The New International Encyclopædia/Anarchist
AN'ARCHIST (Gk. ἄν, an, priv. + ἄρχή, archē, power, sovereignty). One who believes that all authority, government, and control of one individual or group of individuals over another is necessarily evil.
Definitions. The word “anarchy,” first used in its French form by Proudhon in an essay entitled What is Property? (1840), has served to designate a group of theories, some of them very old, and the best of them formulated in definite language by Proudhon and his personal followers. There are several definitions of anarchy representing different groups of anarchists: (1) Anarchy is the result of absolute individualism in thought as well as in social activity. This might be called idealistic anarchy. (2) Anarchy is an economic and social system whereby the individual is free to produce what he pleases, gets the full product of his labor, and is under no compulsion of social regulation or law in any of his economic relations to his fellows. This is Proudhon's theory, and while less idealistic than the first definition, was regarded by Proudhon himself as impossible of realization. He regarded a federation of small autonomous groups as the best attainable result in government. (3) Anarchy represents a communistic organization of individuals in society having perfect freedom and equality as between themselves in the production and consumption of goods, and offering a combined resistance to all existing forms of social order, law, and government. This definition covers anarchists of the Bakunin type, who have much in sympathy with some Socialists, though theoretically Socialism and Anarchism, in their main tenets and underlying philosophy, stand at opposite poles of thought. (4) Anarchy comprises all attempts to destroy the existing social order, without reference to any theory of reconstruction, and by the use of any means, fair or foul, by which individuals or institutions representing constituted authority may be destroyed. This represents the popular concept of all Anarchists. It describes the ultra-radicals, who are the uncompromising enemies of public order and decency, who plan murders and reckless public calamities. They are the fanatics who have been most in evidence in recent years.
History of the Theory. Greek philosophy, while in its main currents rather socialistic, and certainly constructive, was not without its representatives of extreme individualistic theory (Zeno, and among the early Christian philosophers, the Gnostics). A mystical theory of the rights of the individual, which resembles idealistic anarchy, was held by some of the Christian writers of the Middle Ages (Joachim, 1200; Amalric of Bène; the Adamites, 1421; Chelcicky, 1420; and others). The first modern writer of scientific repute is Godwin, who, in his Political Justice (1793), proceeds on the doctrine of natural rights, and regards all government as a sort of necessary tyranny, to be reduced to its lowest terms. This doctrine can be traced through a large number of writings, down to Herbert Spencer's ideas of liberty and the sphere of the State. Ideal anarchy, of the Proudhon type, is sometimes called scientific anarchy. Proudhon thought he saw in it the only way to free the laborer from the encroachments of the capitalist and to guarantee to every man the right to development. To Proudhon's mind anarchy was a step similar in motive but opposite in principle to the present efforts of State Socialists in the interests of labor and in opposition to monopoly. He was blind to all practical difficulties, and when he attempted to secure freedom of exchange, through a proposition to establish exchange banks in Paris, he failed utterly in practical plans. Proudhon's ideas found disciples in Germany in Moses Hess, who published Philosophie der That and Sozialismus (1843), and Karl Grün, both of whom developed the better side of Proudhon's teaching, and proposed needed radical reforms. In the United States, Proudhon's doctrine was taken up by B. R. Tucker, of Boston, who published a translation of Proudhon's What is Property? (1876), and Economic Contradictions (1888), and also a translation of Bakunin's God and the State (1883). Tucker edited a periodical entitled Liberty, which began publication in Boston in 1881, but was afterward removed to New York City. Individualistic Anarchism has always been the strongest in the United States. As pure egoism it became an immoral doctrine in the hands of a German school-teacher, Max Stirner, whose real name was Kaspar Schmidt (born at Bayreuth, Germany, 1806; died, 1857). Stirner had a large temporary following, but was soon forgotten.
Anarchistic Attempts. Anarchism as a political movement began with Bakunin (q.v.), who tried to incite the working classes throughout Europe to organized rebellion against all law and government, and to resistance by force against all authority. With this movement began anarchist communism, with which the philosophical and individualistic Anarchists will have nothing to do. In its theoretical aspects anarchistic communism has been developed by Reclus and Prince Krapotkin (q.v.), both noted travelers and explorers, who have, however, frequently denounced bomb-throwers and attempts to assassinate rulers. During the last fifteen years there have been numerous outrages and assassinations committed by those calling themselves Anarchists. In most cases these have been the acts of individuals and not the results of any general conspiracy. They have been directed against the representatives of the State, and have been inspired by the spirit of anarchy.
United States. America has witnessed but two such outrages. The first was the famous Haymarket explosion at Chicago on May 4, 1886. This occurred at a large assembly of workingmen. The speakers began uttering revolutionary sentiments, and the gathering was ordered to disperse by the police. A bomb was thrown, killing seven policemen and wounding sixty. In the mêlée following, some workmen were killed and others wounded. For this seven were condemned to death, and one (Neebe) to fifteen years' imprisonment. Ling committed suicide the day before the time set for the execution. Spies, Parsons, Fischer, Engel were hanged November 11, 1887, the sentences of Schwab and Fielden having been commuted to life imprisonment. Later Governor Altgeld pardoned Neebe, Schwab, and Fielden. It is not known who threw the bomb. The second was the murder of President William McKinley, at Buffalo, N. Y., September 6, 1901, by Leon F. Czolgosz, who was executed by electricity October 29, 1901.
Europe. England has been entirely free from these outrages, the nearest approach being a riot at Trafalgar Square, London, November 13, 1887.
The Continent of Europe has not fared so well. In March, 1892, there was a series of explosions in France. For one of these Ravachol was executed (June 11, 1892), and others imprisoned. A plot to blow up the Paris Bourse was frustrated. Manifestos urging armed uprisings were issued by anarchists. There were serious disturbances and explosions in Spain and Italy. In February, 1893, bombs were exploded at Rome. At Barcelona, on September 23d, a bomb was tbrown into a group of staff officers at a military review, which wounded several officers, one of whom was Captain-General Martinez Campos, and killed one guard. For this, Codina and five accomplices were shot May 21, 1894. A general conspiracy was unearthed at Vienna, September 23d. On November 7th a bomb was thrown into the pit of a Barcelona theatre, which killed thirty and wounded eighty. Salvada French was executed for this crime. On December 9th, at Paris, during a session of the Chamber of Deputies, a bomb was thrown from the gallery. A woman, perceiving the intentions of the thrower, grasped his armm causing the bomb to strike a chandelier and explode harmlessly. Vaillant, whose real name was Königstein, a man of German descent, was immediately identified as the thrower, and was executed January 10, 1894, his last words being “Vive l'anarchie!” The French Government had previously passed a law making such attempts capital offenses, even though no one was killed. A week after the execution of Vaillant, and in revenge for his execution, a man named Emile Henry exploded a bomb in the café of the Hotel Terminus, severely wounding many guests. Henry was executed May 21, 1894.
There were outrages at Marseilles and other cities. An infernal machine was sent to Count Caprivi, the imperial German Chancellor and Foreign Minister. In March, 1894, a bomb exploded before the Chamber of Deputies at Rome, but did no great harm. On June 16th an attempt was made on the life of Crispi. For this Paul Fega was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment. President Carnot of France was assassinated June 24th by an Italian Anarchist, Santo Caserio. He died the following day. Caserio was guillotined August 15th. A plot against the French Premier Dupuy was frustrated. Active measures were taken against the anarchists, particularly in Italy, where some 2000 suspects were arrested during the summer. The year 1895 was comparatively quiet. In 1896 eleven were killed and forty wounded by an explosion at Barcelona. For this, which was the result of a conspiracy, five men were shot, thirteen imprisoned for over ten years, and seven for less than ten years. The premier of Spain, Señor Cánovas del Castillo, was assassinated August 8, 1897, by an Italian, Michele Angiolillo, who was executed eleven days after the crime. On September 10, 1898, the Empress of Austria was assassinated in Switzerland by an Italian, Luccheni, who had come thither intending to kill the Duke of York, but, not finding him, vented his fury upon the Empress. Luccheni was immediately apprehended and sentenced to solitary confinement for life. The death of the Empress caused the summoning of an anti-anarchist conference, attended by representatives of the various governments. The sessions were held at Rome, November 24th to December 21st. The results were not made public. King Humbert of Italy was assassinated July 29, 1900, by a countryman, Angelo Bresci. Bresci had been living in America, and went to Italy intending to assassinate the King. The murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Bibliography. E. V. Zenker, Anarchism, A Criticism and History of the Anarchist Theory (New York, 1897); B. R. Tucker, Instead of a Book (New York, 1893); Yarros, Anarchism: Its Aims and Methods (Boston, 1887); Adler, “Anarchismus,” in Conrad's Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften (Jena, 1901); Stammler, Die Theorie des Anarchismus (Berlin, 1894); Shaw, The Impossibilities of Anarchism (Fabian tract No. 45, London, 1895). Consult also Nettlau, Bibliographie de l'anarchie (Paris, 1897). See Communism; Socialism.