Page:The right to ignore the state (1913).djvu/15

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Anarchist Communism.[1]


Anarchism may be briefly defined as the negation of all government and all authority of man over man; Communism as the recognition of the just claim of each to the fullest satisfaction of all his needs—physical, moral, and intellectual. The Anarchist, therefore, whilst resisting as far as possible all forms of coercion and authority, repudiates just as firmly even the suggestion that he should impose himself upon others, realising as he does that this fatal propensity in the majority of mankind has been the cause of nearly all the misery and bloodshed in the world. He understands just as clearly that to satisfy his needs without contributing, to the best of his ability, his share of labour in maintaining the general well-being, would be to live at the expense of others—to become an exploiter and live as the rich drones live to-day. Obviously, then, government on the one hand and private ownership of the means of production on the other, complete the vicious circle—the present social system—which keeps mankind degraded and enslaved.

There will be no need to justify the Anarchist's attack upon all forms of government: history teaches the lesson he has learned on every page. But that lesson being concealed from the mass of the people by interested advocates of "law and order," and even by many Social Democrats, the Anarchist deals

  1. It would be only fair to state that the Individualist school of Anarchism, which includes many eminent writers and thinkers, differs from us mainly on the question of Communism—i.e., on the holding of property, the remuneration of labour, etc. Anarchism, however, affords the opportunity for experiment in all these matters, and in that sense there is no dispute between us.