In order to measure or give weight to the success and influence of a social theory, a comparison with other movements and theories of the same character is required. But the anarchist theory is a class by itself and holds a distinct self-commanding sphere among social-revolutionary concepts. Unlike all other political movements, Anarchism cannot adopt the character and form of mass movements. Anarchism, according to its teaching, expresses itself in concrete and specific terms which, however, do not greatly attract the public’s attention and are not, therefore, very easily comprehended.
Nevertheless, let us treat the teaching of anarchism in the light of recent world happenings. In this way, we can- more properly judge how far the theory of an anti-state doctrine proves to be correct and even applicable to social life. We all know that the past two decades have ruined the socialist ideas which have been preached to the world. Many of the socialist dogmas and beliefs have been shattered. In the course of world happenings, they proved to be nothing more than false and obsolete although still accepted as truths.
But how did Anarchism stand up under the fire? We should be willing to admit that many of the anarchist dogmas and concepts proved to be wrong and unpractical. Yet, the basic idea of anarchism came out more than unscathed; rather, world events gave convincing evidence that anarchism is constructive, fundamentally strong and the breath of life.
What is the basic principle of Anarchism? Simply this: the negation of government. Anarchists contend that the root of all social evils can be traced to our present order which is ruled by force-a force that leads to poverty, exploitation, oppression, class distinction, privileged minorities and wars.
Bertrand Russell, one of the greatest thinkers of our time, also comes to the conclusion that force, in its various forms, is the root of all our misery. He even proposes a “new” remedy: to tame, to limit and at the same time also democratize that force (“taming the power”). But we know that this remedy has already been tried. There is only one sound cure, one real escape: to eliminate, to destroy that force.
While all socialist theories aim to change the capitalist order and stress the importance of overthrowing or setting back the economic power and curtail the claim to private ownership, at the same time they look upon the State as a road to freedom and even invest it with a mission to aid in the realization of socialism. It is not so with Anarchism. The anarchist theory is the ONLY social doctrine which maintains that political force must be destroyed together with the economic. The anarchists believe that socialism can be realized only when the State and all its institutions are abolished, for the state is one of the chief causes of our social evils, a misfortune and a peril to suffering humanity.
This absolute truth has been proclaimed many years ago by our anarchist thinker Mikhail Bakunin, when he said: “Each state must, for fear of its own destruction, strive to become more powerful. It must devour so as not to be devoured. It must appropriate so as not to be appropriated”. And Bakunin proved to us with prophetic foresight that the state, every state, must eventually become an arena for swindle, robbery, deceit and wars.
Behold, now, what is happening around us. We have before us a world of Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism. These orders are the most vivid expression of a highly developed powerful state. They are known as “totalitarian” states. This means they are governed in an absolute and unbridled manner and usurp, not only the political, but also the economic power. They assume control over the whole social life, just as modern capitalism shows a marked tendency towards monopolizing the whole economic power (international trusts, chamber of commerces, etc.) So does the political apparatus strive to lay its hand on every available power for introducing the strictest centralization, dictatorship and totalitarian rule.
These totalitarian states march in different directions, but in the end they reach the same objective. The Fascist and Nazi states evolved from capitalist “democracy”. The Marxist-Stalinist state began with socialism. But, as agencies of centralized power and monopoly, they all come to one destination-to totalitarianism, to an absolute political and economic rule. The same process, by the way, is also assumed by all democratic states. Their innermost “nature” urges them on the same road.
That American, English or French democratic capitalism has not as yet developed into fascism is not a result of its being anti-fascist. It simply is a result of the fact that democratic capitalism in the aforementioned countries feels strong enough and is not yet in urgent need of fascism. If and when there is noted a marked change or transformation in democratic capitalism, such a change does not lean towards freedom. On the contrary, it is in the direction of fascist capitalism.
No one can deny that the main tendency of all democratic countries is to introduce -under the guise of democracy-a vaster government control over industry, more regulations, more meddling in the economic and social life of the inhabitants. And so, if we should relieve ourselves of the bewitching allurement of rhetorical phraseology and delve deeply into the economic-political process, which displays itself before our very eyes in all capitalist countries, we could then clearly see that private capitalism heads in the direction of monopoly and imperialism. The internal contradictions in capitalism, leading to industrial panics, unemployment, overproduction, class struggle and competitive disputes among capitalist factions themselves-all this leads inevitably towards fascism.
Reaction and a new world war are now pervading our universe. For this the “democratic” states arc as much to blame as the totalitarian states. Hitler-ism, Fascism and Stalinism--they are all a direct product, a legitimate offspring, not only of capitalist monopoly, but also of state power, of centralized state monopoly. The latest world occurrences substantiate the fundamental thought of Anarchism.
But one thing should be clear and certain to all students of social problems who have studied world events for the past 25 years: Marxian political and economic centralized socialism is openly exposed as completely bankrupt. Humanity will either drift into eternal slavery, disappear from the earth or it will search and perhaps find a new road through which it will find and attain real libertarian socialism.
M. B. RESIN