that one becomes really free only when, and in proportion as, all others are free. Free federations of the communes would constitute free nations.
As to his economical conceptions, Bakunin described himself, in common with his Federalist comrades of the International (César De Paepe, James Guillaume, Schwitzguébel), a 'collectivist anarchist' - not in the sense of Vidal and Pecqueur in the 1840s, or of their modern Social Democratic followers, but to express a state of things in which all necessaries for production are owned in common by the labour groups and the free communes, while the ways of retribution of labour, communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself. Social revolution, the near approach of which was foretold at that time by all socialists, would be the means of bringing into life the new conditions.
The Jurassic, the Spanish and the Italian federations and sections of the International Working Men's Association, as also the French, the German and the American anarchist groups, were for the next years the chief centres of anarchist thought and propaganda. They refrained from any participation in parliamentary politics, and always kept in close contact with the labour organizations. However, in the second half of the 'eighties and the early 'nineties of the nineteenth century, when the influence of the anarchists began to be felt in strikes, in the 1st of May demonstrations, where they promoted the idea of a general strike for an eight hours' day, and in the anti-militarist propaganda in the army, violent prosecutions were directed against them, especially in the Latin countries (including physical torture in the Barcelona Castle) and the United States (the execution of five Chicago anarchists in 1887). Against these prosecutions the anarchists retaliated by acts of violence which in their turn were followed by more executions from above, and new acts of revenge from below. This created in the general public the impression that violence is the substance of anarchism, a view repudiated by its supporters, who hold that in reality violence is resorted to by all parties in proportion as their open action is obstructed by repression, and exceptional laws render them outlaws. (Cf. Anarchism and Outrage, by C. M. Wilson, and Report of the Spanish Atrocities Committee, in 'Freedom Pamphlets'; A Concise History of the Great Trial of the Chicago Anarchists, by Dyer Lum (New York, 1886); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches, etc.).
Anarchism continued to develop, partly in the direction of Proudhonian 'mutuellisme', but chiefly as communist-anarchism, to which a third direction, Christian-anarchism, was added by Leo Tolstoy, and a fourth, which might be ascribed as literary-anarchism, began amongst some prominent modern writers.
The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise), and several others, whose names will be found in Dr Nettlau's Bibliographie de l'anarchie.
A prominent position among the individualist anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer. Starting from the statement that anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and 'mind every one your own business' is the unique moral law of anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others. He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody's rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary. For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment. [ The Anarchist International is against capital punishment, it is very authoritarian and barbaric, ed. note.] Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement. Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer's opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of 'defence' all the functions of the state. His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful. As regards his economical views B. R. Tucker follows Proudhon.
The individualist anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses. Those who profess it - they are chiefly 'intellectuals' - soon realize that the individualization they so highly praise is not attainable by individual efforts, and either abandon the ranks of the anarchists, and are driven into the liberal individualism of the classical economist or they retire into a sort of Epicurean amoralism, or superman theory, similar to that of Stirner and Nietzsche. The great bulk of the anarchist working men prefer the anarchist-communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the anarchist collectivism of the International Working Men's Association. To this direction belong - to name only the better known exponents of anarchism Elisée Reclus, Jean Grave, Sebastien Faure, Emile Pouget in France; Errico Malatesta and Covelli in Italy; R. Mella, A. Lorenzo, and the mostly unknown authors of many excellent manifestos in Spain; John Most amongst the Germans; Spies, Parsons and their followers in the United States, and so on; while Domela Nieuwenhuis occupies an intermediate position in Holland. The chief anarchist papers which have been published since 1880 also belong to that direction; while a number of anarchists of this direction have joined the so-called syndicalist movement- the French name for the non-political labour movement, devoted to direct struggle with capitalism, which has lately become so prominent in Europe.
As one of the anarchist-communist direction, the present writer for many years endeavoured to develop the following ideas: to show the intimate, logical connection which exists between the modern philosophy of natural sciences and anarchism; to put anarchism on a scientific basis by the study of the tendencies that are apparent now in society and may indicate its further evolution; and to work out the basis of anarchist ethics. As regards the substance of anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin's aim to prove that communism at least partial - has more chances of being established than collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that free, or anarchist-communism is the only form of communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; communism and anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable. He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city - if its inhabitants have accepted the idea could organize itself on the lines of free communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day's, or five-hours' work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by everyone if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims - educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on. In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work. And in order to elucidate the main factors of human evolution, he has analysed the part played in history by the popular constructive agencies of mutual aid and the historical role of the state.
Without naming himself an anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Chojecki, Denk and many others, took the anarchist position as regards the state and property rights, deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of the Christ and from the necessary dictates of reason. With all the might of his talent he made (especially in The Kingdom of God in Yourselves) a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws. He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force. Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government. He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of the Christ he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars. His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike.
It would be impossible to represent here, in a short sketch, the penetration, on the one hand, of anarchist ideas into modern literature, and the influence, on the other hand, which the libertarian ideas of the best contemporary writers have exercised upon the development of anarchism. One ought to consult the ten big volumes of the Supplément Littéraire to the paper La Révolte and later the Temps Nouveaux, which contain reproductions from the works of hundreds of modern authors expressing anarchist ideas, in order to realize how closely anarchism is connected with all the intellectual movement of our own times. J. S. Mill's Liberty, Spencer's Individual versus the State, Marc Guyau's Morality without Obligation or Sanction, and Fouillée's La Morale, I'art et la religion, the works of Multatuli (E. Douwes Dekker), Richard Wagner's Art and Revolution, the works of Nietzsche, Emerson, W. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, Alexander Herzen, Edward Carpenter and so on; and in the domain of fiction, the dramas of Ibsen, the poetry of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy's War and Peace, Zola's Paris and Le Travail, the latest works of Merezhkovsky, and an infinity of works of less known authors, are full of ideas which show how closely anarchism is interwoven with the work that is going on in modern thought in the same direction of enfranchisement of man from the bonds of the state as well as from those of capitalism.