I. The World View of Anarchism

Anarchism is the teaching of freedom as the foundation of human society. Anarchy (in English: without rule, without authority, without state) thereby denotes the condition of social order aspired to by the anarchists, namely the freedom of each individual through the general freedom. In this objective, in no other, consist the common bonds of all anarchists with one another, consists the fundamental distinction of anarchism from all other social doctrines and human faiths.

Whoever asserts the freedom of the individual person in demanding the community of all people, and conversely whoever equates the freedom of society with the freedom of all those who are communally bound within it, has the right to call himself an anarchist. Whoever, on the other hand, believes it acceptable to place people for the sake of the social order, or society for the sake of the presumed freedom of people, under external compulsion, has no right to be considered an anarchist. The different views about the paths which humanity must take to arrive at freedom, about the means by which the forces resistant to freedom are to be fought and conquered, about the endless forms and institutions of the libertarian society, comprise differences of opinion among anarchist tendencies within the common world view. Their comparison and evaluation is not the object of this work, which limits itself to expounding and promoting the principles of communist anarchism as considered correct by the author and those anarchists closest to him in conviction and engagement.

The scientific explication of the term communism can here also be omitted, especially as the communist anarchists are not so much concerned with a dogmatic stipulation of the rules of exchange and usage in the society freed from the state and capitalism, as much as they are with the creation of libertarian relationships within socialism in place of the authoritarian, officially directed and centrally managed socialism aspired to by the state socialists, especially by the Marxists. By communism we understand social relations based on community of goods, which allows each to work according to his abilities and to consume according to his needs. We believe the fundamental socialist demand for the equal rights of all members of society to be more safely guaranteed in this form of economy than in collectivism or mutualism, which wish to relate one’s share in the collective produce to work performed. Libertarian socialism grants sufficient latitude to these different possibilities which have all found their defenders among the anarchists. Also, only the attempts and experiences of the future can decide, for example, to what extent the satisfaction of needs demands the private possession of goods for individual use. An emphatic distinction must be made from the merely individualist anarchists, who only in the egoistic intensification and assertion of the individual perceive the means to negation of the state and authority and reject even socialism like every general organization of society as already a suppression of the self-sufficient ego. They close their eyes to the fact of nature that man is a social life-form and humanity a species in which every individual depends upon the totality and the totality is dependent upon each individual. We dispute the possibility and also the desirability of the individual detached from the whole, whose supposed freedom could be nothing other than lonely isolation, resulting in ruin within a social vacuum. We claim: no one can be free as long as everyone is not free. The freedom of everyone, however, and thereby the freedom of each individual, requires community in socialism.

Socialism is, economically speaking, the classless society in which the land and soil as well as all the means of production have been withheld from private disposition, whereby neither rent nor profit nor, as well, compensation for rented labor power through wages or salary can deprive creative hands and brains of the fruits of their efforts. In the place of private or state exploitation stands the planned common management of common property, in the place of the privileged minority of each country’s owners stands the totality united into one people in all countries.

Beyond the economic interpretation of the term, socialism is a moral condition and a spiritual value. For it means not only rational ordering of work, distribution and consumption, and thereby fulfillment and satisfaction of all natural requirements of material life for all; it also means fulfillment of that very moral requirement, disregard for which more severely offends man, and habituation to which more deeply degrades, than hunger and every other bodily privation: the requirement of equality. Poverty, misery of every sort, the burden of utmost strain amidst the bleakest of circumstances is bearable when the burden is distributed equally among all, when alive in the communal thinking the individual’s suffering melts into the general suffering and with it the will to dispose of the causes of the misfortune also arises from the feeling of connection of all with all. That poverty, however, which is the expression of unjust conditions, is or at least should be unbearable. A society which lets children suffer hardship, which from the majority of people developing, in the flower of life and in old age withholds sufficient sunlight, clean air to breath, healthy food, relaxation, cleanliness, care for the body and expansion of the mind, in order to ensure wealth and power to a minority; a society in which the overworking of the poor creates the unburdened prosperity of others; a society which is unable to give work to all those capable of and eager for work, even at the most meager wages, and which heaps upon the exploited who are already employed the burden of maintaining the unemployed along with the burden of almost the entire expense of the administrative machinery serving to maintain this insanity, with the sole purpose of perpetuating the social inequality in favor of the beneficiaries of the capitalist economic process; in short, a society like the one in which we live cannot be transformed into a socialist one merely through a change in its material structure. The Marxists err in assuming that man’s intellectual and moral qualities arise mechanically out of the economy’s modes of production, that the religious, legal and scientific knowledge of an era are nothing other than the ideological superstructure of the material realities. There exists here a continual interchange, indistinguishable in order of precedence. Capitalism entails intellectual just as well as material prerequisites in order to attain dominance over the nations; through careful influence upon the upbringing and education of those who have been made obedient it must keep the mind submissive so as to tolerate the injustice of exploitation and inequality as a fateful inevitability. Thus socialism, too, requires intellectual preparation for its realization, and justification not only from its material advantages for the majority of people, but from its intellectual content. This justification, however, is only possible if socialism, beyond its aptitude for developing intellectual values, is itself proven to be and acknowledged as an intellectual value. The reformation of economic relationships under socialism can, in the sense of the equalization of everyone’s rights, only become effective if accompanied by the simultaneous reformation of the intellectual relationships between people, as only reformed intellectual relationships are capable of creating in the economic sphere the socialism of solidarity out of the individualism of inequality.

In so far, then, as communist anarchism agrees with all socialist doctrines regarding the objective of economic equality as the foundation of human interrelations, it regards this social transformation, in contrast to the strictly materialist-oriented doctrines of Marxism, not as the sole content of its ambition, but rather as one of the essential conditions for the far-reaching recreation of society itself, encompassing all of life’s interrelations. The concept of equality should not be understood in the sense of leveling. On the contrary, the demand for equality is nothing other than the demand: equal rights for all! That means: the same conditions for each person to develop his faculties to their utmost potential. Economic equality is essentially the elimination of all disturbances arising from unfavorable circumstances, in particular from want, which hinder the development of the individuality as distinct from all other individualities. Equality, understood as equal rights, does not prohibit, but rather first enables the growth of the personality. While capitalist society swaddles the rich man’s child in silk, raises him according to the most well considered physical and intellectual upbringing, affords him higher education and, without discriminating aptitude or character, obtains for him the careers of the rulers; while it, also without discriminating aptitude or character, abandons the poor man’s child in dismal accommodations, with little light and bad air, in sad, tortured surroundings from early on to the influences and impressions of misery, denies him the instruction that could harm the designs of the powerful, raises him to a servile mentality and forces him into personality-killing work, — the equality of socialism ensures every child light, air, joy and room for all of the seeds to thrive which by nature and consciousness allow him to become a human being in his distinctness and in his connectedness to his companions in time, character and fate. Capitalism accordingly pursues the most tedious leveling in two forms, one intended for the possessing class and one for the exploited class; classless socialism, on the other hand, creates for all people the equality of the preconditions upon which every personality in the full diversity of its unique being, but in harmonious unity with the social whole, creates values according to its ability and takes part in the use of the common property according to its need.

Only when the principle of equality attains intellectual meaning and moral elevation in such a manner, is it socialistically justifiable from the anarchist perspective. What matters is not the balancing of tottering external relations between men, but rather that this balancing is undertaken out of internal necessity; and the inequality itself is not sufficient occasion to create equality, but rather the injustice which in inequality comes to light. Were there only material considerations in deciding on the questions of social life, were morality in fact merely the ideological expression of calculations of tangible utility, then one would have to involve oneself in the foolhardy discussions with the capitalists regarding the expediency of their system. Reference to children going hungry and to all other manifestations of the impoverishment and the decrepitude of the working class could not at all convince of the necessity that their causes must be eliminated, if the mode of production were really everywhere and always the starting point of all human thinking, willing and consciousness. The present mode of production is capitalist. That in material existence a certain behavior results therefrom for capitalists as for proletarians is obvious. The Marxist formulation: being determines consciousness, whereby being is explicitly characterized as an economic condition, is highly debatable. The consciousness of man is determined by, aside from material values, various other impressions as well and receives from the stirrings of the soul sometimes the strongest incitement precisely where an interest is taken in capitalist facts. What is correct is that conditions determine behavior, whereby economic conditions alone are by no means the only consideration (conditions could also arise from character, intellectual peculiarity, connection to other persons, climate, cosmic events), and whereby behavior, totally independent of all modes of production, can be driven by original moral feelings.

Capitalism is admittedly dependent in all its effectiveness upon only materialist modes of thought. To the logical consideration that strata of society living in misery and to a great degree excluded from enjoyment of the social goods represents an injury to the wellbeing of society, that their maintenance is therefore materially inexpedient, it can oppose its own logic, according to which the collection of possessions in the hands of a small number of large consumers allows the most useful employment of the necessary labor power, whereby the material needs of the capitalists, removed from all moral judgment and based upon power relations, are naturally taken as the gauge of usefulness. The economic system of capitalism is not refutable with logic alone and certainly not with the scientifically puffed-up doctrine of historical materialism, still less can it be thus fought off or replaced with a better system. From any impersonal standpoint one cannot do justice to those things which have their effect almost exclusively within the personally human and which precisely through their oppression of those personally affected are perceived to be unbearable. Although the actual changes will consist mainly in the complete reordering of economic social life, the establishment of the socialist society in place of the capitalist is only to be proven necessary from the standpoint of man’s inborn sense of social ethics. Here is one of the decisive differences between anarchist and Marxist socialist teaching. The capitalists have never attempted to raise the principles of their behavior to the level of law for all humanity. They make use of capitalism because it ensures them the power over the proletariat and the privileges of their position. Not even this minority takes seriously the pathetic accounting tricks laying claim to the earth’s carrying capacity, thanks to which always only a select minority may enjoy prosperity and the great majority are to be condemned by nature itself to privation and slavery. Marxism appeared then as a savior in the moment of need, with the bold theory of the ordered regularity of the modes of thought and action, which thus far only capitalism had brought to social life with utmost logical consistency. Materialism, that is to say, the shaping of the world from purely mathematical considerations, the ordering of life strictly from the viewpoint of metabolism, — this mindless denigration of all mankind’s questions to mere affairs of production and distribution, received the blessing of an immutable, eternally valid institution of nature, ordained by fate. We anarchists oppose capitalism because it subordinates the intellectual and moral values of humanity to an unscrupulous materialist-thinking nobility’s desire for profit and power. We believe that the class character of society (as capitalism has developed it, into a divergence of its peoples into two distinct species) only became possible through the overgrowth of all life by materialist thought and ambition; that on the other hand excess of materialist drives must always and under all circumstances lead to class differentiation in society, consequently to the enslavement of the one half and the elite empowerment of the other. We further believe that the decay of capitalist society, its helpless tottering about in its own mismanagement, its resort to wars and increasingly more brutal subjugations of the dispossessed and disenfranchised masses have as their deepest cause the absurdity of purely materialistic feeling, thought and action. Nature in the long run does not allow itself to be abused in such a way that the nourishment and safeguarding of physical being, provision for which is the prerequisite and requirement of life, is made to become life’s content. From this necessarily arise avarice, cheating and power, which in all cases is likewise abuse of power. We want socialism because we recognize in this form of society the guarantee of securing a foundation of the material necessities and comforts for human existence upon which social life can raise itself to the best possibilities of spiritual and intellectual connection. And now the socialists are offered a doctrine which excellently describes the essence of capitalism, explains all of its manifestations and exposes its effects. But from capital’s origin and reign a law is derived, as if the institutions which men have established for themselves were determined by nature; this law is adorned with pearls of philosophical insight and irrefutable science, and those who overthrow capitalism and are to set socialism in its place are told: socialism can only grow and the same foundations as capitalism; materialism, the primordial material of capitalism, must be acknowledged as historical materialism, thusly as the primordial material of every social order. The materialist point of view teaches that capitalism can only become what it is, an expression of modern slavery, of the depersonalization of man, of the subjugation of the will to the mechanism of a purely economic machine, because it, though not theoretically, yet in practice nonetheless makes materialist usefulness the lever of all social forces. But you socialists, the Marxists say, have a further advantage over the capitalists in that you even have theory; go forth and create socialism by making the materialist point of view the foundation of your work as well!

Could a greater favor be rendered to the proprietors of capitalist power than through such a doctrine? Are they not morally justified, if the socialists adopt the world view upon which their cursed system rests as the pedestal of their own? The means of destruction of a poorly founded social structure may be forced from its defenders into the hands of its attackers, just as the struggle against armed men can hardly be otherwise conducted than with weapons; but whoever wishes to use the stones of a demolished society as the building blocks of a new one will at the same time be creating the new entry gates for the old spirit. Socialism has nothing in common with capitalism, neither in the economic structure nor in the ideological content. That socialism should take the place of capitalism is not grounded in the practical logic of utilitarian economy, but rather in the moral conscience of righteous thought. We detest the hunger of the poor precisely for justice sake!

Every explanation of what justice is is superfluous. For the ability to distinguish between right and wrong is an inborn gift of nature, just like the gift of sensing pleasure and pain. Though the senses of pleasure and pain are distinguishable already in the first hour of life, the sense of right and wrong on the other hand must first be developed. But this is no proof against its quality as an instinctual predisposition. Walking, too, the distinction between colors, language, judgment over beautiful and ugly, need to be developed in the person, and yet no one doubts that we are here dealing with purely natural abilities. The knowledge of right and wrong is the social conscience in man, without which the plight of others could not move us as if it were our own affair. But just as pleasure and pain arise from physical or mental causes, which in contrast to feelings succumb to influence and alteration through the human will, so too is the social conscience aroused by human occasions or omissions. The will to justice grounded in our intellectual being is satisfied or offended in so far as certain basic requirements of the social conscience are fulfilled or disappointed. The first basic social requirement is that of equal rights. That means justice through equality. The condition of its realization, however, is the commitment by those with equal rights to mutuality. The struggle of species against one another — all human, animal and plant life is based upon the killing of one species by another and the translation of the substance of the destroyed creature into the life force of the destroyer — , this struggle for the maintenance of species finds its complement in the organized support by members of the same species in the struggle for existence, defense and socialized rearing of the young. To what degree bonds of companionship of different species, or transformations of substance within the same species, are to be found in nature is in this context of no importance. This much is certain, that of all creatures dependent upon social cooperation only humans have methodically extended the struggle to encompass their own kind, and not just as is the case with some animals and with cannibals, in order to alleviate dietary challenges, but in order to create unequal rights within the same race and thereby satisfy cravings for power. Mutual aid is as much a part of equal rights, just as social inequality makes impossible every relationship of mutuality. Capitalist society destroys the social community of mutuality and replaces it with the mutual support of a power-hungry minority in its disenfranchisement and exploitation of the totality of forces, artificially fractured, which create social values. A great portion of the proletariat likely recognizes that its wellbeing can also only be sought in uniting for the rendering of mutual aid, yet its struggle has so far extended to a very limited degree beyond resistance to the worst effects of capitalist depredation, and the goal of its struggle is limited almost everywhere, even where the connection has already occurred under socialist and communist decree, only to the material transformation of life. The assault directs itself exclusively against the manifestations of capitalism, against the effects of the proprietors’ power on the standard of living, health and social standing of the unpropertied class, but, vanishing exceptions aside, nowhere against the moral principles which have made the birth, growth and activity of capitalism possible and whose elimination would result in the immediate collapse of the economic system, were the spirit of equal rights and mutual aid (without which there is no socialism) ever to come alive.

Communist anarchism therefore directs its struggle both against the economic oppression of man by man as well as against the morality which considers discrimination between men acceptable. Capitalism could not exist, could never have come into being, if the renunciation of the control of one’s own labor power had not been preceded by renunciation of man’s personal responsibility. All historical explanations, according to which the communistically organized husbandmen of old, for defense against assault on their land, singled out armed men who gradually thanks to their superiority through use of weapons made themselves lords of the land and as a privileged class transformed the fruit of their employers’ labor into personal fortune, set themselves up as owners of the land and soil and thereby made the laborers subservient to their claims to power — all researches into the origin and development of capitalism and class wars may be accepted as true and accurate. They prove nothing for the Marxist dogma that economic being alone, or at least alone decisively, influences man’s activity, thought and feeling. The surrender of armed service to a select troop must have been preceded by consciousness of no longer being strong enough for defense nor for work in the natural simplicity of total community. This reduction of faith in the social power of solidarity is, however, an emotional-ethical occurrence, only from out of which result the consequences for economic conditions. Consciousness here determines the form of being. No attempt to ascribe economic causes in turn to the dwindling of self-confidence would overcome the objection that every formation of labor output and ordering of relations is a human organization, where action however is necessarily preceded by thought, thought by unconscious stimulation of the nerves, which signify psychological emotion. A shared lifestyle is based on shared responsibility. The division of commonality in social action can only be ascribed to the relaxation of social responsibility. If the whole were to transfer to a part one of the duties whose performance requires the input of all forces, it would thus at the same time eliminate this part from performance of the remaining social duties, thereby relieving it of responsibility for others’ affairs, just as the whole is compromised in its responsibility for the transferred duty. A division of duties within social labor is of course necessary, just as defense against assaults on land and labor assigns different tasks to the fighters. The fundamental principle of community is not thereby violated. But to hand over the labor to one part of the populace, and burden the other with war means tearing apart the conduct of social life, means sacrificing generally binding responsibility, means consequently creating inequality, which necessarily leads to power. Shared responsibility of everyone for everything, that is the real meaning of communism. But shared responsibility of everyone for everything is exactly the same as personal responsibility of each for the whole, and that is the real meaning of anarchism.

This raises the question of the interrelationship between society and individual. Marxism wants to bring about social equality by stretching each person’s lifestyle on the rack of the collectivity’s economically weightable industrial ends. Individualism on the other hand wishes to use the unrestricted living space of the individual as the measure of the mode of social existence, without regard for equality or the common good. Both conceptions, then, assume a conflict between society and individual and reach different conclusions only regarding the question of whose right to life is more important. Communist anarchism rejects the distinction between society and individual. It regards society as the sum of individual persons and the individual as an insoluble part of society. A social equality, which constrains the individual impulse for activity on the part of a person aware of his own value, which contents itself with the removal of surplus and deficit in the distribution of earthly goods, does not by itself create a social equality which fulfills the requirement of justice, an equality which rests upon mutualism in all and not just in material things, and which rests on the feeling of the connected responsibility of all and of the personal responsibility of each individual. The establishment of an equality which truly bears the meaning of equal rights is not the simple solution to an accounting exercise in economics. Realizing that herein lies its weakness, Marxism takes flight to the fields of philosophical consolations and dissuades socialists from thinking of personal responsibility in social affairs with the old temple wisdom about the limitations of the will and the predetermination of all being and behavior, a doctrine whose super-sensory extravagance is made no better by its replacement of divine providence with historical materialism, that is, the dependence of human action upon the prevailing modes of production. Economic conditions naturally influence people’s decisions, but aside from these a wealth of other conditions, arising from peculiarities grounded in geography, biology, tribe, tradition or other qualities, create the spiritual melting pot which we call character. Though the development of consciousness may be therefore subject to many various social conditions, the individual is not thereby affected in his ability to immediately influence social being nor in his freedom of discretion. Within the personality the will is free.

However, to place the individual’s will at the center of all events, to subjugate to it the affairs of the whole in the belief that the meaning of society exhausts itself in the satisfaction of the material and intellectual needs of the personality conscious of its unique ego, also means nothing but the flight from reality into the imaginary world of a socially disjointed humanity. Yet just how indivisible the unity between man and humanity is, and is perceived to be by everyone, can be made clear (to name a single example out of all human endeavors) by transplanting the testimonies of the individual life beyond death into the social life. For the individual being, the world exists only so long as it makes itself noticeable to its senses. Dying, which along with the individual extinguishes his entire consciousness and all personal perception, would for the lone individual be the end of things were it not for the complete interconnection between personal and social life. A relationship of reciprocity between people cannot exist on demand. The urge, grounded in human instinct, to engage creative zeal in the service of humanity, from out of one’s own to multiply the material, intellectual and moral treasures of the whole, would be totally senseless if the individual was a part separable from the whole. All liveliness of the individual receives its impulse from consciousness of mutuality. Society is the origin of life, just as it is the meaning and content of life. Since society, however, is comprised of the living, common being of individuals, its effective qualities are not different from those of the people, animals or plants which together make up the society, are come into existence from it and continue to renew it from out of themselves uninterruptedly.

Society and person are consequently to be conceived of as a unified organism, and every error in the mutual relationship of people to one another must manifest itself as a social injury, every shortcoming of the social order as a symptom of illness in the social machinery and thereby as a disadvantaging of individuals. This inseparability of the whole from its members, this state of entanglement between the parts, each one of which is an organism with the qualities of the whole, this existence of the individual and of the whole with and through one another, is the characteristic of organic existence in the world and of every connection in nature. Just as the forest consists of trees, every one of which has its own separate life, sticks by its own roots in the earthly realm, nourishes itself, lets those branches fall off which have become incapable of life and develops new shoots, gives place to young offspring in the wilting of leaves and the bringing forth of new sprouts, in the dispersal of seed and the gradual use of life force, and just as in this becoming and passing away and in the reciprocal transfer of energy of the individual trees the life of the forest as a union into a whole in turn completely attains the character of a living, dying being, always creating itself anew, so too is every society an organism of organisms, a federation of federations, a multiplicity of unities itself become a unity. Communist anarchism wants to let this natural connection between individual and society, with equal rights, mutual support and personal responsibility of each individual in awareness of the total obligation and common responsibility for the whole, again become the mode of living for humanity as well. For that, however, the complete reformation of the fundamental organizing principles of economic and social interaction is necessary.

Such a union based upon the natural joining of the parts into the whole and upon the power of the whole as the life source for the parts displays the form of organization of federalism in contrast to centralism, which is the artificial form of organization of force and the state as capitalism has elevated it to the point of ceaseless destruction of individuality, equality, self-determination, personal responsibility and reciprocity. Federalism is to centralism as organism is to mechanism, that is, as a grown, nature-born being is to a thing subjugated, thrown together, counterfeited. Federalism is the community of the living parts with the structure of a living whole; centralism is the chaining of parts one to another for the sake of unwilled direction through a soulless mechanism. In federalism, the agreement of individuals brings about the connection of their will, directed without distinction toward their own as toward the common good, with the rational production of necessities, with their rational distribution and usage and with the proper arrangement of all other life-relationships; in centralism the externally derived law of the momentary power is in force, which holds in its hands the tools for suppressing the will of the community. Federalism builds up the communal body from below by allowing the creative forces themselves in direct communication with one another to take the measures on which the wellbeing of the individual and the community depends and which ensure the citizenry that the communal wellbeing contains within itself that of the individual. Centralism moves from on high individuals merely externally bound, yet not familiar with one another out of any internal necessity, by crippling the individual will and forcing upon it direction through a will foreign to community and removed from criticism. Federalism is organization through natural order; centralism is the replacement of order with orders and superordinates. Federalist organization corresponds to the demands of justice, mutuality, equality, shared personal responsibility, community of individuals. Centralist organization corresponds to the needs of power, authority, exploitation, class conflict, the privileged. Federalism is an expression of society; centralism is an expression of the state.

For state and society are two different things. Neither is society an accumulation of all the different organizations and connections within which people order their communal affairs and under which the state exists alongside other institutional forms, nor is the state from among a great many possibilities one of the types of organization in which society can embody itself. It is certainly clear that wherever society exits there is no room for the state, but that wherever the state is it is like a thorn in society’s flesh, it does not permit it to form a people who can socially inhale and exhale, and instead divides them into classes and thereby prevents them from being a society. A centralized construct cannot at the same time be a federalist construct. A system of management organized along authoritarian lines is a government, a bureaucracy, a commanding power, and this is the mark of the state; a community built upon equal rights and mutuality is, when considered within the bounds of their physical proximity, a people, when considered as a general form of human living, a society. State and society are opposing concepts; the one excludes the other.

To speak of the class state is to speak of wooden wood. The state is and can be nothing other than the centralized executor of a class detached from the people, for the subjugation of a people disenfranchised and reduced to a dominated class. The process of state management thus divides human society into social classes by protecting the land along with the man-made means of production as the property of the privileged class, regulating the permission for the use of the property by the unpropertied class, which is nearly everyone, according to the principles of the sanctity of property privilege and of the preservation of the character of labor’s performance as the hiring out of labor power. The state is made exclusively for this purpose; it has never served another purpose; it could never be made useful to another purpose. Only where the rights of masters stand opposed to the rights of slaves does the state make sense, does it find tasks to carry out. The state could and did come into being only with the inception of personal property for the exploitation of people. With the development of capitalism, which makes the principles of material exploitation by the property owners the entire focus of man’s life, the state constantly enlarges and coarsens the network of legal, supervisory and compulsory measures through which the proletariat is to be maintained in obedience to the privileged class. But again it is the Marxist socialists who along with the materialist world view also want to adopt the centralist mode of organization, this essential characteristic of the capitalist state, as the blue print for the construction of society freed from capitalism.

It has been demonstrated that overall conditions condition people’s behavior, but that these conditions arise to a considerable degree from the voluntary initiatives of the people themselves, so that behavior in turn creates the conditions. It can be generally accepted that similar conditions have similar behavior as a consequence, and just as well that similar behavior creates similar conditions. That capitalism has established a centralized state administration for the strengthening of its hegemony over people, which through steady intensification of authoritarian pressure has continually increased the power of capital and retroactively caused a constant expansion of state authority to the detriment of the workers and to the benefit of the privileged, simply means that the state directed from above is the only form of organization suitable for the maintenance and promotion of the capitalist-directed economy; however, it means at the same time that only capitalist conditions can harmonize with state centralism in its intended effect, and further that every centralized state power can develop capitalism and generate it anew wherever it is not or might never have been at all. Therefore, if certain interpretations of Marxist doctrine wish to convince one that the essence of capitalism is determined by private exploiters’ ownership of the means of production, that their management through the state, however, can be interpreted already as a sign of socialism, then one cannot object strong enough against such a twisted falsification of the basic idea of socialism. State capitalism, even where one prefers to call it state socialism, has not the slightest thing in common with true socialism; it is on the contrary the form of capitalist subjugation most hostile to the spirit of community, mutuality and individual responsibility, without which there can be no socialism.

It is thereby completely irrelevant whether the state is conquered by the proletariat, in order to arrange it to socialist living conditions through gradual transformation, or whether in place of the private capitalist state, destroyed through revolution, one creates another in which from the outset state powers assume the duties of beneficiary of the workers’ own labor power, the possession and utilization of which they themselves have been deprived. It is, as well, a worthless concession to the natural insight of socialists who recognize the irreconcilability of social equality with the state, to claim that the state governed with a striving towards socialist economic forms has the characteristic of making itself superfluous with the disappearance of capitalism, of dying off and clearing a path for the accomplishment of socialism by a society of federally allied equals. A state does not die off, but consolidates itself by developing the foundations on which it rests. The foundations of the state are the capitalist class relations, and it makes no difference whether the class contradictions arise from the private ownership by the few of the earth and the means of work or are brought about by the transferal of the same ownership to select state commanders. However much more morally satisfying it may be to know that the right of exploitation does not lie in the hands of personal greed, — what matters is that all exploitation is exterminated, not that it is depersonalized. It is meaningless to the creative person whether his performance benefits a joint-stock company, which passes on in the form of dividends the derived profit to people who have absolutely no contact with the labor itself, often not even aware of what is being produced in the factory of which they are co-owners, — or whether the state confiscates the fruit of his labor. The effect is for him totally the same: the product of his labor does not belong to him, he is deprived of its possession and he finds absolutely no profit in the product itself, but rather in receiving a wage for its production. The wage system is not altered in the slightest by the transferal of private capitalism to state capitalism, yet the wage system is the mark of exploitation.

The claim that the expropriation of labor power on the part of the state, even if the economic form bears the appearance of exploitation, will bring about the socialist order in such a way that the produce of labor will serve the needs of the community, falsifies the principle thought of socialism. Aside from the capitalists’ claim that they too create value which suits the general need, and that they transfer most of the surplus into production which raises demand, here as before is missing the self-determination by the workers of the use of their product. With that at once disappears the justification for the objection that capitalist labor, regardless of whether a private individual or the state is the employer, is ever subordinate to the social good. For wherever the responsibilities of employer and laborer are divided, there can be no talk of social good. It goes for the state to an even greater degree than for the private employer that the principle motive in all its measures, especially in the distribution of job assignments, is the securing of its position as the authority over disposal of the means of production. Supplying the market with the necessities of life is in any manner of capitalist economy only decisive in so far as it contributes to the strengthening of this position of power. Wherever the privilege of possession comes into conflict with the needs of the people, it is in all cases the care for the whole which is disadvantaged, without distinction between private and state capitalism.

The privilege must therefore be eliminated. It can only be eliminated when workers’ self-management takes the place of regulation of labor from above. Self-management is nothing other than the mutual, individual responsibility of equals, nothing other than federated, in the place of centralist, organization. In which manner the federated labor and distribution organizations of communist anarchism are to be realized by means of the council system, the only imaginable form of economic self-management, will be shown in section two. Here suffice it to assert the generally valid proposition: a society in which the relations of labor and consumption, of people with one another and of their whole spiritual and material intercourse, are to be arranged under preservation of equal rights, universal individual responsibility and mutual support, demands federalist management for all institutions, i.e. the direct intercommunication of those involved. Central points of connection only serve the purposes of book-keeping and the relaying of orders, never those of independent execution of an office or those of any superior authority, whose complete eradication is the prerequisite of all self-management.

The attempt to arrive at socialism from capitalism by means of a transition state is condemned to failure by the nature of the state as a central ordering power. The state order rests on the process of transferring public functions to officials separated out from the whole especially to this end. Should socialism after the fall of the capitalist social order wish to arrange its ways of life according to the same procedure, this would result in the repetition of the process which, through the division of social duties into cultivation of the land and defense of the land, brought about the suppression of the laboring men by the armed men, and thereby the stratification of the people into classes, and consequently the dispossession of the entirety by the strengthened minority, exploitation, capitalism. Management dissociated from the whole was destined in a short period of time to become an end in itself, just as the armed men of old made themselves into an independent nobility and forced the people, which had entrusted itself to them, into vassalage. Even under current conditions, where the civil servants are in a state of complete dependence upon the far greater power of the owners of land and the means of production, the state eagerly strives by means of authoritarian interventions to bring the capitalists’ competition within manageable bounds, whereas the capitalists on the other hand federally unite themselves over and beyond national boundaries, accordingly seek to free themselves from the centralist state constraints and, the more authority they equip the legislative and executive agents of the state with for the suppression of the working class, so much more decisively do they insist that they limit themselves to the practice of justice, policing and tax collection as well as ensuring their own dominance over the unpropertied people. The expropriation of private capital for the benefit of the state would of course direct the proceeds of labor into other channels, but would not reduce the dependence of the forces of labor on the exploiting powers; rather it would merely free the state from its dependence on needs other than those of its own power. The administration of the state, the civil service, the machinery of government would swell ever more terribly and, just as any regime has the tendency to develop into a long-term power which cannot be deposed nor dissolved, they will direct all their activity through pedagogy and force toward the goal of making the good of the authorities appear to be the true good of the whole. At the end of this path stands the hereditary bureaucracy which necessarily brings with it the return of exploitation to the benefit of an upper class, thus the total restoration of private capitalism, simply having exchanged groups of owners and with an altered manner of expression to deceive the masses.

Marxism represents in the state and in its own organizations the standpoint of the most rigid centralism. It battles the authority of the current state, not because it deprives the people of their right to self-determination, but because it does not extend the oppression to the ruling class. We see the facts of the matter thusly: capitalism has need of the state for the sole purpose to which it is suited, to prevent independent decisions by working people in their own affairs; to this end capitalism has armed the state with extraordinarily far reaching powers. The laws of the state serve the defense of capitalist institutions and are so contrived that they are for all appearances obligatory for both social classes. With the evolution of individualist capitalism into corporate associations of exploitation growing beyond state borders the provisions of state unity gradually proved to be too narrow for members of the propertied class. For themselves, therefore, they strive for a relaxing of state authorities; for better control of the unpropertied class, which with the perfection of technology becomes ever more distressed, they strive for these authorities’ ever more stringent formation. The state is naturally satisfied with the increasing of its power over the majority, however it protects itself from a reduction of its power through the preservation of the actual privileges of the ruling class, as long as the entire state apparatus is not transformed according to the desire of international, corporate structured capitalism (this transformation represents the fascist state). The centralist socialists, however, place themselves on the side of the state in its efforts to allow nothing of its total power to be taken from it, yet they attack it since — and here, because it has to do with a classic example of capitalist phenomena, economic being really determines consciousness — it nonetheless withdraws step by step before the demands of the propertied class, and they believe that authority’s ruthless display of power toward poverty finds its explanation in the weakness of the state toward wealth, not however in the essence of state authority itself. They oppose authority not because it is authority but because they want a different authority, made of people of their persuasion, of people who as leaders of their parties or unions have accustomed themselves to centralist governing, imposing regulations, demanding discipline and obedience, subordinating people and making them at the same time believe that they are being governed for their own good and not for that of their governor. Accustomed to authority and drilling, central direction and surrender of the will to superiors, raised for belief in the state and trust in a leader, the state socialists will be desirable citizens for state capitalism. Only, this state capitalism will lack all the qualities of socialism: equality and justice, individual responsibility and mutual support, solidarity of people with one another and self-management in social cooperation. An all powerful bureaucracy will suppress from on high every independent stirring of the people and be the expression of a state which has as little similarity to a real society as all earlier forms of state and which contains all the seeds of a class-divided exploitation economy.

For what makes the state a state and what makes one state equal to the next regardless of all other distinctions is retained in any socialist state as well: the replacement of people’s immediate connection with one another by the handing over of power to men for the domination of men. The disavowal of power in the social order is the definitive characteristic of anarchy, or, to give positive form to this negative explanation: instead of fighting for some form of power anarchism fights for the people’s socially organized self-possession and self-determination. By power is to be understood every claim to or concession of sovereign authority through which people are divided into governing and governed groups. In this the form of government plays not the slightest roll. Monarchy, democracy, dictatorship represent as types of state only different possibilities in the process of the centralized domination of people. If democracy makes the appeal that it ensures the participation of the entire population in the public administration with equal voting rights for all, then it must be remembered that equal voting rights has nothing to do with equal justice and that precisely the selection of delegates prevents the participation in administration by the delegators and means their representation through successive rulers. Where there are privileges of ownership, no formal equalization of voices can create real equality, and hardly where people’s self-determination lets itself be replaced by the conferment of power. Power rests always on economic superiority, and the abolition of economic superiority with simultaneous maintenance of power brings about under all circumstances the determination of those in possession of power to secure it through regaining economic superiority. Every even temporary law giver, be he supreme court justice, minister or parliamentarian, feels himself elevated above those for whom he can create regulations, thus becoming, even when he wasn’t before, the agent of an elite divorced from the whole with different, increased needs and life goals, ceasing to belong to the class which must direct itself according to the laws and regulations. That shows itself even in the centralistically organized labor organizations. Here an official leadership is endowed with the privilege of determining the guidelines of behavior and the obligations for the rest of the group; command, authority, power arise. Thereby arises further a fundamental separation of interests with the result that the head of the organization takes on a life independent from the members and the management of the organization becomes an end in itself and always holds its own needs more important than the tasks for the sake of which the organization was created.

It lies in the nature of power not only to defend its continued existence by any means but to make itself materially and spiritually ever stronger, even making its strengthening and expansion the basis of all its actions. The power struggle is not innate to people and social animals. Only thousands of years of habituation to privilege and disenfranchisement has brought humans, and them alone, to the belief that it is fixed in their nature that the competition for a place on the sunny side of life must be conducted in the form of power struggles. But precisely the power struggles, with the separation of the human race into rulers and ruled, first brought it about that there is a sunny and a shadowy side of life. There can be no power where there is powerlessness. Whoever strives for power can only reach his goal by making others powerless. The greatest and most comprehensive power in the course of history to the present day is the power developed by capitalism. The purpose of the endless and boundless accumulation of capital is by no means simply to create a life of luxury for the capitalist. His goal of being rich and living extravagantly can be achieved without the need for billions of dollars, immense estates, mines, the proceeds of entire industries to come into the possession of a single individual. The big capitalist certainly does not pile up his goods in order to create a comfortable life for himself; on the contrary, he expends an extraordinary amount of strenuous labor on maintaining, increasing and reproducing his capital, although he knows that his lifestyle will be in no way altered by the expansion of his property and although every increase in his wealth places greater demand on the strength of his organizational abilities.

The capitalist even knows that under a just and natural management of the earth in socialism, under equal consideration of everyone in the regulation of consumption, no impoverishment in the sense of a shortage of goods and pleasures would occur for anyone, himself included. For the soil, tended in a socialist manner, yields enough to ensure a healthy prosperity for everyone, and we fight for communist anarchy not to dispose of wealth but poverty. The capitalist makes himself rich in order to make others poor. His drive to accumulate capital is not greed, but lust for power. The more people he drives into poverty through his wealth, the more people he makes obedient to himself. The poorer someone is, so much more dependent is he; the more dependent he is, so much more easily can he be ruled. It remains therefore a matter of total indifference for the working man whether his labor power is rented by a private individual or an exploitative corporation or by the state. By denying him the fruit of his labor, power is created on which he is dependent. State power requires his poverty just like the private individual does, in order to exercise power through it. But the power of the state is more dangerous than every other power because it holds out the promise of being the expression of the general will and of allocating for the common good those riches which it has taken from labor. In truth, these riches serve exclusively the maintenance of the state itself, that is, the power of authority, which requires the impotence of the ruled.

In the realization that power contains within itself exploitation, regardless who exercises it, regardless for what pretended or actual purpose it is rationalized, further that state and centralization are institutions of power and thus must practice exploitation, regardless what social goals they have set for themselves, anarchism sets itself the task of destroying power as a form of social life, accordingly of destroying every sort of state from the ground up and in its place constructing a federated community of people with equal rights. The frequently raised objection, that the destruction of power presumes through its means of execution once again the use of power, rests on unclear reasoning. For the words power, compulsion and force denote completely different concepts whose equation and confusion have produced disastrous errors even within the ranks of the anarchists themselves. Force is a means of struggles which is not fundamentally different from other means of struggle such as persuasion, deception, passive resistance, etc. The claim that anarchist thought is distinctly irreconcilable with struggle which requires the use of physical force or its mechanical reinforcement through use of weapons is an arbitrary distortion of anarchist thought. Whoever is uncomfortable with the use of force in the struggle may avoid it; such matters of personal taste have nothing to do with anarchism. Since anarchism affirms the struggle it cannot differentiate among the external forms of struggle and draw a boundary beyond which struggle is disavowed. The use of compulsion also does not stand in general opposition to anarchist conduct. An opponent vanquished in battle must naturally be prevented from continuing the fight. A social parasite must be coerced into conforming itself to the necessity of forging a shared existence. Such prevention and coercion is compulsion. Force and compulsion become only then unacceptable from the anarchist point of view when they serve a commanding authority, and the superficial equation of the three concepts is thereby explained in that the state by virtue of its power lays claim to the exclusive use of force and compulsion. Anarchism is opposed to state force and state compulsion because it is opposed to state power. But for the sake of clarity in thinking distinction must be made: force is an act of struggle, simply a means to accomplish an end; compulsion is a measure taken in struggle and a means of securing the struggle’s already accomplished end; power is a continuing situation of force and compulsion for the suppression of cravings for equality, is the ruler’s monopoly on force and compulsion wielded from on high.

Power thus designates the actual condition which arises out of any centralist, authoritarian, law-bound, state relationship. As a moral basis for its dominion it makes use of the long-instilled belief in the legitimacy and necessity of authority. Authority is the decisiveness of others’ perception for one’s own judgment. The claim to authority thus means the demand that people should refrain from forming their own opinion, to be replaced by the blind recognition of ready made thoughts, rules and principles. Accordingly, to accept authority means the surrendering of one’s power of thought and one’s will, subordination of the personality to externally derived rules and doctrines. It is immediately clear that power would not be endured had the human mind not first been made accessible to the influence of authority. Where authority gains entry, power can there establish itself; where power holds sway, it creates ever new inroads for authority. Ever since people conceded to others power over themselves and the hunger for power thereby developed into the most significant molder of social relations among men — in the lust for power lies the most prominent distinguishing trait of humans in comparison to the animals, for whom natural social existence could nowhere be suppressed by power relations within the same species — , since the beginnings of training in privilege among men the belief in authority has at all times been cultivated in those whom a will to power has destined for domination. For authority is founded on psychological influence, on preparation of the mind in the acceptance of belief and trust at the price of thinking and judgment. Whoever has gone so far as to believe without question even what is impossible and contrary to reason, he will also be ready to obey without dissent, even when the most inappropriate and disadvantageous demands are made of him.

The oldest and to this day best-proven method of arousing belief in authority is the pretense of heavenly divine powers, whose bidding a person must obey, to whose judgment he must be responsible. The original feeling of right and wrong would allow no assault on human self-determination. The awareness that only equality and mutuality make true social justice possible would exclude any use of power by men against men. A feeling for the privilege of authority and obligation of subjects could therefore only be taught to the unspoiled mind of a natural person by means of the illusion that otherworldly, heavenly beings are the creators and guides of all things; to them and not to oneself or one’s kind is a person responsible in everything he does. Whoever had been made to understand heavenly power, he could be won over to belief in human power. This merely required the insinuation that the gods conferred guardianship over human behavior to earthly representatives endowed with greater glories. Thus the authority of the priests was assured, thereby cutting a path into the social conscience for every other authority to follow. With clear insight into the human soul the priests understood that the natural defense against every authority is grounded in self-esteem, which indicates self-determination and agreement based on equal rights. Self-esteem and pride can only be broken by arousing fear. This is why along with belief in the gods fear of them is also poured into the minds. Fear, otherwise generally considered a pitiful state, is with respect to the invisible raised to a virtuous duty. Who has already learned fear of God, however, will also learn fear of priests, fear of kings, fear of the law and fear of property and allow himself to be governed at will.

Aside from self-confidence, the innate sense of justice, which is social in origin, must also be broken in order to found power on authority. Injury of the feeling for social justice occurs through the denial of equal rights or the suspension of mutuality in social life. Since, however, authority has inequality and dependence as conditions for its existence, the concept of injustice had to be twisted from its obvious meaning. The priests therefore devised sin, divorced from the social relationship, defined only in relation to the divinity. Injustice is transgression against the human community; sin is transgression against the divine, consequently the priestly, authority. However, whereas the survival of the social community is threatened by all injustice which disturbs mutuality, the commission of sinful acts is the condition for the existence of the authority of those who wish to reign over human souls. They require the guilt of their faithful, because only the remorseful soul submits to the claims of a heavenly power. Every priesthood lives off of the bad conscience of the people, but only the notion of punishment after death and of the monitoring of even the most secret thoughts and impulses keeps the fear of erring from the divine commandments constantly alive, even with the most upright conduct towards one’s fellow men. For it lies in the nature of every authority to abolish all moral obligations which promote the social conscience — otherwise no authorities could morally justify their own transgression of the idea of equality — and to place the full responsibility in all things under fixed commandments which stand beyond personal appraisal.

Social consciousness distinguishes between lawful and unlawful behaviors; their measure is their regard or disregard for equal rights. Authority on the other hand distinguishes between permitted and forbidden actions; a measure, accessible to the ruled, of their moral difference does not exist. The divinity, the priesthood, consequently the duke, the prince, the nobility, the leadership, order, forbid, convict, penalize, tax, take advantage. The law takes the place of self-determination, belief takes the place of judgment, obedience takes the place of responsibility, humility takes the place of courage, fear of the afterlife takes the place of struggle in the present one. The social community abdicates in favor of sheep-like readiness to heap up guilt, repent and do penance, to worship power and strive for power, to kill the individual along with society and to betray earthly life to a celestial kingdom of heaven. But whoever wishes in death to go to heaven, he wishes in life to be in power, and whoever in life has power, he consoles his victims with the kingdom of heaven after death.

As long as the peoples of the world unselfconsciously felt themselves to be brothers and sisters of nature, created and consumed in social mutuality; for them there was not yet any central divinity with unlimited authority. The childish need for worship gave god-names to the heavenly bodies and the forces of nature, but the heathen religions distributed the beneficent qualities which they attributed to the symbols and spirits among the imagined higher beings, and thus the priests too could in turn only make authority credible in that area in which their gods appeared worthy of being worshiped. First, Judaism centralized the God concept; first, the Judeo-Christian religion established a supreme power over humanity, created the concept of servility to God, subjugated thought, feeling and action to the sacrosanct rules of one unified authority, removed from all doubt or deposition. The priests of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god thereby achieved the unlimited authority over believers’ souls, a power to which they gave the support of the most complete centralization through the establishment of the church.

That anarchism cannot be reconciled with any belief in a conscious and willing power resident outside of the individual requires no special explanation. The concept of religion could only be brought into agreement with anarchist thinking in so far as it were conceived of as the ego devoted to and engrossed in its relationship to humanity and the universe. But when, as now and then occurs, Christian anarchism is spoken of, the suspicion arises that, while admittedly giving expression to the rejection of the state and the earthly authority, the path is yet kept clear for the uncertain soul, not trusting itself, to retreat to an otherworldly creator and guardian authority. Yet every authority real or imagined is the surrender of individual responsibility to a power superior to the individual in the sense of oversight, authority and jurisdiction.

It is only logical that the state authority always and everywhere avails itself of the forms of ecclesiastical commandment as a moral prop for its power; just as well, the church takes advantage at every opportunity of the state’s means of power to protect divine authority. The formal recognition of freedom of religion, wrung from state power in centuries-old struggles by the people rising up ever again against any form of moral constraint, hardly anywhere prevents lawmakers from presuming the actual presence of the Judeo-Christian god and placing him under special protection. The struggle against church doctrines is from the libertarian standpoint, even in countries which are far advanced in science and technology, subject to greater obstacles than even the struggle against the state and its laws and institutions. Attacks by the effective means of ridicule and crude scorn are fended off by God and his terrestrial representatives through deployment of the state’s harshest means of punishment and suppression. For, thanks to its vocation of spiritual care giving, which derives all earthly joy from willing belief, from adherence to certain rules for all feeling and behavior and from the preparation of an eternal conscious life after death, religion supplies the state the moral foundation which allows it to count on obedience toward its regime. It is thus also no contradiction that the state, as the strict materialists claim to be able to demonstrate, orders its laws in total accord with the capitalists’ needs. The exploitation rights of the owners of land, housing and machines hardly depend on maintaining the penalties which for example hang over sexual intercourse outside of marriage, which condemn certain dispositions or which deprive women of the right to choice over their unborn. In these and similar cases the law of the state simply serves to support the church in its task of supervising the movements of people in their most private affairs and preventing the individual from becoming independent of the divine rules.

The state, in securing the power of the church by prohibiting with its instruments of compulsion what the church labels as sin, at the same time expands the reach of its own power over the borders of its originally intended domain of service to the public order. This growth in state power can be only welcome to the church, for two reasons: for one thing, the state with its physical powers enters into its service as an enforcement agent where its own executive powers are unavailable; furthermore, however, no power is capable of keeping itself strong in the long run if it does not combine the lending of power with the exercise of power. The power of the church admits the power of the state into its precincts in order in turn to gain power for its part over things which appear to belong in the worldly business circle of the state. It supplements the power over souls, which it exercises thanks to its religious influencing of people, through gaining political power in the state. It makes itself thereby indispensable to the economic ruling powers who now open the way for the church’s further development of authority. They betray the schools to the church and bring it about that the youth is raised in the spirit of authority, thereby producing useful material for domination, offspring willing to be exploited and early on nurturing the urge to hold power themselves. They know that only the one who enslaves himself or at least wishes to is a good slave, as the church knows that only he can be a passionate master who feels yet another master above himself. Thus: with the awakening of the addiction to power men created for themselves the divinity. They subjugated themselves to its rule in order to be able to subjugate others to their own rule. Every subjugated man was then endowed in turn with power so that he could be ruled that much more easily. Every subjugation and domination lead to material exploitation, every exploitation to authority, centralism, state. God and the state are the two poles of power, which rests on the denial of equal rights, mutuality and individual responsibility.

God and the state with all their organs of expression, church, government, judiciary, military, police, bureaucracy, sultans, viziers, governors, cadis, treasurers, tax farmers, fakirs and bigwigs are the most complete embodiment of centralistic authority. The federative society of anarchy can maintain no component which is not directly opposed to these two basic forms of power. From its roots the structure must look and grow differently than the structure of any authoritarian organization. From its roots: but the root of the state, the germ of authority is the family.

The family, protected by authority and ordered according to uniform principles, is the paragon and symbol of centralization, the complete embodiment of the power concept, the model for church and state within a narrow sphere, the archetype and epitome of exercised and accepted authority. These qualities of the family created, tended and supervised by church and state are ensured through the institution of marriage, certified by the state, endowed by the church with divine glory, and through the fixing of paternal rights as the expression of the relationship of the tribe to the generality, of the relationship of the family members to one another. The foundation of the paternal family takes place in the form of priests or authorities undertaking the marriage ceremony of the two people who have agreed to lead a life together and beget children. The marriage, regardless of whether it involves a church consecration or a civil ceremony, thus signifies the interpolation of public power into the private resolution of two people to engage in sexual intercourse. In order to make such an intrusion of authoritarian force into the very most personal and discreet of voluntary human acts appear bearable and justified, a complete distortion of the natural knowledge of self-determination in affairs of one’s very own life is required. This is achieved through the twisting of morality from a social standard of the value of equal justice and honest mutual behavior into a guideline for the maintenance of the proper distance between the commandment of power and dependence. The relationship of the sexes, this original source of life removed by nature itself from all interference by third parties, in order to become capable of being made serviceable to power, had to be turned in the human conscience into the seat of continual inner distress. With that accomplished, the way was then clear for the pastor to prescribe rules for love; the priesthood, hence the church, the state and every authority could set itself up as a power where for any healthy sensibility the power concept would cease to have any validity. It was achieved through the successful effort to use the sexual urge as a temptation of the soul, sinful from the very beginning, to arouse continual pangs of conscience; for only in this way could the notion be engendered that the satisfaction of sensual desires is impure behavior, as long as external forces have not set out for it official regulations to be followed precisely. Life in its natural course dispenses pain and pleasure in the proportion determined by the individual’s character. Contrasting with the effort and risk required to secure one’s material existence stands the joy in the creation of social values as well as the capacity for pleasure in beholding and breathing in nature, in absorbing artistic creations and in the sensual encounter with the opposite sex. Man’s institutions of power and exploitation have displaced the struggles and hazards in the labor for the production of goods onto the subject class, for whom the joy in creation has been completely spoiled by the forms of the capitalist manner of production, since the proletarian can neither determine what he makes nor, thanks to division of labor, does he see anything useful arise under his hands, nor does he have any sort of advantage from his labor or have any voice in deciding to what ends it will be put. Pleasure in nature is markedly diminished for him as a result of unhealthy living conditions, disenfranchisement from the determination of his free time, insufficient nourishment and generally unpleasant life circumstances; artistic creations of course are hardly accessible to him, since admission to them is almost always dependent upon the expenditure of money and the ruling class has seen to it through different education that the best part of art and poetry is totally suited to their taste and consequently remains closed to the understanding of the working masses. The solitary joy which in experience itself absolutely cannot be shortened for one part of humanity by another (because nature did not furnish any ladder of ability for pleasure according to the distinct measures of human justice) is the happy experience of the senses in love and sexual ecstasy. Here, there first had to occur a persistent influence on men’s souls; here, bad consciousness had to first be created in order to remove self-determination, even in the only sphere of life which still allows the poor the feeling of joy and bliss, to push through official supervision, to develop power and authority.

With the help of the unquestionable and inescapable authority of God the people were informed that satisfaction of their sexual urge can only be freed from branding as a vice if is performed as an obligatory act for the purpose of having children within the bond of the two marriage partners; this bond must be sealed for a lifetime, requires the assent and stamp of the church or state, and every bodily uniting of man and woman outside of authorized marriage is a punishable act, sinful adultery in the event of one of the two being bound by marriage. The guarantee of this bond occurs through the unnatural elevation of fatherhood to a legally protected public right. The public right derived from fatherhood is unnatural because the begetter of a child can always only be known to the mother, never determined by a third party, and similarity and supposed heredity of traits have no value as evidence beyond supposition. Only the conferral upon the man of unconditional command created the possibility of securing the paternal family, by holding the wife and children in servile dependency and forcing upon them an oversight which makes all self-determination into disobedience, the pursuit of one’s own chosen path into a danger. In order, then, to bring sexual activity under the power of the central public offices, the begetter of the children was equipped with central power of authority within the family, and complete supervision by the man over the woman in her sex life and the same supervision by the woman over the man in his sexual behavior was made into a moral obligation, while the children were raised in the spirit of strict subordination from the beginning of life on and in them was awakened, in their drive for imitation, with the model of perfect paternal power, from early on the striving to obtain power themselves.

In no other area has the deadening of life’s natural instincts succeeded to the same degree as in the realm of sexuality. Even among adherents of anti-authoritarian doctrines one frequently encounters the tendency to deny entry to the right of self-determination, individual responsibility and equality within the narrower family circle. It is explained with the claim that jealousy is an inborn and therefore absolutely valid feeling, naturally justified in love, and therefore, as a prop to the reciprocal relationship, morally justifies the spouse’s demand for exclusivity in the sexual partnership. Such a mentality expresses nothing but total entanglement in authoritarian notions such as church, state and school in thousand year-long ardent fervor have infused into the minds chosen for domination. Whoever lays claim to the sexual consent of another person demands the surrender of the other person’s own sovereignty over himself, wishes to become the owner of a second person, is a slave owner; whoever, on the other hand, acknowledges another’s claim to their body necessarily relinquishes their right to themselves in all life relationships and becomes a fellow man’s slave. But whoever can somewhere be a slave master or a slave, he can, and will, be one anywhere. Jealousy is the envy of property directed toward another’s feelings of love. Envy is everywhere declared the most pathetic of human qualities, in so far as it applies to goods which wealth denies to poverty. Envy is thus considered a disgrace when it threatens harm to the inequality in man’s distribution of physical property. The envy, however, which selfishly begrudges the other person independent determination over the very most personal action in the most private affairs, this envy is crowned with the halo of love’s virtue, it is everywhere shown deep respect, to it clings the oppressed, otherwise hopelessly subjugated, with his obsession with rule and his delusions of power.

There have been times when the paternal family was unknown. Before there was a state, before the priesthood and men-at-arms brought privileges and power over the people, maternal rights held sway which allowed the woman the choice as to who would be the father of her children. In those days sexual jealousy apparently did not enjoy the status of a rightful claim of one person to another. Very gradually, in long transitional phases, out of the totally unconstrained community of men and women in which the number of mates and the duration of the bond was left to the discretion of all of those involved, the family arose, at first in the form in which the mother admitted the father of her children into the household community, then in the form of a clan marriage in which men and women within the kinship were available to one another, finally, closely connected with the rise of property privileges, in the form of paternal rule. But only with the spread of the Jewish god belief, in which paternal authority is so clearly epitomized, did the institution of paternal marriage, so well suited to the basic ideas of church and state, attain the consecration of sanctity.

Communist anarchism is utterly inconceivable as a social reality unless the state and every form of centralism and exploitation be denied their basis through the removal, even the proscription of controlling and autocratic relationships within the family. If two people want to share a life together, then that is a matter of their own agreement; as soon as out of this agreement a two-sided or one-sided or even an exclusive right of ownership arises, a power situation is created within the family circle which with inescapable necessity adversely affects other individuals, at first those toward whom the desire of one of the spouses is directed. Power, however, is a plague which spreads throughout its entire surroundings and somehow makes them dependent, consequently creates inequality, which in turn brings authority and exploitation in its wake. The anarchists’ morality must therefore proceed from the unconditional approval of all that occurs in uncoerced agreement between responsible, mature people in the realm of sex. What two people do to give one another pleasure is never immoral; what is always immoral is the interference by a third party in their arrangements.

No person, man or woman, is constituted by nature so that he should feel throughout his whole life physically attracted to only one suitable individual. The sex drive will not let itself be commanded without being perverted, and it will not let itself be forbidden or constrained without becoming twisted. Jealousy ensures exclusivity of fondness of one person toward another only with people utterly enthralled by power; with independent feeling natures, inaccessible to authority, it destroys the uninhibitedness of their behavior and thereby almost always brings about the opposite of that for which it strives. All love affairs rest on mutuality. But the mutuality is not abolished by the party who carries on other affairs, but by the one who demands the other adhere to a commitment of forced exclusivity. General rules and moral laws cannot be derived at all from out of the coming together of two sensually aroused people, be it to keep a common household together, be it to satisfy a fleeting desire in the rush of the moment. Issues of sexuality have not the slightest thing to do with socially oriented morality, as long as force, abuse of economic dependence or seduction of immature children and those deprived of their free will do not reduce intercourse to an act of power, disturb the relationship of equally entitled mutuality and thereby allow the private act to have communally harmful repercussions on society.

The religious commandments and, following in their tracks, the state laws have thoroughly made sexual behavior, which from a social perspective could hardly lend itself to their power purposes, the foundation of public morality; they have accustomed the people to understanding by morality the ordering of the physical needs to the prescribed limitations. Only thus was it possible to make the authoritarian marriage, the lifelong forced commitment to the family, into the undisputed self-evident truth for the organization of private life. Paternal power in the house gave moral consecration to priestly power in the church, governmental power in the state, power of capital in the economy; it could therefore not be safeguarded strictly enough. On this point, there is between the oriental right of men to marry as many women as they please and the Christian and European principle of monogamy no difference in essence, only in degree. Polygamy is only allowed to the man; it is thus the most blatant expression of unlimited paternal authority in the family and protects the man also in his sexual life from any interference within his domain of power. In monogamy the woman admittedly is just as well subjugated to the man’s command — nowadays still the bourgeois law books just as well as cannon law assign the wife the role of the obediently serving subordinate and the husband’s bedmate, obliged to meek devotion — , but through the prohibition against holding herself to be anything more than a slave to marriage the man also stands under watch as regards his sensual life; his god-like aspect in the family is in one respect constrained, and the woman, even more importantly, is in a very limited space permitted to likewise be a ruler, she imbues herself with the pride of also being allowed to stress authority somewhere and so much the more will she dependably raise the children in the authoritarian spirit and subject herself to the authority of husband, church and state.

The renunciation of any official certification for a marriage changes something of the character of the family only when the received morality of relations between the mutually opposed powers does not experience therein any resurrection. Every relationship based upon duty-bound obedience, on denial of self-determination and prohibition of extramarital relationships, carries within itself all the essential characteristics of the centralist authoritarian organizations, the church and the state. The husband, the paterfamilias is possessed of an almost unlimited authority, which is expressly guaranteed to him by the public powers. He has the right of corporal punishment over wife and children, he represents them before the agencies of the state, he oversees the property and determines the place of residence; neither does any law stand in his way when he capitalistically exploits them. Only, he may not extinguish his family members’ lives; to that right the state lays claim, which requires labor forces in order to be able to dominate them. With this ordering of the family rights it is accomplished that the man, everywhere bound, can himself within his own closest sphere of life bind in turn, wherefore the debasement of his character through every sort of oppression does not become conscious. He gains a taste for centralism, since he himself exercises central power. For the never entirely extinguishable longing for individual responsibility and mutuality, there is reserved for him in his home a state-sanctioned space, even if the mutuality consists merely in the authority of the spouses to hold one another under police surveillance. Furthermore, the divinity of the parents in respect to the children is strengthened through the church- and state-ordained moral doctrines and through the conferral of the right of inheritance, made useful also for the influences of capitalist power. Finally, however, through the institution of self-contained families a tribal pride is cultivated which continually drives this miniaturized likeness of the state to consider itself in isolation more worthy than the neighbor’s family, which contains in itself the tendency to enrich itself at their cost. Thus is every federative community from the bottom up already in the social germ cells averted, striving toward general equality of rights prevented through the temptation of competition for dominance, the dividing lines between the common victims of a greater power strengthened, the thought of hostile dissociation (without which there can be no central structure) rooted in the soil of the private power interests of individuals. With this quality, however, of self-righteously and jealously shutting oneself in with one’s group members like an enclosed fortress against the other clans, the authoritarian family fulfills its true task, which is to engraft onto the youth as they mature along with the sense of family the sense of state, the will to power of one’s own state, enmity toward other states, the desire for conquest, suppression, exploitation of the peoples beyond the state borders, nationalism.

A nation is a grouping of peoples, thus a spatially connected community of human beings belonging together by virtue of common living conditions, language and customs. The concepts nation and people are approximately equivalent, insofar as they are simply used for distinguishing the parts of humanity gathered together in different lands. Nationality means belonging to a people. In none of these words is contained anything more than a distinguishing characteristic, none expresses any measurable quality. Only with the splitting of the peoples into classes, with their subjugation to the estates of warriors, priests, landholders and capitalists did the nation take on the sense of a morally based ruling structure, and today nation has long become the solemn label for the raw power concept state. Nationalism is the mindset which holds one’s own state to be distinguished above all others, which thanks to the virtues of the people organized within it holds the moral prerogative to continually expand its borders, to authoritatively impose its laws and moral doctrines upon other peoples and to place the fruit of foreign labor at the disposal of its own rulers. Nationalism is the glorified consecration of the state concept, the transference of the authoritarian family morality onto the peoples.

If in the paternal family, elevated to social institution and legally protected, the power concept hides behind sentimental pretexts such as chastity, love of one’s own, bonds of blood — all things which may or may not be present, but are never dependent upon external legal sanction — , so too nationalism openly declares power to be a moral principle and elevates the command apparatus of the owners of the means of labor, the state, to the lofty bearer of the thusly sanctioned power. For the sake of the state, whether labeled nation or people, the concept of a human species is excised from people’s consciousness; in place of equal rights for all members of the species, privilege for the people centrally governed within one’s own national borders is desired; claim to subordination, domination, enslavement of the other peoples declared; the martial act of violence, the spoliation, even extermination, of populations outside of the national borders is made into obligation; cruelty, malice, slander, arson, betrayal of all inborn social feelings are passed off as bravery and national right, and every power advantage of one’s own state is sanctified thoughtlessly and without distinction.

It is certainly correct that all wars, all expansions of state borders and national claims are aimed at material utility. But it is as true here as everywhere else that the goal of power takes precedence over all material goals, that the dominance of people by people is the leading motive of all oppression, even if economic supremacy remains the indispensable means to the attainment of power. Serving as proof that striving for power predominates over the mere need for enrichment is the always successful appeal to national feeling in case of threatening diminution of power or alleged insult to the national honor, by which nothing else can be understood other than respect, control and authority. The masses ready for national battle practically never have any economic advantages to expect, their enthusiasm is aroused only to a limited extent by the promise of a profitable reward; but the spiritual value of their membership in the nation is made clear to them, that is, the sense of authority familiar to them from church doctrine and family feeling is heightened to a national power frenzy, in that in every individual the pride is swollen to be able feel oneself a part of an authority of world-wide importance. Thus, for the exploited people the lust for power is reduced to an ideal denominator, the spatially demarcated state territory elevated in their imagination to a religious conceptual value, the centralized governmental body given a priestly make-over, as if it were not the regulatory organ of capitalist power relations but instead commanded reverence as the symbol of creative power; and at the same time the exploitive upper stratum has an agreement transcending all national boundaries to together preserve their proprietary sovereignty, reaches accords which consolidate their class standing into a true power, uninfringed by any nationalism, through profit and wealth. The upper class’s power agreement extends over all areas of the economy including the manufacture of the weapons of war which are to serve to keep alive for the peoples in their mutual slaughter their national arrogance of power, to make them therefore through imaginary authority submissive to tangible authority. Nationalism, that is to say the arrogance based on membership in a people and a state, has the same source as every feeling of value which is grounded, not in personal achievement and social behavior, but instead in circumstances which lie beyond the individual’s will: authority, which demands uncritical recognition in order to be able to exercise power and which lends authority and the appearance of power in order to stave off the danger of doubt in the power concept’s justification.

The Jewish doctrine of God the Father, which places over humanity the solitary, omnipotent, totally just, omnipresent God with the darkly threatening appetite, beseeched in endless prayer, marveled at, assured of devoted veneration and of being thanked for everything, even for every torment and humiliation, created for western peoples the prerequisite for acceptance of the paternal family with the godlike position of the master ruling over his own. These authoritarian models have secured also for the state, with its nationalist ideology, the willingness of the people to be subjugated to a centralist governing power, for renunciation of individual responsibility, self-determination and equal rights in matters of common social life. God-father, father, fatherland — the influence on people’s compliance occurs everywhere in the same way, in that it overlooks the mutual social interconnection, which naturally cannot end either at house walls or national borders, and nourishes arrogance through the prohibition of all articles of faith other than its own, through the deification of one’s own family with its ancestors and peculiarities, through the sanctification of one’s own nation and the engendering of enmity towards other peoples out of moral obligation. It is the predicament of the Jews that they, who have brought upon mankind authority in its boldest perfection as the supreme expression of life’s conduct, must feel most bitterly the effects of their doctrines. They have introduced into the world the belief in the only solitary God, God-willed paternal authority and consequently the nationalist formulas of God’s chosen people. Whoever speaks of a fatherland, speaks in a Jewish manner of thinking, for he embraces the glorification of one nation, namely his own, embraces the chosen people. From this confession he derives the right to hate, to despise, to assault other peoples, and the Jews, themselves formerly a nation centrally organized in spatial enclosure, now scattered over all countries, are pursued, insulted, slandered and abused as intruders, enemies and contemptible foreigners by nationalist, obsessed descendants of their spirit, though of different stock. The natural conscience for justice is destroyed by national and racial arrogance. Same descent, same family tree, same place of residence and enslavement to the same master suffices for a community of contempt against descendants of other ancestors and the slaves of other masters.

After everything that has so far been said, there is no need for further justification why anarchism is incompatible with national or racial distinctions of value. Anarchy denotes a human society whose federalist construction determines without further ado the international expansion of all connections, even the emotional ones. The organization of labor and of common living from the bottom up rests on the cultivation of the individual who comes together with other individuals in the same endeavor for camaraderie, community, economic alliance, intellectual exchange in the linguistic community, in the circle of scientific, artistic, technical, athletic, international associations, for world community. The individual, however, derives its values from within itself in order to be judged according to the quality of its character and its work in the social context. The color of the ancestors’ hair, eyes and skin, the question whether someone was born on this or that side of a river, whether his language and manner of living was shaped by these or those historical, geographic, climatic circumstances, can only be used as a standard of judgment for human values by the power-hungry and those obedient to power. For here prevails the urge to create borderlines in order to ensure for all human organizations the pyramidal form, the confluence of all threads to a point, therefore centralization, therefore direction from above downward, with which in turn is connected ill will and hostile competition with the neighbor organization and its central authority.

Naturally, there exists an intimate intellectual-spiritual connection of man with the earth, but only where labor and life grow directly out of the soil. Only the peasant still has this inner contact with the land, which makes it into a piece of him, as he feels himself to be a component of the ground cultivated by him. But the peasant has therefore no state consciousness, but rather a love of home. The convolution of the terms home and fatherland belongs to those arts of obfuscation with which the proponents of centralized power seek to confound all natural thinking. Fatherland is an imagined ideal without conceptual definability, matter-of-factly applied to a precisely demarcated territory, whose cohesion rests solely in shared laws, dictatorially or democratically proclaimed by a central regime, tailored to the power relations and the rights of property. The borders of this territory are changeable, and in order to be able to change them for the sake of expanding power the fatherland idea is instilled into hearts and minds already rendered sufficiently susceptible to authoritarian influences by religious and family tradition. Feeling for the fatherland is an artificially engendered, power-based need for domination not originally founded in the spiritual disposition of man, equivalent to state consciousness, which is nothing other than knowledge of the expedience of state power for the rulers of the state. There can be no feeling for fatherland that does not draw its nourishment from animosity toward other fatherlands. The education of the youth takes place from early on in the spirit of national arrogance, in that on the basis of the history of past power one’s own country is presented as the only fatherland called upon to the exercise of power. The spirit, cultivated by church and family, of subordination to authority is here further directed toward the conceit that belonging to one people, citizenship in one’s own state, entitles one to rule over other peoples. Such citizen arrogance is made into a moral obligation. However, in so far as every state power demands the arrogance for its own nation, as every race makes itself out to be the only one chosen and worthy of privilege and no one is allowed, by comparing for himself their valuable qualities, to decide in favor of any nation other than his own, the most tenable strengthening of the authority concept is attained, along side the enmity between the peoples necessary for the maintenance of every state power; what is recognized by independent judgment is not believed, but rather what the rules say to believe.

Love of one’s home has nothing to do with worship of the fatherland. The fatherland preachers make reference to feelings for home precisely because the person close to nature requires naturalistic cues in order to be able to absorb unnatural valuations into his consciousness. Love of home is had by him whose growth is promoted by scenic and climatic stimuli. Every animal not torn out of its natural environment feels love of home, without ever distorting it into feeling for fatherland, without ever desiring expanded or armed borders around his home. An animal without a home would reasonably also feel no love of home, at most longing for a home. It is no different with people. Can the young person, poorly nourished, growing up in an unhealthy cellar dungeon, let his gloomy childhood environment shine over his life’s way as an alluring picture of home? Can he — and this is very well the distinguishing feature of love of home — be moved from a distance by the yearning to again be embraced by the hazy circle of his origins? He whose youth had no home, whose home held no joy, he had then no home to which a love could bind him. There is no obligation to love, however, and that one raises love of home to an obligation by having been able to convince someone, whose foot has never touched a sunny patch of homeland, of a fatherland which may demand his dedication, his love, his heroism, his blood and his life, this shows to what degree of distortion the delusion of authority can twist the human soul.

The peasant, insofar as he is not already alienated from the peasant’s feeling for nature through being exploited, indebted to large landholders and the state coffers or even reduced to the status of capitalist exploiter, has love of home because he has a real home. A specific piece of land enfolds him, nourishes him, is familiar to him in trouble and joy; his work blends with his entire personal life, his clod of earth is his nest, nature entirely bound to the landscape is his estate, and the prosperity or failure of his existence depends on it. The peasant does not feel himself to be owner of his land but rather its keeper; he keeps it with those who are not so much his own power-subordinated family as his helpers bound together in mutual obligation. The priesthood has likely been able to instill the spirit of authority in the peasantry as well, so that with the steadfastness of peasant thinking in the principles of marital obligation and paternal superiority, especially in their deftly woven convolution with the regulations of family and inheritance rights, the world renovation will have sufficient enough prejudices of power to overcome in the countryside, as well. Nonetheless, here communist anarchism has to recognize not its most deficient but most appreciative future field.

For the peasantry, down to the most recent convulsions due to political manipulation (which, however, had to limit itself to arousing misunderstandings for the sake of winning votes, only reaching relatively narrow masses of the peasant population), has always remained immune to the poisonous intrusion of nationalist influences. Precisely the deep-rootedness in the home entirely excludes in the rural population the fatherland feeling which is expected from it by the pretense that home extends over the entirety of the currently state-governed land which, equal to the domestic fields, is to be loved within the currently accepted state borders, whereby before and after wars the area that is to be embraced with such love must be drawn into the feeling for home in new, narrower or wider borders. The peasant mind knows neither a spiritual connection to people to whom no common paths of life lead at all, be these people nonetheless living within the same state borders, nor does it know hatred and disdain for strangers who do not want to harmfully force their way into their circles, be these strangers dwelling on this or that side of a mountain range, be they of this or that skin color, head shape, sequence of ancestors whatsoever. On the contrary, the peasant’s nature resists most vehemently all that which wishes to diminish his self-determination within his field of labor, which seeks to replace the spirit of mutual understanding in the countryside with authoritarian command, he resists any interference on the part of a central office in his affairs, resists bureaucracy and bureaucrats, resists the state, where the village is in question, resists the law, where contracts are possible. Every peasant is, without knowing it, an anarchist, and communist anarchism has the greatest expectation of someday being realized by peasants, since the thought, that under full equality of rights and exclusion of central command everyone should work according to his abilities, everyone consume according to his needs, contains nature’s will just as it indelibly persists despite all betrayal through human power organizations and just as the peasants in all countries and regions know in their feeling for life. The peasantry has no state consciousness and will not learn any, for it has consciousness of its own power, that is to say, the consciousness of individuality and of the federative, allied community of individuals for the maintenance of social affairs. Anarchy will first find its place in the countryside, because the countryside never entirely stopped living and maintaining itself in anarchy.

To live in anarchy, to maintain oneself economically in anarchy, means, however, creating the order of freedom for life and the economy. For that is the insight of the anarchist doctrine: there is no order without freedom, and state and centralism, authority and power are not only incompatible with freedom, they are also incompatible with all true order in the living processes of society. What was attempted above to be determined as the essential form of federalism can in general as well be considered the organization of libertarian order. By order linguistic usage understands the upholding of a unified viewpoint in social behavior. Where centralism, that is, the arrangement of things according to authoritarian instructions, prevails, the viewpoints of social behavior succumb to the changing needs of power; their unity is therefore not guaranteed. The entanglement of the creative forces, which are the sole distinguishing feature of living order, becomes degraded to a mechanical affair, a servile compulsion of random activities. Randomness, however, is the opposite of order, namely subordination, drill, discipline, bondage, servitude. An ordered society exists through the combined will of the people toward the fulfillment of uniformly recognized, common tasks. It therefore presupposes equality, an obligation to mutuality and a consciousness of social responsibility in each individual. In a word: order in the sense of the anarchist conception can only grow out of the self-determination of those who are to keep order. Order from out of self-determination, however, is synonymous with social freedom.

Freedom is the essence of all anarchist thought and desire. For freedom’s sake we are anarchists, for freedom’s sake socialists and communists, for freedom’s sake we fight for equality, mutuality and individual responsibility, for freedom’s sake we are internationally and federally minded. Yet the word freedom has been thus far scrupulously avoided in sketching this outline of the anarchist world view. That occurred because the will to freedom rests so primal and deep in people’s souls that not even the most authoritarian doctrine can get by without making use of the concept of freedom and the claim that it is the true possessor of the idea of freedom. Even every state, be it democratically, fascistically or bureaucratically governed, appeals to freedom when it promulgates laws, conducts wars and suppresses points of view. All revolutions are undertaken because the lack of freedom has become unbearable, and its animating battle cry is always dedicated to freedom. And yet all revolutions thus far have been lost or at least have strayed from the path that the revolutionaries wished to tread, because the desire for freedom has remained unfulfilled. For no party which places itself at the head of a revolution in order to place itself at the head of the people, in other words, to seize power over men, ever in its freedom propaganda goes beyond the promise that they will eliminate the state of affairs in which the absence of freedom just makes its appearance. Never do the followers precisely and intelligibly learn how the proclaimed freedom is to be overall composed. In the best case, freedoms are promised which in individual points present alleviations from the status quo, but which do not show an overall libertarian social vision.

Freedom is, however, not something which can be granted. Freedom is taken and lived. Furthermore, freedom is not a sum of freedoms, but rather the orderly unity of all life’s circumstances freed from every ruler and every authority. There is no freedom of society when the people live in bondage. The people have no freedom when the society is unfreely organized, centralist, state-like, according to power. The freedom of anarchy is the free confederation of free people in a free society. That person is free who acts voluntarily, who carries out all that he does out of his own recognition of the necessity or desirability of his action. The prerequisite for every person pursuing his affairs only out of voluntary determination is a society which knows no privileges through power or property. All property and all ideal power create dependence, annul thereby every person’s free will in resolution and action, are thus irreconcilable with actual freedom. Therefore, the individualists are wrong when they advance the thesis that every person has a right to freedom, yet this right ends at his neighbor’s freedom. Wherever the right to freedom for the individual finds any sort of limitation there exists no social freedom. For, if the concepts of freedom and free will are fully equated, the freedom of the one can never be impaired by the freedom of the other. Otherwise, the behavior disturbing the freedom of one’s fellow man would amount to laying claim to a privilege, thus would arise the condition of power and subordination. Yet whoever wishes to exercise privilege and power is thereby dependent on the compliance of fellow men, he himself thus no longer acts independently. Hence results again the complete unity of society and individual and the correctness of the above proposed claim that no one can be free unless all are free. There still remains to dispense with the old objection that people’s freedom founders on the facts of experience, which prove a lack of independence on the part of most people and their dependence upon a leader. Aside from the fact that the majority’s lack of independence is the result of education by all the authoritarian powers which have ever exploited the people’s souls and labor power, the undoubted correctness of the truism, that there are various talents, and that for certain requirements direction from suitable experts is necessary, can only be asserted as proof for the natural necessity of social bondage by people who under the influence of authoritarian education have lost every belief in freedom and are themselves striving for power. We anarchists disdain a leadership with the power of command and ensured of extended operation, that is, every state government, bureaucracy and central party, every dictatorship and every croneyist regime. But we deny neither the usefulness of the director in the theater or chairperson at a meeting nor of the captain on a ship. Here personal qualities assign certain tasks to the appropriate persons in certain cases. The same holds true in political struggle and just as well in an uprising or in fending off armed aggression. Just as a wandering herd follows the lead animal, which is not chosen but rather takes the lead because it is confident of the best trail, but when tired can immediately be replaced by any other animal, so it is with people, too. There are spokesmen, there are ringleaders, that is, people who are followed because they bring the will of all most clearly to expression or set themselves into action with the most determination. A leader is one who shows the way, not whoever gives laws or leads followers around behind him on a leash.

Leadership in the moment of action, without claim to extended duration or renunciation by others of their judgment and self-determination, excludes no freedom as long as the voluntary entry into service does not mean voluntary servitude. That it cannot mean, as long as freedom and free will are always conceived of as the comprehensive concepts for all anarchist social values. There is no freedom without equality, just as there are no equal rights without freedom. Complete freedom of will is only possible with the awareness of the most conscious individual responsibility and with lively care for social mutual aid. Mutuality, however, and individual responsibility, self-confidence, self-determination can only thrive where free will is the driving force of all life.

Anarchism is the teaching of freedom. Where there is exploitation, where there is power, where authority holds sway, where centralism exists, where man keeps guard over man, where orders are given and obedience offered there is no freedom. The destruction of all authorities, all privileges, all institutions of property and slavery can come to pass only out of the free communal spirit. The stateless community of free people, — that is communism, the solidarity of equals in freedom, that is anarchy!