Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Anarchism: A Historical Introduction by George Woodcock

Anarchism: A Historical Introduction
by George Woodcock
From his 1977 publication, 'The Anarchist Reader'


Anarchism is a word about which there have been many confusions. Anarchy is very often mistakenly regarded as the equivalent of chaos, and an anarchist is often thought of as at best a nihilist - a man who has abandoned all principles - and at worst a mindless terrorist. The anarchists whose works I shall be quoting in this collection were men of elaborate principles, a tiny minority of whom indeed did perform acts of violence, though they never aspired to compete, in terms of destructiveness, with the military leaders of the past or the nuclear scientists of our own day. In other words, I shall be presenting the anarchists as they were and are rather than as they have appeared in the fantasies of cartoonists, journalists and politicians, whose favourite way of abusing an opponent is to accuse him of promoting anarchy.

What we are concerned with, in terms of definition, is a cluster of words which in turn represents a cluster of doctrines and attitudes whose principal uniting feature is the belief that government is both harmful and unnecessary. A double Greek root is involved: the word archon, meaning a ruler, and the prefix an, indicating without; hence anarchy means the state of being without a ruler. By derivation, anarchism is the doctrine which contends that government is the source of most of our social troubles and that there are viable alternative forms of voluntary organization. And by further definition the anarchist is the man who sets out to create a society without government.

That concept of society without government is essential for an understanding of the anarchist attitude. In rejecting government, the true anarchist does not reject the idea or the fact of society; on the contrary, his view of the need for society as a living entity becomes intensified when he contemplates the abolition of government. As be sees it, the pyramidical structure imposed by a government, with power proceeding from above downwards, can only be replaced if society becomes a closely-knit fabric of voluntary relationships. The difference between a governmental society and an anarchic society is in his view the difference between a structure and an organism; one is built and the other grows according to natural laws. Metaphorically, one can compare the pyramid of government with the sphere of society, which is held together by an equilibrium of stresses. Anarchists are much concerned with equilibriums, and two kinds of equilibrium play a very important role in their philosophy. One is the equilibrium between destruction and construction that dominates their tactics. The other is the equilibrium between liberty and order which dominates their view of the ideal society. But order for the anarchist is not something imposed from above. It is a natural order, and is given expression by selfdiscipline and voluntary co-operation.

The roots of anarchist thought are ancient; I shall trace some of them thoroughly in the next section of this introduction. Libertarian doctrines, which argued that as a moral being man can live best without being ruled, existed among the philosophers of ancient Greece and China, and among the heretical Christian sects of the Middle Ages. Elaborately argued philosophies that were anarchist in all but name began to appear during the Renaissance and Reformation periods, between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries and, even more copiously, in the eighteenth century, as events built up towards the French and American Revolutions which ushered in the modern age.

But as an activist movement, seeking to change society by collective methods, anarchism belongs only to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There were times when millions of European and Latin American working men and peasants followed the black or black-and-red flags of the anarchists, revolted under their leadership and set up transitory models of a free world, as in Spain and in the Ukraine during the periods of revolutionary upheaval. There were also great writers, like Shelley and Tolstoy, who expressed in their poems and novels and in their other writings the essential viewpoints of anarchism. The fortunes of the movement have fluctuated greatly and, being a movement rather than a party, it has shown extraordinary powers of revival. As late as the early 1960s it seemed a moribund, forgotten movement, yet today it seems once again, as it did in the 1870s, and the 1890s and again in the 1930s, a phenomenon of urgent relevance.

Perhaps the best point to begin a survey of anarchist attitudes is with the first man to accept the title of anarchist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, a prophet of intellectual fury who once declared: 'To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated over, regulated, docketed, indoctrined, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither right, nor knowledge, nor virtue. That is government, that is its justice, that is its morality.'

Proudhon was a largely self-educated printer from the mountainous French province of Franche - Comte, who in 1840 published a book, Qu'est-ce que la Propriete? (What is Property?), which became extremely influential in nineteenth century radical circles; even Marx, later Proudhon's bitter enemy, approved of it. Proudhon's answer to the question his title posed was 'Property is Theft*, and the phrase, which identified capitalism with government as the two main enemies of freedom, became one of the key slogans of the century.

Proudhon took part in the 1848 French Revolution, and it was largely under his influence that the famous, ill-fated alliance of European socialists, the International Workingmen's Association (better known as the First International), was founded in 1864, the year before his death. Proudhon's books provided the intellectual infrastructure for the European anarchist movement, and Michael Bakunin, who became the greatest of the anarchist activists, always referred to Proudhon as 'the master of us all'.

Perhaps the most significant thing about Proudhon is that, despite his influence and his following, he refused to establish a dogmatic doctrine such as Marx bequeathed to his followers. When an admirer congratulated him on his system, Proudhon replied indignantly: 'My system? I have no system!' He distrusted theoretical structures as much as governmental structures. Doctrines, for him, were never complete; their meanings emerged and their forms changed according to the situation; he believed that, within broad channels of principle, political theory-like thought of any kind-was in a process of constant evolution.

Proudhon also denied that he had founded a political party-he condemned all parties as 'varieties of absolutism'. In the formal sense this was true, though he did in fact gather a group of disciples out of whom the first anarchist movement emerged. Related to Proudhon's rejection of the idea of a political party was his action when he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of France during the Revolution of 1848. He was one of a tiny minority of representatives who voted against a Constitution approved by the Assembly and, When he was asked his reasons, he emphasized that he did not vote against the specific form of the Constitution: 'I have voted against the Constitution because it was a Constitution.' By this he implied that he rejected fixed forms of political organization.

The attitudes which Proudhon exhibited during the 1840s on questions of system, party and political organization not only reflected the views of earlier libertarian thinkers, like William Godwin, who had raised precisely the same objections. They also anticipated, before an actual anarchist movement came into being, the attitude it would adopt towards political action and the form it would take. Thus, it has never been possible to talk of anarchism as a philosophic or political system of the same kind as Marxism, which assumes that the writings of a man who died in 1883 provide oracular answers to all problems ever afterwards. And anarchism has never been represented by a political party, because its followers have wished to retain their freedom to react spontaneously to concrete situations and have regarded political parties as sharing the same faults as governments. As for constitutions, the anarchists have continued to regard them as fixed and guaranteed political systems which rigidity the state and institutionalize the exercise of power; neither of these effects is acceptable to libertarians, who believe that the organization of community life on a political level should be replaced by its social and economic organization on the basis of free contractual agreement between individuals.

Freedom, as all these objections imply, is not something to be decreed and protected by laws and states. It is something you shape for yourself and share with your fellow men. States and laws are its enemies, and from every comer of the varied spectrum of anarchist beliefs opinion on this point is quite unanimous. The state is evil and brings not order but conflict. Authority thwarts the natural impulses and makes men strangers to each other. As early as 1793, in his great Political Justice, William Godwin put the point in his resounding periods:

Government lays its bands upon the spring that is in society and puts a stop to its motion. It gives substance and permanence to our errors. It reverses the genuine propensities of mind, and instead of suffering us to look forward, teaches us to look backward for perfection. It prompts us to seek the public welfare, not in innovation and improvement, but in a timid reverence for the decisions of our ancestors, as if it were the nature of mind always to degenerate and never to advance.

The objection which anarchists have always sustained to fixed and authoritarian forms of organization does not mean that they deny organization as such. The anarchist is not an individualist in the extreme sense of the word. He believes passionately in individual freedom, but he also recognizes that such freedom can only be safeguarded by a willingness to co-operate, by the reality of community, and for this reason, as we shall later see, the discussion of various kinds of non-coercive organization plays a great part in anarchist literature. Yet if the anarchist refuses to be ruled by the dead hand of the past, he accepts the corollary of that refusal; he does not expect the future to be determined by the present, and for this reason it is wrong to identify the anarchist with the Utopian. The essential characteristic of Utopian thought is the creation of an ideal society, beyond which there will be no progress, no change, because the ideal is by definition perfect and therefore static. But the anarchists have always argued that we cannot use our experience in the present to plan for a future where conditions may be quite different. If we demand freedom of choice, we must expect a similar demand from our successors. We can only seek to remove the injustices we know.

The anarchist is really a natural disciple of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. who taught that the unity of existence lies in its constant change. 'Over those who step into the same river,' said Heraclitus, 'the waters that flow are constantly different.' The image is a good one for anarchism, as it has been and as it remains, since it conveys the idea of a doctrine with many variations, which nevertheless moves between the banks of certain unifying principles. And thus, even though there are many different anarchist points of view, there is a definable anarchist philosophy, just as there is a recognizable anarchist temperament. It involves three elements - a criticism of society as it is, a vision of a desirable alternative society, and a plan for proceeding from one to the other.

Everything is involved in the question: Having decided that government is undesirable, can we - and how can we? -make the further step and show that it is unnecessary as well, and that there are alternative means of human organization that will enable us to live without it?

This question involves us in a consideration of the anarchist view of man's place in the scheme of things. Generally speaking, anarchists believe in a modified version of the view of the natural world that was celebrated in the Renaissance, and especially in the eighteenth century, as the Great Chain of Being. In its most familiar form the Great Chain of Being was seen as a continuity proceeding from the humblest form of life to the Godhead, usually deistically conceived. Alexander Pope expressed the concept admirably in the Essay on Man:

Vast chain of being ! which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man, Beasts, birds, fish, insect, what no eye can see. No glass can reach; from Infinite to thee, From thee to nothing …

Everything, in other words, had its place in the order of being, and if it followed its own nature, all would be well. But let any species break the chain by departing from its nature, and disaster would ensue. It was a doctrine that would appeal to a modern ecologist. The concept derived ultimately from the Greek idea, most clearly developed by the Stoic philosophers, that man belonged to nature, responded to its primal laws. and that in nature he might find the model for his own societies. It had its analogues in the philosophies of ancient China, and thirty years ago, as I remember, anarchists were fond of quoting some remarks the Taoist sage Lao Tse is said to have made in reproaching Confucius for devising means to make people behave morally.

When the actions of the people are controlled by prohibitive laws, the country becomes more and more impoverished. Therefore the wise man says: 'I will design nothing, and the people will shape themselves. I will keep quiet and the people will find their rest. I will not assert myself, and the people will come forth. I will discountenance ambition, and the people will return to their natural simplicity.'

But Chinese wisdom was a late discovery so far as European anarchists were concerned. For them the concept of the unity of the natural law came by a devious route from the world of classical antiquity, through the neo-Platonists of Hellenistic Alexandria, and thence by way of the rediscovery of ancient wisdom during the Renaissance and the consequent erosion of the hierarchical cosmogony of the Middle Ages. By the time the essential idea of the Great Chain of Being had reached the anarchists. God had been displaced from its head or bad been rationalized into a principle of harmony, and probably the most influential individual in carrying out the transmission was the Swiss writer, author of the famous Confessions' Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Rousseau had been widely acclaimed and widely blamed, as a proto-liberal, a proto-communist, a proto-anarchist. Many of his critics, thinking only of his authoritarian aspect, regard him as mainly responsible for the deification of the State which emerged in the French Revolution and in all subsequent revolutions. His theory of a tacit social contract by which authority was established in ancient times and made binding on subsequent generations was especially repugnant to the anarchists with their concept of an unfettered future, and all the principal anarchist theoreticians from Godwin to Kropotkin criticized him unreservedly on this point.

Yet despite their objections to his idea of a primeval social contract, there is a great deal the anarchists derived from Rousseau, including his romantic stress on spontaneity, his idea of education as a drawing out of what is latent in the child so that the natural instincts for good are developed, and his sense of the primitive virtues. Though Rousseau was not the first writer to adumbrate the concept of the Noble Savage, there is no doubt that the anarchists received principally from him their predilection for pre-civilized man, so that their writings have been full of descriptions of primitive societies able to arrange their social affairs and even to create fairly elaborate cultures without resorting, at least openly, to a system of authority. And the whole of the anarchist viewpoint is neatly summed up in one phrase of Rousseau: 'Man was born free and is everywhere in chains!'

Essentially, the anarchists believe that if man obeys the natural laws of his kind, he will be able to live at peace with his fellows; in other words, man may not be naturally good. but he is - according to the anarchists - naturally social. It is authoritarian institutions that warp and atrophy his cooperative inclinations. During the nineteenth century, a great deal of support was given to this belief by the various types of evolutionary doctrine that gradually became accepted by scientific opinion as the century built up to the publication of Darwin's epoch-making Origin of Species in 1859. Darwin and his predecessors established firmly that man belonged in the chain of evolution, and that the same basic laws governed his physical make-up and instinctual behaviour as governed those of the animal world. Indeed, as it was finally admitted with reluctance and heart-searching, he belonged to the animal world. Thus it became possible to compare human societies and those of other species, and when Peter Kropotkin, the Russian anarchist who was also a trained scientist, examined the evidence for evolution and reinforced it with his own field studies in Siberia, he came to the conclusion that one of the key factors in the evolution of successful species was not so much their power to compete as their inclination to cooperate. He developed this theory in Mutual Aid which, as soon as it was published in 1902, became one of the seminal works of anarchist theory.

Kropotkin argued that even the intellectual faculty is 'eminently social', since it is nurtured by communication -mainly in the form of language, by imitation, and by the accumulated experience of the race. He admitted that the struggle for existence, of which such evolutionists as Thomas Henry Huxley made a great deal, was indeed important, but he saw it as a struggle against adverse circumstances rather than between individuals of the same species, and he suggested that where it did exist within a species it was always injurious. Kropotkin argued that far from thriving on competition, natural selection sought out the means by which competition could be avoided, and those means he called mutual aid', that, henceforward, would be one of the key concepts of anarchism.

Since evolutionary doctrine had strengthened the links in the chain that united man to the animal world, Kropotkin argued that the same laws applied to human societies as to animal societies. Man, he contended, was not naturally solitary, as Rousseau had suggested. He was naturally social. And his natural form of social organization was that based on voluntary co-operation. Since it precluded the need for government, such organization would result in the fulfillment of the apparent paradox of order in anarchy, and order in anarchy is natural order. Organization that depends on coercion for its existence, on the other hand, is a perversion of natural order, and far from producing social peace, it ends always in strife and violence.

Some of the anarchists went beyond Kropotkin's biological and sociological arguments to the margins of psychology, and Proudhon in a way anticipated Jung's doctrine of the collective unconscious when, in that great work of his maturity, De la Justice dans La Revolution et dans I'Eglise, he suggested that deep in the human psyche, in the minds of all of us, lies a sense of justice that we have only to recognize for it to become active.

An integral part of a collective existence, man feels his dignity at the same time in himself and in others, and thus carries in his heart the principle of a morality superior to himself. This principle does not come to him from outside; it is secreted within him, it is immanent. It constitutes his essence, the essence of society itself. It is the true form of the human spirit, a form which takes shape and grows towards perfection only by the relationship that every day gives birth to social life. Justice, in other words. exists in us like love, like notions of beauty, of utility, of truth, like all our powers and faculties.

The final corollary of this belief that man should live by natural law, and that natural law establishes co-operation-voluntary co-operation-as the fundamental basis of society, is the argument that differentiates most anarchists from the pure individualists like Max Stirner; the argument that freedom is a social virtue.

What the anarchists are really trying to find is a way out of the alienation that in the contemporary world, in spite of - or perhaps rather because of - its vast organizational ramifications, leads to man being isolated among the masses of his fellows. What has happened is a kind of polarization, in which the State has taken over from the individual the communal responsibilities that once gave his personal life the extended dimension of fellowship, both in the local setting and in the world in general; in most modern societies responsibility is in urgent danger of being strangled by paternalistic authority.

Both the gigantism and the impersonality of the modern state are repugnant to anarchists. They wish not only to recreate a living fellowship between man and man, but also to eliminate the distance which authority places between individual men and the initiation of socially necessary activities. This involves two concepts which one finds in all the varieties of anarchism. The first is one of social organization; it is the principle of decentralization. The second is one of social action; it is the principle which I think can best be described by the phrase individual capability.

The basis of the principle of decentralization is the anarchist view that what characterizes the State, apart from its foundation on authority and coercion, is the way in which it cumulatively centralizes all social and political functions, and in doing so puts them out of the reach of the citizens whose lives they shape. Hence men are deprived of freedom to decide on their own futures, and this means that they lose the sense of purpose in their lives. Some people are cushioned by wealth and privilege from feeling the direct impact of this process, though they too are affected in insidious ways, but the poor and the underprivileged experience the impositions of the paternalistic state in a very direct way.

For these reasons the anarchist proposes, as the necessary basis for any transformation of society, the breaking down of the gigantic impersonal structures of the State and of the great corporations that dominate industry and communications. Instead of attempting to concentrate social functions on the largest possible scales, which progressively increases the distance between the individual and the source of responsibility even in modern democracies, we should begin again from the smallest practicable unit of organization, so that face-to-face contacts can take the place of remote commands, and everyone involved in an operation can not only know how and why it is going on, but can also share directly in decisions regarding anything that affects him directly, either as a worker or as a citizen. Such an attitude, of course, implies that the activity of the functional groups into which society divides itself will be voluntary. In areas into which the State has not penetrated, this happens already in our society, as it did to a far greater extent in the past, and a great deal of socially useful work - as Kropotkin and Tolstoy so abundantly pointed out - is carried on entirely by voluntary organizations. Many anarchists have drawn from this fact the conclusion that if the structure of the State were dismantled, there might be an initial period of disorganization, but that given man's social inclinations there would be little difficulty in establishing a network of voluntary arrangements; in fact, they would probably spring up in response to the need for them.

All this, of course, is echoed in the theory of participatory democracy put forward in the 1960s by North American radicals who had been influenced, directly or indirectly, by the teachings of the anarchists. The great argument that has always been brought against anarchist decentralization and participatory democracy is that both will lead to the fragmentation of society. To this I can imagine an anarchist theoretician answering that decentralization indeed means the fragmentation of the State, but that the fragmentation of the State would lead to the strengthening of society and of the social bonds among its members. He would urge that the social alienation which occurs in modern society through the rule of gigantic corporations is itself the worst of all sources of social fragmentation, and that by inducing people to co-operate regularly in decisions relating to their own lives, decentralization will in fact eliminate the alarming atomization of modern communities into lonely individuals dependent on authority personified by the policeman and the social worker.

Thus, far from advocating the breakdown of society at the same time as they seek the destruction of authority, the anarchists are in fact hoping to strengthen social bonds and social virtues by reinforcing community relationships at the most basic grassroots level. What they envisage is a reversal of the pyramid of power which the State exemplifies. Instead of authority descending from some political heaven by a ladder of bureaucracy, they see responsibility beginning among individuals and small groups given dignity by freedom. The most important unit of society, in their view, is that in which people co-operate directly to fulfil their immediate needs. Nobody can assess these needs better than those who experience them. This basic nuclear unit appears in various forms among the anarchist writers. Godwin called it the parish; Proudhon called it the commune; the syndicalists called it the workshop. The name matters very little; the fact of direct collaboration and consultation between the people most intimately involved in a phase of living is the important thing.

Most social problems in fact crop up at this level of the house, the street, the village, the workshop, and many of the libertarian writers have, like Proudhon and Godwin, been extremely cautious in discussing organization beyond this stage. Living on the edge of a pre-industrial age. Godwin thought that no more was needed than the occasional national assembly of local delegates called to discuss exceptional matters of common interest, plus a system of juries of arbitration. And even these he envisaged as only a temporary measure, a transitional device to tide us over until the day when men would be mature and would need no political machinery whatever.

The industrial revolution forced the modification of such splendid speculations; as soon as railways and factories appeared, it was obvious that even without government a more elaborate system of co-ordination than scattered and loosely linked parishes and communes was needed.

At this point it may be appropriate to step into parenthesis and draw the most vital distinction between the anarchists and the Marxists - at least so far as the Marxists have performed in history. Because of Marx's view of the dominance of the economic factor in the exploitation of one man by another, his followers were inclined to ignore the lethal characteristics of other forms of power. As a result, they not only elaborated a theory of dictatorship of the proletariat, but also proved its lack of validity by allowing the dictatorship to become in all Communist countries a hidebound party rule. By ignoring the processes of power, the revolutionists who claimed to follow Marx destroyed freedom as effectively as any confraternity of South American generals.

The anarchists have the ironic advantage over the Marxists that they have never established a free society shaped according to their ideals, except for short periods in small areas, and therefore they cannot be accused of failure in its development. At the same time, from the early 1870s, Bakunin and his followers prophesied quite accurately that the Marxist failure to understand that power is psychologically as well as economically based would lead to a recreation of the State in a new form. For their part, they recognized that economic and political inequality were interdependent, and from the beginning they attacked what Godwin called 'accumulated property' as strongly as they criticized centralized government. In this way they were the true descendants of those heretical sects of the Reformation who combined the condemnation of earthly government with a kind of communitarianism. Godwin substituted the idea of justice - as Proudhon would do after him - for that of the deity, but essentially his reasoning belonged in the dissenting tradition.

Our animal needs, it is well known, consist in food, clothing and shelter. If justice means anything, nothing can be more unjust than that any man lack them. But justice does not stop here. So far as the general stock of commodities holds out, every man has a claim not only to the means of life, but to the means of a good life. It is unjust that a man works to the point of destroying his health, or his life, while another riots in superfluity. It is unjust that a man has not leisure to cultivate his mind while another does not move a finger for the general welfare. Justice demands in fact that each man, unless perhaps he be employed more beneficially to the public, should contribute to the cultivation of the common harvest, of which each man consumes a share. This reciprocity ... is of the very essence of justice.

None of the late anarchists ever went beyond Godwin's statement that reciprocity is the essence of justice. But they modified its application. Once the industrial revolution had changed patterns of manufacture and transport, it was impossible for even an advocate of the small peasant and the individual craftsman like Proudhon to ignore the fact that complexity of organization was a social if not a political necessity. The anarchists tried to accommodate this fact in industrial terms by falling back on the concept the Utopian socialist Saint-Simon compressed into the aphorism: 'We must replace the government of men by the administration of things.' A late nineteenth-century generation deeply involved in trade union activity evolved a theory of anarcho-syndicalism, which envisaged union-controlled workshops as the setting in which men might learn to organize the production of necessary goods and services. They also recognized that within limits it might be possible to delegate certain functions to technological experts, and even an anarchist so distrustful of domination by the syndicates as Errico Malatesta could say: 'Government signifies delegation of power, that is, abdication of the initiative and sovereignty of all men into the hands of a few. Administration signifies delegation of work, that is. the free exchange of services founded on free agreement.

Today we look with a justified cynicism upon the trust which earlier anarchists like Malatesta were inclined to place in administrators; on any level, even outside government, we have learnt how easily administrative work, unlike most other forms of work, can convert itself into power, and today, among anarchists as among others, there is a lively vigilance wherever administration shows signs of becoming converted into bureaucracy. Administration is like a medicinal drug, excellent in homeopathic portions but fatal - to freedom at least-in large doses. But the need for it in some degree cannot be denied even by the man who rejects government.

If administration as opposed to government has been one way the anarchists thought of mitigating the centrifugal tendencies of a decentralized society, the other was the semi-political device of federalism. Even politicians who are far from being anarchists have recognized the perils of attempting to run a large or even a small country by a monolithically centralized State machine, and the result has been a variety of semi-federal constitutions like those of the United States, Canada and Switzerland. In no case have these countries entirely abandoned the principle of authority, and power in all of them is still inclined to flow from above downwards, often with great force, as recent American history has demonstrated. The anarchist envisages a different kind of federal society, one in which responsibility begins in the vital nuclei of social life, the workplace and the neighbourhoods where people live. In such a vision all matters of purely local concern-matters by which no outside interests are affected -should be decided locally by the people most directly involved. Where neighbourhoods have interests in common, they should federate loosely to discuss co-operation and arbitrate differences, and so upwards, through provinces to larger geographical entities, until, with all frontiers abolished, the whole world becomes a federation of federations of federations, bringing together every small community in a kind of symbiotic unity like a great structure of coral.

Such a radical and radiant concept of federalism is linked with the principle I have called individual capability. Anarchists have always argued that, given the right conditions of free development, every man is capable of deciding directly on social and political issues. The question became urgent in the mid-nineteenth century when working men first began to think that their interests might be better served by seceding from political parties which were dominated by middle-class leaders. The First International was founded in 1864 on this basis; one of its leading principles was summed up in the slogan: 'The liberation of the workers is the task of the workers themselves.' Some interpreted this to mean that they should set up political parties of their own, and the various labour parties and Marxist socialist parties arose from their efforts. But as the anarchists translated it, the idea involved the rejection of ordinary political action; they opposed not only the more authoritarian forms of government, but also parliamentary democracy in its customary form, by which the people elect a representative for a period and abandon their affairs to his discretion until the next election. Proudhon summed up the anarchist attitude to this kind of system, in which demagogues can gain and keep power by manipulating the will of the people, when he declared that 'Universal Suffrage is Counter-Revolution.' This was not meant as an anti-democratic statement; it was meant to condemn a system in which voters choose a spokesman every few years and for the rest of the time abdicate their rights and duties as citizens.

The anarchist preference is for an arrangement by which people decide directly on what affects them immediately, and, where issues affect large areas, appoint assemblies of delegates rather than representatives, chosen for short periods and subject to recall. They favour devices that can give rapid expression to public opinion, like the referendum, but they also seek to ensure that every minority is as far as possible self-governing, and above all that the will of the majority does not become a tyranny over dissidents. The anarchist view of social organization is, indeed, summed up in the phrase direct action, but so is their view of the means of changing society.

What direct action means in practical terms has varied from generation to generation and from one type of anarchism to another, and I shall allow its form to emerge in the later sections of this introduction as I pass on from the theory with which up to the present I have been involved to the historical development of anarchism as theory modified by action.


Anarchism, as I have just suggested, is not merely an abstract theory about society. It has developed out of social conditions; it has been shaped by cultural influences; it has expressed itself in varying forms of action, by which in turn it has been modified.

As a doctrine that criticizes actual contemporary society and proposes both an alternative arrangement and a means to attain it, anarchism really began to take shape about four centuries ago during the period of the Reformation. Significantly, this was also the period when the modern nation-state, to which anarchism is the extreme antithesis, began to take shape. But before dealing with that vital historical conjunction, it is well to look at some of the more devious historic threads that over the centuries have helped to shape the anarchist viewpoint.

At the same time as they proclaim their urgent desire to liberate themselves from the dead hand of tradition, anarchists like to believe that their roots run deep into the past, and the paradox is only apparent. As we have seen, the whole worldview within which anarchism is embraced depends on an acceptance of natural laws manifested through evolution, and this means that the anarchist sees himself as the representative of the true evolution of human society, and regards authoritarian political organizations as a perversion of that evolution. It follows naturally that anarchists should be concerned to validate their claims to speak on behalf of natural and historic man, and Kropotkin carried this process to a logical end when he maintained that the roots of anarchism were to be found in a long war between liberty and authority that had already begun in the Stone Age. In Mutual Aid he made much of the anarchic character of tribal societies that live by elaborate patterns of customary co-operation with no visible system of authority. He failed to take into account that authority does not have to be embodied in a person, such as a king or a high chief; it also thrives in the elaborate systems of taboo and obligation that govern most primitive groups. Primitive man is rarely free in our sense of the word. What Kropotkin did prove - and this had its importance to the anarchist viewpoint-was that primitive man seems quite naturally to seek out patterns of co-operation.

Freedom in a form we might recognize seems to be a product of those communities on a harsh and rocky seacoast which became the city states of ancient Greece. Yet the freedom Athenians enjoyed was not of a kind the anarchists would have approved, since it was based on the institution of slavery, and even Utopian political philosophers like Plato and Aristotle conceived societies where the freedom of some would depend on the servitude of others. Only a few mystics, like the devotees of the Eleusinian mysteries, and a few philosophers like the much-maligned Epicurus and Zeno the Stoic, conceived a society accepting all moral men as equals, and only Zeno and his followers seem to have combined that vision with a clear rejection of government.

The same applies to the Roman Republic, which at the time of the French and American Revolutions was regarded as the ancestral home of liberty. Brutus was held to be a great republican hero, and even today radicals regard the slave leader Spartacus as a spiritual ancestor. In fact it is doubtful if either Brutus or Spartacus would understand freedom as anarchists do, since they had not yet made the vital conjunction between freedom and equality. Brutus represented a patrician oligarchy; when he stabbed Caesar it was to defend the rights and authority of the social class from which he sprang. Even the slave rebellion Spartacus led was unconcerned with general liberation; Spartacus and the gladiators associated with him in leading the rebellion merely wanted to return to their own countries and take up their lives again among their own peoples.

But though a modem anarchist would find few congenial voices in the ancient world, by the fourteenth century the way discontented men began to speak had changed, as the words Froissart puts into the mouth of John Ball make quite clear.

Things cannot go well in England, nor ever will, until all goods are held in common, and until there will be neither serfs, nor gentlemen, and we shall be equal. For what reason have they, whom we call lords, got the best of us? How did they deserve it? Why do they keep us in bondage? If we all descended from one father and one mother, Adam and Eve, how can they assert or prove that they are more masters than ourselves? Except perhaps that they make us work and produce for them to spend!

Those words were spoken when the feudal system of the Middle Ages was breaking apart in England and the peasants were in a state of revolt against the imposition of serfdom. John Ball was one of their leaders, and the significant thing about him is that he was what men in those days called a hedge priest - a wandering preacher with no church who propounded a heretical and millenarian form of Christianity.

With millenarian Christianity we are approaching one of the two most vital historical strands in the anarchist tradition -the line of dissent which first took on a religious form, and then in the eighteenth century became secularized and welded to more rationalist currents of thought connected with the changes in political organization that the Renaissance precipitated. Already, long before the Reformation, millenarian sects were keeping the medieval rulers of Church and State in a constant ferment of anxiety. Bishops and kings united in the great war that had to be fought in the south of France to exterminate the so-called Albigensian or Catharist heresy which was regarded as a major threat to the stability of the medieval social order, and long before Luther appeared, radical ideas were being preached among conventicles of lowly people who believed that in the very near future the powerful were due to be laid low and the meek to inherit the earth.

The rigorous persecution of medieval heretics was directed largely towards expunging their doctrines from the popular mind, and our information regarding them has come down to us mainly in the distorted form to which their opponents chose to give publicity. Nevertheless, it seems certain that many such sectarians went beyond mere doctrinal arguments to changes in behaviour directed towards social and political adjustments of a radical type, including the abolition of poverty and the dissolution of political government. All this was bound up with the very idea of the millenium, the thousand-year reign of Christ in which men would return to a simple and holy life, sharing all and accepting the direct rule of God and his saints. Internally the millenarian sects, like such modem radical sects as the Doukhobors and Mennonites, were less libertarian than they may seem over the spaces of history, yet their conflict with earthly authority did have eventual political consequences as secular dissent emerged out of the need for freedom of worship demanded by religious dissent. In the Netherlands, in France, in Britain, the religious dissenters rose to the leadership of movements opposed to the despotic monarchies established in most of Europe after the breakup of feudalism.

In long-term consequences the most important of these movements uniting political and religious dissent was the seventeenth-century English Revolution, which reached its peak in the Civil War of the 1640s and in the Commonwealth, England's only interlude of republican rule. It was under the Commonwealth that, among a whole cluster of radical groups such as the Fifth Monarchy Men and the Levellers, there emerged the first real proto-anarchists, the Diggers who, like later anarchists, identified economic with political power and who believed that a social rather than a political revolution was necessary for the establishment of justice.

Gerrard Winstanley, the Diggers' leader, had gone all the way along the road of dissent to the point where he made the final identification of God with the principle of Reason. Winstanley's doctrine of God as reason was identical with what Leo Tolstoy, the other great Christian anarchist, meant when be declared that The Kingdom of God is within you.'

In fact, Winstanley used the same phrase.

Where does that Reason dwell? He dwells in every creature according to the nature and being of the creature, but supremely in man. Therefore man is called a rational creature. This is the Kingdom of God within man. Let reason rule the man and he dares not trespass against his fellow creatures, but will do as he would be done unto. For reason tells him - is thy neighbour hungry and naked today? Do thou feed him and clothe him; it may be thy case tomorrow and then he will be ready to help thee.

Winstanley decided that it was his mission to speak up for the disinherited, for the common people who had been very little helped by Cromwell's victory, and in 1649 he published a pamphlet called The New Law of Righteousness which began with a denunciation of authority as thorough and as basic as anything in later anarchist literature. 'Everyone that gets an authority into his hands tyrannizes over the others,' Winstanley declared, and went on to show that not only masters and magistrates, but also fathers and husbands 'do carry themselves like oppressing lords over such as are under them . . . not knowing that these have an equal privilege with them to share the blessing of liberty.' He went on to link the absence of liberty with what he calls 'this particular property of mine and thine', to whose presence he also attributes the existence of crime. Finally, after many variations on this theme, he sketches out his vision of the free society, based on the teachings of Christ whom he gives the name of Universal Liberty. The passage in which he does so is worth quoting, since it does get surprisingly near - considering the gap of two centuries-to the kind of social arrangement nineteenth-century anarchists projected in their imaginations.

When this universal equity rises up in every man and woman, then none shall lay claim to any creature and say, This is mine and that is yours. This is my work, that is yours. But everyone shall put their hands to till the earth and bring up cattle, and the blessing of earth shall be common to all; when a man hath need of any corn or cattle, he shall take from the next store-house he meets with. There shall be no buying and selling, no fairs and markets . . . And all shall cheerfully put to their hands to make those things that are needful, one helping another. There shall be none lords over others, but everyone shall be a lord of himself, subject to the law of righteousness, reason and equity, which shall dwell and rule in him, which is the Lord.

Living in an agrarian age, Winstanley saw the main problem as ownership of the land, and, like a true anarchist, he believed the problem could be solved only by the direct action of the common people. So in the spring of 1649 he led a company of his followers to squat on unused land in southern England and cultivate it for their own sustenance. The local landowners and the State went into alliance against this threatening little company. The landlords sent men to drive away their cattle and destroy their crops. Cromwell sent soldiers, but withdrew them when he found they were being converted by the Diggers. The Diggers practised passive resistance as long as they could endure, and then departed.

Winstanley, who has a fair claim to being the first of the anarchists, withdrew into an oblivion so deep that even the date of his death is not remembered (though it is known he influenced the earlier and more militant Quakers), and once the English Revolution had spent its course it was not until the era of the French Revolution, more than a century later, that a recognizable strain of anarchistic thought again emerged.

When it did, it combined with elements derived from English dissent a great deal that was developed from - or often in reaction to - the Renaissance idea of the proper ordering of society. The political order of the Middle Ages had been organic in form, a balance of Church and king, of baronies and free cities, whose haphazard nature was illustrated most vividly by the fact that the kings had no permanent capitals, but travelled from royal castle to royal castle followed by vast trains of wagons bearing the royal property. At the same time there was-in theory at least - a tightly graded social order in which every man knew his place, which compensated for the lack of an elaborate political system; there were also cracks in the medieval order in which men might enjoy freedom and good community life, as happened in some of the cities of Italy and Germany.

The medieval social order, never so stable as its later defenders have argued, disintegrated between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, a development that coincided with the revival of humanist learning, which is one way of defining the Renaissance. Man now became important for his qualities as an individual rather than for the position he held in a graded society, but whether this was a net gain for freedom must be judged in the light of the fact that at the same time the organic order of the medieval world was replaced by a faith in rationally devised political patterns.

Renaissance individualism was culturally invigorating, but not necessarily anarchist in quality. It stressed self-development at the expense of others; it was freedom without equality, liberty without community. It produced splendid artists but also remorseless villains. One can illustrate the difference between Renaissance individualism and historic anarchism by comparing the two men who made the name of Malatesta famous in Italian history. Sigismondo Malatesta was a ruthless fifteenth-century soldier of fortune who ruled his own domain with such brutality that he became known as the Tyrant of Rimini. He was at the same time a freethinker and a perceptive patron of the arts, but at no stretching of the phrase could he be called a socially motivated man. The other Malatesta, Errico, was a nineteenth-century would-be doctor who turned anarchist and abandoned his career to spend his life wandering the earth as a poor man and helping people in a dozen countries to rebel against tyranny. This Malatesta combined a genuinely individualist temperament with a sense of the indivisibility of liberty.

The other aspect of the Renaissance lay in its emphasis on order. This was reflected in the many rationally planned cities built at that time, and in the search for political order which led to the concepts of ruthless political action developed by men like Machiavelli, and to the plans of ideal social orders devised by Thomas Moore in Utopia and Tomasso Campanella in The City of the Sun, Most such Utopian writers, even when they advocated common property, portrayed essentially authoritarian societies, as rigidly controlled as the new cities. Such an attitude was in keeping with the rise of the modern national state, which began in Cromwell's England, was developed in the France of Louis XIV, and, ironically, was completed during the French Revolution when conscription was introduced and gave Napoleon the means to extend nationalism into imperialism.

Yet at the same time the Renaissance inclination to liberate thought from dogma tended to produce thinkers who offered libertarian alternatives to the total rule of authority. Diderot and Etienne de la Boetie were examples in France; in Britain perhaps the most important representatives of this trend 'were the philosopher John Locke and the radical Tom Paine, who took part in both the American and French Revolutions and was condemned to death in absentia by the English for writing The Rights of Man. Paine was in many ways near the anarchists, particularly when he emphasized the vital distinction between society and government. 'Society is produced by our wants,' said Paine, 'and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices . . . Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.'

Paine's influence permeated the native libertarian movement of nineteenth-century America and helped to shape the thought of anarchists as varied as Henry David Thoreau, Josiah Warren and Benjamin Tucker. One of his personal friends was William Godwin, whose Enquiry concerning Political Justice (1793) deeply influenced Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley, provided the foundation for Robert Owen's Utopian efforts, and was probably the most complete study of the faults of government as government ever written. Godwin derived from both ancestral strains of modern anarchism, religious dissent and Renaissance rationalism. As a young man he belonged to a tiny sect called the Sandemanians who denied Church government, believed in sharing goods among the faithful, and argued that religious men had no place in the affairs of State. For a while Godwin served as a dissenting pastor; then be was converted to rationalism and substituted reason for faith without abandoning the social ideas that stemmed from his religious dissent. He was also influenced by the ideas of the French Enlightenment, and wrote Political Justice largely to clarify his own views of recent developments in the French Revolution.

There were in fact proto-anarchists at work in France at that time, enrages like Jacques Roux and Jean Varlet, but such men were too involved in action to develop a written ideology, and it was Godwin, from the distance of London, who criticized the authoritarian direction which the Jacobins had given the Revolution.

In Political Justice he attacked the theory and practice of government with what was to become the classic anarchist argument: that authority is against nature and that social ills exist because men are not at liberty to act according to reason. As an alternative be sketched out a decentralized libertarian society in which small autonomous communities will be the essential units and in which even democratic political practices will be minimized because majority rule is a form of tyranny and voting for representatives is an abdication of personal responsibility.

Godwin developed theoretical anarchism as thoroughly as it has ever been done. What later libertarians added to his arguments was the dimension of action as they moved from the thinker's study to the social jungle.


The seeds of great movements often lie in what seem at the time mediocre lives or small and insignificant encounters. Certainly, a time traveller who returned to the cafes of Paris and the wretched hotel rooms of the Latin Quarter, where revolutionaries gathered in the early years of the 1840s. would be hard put to it to recognize the men who would become the great rallying names of the century. France was then a monarchy once again, but it was ruled by the most liberal of the Bourbons, Louis Philippe, the so-called Citizen King, and in those years, when the ferment of French discontent was building up to the revolutionary peak of 1848, Paris gave rather grudging asylum to those who had fled from harsher regimes. One could meet there Spanish federalists, Italian carbonarists and Poles intriguing to re-establish their country, then divided up between Russia, Prussia and Austria-Hungary. There were many Russians who had fled from the oppressive tyranny of the Tsar Nicholas I, and a fair number of Germans who had found it discreet to absent themselves from Prussia and from the petty states of the Rhineland.

Among the more obscure expatriates who lived in this atmosphere of intrigue and expectancy were a Russian and a German who were to be seen often together and sometimes in the company of a French radical journalist who was more inclined than most of his countrymen to mingle with the foreign revolutionaries. They were all young and all poor, and as they talked into the small hours of many a Parisian morning nobody detected the long shadows they were already casting into the future.

For the stocky Frenchman in the seedy green redingot, with a broad peasant face fringed with monkey whiskers, was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who had just given the nineteenth century one of its greatest battle cries-Property is Theft \ He had already declared himself an anarchist, and was the first man ever to accept that label with pride and defiance. The Russian, a penniless nobleman of gigantic stature and inexhaustible charm, was Michael Bakunin; he was busily inciting insurrection among the lesser Slav peoples in the Austrian Empire, and had just attracted attention by an essay entitled Reaction in Germany which in a series of pungent phrases had summed up the paradoxes that lie at the heart of anarchist doctrines. 'Let us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and eternally creative source of all life. The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.'

The German in the trio was Karl Marx, himself a notable creator of historic phrases and in those days an almost irrepressible fountain of German metaphysics; his contribution to the gatherings apparently consisted largely of long expositions of the philosophy of Hegel for the edification of his companions. Marx, of course, was to be the ancestor of modern authoritarian communism, though he and Engels would not issue their Communist Manifesto for several years to come; Proudhon and Bakunin were to become the founders of anarchism as a social revolutionary movement. In time bitter enmities would divide the three, and even in the 1840s their relationship was guarded. There is extant a correspondence between Marx and Proudhon leading to a breach of relations in 1846. In it they discuss the possibility of establishing a liaison between social revolutionaries, and the difference in approaches is already evident as one contrasts Marx's rigid dogmatism with Proudhon's exploratory flexibility. Bakunin left an actual record of his encounters with Marx in the 1840s.

Marx and I were friendly enough in those days. We saw one another often, for I respected him a great deal for his science and for his passionate and serious devotion - mingled though it was with a certain personal vanity-to the cause of the proletariat, and I sought avidly his ever instructive and intelligent conversation. Yet there was really no intimacy between us. Our temperaments did not suit each other. He called me a sentimental idealist - and he was right. I called him vain, perfidious and sly - and I was right too!

Yet for a little time Marx and the two anarchists were united in their realization that the great pre-nineteenth-century revolutions, the English Revolution of the seventeenth century and the American and French Revolutions of the eighteenth, had proceeded only part of the way towards a just society, because they had been political rather than social revolutions. They had rearranged the patterns of authority, giving power to new classes, but they had in no fundamental way changed the social and economic structure of the countries in which they had taken place. The great slogan of the French Revolution-liberty, equality, fraternity-had become a mockery, since political equality was impossible without economic equality, liberty was dependent on people not being enslaved by property, and fraternity was impossible across the chasm that at the end of the eighteenth century still divided the rich from the poor.

Neither Marx, Proudhon nor Bakunin considered the possibility that such results might be inherent in the revolutionary process, which twentieth-century experience seems to suggest may always entail the substitution of one elite for another. But one thing Proudhon and Bakunin both understood more clearly than Marx: that a revolution which does not get rid of authority will always create a power more pervasive and more durable than that which it has replaced. They believed that a revolution without authority, that destroyed powerwielding institutions and replaced them by voluntary cooperative institutions, was indeed possible and could happen in their time. Marx was at once more realistic and more deluded. He recognized the vital role power plays in revolutions, but he believed it possible to create a new kind of power, the power of the proletariat working through the party, which in the end would dissolve itself and produce the ideal anarchist society which he too believed the final, desirable goal of human endeavour; Bakunin was right in accusing Marx of excessive optimism and in prophesying that a Marxist political order would turn out to be a rigid oligarchy of officials and technocrats.

But when Marx, Proudhon and Bakunin met in the Latin Quarter all this was in the future. Looking to the past, between these men and the French Revolution lay the generation of the so-called Utopian socialists, like Cabet and Fourier and Robert Owen who recognized that the French Revolution had failed to attack the radical questions of social injustice, and who proposed as a remedy various forms of the socialization of wealth and productivity. They were called Utopian because they wished to create here and now experimental communities that would demonstrate how a just society might work. From Proudhon on, the anarchists were influenced in many ways by the Utopian socialists, and particularly in their notion of the small community as the basis of society. But they differed from them in rejecting the rigidity of Utopian socialist planning, which they believed would lead to new kinds of authority, and they also believed that there was a reprehensible elitism in the idea of a socialist elect demonstrating to the people how an ideal society should work. The anarchist mystique was based on the idea that people could create for themselves, spontaneously, the social and economic relations they needed. What one really required, they argued, was not to fabricate new and artificial social forms but to find ways of activating the people so that out of their natural groupings and popular traditions the institutions appropriate to a free society might evolve.

Not until the 1860s did these aspirations begin to coalesce into an actual anarchist movement. During the wave of revolutions that swept Europe in 1848 both Bakunin and Proudhon were actively engaged. Bakunin took part in risings in Paris and Prague and fought beside Wagner on the barricades in Dresden. Captured in Saxony, he ended as a prisoner of the Tsar in the notorious Peter-and-Paul Fortress, and only in 1861 did he escape via Siberia, Japan and the United States to western Europe where he resumed his revolutionary activity. Proudhon took part in the 1848 revolution in Paris and became an early disillusioned member of the National Assembly. He learnt quickly how parliamentary activity puts a man out of touch with the people, and spent much more of his time during the revolutionary year on fierily independent journalism in a series of newspapers - The People, The Representative of the People and The People's Friend - which were successively suppressed because the revolutionary authorities could not endure his impartial attacks on all sides in the new republic, which he accused of being devoid of ideas. Proudhon also tried to organize the workers economically in the People's Bank, which was really a kind of Credit Union where goods and services could be exchanged on the basis of labour costs. He hoped this would be the start of a network of free relationships between producers - such as peasants, artisans and co-operative workshops - which would displace ordinary market relationships and liberate the worker from dependence. The People's Bank was perhaps the first anarchist mass organization; it had gained a membership of 27,000 when Proudbon was imprisoned in 1849 for his criticisms of the newly elected President, Napoleon Bonaparte, who later became Emperor as Napoleon III.

Almost all of Proudhon's remaining life was spent in prison or exile. He remained a minority of one, glorying in the fact that he led no party. Yet precisely because he was independent his influence grew immensely during the Second Empire. Towards the end of his life, which came in 1865, he wrote De la Capacite Politique des Classes ouvrieres, in which he argued that political parties were operated by members of the social elite and that working men would only control their own destinies when they created and operated their own organizations for social change. Many French workers were influenced by such ideas, and they formed a movement aimed at the regeneration of society by economic means. They called themselves Mutualists, but essentially they were anarchists who hoped to gain their ends peacefully by means of producers' co-operation.

Out of meetings between 1862 and 1864 between these French disciples of Proudhon and English trade union representatives emerged the International Workingmen's Association - the First International. Marx's followers foster the legend that he founded the International, but he took no part in the early negotiations and at the final meeting in London on 28 September 1864 at which the Association was set up, he was only - as he put it - 'a mute figure on the platform'.

Thus the First International was never a Marxist body. It included socialists, anarchists of many kinds, and people who were neither. Nobody knows how large its membership became. Both its supporters and its enemies for their own varying reasons tend to exaggerate its membership and its influence. Yet there is no doubt that, especially in the Latin-speaking lands of southern Europe, the Association gave workers and peasants a stimulus to struggle on their own behalf as they had never done before. But behind all the devotion and the grand and elevating aspirations, the International became a battleground of ideologies and personalities. Proudhon was dead by the time the Association became an active organization in 1865, yet the differences that had already begun to emerge between the trio of revolutionaries in those early days in Paris survived to become magnified in the setting of the International, and the conflict between Marx and the Mutualists, and later between Marx and Bakunin personally, not only reflected the temperamental differences of the protagonists, but also the fundamental differences in means - which automatically means a difference in ends - between the authoritarian socialists and the libertarian anarchists.

Marx and his followers, being more astute tacticians, managed to entrench themselves in positions of organizational power. It was Marx who drafted the rules of the Association and gained virtual control of the General Council, established in London. His influence in the branches, mainly in Latin countries, was less certain, and the annual Congresses turned into battles between Marx and Bakunin, who headed the Italian, Spanish and French Swiss contingents. Having already created a secret brotherhood of revolutionaries in Italy, Bakunin had joined the International in 1868. His methods as an organizer were eccentric but curiously effective, and he created the world's greatest anarchist movement-in Spain - by sending to Barcelona an Italian engineer who knew no Spanish yet possessed the kind of charisma that made a common language unnecessary. Anselmo Lorenzo, who later became a leader of the Spanish anarchists, left a fascinating description of the incident which Gerald Brenan quoted in The Spanish Labyrinth.

Fanelli was a tall man with a kind and grave expression, a thick, black beard, and large black expressive eyes which flashed like lightning or took on the appearance of kindly compassion according to the sentiments that dominated him. His voice had a metallic tone and was susceptible of all the inflections appropriate to what be was saying, passing rapidly from accents of anger and menace against tyrants and exploiters to take on those of suffering, regret and consolation, when he spoke of the pains of the exploited, either as one who, without suffering them himself, understood them, or as one who through his altruistic feelings delights in presenting an ultra-revolutionary ideal of peace and fraternity. He spoke in French and Italian, but we could understand his expressive mimicry and follow his meaning.

The battle within the International assumed many aspects. It was a duel between Marx and Bakunin. It was also a battle between Germanic and Latin groups. But the fundamental differences were other than those of personality or culture. They became defined in the endless debates that consumed the years between 1868 and the split which destroyed the International in 1872. The Marxists argued for political organization aimed at transforming the proletariat into a ruling class. The anarchists argued for the economic organization of the workers according to their occupations. Authoritarian versus libertarian, political action versus industrial action, transitional proletarian dictatorship versus immediate abolition of all State power: the debate went on and the two points of view were irreconcilable. Debate turned into conflict. At the Basel Congress of 1872 the Marxists expelled Bakunin and transferred the General Council to New York where it would be out of reach of the anarchists; it was dead by 1874. The anarchists meanwhile set up their rival International; it survived the Marxist rump by three years and was dead by 1877.

Yet the anarchist movement lived on, as a pattern rather than an organization, in scattered groups and individuals, always in contact, holding melodramatic conferences which scared the respectable, and rarely united. A few dedicated and talented men like Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta shaped the ideology of anarchism, and between 1880 and 1900 it flowered amazingly. At one extreme were the followers of Leo Tolstoy, who advocated non-violent resistance and strongly influenced Gandhi in his strategy of satyagraha or civil disobedience, which finally won Indian independence. Others devoted their energies to free schools or to communities where people tried to live communally without the restrictions implied in Utopian theory. Yet others sought an alliance between anarchism and the revolution in the arts which at the turn of the century initiated the Modernist movement in Europe and especially in France. Painters like Pissaro and Signac and Vlaminck and the young Picasso called themselves anarchists; so did poets like Mallarme and men of letters like Oscar Wilde.

All anarchists saw themselves as propagandists for freedom but while some confined their propaganda to writing and speaking, others elaborated the theory and practice of propaganda by deed. This was an early form of an idea favoured in our own day, that a political theory becomes valid only when it is activated. It originated, not among the anarchists, but with an extreme Italian republican. Carlo Pisacane (who had discarded his title of Duke of San Giovanni), and who probably expressed the idea more succinctly than anyone has since done: 'The propaganda of the idea is a chimera'. Ideas result from deeds, not the latter from the former, and the people will not be free when they are educated, but educated when they are free.'

Borrowing Pisacane's insight, Italian anarchists exemplified the propaganda of the deed by starting small Quixotic insurrections which had no hope of success but which it was mistakenly thought would arouse the people to undertake their own liberation. Then, during a brief interlude which has plagued the record of anarchism ever since, a few mainly isolated individuals took to the practice of assassinating symbolic figures to draw attention to injustice. During the 1890s a king of Italy, a president of France, a president of the United States, an empress of Austria and a prime minister of Spain fell victim to these strange and terrible enthusiasts. Most anarchists had nothing to do with such acts, and regarded them with very mixed feelings, until in the end most of them reacted in horror, as the French anarchist novelist. Octave Mirbeau, did when Emile Henry threw a bomb into a crowded cafe and killed innocent people. 'A mortal enemy of anarchism,' said Mirbeau, 'could have acted no more effectively than this Henry when he threw his inexplicable bomb into the midst of peaceful and anonymous persons. Henry says and affirms and claims that he is an anarchist. It is possible. Every party has its criminals and fools, because every party has its men.'

Terrorism quickly died away as an anarchist method, except in Spain and Russia, where all kinds of politics had traditionally been violent. Only a few individual anarchists ever practised it, and to think of the anarchist as a man with a bomb is like considering every Roman Catholic a dynamiter because of Guy Fawkes. Movements are indeed manifested through the actions of individuals, but one must distinguish between the person and the idea, and the idea of anarchism has never been invalidated by the extremities of its fanatics.

Nineteenth-century anarchism in fact recovered very quickly from the damage done by the terrorists, and in the last years of the century moved into its phase of broadest influence through the development of a movement to create libertarian unions of syndicates. The movement called itself anarcho-syndicalism; essentially its viewpoint was that unions should be regarded not merely as instruments for getting better wages, but also as agents for the transformation of society. The unions would be involved in a constant struggle to change society by the classic method of the general strike and, taking over and running the places of production during a revolution, to form the infrastructure of the new society.

Anarcho-syndicalism had much early success in France, where the CGT was run by anarchists until 1914. There were large syndicalist movements in Italy and Latin America, while the International Workers of the World (IWW) in the United States was syndicalist in its approach. But it was in Spain that anarcho-syndicalism, like anarchism itself, reached its apogee. There it appealed for its moral and idealistic qualities; it became not merely a political movement but also a quasi-religious movement of puritanical tinge which gave Spaniards a surrogate Reformation. Anarchism won over the factory workers of Barcelona; it spread like evangelical wildfire among the landless peasants of Andalucia and Valencia. In the 1930s, at its height, the great anarchist union, the National Confederation of Labour (CNT), had more than two million members. Spain represented the true peak of the nineteenth century anarchist movement, extending far into the twentieth century, for Spanish anarchism reached its apogee and its end during the Spanish Civil War of the later 1930s.

In Spain the anarchists showed that in local and spontaneous efforts their methods were effective; where they failed was in co-ordination on a larger scale. For example, in Barcelona it was the anarchist grasp of street fighting tactics that defeated the attempt by Franco's generals to seize power. Similarly, in the rural areas the villagers established free communes, and even critical commentators were impressed by the natural efficiency and Spartan fortitude with which the people set about rearranging their lives on the lines indicated by the nineteenth-century anarchist prophets.

Yet all this comradeship and self-sacrifice, which showed so admirably that small, dedicated groups could indeed put anarchist teachings into practice, was doomed to vanish, largely because the anarchist virtues of spontaneity and voluntary action are alien to the spirit of war - even of civil war -which is totalitarian in nature. They failed to resist effectively the fascists who advanced on the village communes from the south and destroyed them, or the communists who undermined the anarchist position behind the republican lines. Two years of war and political intrigue broke the spirit of the Spanish anarchists. The historic movement created by Bakunin and Proudhon died when Franco's armies marched unopposed into anarchist Barcelona. But the anarchist idea, as distinct from the movement, did not, and in the last decade it has risen like a phoenix from the fire of its own transformation.


In these pages I have been stressing the differences between anarchism and more dogmatic political orthodoxies, and especially between anarchist groups and the tightly hierarchical structures of political parties whose aim is power. When anarchism existed as an identifiable movement, it had intellectual leaders but no organizational leadership. It always included within itself a variety of viewpoints on tactics and on the nature of the desirable society that co-existed with a remarkable degree of mutual tolerance, rather like the religious sects of India. In the last resort, it was always the idea expressed, directly in action that was dynamic rather than the movement.

In fact, even when anarchism was most popular and its organizations numbered their followers in the millions, as the CNT did in Spain, the structure was always a fragile and flexible frame within which the power of spontaneous thought remained the important motive force. It is because anarchism is in essence an anti-dogmatic and unstructured cluster of related attitudes that it can flourish when conditions are favourable, and then, like a plant in the desert, lie dormant for seasons and even for years, waiting for the rains to make it blossom again. In an ordinary political faith, the party is needed as a kind of church, a vehicle of the dogma, but anarchism has been nearer to the mystical faiths that rely on personal illumination, and for this reason it has never needed a movement to keep it alive. Many of its important teachers, as we have seen, were solitary, dedicated individualists like Godwin and Thoreau and Stirner. Those who granted the need for organization wanted it to be minimal, so that even Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, intellectual mentor of the historic anarchist movement, warned his followers against any rigidity of thought or action. With few exceptions, the anarchist originators avoided the trap of becoming infallible gurus, and it is significant that there has never been a single anarchist book that has been put forward and accepted as a political gospel in the same way as Marx's das Kapital. In fact, widely-read anarchist books like Kropotkin's Memoirs of a Revolutionist or Herbert Read's Poetry and Anarchism, or the essays of Paul Goodman, to give a few varied examples, retain their freshness and appeal precisely because their intent is to awaken thought, not to direct it.

It is this peculiarly unpartisan element in anarchist thought that makes it resilient and durable, and explains why the downfall of the movement in Spain with Franco's victory, though it certainly meant the end of the movement founded by Proudhon and Bakunin, did not mean more than a temporary eclipse of the anarchist idea. Between 1939 and the beginning of the 1960s, anarchism did not play a great part in the affairs of any country or in the thoughts of anyone but a few libertarian intellectuals and a few ageing veterans of past battles. Yet from the early 1960s there has been a rebirth, the ideas of anarchism have emerged rejuvenated, have clothed themselves in action, have stimulated the young in age and spirit, and have disturbed established hierarchies on both the Right and the Left. In the process, anarchist doctrines and methods have been carried far beyond the remnants of the old anarchist movement. New kinds of organization have appeared, new modes of action have evolved, but they reproduce surprisingly faithfully - even among people who hardly know what the word anarchism means or who perhaps have never beard it - the ideas on the defects of present society and the desiderata of a better society that have been taught by seminal thinkers in the libertarian tradition from seventeenth-century Winstanley down to Herbert Read and his successors in our own generation.

Turn now to the sequence of events. World War II, following Franco's victory, completed the breakdown of the international anarchist movement. The process began as early as 1918. In Russia, after the 1917 October Revolution, the Bolsheviks recognized the anarchists as their main rivals and eliminated them, but only after a struggle in which large areas of the Ukraine became a kind of anarchist peasant community under a guerilla leader Nestor Makhno, who fought brilliantly against Whites and Reds but finally fled to western Europe in 1921 to escape destruction by Trotsky's legions. The advent of fascism in Italy and nazism in Germany meant the end of the anarchist movement in both countries, and by the time the Reichswehr had completed its conquests of the Second World War, the only anarchists at large and active were in Britain, the United States, Switzerland and the more liberal Latin American states, of which Mexico was the most important. Every country where a mass anarchist movement had once existed - Russia, France, Italy and Spain-was by 1942 existing under a totalitarian regime.

There ensued a situation quite new in anarchist history, for during the Second World War it was in the English-speaking countries that anarchism demonstrated the greatest vitality and the tradition was interpreted in completely new ways. The stimulus did not come only from Spanish, Italian and Russian refugees who represented the movement created by Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin. It came also from writers reared in the modernist movement who had learnt their anarchism as much from Oscar Wilde and William Morris and William Godwin.

In Britain this interim movement, as I call it because it represents a transition between nineteenth-century and late-twentieth-century anarchism, drew together not only British writers and painters who had emerged between the 1920s and the 1940s, but also many refugee artists from eastern Europe, from France and Belgium. There were English painters like Augustus John and John Minton, Russian constructivists like Naum Gago and Polish expressionists like Jankel Adier. Herbert Read and John Cowper Powys represented the older writers, but Dylan Thomas was a declared anarchist, and so were Alex Comfort, George Woodcock and Denise Levertov.

In the United States also, anarchism escaped from its traditions to be transformed by younger interpreters. In New York it centred around Dwight Macdonald, then running Politics, and Paul Goodman, already relating accepted libertarian doctrine to contemporary American problems of rural decay and urban chaos. In San Francisco, even during the early 1940s, a literary anarchist movement which had floating links with the more traditional movement among Italian emigres arose under the leadership of the poet Kenneth Rexroth; other poets like Robert Duncan and Philip Lamantia and, later on, Kenneth Patchen and Allen Ginsberg became closely involved, so that anarchism was one of the motivating philosophies of the beat movement in California.

This tendency for anarchism during the 1940s to become lodged like a seed germ in the minds of a few English-speaking intellectuals led to interesting theoretical developments, particularly in the fields of science and education. Ever since Kropotkin modified evolutionary theory by publishing Mutual Aid, libertarian thinkers have attempted to relate their doctrines to whatever sciences of man seem to be currently important. During the present century the place biology had held in the speculations of Kropotkin and of his associates like Elisee and Elie Reclus was assumed by psychology. Long before he became the improbable guru of geriatric sexology. Alex Comfort wrote a valuable anarchist treatise in the psychology of power, Authority and Delinquency. The teachings of Erich Fromm - particularly in The Fear of Freedom -made their appeal to anarchists in the 1940s, and so did the heretical Freudian teachings of Wilhelm Reich, which related psychological to political repression and sought in neurosis the origins of coercive power. The most important anarchist writer to be influenced by modem psychological theory was Herbert Read, who drew copiously on the theories of Freud, Adler and especially Jung to support the other characteristic departure of anarchist theory during the 1940s - an intensified recognition of the need for a new type of education that would enable men to accept and also to endure freedom. (I say endure quite deliberately because - as the very title of Fromm's The Fear of Freedom suggested - it had dawned on libertarians in the mid-twentieth century [as it had dawned earlier on Proudhon] that freedom is an austere discipline whose advantages may not be immediately evident to the masses accustomed to State tutelage and the welfare society.) Herbert Read believed that the educational system as it existed, with its emphasis on merely academic learning, prepared men for obedience, not for freedom; in his books, such as Education through Art and The Education of Free Men, he argued that the schools should be transformed to educate the senses before they touched the mind, and that the harmonious personality which resulted from education through art would not only live a more balanced individual life, but would also achieve, with a minimum of disturbance, the peaceful transformation of society of which the anarchists had long dreamed, a transformation in which people who were inwardly at peace and therefore at peace with each other could make equality and fraternity compatible with freedom.

When the war ended in 1945, and countries like Italy and France were liberated, there was a kind of rattling of the bones in the movement Bakunin had created. Old anarchists met again; an uneasy liaison appeared between them and the English-speaking intellectuals who had extended anarchist theory during the 1940s. There were even international congresses; but the one I attended at Berne in 1946 was a strangely spectral affair, with a few old men and a few young men gathering beside the grave of Bakunin, to orate, to play Mozart in his memory and to dream of repeating his achievement.

The old movement was not resurrected in any meaningful way, yet the anarchist idea, as distinct from the organization, has certainly been born again, and the rebirth has taken place largely outside the gallant but scanty groups of veterans. The crucial decade was the 1960s. The 1950s - the decade of cautious careerist youth-had been a period of hibernation for anarchist ideas, though they were kept alive by a few poets and essayists. But as that decade ended, the idea seemed suddenly active again. It developed in two different ways.

First, there was the scholarly interest. Nowadays, in view of the wealth of available material, it is bard to remember how little had been written on anarchism up to 1950 in a spirit of scholarly enquiry. There were the apologias of the anarchists and the diatribes of their opponents, but few objective records of what anarchism meant and what anarchists had done. The first complete history of anarchism ever written, in English or any other language, was my own Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements, which appeared in 1962. Other general histories followed, and also biographies of the more important anarchist thinkers and activists, as well as reprints of their works, so that anarchism during the 1960s became at last academically respectable.

But that was the anarchism of the past, of the classic thinkers, the historic movement that had been moribund since 1939. What began to emerge in the 1960s was the actual revival of the anarchist current of thought accompanied by active movements among young people in many European and American countries. Often the name did not re-emerge; often the dogma was diluted by other strains of radical thought; rarely was there an attempt to re-establish continuity with a movement in the past. But the idea re-emerged, clear and recognizable, and in countries as varied as Britain and Holland, France and the United States, it attracted adherents on a scale unparalleled since the days before the First World War.

Like the New Left, to which it was loosely related, the movement which one might call neo-anarchism had double roots. It sprang partly from the experience of those who became involved in the civil rights movement in the United States as early as the mid-1950s, and partly from the great mass protests against nuclear disarmament that were held in Britain during the early 1960s. In Britain the protest movement was developed by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and within the CND there appeared a more militant group called the Committee of One Hundred, in which Bertrand Russell was active but which also included a number of anarchist intellectuals from earlier decades. Quite apart from these links with classic anarchism, there was within the Committee of One Hundred, as always happens when militant pacifism encounters a government irremediably bent on warlike preparations, a spontaneous surge of anti-State feeling, that is to say, anarchist feeling still unnamed. Arguments surfaced in the Committee of One Hundred in favour of methods advocated by the anarchists. Groups dedicated to direct action and to exploring the implications of a society without war and violence and hence without coercion sprang up all over Britain. At the same time the remnants of the anarchist movement was revivified, and the anarchists-in the new sense as well as the old - became a vocal and active element in British political life, few in comparison with the larger political parties, but more numerous and more influential than they ever were in the England of the past.

A striking characteristic of the neo-anarchism that emerged in Britain and the United States at this time was that, like so many modern protest movements, it represented mainly a trend among the young, and the middle-class young especially. In 1962, at the beginning of the upsurge, the British anarchist periodical Freedom conducted a survey of the occupations and class backgrounds of its readers. Past anarchist movements had consisted mainly of artisans and peasants, with a few intellectual leaders recruited from the upper - and middle-class intelligentsia. The Freedom survey revealed that in the Britain of the 1960s only 15 per cent of the anarchists willing to answer questions about themselves belonged to traditional groupings of peasants and workers; of the remaining 85 per cent, the largest group consisted of teachers and students, and there were also many architects, doctors, journalists and people working independently as artists and craftsmen. Even more significant was the class shift among the young; 45 per cent of the readers over 60 were manual workers, as against 23 per cent of those in their thirties and 10 per cent of those in their twenties. Very similar proportions exist in anarchist and near-anarchist movements in most Western countries. The new libertarianism has been essentially a revolt, not of the under-privileged, and certainly not of the skilled workers, who are busy defending their recent gains in living standards, but of the privileged who have seen the futility of affluence as a goal.

Undoubtedly one of the factors that has made anarchism popular among the young has been its opposition to the increasingly centralized and technocratic industrial cultures of western Europe, North America, Japan and Russia. In this context an important mediating figure-though the orthodox anarchists have never accepted him - was Aldous Huxley. Huxley's pacifism and his early recognition of the perils of population explosion, of ecological destruction and psychological manipulation, all combined in a social vision that in many ways anticipated the preoccupations of neo-anarchism during the 1960s and 1970s. Already in the 1930s, with Brave New World, Huxley had presented the first warning vision of the kind of mindless, materialistic existence a society dominated by technological centralization might produce. In his Foreword to the 1946 edition of that book, Huxley declared that the perils implicit in modern social trends could only be averted by switching over to rapid decentralization and simplification in economic terms, and to political forms that - as he put it-would be 'Kropotkinesque and co-operative'. In later books, and especially in his novel. After Many a Summer, Huxley enlarged on his acceptance of the anarchist critique of the existing order, and it was largely through these late works of his, often taught in college English courses, that the libertarian attitude was transmitted to the generation of the 1960s and welded on to their concern for environmental regeneration.

Even in mood, in its insistence on spontaneity, on theoretical flexibility, on simplicity of living, on love and anger as complementary and necessary components of social as well as individual action, anarchism had a special appeal to a generation that rejected the impersonality of massive institutions and the pragmatic calculations of political parties. In terms of social organization, the anarchist rejection of the State, and the insistence of decentralism and grassroots responsibilities, have found a strong echo in a contemporary movement which demands that its democracy be not representative but participatory and that its action be direct. The recurrence of the theme of workers' control of industry also shows the enduring influence of the ideas Proudhon created and passed on to the anarcho-syndicalists.

The movement in which anarchist ideas perhaps came most dramatically to the surface in recent years was the Paris insurrection of 1968. It was a largely spontaneous affair, in which left-wing party leaders and trade union leaders had little control, and in which something resembling the old anarchist scenario for a libertarian revolution was actually enacted. The students occupied their colleges, they raised the black flag of the anarchists on the Bourse, and they inspired the workers to strike and sit in their factories. For a few days De Gaulle's power, and the vainglorious nationalism he represented, hung in the balance; only by making a deal with his enemies in the army could his rule survive long enough for the basic conservative forces in French society to reassert themselves. The events in Paris demonstrated, as similar events in Athens and Bangkok and elsewhere have later done, that despite their sophisticated techniques of holding power, modern governments are almost as vulnerable as their predecessors, and in some ways more vulnerable, since contemporary society has become such an elaborately interlocking structure of bureaucratic machinery that even a slight failure of function quickly becomes magnified in its effects. In such circumstances the rebel becomes rather like a small State in a world seemingly dominated by nuclear superpowers; his ability to disturb the intricate balance gives him certain advantages, and there is no doubt that because of the dynamics of the situation contemporary radicals have managed to change social attitudes and induce retreats on the part of authority that would not have been likely even a decade ago. But we have to bear in mind that these retreats are largely tactical. Nowhere has a spontaneous rebellion in recent years resulted in a radical change in the actual structure of power. Governments may have changed; the pattern of authority has not been fundamentally disrupted.

A recognition of this fact has led some contemporary anarchists to abandon the direct attack on the citadel of power, on the assumption that it may collapse through undermining if they can change the attitudes of people at the grassroots level. Two interesting examples of this approach-interesting largely because of their mutual contrasts-came respectively from Holland and India.

In Holland-where Domela Nieuwenhuis and Bart de Ligt had created a considerable pacifist-anarchist movement before the Second World War-there have been two neo-anarchist movements, the Provos in the 1960s and the Kabouters in the 1970s. The differences between the two groups illustrate fairly well the scope of variation in terms of tactics that has existed among anarchists in recent years. Provo is a contraction of provocation, and it was precisely by provocation, in the form of noisy demonstrations, eccentric happenings, original forms of mutual aid, that the Provos set out to stir the Dutch people from a too complacent acceptance of the welfare state into which Holland had transformed itself. The actions of the Provos were reminiscent of one of the anonymous posters that appeared in Paris during the insurrection of 1968: 'The society of alienation must disappear from history. We are inventing a new and original world. Imagination is seizing power.' By using their imagination, the Provos sought to give the tactics of rebellion a new twist so that the despair of ever attaining a free society which gnaws secretly at every anarchist - became in its own way a weapon to be used in forcing governments to show their true faces. The weak provoke; the strong unwillingly expend themselves. Having stirred the imagination of the Dutch, the Provos showed their difference from ordinary political parties by voluntarily disbanding themselves. Three years later some of them came together in a new group, the Kabouters or Goblins, dedicated to working through local administrations at the municipal level, ignoring the higher levels of government.

In India anarchism has been a respected if not much implemented concept ever since Gandhi described himself as 'a kind of anarchist', and planned a decentralized society based on autonomous village communes. When India became independent, mainly through a civil disobedience movement which Gandhi had developed to a great extent under the influence of Tolstoy and Thoreau, Gandhi's associates abandoned his plan since they wished to make India a State with a great army and a vast bureaucracy modelled on that of the British Raj; the result has been the virtual dictatorship which Mrs. Indira Gandhi has recently established by abrogating all the essential freedoms. Nevertheless, some of Gandhi's followers decided to develop his more anarchistic thoughts, and one of the most important libertarian movements in the con temporary world has been Sarvodaya, the movement led by Vinova Bhave and Jayaprakash Narayan, which has sought to make Gandhi's dream a reality by means of gramdan - the ownership of the land by autonomous communities. By 1969 a fifth of the villages of India had declared themselves in favour of gramdan, and while there is much more of intent than achievement in such a situation, it represents an extensive basic commitment to fundamentally anarchistic ideas. Sarvodaya has also been one of the more significant nuclei of resistance to Mrs. Gandhi and her rule by force.

Anarchism, in summary, is a phoenix in an awakening desert, an idea that has revived for the only reason that makes ideas revive: that they respond to some need felt deeply by people - and, since activists are always the tip of any social iceberg, by more people than overtly appear concerned. Anarchism's recent popularity has been in part due to a general reaction against the monolithic welfare state, and already some of the libertarian proposals, like the greater involvement of workers in industrial control and the greater decisive say by people in matters that affect them locally and personally, were beginning to take shape in the 1960s as part of a general shift towards participatory democracy.

Up to now, indeed, there has been little progress towards using anarchist concepts in the wider organization of society, and it is here that the critics feel they are on stronger ground as they talk of the difficulty of handling mass industry - and mass populations-by anarchist methods. Yet it is not impossible that technology might offer some of the means to that end. For technology itself is neutral; there is - as Lewis Mumford pointed out long ago in Technics and Civilization -nothing to suggest that a technologically developed society need be either centralized or authoritarian or ecologically wasteful. And one can - to give an example - conceive a time arriving when people in control of their technology might use electronic communications to inform themselves of all sides of a public issue and use the same means to make their wishes known and effective without intermediaries. In this way, the institution of the referendum, which is now so clumsy that it is rarely used, could be applied to all important decisions, and referenda could be adjusted to the particular constituencies actually affected by a decision. Democracy might then be direct and active again, as it once was, for the citizens at least, in ancient Athens. And if a live democracy, participatory and direct, may not yet be the naturally ordered society of anarchy, it would still represent a historic step in that direction.