WORD+MOIST PRESS VOLUME 1, 2014 The Anarchist Doctrine Accessible to All
Edited by Juan Pablo Macías Original title, A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos, 1925 Author, José Rodrigues Leite e Oiticica Translation, Agência Transitiva (Rio de Janeiro) agenciatransitiva.net (Maíra das Neves and Kadija de Paula) Graphic project, Zirkumflex (Berlin) zirkumflex.com (Sara López and Brice Delarue) Visual content, Juan Pablo Macías “Tattoo” 2014 (Tattoo made by Ozmo) Published by WORD+MOIST PRESS, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org With the priceless support of Angelika Stepken - Villa Romana, Florence, Italy. Printed in September 2014 in Tipografia Debatte, Livorno, Italy. WORD+MOIST PRESS is an editorial project that publishes books and media that are made from moist, flesh and blood. WORD+MOIST PRESS prints words that aren’t text nor law, but just past and present mouth-mists. WORD+MOIST PRESS thanks Mauro Cerqueira for making me know José Oiticica, Zbyněk Baladrán and Vit Havránek for supporting the first part of the translation in Tiempo Muerto #2, Vijai Patchineelam for putting me in contact with Agência Transitiva, Brice Delarue for his continuous support for my editorial projects that otherwise would not be, Angelika Stepken for making possible this volume, and to all that have shared with me in the process of the Anarchist Doctrine.
THE ANARCHIST DOCTRINE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL José Oiticica
“When we can’t dream any longer we die” Emma Goldman
“To my mind... the first essence of creativity... is the creative process of sharing...what really interests me is the shared experience of life...and how to express that in some way... and huge amounts of work that we did as a band was simply an attempt to share our life...“ Penny Rimbaud
“I contend,” saith Colmcille, “that the book of Finnen is none the worse for my copying it, and it is not right that the divine words in that book should perish, or that I or any other should be hindered from writing them or reading them or spreading them among the tribes. And further I declare that it was right for me to copy it, seeing there was profit to me from doing in this wise, and seeing it was my desire to give the profit thereof to all peoples, with no harm therefore to Finnen or his book.”
In loving memory of JosĂŠ Oiticica for his ever lasting seeds and mouth-mists.
“Argentum eorum et aurum eorum non valebit liberare in die furoris domini” Ezechiel – VII, 19
“Therefore, I say quite a great ignorant was the first who served another.” Jorge Ferreira, Aulegrafia, p. 13 v.
What are seeds if not ideas? Seeds and ideas are human’s substance, human’s lifeblood… Sap! It’s always Deleuze’s Hyle, this continuum amorphous that bounds everything together in cosmos, that through desire produces life as creation, as knowledge, but as tyranny as well. What are seeds if not the desiring dialogue of humans and nature? What do seeds carry within them if not human knowledge? What are ideas if not the praxis of human happiness in Earth? Why hinder this praxis? Why unbound this relation to Earth through exclusivity? (“The human problem consists in obtaining from earth the greatest amount of general happiness” José Oiticica). What are ideas if not the process of production of the cosmos, of the univocal process of production of man and nature as one, as desire? Occident’s history of progress is the denial of this bound through abstract deaths they call truths. But nonetheless, there are words of truth, humble ones that vanish in the accomplishment of their affection. To speak with true word lasts the moment of its enunciation, of its performance – it is not its desire to last an eternity as the State’s rotten dead letters, as the petrification of the death sentences of the colonizers of labor - life congealed and concealed. These truths last the duration of their spoken moist, of their germination, of their warm vibrato, that hopefully will carry on, mouth-to-mouth, soil-to-soil, as warm lifeblood. There is no possible affectivity - of experiencing moist and warmth - in reading constitutions, contracts, laws, testaments and school texts, as the warmth we experience reading about life. Notwithstanding the printed matter that carries these words of truth, codifying them, they raise our temperature. Notwithstanding the machine that cuts ink’s continuum, printing it into word-images subject to law, we become happy and willing to pay any price - because this warm flux is life. Juan Pablo Macías
PREFACE TO THE TRANSLATED EDITION OF A DOUTRINA ANARQUISTA AO ALCANCE DE TODOS , 2014
It seems rather unusual to have a book translated by two people. However, when the artist Juan Pablo Macías approached Maíra das Neves to translate A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos, he had no idea that she was part of Agência Transitiva – a corp(or)active body based in Rio de Janeiro that reshapes itself according to each action. As soon as she received the file, it was clear that this book should be translated within Agência Transitiva’s framework of collaborative translation practices. That is why Maíra invited Kadija de Paula to translate it together. This co-translation process was entirely conducted by the two agents on an online pad. Whereas this tool allows for collaboration despite geographical distances, we are aware that this whole process was recorded and stored by the chosen platform, and that we might have become a monitoring target due to the nature of the content. Another reason for bringing the translation to Agência is our recent research on alternative modes of professional association, collective organization, and self-government. Coincidence or not, Agência had just hosted a workshop within a co-living experience with Prof. Acácio Augusto from NuSol (Libertarian Sociability Research Group of the Pontifícia Universidade Catolica de São Paulo). In this workshop he spoke about historical anarchist experiments in Brazil and abroad, and even recommended us read José Oiticica, who at 17
the time was only known to most of us as the grandfather of Hélio Oiticica. Jose’s influence on the wider public through his writing and teaching also influenced his family, most notably his grandson, who was home schooled until the age of 10. Helio Oiticica (1937-1980) is an internationally acclaimed Brazilian artist who in the 60’s overcame the notion of art as object by shifting it to an art practice that affects behavioral, ethical, social, and political dimensions. The translation of this book was not only about translating between languages and cultures, it was also a matter of translating 1925 into 2014. If at some points the translators have chosen to update some terms, it is because we believe that these ideas are not to be seen as of a distant remote past. They are still relevant tools to imagine and practice possible futures today. Mikhail Bakunin’s recent appearance in Rio de Janeiro confirms the relevance of libertarian ideas. He is mentioned in the police investigations about violent acts during demonstrations against this year’s World Cup. The fantastical resurrection of this 200 year-old anarchist is not to be credited to Rio’s police force alone. This situation is only made possible because Bakunin’s ideas still influence the imagination and are incorporated in today’s uprisings. We acknowledge the responsibility of translating this text. To translate from Portuguese to English is to go against the dominant flux of information, allowing the words of this Brazilian anarchist and philologist to become accessible to a broader audience. José Oiticica begins this book by presenting the idea of “private property” as the primordial source of human unhappiness. It is our belief that the words of a book – which is meant to be “accessible to all”– must flow in spite of any legal restrictions. Agência Transitiva, southern winter/northern summer, 2014.
THE ANARCHIST DOCTRINE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL
I 1 – Notion of happiness – We all have, in our life, our portions of sufferings, and even though when ours are minimum, we see around us everyday tragedies, individual disgraces and collective calamities. The minimization of these sufferings constitutes the progress to which wise men, philosophers, pedagogues, workers, etc. contribute to. Whenever possible, people tenaciously seek to minimize these pains and reach a state of maximum happiness. 2 – Notion of good and evil – To everything that produces suffering we call it evil, and to everything that minimizes it, or increases happiness, we call it good. However, to understand more deeply in what good and evil consist of, it is important to know what is the general process of life on earth. 3 – Universal energies – The world is a flux of energies. These energies manifest themselves under diverse aspects: light, color, electricity, magnetism, gravitation, etc. The human body, as the body of any other living creature, is also a balance of energies amongst universal energies, or even more clearly, is a transformative machine of cosmic energies absorbed through food and through the air it breathes. When 23
the machine, for any defect, becomes incapable of conveniently working this transformation, the body is depleted and dies. 4 – Favorable and unfavorable energies – Nature, this is, the sum of all energies, is neither good nor evil; it is indifferent. Only the effects of natural phenomena over human life are good or bad. Thus for example, rain itself is neither good nor bad, however the same rain, in the same place, at the same time, can be good for one farmer and bad for another, depending on the kind of agricultural work or the topographic conditions. For humanity therefore, there are only favorable and unfavorable energies. 5 – Useful energy – In this world, the vital problem of human beings, as for any other being, has to do with enjoying the energies that are favorable to their organisms, while voiding and diverting the unfavorable energies. A waterfall that alters the navigation of a river is an unfavorable energy, but if captured to move turbines and supply electricity it becomes a favorable energy. The energies susceptible of use by humanity are useful energies. Now we can define good and evil with precision. Good is all that contributes to maintain or increase the usefulness of energies, and evil is everything that contributes to decrease or obstruct the usefulness of these energies. 6 – Five aspects of human energy – Human beings as transformers of cosmic energies, manifest these energies in their social existence in a fivefold aspect: physical, mental, moral, practical and social. The first ones are vulgarly called vigor and health; the second ones, intelligence and culture; the third ones, will and character; the fourth ones, ability and vocation; the fifth ones, altruism and sociability. 24
We will see that under this fivefold vision we must base the entire education system. 7 – The human problem consists in obtaining from earth the greatest amount of general happiness. This is achieved by science above all because it is the only field that studies the natural energies, discovers the means to exploit them, or diverts them whenever they are unfavorable. II 8 – Human discomfort – The eminent anarchist writer, Sébastien Faure, once wrote a book entitled The Universal Pain. He shows us, in this book, that all people, despite of their social condition, suffer more than what would be naturally accepted. He describes with absolute veracity humanity’s ailments, which in part would be avoidable if society was organized in a different way. He recalls the profound vices of humankind like alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, the damages caused by either, morphine, cocaine, thefts, trials, wars, militarism, the enslavement of rural and urban workers, the deadly fight between bankers, traders, politicians, the brutal rage of men and women after money, which is the common denominator of all worldly values. This is how this human discomfort is explained, this perpetual social crisis in all nations, and which its fundamental cause is only possible of being revealed, analyzed and resolved by the anarchist doctrine. 9 – Causes of the human discomfort – The causes of unhappiness are of two orders: natural and artificial. The natural ones are the universal phenomena, the unfavorable cosmic energies which humans fail to nullify or 25
avoid, such as: earthquakes, catastrophic volcanic eruptions, torrential downpours, prolonged droughts, the maritime undercurrents, the fluvial floods, epidemics, diseases, etc. Little by little, humans minimize the intensity and extension of these things with their inventions and discoveries. The artificial causes are a consequence of the bad organization of a society, for example: slavery, militarism, banditism, misery, prostitution, vices, etc. But all these are the result of an only and fundamental cause: property. 10 – The notion of property – Human beings extract from earth the necessary wealth for their sustenance. From mines they extract minerals; on the fields they plant cereals; from the orchards, fruits; in the factories they produce useful objects, utensils and instruments for production. This human activity is called work. One person alone would not be able to live, or would live in misery if depended exclusively on his or her own work. But as unity makes strength, through associating with one another, people multiply their powers with specialization and method, achieving truly incredible results: colossal buildings, huge bridges, wonderful ships. Thus, while a person alone would be poor, each and every person, when well associated, would be opulent. However, only a few are millionaire, many are middle class, and most live in poverty. This is because a small fraction of the rich took over the land for themselves. If an individual in need would take a hoe to work on an uncultivated land, another person would soon come and claim ownership over that individual's work because that person would be the exclusive owner of the land. A proprietor, an owner, a lord, has the right over the property, and the right to permit or not, for another individual to work on it. When permission is given, the owner retains a portion, generally the biggest part, of the products harvested by the farmer. 26
We will see that this right to property is the source of all injustices and artificial human disgraces. 11 – Injustice of land appropriation – This right to the monopoly of land obtained through purchase, heritage, donation, war, etc., seems natural and just to us, because we have been used to it for thousands of years, however, we can easily evaluate the monstrosity that this entails with three simple considerations: a – Let’s suppose that an extraordinary inventor succeeds in appropriating all drinking water and imposes upon us the exchange of services or money for that water. Let’s imagine as well, that another one appropriates the atmosphere and starts selling us air balloons, and that another one captures the sunlight and yields it for money. We would think of them as infamous selfish people. The sun, the air, the rain, and the sea are natural gifts and nobody has the right to appropriate them to exploit another person. According to what bourgeois economy teaches us, natural gifts are and must be free, and should not be bought or paid for with work. So, what we find so monstrous about the air, the light, the sea, and the rain does not repulse us in the same way when it comes to land. However, it is the same case. Land is also a natural gift and nobody should appropriate or dismember it in order to exploit the work of another. This is the fundamental injustice of the current organization to which anarchists rebel against, demonstrating that all other injustices derive from this one. Anarchism declares that the appropriation of land by an individual is – as the appropriation of water, air, or light – stealing from humanity. It is a criminal extortion, and the initial fail of all social disorders. b – This injustice becomes extremely potent if we observe, for example, the legal institution of inheritance. An individual is 27
born. If the father is the owner of large land extensions, the child becomes heir just because the father is a proprietor. Without any personal effort or work, without participating with any physical or intellectual contingent, the heir becomes owner of these lands, with the ability to sell, rent, or leave them uncultivated. While the rest of people in need do not have the right to cultivate these lands without the heir’s consent. c – This fundamental injustice is so severe that it has converted the economic regime in a paradox, namely, the less you work the more you have or the more you work the less you have. In fact, the proprietor of the farm, factory, or commercial establishment, deals with the lightest of services – that is, when they actually occupy themselves with something – and obtains the bigger profits; while slaves, employees, cashiers, workers, all of those who work the hardest and the longest hours receive, in the form of a salary, a small amount of the wealth produced. III 12 – Property and authority – If someone appropriates solar light, the rest of people would revolt and try by all means to avoid that monopoly. Seemingly, since non-proprietors are accustomed to the system of property for many centuries, they would revolt against land proprietors if the latter would not defend themselves by force, violence and all means of physical and moral coercion. We will study these means, one by one, later on. This constitutes, in reality, a complicated system. The organization of this oppressive force is called authority and its members are diverse: kings, presidents, ministers, police chiefs, delegates, admirals, generals, judges, etc. 13 – Competition – The proprietors, however, do not struggle 28
only against the non-proprietors; they try, by all means, to mutually extort each other. They desire to possess more and more, getting ever richer by investing and stealing. This struggle is called competition. The defenders of property say that this competition is the best incentive for progress since it stimulates people to struggle for life. It leads them to invent instruments and machines, to discover processes of manufacturing, and to push industrial technology even further. This is absolutely right, and we would not object to any of that if the evils produced by competition were not as extended and profound as they are. They reduce human progress to a slow and painful march through the toughest of sufferings. We will see below all the disasters resulting from competition, although now we will point out its fundamental immorality with a simple observation. If the problem of humanity is to fight against unfavorable natural energies, to annul or avoid them, and if possible transform them into favorable and exploitable energies, this can evidently only happen through the intelligent collaboration of all, rather than through the bitter struggle between one another. The last war, the world war, was the most extraordinary physical and mental collective human effort of history. If all this incalculable stock of natural energies would be put against the unfavorable natural energies, humanity would have accomplished tremendous progresses in those five years. A French scientist calculated: if a small fraction of the money France spent on cannons, machine guns, rifles, ships, and airplanes during the war had instead been used for channeling the waters of the Rhone, the electric energy produced would provide work to more than a hundred million people. This same author points out that there have been many attempts to use these waters, which are underutilized until this day, but all attempts have been unsuccessful due to disagreements between proprietors. Nevertheless, the most essential vice of competition is 29
being a constant and ferocious corrupter of human nature. In fact, it cultivates and sharpens the selfish instincts and destroys the altruistic ones. Humans become wolves, or as in the Latin phrase, homo lupus. People say in their wisdom – Friends will be friends business apart. – In business, in other words, in commercial struggle or economic competition, friends vanish. We all become enemies. Brothers fight over inheritances and spend mountains of money in lawsuits, bankruptcy, and many other things. Anarchism proposes, instead of competition, collaboration and harmony at work. Harmony multiplies human forces against nature and will bring abundance and welfare to all. We must understand that this competition does not limit itself to the individuals of a same territory or nation; it extends itself to the proprietors of all nations and therefore reaches an international and global scale. 14 – The State – In this ferocious fight, people would slaughter themselves if there were no authority to regulate their actions. The second function of authority is to regulate economic competition, establishing rules to prevent it from becoming the usual looting and killing. The organization of the authority is called State. 15 – Seven aspects of the State – As an organ of defense of proprietors against proletariat, and of regularization of the competition amongst proprietors, the State assumes seven aspects: the economic aspect, the financial aspect, the political aspect, the military aspect, the legal aspect, the pedagogical aspect and the religious aspect. 16 – The economic aspect – In order to appropriate the necessary energies for life, people have to act upon the cosmic energies within their reach. When people only receive these 30
energies, for example solar heat, this heat is a natural gift, an energy that is not driven by them. However, when this same heat is used to evaporate water from a saltpan, it becomes a human driven force with a productive end and thus, constitutes a capital. The cultivated land is a capital. The human body is a capital. The instruments of production are a capital. Thus Capital is all the energy acted upon or driven by humans, in order to capture useful energy. 17 – Features of the economic aspect – What characterizes, however, the economic function of the State is that the capital it guarantees is private, this means, the capital is owned by an individual, a group of individuals, or by the State itself, and excludes the rest. A society where capital is private is called Capitalist. Anarchism proposes a society where capital is common to all. Therefore, it wants a communist society. Other aspects of capital develop from this general characteristic. First, it is transferable. In this regime, the individual owner of capital is capable of selling it, changing it, or giving it away. In an anarchic regime, capital is social, it belongs to society, and it is thus not transferrable. The transferability of capital generates its accumulation. Any individual can accumulate for his or her own exclusive use and abuse all the capital that can possibly be accumulated through competition within the right of law. That is, neither going against nor escaping the law, but rather by avoiding police and courtrooms (unpunished robbery, theft, fraud, etc.). In an anarchic regime, capital is non-cumulative because individuals have the right, as we will see, only to the usufruct of the property. The reader must reflect intensely about the character of this transferability or accumulation of capital because this is where the axis of capitalist society lays. Capitalism is the regime of organized exploitation. And it is by transmission and 31
accumulation that the parasites and usurers, clever businessmen, bankers, finally all of them get rich. 18 – Coin – To facilitate, as much as possible, the transmission and accumulation of capital, the State owns a valuable tool: the coin. The coin is a resistant object, of big value in a small malleable material. It serves as a model for the rest of the permutable values. The universally accepted element that better fulfills the conditions of currency is gold. For inferior values silver, nickel, and copper are also good. This way, if I am a coffee producer who desires to acquire garments, I do not go to the producer of garments with bags of coffee, but rather with gold coins corresponding to the necessary value in coffee for acquiring garments. 19 – Paper Money – Since it would be uncomfortable to walk down the streets with bags of coins, the State or its licensed supervised holders print value on paper bills that circulate from hand to hand as if they were gold. These bills represent, in fact, the gold that was left in the national treasury deposits or in banks. 20 – Banks – In large transfers or transfers between countries, it would be inconvenient to use bills for the work involved in counting them. That is why the State or some associated owners occupy themselves with the role of money transfer intermediaries. The houses funded by them are called banks. Instead of transferring money, they transfer money orders, checks, or exchange bills. In this way, I can lend money to individuals around the world that I have never seen, or I can exploit mines, waterfalls, and lands I have never been to. Who needs money, in other words, easily transferrable movable capital goes to a bank where other individuals have deposited capital for making loans. Once guarantees have been offered, one takes that 32
capital under the condition of paying it within a certain period of time and a certain added portion called interest. 21 – Financial aspect – The role of these banks in the capitalist system has augmented in such a way that the State implies itself with a new aspect: the financial aspect. When banks enormously facilitate the transfers, and thus enrichment, they actually allow smalls proprietors to become large proprietors, in a more or less short period of time, by managing their modest capital. But, above all, the biggest mission of the financial aspect is to serve big proprietors and bankers with a powerful international robbery and usury machine. 22 – Usury – Everything that is charged beyond its real production value is usury. The interests of a loan are usury, the profits of a businessman are usury, the additional values paid by a tenant in a building are usury, as well as the profits obtained by subleases are also usury. The word usury means increase or overgrowth. For our objectives, we will define usury in a broader sense: all profit obtained without work or by means of non-productive work. The type of usurer is the lender, the usurious one, whose activity is called speculation. This speculation frequently degenerates into incredible pillage, as we will further see. According to our definition, there are truly usurer individuals who have never speculated with money. Although they do not speculate, they all serve to speculators. Their professions only exist for the benefit of the big usurer proprietors. So lawyers, notaries, judges, soldiers, deputies and senators, priests and prostitutes, all those who do not contribute to production and whose activity only serves to maintain the usury of proprietors, are equally usurers. Their earnings are, in reality, usury to production; in the end, their profits increase the price of products. 33
Where there is private property there is usury. The social regime we live in, the Arche, is the usury regime. Anarchy is the social regime without usury. And as any usurer is a parasite, anarchy is a social system without parasites. 23 – The stock market, the crashes – When an individual or a group of individuals intend to start an enterprise or company in order to explore certain business and they do not own the part or even the entire necessary capital, they issue shares, that is, they announce their project to other large or small proprietors who have extra money. They ask them for a certain amount while boasting about the deal’s advantages and foreseeing attractive earnings and profits. Each proprietor that lends money gets a certain number of shares, with which they can start to speculate. They sell them according to the market value. If the company succeeds, the value of their shares rise, they are bought for more than their nominal price. They generate usury, since the buyer makes a good capital deal. If the company does not succeed, the shares go down and their selling price will bring loss to the shareholder. The commerce of these shares is called stock market and the people in charge of this market are brokers. The thing is that the shareholders are unable to supervise the companies and their C.E.O.s. Small shareholders such as professors, public servants, employees, and agricultural workers, all of them distant from the commercial whirlpool are especially unable to follow the movements of the international market. Bankers, people with deep knowledge of the international market who hold the entire usury machine in their hands, often start the companies. Companies might fail and go bankrupt, leading their shareholders to lose all or almost all of their capital. It is also frequent that a big banker defames certain shares or creates immense suspicion towards them through fake news in the newspapers, 34
biased telegrams, and low-blow propagandas. Then there is panic and everybody start selling their shares, dropping their value to extremely low levels. That is when that banker buys them all back, making lots of money effortlessly. Sometimes two bankers start fighting. The stock game battle begins, or rather the stock market game, and one manages to beat the other. This other goes bankrupt and drags with him all his client bankers, companies, dealers, and small owners, because the banker has gambled not only his money but also the money that had been trusted to him. This is a crash, or a general bankruptcy that forces prosperous companies and houses to bankrupt as well. 24 – Encilhamento 1 or Inflation – It happens to either bad financially managed States, like Brazil, or to better governed States that, due to wars or calamities, they find themselves pressured by creditors or urgent costs, and cannot find normal resources to handle these expenses. In these situations, they issue paper money with a forced value, which means bills that cannot be exchanged for metal coins even though everybody has to accept them as such. These bills soon lose their real value. If the causes for their issuing endure, the government is compelled to emit even more bills. These bills enter the market at an already reduced value and devalue the first ones even further, in a way that in order to buy certain merchandise which common price is Cr$10,002, are necessary 20, 30, 50, 100 and Cr$500,00 or more. During the European war, the millions and trillions counted the German march. In Brazil, right from the beginning of the Republic, such a phenomenon occurred due to speculations and disorientation of the government. There was a certain issuing fury. Speculators would invent spectacular companies while simpletons would sell everything they had in a hope to earn millions in profits, as announced. In these cases, the population is taken under a collective hallucination, 35
private and public catastrophes are enormous. The first and the most famous of these speculations took place in the beginning of the XVIII century in France, with the issuing system of Scottish banker John Law. 25 – Taxes – To finance the expenses of the immense crushing apparatus for defense and regularization, the proprietors require huge sums to afford their employees. This money does not come from their own pockets; they extort it from the non-proprietors through taxes, generally according to consumption or income. For any object’s purchase, the buyer has to pay the State a tiny amount for State’s expenses. Some of these expenses are useful, such as public works or urgent services. The larger part, however, is to afford the public servants that are often too many. Apparently, the great proprietors pay a considerable amount to the State, while in fact, they charge it back from workers and poor, what raises the price of sold products. Whenever the government increases taxes, the prices of the products in the market immediately go up. And the trader, as an excuse to the customers, blames the increased taxes. Therefore, who finances the State machine, which is built against the workers, are the workers themselves. IV 26 – The political aspect – The State, with its seven aspects, is designed upon special devices which are all based in one only principle: centralization. All power and State administration is concentrated in the hands of one individual only: king, emperor, tsar, president, etc. This individual chooses a handful of people, subordinated ministers, and places them in the head of each governmental device. Below the ministers are even more 36
subordinated employees, until it reaches the popular masses. This is why we say that the State is organized as a pyramid: in its base are the people, in its vortex is the king, emperor, president, in short, the head of State. 27 – Forms of governing – As we’ve already seen, in order to master defense against the non-proprietors and to regulate competition amongst themselves, proprietors have to concentrate all their forces either on the hands of only one individual with power to do it all, at their own discretion – “autocracy”; or for a lifetime on the hands of only one individual, who is partly subject to the decision of some other individuals elected by the people – “monarchy”; or on the hands of only one individual temporarily elected by the people and equally assisted by a parliament with people’s representatives – “republic”. In some cultures, the autocrat claims to have been directly chosen by a god thus becoming a theocrat, so the political regime is called theocracy. This theocrat counts with a group of accomplice clergymen and dominates through the superstition named religion. However, in order to contain the people and to fight against other people, the armed forces of the army or police are made necessary. It happens then, that this armed force gradually realizes that these clergymen do not communicate at all to such divinity. They bring them down and choose a chief, and become a military caste. Since they understand religion’s value when it comes to domination, the clergy caste is maintained. In this formula, or theory, the military chief is also a transitory representative of the divine and receives such power when consecrated and crowned by the clergy. The chief thus becomes a monarch by divine right. As time goes by, people begin to doubt this divine right; they realize this pretense right is a scheme to keep them obedient, since without obedience proprietors cannot exploit at ease. So they revolt. And the proprietors, who have never believed in divine 37
right, look for another way to fool the people. The one found in the beginning of the XIX century was the elections. According to this doctrine, people should not let themselves be ruled by a monarch. They should rather rule themselves. However, since it is impossible to have the entire country’s population gathered in the parliament in order to solve matters or manage collectively, it is necessary to choose a number of representatives and delegate vast powers to them, so they can speak and solve in their place. It happens, however, that through compression, bribery, and threats – that are extremely easy for proprietors and extremely difficult for the non-proprietors – the so-called people’s representatives are always representatives of the proprietors, by them financed in order to defend their interests. Such regime is called democracy or people’s government. American and European nations have adopted the democratic regime. Since the people have always suffered from disorders, discomfort, and social calamity, they now start to become aware, especially through anarchist propaganda, of this painful truth: democracy is another scheme perpetrated by proprietors onto the working class. In order to defend elections and carry on with the democratic regime, they claim that frustration comes when the elections are not thoroughly secret or because citizens refrained from their right to vote. They take measures that become more and more strict in order to make the vote very secret and compulsory. This, however, was not enough. They have extended the compulsory vote to women after the European war. Since social disgrace does not derive from the lack of elections but rather from the property regime and from the competition fury, maximizing the reach of the election hasn’t been of much help. It all goes on as before, with the same disasters, the same crises that cause suffering to people. 28 – Evils in voting – For those in favor of universal elections, 38
voting has the following virtues: a – vote is the voter’s free delegation of his or her will to individuals who qualify as able to perform political tasks in their behalf; b – makes political parties appear in the country, with clear political programs. These parties supervise each other’s acts preventing administrative scandals by reporting those responsible for them, etc. To that, we reply: a – votes are seldom free because 1st – they are not conscious since most of the population is not aware of the national problems, which are always complex and too many. They end up voting on a candidate not because of his competence, but because of campaigns, advertisement, party affiliations, money, or even friendship; 2nd – voting creates parties, and parties come with a double inconvenience: they make people forget their capital problems of collective interest, and engage them for years and years in small internal party quarrels and electoral disputes. The party can only hold itself through party’s discipline, which determines that every citizen in the party has to follow and accept without protest the leaders’ or the board of directors’ decision. This board is always formed by members of the proprietors class; 3rd – the vote, being such an illusion, distracts the non-proprietors and gives them false hope, keeping them from searching the exact solution to social problem in other doctrines, which are always contrary to the proprietors; 4th – the vote creates the professional politician. Finally, if only we consider that proprietors, professional politicians, and exploiters of people muster the same people to vote, and present voting as the key to social problem, how suspicious is it? After all, the landowners wouldn’t renounce their privileges on their own will. 29 – The professional politician – The professional politician deserves special scrutiny as much as the creation of the vote, that is, of the representative system. He is one of the 39
greatest enemies of the proletariat. Such lords premiere as agents of important politicians or of influential proprietors. To rise in the concept of these bosses, they subject themselves to major compromises and frequently lower themselves to banditism and crime. Starting as canvassers, if they have some education they become candidates, supported by their boss. They run for city councilors, then state deputies. If the political slyness helps, they become federal deputies, senators, governors, and ministers. To conquer electors, they start to provide services to them, that is, to exchange favors, get dismissals, nominations, and concessions from local, state, or federal administration that one would not legally get. Thus they forge a more or less vast group of individuals tied by these suspicious bonds. In exchange for such fineries, they always give them their votes in the elections. This is how in general votes represent petty interests and indirect payments to indecent services. Never, or very rarely, a vote stands for sincere and reflected opinion. The result: professional politicians, directors, and campaign strategists set up a wide election machine to guarantee parliament control to them and their bosses, the people with money. In reality, they become the only true electors. They are the frontline and the figurehead for the proprietors. So, they are prime enemies, yet gentle, of the non-proprietors, the proletariat. 30 – Compulsory vote – As we have seen, if voting is evil for workers, who are slaved by the wealthy, then making it compulsory is worse of an evil. The maximum interest of the proletariat is to be freed from the politicians, to escape politics, to expel these vote-hunters from their associations, these professional deceivers whose main activity is to mislead the poor with their vain promises of improvement. Compulsory vote is the means suggested by cunning 40
politicians to land proprietors, to force workers and free men to their own tutelage. The habit of voting is vicious to workers and shifts their attention and activity from social problems and immediate demands. This has been going on in Europe, where great masses of proletarians organized in parties blindly obey this or that boss and become unable to think for themselves, or to study the reasons for their misery. The fundamental sentence in the struggle against the exploiters of work is this: workers’ emancipation shall be forged by the workers themselves. Therefore, they shall not trust their liberation to other people’s arms, especially not of their oppressors’. For a worker, to vote is a crime. Against compulsory vote they should start an efficient protest by practicing the voting strike. V 31 – The military aspect – The most immediate resource of proprietors against non-proprietors is brutality, organized violence. That is what is called to protect the order. To them, order means no complaint. They allow certain superficial complaint that will not disturb or challenge their methodical despoliation. If this despoliation impoverishes the masses in such way that life becomes unbearable, severe conflicts, riots, and revolution arise. To suffocate them the State recruits, availing itself of the ignorance and misery of the proletariat. The State gathers a sufficient number of soldiers, pays them a salary, puts them in uniforms, and trusts them with extremely refined weapons. That is because the State protects itself by applying harsh punishments and strict discipline. Therefore, it is the actual proletarians allured in the police, army, and navy, who hold up the rich against the poor. If one day workers would come to this realization, they would never enlist themselves as soldiers. Also, if soldiers would 41
realize the scope of their betrayal against their own brothers in misery, they would drop their weapons or turn them against the rich and the government. 32 – Discipline – To acquire this bestial and profoundly irrational passiveness from the soldiers, the State employs special processes to create in these former men a slave mentality with the automatism of a deadly weapon. This set of processes is called discipline. Through military training, the soldiers get used to being servile to command. They are ordered to stand in line, to turn around, to present arms, to stand to attention, to march. Perfect mechanical movement regularity is demanded of them. They are dressed in ostentatious uniforms with leggings, baldric, waistband, and cap. They are different than the others; they are a special class, non-workers, and non-people. The military organize a rank scale, with increasing payroll and increasing authority, turning malice into career and addicting individuals into giving orders and being superior. They signal supremacy with stripes, straps, and embroideries, which have a strict table of pragmatics and precedences. This is eye candy to fool the naïve. However, it would be worthless if it were not for the culture of morality carefully prepared for the purpose of defense. This culture is based on obedience. The soldier must strictly obey his superior. In order to achieve it, the soldiers are infused with constant reprimands, warnings, speeches, and the notion of military Honor. The defense of the motherland is pointed out as an ultimate goal, a noble ideal, a glorious mission. The natural sentiment of patriotism is converted by the State into a psychological obedience element for selfish purposes, such as to protect order or to violently and brutally repress the hungry and unfortunate. The police are called for any minor signal of strike and, if they are not enough, the army is also 42
called in. This army, designed to protect the motherland from external enemies, becomes the slave master to beat people up and force them to work with their mouths shut. Through discipline, soldiers have no opinion. They cannot judge nor discuss the acts of their superiors. They have to attend to their command with no right to measure fairness or injustice. This is how they often commit monstrous crimes, with stupidity and without consciousness, because discipline has removed all remains of moral independence from their spirits. 33 – Some examples – 1st: In the last years of monarchy, the imperial government attended the slave proprietors’ complaints and commanded the army to retrieve the black people who had escaped the farms. Gathering the Military Club, the high ranks officials, who were already very inclined towards the Republic, declared that the army had been created to defend the land and not to capture slaves. This refuse was an act of indiscipline but it became renowned in the history of Brazil for having being noble and humane. However, had the undersigned generals and colonels obeyed to the imperial commands, out of discipline, the soldiers would have invaded the woods, just like the police used to do, and would have lead the captured black people back to their torturer masters. 2nd: The civil war of Canudos was a rebellion of few, barely armed, ignorant, and fanatical backland people. Any moderately reasonable government would have tried to talk them out of it with tenderness, giving them instruction, opening schools, sending them teachers, reasoning with them by listening to their complaints and promoting plausible agreements. Instead, the government of Prudente de Morais sent over a troop of ten thousand soldiers to attack the rebels with machine guns and cannons. The merciless general Artur Oscar had the last prisoners beheaded. Similar savagery was practiced by soldiers who generally came from this very same 43
backland. They have, therefore, killed their own people, maybe even their relatives. 3rd: In 1910, the marines rebelled against the whipping regime on board. That was a severe act of indiscipline that has forever freed them from the whip. The frightened government attended to their demands and signed the deal, which included an absolute amnesty. In spite of it, the instigators of movement were soon arrested and taken aboard the steamship Satélite, where they were shot to death with no mercy. Others were murdered in the dungeons of the island of Cobras, suffocated with calcium oxide according to the order of commander Marquez da Rocha. These murders and executions were practiced by soldiers and marines in the name of discipline. Had they not, they would be considered undisciplined criminals and would probably also be executed. The Anarchists protest against such discipline, which was invented by landowners to keep workers to a leash. They incite soldiers to rebel against infamous commands from their superiors, to toss their weapons, uniforms, and ranks in the garbage. To be subject to discipline is to be a slave. 34 – The juridical aspect – The ideal of the riches and proprietors would naturally be to impose their will, plain and simple, onto the workers. This is actually what ancient kings, slave masters, and conquerors used to do. The will of the strong is always law for the weak. This will, however, has not always remained unpunished. Since the tendency of authority is to abuse, and abuse provokes desperate revolts, proprietors have, out of fear, submitted to some demands throughout the centuries, thus giving in and accepting certain impositions. One of them is, for example, when the barons rebelled against King John Lackland. They forced him to accept the Magna Carta and to make no 44
decision without their consent in a Parliament gathering. Another victory was that of the French people, who brought down the royalty, the clergy, and the aristocracy in 1789. They created a popular assembly and wrote the Declaration of Rights, the fundamental principles that rulers and proprietors should respect. 35 – The law – These principles imposed by the non-proprietors, or chunks of freedom conquered by force, are called the law. Nevertheless, there are other sources of law. We have seen that one of the functions of the State is to regulate competition. These regulations are made through small declarations, called clauses, bundled in a code or distributed through regulations, by-laws, statutes, etc. Then, clearly there are two kinds of law: the ones conquered by the small against the strong and those declared by the strong against the small, so to warrant their exploitation. 36 – Struggle against the law – Whenever they can, proprietors dodge from the laws imposed by non-proprietors or fabricate oppressive laws in their parliaments, against which non-proprietors cry out in the press or in public squares. Even when that does not happen, with the progress of libertarian ideas and now with anarchist propaganda, people feel that all laws are trammels, means of exploitation, and an obstacle for the free understanding of men. That is why, when one of these oppressive laws are voided, people invest against the next law, criticizing, and revealing the absurd of its trickery. We can notice, then, that this struggle will persist for as long as the parasitic majority dominates the land. For these reasons, Anarchists say that the only good laws are the ones that extinguish other laws. For example: the act of May 13th extinguished all laws that regulated slavery in Brazil. 45
As we will see, instead of law, that is, instead of imposition, anarchist organizations have a system of free agreements settled by collective councils. 37 – The parliaments – In the Middle Age, the aristocrats, that is, rich proprietors – marquises, barons, counts, dukes, etc. – rebelled against the king’s despotism and forced them to consult them on important matters of the kingdom. These were called courts. Later, the rich who were not noble but rather industrials, merchants, lawyers and legal workers, etc., demanded their kings to attend to their will and deliberation. Their assemblies were called parliaments. Once the kings have lost their thrones and the aristocracy has lost its titles, there came the democratic regime. People divided in electoral colleges started to elect their representatives to be next to the emperor, king, or president of the republic, according to the adopted type of government. The assembly of these representatives is a parliament, or also, a congress. The function of this parliament is to make the laws; but, in fact, who makes the laws are the great proprietors or the protégés they have placed in the parliaments. During the parliament sessions, they discuss party quarrel, small village and province matters, electoral ambitions, so on and so forth. Nobody is concerned with the pressing national problems. They all come prepared or ordered by the money lords, those who give the orders. If by any chance some new deputy not yet tailored into politics malice decides to go against the standards and acquires independent features, this person will soon become anathema to the powerful and will be easily cast off in the next elections. This is why all modern parliaments are subservient and are far from representing the people. Rather they represent the exploiters of people. Only very highly quoted electors profit from the parliaments, but their profits are illicit advantages that had been administratively obtained by a 46
senator or deputy. They may be undeserved promotions, buying time towards retirement, unfair concessions, and so on. Parliaments have been demoralized everywhere. Nobody trusts them and they should be intensely fought for their worthlessness. 38 – Legal right – Theories and laws that protect property and regulate competition are called legal rights. Just to bring some light on how much law contributes and supports the exploiter bourgeoisie in oppressing the proletariat, let us recall that the Romans, known for being conquerors par excellence, are those who have actually constituted and developed the legal system. Still today there are no lawyer’s reasoning or judge’s sentences that are not filled with Latin citations. In law school, it is compulsory and essential to study Roman law. 39 – Law superstition – Laws would not matter, however, if people would realize that these are mere formulas imposed by the proprietors upon the non-proprietors for the security of their properties and possessions. Insomuch that proprietors constantly disrespect these laws whenever the disrespect is in their favor and against small or non-proprietors. For example: law determines that mortgage interest rates are of a maximum 10%. But nobody lends to their clients at such an interest rate: they demand 12%, 18%, 24%, etc. Nevertheless, in order to keep people ignorantly obeying the law and to prevent revolutions, the State teaches the respect for the law all around, in schools, in barracks, and in churches. Thus, it creates a superstition that penetrates the soul and makes people stupid. They become used to consider law a sacred intangible thing. They do not even conceive the possibility of suppressing it in a social regime without property. Being Anarchy this regime, laws will disappear.
40 – Lawyers and legal workers – In the ferocious fight of crude ambitions that commercial competition is, issues, protests, quarrels, crimes, fraud attempts, murders, robberies, disputes, disasters, new business, etc., appear daily. To regulate it all, to solve disputes, to apply the many codes and laws to each case, the State supports an expensive group of people with profound knowledge of law, the magistrates or judges. Their decisions are imposed upon contenders and society with armed force. These magistrates are the law interpreters. Since ambitions are stubborn and creative, there are always ways to sway, to escape, to suggest subtleties, to invent fraud, to cheat. Each of the contestants chooses a lawyer to defend their interests, a person who also has a bachelor degree in law. Lawyers discuss in front of judges and take the petition or process until the final sentence. Each one of them must present to the judge all evidence of their assertions. These evidences are collected in a voluminous mass called autos. To produce evidence of property, of ownership, and of all individual’s rights, there must be a place where special books with proprietors’ titles are registered. These places are called notary’s offices, from the Latin, notum, which means mark. If a person buys a house, for instance, this person has to register the purchase at a notary’s office, where the notary will issue a paper documenting the transaction. In the same way, everything else is registered: births, marriages, deaths, nominations, contracts, etc. In a lawsuit, the prosecutors get from these notary offices the certificates needed as evidence for their allegations. This whole institution is called the court of law, which can be either civil or criminal. Later, we will show how this oppression machine – formed by judges, lawyers, notaries, clerks, etc. – demands enormous and unproductive expenses. 48
VI 41 – The pedagogical aspect – It is understood that it is very important to proprietors to keep the citizens, especially the laborers, in a particular mentality. This allows them to accept without revolt and to defend with conviction the current social regime. This is why the State assumes the function of a pedagogue, especially for the primary classes, that is, the people. Another reason for this function is the necessity of forming well-instructed workers for the complicated modern industry. Although biased and surveilled, education has been the true weapon against capitalism because it facilitates libertarian propaganda. The proletarians can read anarchist leaflets, books, and papers to understand the real facts of life and that salariat is, actually, slavery. 42 – Idolatrous education – The key of this bourgeois education is prejudice. The State uses the same process applied to soldiers. It records certain capital ideas into the brains of children, teenagers, and adults through repetition, without demonstrations, or with false arguments. These ideas in favor of the bourgeois regime, these prejudices, gradually become true undisputable dogmas, or perfect subjective idols. The political idolatry is, in fact, a traditional process of deforming human mentality in favor of capitalism. This idolatry inserts, into the enfant spirit, the so-called civil duties: obedience to institutions, obedience to laws, obedience to hierarchical superiors, acknowledgment of private property, intangibility of acquired rights, love to the motherland up to the sacrifice of life, the worship flag, the vote, the need of parliaments, courthouses, army, etc. 43 – The schoolmaster – The enfant education is of real importance to the bourgeois State. It is in this first educational 49
stage that children accept everything without reasoning. The State has brought enfant education to its responsibility, thus expending outrageous sums to provide free primary education. However, it would be dangerous for the capitalist bourgeoisie to hand over their children to adversaries of capitalism, or to those contrary to the biased and unilateral pedagogy of the State. Therefore, the State must confide the schools to masters fabricated by them, shaped in such way that they are trusted to inculcate into the children the ideas in favor of capitalist dominance. This official inculcator is the schoolmaster, the primary school teacher. It is this person who inputs the moral code that was forged by the proprietors to keep the unconscious obedience of the producing people. VII 44 – The religious aspect – In ancient times, certain gifted individuals who were observers of nature and systematized phenomena managed to impose themselves to be worshiped and respected by their tribe because of their knowledge in healing, preventing, explaining, and mystifying. They were the indigenous shamans, or the Numa Pompilius king of Rome, or the wizards in all countries. Gradually they began to assume the lead, and soon they made people believe that they communicated with God, the Creator of the universe and of human beings, through an especial privilege. They became transmitters of the divine will, making their advice and demands worth of obedience and execution. Finally, they constituted a sacerdotal caste, that is, a privileged ruling class with the right to decide on life and death, and to whom material and social benefits were reserved at no labor’s cost aside from ensuring religion. In the Bible, the sacred book of Hebrews, one can first read the story 50
of Abraham and Moses, and later about the domination of the priests coming from their tribe. From this reading, one can also verify how priests exploited the believers through the deceitful invention of sacrifice, and how they ripped them off for cash and goods. 45 – Religion – Religion is the process of subjugating people by turning them into believers of a being that is omnipotent, invisible, and owner of the universe who punishes evil and rewards good. The evil ones are, naturally, those that divert from the norms attributed to divinity and dictated by priests. The good ones are those who conform to the norms without protest. In Western Europe and America, the dominant religion is the Christian, whether Roman, Protestant, or Orthodox. It teaches that only one true god exists, the god Javeh or Jehovah of the ancient Hebrew, whose son Jesus Christ, born of a virgin and dead on a cross, instituted a brotherhood of priests called Church. The three aforementioned branches of this Church diverge widely, particularly the Roman and the Protestant that excommunicate and hate each other. Lead by the Pope of Rome, the Roman priests have the duty to save human souls, which leave their bodies at death, from eternal punishments inflicted in a place of torture: hell. To be saved from such torture, people must, above all, observe the commandments of the laws of God and of the dogmas of Church. These commandments and dogmas lead people to respect property and to obey their superiors, who are considered to be representatives of God on Earth. A place where we can best see this protective character of capitalism is in the scandalous exceptions made by the Church to the most adamant of commandments. One example is the commandment that decisively demands: Thou shall not kill. However, if workers rebel against their bosses, if citizens revolt against the government, or if a nation declares war against another – as unfair as it may be – the police are allowed to kill, and 51
the troops are allowed to slaughter themselves, free of sin. In many cases, the Church blesses officials’ swords at their temples as well as troops marching into battle. Church itself has had troops to defend its land and property. Furthermore, the Church is essentially capitalist, and its pope, cardinals, archbishops, canons, monsignors, vicars, priests, and sacristans live parasitically of contributions from their congregation, without doing any useful work. Such religion is enemy of workers because it holds their mentality back. This religion teaches them lies and absurdities, by which a portion of their resources, already thin, are drained. 46 – The State and the Church – We have seen that, in ancient times, priests used to dominate. This domination is called theocracy. Ancient people would battle against each other just like modern people do, for economical reasons, to depredate, to impose taxes, to enslave populations, steal women, etc. The priests would declare the wars or would allow them to happen, but would not fight them: the military would. They began to notice the exploitation from the priests and realized that this communication with the divine was phony. As leaders of the armed people, the military figured out how to move the priests away, to usurp their command, and, consequently, their proceedings. Thus explaining the historical dissension between the clerical and the military castes. Nonetheless, the military clearly pondered that the clerical caste had powerful means to keep people exploited by obedience. Instead of annihilating the clerical caste, the military maintained it. They both remained draining the people. The State was then officially handed over to the military, kings, marshals, dukes, etc., but the State officially recognized the Church, supporting its falsehoods, adopting them, and demanding that they be taught in schools; thus the alliance of the State with the Church. Remarkable examples are: a – In 1801, a concordat was 52
signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and the pope Pio VII, that is, an agreement between the parasite classes, to which the archbishops and the bishops would receive, as true employees of the State, 15 thousand francs in annual salaries designated by the future emperor and confirmed by the pope; b – Recently, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, a declared and scandalous atheist and usurper of power, signed the shameful Lateran Treaty with the pope Pio XI, in which the Church meanly sold itself to the tyrant for 750 millions of Italian liras in cash in addition to one billion liras with annual interest of 5% and numerous privileges. 47 – The secular State – After the French revolution, almost all modern nations decided to officially separate the two castes because of the many existing religions in one same country. The State would not recognize any religion, although it respected them all. The State became secular. In schools, no particular faith would be taught. The priests would be in charge of that in their temples. Nonetheless, this secular State does not signify lack of State’s interest in the religious morphine. The secular State does not spare the priests’ contribution in the service of slaving society by fearing hell. It only ceases to recognize one religion over the others. In sum, it implicitly recognizes them all, what evermore assures the unanimous collaboration of the clerical caste. Therefore, the religious aspect remains present with all its efficiency in modern State. 48 – Final result – Thus, people find themselves subject to a double stupefying idolatry: the civic, directed by the State, and the religious, directed by Church or churches. The great industrialists comprehend the advantages of this intensive idolatry, so they promote all sorts of movement with such tendencies. Let us see for example the good and old 53
scouting and its extensions around the world. It is applauded, cheered, and sustained by the capitalists. The scouts’ creed is an essentially capitalist program with all the necessary idolatrous ideas to defend the bourgeois regime. As counterevidence, let us examine what the State does to individuals who try to oppose to such stupefying methods. Francisco Ferrer planned to found a number of rationalist schools in Spain, a country mastered by the Jesuits. The purpose of those schools was to teach scientific truths to children, so they suppressed from their programs all the lies and prejudice the State carefully suggested. Ferrer was imprisoned, sued, vilely condemned to death against all the rules of law, and executed at the Montjuïc fortress, in October 13, 1909. VIII 49 – Evils of the capitalist regime – When dealing with the mercantile competition, we allude with an observation to the sum of social disgrace that is consequent to it. We will delve into this capital issue in more detail. Let us remember that any waste of useful energy is negative and all good use of energy is positive. Waste of energy can happen in seven ways: a – non-utilization, when this utilization is possible and necessary; b – through application of labor in badly projected works, that have to be undone to be redone; c – through the lack of productivity of badly organized services; d – through employment of arms in useless tasks; e – through destructive services; f – through inactivity or idleness; g – through commercial crises. Do not confuse the waste created by human will with inevitable loss caused by accident or by the nature of certain tasks. We will see that the capitalist regime is characterized by colossal waste of human energies.
50 – Waste –I have spoken earlier of a French economist about the unlikely waste due to bad use of Rhône’s waterfalls. Similar facts can be found all around. Let’s see a few examples of our own. The Estrada de Ferro Central do Brasil (Brazil’s Central Railroad) could be running on electricity for a long time. However, many waterfalls that are suited for such task are left unexploited. President Epitácio Pessoa obtained a special loan for this purpose. This fund was criminally diverted by this President, who was never punished for it. The coerced purchase of very expensive English coal is a tremendous waste. Systemic plantation of hevea brasiliensis in the states of Amazonas or Pará would spare colossal amounts of labor in distant rubber tree areas, which includes cutting the stem and preparing the rubber. The rubber tappers are against such plantations because they threaten the value of their lands; but the U.S. citizens from Ford Company are now coming to realize this elementary notion of economy. During the government of Campos Sales 2 , an English company received the concession to build the Jaraguá harbor in Maceió city. A contract was signed, but the politicians from the neighbor state of Pernambuco led the federal government to terminate it. They feared competition for being the harbor of their capital, Recife, a bad one. So the country had to pay two thousand contos de réis 3 in indemnification fines! 51 – Work badly done needs to be redone – This rarely occurs in private companies, but it is very common in state services, be it directly or through contract. If not rigorously supervised, the construction company employs material of lower quality than declared. So all it takes for a poorly finished work is a corruptible supervisor. A remarkable example is the work against the draughts in the northeast Brazil. Precious energies were there 55
consumed and everything had to be redone. Another example is the railroad from São Luís to Caxias, in Maranhão state. The initial kilometers are being done and redone over and over. In private companies, expansion works are very frequent. The company starts with little capital and small installations. Later, it progresses and the installations are remodeled into bigger ones. In the anarchist regime, the maximum capacity would be calculated at once, thus avoiding such jeopardizing re-doings. 52 – Badly organized services – Leroy-Beaulieu wrote a precious book, “The modern State and its functions”, where he demonstrates, through indisputable arguments and numerous examples, the State’s industrial and commercial incapacity. All services run by the State are badly organized and insufficient. The first and unavoidable motive for the lack of organization is the excess of personnel and the short work hours. Personnel are constantly increased through the efforts of professional politicians, since they smell guaranteed voters amongst their protégées. Each political leader strives to get as many jobs offers as possible so to satisfy the infinite crowd that asks for positions. Naturally, in order to find them all a job, the shifts are divided in such manner that in public offices the actual working hours are four or less, being two for lunch and coffee. Public service is one of the saddest aspects of social parasitism because it makes evident the physical and mental depression of its victims. Everyday we see companies going bankrupt in bombastic ways, sometimes even reaching colossal proportions. They fail because of bad service organization, of basic project flaws, installation mistakes, or technician’s neglect. All this waste caused by vicious organization has an essential point, which is an ordinary and unavoidable fact in capitalist regime: small factories or plants share the same area and explore the same service, instead of uniting in maximum 56
capacity. In Rio de Janeiro, in Juiz de Fora, in Alagoas, etc., there are several small cotton textile mills that evidently waste energies. This waste will overcharge the price of products and overload the consumer mass. Everyone knows that the Brazilian Lloyd is not exclusively profitable because of its precarious organization, with margin for thefts and useless expenses. 53 – Useless services – Capitalist organization is specially characterized by a series of unproductive and perfectly dispensable services, to be specific, those that defend property and regulate competition. All we have to do is observe the seven aspects with what we consider the State and list its parasite institutions, thus adding to the general budget the fabulous amount they all cost to us. The parliaments and congresses are, for example, extremely expensive. Not only because of the payment for senators and deputies, but also for the huge crowds of employees: secretary directors, chiefs of departments, registrars, amanuensis, office boys, servants, archivists, court reporters, stenographers, etc. All these people occupy themselves with fabricating laws and discussing politics. The judiciary apparel also consumes a large share in expenses. If we combine the Supreme Court, the federal courts, the state courts, the municipal judges, along with all the corresponding public servants plus notaries, copyists, clerks, registrars, bailiff and the employees of notary's office, pretorships, registries, not to mention the lawyers, solicitors, shysters, and their employees. Then, let us count all the tax collectors of this huge country, both from federal and state spheres, and all their employees. Tax supervisors, the numerous customhouse personnel, dispatchers, forwarders, clerks, guards, plus night watchers on towboats, barges, and sloops. 57
To defend property, it is required above all a good police. Each state in Brazil has become a true State, with its own military and civil police. The military constitutes itself through small exercises in foreign missions, perfected weaponry, war craft and more and more expensive penitentiaries. The civil police’s secret service is a source of squandering. With a budget conferred by the Chief of Police, such service has been enriching many notable characters. It affords the infamous internal espionage force, which employs a lot of useful personnel who could be working in factories. Moreover, everyone knows what a miserable gang of thieves, swindlers, and extorters lays underneath the titles of police service. Now we add the Mint, the National Treasury, the Court of Auditors, the official and private banks with their branches spread all over. Apart from the State’s useless services, there is another one that also absorbs millions of parasite arms: the commerce. The role of commerce is to approximate the producer to the consumer. We will see that in the anarchist regime this happens directly, through the service of distribution. In capitalist regime, it takes several intermediaries, who make a living exclusively out of this. The product that comes from the farm, mill, plant, or factory, goes to the hands of an exporter, who then resells it to an importer, who charges at least a 20% commission. The importer sells it as wholesale to retailers, also charging 20%. The retailer then sells to customers adding the same fee. In such way that, when the product reaches the customers, its price had been increased in at least 80%, not to mention expenses with transportation and so on. In this ‘so on’, we will include one of the most expensive capitalist institutions, a true vortex of enormous energies: advertisement. In rampant commercial competition, each producer, industry, and merchant needs to yell, to shout, to lie, to shove products down people’s throats, to list all the 58
product’s virtues and qualities, and to present them with tons of charm and appeal. It’s all done through packaging, display, and advertising. They invent beautiful and elegant cans and wrappings, fine and complex flasks, they pay painters and designers, they occupy more and more pages of newspapers, magazines, and book covers. Their posters are on trams, trains, and scaffolds, even on public toilets. There are luminous billboards, airplanes, an infernal amount of proclaiming people, scattered all around, which is extremely expensive. There are agencies and companies exclusively in charge of advertising, but in the end, who pays for all expenses is always the consumer, the proletarian, the only real producer of wealth. 54 – Destructive services – They are the services of external defense. Private property and competition generate international ambitions, commercial rivalry, imperialistic need for colonies and consumer markets. This fight for pecuniary interests incites wars. Nations, actually the capitalist groups of each nation, must always be prepared for a war. Therefore, all navy and permanent army services are to strictly serve a tremendous upcoming destruction. This is an incomparable waste of energy. Energy consumed in the World War of 1914 would, if applied to useful purpose, be enough to bring decades of comfort to all European working families, to create great mills and plants, to multiply all production on earth by the hundreds. Instead, more than 12 million useful persons died and a fabulous amount of money was spent. It is estimated that France alone wasted enough thousand-franc bills to make a pile 30 kilometers high. The admirable and well-organized German industry was almost destroyed, especially in Silesia. The insignificant portion left intact loses its old efficiency day after day. 55 – Inactivity and halt – Inactivity refers to machines while halt refers to machines and arms. Rural proprietors set up their 59
farms and mills with a lot of machinery, powerful ploughs, backhoes, destoners, broadcast spreaders, harvesters, trucks, sorters, mills, hulling machines, etc., etc. This machinery spares arms, intensifies production, improves plantations, and transforms dry areas into gardens and orchards. Lands of small tillers, which are worked with hoe, pick, and oxcart, surround these farms. They are cleared with levers, harvested with scythe; they are poorly cultivated and badly fertilized. Naturally, they produce little. Many soppy or sandy areas are left unused. After completing their special service, the great proprietors bring all their precious machines back to their barns and close the doors of the mills, carefully saving their work tools. If only those machines were transferred to the neighboring lands, we could see other agricultural miracles taking place. There could also be abundance, easy work, increased efficiency, and comfort in those lands. In the private property regime, such inactivity is considered absolutely natural. In the anarchist regime, these machines do not belong to Sancho or Martinho but rather to the commons, or to a group of commons, or to a group of cities. They would be transferred to where they were needed, and would be run by technicians and specialists. It often happens that competing farmers or industrialists feel so eager to grow their businesses that they produce much more than the market requires. There is overproduction. Products get accumulated in warehouses, barns, or storages. In panic, farmers and industrialists slow down or halt production, firing tillers and workers. Production is suspended for weeks, even for years. Tillers and workers may go bankrupt, and hundreds or thousands of arms become idle, with a great loss for humanity. Other times, proprietorsâ€™ greed or financial hurdles sustain continuous struggle between them and their employees. Usually because of incompetence, extravagance, or the always disloyal competition. So there is a strike, partial or general, and 60
hundreds, thousands, or even millions of workers cross their arms for weeks and months. We understand that the halt of production is harmful to the collectiveness since they result in energy loss. 56 – Crisis – Competition generates not only the halt of production but also the so known and studied national and international crisis, which extremely disturbs markets and results in great losses. Such crisis can be exclusively commercial, they can reflect political crisis that sometimes escalate to revolution and civil war, and they can also come from loan sharking bids, one of these dark episodes of bankers combat, or a banker’s hurl upon small proprietors. The strictly commercial crises are a consequence of the downside of competition, or of the pushing game of industries and commerce in several countries. The battle between bankers impoverishes the people. They result in people’s revolutions. This link is wonderfully studied in the works of Auguste Chirac. Behind the façade of an international bank there is always an international usurer. The author shows us that one of the constant functions of big international banks is to prepare, for years, a trawl of the small proprietors’ savings, which come from fifteen, twenty, or thirty years of hard work. Savers are fascinated by the fantastic dividends of the companies launched by these banks and their many branches. To increase their monthly income, they deposit their possessions and earn little profit each semester. Then, one day, due to unexplainable chemistry, a bank or one of the many banks of a consortium makes a call and the enormous deposit of small proprietors is devoured. After the war, two banks crashed in Brazil, the Banca di Sconto Italiana and the Banque Française pour le Brésil. It caused serious losses to Brazilians. They crashed in such a 61
fraudulent manner that the larceny became evident. The mentioned author Chirac proves with his studies that all revolutions in France were motivated by people’s exasperation, which comes from social misery after one of these banksters’ trawls. It all ends in an incalculable loss of human energy. 57 – Family – Anthropologists constantly repeat that family is the core of society. They conclude that society is designed according to how family is constituted. Social perfection, so they say, correlates to family perfection. These statements are erroneous. Society is not what family is, quite the opposite, it is the family that follows what society or social organization is. Since the current social organization results from a fundamental injustice, as we have seen, and therefore resents from the basic vice that is private property, so family organization is bound to also resent from this injustice. In effect, we will see the tremendous evils that corrupt family and we will demonstrate that they are all consequences of capitalism. 58 – The child-tax – The first lamentable consequence of private property, we have seen, is the salary system, namely, the distribution of goods through the assessment of work produced. This evaluation is part qualitative and part quantitative. Quantity is measured by hours. These many hours are worth that much money. Quality is determined by profession. One profession earns more than another for the same amount of time. So, a clerk may earn in one hour a hundred times more than a construction worker. In a same profession, qualification is measured by degrees, in armies, by the ranks. Therefore, each worker of a same class earns a bigger or smaller amount of money, with little variation in time. A construction worker makes Cr$12,00 4 a day. He will probably work 62
his whole life for the same Cr$12,00. Certain variations are, as it is in Brazil, due to exchange rates rather than salary value. In 1890, at a rate of one to one, Cr$2,00 were exactly equivalent to today’s Cr10,00, at a rate of five to one. In such manner that a construction worker who earned Cr$2,00 in 1890 earned as much as another who earns Cr$10,00 in 1925. It is not that salaries are rising. It is rather paper money that is descending in value. Workers’ pay is always, everywhere, the minimal needed for their subsistence, by virtue of the greed of their employers. Once married, every child born to the family is far from a gift. It is a tax. Society overloads the worker’s pay with expensive taxes in the form of a child, for the parents must deprive themselves from necessities for the supervening expenses of food, clothing, doctors, pharmacy, education, etc. 59 – Birth control – In countries with little competition, like Brazil where life flows easier and greater is the imprudence, the immediate effects of these facts do not become evident at once. But they are rather conspicuous in countries with ferocious industrial battle. The first effect is birth control. The couple foresees difficulties or material inability in raising many children, or even only one, and adopts artificial methods to prevent conception. Or, if despite such methods the woman still conceives, she seeks to terminate pregnancy. Misery-related infanticide cases are not rare either. Amongst the most advanced workers, a womb strike has been spreading around. It consists of a systematic infertility of proletarian couples so they will not bring new slaves into this world. These conscientious workers recognize what a crime it is to give life to beings who are fatally doomed to be servants of capital, to be victims of competition. In this manner, fertility is punished with heavy taxation in capitalist regime and hence celibacy is a status of privilege. 63
60 – Marriage complications – For the non-proprietors, the non-parasites, the understanding of the idea of having children to support, means permanent taxes to pay, is not an encouraging one. They run away from marriage, they avoid it as much as they can, or they eventually get married in precarious conditions that will turn into marital life martyrdom. One can claim that life does get bitter due to the obligations concerning subsistence of sons and daughters, especially for the little and medium bourgeoisie and even more for the proletariat. 61 – Women and child labor – Imprudence is, in this case, absolutely fatal to progeny. Since affording for the progeny is beyond the father’s monetary resources, the mother is compelled to help, to get employment, to consume herself to increase the income of their household. It is useless to insist here on the inconveniences, recognized by all hygienists and economists, of the women labor that extends from pregnancy until after childbirth. But the children of proletarian households barely reach the age of seven, eight, or ten, and their parents have them employed. Therefore, we have weak and incapable beings because of the continuous and heavy industrial labor. They are slaves to the machines, to the office, to the plantation. Their bodies become feeble and they often die prematurely. All doctors and sociologists speak of this evil. For their blindness, they unfortunately consider it inevitable. Indeed, capitalist sociology has no solution for such a disgrace. In anarchist regime, children are not under the responsibility of their parents but rather of the commune. They are not family but social human energies. It is the society’s duty not to waste those energies, to reinforce them, to spare them so that, in time, they will produce as much as possible. The reader will see how this is done in the second part.
62 – Forsaken Elders – One of the saddest phenomena of the bourgeois society is the amount of elderly workers seeking public charity after having worked for decades for the comfort of this cruel society. Workers weaken with the years, they start to hear complaints from their bosses, then they are assigned to fewer tasks and consequently their salary is reduced until the day of their dismissal. So we see, for instance, typists with a weak sight, whose composed lines diminish day after day. They feel physical and economic exhaustion until they handover their desk to a young replacement. Then starts a frantic search for an occupation according to their age as well as a progressive misery, in case their children, in-laws, or friends cannot provide them with support. The situation was so painful that homes for the forsaken old people were created everywhere, even though everyone acknowledges that such measure is insufficient and that these houses spend a lot of energy. More than the costs of the establishment itself, there is an entire personnel to pay for: doorman, cleaning ladies, cooks, stewards, nurses, charity sisters, etc. In anarchist society, these elders would remain with their families, earning as much as they need as workers whose capital, that is, the forty years of labor deserve interests. There would be no extra expenses since the whole community would take care of them, neither they would suffer the humiliation of being sent to an asylum. They would be gloriously dismissed from work. 63 – Physical and mental fatigue – The ruthless competition amongst the bourgeoisie and the usurer exploitation of the proletariat compel two thirds of men and women into superhuman efforts to make it in life. People that should normally work eight hours at most are forced to work ten, twelve, fourteen, even sixteen hours a day, in order to support themselves and their own. Such excess results in fatigue, the physical and mental overload, the nervous deteriorating, and the asthenia. Drugs are 65
impotent against it. And since rest is denied to workers, they are the greatest victims of fatigue. 64 – Consequences of the physical, mental, and moral development – The lack of resources in proletarian families is manifested in the deficient nutrition of all. In Brazil, particularly in the countryside, worker eats little and badly. The capitalist organization is full of paradoxes, here is another one: the one who works the least eats more abundantly. While the rich can eat a lot and well, the proletariat is forced to spend little thus purchasing groceries of the worst kind. It is pungent to see men and women working in mills and farms from six in the morning to six in the evening, having only one single meal reduced to a simple dry protein and manioc porridge. While the rich can go through the worst crisis without great suffering, the slightest economic trouble roughly pressures the proletarian masses and often generates true hunger. Since they are unable to buy medicine, or pay for doctors, dentists, and so on, laborers do not take care of themselves properly. They are subject to devastating diseases. It is impossible to gage the number of proletarian children killed by intestinal diseases as an effect of malnutrition, ignorance in the treatment, or of material impossibility for a doctor and a diet. The proletarian mothers have to go to the fields, to the factories, or engage in household tasks. So they either handover their children to people who are uninterested in them, or they abandon them in a room until they can return. The shortage of resources keeps workers living below acceptable conditions. In farms and mills, they live in straw huts; in the best cases, they live in mud or wattle huts without flooring or ceiling. In the city, the proletariat cannot afford expensive rent so they gather in groups and live in slums. Whole families share one single room as if they were canned in, twenty people breathing a volume of air intended for three or four. This heavily influences blood 66
de-oxygenation, physical misery, feebleness, and tuberculosis. The daycares, old people’s homes, proletariat houses, social centers, clinics, and all the ridiculous charitable and assistencialist palliatives are very insufficient to solve the problem. They merely witness the incapacity of the bourgeois social organization to address the problem of human welfare. It is evident that non-proprietors will not be well for as long as the material resources and wealth they produce for life are more and more concentrated in the hands of the proprietors due to progressive centralization. If there are no means to eat and live modestly, there are even less means for education. Only primary education is available to the proletariat, even in the best-organized urban centers, just enough to educate skillful workers that are able to acquire professional instruction. As for the women, they generally spend their entire lives in absolute ignorance. They are reduced to an animal state of work and procreation. Like beasts, they lose their humanity with the exhaustive labor of households and factories. Only recently, thanks to Anarchist or socialist propaganda, they begin to wake up and complain. The salary system gradually reduces workers to misery, to promiscuous housing, to prostration, and progressively also to the saddest moral humiliation. The legendary French novelist Émile Zola has emphasized such aspect in his admirable and thoroughly truthful novel Germinal. In it we see the proletarians being driven into gambling because of poverty, into alcoholism for not having enough coal, into sexual exploitation of young girls as a way to balance finances, and into language depravation. Such is the social condition imposed by misery. One of the most essential aspects of anarchy is the moral uplifting of humanity. With comfort, welfare, and safety for all, degradation is impossible. 65 – Prostitution – We call prostitution the sex in exchange for economic benefit. If a woman gives herself to one or more men 67
for mere physical desire, without remuneration, she could be an addict or a depraved, but not a prostitute. We also do not consider a prostitute someone who incidentally humiliates herself by giving in so to save her child or a dear one. To the contrary, this can be a heroic sacrifice. It is the case of the legend of Santa Clara, so delicately narrated by Anatole France in Etui de nacre. The woman who gives herself for money, to have what to live with, or for luxury, or ambition of power, this one is a prostitute. Maxime du Camp, French author who minutely studied the life of Paris, verified that the principal cause of prostitution is misery, the lack of resources to live, in an environment where luxury and the status of the rich seduces the young. The only way for poor girls to have cars, attend theatres, and wear silks is by selling their bodies. They take profit of their bodies, as tillers do with crops and lumberjacks with lumber. The wreckage of prostitution makes itself evident, especially in the courting of addiction and degradation. Men demand for lecherous prostitutes. To hold a clientele, prostitutes give in to their clientsâ€™ requests for orgies, exquisite unruliness, drinking, smoking, gambling, ether, cocaine, and morphine. Not to mention the so typical prostitution diseases, like gonorrhea and syphilis. The syphilis is, without any exaggeration, the scourge of society as it depresses and stifles the races with its tremendous power of contamination and its profound action in all organisms. Nevertheless, prostitution is only conceived in capitalist societies. It is a fatal consequence of the regime of private property, in which everything is obtained with money. Poor women need money so they take it from the bags of the rich by arousing their libido. The prostitute does not give herself out of sympathy, affection, or desire. In anarchic society where nothing is bought nor sold, where there is no money, neither rich nor poor, women only accept men on free will. Evermore, in anarchic societies, having intercourse is easy 68
because the community ensures children's lives. Also, the sexual needs of the singles cease to create a demand for prostitution, which is its main factor in current society. To avoid the burden of parenthood, many singles do not want or cannot marry, so they seek women who accept them. They see those poor women curved at work, tortured in penury. They offer them money. Gradually seduced, they give themselves to them once, twice, ten times, a hundred times. This same story is in hundreds of novels and dramas. It is the story of most intercourses. To those contrary to the argument that prostitution is not moved by misery but rather by a taste for depravation, we can easily reply with the simplest of observations: if it was like that, we would see rich women opening their doors and prostituting themselves for pleasure, without remuneration. Furthermore, rare are the depraved in the rich class. We can affirm with no mistake that 98% of the prostitutes come either from the proletarian class or from the miserable petty bourgeoisie, who are sometimes even more miserable than the plebs.
Notes on the translation: 1. The Encilhamento was an economic bubble, which lead Brazil to a financial crisis in the early 1890â€™s. 2. Campos Sales was President of Brazil from 1898 and 1902. 3. One million rĂŠis, literally "one count of rĂŠis", was the Brazilian currency at the time. 4. Cr$ is Cruzeiro, another former currency in Brazil.
I 66 – The essential problem – As we have seen, we face a realization and a problem. We realize that people suffer far more than they should, and they suffer for artificial reasons. Thus, the problem of the maximum happiness on Earth depends on the answer to this question: Is it possible to suppress these artificial things? However, since we attribute these things to an original, primitive, and fundamental cause: private property; our question boils down to verifying the suppression, or not, of this institution. Nevertheless, anarchism is the social doctrine of an organization of production, distribution, and consumption of wealth without property. This second part is going to be a concise thorough framework of this organization. Anarchists are convinced of the feasibility of their conception. To achieve it, they preach their doctrine and for that the bourgeoisie fiercely represses them. They are hanged, beheaded, and shot dead, and yet they are increasingly tenacious in the struggle because they work for the good of humanity. 67 – Difficulty to apprehend – Anarchism proposes to people of good will a rational solution to the permanent crisis that they live in. The solution, per se, is very simple. The anarchic 71
organization is of admirable simplicity as it renounces the complicated crushing apparatus that the State is. However, it is difficult for the people accustomed to the capitalist regime to understand how anarchic society works. We are addicted to buy and sell everything, and we find confusing to conceive human life without money. We live, as Eça de Queirós 1 used to say, crushed between the pages of a codex; all our actions are governed by the civil code, by the criminal code, by the commercial code, by federal and state constitutions, by laws, by a huge amount of detailed rules and regulations. There are special laws for everything and we only conceive order through agents, commissioners, officers, police chiefs, etc. Then, how to conceive of a society without codes, without laws, without parliaments, without police, without any of these oppressive and agitating springs? That is why many people, actually educated ones though lacking in due deliberation, shrug their shoulders, turn their backs, and say the classical sentences: this is a utopia and you have gone insane. The airplane was also a utopia thirty years ago, and even more than utopia was the project of being able to speak through hundreds of miles without wires. All the amazing modern inventions, like the steam boat, the train, the gramophone, the telephone, the automobile, the telegraph, the radiotelegraph, electricity, submarines, etc., etc., are former fantasies which became real in only one century. In a hundred years, humankind has progressed incomparably more than in all previous millennia of its existence. And why is that? Are the people of today more intelligent than the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Romans? No. They have also achieved prodigies within their time’s mentality. However, a world of smothering prejudices weighed upon them. The ancient people were starting to set themselves free from these prejudices and also to make fast advancements in the fields of 72
mathematics, astronomy, medicine, architecture, optics, zoology, metallurgy, sailing, in short: in science. They were starting to unravel nature, so they could make good use of its energies, when Christianity came preaching the testaments as a single and only truth. Christianity has subverted the pagan mentality, burying it underneath new sterilizing and retrograding prejudices. It took centuries of fights against Christian idols, against the saints, the Churchâ€™s priests, the rude apostles, the politicking popes, the doctors on metaphysics, the greasy theology universities; so that the sprout of science could blossom from the wreckage, just like a stubborn weed grows and breathes freely under the sun. Well, and so we reach a time of curiosity, of the freest exam of all concepts, plans, and notions. Today we are used to big surprises as well as to the most intricate projects. Far from astonishing us, they actually interest us. We progressively remove the religious and moral spider webs from our heads. Freed of prejudices, we are able to cover huge roads in ten years. We leap over abysses day after day. How extraordinary was Santos Dumontâ€™s 2 flight thirty or something years ago. He flew about two hundred meters, suspending an overall weight of approximately three hundred kilos at a height of one a half meters. Nowadays airplanes fly four or five thousand meters above the ground, carrying eight or nine tons, and even loop just like birds do. Therefore, shrugging shoulders to an idea because it resembles a utopia is not reasonable. A wise person wishes to be informed of new ideas, to assimilate the doctrine, to reflect upon its feasibility, to consider its pros and cons, to discuss, to become informed in all aspects, to analyze arguments, advantages and disadvantages. Only then one will have enough moral authority to repel the proposed solution. What we ask for, beforehand, is good faith and good will. The reader must always have in lucubration the idea that in anarchic society there is no property, no money, no purchase or exchange. The reader must 73
insist in keeping this fundamental notion at sight. Gradually, through an attentive reading of each item of this second part, I am certain that the reader will be able to master the whole doctrine, to reach its captivating beauty, and to be able to feel the noble pride of calling him or herself an anarchist. The reader will then see that working for anarchy is the most glorious effort of well-formed hearts. 68 – Suppression of authority – To understand the anarchic society, the first aspect to be considered is how useless the State is, or even better, how impossible it is. In effect, we have seen that the State is the organization of authority. Such authority has a double purpose: a – to defend proprietors against non-proprietors, b – to regulate competition amongst proprietors. Nevertheless, in a society without private property there are no proprietors, there are no owners, so there is no need for a department to defend proprietors. The double purpose of authority disappears, so authority and State also vanish. 69 – Suppression of State – It is good to analyze in depth the suppression of the State. To do so, we shall consider each one of the seven aspects of the State and then see how the State’s crushing apparatus would also be naturally annulated through the principle of non-property. In effect, the political apparatus is not required in the anarchic society, since parliaments, the makers of laws, would not be of any service. Laws are, precisely, the proprietors’ defense mechanisms or competition regulators. In anarchic society, laws are useless. There will be, at most, service plans, mutual agreements, etc., but there will never be compulsory laws that are the same for everyone and defend any rights. In this manner, the parliament, or the legislative branch, would be absurd in anarchic regime. Likewise, absurd would also be the executive branch, which function is to implement laws, as well as 74
the judiciary branch, that is in charge of interpreting laws to assure property rights. As for the crimes and their trial, we will look into it afterwards. Evidently, the military apparatus also cannot make any sense in the anarchic society. For it is meant to keep workers under the salary oppression or to support international ravage. In a society where everybody is a worker, any kind of fight amongst proprietors and non-proprietors is impossible. Once private property is extinct, money virtually disappears as well as banks, commerce, lawsuits, clerks and accomplices, lawyers, trading desks, custom offices, taxes, etc., etc. The economical aspect of the State disappears. At last, the pedagogical aspect of the State, which tends to maintain capitalism and creates prejudices and idols that sustain a servile mentality in proletarians, shall also not survive. The pedagogical aspect in anarchic society is not political but social. It is not implemented by an authoritarian State that imposes educational laws and programs, but rather by the association of teachers of the whole country. 70 – Government and direction – Nowadays the directive board of a State is called government. The State is an abstract being of which governments are the concrete incarnation. So, it is evidently impossible to comprise governments in an anarchic society. This does not at all mean a lack of direction. There cannot be service organization without technical direction, even less service coordination without one or more coordinating centers. In such way, even without a State, authority, or government, the anarchic society is not a chaotic or disorganized human cluster. Without the organized crushing, anarchy intends to establish true order amongst people. We shall obtain such order through perfect and harmonious direction. We replace State government for communal collaboration. 75
71 – Tendencies towards the communist regime – Before we start to study the anarchic organization, I believe it is pertinent to transcribe here the following chapter of Piotr Kropotkin’s book The Conquest of Bread: “We hold further that communism is not only desirable, but that existing societies, founded on individualism, are continuously impelled to march towards communism. The development of individualism during the last three centuries is above all explained through the efforts of persons eager to protect themselves from the tyranny of capital and of the State. People imagined for a time, as those who formulated their thoughts preached, that they could entirely free themselves from the State and society. "By means of money," they say, "we can buy all that we need." But they were wrong, and modern history taught them that, without the help of all, a person can do nothing, not even with a safe full of gold. In fact, alongside this current of individualism, we find in all modern history a tendency, on the one hand, to retain all that remains of the partial communism of antiquity, and, on the other, to establish the Communist principle in the thousand developments of modern life. As soon as the communes of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries had succeeded in emancipating themselves from their secular or religious lords, their communal labor and communal consumption began to extend and develop rapidly. The township, and not private persons, freighted ships and equipped expeditions for foreign commerce, and the profits did not accrue to individuals, but were shared amongst all. The townships also bought provisions for their citizens. Traces of these institutions have lingered on into the nineteenth century, and the peoples piously cherish this memory in their legends. All of that has disappeared. But the rural commune still struggles to preserve the last traces of this communism, and it achieves it for as long as the State does not throw its heavy sword into the balance. Meanwhile new organizations, based 76
on the same principle: to each one according to their needs, spring up under a thousand different forms; for without a certain leaven of communism the present societies could not exist. In spite of the narrowly egoistic turn given to people's minds by the commercial system, the tendency towards communism is constantly appearing, and influences our activities in a variety of ways. The bridges, to which tolls were paid by the travelers in the olden days, are now public monuments. The paved roads, charged by the mile, exist only in the East. Museums, free libraries, free schools, free meals for children; parks and gardens open to all; streets paved and lighted, free to all; water supplied to every house without measure or stint, all such arrangements are founded on the principle: "Take what you need." The tramways and railways have already introduced monthly and annual season tickets, without limiting the number of journeys taken; and two nations, Hungary and Russia, have introduced on their railways the zone system, which permits the holder to travel five hundred or a thousand miles for the same price. It is but a short step from that to a uniform charge, such as already prevails in the postal service. In all these innovations, and a thousand others, the tendency is not to measure the individual consumption. One person wants to travel a thousand miles, another five hundred. These are personal requirements. There is no sufficient reason why one should pay twice as much as the other because of a greater need. Such are the signs, which appear even now in our individualist societies. Moreover, there is a tendency, though still a feeble one, to consider the needs of the individual, irrespective of their past or possible services to the community. We are beginning to think of society as a whole, each part of which is so intimately bound up with the others that a service rendered to one is a service rendered to all. When you go into a public library – not to the National Library of Paris, but, say, the British Museum or the Berlin Library – the librarian does not ask what services you have rendered to society before 77
giving you the book, or the fifty books which you require, and the librarian comes to your assistance if you do not know how to manage the catalogue. By means of uniform credentials, and very often a contribution of work is preferred, the scientific society opens its museums, its gardens, its library, its laboratories, and its annual celebrations to each of its members, whether this person is a Darwin, or a simple amateur. In St. Petersburg, if you are working on an invention, you go into a special laboratory or workshop where you are given a place, a carpenter's bench, a turning lathe, all the necessary tools and scientific instruments, as long as you know how to use them; and you are allowed to work there for as long as you please. Here are the tools, make others interested in your idea, join fellow skilled workers in various crafts or work alone if you prefer to. Invent the machine, or invent nothing, that is your own affair. You are pursuing an idea, that is enough. In the same way, those who the rescue team of a lifeboat do not ask credentials from the crew of a sinking ship; they launch their boat, risk their lives in the raging waves, and sometimes perish, all to save persons whom they do not even know. And would knowing them matter? They are human beings, and they need our aid, that is enough, that establishes their right. Let us save them. â€œThus we find the eminently communist tendency springing up on all sides and in several ways, in the very heart of societies that preach individualism. And, if tomorrow one of our great cities, so egotistic in ordinary times, were visited by some calamity, a siege for instance, that same selfish city would decide that the first needs to be attended to are those of the children and the aged. Without asking what services they had rendered, or were likely to render to society, the city would urge to nourish them as soon as possible, to take care of the combatants, irrespective of the courage or the intelligence which each has displayed, and thousands of men and women would outvie each other in unselfish devotion to the wounded.â€? 78
72 – Anarchist propaganda – Taking into consideration that people tend to organize themselves into free association away from government’s interference, anarchists wish to accelerate the beginning of this integral associative system as the only form of human organization. Even without the anarchist doctrine, humanity would still gradually get rid of the white elephant-State. However, such evolution would be very painful and extremely slow. By showing the evils of capitalism and through careful analysis of the profound vices caused by the fundamental injustice that land property is, anarchism presents communism to people as a solution for the eternal human crisis. It opens the eyes of the blind or reckless, thus preparing the collective mentality to swiftly operate this colossal redeeming transformation. II 73 – The opponents of anarchism – There are today six distinguishable groups of opponents to anarchism. The first one encompasses all kinds of owners: proprietors, bankers, usurers, merchants; because it is precisely against them that anarchy rises. Through their schools and press, they spread all sorts of slander and defamation against anarchists, calling them destroyers, arsonists, exploders, outlaws, and more. They organize secret reactionary societies as the Ku-Klux-Klan in USA. They start violent anti-socialist parties like fascism in Italy, Germany, or Bavaria, or like the Action Française in France. They shake hands with the catholic or protestant clergy if they see menace to their property; they persistently persecute anarchists, killing them, incarcerating them, shutting their workshops down, and confiscating their edited books and periodicals. 74 – The religious people – This is how I name not only all 79
types of priests but also the layperson imbued with the religious spirit and education. Most of them strictly follow the Catholic Church policy. Either Orthodox or Protestant, they are all paladins of property in its plenitude, as well as extremely capitalist and conservative. The insignificant minority, that knows property not to be a dogma of the Church nor a basic religious precept, lets itself be captivated by socialist truths. They understand the human discomfort and look for a cure to the social crisis. Since they are so immerse in religion and in their fantasies, this minority believes that only in religion we will find salvation. If people are faithful and merciful, if they fear God and obey the law, then peace will fall upon the world. We object to the religious people with extremely heavy arguments. Here I mention two particular ones: a – Far from uniting people, religions separate them. We can see it both in history and in the present. Peoples have battled because of heresies; entire Protestant populations have been expelled due to sectarian hate; nations have been persecuted, like the Jewish that were burnt by the Inquisition and are still today slaughtered in the pogroms. Muslims cannot stand Hindus; Protestants cannot bear with Roman Catholics, while the latter do not get along with any other sect. They excommunicate theosophists, spiritists, positivists, etc., etc. Furthermore, their teachings are not founded in evidences, they are irrefutable affirmations everyone is forced to accept through simple reasoning or experience. So doubts, heterodox interpretations, and heresies easily appear. Each heresy is a new source of disagreement, animosity, conflicts within families, amongst neighbors and nations. That is why religions cannot solve the problem of fraternity amongst people; – b – Taking Catholic religion as an example, we have verified that this religion worked for twenty centuries to moralize Europe, to police the occident, and to solve the social problem. What do we see? Its actions were very ineffective, although very sensible and even 80
dominating, because the crisis persists, the wars have become even more devastating, vices have redoubled and new ones been invented, prostitution has increased due to economic struggles, conflict amongst people have been taking unseen proportions. If religion was supposed to moralize someone, it should moralize the exploiters, but that never happens. The exploiters are shielded by laws that allow exploitation, and they easily forget the divine principles. They only remember their profits and ambitions. No religious businessperson would miss a price rise that is artificial and damaging to others, no churchy person would restitute profits to the tiller who sold cereals at a low if the price rises after the purchase. No devout of Jesus’ Sacred Heart shares profits amongst the factory’s workers. Finally, religion only aims saving souls in the other world, it does not even intend to solve economical and political issues. 75 – The educators – They form the third group of opponents to anarchism. They are certain bourgeois, many of whom are very clever, some have good intentions and proclaim the human crisis. They recognize the profound evils of the capitalist regime, they accept the anarchist program, but they affirm it to be impossible to start an anarchist society now because humanity is still intellectually, and above all, morally undeveloped. They believe it is necessary first to educate the masses, to prepare them for a society of people so pure they would not require police, jailhouses, dismissal, and beating. Anarchy is a paradise where only angels can live in. This argument seems to be strong at first, but it is actually worthless due to the following reasons: a – People have been educated for many centuries. While intellectual progress has been astonishing, especially in the last century, moral progress has been null or insignificant. Brazilian philosopher Tobias Barreto has written an excellent essay that proves just that. Some time ago, it was said that for every new school that was 81
open a jailhouse would close. Reality has proved it to be just a dream. The last ten years have revealed frightening immoral tendencies in all countries. b – People are not evil by nature, as this educational system claims. People have a good nature. The capitalist regime of compulsory competition and unavoidable fights is what makes people perverse, phony, liars, insulting, non-loyal, bitter, and vengeful. All we have to do is to reflect upon a very poignant fact: no father dares to name his child Judas, Nero, Herodes, Tartufo, Iago, Joaquim Silvério3, or any of those legendary names of cruelty and vileness. On the contrary, everybody prefers to name their child after illustrious characters or saints, as Cesar, Dante, Homer, Newton, and Murilo. In the times of Floriano Peixoto 4 , who was considered by many people to have the rare qualities of a soldier and of an administrator, hundreds of children were baptized with his name. Nobody has been baptized after Antônio Silvino 5 or a Roca 6. This proves that people’s nature is inclined to good and beauty. In an individual, the selfless instinct always prevails, although this instinct cannot develop itself in a regime built upon selfishness. No education can create fraternal bonds within a social environment of economic competition that compels brothers to compete as commercial or political opponents. There is no moral principle that keeps the poor crushed famished laborers from selling their bodies to easily get some more comfort. There is no consciousness that is able to always speak the truth in a society where lie, deceit, and hypocrisy are necessary defenses. Not only necessary, they are vital. Now let us consider that the amazing moral progress would not operate in the world if we were to swiftly pass on to an anarchic society. Theft, all types of stealing, fraud, gambling, swindle, deceit, trickery, and scam would be impossible because anarchy is a society without private property. With everyone’s life and comfort assured, people would not have to prostitute themselves. Once all lawsuits are over, two thirds 82
of all hatred, fights, and conflicts amongst men, relatives and families would magically be over too. When people realize that everything belongs to everybody, that each person’s happiness and well-being depends on everybody’s well-being and that their work contributes to the collective comfort and benefits the persons rather than their exploiters, then people will certainly get used to selfless actions. These circumstances would moralize people, would educate them into kindness. Therefore, the ideal for educators would be to hurry with the advent of anarchy because it is the fastest and safest way to give the people a moral education. Everybody knows that the offspring depends on the soil. The offspring of a bad soil will also be bad. It is a miracle that there are good people in an extremely vicious social regime; in a good social regime, miracle would be the existence of bad people. c – Education with communist purposes is impossible in the capitalist regime. As soon as governments notice some education of this kind, they shut down the schools and intensify the opposite kind of education in their schools, high schools, and patriotic leagues 7. The aforementioned Ferrer case is very peculiar. Another remarkable example is brought by the Italian fascism. Mussolini has made an alliance with the Church and has published a regulation, which determines that in public schools a religion test is required. The test is to be applied by the priest of each parish. It also imposes upon high school and university students and professors exams testing their knowledge of the Catholic doctrine. At the same time, any manifestation of libertarian education is implacably persecuted. We have seen that the State makes a wonderful educational apparatus. It would be absurd to consider opposing it with another insignificant apparatus when it comes to change the mentality of the masses. To change the mentality, the best procedure is to destitute the apparatus of State and to institute anarchy. 83
76 – The reformist socialists – Many people mistake socialism for anarchism, even though both doctrines are profoundly different. We can affirm that socialism is closer to today’s capitalism than to anarchic communism. Insomuch that capitalists were at first very frightened by socialism, then gradually they came to realize that there was no danger at all. They even recognized the advantages in adopting socialism as a means to deceit laborers. In such way that today it is very usual to see proprietors, industrialists, merchants, and bankers as passionate Socialists, becoming dear friends with their employees and promising them participation in profits, promoting cooperatives, creating celebrations and distractions, awards and benefits to the workers. Laborers and employees refrain from complaining in face of the benevolence of such kind bosses and close their eyes and ears to anarchist propaganda. The clever are then joined by the even cleverer professional politicians. They make anarchism look like supreme brigandage, murder, burning, and looting. For them, the workers’ claims are fair, the complaints against the capitalist tyranny must be responded to. However, they say everything can be done without violence, through a natural evolution of legal rights into progressively liberal laws. The State will take care of this problem and soon enough, from one reform to another, we shall reach the so desired socialist regime where the workers will earn the precise product of their efforts. These socialists are clearly reformists. Anarchists, who have demonstrated the farce of such reformism, have denounced their plan. The advantages conceded by capitalists are merely appearances. Since the increased price of goods is agreed upon the capitalists, when the workers earn more they also spend more, in the exact same proportion. This legislative reformism has intensively jeopardized the advent of anarchy because workers, rude and naïve people, who used to trust priests and Church, still trust a lot in politicians 84
and laws. Politicians and laws are different names for the same enemy: the proprietors. For as long as workers hand themselves over to these protectors, they will not advance in their path towards emancipation. 77 – The collectivist socialists – These, fewer in numbers, are a type of reformists that conceive a defined social system to which we should immediately shift rather than reach through gradual reforms. Their plan is merely reformist because it does not alter the capitalist regime in depth. In effect, collectivism is a State capitalism. The collectivists think they will extinguish the salary system once they extinguish currency, the representative of property. But, what they propose is nothing but the same currency, only with a different name and form. Actually the substitution consists of: a – instead of the metal coin that represents moving, non-moving, and semi-moving objects, they institute bills – coupons – that represent working hours. So, instead of 2 francs, 10 cruzeiros, 100 pesetas, 1.000 liras, etc., there will be, for example, bonuses for half an hour, 2 hours, 10 hours, 100 hours, etc. b – Work will be qualified, that is, tasks that demand greater skills, effort, and ability will be worth more that the others. In this way, one hour of a famous engineer will worth 100 hours of a cleaning service, or 10 hours of a mere math teacher. This extremely difficult evaluation is, naturally, done by the State. They make the State responsible for all directive functions of collectiveness. We can soon perceive not only how unpractical this system is, but also how it has no advantage over the current system, that is, if it was possible to make it real at all. Everything would continue as it is: the same competition, the same crushing apparatus, the same parasitism, the same vices, etc., etc. Whoever gambles pennies or francs today would gamble hours and minutes tomorrow, but it would all be products. 85
They reply by saying that the work bills are not transferable, thus impeding gambling; but they cannot see that they can buy cigars, fruits, extracts, etc. and gamble them after purchase. The criticism to collectivism has shown that it is not feasible as a solution to the social problem, and it has achieved little success in the revolutionary sphere. 78 – The authoritarian socialists – It seems counterintuitive to have authoritarian socialists, that is, whose process of social transformation is based upon authority. In fact, the purpose of this socialism should be, as much as any other, to suppress any kind of authority. However, authoritarian socialists openly declare their purpose to be the destruction of capitalist authority. They affirm that to achieve this ideal, it is necessary to create another authority, a proletarian authority, capable of smashing the capitalist authority. They believe the following to be absolute necessities: 1st– that the proletariat rebels against capitalism; 2nd – to take over the State and its crushing apparatus; 3rd – to establish a proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie; 4th – to transform the capitalist State into a proletarian State. They believe that once they reach this point, the State, that is, this enslaving crushing apparatus of non-proprietors is bound to disappear. After all, once the proprietors’ class is extinct, the non-proprietors’ class will have no one to oppress it. This doctrine, founded upon principles of the German socialist Karl Marx, is strongly opposed by anarchists. It is being conducted in Russia under the name of Bolshevism since November 1917. To do so, they have organized an intermediary State, whose founder is the legendary Lenin. He has calculated that this intermediary phase would last approximately 90 years. This State has the same aspects of any capitalist State. For 9 years, it has been exercising terrorism against not only former proprietors but also against any individual, even those in the Party, who 86
dare to theoretically counteract its statements or to contradict the leadershipâ€™s decisions. 8 The political aspect of this State is constituted by soviets, or workersâ€™ councils, either by a general soviet or by a congress of local soviets of laborers, peasants, soldiers, and sailors. These soviets are the legislature that generates laws, codes, government programs, political guidelines, etc. The executive branch comprises a general commission of the Russian people, with a president elected by the soviets. These commissionaires correspond exactly to ministers in other nations. The judiciary branch is carried out by judges chosen by the local soviets. The military aspect is manifested by a Red Army, a mighty fleet, a powerful combat aviation brigade, and a police force at first known by the name of Cheka and today as G.P.U. 9 This police force thoroughly spies the acts of all suspicious individuals, persecutes those against the dictatorship, arrests them, or convicts them without mitigation. The economical and financial aspect is characterized by the financial monopoly of the State. A State Bank was founded in Russia, the only one allowed at first. Later on, circumstances forced the leaders to permit the establishment of foreign banks, supervised by the State. The State Bank issues bills upon the gold reserve, just like any other bank. Although private property had been declared extinct in the primitive Russian Constitution, the mere existence of currency, purchase, and sale shows that private property remains intact. The State only appropriated the real estate, lands, railroads, houses, factories, warehouses, etc.; thus becoming the unique proprietor, but with all the features of the capitalist boss. So it rents houses, pays salary to workers and employees, keeps companiesâ€™ profits, makes use of the income as it pleases. To direct all these services, it keeps an authoritarian pyramid-shaped organization that is perfectly similar to all capitalist countries, all under the strictest discipline. Naturally, a huge 87
dominating bureaucracy was constituted, even larger than in the times of tsars. The pedagogical aspect also belongs exclusivity to the State. All branches of learning are in the hands of the soviet State and are oriented by the imposed principles of those who hold power. Either in schools or universities, it is a crime to teach any social idea that differs from those preached by the Bolshevik chiefs. Only the State has the right to publish books, newspapers, and magazines. The few licenses issued to private initiatives are always under strict police surveillance. To disagree with the Bolshevik doctrines, to criticize measures of general order, to point out even the most evident mistakes is considered to be a counter revolutionary attempt, and the ones responsible immediately suffer from the dictatorship of the proletariat. Anarchists have risen against such pseudo-communist organization and against these transformation processes from the capitalist regime to the communist regime. Far from destroying private property, these processes actually reinforce it, as they replace individually weak proprietors with one only proprietor: the extraordinary powerful State. In other countries, workers defend their labor through strikes, sabotage, union struggle, and by taking advantage of the weaknesses of their bosses as well as of the State authority, which is small because it is restricted by laws, competition, free public opinion, and struggling parties. In the Bolshevik regime, workers find themselves incapable of any reaction for they have upon them a way stronger boss, an authority with no boundaries or restrictions. The Bolsheviks hoped that later, by the time things were settled, the soviet State would begin to let go of its authority, to de-patronize and to hand-over lands, buildings, power stations, etc., to the collectivity until we reach communism. What communism that is, they do not tell us. So authoritarian Socialists proclaim the ideal of a society with no private property, a communist society; they think, however, 88
that such society cannot be instituted without an intermediary phase, namely, the dictatorship of the proletariat. As in any dictatorship, this one is nothing but a party dictatorship: the Bolshevik party’s, which self entitles Communist Party. Even though they long for a communist regime, the Russian Bolsheviks persecute the anarchists with the most striking incoherence, only because they condemn the social transformation process through an intermediary State. For anarchists, such State is counter-productive. This rivalry between Anarchists and authoritarian Socialists comes a long way, ever since the quarrel amongst Karl Marx, the founder of social democracy, and Bakunin, the anarchist champion. In fact, anarchists disapprove of this socialism, particularly Bolshevism, for the following reasons: 1st – it is unwise to maintain the State, the property under State format, the currency, the authority, the bureaucracy, and all capitalist institutions as means for transitioning into communism when nothing is keeping us from starting with the communist regime right away. The Bolsheviks reply by saying that circumstances in Russia have hindered the immediate institution of communism; that they are not dreamers like the anarchists, but that they are rather practical people and precise observers of the historical and ecological conditions. That is why they had to take little steps instead of going all the way into integral communism. This is an inconsistent argument. Far from being driven by circumstances, in this case the Bolsheviks only imposed their pre-conceived ideas to the circumstances. Actually, the theory of the intermediary State exists since Karl Marx, and the dictatorship of the proletariat that is now run by the Bolsheviks is found in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto. Also, the Bolsheviks intentionally destroyed the essential communist organization initiated by anarchist Nestor Makhno and his comrades, which had achieved excellent results. 2nd – It is impossible and absurd 89
to expect a shift to integral communism by using the State as a transforming device, because it is the absolute opposite of communism, and also its biggest hindrance. But Bolsheviks say that the Bolshevik State is not similar to capitalist State because the latter seeks to protect private property and to regulate competition while the first has instituted social property. Since the Bolshevik State is the owner of everything, it kills competition amongst proprietors. We reply that this is all an illusion. We have already seen that the Bolshevik State perpetuates all characteristic aspects of the capitalist State. Such aspects indicate the main one, which is to protect proprietors against non-proprietors. Considering that the State owns everything, we are then left to wonder who those proprietors are. And here we reach the most significant objection of anarchism against bolshevism. Anarchists affirm that maintaining the State in whichever format after an expropriating revolution results in the advent of a new class of proprietors. In a famous book about modern State and its functions, French economist Leroy-Beaulieu demonstrates and proves the fundamental error of State socialism. One of his main critiques is that: the services driven by the State tend to form a huge and expensive bureaucracy, which is also negligent and authoritarian. Organized in castes, the bureaucrats are gradually induced to care more for their own personal wellbeing than for the public service. Furthermore, the tendency of this bureaucracy is to always demand for more pay. For that, they come up with reasons for commissions, fees, special budget, material, etc., etc. In this bureaucratic body, high rank politicians who wish to increase their personal prestige employ their relatives, their friendsâ€™ sons and daughters, all sorts of protĂŠgĂŠs, who are dedicated to serve their party with loyalty. It is exactly what has been happening in Russia. The development of the Bolshevik bureaucracy was impressive and sudden, 90
assuming proportions never seen before. The greatest founder of Bolshevism Leon Trotsky bitterly complains of this bureaucracy. This is what he tells in his last conversation with Lenin: “Lenin summoned me to the Kremlin, spoke of the frightful growth of bureaucracy in our Soviet apparat and of the need to find a solution for the problem. He suggested a special commission of the Central Committee and asked me to take an active part in it. I replied: Vladimir Ilyich, I am convinced that in the present fight against bureaucracy in the Soviet apparat we must not lose sight of what is going on: a very special selection of officials and specialists, Party members and non-partisans, in the center and in the provinces, even for district and local Party offices, is taking place on the basis of loyalty to certain dominant Party personalities and ruling groups inside the Central Committee itself. Every time you attack a minor official, you run up against an important Party leader to which entourage this official is part of. I could not undertake the work under present circumstances. – Vladimir Ilyich was thoughtful for a moment and (I am quoting him literally) said – In other words, I am proposing a campaign against bureaucracy in the Soviet apparat and you are proposing to extend the fight to include the bureaucracy of the Party’s Central Committee?” – I laughed at the very unexpectedness of this, because no such finished formulation of the idea was in my mind at the time. I replied: – We shall see. – Very well, then, I propose a bloc. – Vladimir Ilyich retorted. – It is a pleasure to form a bloc with a good man – I said. It was agreed that Lenin would initiate the proposal for this commission of the Central Committee to fight bureaucracy in general and that through it we would also reach the organization bureau of the Central Committee”. Many other interesting quotations could be included if we had more space. It is convenient to comment on the measure suggested by Lenin, though. The reader must take into account that his proposed solution actually results in the enhancement 91
of bureaucracy, because it creates yet another bureaucratic body: the Commission to fight bureaucracy. The most certain characteristic of State bureaucracy is precisely this: the proliferation of commissions and sub-commissions for everything. The Bolshevik State maintains currency and salary. Therefore, it keeps just enough to show that private property continues to exist, say the anarchists. Lands, real estates, factories, railroads, they all belong to the State while the inhabitants are proprietors of their salary and of what it buys. They are in the very same situation as before. The only change is that today in Russia there would be only one capitalist instead of many: the State. Let us suppose that, in Germany, Hugo Stinnes 10 had succeeded in buying all mines, all buildings, all ships, all railroads, etc. He would be the only proprietor amongst 60 millions non-proprietors. Still then private property would not be extinct. Since workers own their salary, that is, the money paid to them by the State, nothing prevents some to save more than others, lend with interest, perform usury, buy at one place and sell at another according to the laws of supply and demand, accumulate, gamble, entreasure, get rich, send their savings abroad, and thus gradually form a triumphant plutocracy. With all this money combined, they easily move upwards in the leading positions by lending money to powerful people, and they will certainly influence the pseudo-communist State politics in order to deviate it and turn it back to capitalist State. This is what is happening now in Russia. When Lenin was still alive, the leaders of the Communist Party were forced into a first change to attend to the first concessions. They allowed foreign banks in Russia and made contracts with foreign firms, thus providing freedom of commerce to certain firms and individuals. Anarchists declare that these concessions are fatal, and they shall proliferate through time. The soviet State will shift back into a capitalist State just like any other. Another revolution will be necessary to reach communism. 92
However, even though it has come to confirm the anarchist’s predictions, the Russian Revolution has produced great clamor and was an extraordinary affirmation of the communist ideal. It has come to point out to capitalist eyes that the tendency for anarchy is not just a dream of a few lunatics, but it is a rather tangible reality, much closer than imagined. Once disillusioned with the Bolshevik revolutionary process, the workers will understand that the only way to boldly institute communism is to swiftly change the mentality of the proletariat. They must let go of the State providence and soon start to live without the mine and yours. A few weeks of crawling into adapting to the new order of things will teach them much more than 10 years of intensive propaganda in a State regime. 79 – Evils of political parties – Being against the authoritarian socialist program, anarchists daily confirm the inefficiency of political parties. This inefficiency comes from the natural deviation of ideas, or better said, of doctrinal ideals in face of the small electoral battles. Individuals are tied by small selfish matters and long for parliamentary victories of great numbers to satisfy their personal ambitions. They insensibly hesitate here and compromise there, make deals and arrangements that are all more or less deviating from the fundamental principles. This takes place in all countries and with all parties, be them Socialists or not, including the precise and eloquent case of the German social democracy. Founded by Karl Marx himself, it is from this authoritarian socialism that the Russian Bolsheviks came from. Dutch writer Domela Nieuwenhuis has written a remarkable book named The Socialism in Danger specially to demonstrate the serious inconvenience of parties, using the social democracy as example of such an enemy to anarchism. The party naturally generates partisanship. Those who subscribe to it are soon subject to severely obey to the directorate’s 93
decisions. This directorate is constituted of people of great prestige, or shall we say, of people with the most money, education, or political skills. These individuals, proprietors or proprietors’ representatives, pursue the most important seats or the most profitable for themselves or for their own. They easily consider getting them by any necessary means. And this is how ideas vanish, as well as programs. The greater loss comes upon the proletarian mass or earnest citizens. Since the Russian Communist Party took over power, despite the tremendous terrorist dictatorship it implemented in Russia, it will and it is already suffering from the disastrous action of this unavoidable evil. Actually in order to save the Party and to keep power, the Party does not hesitate when it comes to change plans, ideas, to make concessions and necessary back moves – so they say – to apply enormous pressure upon the soviets. The Party causes deep discontent everywhere and plants the seeds of agitated revolts. By the way, we anarchists reproach nothing of their procedures. They do what they preach, and they do what they see is best. Everyone has the right to try to accomplish ideals. However, what we cannot accept is the Russian Communist Party’s imposition upon all Socialists in the world. To them, only the Bolshevik process is good. Either the world revolution is carried out along with them, or there will be no revolution. All who disagree are, in any country, considered to be counter-revolutionaries and enemies of communism. Let us now take a closer look on how anarchists propose to organize the communist society of libertarian aspects, or non-authoritarian.
Notes on the translation: 1. Eça de Queirós was a renowned Portuguese realist writer of the end of the 19th century. 2. Alberto Santos Dumont was a Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer. 3. Joaquim Silvério dos Reis was a conspirator who betrayed the Inconfidência Mineira, an unsuccessful Brazilian separatist movement in 1789, in exchange for having his taxes waived. 4. Floriano Peixoto was a Brazilian soldier and politician, a veteran of the Paraguayan War, and the second president of Brazil, from 1891 to 1894. 5. Antônio Silvino was a famous Brazilian bandit of the early 20th century. 6. General Julio Argentino Roca Paz was President of Argentina and leader of the 1870’s military campaign responsible for the genocide of the Mapuche and the Tehuelche peoples of Patagonia. 7. Patriotic leagues where extreme right-wing groups formed in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile between 1890 and 1939. 8. This book was written in 1925. 9. The G.P.U. or Cheka, was the first of a succession of soviet State security organizations. 10. Hugo Stinnes was a German industrialist and politician who possessed of a significant fortune just before the World War I.
I 80 – Centralism and federalism – Authoritarian socialists speak of centralism, that is, the social organization centralized in the hands of a unique and directive power. It is an omnipotent government to which all local powers, groups, and social councils obey and support. They say that without centralism proletarians will not be strong enough to fight capitalism and the counter-revolutionaries. They founded the International Red Union and invited all labor unions in the world to join. This way, they extended this centralizing fever to revolutionary groups around the world. Once subscribed to this Moscow-based International, they will be able to diligently execute the center’s orders and operate against the common enemy with efficiency. If there is one single front of the bourgeoisie, let us make the single proletarian front. This procedure is in agreement with the Marxist doctrine of the intermediary State, of the dictatorship of the proletariat and its consequent political terrorism. Anarchists oppose themselves to this process, federalism, since the times of Bakunin. Being the purpose of Anarchism the immediate shift from capitalism to anarchic communism, the recruiting process of the proletarian masses cannot have such character of disciplined centralization. 97
Our system is as follows: in many agricultural or industrial zones, workers gather in unions according to their professions or practices. These unions are federated in certain regions, maintaining the necessary affiliations amongst themselves, all within the same ideas and with the same purpose. Union delegates maintain these affiliations in frequent assemblies. The decisions made in these assemblies are sanctioned, or not, by the unions. On the other hand, the federations of different countries or of different areas together form a confederation, under the same principles and with annual congresses. There is: a – complete union autonomy, the cell of the future communist organization. This autonomy is extremely necessary to get workers used to act by themselves, to grow in them the necessary mentality for a libertarian regime; b – from the start, to practice free agreements and moral discipline, instead of subservience to bosses’ orders; c – the absolute absence of internal petty politics that always stimulates ambitions of leadership, resentment, awful stories, and party intrigue. In the centralist system, there are bosses, little bosses, local sub-bosses, and an intense cultivation of authority feeling. Just like in the bourgeois apparatus, there are positions, nominations, suspensions, lay-offs, ejections, etc. 81 – Commune – What was previously said only refers to the preparatory organization of workers for the struggle against the proprietary bourgeoisie. However, it partially reveals the foundation of anarchic organization of the future society. As we have seen, the first condition is to gather workers from everywhere into professional associations. All these associations together form a commune. To enlighten this crucial point, let us take an example. Let us imagine a big sugar mill in a sugarcane field. In a capitalist regime, it is a property. It belongs to an owner that runs the services either in person or through an administrator. The owner 98
gives orders and takes maximum effort from the workers, paying them minimum wages. The owner lives in a good house with servants, has riding horses in the stable, cars, and stable workers. There are mechanics for the machines, carpenters, smiths, bricklayers for new works or repairs, stokers, turbine operators, men and women who were once slaves in the fields, car drivers, animal packs drivers, distillers, etc. It is a population of, let us say, about 600 souls within 100 families or so. Here, the organization is autocratic; the law is to obey the orders transmitted by the farmer foreman, the work supervisor, this privileged individual who earns much more and sometimes even has a small participation in the profits. In the anarchic communist regime, the lands, the sugar mill, and the houses belong to the community; there is no owner, no administrator, and no salary. Everything belongs to everybody; nobody gives orders. All services are provided through mutual agreement and by each union’s deliberations. 82 – Types of communes – The abovementioned example does not show all the possibilities of the commune, because the aspect of each one will vary according to the geographical oecumenicus. Oecumenicus is the Latin word for inhabited region. Since every one of them have their own special characteristics, the population is forced to adapt to the environment, thus acquiring their own characteristics as well. In this way, the nomad population of the steppes, the population of the African oasis, the Eskimos, the fishermen of the Senegalese coast, the farmers of Rio Grande do Sul 1, and the rubber tappers in the Amazon are very different types of people. This difference is produced by their geographical oecumenicus, by the ways of living imposed by each region’s resources. Commerce amongst people has created curious oecumenicus. The daily sailed seas are oecumenicus, because an entire population lives permanently inside the ships: the sailors. They 99
have special habits and a particular way of living. Railroads also constitute an oecumenicus for the individuals that are usually occupied with its services. Therefore, it is understood that the communes vary in aspect according to the oecumenicus where they are formed. A railroad constituted into a commune, or a group of federated communes are obviously very different, either externally or internally regarding its functioning, from a commune in the pine tree fields of Paraná 2 , of livestock in Mato Grosso 3, or of fishermen in the shoreline. However, all of them will have in common the fundamental principle of anarchy: from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs. 83 – Municipality – In vast or dense oecumenicus, it would be impossible or inconvenient to form only one commune. It is important that multiple communes are constituted in perfect relation to one another. This grouping of communes is called the municipality. This term is inappropriate. It derives from munus, taxes, contribution, and from capere, to capture, to notice. In capitalist society, the municipality is the smallest circumscription of the State; it is the sucker of draining tentacles. In anarchic communism, the municipality is a coordinating center of communal activities, either for production and distribution or mutual assistance. In effect, the anarchist regime is a regime of general cooperation that requires a center to organize such cooperation. 84 – Federation – As for the municipalities, they need to be politically and economically correlated to one department that is already independent of one particular oecumenicus. We could indeed highlight that this new and vaster body coordinates zones, different oecumenicus, to promote mutual assistance amongst all. 100
So there is the federation of municipalities that can comprise an entire country, with its own headquarter or capital. 85 – Confederation – Finally, the many federations representing countries or fractions of countries will be connected through one coordinating body, therefore international, which we call confederation. 86 – Features of anarchic political organization – We have seen that the current bourgeoisie is a top down organization: the nation is divided in provinces; the provinces are divided in cities. The central power or State centralizes the whole administration, fabricating imposing laws both to provinces and cities. The anarchic organization is not based on any kind of power, but rather in mutual agreement. It is the absolutely opposite to centralization. It comes from the independent commune towards the municipality, the alliance of communes; then to the federation, the alliance of municipalities; until the confederation, the alliance of federations. We will see that while the State gives everybody orders, the municipal, federal, and confederal centers will only receive offers or requests from the communes, and regulate the mutual assistance amongst them. II 87 – Internal organization of the commune – We already know that the commune is a workers’ association. Workers are men and women who seek to make the most of cosmic energies so to live life in the happiest possible way. The first condition to envision this desideratum is freedom, that is, Anarchy. We say freedom not concession. In the state of concession there is no regime or social system. If each one does as they please, each head its sentence, agreement becomes impossible and life 101
unlivable. Freedom requires mutual agreement, and agreement means limitation of will, a moral commitment to precisely meet all terms of the agreement. Freedom is the possibility to fulfill an agreement amongst all. Once an individual breaks the agreement, this person impedes others from meeting it as well, by suppressing the possibility of fulfillment. If I am a bricklayer and I associate with a carpenter, a tiler, a painter, and a smith so that we build together five houses, one house for each one of us; if when mine is built I give some excuse not to help the others, or I get to work late and leave early, I jeopardize or undermine the accomplishment of the agreement, I block the actions of others, I take away their work freedom. If I am the strongest or if I am well armed, I can even stop them from daring to finish the work by themselves. In this case, my action is called oppression. That is why there must be perfect social equality in the anarchic commune. Please have in mind that I say social. Anarchists claim that all people are unequal. After all, there are no two persons in this world with the same fingerprint. We can also reasonably say that there are no two equal brains; no two equal personalities, wishes, ideas, callings, tendencies, intelligences, or equal abilities. Whenever we speak of equality, we refer to equality of social conditions for a free development of natural inequalities. Without equality, freedom as we have defined cannot be comprehended. Therefore, there is no authority in the commune that forces anyone to do or not to do anything because of the law. When joining a commune, all individuals accept an express or tacit agreement; they all commit to meet the agreement, but nobody forces them into it in case they do not want it anymore. Since the agreement is for their own benefit, the more perfect the freedom, that is, the harmony in meeting the agreement, the greater the benefit will be and rarer, maybe even impossible, shall be the ruptures. 102
Nowadays in the capitalist society where individual wellbeing relates to the sum of acquired wealth, breaking-up contracts and deals are very frequent due to industrial and commercial competition. In Anarchy there will be no such thing because, since individuals cannot live by themselves, breaking-up with their mates would be harmful, as we shall see. 88 – Class councils – Since the commune is solely constituted by workers, it is only natural that communards gather themselves according to their professional class, so they can better plan, distribute, and provide services. Carpenters will necessarily be in charge of all carpentry works, teachers will take care of teaching, doctors will handle general health, and so on. All problems, projects, programs, and their execution will be handled from the start by those who have the best competence in that matter. These councils have no presidents, no secretaries, and no treasurers since there is no money to take care of, or to expend, or to charge. Any communard can moderate the debates. It should be noted from now that these specialized communal councils are generally very reduced and there will be little to discuss. These councils will gather as often as necessary. 89 – Distribution of services – Nobody knows of each comrade's skills, like who the good technicians are, better than comrades themselves. Therefore it is natural and spontaneous that the head of a service shall be pointed out or proclaimed by the comrades themselves. That is what happens everywhere when a spokesperson is chosen, or an emissary, a delegate, a gang leader, etc. The indigenous proclaim their chief to be the bravest; in anarchist associations, the many services of spoken and written propaganda, the parties, the leaflets distribution, the actions in the unions, etc., etc. are all done without any 103
voting, intrigues, or nomination. Rather they are done through recommendation and general approval, or through a spontaneous offering, to be accepted, or not, by the council. In this way, services are assigned to the professional associations or groups, and it is upon them to choose the most competent person to run the services. This person’s actions are naturally subject to council’s critic and debate. The technical director is in charge of designing, exhibiting, and distributing the necessary services; and of choosing the most competent workers to each task. Service distribution is always done the day before in a chart affixed after being approved, so that in the next day each worker knows what to do, what time, and where. Let us suppose, for example, that there is a big commune of 2.000 workers in a sugarcane zone. There is a sugar mill surrounded by a great area for the growing of sugarcane. There are three very distinct classes of workers: the rural – growers, cleaners, cutters, drivers of cars, of ploughs, and of animal packs, etc.; the technicians – operators, stokers, mechanics, carpenters, smiths, electricians, distillers, bricklayers, cleaners, cooks, washers, etc.; the extras – doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, artists, pharmacists, etc.; – which by the way is a very reduced class. Evidently, the service of the sugarcane cutter little interests the stoker. The direction of field services is then in charge of one worker that methodically coordinates them all, aiming towards the best technique for the best results with minimum effort; the sugar mill services are in charge of a specialized engineer; the teaching service is in charge of an educator; public health is in charge of a physician. 90 – Functional hierarchy and discipline – Anarchists are intransigent adversaries of any kind of hierarchy and authoritarian discipline, but they consider the functional hierarchy to be absolutely indispensable for the maximum economical 104
revenue. They do not tolerate orders, authorities’ impositions that demand them to be strictly followed, under the threat of punishment – incarcerations, lay-offs, suspensions, fines, etc. Functional hierarchy is the one that distributes services according to the oversight capacity of each worker, after agreeing upon each service, and dedicates to fulfill tasks efficiently. This hierarchy is logical, rational, spontaneously accepted in any typical anarchist association, and very common within the current organization. In effect, all sports or entertainment associations, clubs, etc., are of anarchic type because they are all based upon mutual agreement. They are only tainted by extremely bourgeois statutes and by the classical directing board, president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, spokesperson, etc. An amateur drama group will well provide us with the standard of anarchic functional hierarchy. The one with the most knowledge of theater will be chosen as the general director. Everyone follows the director’s advices, roles’ assignments, and markings but each one contributes to the success of the play. The director cannot punish anybody, expel the partners, suspend them from their positions, etc. However, everybody is submitted to functional discipline. So we do not see a comedian intending to play the romantic lead, or a rookie intending for a dramatic leading part, or the stagehand intervening in the rehearsal markings. Nobody changes marks at their own will and everyone attends to the stagehand’s call. In the same way, we would not have a mechanic wanting to overcome the master or engineer, the bricklayer wanting to act like an architect and so on. Especially in a society where there will be no monetary interests and where public opinion, being totally free, is the true thermometer of reputations and competences. In Anarchy, it is impossible to have under-qualified teachers, technicians hoisted by loans, masters hoisted by big shots politicians. Each one has to be their true 105
selves and impostors will not thrive. If any service provider reveals not to be suited for the job, protests of all class associations will rise against this worker, who shall have to resign or to be removed from the task. 91 – Board of directors – We have seen every service branch directed by a competent technician chosen by the according class. It is important that the service of each expertise does not conflict the others, it actually must cooperate in mutual and perfectly harmonized support. In order to achieve this ideal collaboration, it is important that service directors understand each other, that they evaluate the pros and cons of each project, and only decide and present for their comrades to debate and approve measures that had been very pondered upon. Therefore, we foresee the need for a board of directors with no authority other than the workers’ trust, because any service director can be removed from duty due to bad service. 92 – Production organization – Anarchism’s motto and, therefore, the fundamental principle of the future anarchic society is this: from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs. This motto carries the essential aspects of all human life and the solution for the social organization problem. Actually, the first part – from each according to their ability – recognizes human natural inequality without making people accountable for their connate weaknesses or compensating them for their innate qualities, as it occurs today. The person is not to blame for being born blind, sick, or for having a natural gift of rare talents or exceptional health. So in a fraternal society, the fair rule is to demand from each person the effort that corresponds to each one’s capabilities. For the collectivity, the genius of a doctor, the voice of a great tenor, 106
the rare ability of an inventive mechanic are just as valuable as the stableman’s activity, the fisherman’s toil, or the weaver’s work. As long as individuals perform well the services required by the commune, either by working twelve or only one hour, they are fulfilling their agreement, so they have the right to take part in all the assured advantages. In this way, the production regime in anarchy follows the principle of higher elasticity, without absurd limitations or impertinent little distinctions. Services in fields, factories, schools, hospitals, theaters, etc., are a responsibility of the technical groups, which are formed by the board of director in charge of the production. 93 – Features of production organization – It is demonstrated that anarchism recognizes, despite the anarchists contrary to it, that the ideal regime to obtain the biggest and best production with the lowest effort is the rationalized trust. It means large-scale production with specialized machines and workers following Taylor’s system. This trust regime was precisely the one discovered by capitalism and by it improved after the European war, with such results that it reached a paradoxical calamitous overproduction, because misery increased around the world. And why is that? Because, even though overproduction is an excellent thing in anarchic regime it is a complete disaster in capitalist regime. In anarchic regime, all you have to do to fix overproduction is to work less. Since nothing is bought or sold and everything is universally distributed amongst those who need it, excess is not harmful. In capitalist regime, if consumers’ needs are satisfied or if consumers cannot buy, the products exceed and seat on the shelves, as they say in commerce. This seating is the ruin of capitalists, and for poor consumers it is misery and privation. The trust regime with rationalization allows great economy of personnel, time, and natural resources. Because it gives the 107
worker more free time for studies or fun. So it is almost certain that services will tend to be more municipal than properly communal. I am convinced that everybody will inhabit a municipal center and will irradiate through the communes during their work hours. This concentration in population cells – much different from the cities of today– brings advantages to production and above all to social life. Daily commute to factories and fields will be easy, thanks to guaranteed fast transportation services that unlike today will not depend on the workers’ possessions. Still, both the commune and city service obey to the same simple general system of anarchy, which is every service handled by technicians, the direction trusted to the respective association, weekly distribution of everybody’s work, or daily if necessary, monthly reporting of the services performed by each union council. 94 – Stockroom – All communal or municipal work tools, as well as all products, are kept in a warehouse or general warehouses. They are then requested for services or consumption according to collective needs. When a commune’s tools are not enough for a certain task, the commune will request municipal tools, and if these cannot meet the commune’s request, it will further request to other municipalities or to the federation. 95 – Federation’s role in production – The federation coordinates the municipalities’ work in the same manner as the municipalities coordinate the communes’ work. This coordination is indispensable and is carried out through semestrial or annual conferences, which shall trace a production and distribution plan. Furthermore, all services that are common to several municipalities – roads, sailing, mail, rescue, etc. – must be enrolled to the federative superintendence.
96 – Confederation’s role – Confederations are to federations what federations are to municipalities: coordinating bodies of the production and distribution of wealth. This coordination is also performed through annual conferences. 97 – Product distribution – The commune’s or the municipalities’ products are concentrated, as we have seen, in general warehouses of the communes, municipalities, or federations, and from there they are distributed according to the communes’ requests. So, a sugar mill commune sends its sugar sacs to the municipality’s warehouse, which will naturally keep in stock a necessary amount for its own consumption. The other communes that do not produce sugar will require to the municipality’s general warehouse the amount of sugar they need. If the municipality does not have any sugar or not enough sugar for its commune’s consumption, it will require what is necessary to the federation. Leftovers from all municipalities accumulate on the federation’s warehouse. In the same way, if the federation lacks products, it will request them from the confederation’s warehouses. 98 – Transportation services – For a perfect distribution of products, there are two essential services: transportation and statistics. One of the biggest hiccups of the capitalist organization is transportation, for it is subject to taxes, tariffs, tickets, and the unstoppable competition of greedy companies. For international exchange there are even more hurdles, the first being the inferiority level for competition of the countryside producer compared to producers who are located next to the seashore or to frontiers. They have to pay much more for transportation. Another tremendous obstacle is customs and its forbidding system, which has gone crazy after the World War. This system results in this paradox: the world produces much more than it 109
needs. However, entire populations are starving to death while others are destroying their excess of product. Another paradox: Europe has an excess of workers and a lack of land; America has an excess of land and a lack of working force. So Italy forbids Italians to migrate while the USA deports batches of foreigners. In anarchic society, the transportation will be free of charge and a special commune, which oecumenicus comprises all sorts of roads, rail, sail, air, and underground, will run it. Their headquarters will be located in municipalities, federations, and confederations and will be coordinated by the technical direction of each expertise. 99 – Statistics services – For a perfect coordination of all services, it is essential to have an impeccable sharing of statistics where the situation of the municipalities’ and the federations’ warehouses are known on a daily basis. Daily checks can be transmitted through radiotelegraphy. 100 – Consumption – As we have seen, the anarchic agreement is summed up in this sentence: “From each one according to their ability; to each according to their needs”. As long as the persons belong to the commune, they have the right to get everything they need from the general warehouse. The persons do not have the property of things; they have their usufruct. Once a product is required for use, for as long as it takes, nobody has the right to keep another person from using it. It is legitimate to anybody to get more than needed, for example, several boots, many watches, and too much paper. They soon will realize how useless this is, because each person cannot wear more than one pair of boots at a time, neither carry one dozen watches, or keep too much paper at home. They would be better kept in the commune’s stock house. In the current capitalist society, there is a tendency and advantages for a person to appropriate wealth. In anarchic 110
society there is no such advantage, so the tendency ceases to exist. The only requirement for consumption is that the communards execute the services they have committed to. We will see what happens if they fail to do so. 101 – Progress – Now is the time to show how progress will take place in anarchic society. Great French sociologist Gabriel Tarde has demonstrated that all progress results from a law, to which he called the imitation law. This law depends on human creativity. According to him, progress has its own logic, one of its terms being innovation and the other, imitation. For example: Geometer Blaise Pascal has invented the wheelbarrow – brouette. This invention favors household transport. Soon, all gardeners started to imitate it, making their own or buying such carts. Progress is always the propagation of a favorable idea. History registers numerous cases of admirable innovations that were repelled and argued against by the inventor’s contemporaries, either by industrialists who exploited old processes, or by the religious and political prejudices of each time. In anarchic society this will not happen, because for workers there are only advantages in adopting new machinery or processes that add value to the work or reduce their efforts. Thus, the municipalities will have complete labs for research. Any new invention will be immediately studied, experimented, and developed, assuring that the inventors will be recognized for their innovation or idea, what rarely happens today. 102 – Congresses – To coordinate research, there will be magazines and technical journals as there will surely be congresses like the ones of our time. These congresses, so expensive today, would find no hurdles in anarchist society. All transportation and housing would be provided by workers themselves. In these congresses, new problems will be 111
proposed to the inventiveness of researchers, new possibilities and better paths will be discussed. 103 – Education – To educate is to make a person as able as possible of enjoying in the best way all the energies, physical, mental, moral, practical, and social. Physical education is to cultivate fitness – not strength – health and agility. Mental education is the formation of intelligence, its rational and harmonious development – erudition, culture, and art. – Moral education is to cultivate will towards the achievement of the common wellbeing. Practical education is the practice of technical skills or professional abilities. Social education is the improvement of solidarity as energy multiplier. 104 – Possibilities of anarchic education – Integral education is very difficult in capitalist regime, despite the public education. It may be even impossible. There are so many obstacles to pedagogical action due to the misery of the masses, to the regime of coercion, to religions, to social prejudices – family, race, class, caste – that a rational education, that is, scientific, would only be possible to a few. In capitalist society, the preconception of family, with all of its paternal duties and rights – in Rome, the pater familias included the right to sell and kill, – entrusts children to parents even when they have syphilis, are alcoholics, thieves, gamblers, etc. In anarchic society, where such vices are impossible, it would be logical to trust the parents with the education mission. But, we must consider that this is a very difficult mission that requires skills and talents that not everybody has. Recognizing that, in current society rich parents send their children to boarding schools or day schools, which means they take them totally or partially away from the household, and entrust them to the direction of a specialist. In anarchic society, the child will be guided since birth by 112
the educators’ association, composed of specialized doctors, hygienists, and pedagogues. Since everybody is educated and the communes are not too populated, there is no inconvenient for the child to remain with their parents. However, with communal life on the one hand, and with individualism on the other the family ties will become looser and the child will detach from parents’ tutelage at the early age of seven or so. The development of individualism is in opposition to the domestic family life, remaining from the Roman rights. The child will belong more to the communal education center. There, professionals will take care of them from this early age, attending to their health, intelligence, feelings, wills. They will guide their vocation, their preferences, with all the resources of modern psychology. 105 – Education criteria – The way I see, education shall have as criteria the natural, physiological, and psychological division of the three septennial phases. Before turning seven, the child has only perceptions, correlation of sensations. When they are seven, comes the growth of adult teeth and along with it comes the empiricism called use of reason, that is, the child begins to have notions, to correlate perceptions. At the age of fourteen, with puberty, comes reasoning, the correlation of notions. By the age of twenty-one, growth and preparatory education are complete. The person can then choose a profession. These educational criteria will guide the anarchy’s pedagogues to organize methods and programs. I believe this is of extreme importance. The organization of schools and universities will be the work of the professional educators’ conferences. 106 – Conservation and hygiene services – These services will naturally be the work of their respective unions. Personal 113
hygiene can easily be perfect, because doctors, dentists, and hospitals with complete pharmacies will be at workers’ services. Today, for instance, it is very common to see children without teeth because their parents cannot afford a dentist. In anarchic society, dental care is of collective interest and shall be a special service. Another example: house cleaning will probably not be done by the dwellers, with their slow, imperfect, and anti hygienic processes of today. It will be rather done by a technical union with perfected devices. The same goes for cleaning and conserving clothes, which allows everyone to be always clean and well dressed. It is very likely that we will reach a standardization of fabric and other products, in such way that the best and the most beautiful will be employed. 107 – Family – A great change in family organization is foreseen. The current family is constituted upon the basis of Roman law, of authority in the highest level. The family belonged to the pater familias, who had such great marital and paternal rights that he could sell and kill his children. The historical revolutions against authority have considerably decreased the power of the head of the family. In anarchic society there is no head of the family, the husband is only the wife’s companion. He is bonded to her not by juridical ties but only by love. The children will be naturally fond of their parents and will be raised by them, but they will be supported and guided by the entire commune, as its members. Without authorities, goods to administer, civil laws, or religions, we foresee there will no longer be the sacred institution of marriage. The union of sexes shall be free and free shall be their separation. Only the precepts of eugeny will regulate it so to improve its products. So I think union will be free, but maybe not conception. That 114
will depend on the solutions provided by the technicians and adopted by the community. The family will once again be a natural product of human association. The children will suffer no loss due to their parents’ separation because in anarchic society they are supported not by the parents, but by the commune. 108 – Justice – For those who study anarchism, one of the most difficult points to understand is the repression of crime in anarchic society. How to repress crime if there is no authority, no soldiers, no prisons, and no judges? But in anarchic society, crimes are not repressed. Rather they are avoided. First of all, since there is no private property nor the damned competition or money, the greatest source of crimes disappears – thefts, swindles, fraudulent bankruptcies, arson, etc., etc. Without alcoholic beverages as well, all crimes derived from alcoholism cease to exist. Since sexual desires are very easy to satisfy, all the passional irritation that causes crimes of passion is extinct, all of it being assisted by an anarchic education for all. This education combats all prejudices in a person, including prejudices of family and sex. Jealousy will be reduced to a minimum, or it will be even extinguished, at worst it will cause couples to separate. Finally, anarchic education brings the person to refrain, since childhood, from all anger drives. Anyway, it is natural that some crimes remain. What will happen then? Very simple. Crime is the break of a tacit agreement of communal life, of mutual assistance. If one individual breaks with this agreement, it is up to the community to judge if the fault is to be forgiven or not. In the first case, depending on the apologies and promises of the felonious, the person will remain in the commune. In the second, the commune will deny everything to the felonious and the person will be forced to isolation or exile. Naturally, if this person moves to another commune, this will ask for identification and origin. The commune will accept the 115
person or not, depending on how satisfactory the person’s explanations are. The same will happen in case of recurrences. Evidently, harmful acts perpetrated by perverts are not included in the crime chapter. Perversion is an illness. A board of specialized physicians will decide if the act derives or not from a mental condition or from innate immorality. If the person is considered to be ill, the illness will be treated in an asylum. 109 – Travel – Everybody can travel, since the means of transportation belong to the workers. However, traveling will be limited by the daily duties of each worker. To receive everything from the commune, each communard must give the work requested by the commune. If a communard abandons the assigned work or refuses to do it, the commune will deny the objects the communard requests for this person has broken the agreement. If persons wish to travel, they can do it their whole life either by working on ships or convoys or working in the communes on their way. International agreements can be made to switch places. For example: nothing keeps one Brazilian locomotive driver from switching places with a French locomotive driver, or a French teacher to come teach French in Brazil while a Brazilian goes teach Portuguese in France. 110 – Languages – Languages seem to be a big hindrance to that. In anarchic regime, an auxiliary language like Esperanto is bound to be developed and taught in all schools, along with the mother tongue. However, since pronunciation makes this language difficult to understand, I propose a system I am already experimenting, with incredible results: the international mime language. It simply consists of the adoption of rigorously systematized sign language based on natural gestures. The basic practice of this system reveals that people already have an extended vocabulary of natural gestures. It is just a matter of 116
coordinating, completing, and practicing them. By consciously practicing this system in all schools, people will be able to easily communicate even when they speak different and strange languages. 111 – Art and entertainment – Anarchy envisions the maximum happiness on earth. It bases this maximum happiness on the maximum cultural development of a person. Therefore, the selected organization of entertainment and the cultivation of art in the communes are of extreme importance. Beyond sports, there are the social entertainments, always with artistic foundations. Dances will be directed by experts and will be of the highest aesthetic approach. Classical, folklore, different kinds of dance will be accessible to all, since they are free of charge. The constructions, all under the charge of the architects’ union, will always follow strict aesthetics and all houses will be decorated by the greatest painters, decorators, and sculptors, whose profession will be only this. In effect, the artist is a worker just like any other. Since they provide artistic work to the commune, they will also receive from the commune. So it will be very easy to organize perfect orchestras and choirs, operas, tragedy or comedy theater plays. Theater companies will be formed by the best artists, chosen by the respective unions. They will go from city to city because everybody can hear directly from the greatest celebrities. Famous paintings will also circulate in continuous exhibitions. I believe that with the development of television, with broadcast in color, we will be able to present exhibitions from a distance. Once the movies are free from capitalist speculation that exploits the feelings of the masses, they will have an important cultural role in the anarchic commune, not only with scientific films, but also with strict reproductions of famous novels. It will be an extraordinary revitalization of literature and history. 117
How delightful and benefic it will be to study universal history in schools when, after reading a narrative in the book, we can watch the correspondent episode on the screen! The film industry today is driven by the preferences of the masses. In anarchic society, it is the educators who will drive the filmmaking.
Notes on the translation: 1
Rio Grande do Sul is a state in the south of Brazil.
2 Paranรก is a state in the south of Brazil. 3 Mato Grosso is a state in the west of Brazil.
I 112 – How to operate social transformation – All movements denominated as communists envision a society where the exploitation of the non-proprietors is made impossible. Thus, Marxists, Bolsheviks, and Anarchists agree on this point. However, there are profound, even radical differences when it comes to the final organization and the method used to realize transformation. 113 – The reformist solution – Socialists called reformists believe that it is impossible to reach this transformation through a worldwide revolution. According to them, that would bring such disorganization that the world would become chaos. It is better to meet the desired end through slow reforms, evolution. For that to happen, it is enough to associate workers into unions, organizing them into political parties, taking their representatives to parliament, and the majority will vote in laws that reform the current conditions. From progress to progress, within this path, one day we will reach a communist society. 114 – Criticism to this system –Together, theory and practice condemn such system. 1st – the individuals associated in 121
electoral parties are much more driven by party related issues than to general doctrine; the interests of the party become more important than those of the cause; 2nd – party struggle demands a number of agreements and compromises that are highly harmful to the purity and clarity of the doctrine and the tactic; 3rd – frequently, the directors and mentors of parties are colluded with the big industrialists and driven by their secret interests rather than those of workers. An example of that is the German Social Democracy that became the most accommodating organ to the capitalist bourgeoisie despite its revolutionary origin. To be read in the precious book by Domela Nieuwenhuis: Le socialisme en danger. 115 – The cooperative solution – Cooperativism is proposed to transform society through the grouping of urban and rural workers into large cooperative associations for production, transportation, and consumption. With the first, the private capital is overcome and substituted by the collective capital because the workers are the actual shareholders of capital; with the second, the intermediary is overcome as the transportation cooperatives do not speculate with the prices neither with the interest; with the third, we overcome the reseller – in wholesale and retail – in other words, other intermediaries. With such system, the proletarian producers would deliver their products directly to the consumers. 116 – Criticism to this system – Although this solution is theoretically tempting, practice reveals it to be extremely precarious. Actually, it can be observed that 1st – unmatched difficulty in obtaining initial working capital, that is purely proletarian; 2nd – the old and deadly opposing war of the omnipotent capitalists against the production cooperatives with the sudden lowering of prices, banking obstacles, corruption of cooperative employees, etc.; 3rd – withholding of money for the possibility 122
of accumulating and thus producing new income for private capitalists, who easily dissociate the cooperative when that is of their interest; 4th – possibilities and repetitiveness of ruining and demoralizing embezzlements of such companies. 117 – The Marxist solution – Karl Marx, a German Jew, was the theorist of State socialism, the leader and inspiring figure of German Social Democracy. The purpose of the social question to him was the extinction of the historical struggle of the two enemy classes: bourgeoisie and proletariat, proprietors and non-proprietors. There will be an end to the struggle when the proletarian class takes the power from the bourgeoisie through a revolution. A dictatorship of the proletariat will be established, to permanently crush the bourgeoisie, to take away their lands, goods, positions, mills, tools, banks, etc. All private property will become property of the State. As the only boss, the State will run and improve the collective services, organizing production and consumption in such way that workers will gradually start to have better pay and finer life conditions. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie will gradually lose its privileges to one day integrate with the common citizen masses. Through this double movement we will come to a complete fusion of the two classes. To take over power, Marx recommends a workers’ revolution, strongly concentrated in a class organization that is run by the political Party. This Party will send to the parliament a majority of representatives. Karl Marx says that when the revolution takes place, the proletariat will make use of its political supremacy to gradually take all capital from the bourgeoisie. Then they will concentrate all production tools in the hands of the State, that is, of the organized proletariat in a directive class to quickly increase the amount of productive forces. As holder of power, the Communist Party will take revolutionary measures to expropriate territorial bourgeois property and apply its 123
income towards State’s expenditures: through a strongly progressive taxation, the Party will lead the bourgeoisie into letting go of their properties; inheritance will be over; credit will be centralized in the hands of the State through a privileged bank; the Party will concede the State the monopoly of transportation; it will form armies and industries – mostly agricultural – with compulsory work for everybody; to extinguish the distinction between city and field; etc. 118 – Criticism to this solution – Let us not examine here the actual theory, the Marxist doctrine of the historical materialism, of class struggle, usury, etc. We will examine only the revolutionary plan. This plan is incongruous and absurd. To summon up: 1st – Marx preaches an assault to power to make the proletariat the directive class, dictatorial, of the State. State meaning compression device: but a compression of only a minority over a great majority. When the majority rules, the little minority either conforms or moves away. Well, the capitalist society is organized in a pyramid with a very big base, which is the working class, and a very reduced minority. Up in the vortex are the high financiers. Between the two classes are the bourgeois proprietors and the petty bourgeoisie, some of which are proprietors and some are employees. To carry out the proletarian revolution is to take the power from the high financiers and industrial class, to take away all their weapons – army, navy, air force, police, etc.; to expropriate their lands as Marx advises is to take away from the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie their exploitation tools. Thus, how is a dictatorship of the proletariat established? Upon whom will this dictatorship force itself, if the high and petty bourgeoisie have no weapons or lands, nor means of obtaining any weapons, no political advantage, and are a minority without the resources of union struggle? It would be to invent the pyramid and admit 124
the unarmed vertex. Therefore, a dictatorship of a great-armed majority upon a defenseless little minority is absurd in theory and ridiculous in reality. 2nd – Marx demands that the lands be expropriated and says that their income will be used for the State’s expenses. To expropriate is to annihilate the right to property. This right is precisely characterized by the quality of generating income for the proprietor. Well, if Marx keeps the income, the right to property is not extinguished. Property is just transferred. If it was transferred to the workers as a group, it would not be a property anymore and then it would be absurd to consider it an income. However, according to Marx, it goes to the proletarian State. Instead of being applied towards the expenses of the old proprietors, this income will be used for the State’s expenses. In other words, there was only a change of proprietor. Property leaves the hands of relatively weak owners and goes to the hands of a unique boss, master of all weaponry, a dictator. 3rd – In effect, the Marxist State is a patron State. It is the owner of money – concentrated in a bank –, owner of the lands, of the factories, and of transportation. It imposes compulsory work with assured severe punishment to the insubordinates, although proletarians. It institutes and regulates the wages, what proves that the property of lands and industries is not proletarian; instead it belongs to someone who distributes only leftovers of the income. 4th – It is not understood that once the lands are expropriated, the Marxist State will keep a progressive taxation. The lands were either indeed expropriated, and in this case there cannot be any tax, or they were not, and in this case there was no revolution, the proletariat is not victorious, the bourgeoisie still owns it all. It is inconceivable that a revolutionary communist proletariat that holds all the weapons will leave the properties in the hands of the bourgeoisie. 5th – Marx speaks of abolition of inheritance. If abolition of inheritance is necessary it is because property is maintained, only now this property cannot pass from parents to children. How 125
to abolish inheritance in a regime where all property belongs to the State? How absurd is it? 6th – These errors relate to the absence of a Marxist conception of a communist regime. Karl Marx has never given us a draft of the definite communist society, which is very grave for a speaker of communism. Obsessed with the precept of an intermediary State, he could only determine the lines of this State, with money, the symbol of private property, with salary, the symbol of employer’s exploitation, with government, symbol of the bourgeois dictatorship, with directing party, symbol of political oligarchy in all times. So, Marx makes a revolution to get out of the capitalist regime and he keeps the entire capitalist organization. He changes the label, but keeps the essence. People say that Marx did all he could to prevent workers from actually implementing communism after the proletarian revolution. This has to do with his incomprehensible suggestion, which says that the capital will be gradually taken away from the bourgeoisie. Why gradually? Until when? Soon we will see what are the characteristics of a truly communist revolution, and then Marx’s severe mistake will become more evident. Not less of a mistake was the parliament struggle to fight the bourgeoisie. The electoral battle has indulged the proletariat, shifting people away from the direct struggle against bosses within unions, factories, streets, and making them wait for the representatives. These representatives in parliament have only, as predicted by the anarchists during the First International, deviated the revolution by turning socialism into reformism. One very remarkable fact: Engels, Marx’s first disciple and collaborator, said in the end of his career that no armed combat was possible due to the development of bourgeois weapons and to the remodeling of streets, from narrow and tortuous to wide and straight. All that the proletariat would have left would be the parliamentary struggle. There was not and there is not a greater 126
revolution tranquilizerI. The revolution can only be made by training the masses to insurrect. Discourses and political scams leave the masses inactive, therefore non-revolutionary. 119 – Bolshevism – Another Marxist experience is the Bolshevism. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was carried out and promoted by the Russian anarchists. By taking advantage of the situation, the well-organized Bolsheviks lead by Lenin and even better lead by Trotsky took over power in a deceitful way and instituted the Russian socialist State. According to them, this would be a necessary stage towards integral communism. Their proposal was to fulfill Marx’s plan and for that they: 1st – proclaimed the dictatorship of the proletariat; 2nd – declared all lands, factories, and tools as property of the State; 3rd – declared that all power would behoove to the soviets – councils – of workers, soldiers, and peasants. 120 – Criticism to Bolshevism – About the Bolshevik program, anarchists predicted that: a – the dictatorship they instituted would never be a dictatorship of the proletariat. Rather, it would be a dictatorship of the Bolshevik party in the name of the proletariat. And since the salary system was maintained, which means the money, it would be a dictatorship upon the proletariat; b – since money, the instrument of private property, was maintained it would be impossible to switch to communism. It would also be impossible to avoid accumulation, loans with interests, usury, etc. Government itself would be compelled to institute an issuing bank, promote deals, give concessions, and gradually move back to private or State capitalism; c – the power would never belong to the soviets, it would be concentrated in the hands of the leaders of the Communist Party and this Party, just like any other party, would be more concerned with its permanence in power than with switching to communism. 127
All these predictions were soon confirmed. The Russian leaders instituted the heaviest and hardest dictatorship in history to keep control over wageworkers in factories, over maltreated peasants, and over Bolsheviks that were not happy with the regime. Despite the tyranny, they are being gradually forced to march backwards to capitalism. Still in Lenin’s time, they created the NEP – New Economic Policy – where the only thing new was the name because it was a capitalist system of concessions to industrialists and merchants. Recently, Stalin’s government made a second NEP, which meant a great increase in concessions to private capitalist companies and a bigger step back towards capitalism. There have been many splits within the Party. The greatest Bolshevik revolutionary and Lenin’s first comrade Leon Trotsky was outraged by this unavoidable step back, so he split up in opposition to the leading group under Stalin’s command. He has denounced this regression to the old bourgeoisie, which he calls Thermidor. As Trotsky says, the Russian revolution has been subverted despite having done so much to the advent of true communism on Earth. Despite the victory of the Allies, the fall of tsarism and the revolutionary announcement of communist principles have significantly contributed to reshape people’s mentality, especially because of an absolute disbelief in capitalism. Moreover, Bolsheviks have done a lot in Russia to demoralize religious ideas thanks to a systematic and firm campaign against the Catholic Church. Apart from that, bolshevism has been serving as an experience for other populations. Kropotkin said: “The Russian Revolution teaches us how not to make a revolution”. Let us see some poignant extracts from Trotsky: “Excluding, depriving of work, incarcerating; one fraction of the Party acts for the cheats and for the rubles against the Party itself. Militant workers are afraid to say as they think in their 128
own group, people are afraid to vote according to their consciousness. The dictatorship of the apparatus terrifies the Party that must be the maximum expression of the proletariat. By planting fear within the Party, the leading fraction jeopardizes its ability to keep class enemies in terror. But the Party regime lives on its own. It expresses all the ruling policy of the Party. Over the past years, this policy has switched its class axis from left to right, from the proletariat to the petty bourgeoisie, from the worker to the specialist, from the militant in battle to the man of the apparatus, from the agricultural worker and the poor peasant to the kulak, from the Shanghai worker to Chiang-KaiShek, from the English laborer to Purcell, Hicks, and the Trade Unions General Council, and so on, indefinitely. That is what the essence of Stalinism consists of”. And next: “ The Party’s regime derives from all the directing policy. Behind the extremists of the apparatus the inner bourgeoisie is found, being reborn. Behind the inner bourgeoisie is the worldwide bourgeoisie. All these forces pressure the proletarian avant-garde, keeping them from raising their heads and opening their mouths. The more the Central Committee’s policy moves away from the class issues, the more the proletarian avant-garde policy has to be imposed from above, through coercive measures. This is the origin of the outrageous regime of the Party”. And more: “It is certain that the inner bourgeoisie pressures upon the dictatorship of the proletariat and upon the proletarian avant-garde. No doubt in a less daring, less open, and less stunning way than the worldwide bourgeoisie. However, both pressures move along and simultaneously”. All of which Trotsky says today, anarchists had asserted to happen. Since that was stated at a time when Trotsky was still almighty, they were shot, deported, incarcerated, and mercilessly tortured by this same Trotsky. We will see what the Bolsheviks did, for example, with Nestor Makhno in Ukraine. 129
121 – The anarchist solution – According to what was shown here, it is easy to see that anarchists reject any solution that maintains the State, that is, private property assured by an oppressive organization, either temporarily or definitely, under any aspect. They assert that absolutely no concession whatsoever can be made in this regard because the capitalist organization has reached such level of perfection after being employed for many centuries that nowadays everything gets entangled in it. One single link in the chain demands from all the other sequencing links, otherwise the machine stops and nothing moves forward. However, as we have seen, the main link in the entire machine is money. So, the first precept of a revolutionary social organization prone to anarchic communism is to eliminate money, whether it is coins, bonds, or shares. We dare to say that only the absolute banishment of currency will naturally lead people towards anarchic communism, because without currency it is impossible to keep private property. Once that is settled, we need to find out how such banishment will take place. There are two ways for doing that. 122 – First way – It is the sudden revolution like in Russia. To get there, either we take the opportunity like the Russians, which was as a consequence of a capitalist war, or we prepare the proletarian insurrection with propaganda for the general revolutionary strike. The Russian Revolution started by Russian anarchists in the end of the World War shows the possibility for the first hypothesis, which was until then considered to be, by many, impossible and utopian. Moreover, in Ukraine, in the south of Russia, the anarchic regime was instituted by Nestor Makhno and lasted about one year and a half, with great results. 123 – The Makhnovist movement in Ukraine – The Russian 130
Revolution was supplanted right in the beginning, in 1917, by the Bolsheviks; but in the south of Russia they did not triumph until November 26, 1920. It is that in Ukraine another exciting event took place: the institution of integral anarchism in its revolutionary phase, that is, with methods and purposes for the liberation of workers. This movement was called Makhnovstchina, or the revolutionary framing driven by Nestor Makhno. This movement is of extreme importance to us anarchists because it is a true experience, indisputable evidence that anarchy is perfectly feasible. The Bolsheviks have tried by all means, with their usual defamation and scams, to make the world believe that Makhno was no more than an ordinary bandit, a leader of thieves, who they had to defeat and scare off. Quite an infamy it is to speak in such terms of one of the most extraordinary social epopee of humanity, to stain with the title of a vulgar outlaw this special noble character, a true military genius, a determined organizer who implemented libertarian communism in his country. Since it is impossible to tell here the unique Makhnovstchina drama, I will only say how Makhno proceeded to create the anarchist regime in Ukraine. 1st – He convened in the Ukrainian village of Gulyai Pole, in March 1917, all the anarchists he left there eight years before, when he was sentenced for life in jail. He showed them how vital it was to constitute a powerful revolutionary organization with anarchic purposes, which mission would be to propagate the anarchist ideal amongst the peasants. 2nd – He founded the Gulyai Pole Peasants Council in order to oppose the peasants to Kerensky’s government authorities and to strengthen the ever growing contact amongst anarchists and peasants. 131
3rd – He established the principle that no politicians would be accepted in peasant circles, demonstrating that they all try to prevent workers from making their revolution. 4th – In the Congress of Alexandrovsk 1, a city nearby Gulyai Pole, he affirmed in the name of the peasants that they would not entrust the revolutionary work to the Communal Committees of the coalition – Kerensky – and would keep the Communal Committee of Gulyai Pole under their own sight. This was the first step to undermine the constituted authorities and shake the oppressive State apparatus, replacing it by the free association of peasants. In this Congress it was decided that lands would be owned by the peasants, with no indemnification. 5th – Facilitated an agreement between Gulyai Pole peasants and Alexandrovsk workers in June 1917, gathered them in a professional union. 6th – He conducted the Gulyai Pole peasants to take charge of the Agricultural Department’s function, without a license from the Communal Committee of Kerensky, then also the Provisions Department’s functions, in a way that all authorities were replaced. He later made the peasants demand the Committee to suppress the militia. 7th – He surveyed the lands of all pomeshchiki, great proprietors, and kulakis, small proprietors. Against them, he organized a batraki committee with the workers’ and peasants’ soviets – soviets are not a creation of the Bolsheviks –, where farm employees organized themselves to fight against farm proprietors. 8th – He intensified a strong campaign in Ukrainian districts for the creation of Communal Councils just as they did in Gulyai Pole. 132
9th – He proposed that peasants should not pay rent for lands of proprietors – in June 1917. 10th – He conducted peasants, workers, and soldiers into forbidding the Communal Committee to take any decision of public interest, in August 1917. 11th – He carried out the disarming of all Gulyai Pole’s bourgeoisie. The disarming was carried out without any bloodshed since proprietors did not resist it. 12th – He visited the Alexandrovsk mills. He appealed first to workers and then to soldiers to banish all socialist authorities. The soldiers promised support and assistance to Gulyai Pole’s peasants. 13th – Back to Alexandrovsk, he proposed to the Gulyai Pole’s peasants to share the lands of churches, monasteries, and of the pomeshchiki to engage in sowing. And so they did it, despite threats of government agents. Comrades were sent to every village to get the same thing from the peasants. 14th – He put Leon Schneider in charge of working according to the Anarchist Federation of the industrial town of Ekaterinoslav. Leon Schneider had been elected as a representative of the Peasants’ and Workers’ Deputies Soviet of Gulyai Pole with the Executive Department Committee of Ekaterinoslav. He established agreements with local metallurgists to send raw material to the forges of Gulyai Pole. Deliveries started soon afterwards. 15th – The Regional Congress of Agricultural Committees designated which pomeshchiki properties were to be destined to laborers’ communes. Families gathered up in groups of 150 to 200 people. During this Congress, they took care of sowing and 133
of the works regarding the next crop, to be the first in the free communes. 16th – On this occasion in December, after the Bolshevik coup of November 17, the first Provincial Congress of Soviets of Peasants', Workers', and Soldiers' Deputies takes place in Ekaterinoslav. Nestor Makhno and Mironov were chosen by the Gulyai Pole’s region. There were four or five main powers in the city: the Kerensky’s; the Ukrainian Central Rada’s; some neutral citizens’; and the sailors’ who had recently arrived in Kronstadt; and that of the Soviets of Peasants’, Workers’, and Soldiers’ Deputies which had the anarchist-unionist Grimbaum as their front man. He was seduced, however, by the newly appeared Bolshevik power, which he immensely supported. Grimbaum, the Anarchist Federation of Ekaterinoslav, the anarchist sailors of Kronstadt, and the anarchist delegates of Gulyai Pole insurrected against the reactionary chauvinists. Quite a regiment of Saint George’s knights! Bolsheviks tried to allure them but they were booed. Makhno, however, managed to get full assistance from these soldiers against the reactionary Rada by showing them the work that was being developed by the anarchists. 17th – Here the first fears of the Gulyai Pole regarding the Bolsheviks start to appear. Enemies of any government authority, they looked down at the new authoritarian State that was arising with strict demands, and because of that they decided to gather weapons. It hurt them a lot to hear the Bolshevik Einstem shout in the Congress: “The city’s proletariat has taken power. We must expect it to create its own State, a proletarian State. We Bolsheviks will give the proletarians all our strength to help create this State because this is the only way for the proletariat to reach full happiness”. So they started to practice with guns, since they realized that authoritarian Bolsheviks would try to 134
impose their authority with guns. They received great training from the anarchist Jacob Domachenko. 18th – He organized the fight against the Ukrainian Rada in December 1917, and decided to oppose himself to the Rada, which threatened to invade all region and was already fighting Bolsheviks in the city. Cossacks coming from the German front offered to join Kalédin, the leader of the counter-revolution. 19th – On January 3, 1918, Bogdanoff, the commander of the Bolshevik Red Guard sends a pledge to peasants and workers of Gulyai Pole asking for their assistance. The anarchist group replied to the pledge and hundreds of anarchists marched to Alexandrovsk. Sava Makhno, Nestor’s brother, was the commander. 20th – Bolsheviks in Alexandrovsk wanted to impose laws upon laborers. The Anarchist Federation was contrary to that and sent two envoys, Maria Nikiphorova and Iacha Nikiphorova. Maria was elected president of the Revolutionary Committee. The Committee asked for a Gulyai Pole representative, and for that, Makhno was assigned. 21st – At his arrival, Makhno was outraged with the fact that the Bolsheviks had not yet freed the political prisoners who had been arrested for refusing to acknowledge Kerensky’s government. Bolsheviks explained they had not freed the prisoners for fearing a similar revolt against Bolshevik power. They had already assigned one of their own, Lepio, as president of the Cheka, and because of that they did not allow any popular action to free the prisoners. Makhno understood it, and with the support of the anarchist commune released the prisoners. 22nd – During this time, a Commission of the Revolutionary 135
Court of Bogdanoff’s Red Guards was constituted. The Revolutionary Committee sent two representatives, one anarchist Makhno and one Bolshevik Mirgorodsky. Other cases of several prisoners yet to be judged were also handed to them. Makhno demanded the presence of the inmates. They were many generals, colonels, officers, chiefs of militia, and Rada soldiers. They were all counter-revolutionaries, but they were innocent of the other crimes they were accused of, they had not even held weapons against the Bolsheviks. Makhno demanded a thorough exam of each case and had to strongly fight against the Bolsheviks, who wanted to shoot almost all of them and spare just a few from whom they expected services in the future. Regarding this matter, here are some words by Makhno: “The reason why I have accepted the unpleasant role of member of the Inquiry Commission is that I can get information myself and clarify for the revolutionary peasants what are the intentions of the statist-socialists during these great insurrection days of revolutionary force. Meanwhile, ‘these defenders of the ideal of freedom and equality’ were abandoning the ideal only to think of privilege of power. On the other hand, I also accepted this role as means to acquire experience in the orientation of events”. 23rd – The discussions started by the Bolsheviks were eternal. Makhno rebelled against that. They wasted time while the Rada and the monarchy were arming themselves. Then news arrived that the Cossacks were marching to Alexandrovsk, with the intention of crossing the Don River and uniting with Kalénin. A commission was sent to talk to them, with no success. They attacked but were repelled. Unable to overcome the Don, the Cossacks pleaded for peace, the drop of weapons, and going home. However, many of them were seduced by the Bolshevik promises and joined the army of General Antonoff-Ovseenko. 24th – Makhno dedicated himself once again to the works of the 136
Revolutionary Committee with the Bolsheviks and the social democrats; but soon he realized it was impossible to collaborate with them. The Revolutionary Committee was now against him and, under the impulse of the parties it represented, also began to show evidence of revolutionary activity. First, there was an arbitrary intervention in the life of local workers. The orders were severe and arbitrary, delivered verbally or written. Taxes were imposed to the city (18 million rubles). The Committee arrested right-wing socialists. They even considered a prison commissioner. Makhno said: “ I could clearly and surely see that the collaboration with Bolsheviks, left-wing social-revolutionaries, was becoming impossible for a revolutionary anarchist even in the struggle to defend the revolution itself. The Bolshevik revolutionary spirit – left-wing social-revolutionaries – visibly started to change: they wanted only to dominate the revolution, to reign, in the rudest sense of the word. Since I studied their activity in Alexandrovsk for a long time, and beforehand in the Provincial Congress and in peasants’ and laborers’ districts where they were a majority at the time; I could sense it was a fiction to have a coalition of these two parties. Sooner or later, one of the two parties would either absorb or brutally devour the other, because they both kept the principle of the State and its authority upon the free commune of workers”. Finally he concluded: “The Bolsheviks and the left-wing social-revolutionaries took advantage of the trust that workers had in the revolution these days to meticulously oppose the interests of workers to those of the Party’”. Nestor Makhno expressively calls the Bolshevik maneuvers “the political kitchen of their Central Committees”. 25th – Seeing the works of counter-revolutionary Bolsheviks and of the revolutionary socialists of the left, both ready to devour each other, Makhno decides to reinforce the anarchist action of the peasants in order to save the revolution. Despite his 137
comrades’ efforts to hold them back, Makhno did not change his mind, especially after learning that the Ukrainian Rada had sent envoys to Gulyai Pole to organize the soldiers who had recently arrived from the front. 26th – When he arrived to Gulyai Pole, he was elected president of the Revolutionary Committee by the local soviet. On that same occasion, the anarchist groups demanded the disarming of the 48th Battalion of Berdiansk, composed of partisans of Kalénin and the Ukrainian Rada, then cantoned in Orekhovo. With the assistance of the Anarchist Federation of Alexandrovsk, they disarmed the Battalion. With great surprise to Bolsheviks, the weapons were neither returned to the Bolshevik General Bogdanof nor to the Revolutionary Committee of Alexandrovsk. They were taken to Gulyai Pole where they would serve as a start-up base for the army of the free peasants. 27th – News about peace treaties of Rada and Bolsheviks with the Germans arrived. Makhno recognized the urgency in getting more weapons to arm the whole population. There was no money for that. He proposed to demand the Rada bank in Gulyai Pole for a sum. With the unanimous approval of the local soviet, the bank directors authorized a withdrawal of 250.000 rubles from the Alexandrovsk bank. For the Bolsheviks, who are men of law and State, that was an absolute crime. 28th – Direct product exchange begins: people from the city would send fabric and the people from Gulyai Pole would send wheat and other foods. In 15 days the comrade in charge of this deal Sereguin, very praised by Makhno, settled the agreement with the fabric factories of Prokhorov and Morozov. Soon, he initiated contacts with Moscow. Two laborers from Moscow went to Gulyai Pole to see what the anarchists had done. 138
These laborers shared their fear that government employees, already established in Russia, would apprehend loaded trains from both sides. 29th – Despite the fear, Sereguin loaded several wagons with wheat and sent them to Moscow, protected by an armed troop conducted by comrade Skomski. Although the station supervisor imposed a few hurdles, the convoy arrived in Moscow. Ten days later, the convoy returned loaded with fabrics. This time however, the supervisor stopped the convoy and sent the fabrics to the provisions center of Alexandrovsk, because they did not have a license from soviet authorities for such convoy. 30th – Makhno immediately convened the Revolutionary Committee and the Soviets of Peasants', Workers', and Soldiers' Deputies. They all decided to send a severe protest to the Section of Alexandrovsk. They sent three comrades to inform the Revolutionary Committee in Alexandrovsk about what had happened. After that, a general council of peasants and workers was convened. The crowd franticly applauded Sereguin and demanded an immediate march against the useless authorities in Alexandrovsk, to recognize the rights of the Gulyai Pole over the apprehended fabrics. 31st – After the fabrics were returned, another council was convened to regulate distribution and show the workers the advantages of direct exchange. This had at least made evident how useless intermediaries and government employees were. Makhno commented: “At the same time, they could see the means to efficiently undermine the capitalist basis of the Revolution, remains of the tsardom. Once all the fabrics were shared, the population of Gulyai Pole began to consider the possibility of extending product exchange for all essential needs, sufficient for the whole region. That would prove that 139
the Revolution was not only about destroying the basis of the bourgeois and capitalist regime. It would also indicate, in a concrete manner, the basis for a new society with an atmosphere of equality where the conscious self of workers would grow and expand”. 32nd – Peasant deputies went to several industrial cities to establish exchanges, but returned empty-handed because the Bolshevik authorities did not allow them to. They argued that State organizations were being created for that service. The revolutionary workers managed only in Moscow to get a license from the Bolsheviks, for one single shipment. This shipment was stopped many times along the way, arriving to Gulyai Pole much later. 33rd – News about German forces hired by the Ukrainian Rada arrived. They would march over Kiev and Odessa to subject the Ukrainian people. 34th – In February and March 1918, the land takeover was completed. The former proprietors were left with two horses and two cows, one plough, one broadcast seeder, and one harvester for their services. The communards organized themselves in a plain anarchist way, with no authority whatsoever. General warehouses were established. One common kitchen was built, and everybody was free to build their own if they wanted to. Agreements for work plans were made. The first steps for the creation of schools were made, which was a difficult task due to the lack of teachers. The Francisco Ferrer method was chosen. The communes were of about 10 families, with 100 to 300 members. Each commune had a piece of land and work tools according to their own production capacity. Makhno commented: “Well, in the same time when, in all emancipated lands, the jubilation of the oppressed was born; 140
when all workers that had been long humiliated and killed due to political, economical, and social inequality started to affirm themselves, to understand their slavery and were reaching with all their efforts for their escape, for once and for all, of this shame; it seemed that the freedom was about to take place since the mass of workers were striving for it; when the idea of freedom, equality, and solidarity amongst people started to penetrate at last in the life of workers, thus annihilating all inclination to this new servitude; right at that moment, parallel to the development of this great idea of liberation, the government heralds of the left-wing social Bolshevik coalition with great enthusiasm started, supported by the stunning politics of Lenin, the idea that Lenin’s government had the right to make use of the Revolution to subject all people to this government as the only defender of the longings of the people: freedom, equality, and independent labor”. Furthermore: “The statist-socialists neglect this important question for a moment (the work of Brest-Litovsk) along with the stormy discussions it started, as a more pressing matter urged: how could they, standing before the masses of workers, pioneers, and mentors of the Revolution, dismantle the idea of social Revolution itself without wrecking it, before accomplishing these secret aspirations? How to deviate the revolution from its autonomous and creative path and entirely slave it to State doctrines that came from orders and directives of the Party’s Central Committee and of the government?” “It was evident”, he continues, “that through the orientation provided to the great Russian Revolution by the Bolsheviks and left-wing revolutionary socialists, there was no space for autonomous agricultural communes to freely organize the conquering of lands without sanction from the government, nor to hand over to the workers the factories, mills, typographies, and other public companies. The direct acts of workers throughout the Great Russian Revolution clearly reflected their anarchist 141
tendencies. And this is what most frightened the left-wing statist-socialists. Because village and city workers were gathering their forces precisely against this tendency and were preparing themselves to start an anarchist movement against the very idea of State, in order to take its main functions away and trust them to local autonomous direction”.II 35th – Once the Brest-Litovsk treaty was signed, Bolshevik authorities removed their troops from Ukraine and left that region under the Ukrainian Rada, along with German and Austrian allies. They occupied Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in March 1918, as well as great part of the country, east of Dnieper. Then they started to fight the anarchists of an already revolutionized Ukraine. A cloud of agents, spies, and provokers fell upon the whole region to undermine the anarchist movement and convince them to join the counter-revolutionary forces. They insulted the anarchists calling them thieves and bandits. But the peasants who had seen for three years the bold and true revolutionary work of the anarchists booed the provokers. 36th – Meanwhile, since the city’s laborers had comprehended the extent of the anarchic revolutionary work, they were swiftly starting to adopt the direct action approach. 37th – German, Austro-Hungarian, and Rada troops advanced, 600 thousand men in addition to the reinforcement of the reactionary propaganda lead by Paul Semeniuta-Riabkó, who called himself a revolutionary socialist. He started a huge campaign against anarchists, threatening them with the marching troops. The anarchists accepted the challenge and declared that from now on they would not admit any persecution to the anarchist ideal in the region they influenced and worked. To demonstrate the threat was not in vain, they killed Semiuta-Riabkó. This death soon calmed down the outbursts of reactionaries. 142
38th – Then Makhno demanded that the Revolutionary Committee of Gulyai Pole, Bolsheviks, revolutionary socialists, and anarchists take serious and necessary measures so that Semiuta’s death would not be followed by the deaths of all reactionaries disguised as socialists. Makhno managed to get from the anarchist group the resolution that there would be no violence as long as the reactionaries did not make any counterrevolutionary action. 39th – Once that was done, Makhno engaged in the important service of organizing anarchist troops to defend the Gulyai Pole region. The groups followed the orientation and demonstrated, according to Makhno, outstanding combative skills. 40th – The German forces arrived to Dnieper and attempted to go through it. Bolshevik battalions and other autonomous resisted. Makhno pleaded for the Gulyai Pole region to set up an army. The plea had a broad repercussion and lots of workers joined the troops. The Gulyai Pole city alone gathered about 1500 men. To get weapons, Makhno went to Pologui where the general staff of the Red Guard commander Belinkevitch was located. Belinkevitch wanted to confirm what Makhno was saying, so they both headed back to Gulyai Pole. Makhno showed him the commune number 1, the work fields, the refectory, and other places. The commander told him in a hand shake: “I instantly felt a great trust in you comrade Makhno, and now I tell you to send your men tonight to my general staff and bring over the guns, machine guns, and rifles that the Gulyai Pole battalions need. They delivered: six canons, two French and two Russian, three thousand rifles, two wagons of ammunition, and nine wagons of canon balls. 41st – Everybody was thrilled with the arming of the Gulyai Pole 143
workers and the news reached the Red Guard commander at the Dnieper. These guards were backing-up, so the commander sent an envoy to talk with Makhno. They met in the evening of April 8, 1918. According to Makhno, this meeting took place at the exact same time as Lenin and Trotsky discussed in the Kremlin the annihilation of anarchist groups in Moscow and later in the whole country. Makhno immediately proceeded with the anarchist group battalion and neighboring troops of Alexandrovsk. 42nd – The Red Guards did not resist the Germans and backedup. Messengers from the Ukrainian Rada went to Gulyai Pole and also made them back-up by using a fake telegram from Makhno to the anarchist battalion. From then on, Makhno and his comrades begin a tremendous struggle in defense of the anarchic organization of Ukrainian peasants. Threats came from three directions: the Ukrainian Rada, the Bolsheviks, and Denikin. Well, Makhno defeated Petliura and Denikin in the Peregonovka battle, in an event of unparalleled military genius and heroic decision. Bolsheviks did not intervene against Denikin. Their tactic was to let Denikin destroy the anarchist organization and only then they would attack the Whites. They took Makhno’s defeat for granted for the White Army appeared to be so devastating, so finely armed, and in such great numbers. The destruction of the White militia overwhelmed the whole Europe, especially the Bolsheviks. They were unable to attack Makhno and wanted to seduce him, so they offered great advantages for joining the Red Army organized by Trotsky. They started to worship him and praise him in the newspaper, until they met with him in March 1919. Makhno soon sensed danger. Those authoritarian chiefs would not stand to have on their side this anarchic organization that absolutely denied any State, no matter how red it was. 144
However, they thought they would not dare to come down to a real armed attack. Bolsheviks insisted in imposing their deputies, the Cheka’s chiefs, and all kinds of clerks to Makhno’s region. Since the peasants fiercely repelled them, the Trotskyist press started an obstinate and violent defamatory campaign. Makhno was no longer praised. Suddenly he became a counter-revolutionary, mercenary of the Kulaks, the number one enemy of the revolution. Facing this attack, Makhno decided to convene the third Regional Congress of Peasants, Workers, and Guerrillas on April 10, 1919. He mentioned the provoking Bolshevik intervention to justify the call. The Congress received a telegram from the division commander Dybenko declaring that the Congress organizers were outlaws and he considered this Congress as counter-revolutionary. It was important that all workers knew what was the answer sent to Dybenko by the revolutionary military council of the Gulyai Pole region. Here it is: “Comrade Dybenko has declared the Congress convened in Gulyai Pole on April 10 as counter-revolutionary, and casted its organizers as outlaws. According to him, the strictest repressive measures should be applied on them. Here we publish his telegram, word by word: From Novo-Alexeyevka W-283. Day 10, 22h 45m. Send to comrade Makhno, general staff of the Alexandrovsk division. Copy Volnovakha, Mariupol, send to commander Makhno. Copy to Gulyai Pole soviet: ‘Every congress convened in the name of the revolutionary military general staff, dissolved under my command, is considered counter-revolutionary and its organizers will be subject to the most strict repressive measures up to the outlaw status. I command that immediate measures are taken so that such 145
things do not happen again. Division Commander, Dybenko.â€™ Before declaring the Congress counter-revolutionary, comrade Dybenko did not even bother to find out on whose behalf or for what purpose the Congress had been convened. The result was he announcing that the Congress had been convened by the dissolved revolutionary general staff of Gulyai Pole, when in reality it was convened by the Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Military Council. Therefore, the latter does not know if comrade Dybenko considered them outlaws. In this case, allow us Your Excellence to inform you who and with what intentions this Congress (what according to Your Excellence is evidently counter-revolutionary) was convened, and then perhaps it may not seem as terrifying as it appeared to be. The Congress, as mentioned, was convened by the Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Gulyai Pole Region, in the actual town of Gulyai Pole, because of its centrality. The 3rd Congress was convened in order to determine the internal action guidelines of the Revolutionary Military Council. (As you see, comrade Dybenko, three of these counter-revolutionary congresses have already taken place.) But one question remains: where does the regional Revolutionary Military Council come from and why was it created? If you still do not know, comrade Dybenko, we explain: the regional Revolutionary Military Council was put together according to a resolution of the 2nd Congress, which took place in Gulyai Pole on February 12 of the current year. (As you see it has been a long time, you were not there yet.) The Council was put together to organize the combatants and carry out voluntary mobilization, because the region was surrounded by the Whites so the insurgent detachments composed of the first voluntaries were not enough to hold such an extended front. At that time there were no soviet troops in our regions and moreover the region did not expect much assistance from them. They 146
consider that defending their region is their duty. This is why the Revolutionary Military Council of the Gulyai Pole Region was created according to the 2nd Congressâ€™ resolution. It is composed of one deputy of each district with an overall of 32 members representing the districts of Ekaterinoslav and Taurida. But only later we shall explain about the Revolutionary Military Council. A question comes up: where did the 2nd Congress come from? Who convened it? Who allowed it to take place? Is the one who convened it considered an outlaw? And if not, why not? The 2nd Congress was held on February 12 of the current year and, for our great surprise, the people who convened it were not arrested because there were not yet such heroes who dare attempt against peopleâ€™s rights, conquered with their own blood. Another question yet: where did the 1st Regional Congress come from? Who convened it? Who allowed it to take place? Is the one who convened it considered an outlaw? And if not, why not? Comrade Dybenko, you seem to be very young in the Ukrainian revolutionary movement, we have to teach you the first lessons. This is what we will do, and as soon as Your Excellence learn them, Y.E. shall surely correct Your self considerably. The 1st Regional Congress was held in January 23 of the current year at the first insurrectional camp at Great-Mikhailovka. It was composed of deputies of districts that were situated close to the front. The soviet troops were then very far away. The region was separated from the entire world, from one side by the Denikians, on the other by the Petliurians. At that time, only the insurrectional detachments headed by Father Makhno and Stchuss were there fighting either one or the other. The organizations and social institutions of towns and villages did not always have the same name. In this town it was a Soviet; in another, a Popular Regency; in a third place it was a Revolutionary Military General Staff; elsewhere it was a Provincial Regency, 147
etc.; but the spirit was equally revolutionary everywhere. To strengthen the front as well as to create a certain uniformity of organization and action in the whole region, the 1st Congress took place. Nobody convened it. It was a spontaneous gathering, because the population wanted and approved it. During the Congress it was proposed to pull our brothers back from the Petliurian army, because they had been mobilized by force. To do so, a delegation of five people was elected and sent to Father Makhnoâ€™s general staff and anywhere else necessary. This delegation penetrated until it reached the army of the Ukrainian Directory (named Petliura) so to warn our mobilized brothers that they had been deceived and that they had to leave that army. Besides, the delegation was in charge to convene a 2nd Congress, more extended, in order to organize the whole region that was free of counter-revolutionary groups and to create a stronger defense front. So the deputies convened this 2nd Regional Congress as they returned, which was outside of any party, of any power, of any law. Because you, comrade Dybenko and other passionate guardians of the law, all of you were very far away! And, since the heroic guides of the insurrectional movement did not aspire to have power over the people that had just broken with their own hands the chains of slavery, the Congress was not called counter-revolutionary, neither were their conveners declared outlaws. Let us return to the Regional Council. In the exact moment of the creation of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Gulyai Pole Region, the soviet power appeared in the region. According to the resolution voted in the 2nd Congress, the Regional Congress did not suspend its activities because of the soviet authorities appearance. The Council had to strictly follow the Congressâ€™ instructions. The Council was not a command body, but rather it was an executive one. It carried on with its activities according to its might, following the revolutionary path with every step. Gradually, the soviet power started to 148
create hurdles to the Council’s activities; commissaries and other high rank clerks in the soviet government started to consider the Council a counter-revolutionary organization. That is when the Council’s members decided to convene the 3rd Regional Congress on April 10 in Gulyai Pole, in order to put together the future policy of the Council or dissolve it, if the Congress would find necessary to do so. And the Congress was then convened. The counter-revolutionary did not come in haste, apart from the first who raised insurrection standards in Ukraine, the standards of the social revolution. They came to assist in coordinating the general struggle against all oppressors. Representatives from several districts and governments as well as of several military units came to the Congress and everybody agreed that the Revolutionary Military Council of the Gulyai Pole Region was necessary; they even took part in the Executive Committee and assigned the latter to start a voluntary and egalitarian mobilization of the region. The Congress was astonished by comrade Dybenko’s telegram that declared the Congress as counter-revolutionary, when it was this region the first to raise the revolutionary flag. This is why the Congress voted for a formal protest against the telegram. Such is the situation. You should open your eyes, comrade Dybenko. Consider it! Think about it! Do you, all by yourself, have the right to declare counter-revolutionary a population of one million workers that alone and with their hardened hands have broken the chains of slavery and now build their own life in their own way? No! If you are truly revolutionary you must come and help them in their fight against the oppressors and in the construction of a new and free life! Can there be laws, made by some people who are called revolutionary, that allow placing an entire mass of people – because the Executive Committee represents the whole mass of people –, which is more revolutionary than them, out of the law? Is it legal? 149
Is it reasonable to establish laws of violence destined to subject a people who have just ended with all legal workers and laws? Is there a law that determines one revolutionary to have the right to apply the most severe punishments to the revolutionary masses it claims to defend, for the simple fact that this mass has taken without asking the goods this revolutionary had promised: freedom and equality? Can the revolutionary people be silent when one revolutionary takes away the freedom they have just conquered? Will the revolution laws command a deputy to be shot for believing he must carry out with the role to which the revolutionary mass elected him for? What interests should a revolutionary defend, those of the Party or those of the people, who carried out their revolution with their own blood? The Revolutionary Military Council of the Gulyai Pole Region remains outside the dependency and influence of parties, it only recognizes the people who elected it. It is its duty to fulfill people’s demands and to not create hurdles for any leftwing socialist party propagates their ideas. So, if the Bolshevik idea is one day successful amongst workers, the Revolutionary Military Council – this evident counter-revolutionary organization as the Bolsheviks say – shall be replaced with another organization, more revolutionary and Bolshevik. Until then, don’t bother or try to suffocate us. If you continue, comrade Dybenko, you along with your kind, to follow the same policy as before, if you consider it good and conscientious, go on with your dirty things. Cast as outlaws all those who start regional congresses and also all who convene them while you and your Party are settled in Kursk. Declare counter-revolutionaries all those who first raised the insurrection, the Ukrainian social revolution flag, and who have acted everywhere without waiting for your permission, without strictly following your program, breaking further left. Declare 150
as outlaws those who sent deputies to the Congresses you claim to be counter-revolutionary. Finally, declare as outlaws all the missing combatants who have joined the insurrection movement for liberation of all working people without your permission. Declare forever illegal and counter-revolutionary all the congresses gathered at your place...Know however that the truth has just defeated strength. Despite your threats, the council will not resign from its duties because it does not have the right to do so, neither to usurp peopleâ€™s rights. Military Revolutionary Council of the Gulyai Pole Region: President: Tchernoknijny; Vice-President: Kogane; Secretary: Kardbete; Council Members: Koval, Petrenko, Dotzenko, and others. *** Let us conclude. This is how started the tremendous fight of Makhno against the Bolshevik reaction. It ended with the miserable Bolshevik treachery after the Wrangle defeat. The Bolshevik tyrants disrespected a formal agreement, as usual, and shot from the heights of Perekop isthmus the Ukrainian army while gloriously returning home through a narrow passage between mountain and sea. With metal and fire, this wide-range revolutionary work was destroyed by authoritarian fanatics, at that time dominated by Trotsky and his infamous partisans.
Notes of the previous edition: I
Hitlerâ€™s up rise in Germany confirms all that is found in the text. The 6 million communists, relying in the electoral struggle, could not offer the least resistance to fascism.
II All Makhnoâ€™s considerations about the Bolsheviks restraining actions are worth reading. We expect to publish them one day in a special edition.
Note on the translation: 1. Alexandrovsk was the name of the town of Zaporizhia in Ukraine, from 1770 to 1921.
JOSÉ OITICICA: HIS LIFE, HIS WORK, AND HIS IDEAS*
Edgar Rodrigues 154
When invited by Sônia Oiticica to introduce the 4th edition of A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos, I asked myself whether José Oiticica needed any introduction, and what could I add to the ideological work of the master, the wise, the anarchist; or what could I say about this scholarly man, and his human nature. Ação Direta year 11 nº 118 was in the midst of being printed, in June 1957, when José Oiticica suddenly passed away. The three assistants that helped the director in the making of the newspaper only had time to include, in the 3rd page, the following note: “José Oiticica has passed away”. Profoundly dismayed, we communicated to the readers the passing of our fellow and this newspaper’s director who had been victim of a fulminant heart attack at the dawn of June 30th, 1957. “Being this issue already in print, we will be more extensive in the next.” That next issue, and the following ones, carried some articles about the master, the wise, the anarchist, and the man José Rodrigues Leite e Oiticica, born in Oliveira (Minas Gerais state) on July 22, 1882. He was fourth of the seven children of Dr. Francisco de Paula Leite e Oiticica, former Constituent and Senator of the Republic. He was boarder at Colégio S. Luiz Gonzaga in Petropolis and later at the Seminário Arquidiocesano S. José, from where 155
he was expelled for rebelling against one priest’s physical reprehension. He attended Law School at Faculdade do Recife and at Faculdade de Ciências Jurídicas e Sociais do Rio de Janeiro, being approved with distinction throughout the course, and graduated in Law in 1902. Disappointed at his profession, he decided to study medicine, which he did up to the 3rd year, later choosing to be a History teacher at Colégio Paula Freitas in Rio de Janeiro. He married his cousin, Francisca Bulhões, in 1905. In the following year, he founded the Colégio LatinoAmericano in the Leme district of Rio de Janeiro, where he applied pedagogical processes of the École des Roches of Demoulin. In 1909 he decided to apply for a public job as a debate rapporteur of the Câmara dos Deputados. Amongst 16 candidates he was ranked as 1st. All the others were nominated except Oiticica. In total, he took six exams, always ranking 1st, but was never nominated. In 1916 he ran for a professor’s chair at Colégio São Pedro 2º by defending a thesis where he demonstrated mistakes in works published by those who would evaluate his thesis. However, to attend his defense, he had invited the Minister of Justice Carlos Maximiniano, who was in those days in charge of educational matters. In this battle, José Oiticica was unanimously approved in 1st place and could not be turned down like before: Carlos Maximiniano nominated him as Portuguese professor of Colégio Pedro 2º, from where he was compulsorily retired at the age of 70. He was a righteous man, independent, and loyal. He would not give into politicians’ requests nor accept impositions! Within these righteous professional principles, he once faced an exam full of errors and graded it zero! When warned that the son of the President of the Republic, Wenceslau Brás, had written the exam, he exclaimed: “So, he should study more, in order to honor the name and the 156
important family he represents”. Considered to be “the prince of poets from Minas Gerais”, Oiticica challenged this title in the paper Correio da Manhã of May 14, 1927. However, as a poet he was indeed one of the greatest of Portuguese language. “As profound as a musician than as a poet”, that is how the writer Cândido Jucá Filho classified him. José Oiticica was an extraordinary author of short stories, playwrights, one of Brazil’s greatest linguist, phonetist, and philologist. Journalist, writer, he would not choose the subjects he would write or polemicize about: anarchism, metaphysics, science and letters, religion, fine arts, music, theater, mathematics, physics, chemistry, philosophy, medicine, psychology, history, sociology, economy (according to the writer Cândido Jucá Filho). Not only he would address to any subject with knowledge, depth and absolute assurance, he mastered Latin, Classical Greek, French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Esperanto and other languages. In 1929-30, he taught Portuguese and Literature at the University of Hamburg, in Germany. Back in Brazil, he carried on with his activities as Portuguese professor at Colégio Pedro 2º while collaborating with his fellows in ideas. He taught Art of Saying in the Theatre Specialization Course for Teachers at the Escola de Teatro da Prefeitura do Rio de Janeiro, and in 1952 he held a Portuguese course at the Colégio do Ar, broadcasted by the Ministry of Education’s radio station. The polemicist The anarchist José Oiticica collaborated with the newspaper A Lanterna in the year 1912. 157
In 1913 he sought after the Federação dos Operários do Rio de Janeiro (The Workers’ Federation of Rio de Janeiro) at the long vanished Largo do Capim. He climbed the stairs and was received by a carpenter to whom he asked for the president of the organization. Informed that the organization had no president, only administrative committees, Oiticica cheered with the answer and never abandoned the workers since. He used to join strikes, to write in support of workers and to deliver lectures in their organizations. Wherever a spokesman was needed, there was the anarchist José Oiticica! He ministered courses, gave lectures, taught workers. He was arrested, deported, extradited but he was never defeated. In defense of his and the workers’ ideas, he addressed an “Open Letter to Rui Barbosa”, where it read: “Anarchist!” - Shouted Your Excellency. And all around, Your Excellency’s friends (priests and jurists, generals and counts, politicians and merchants) will hear dynamite tunes, will smell gunpowder, and will see raised daggers. Mr. Cardeal Arcoverde will bless Your Excellency, Mr. chief of police will call upon the secret service, and Mr. Modesto Leal will beef-up the money sack. I plead your patience. I have never beaten anyone, never murdered anyone, never robbed anyone, I honor my mother and my father, I have never committed adultery, I give bread to the hungry, I dress the undressed, I do not bother anybody, I faithfully obey the laws of this country, meticulously accomplished my duties, I do not do anything for a dime, do not demand 20% of the inventory, do not drag on remunerated sessions at the Chamber, do not make a grand for every notarized signature, do not do contraband, do not speculate, do not smoke, do not gamble, have never met Bolo-Pasha 1. I believe myself, humbly, to be a tolerable guy, neither great for a saint (I have a better taste than that), neither bad for chess. 158
“Your Honor will say: to write such a note, to intend to an action, I had to study like nobody else; my father spent a lot of money with educating me; I spent large sums with the large library that I possess. All of it is accumulated capital, and I charge interest on this capital and on my talent”. “Who supported Your Honor when You were in school and in the academy? “My father”, Your Honor will say. And I dispute: No. Your Honor’s father paid for school and academy, dressed Your Honor, bought books, and spent money. Money is wealth. Social representation of wealth produced by workers. While Your Honor was fortunate of studying and developing your spirit, thousands of children without a rich father could not study, and they could not study because society has forced them to work, to survive, in the workshops, the farms, and in the slave quarters. It is true: Your Honor’s school and academy years were in a time of slave quarters, black slaves, those little brats who were not fortunate to be born white like Your Honor and the sons of the rich or influential. Your Honor was educated with the mortifications of the disgraceful, with the blood of the black proletariat which have sustained the despot masters”. (Correio da Manhã, Rio, February 26, 1918). Soon after having publicly “vexed” “a Brazilian myth” that few dared to challenge, the anarchist José Oiticica challenged the almighty police chief Dr. Aurelio Leal in an “Open Letter” in defense of workers and of the Federação Operária do Rio de Janeiro, in the following terms: “Your Excellency Mr.: One topic of my article “O que não se fez “ (What haven’t been done) has irritated Your Excellency, has excited your soul and has compelled Your Excellency to send that preventive memorandum for imminent catastrophes to the 1st Chief of Police. Your Excellency has sent him 159
the Correio da Manhã with my article tattooed in red in order to signal to the reckless employee the serious fact that is the reestablishment, in better words, the rebirth of the Federação Operária, which was extirpated one year ago by Your Excellency”. “Whoever reads this, joins hands in prayer, thanking the Supreme Being for the generous gift offered to the Tupiniquim 2 motherland. Your Excellency is this Great Land’s savior, however I dare to remind you that Your Excellency has never lowered Yourself to visit the damned Federation. Your Excellency speaks what You have heard, from what had been told to You by the sordid secret service so well known by the workers, and by them repelled with the most superb disdain. If my testimony is of any value, I can attest to Your Excellency that my five-years conviviality with the so-called international DREGS of society have brought me close to the same “Dangerous Anarchists” Your Excellency arrested last year. These men, such as Máximino de Macedo, Pedro Matra, José Gaiazzo, Primitivo Soares, Maçães, and others, are men of indisputable moral energy, of shaping honesty, whose dedication I highly proclaim as an honorable title. For them, the doors of my house are wide open, while I strictly close them to Your Excellency’s subordinates, to the national dregs of society that Your Excellency creates and supports; this den of rogues, murderers, drunks, and thieves; this official concealment of despicable gangsterism which is Your Excellency’s secret police. He went on: “If Your Excellency wants to save Brazil, begin with the national dregs of society, and if Your Excellency lacks boldness or spirit to start from the top, start your work from the horse stable of the Police Station. It is indeed shameful, nauseating 160
and repulsive this group of agents Your Excellency supports and listens to. In it, one can find anything, from the lying rat to the criminally pardoned assassin.” (A Rua, Rio, April 19, 1918) Shortly afterwards, José Oiticica was arrested “for being one of the responsible for the insurrectional General Strike of November 18, 1918, in Rio de Janeiro” and deported to the state of Alagoas in Brazil. Mr. Aurelino Leal had managed to “retaliate” for the “daring Open Letter”. However, exile did not keep Oiticica from preaching his ideas. He began to speak of them to the fishermen, in candlelight evening meetings that would attract even Octávio Brandão. He had his book Canais e Lagoas (Channels and Lagoons) prefaced by Oiticica, and later started to call himself an anarchist. He came to Rio, wrote libertarian poems, gave speeches about anarchy, and became his ideological adversary in 1923, then hidden enemy in 1928 and his detractor during evident decrepitude from 1957 on. The human nature During the “reign” of Artur Bernardes, José Oiticica was arrested from a classroom of Colégio Pedro 2º and taken to the Central Police Station, where he spent a few days until his seven months confinement in Ilha Rasa, an island in the state of Rio de Janeiro. In 1925, he was transferred to Ilha das Flores and later to Ilha do Bom Jesus, both also in the state of Rio de Janeiro. During this “vacation”, he wrote A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos (The Anarchist Doctrine Accessible to All) in wrapping paper, and Carta ao escritor Jackson de Figueiredo (Letter to the writer Jackson de Figueiredo). Where, the personality and integrity of the anarchist José Oiticica appears in its entirety. 161
Here is an excerpt: “Ilha de Bom Jesus, August 22, 1925. My dear Jackson: My apologies for writing you on this paper, it’s the only one I have here. I have just received your letter from the 19th. It has moved me deeply to see how much you insist on my liberation. You even give the President of the Republic your word, against my will, promising my good behavior. You ask me to agree with your efforts and declare, in a letter, that I consent with your spontaneous accountability. You cannot evaluate, my dear, the enormous moral effort with which I refuse such offer; first because I have to say a disillusive no to a person who proves me such affection and friendship, so very rare nowadays; second, for poignantly hurting my beloved life Partner with another strike of hopelessness and for extending in months or years the precarious situation of my daughters, whose education have already been so damaged by my absence. I have considered and reconsidered it all, fighting against the immense desire to see my home once again and resume, twice as hard, the long and tremendous struggle for life. However, I belong to a school that places serenity and unyieldingness above all. Not for pride, rather for coherence and righteousness of the soul. Furthermore, in a letter written by my wife, the person with the most precious spirit I have ever met, she tells me to accept your proposition “if it is not something that shall affect your dignity”. She places my dignity above all. She prefers me in jail and have herself so cruelly separated from her 35 years partner (as we live together since childhood) than have my self-respect and honor diminished.” By refusing it, even though I foresee my indefinite confinement, I remain righteous to her eyes and to my spirit, as well as I provide her with more strength to resist such hard tribulations.” In 1937, he was arrested again. Getúlio Vargas 3 feared Oiticica 162
“could instigate some movement against the dictatorship.” As a human being, Oiticica was unequivocal! People would say his simplicity and kindness were as great as his talent and knowledge. I met him at the Urca district of Rio de Janeiro in 1951. Manuel Perez who took me to his house introduced us. I was surprised with his modesty. He would sit on the floor whenever he could, and he would listen to the worker and to the most prepared of the colleagues that visited him. He would give the same earnest attention to the novice, particularly in ideas, as to the most Committed anarchist militant. Nobody ever felt uneasy when faced by Oiticica, who was always ready to do something for others, to teach, to give newspapers and books; in short, to help everyone who would come to him to talk anarchism or gather instruction. As any good righteous man, he was also somewhat naïve. Many opportunists had taken advantage of his good faith and exploited his knowledge and culture. I have seen some people come to Oiticica’s home to listen to him and later walked out on him. Amongst the people I met at his house, Moniz Bandeira was one of them. He had been part of the PCB (Partido Comunista do Brasil) and was involved with the Trotskyist movement. His book O Ano Vermelho (The Red Year) was written with material “donated” to him by the also anarchist Edgard Leuenroth. Without reasonably knowing José Oiticica as human being, he wrote: “Full of hatred and melancholy, José Oiticica recalled a Cisão4 many years later, in 1957.” This was obviously an “inconsiderate blow” by the author of Ano Vermelho, since one can only analyze people they actually know! In fact, Moniz Bandeira wanted to raise the memory of something that had no memory, and Oiticica was an obstacle to it even after dead! 163
In the murky waters where Moniz Bandeira had swum, John F. W. Dulles later dove into “fish documents” for his book Anarquistas e Comunistas (Anarchists and Communists). He made use of “police evidence” inserted in Bandeira’s book and turned them into “historical truths” with the intention of denigrating Oiticica and his wife. This same author and his team of researchers, financed by spurious organizations, took advantage of the evident feebleness of Octávio Brandão to “give a new face” to the crime of Frei Caneca street, committed in 1928, by the “Guys from Cheka” (agents of the PCB, the party responsible for elaborating a list of Anarchists to be murdered, which included Oiticica, who was warned in time and never showed up). It took place during a quarrel started in the Rowers’ Union that continued into the Textile Union and finished at the Union of Graphic Workers, situated at Frei Caneca street nº 4. João da Costa Pimenta, Octávio Brandão, Roberto Morena, Deputy Araújo Lima – an opportunist who was shortly after expelled from PCB, and others, counted with Pedro Bastos and Eusébio Manjão, both chekists from Rio, as executors of their plan. (Document in the Author’s files) Despite “gratuitous adversaries” such as F. Dulles – whose average skills evaporate in front of the human greatness and knowledge of the “dangerous Anarchist” –, José Oiticica is today the name of a street in Campo Grande a city of Rio de Janeiro state, of a “building” in Niterói, and of a Centro de Cultura Social (Social Cultural Center) that was “closed” for collective vacations in 1969 by the April revolutionists5.
The time and the opponents of anarchism A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos was written under the emotional and psychological effect of the deportation to Ilha das Flores and Ilha de Bom Jesus, in 1925. Therefore, 57 years have passed since, enough time to age people and ideas, or to overcome them. That is why José Oiticica’s work does not encompasses libertarian concepts of more recent authors, such as Rudolf Rocker, Eugen Relgis, Alex Confort, Herbert Read and other shadows of anarchism; nor the transformations of the Bolshevik and democratic regimes occurred during this half century that separates us from the environment in which his work was written. Also, we cannot overlook the fact that today we live under new exploitive conditioning and robotizing processes, introduced by technology and electronics. Populations piled up in steel and/or concrete skyscrapers, living in tight compartments, people implanted in highly polluted industrial cities, computer surveillance, robots replacing workers' arms, isolated people with reduced sensibility and solidarity; these things barely existed fifty years ago. In those distant years, men were not “watched” by the computers that are today at hand, at police headquarters, for our political Leaders to code you, number you, and write your biography by pushing a few buttons. Neither was the information empire detainer and dealer of the communication channels in charge of broadcasting sports news, ads, music, cigarettes, and miraculous drugs illustrated by naked young women; repeatedly, until it saturates the human hearing with fantasy. This reduces the listener’s reception abilities. It causes a brain block, compromising intelligence for matters of choice and decision. In 1925, merchants were far from turning people, especially the youth, into walking advertisements of their 165
products. Even if we take all these years into consideration, all technological, political, and social changes, A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos of José Oiticica is still an emancipatory message. It is an invitation to reflection, and for the study of anarchism! The Anarchist does not ignore that since birth, every individual brings certain psychic tendencies that, all together, reflect some atavistic and inherited influences. They have been practiced throughout the centuries, and transmitted from generation to generation. These illnesses do not disappear overnight, neither by beating, nor by out casting and/or punishing the body. When the illness comes from the brain, it is internal. The character of a person will depend on the environment and the surroundings where this person has grown and lived for the first years – home, neighborhood, and school. They will guide this person’s acts through life. Atavistic forces, temper, and environmental influences surround children and impose forms of living upon them. Religious, political, economical, social and educational pressures will determine their personality, as well as their positive, negative, variable and/or artificial behavior. Human beings are offspring of their ancestor’ society, of the environment, of religious, political, economical, social and cultural standards which are predominantly oppressive and repressive. Standards we have to live with. Here are the newspapers headlines, and the spoken news. Every now and then, what is behind the scenes comes to public and reveals to youngsters of today how the adults of their time behave. The schools teach to exploit, to punish and to rule their own. And let’s not say that this belongs to capitalist regimes, because within socialist regimes, like in Russia, anti-social violent acts are frequent. In many cases, they are even more frequent than in democratic regimes. Therefore, the conception that the mere existence of power and government avoid violent anti-social acts through 166
punishments is not valid. Anarchism may very well demonstrate that these are the results of a social organization based on hierarchy and on inequality at all levels. The thefts and attempts against people and property result in a vicious cycle. It keeps an immense majority of human beings like us from satisfying their physical, psychic, material, and emotional needs! This is rooted in private property. Its origins come from few people having “rights” to spoil what millions lack, who generally are those that work eight or more hours a day. And, whenever the impulse of temper is too strong, when need speaks louder, when injustice cries out first, the individual “breaks” the laws of the state. Those laws were studied, written, approved and memorized by a few, in order to subject many to obedience, and to consecrate spoliation of men by men. Such acts are qualified as anti-social when, in fact, they come from oppression and from coded inequality, that are guaranteed by those in power. They withhold natural resources, science, and technology. They have become shareholders of wage labor, since they claim their share in the form of taxes. In a society where each individual has access to a free and thorough self-development, where each person is educated within certain standards of responsible freedom, participates and enjoys actively; these acts would certainly be reduced to a minimum of psychic misfits, given the absence of causes that determine them today. On the other hand, it has been scientifically proven that, within current society, there are no repressive and/or punitive means to impede violent attacks against humankind and private property from happening. Violence imposed at a social level generates an individual violence in ever-greater dimensions. To punish the “infringers”, the Government seeks external solutions. However, evil must be fought at its root. Violence is intrinsically related to the environment, to hereditary potentialities, and to unequal education, to which humankind is subjected since its infancy! 167
People “infringe” the codes and laws elaborated by his equals, believing to be able to cheat surveillance and escape the penalty determined to punish such acts. People commit anti-human and anti-social offences at all levels, because their will is insufficient to impede their psychological drive to do it! This lack of willingness is a result of the education received, the attended environment; it’s a part of peoples’ organic addictions, of their hereditary archetypes, and of the malformed character imposed to them by society. And, no matter how violent laws are, they are always powerless of preventing or avoiding offences and crimes (death penalty has never stopped a crime from happening, thus proving our statements). To the contrary, violence from above stimulates, provokes, and helps violence to grow from the bottom. That is why; the powerlessness of law reflects its incompetence! It negates its own validity! It is its own self-conviction! When the irrational authority thinks of ending with the encroachment that it represents and defends against peoples’ rights, and finds itself powerless to accomplish its intended mission, in reality, it is declaring its own bankruptcy! The government is either about brutal, violent, and authoritarian domination of some over most, or it is diplomatic engine and creator of legal fences. It ensures domain and privilege of those that, by force, astuteness or inheritance, monopolize all means of life: science, technology, electronics, communication channels, energy, machinery, real estate, ground and underground, sources of feedstock; serving themselves from this potential so to keep the people dependent as their salaried. Such political systems employ two principal methods to dominate and punish people: directly, through raw power, physical and psychological violence; and indirectly, by transforming the producer into salaried worker, reducing them to substance, obligating them to submit themselves unconditionally to the systems’ conditions. The first method origins from power, of 168
political privilege; the second comes from economic privilege. Oppression can also be determined by segregating conditionings and/or feelings bloodshot in the mind by force of religion, sense of nationalism, school, University, and in the heart of the family, in homeopathic doses. But, in the same way that this acceptance only exists as a result of material impositions, it is also true that lies and the organization founded to propagate these sentiments will live only as long as they are a consequence of political, economic, hierarchical and social privileges. The day when the means to defend and consolidate the classes are abolished, privileges will ruin for their lack of utility. For the Anarchists, to abolish irrational authority, to dismiss its services and those that Govern people over people, does not mean to destroy the energies and individual and/or collective capacities prevailing in human species. To the contrary, the Anarchistsâ€™ intention is to develop and improve these, using responsible freedom and human solidarity as a propelling motor! The Anarchist does not intend to diminish human energies, this would be the same as to diminish humanity to the state of a mass of stagnant atoms, without action nor movement. It would be the destruction of the social body, its death. To the contrary, the Anarchistâ€™s goal is to turn each individual into an active unity, who is capable of directing its own movements, of managing its own production, and of self-government. The Anarchist wants to promote the abolishment of the monopolized power and of the deforming influences, or more exactly, to substitute all machinery capable of alienating people. All machinery that makes people operate with and forget about social inequality, for the interest of a small number of individuals; all machinery that channels and absorbs energies, exclusively for the benefit of a few, impeding these energies from converting themselves into a generous social order for all. In contraposition to a system that has irrational authority as its foundation pillars, that has a government and a clergy 169
incapable of creating brotherhood or of uniting people voluntarily; the Anarchist works for the reconstruction of a society in which each human being can be a solidary producerconsumer, within their own forces, capabilities, aptitudes and necessities. The Anarchist works for a New Education that is able to convert human beings into assured siblings, who are aware, that one member’s well-being or unhappiness means either joy or sorrow for each and everyone. The Anarchists secure themselves in the political and administrative failure of the Governments known today, to propose a new social order resultant of free relations amongst individuals freely associated in a fluid manner, and whom solidarity and human ties connect. Departing from this point, the anarchic moral intends to develop the individual will because only people of will, who are consistent and free spirited, and with ample humanitarian and ecological vision, will be individually capable of selfdirection, of winning the atavists, of getting rid of that “little reactionary” that lives inside each one of us, in our collective unconsciousness, and that blinds the individual from perceiving the incontestable truth! People have no superior or inferior needs in relation to their equals and have no need for a leader or a chief in order to build a New Society where a person is worth a person. A new social organization will rise from everyone’s’ actions, through spontaneous associations of each individual according to their affections (character and emotional affinities) and bottom-up needs, from immediate necessities and interests. This social organization will always be subject to change in favor of acquiring greater experience, since the Anarchist is a permanent student and researcher aiming for perfection. Everyday new paths open up for improvements, in benefit of a new society. Nothing is stable or definite in Anarchy. Everything evolves.
Anarchy and order To most people Anarchy sounds as a catastrophe or, at best, as a naïve idea, a “tasty” utopia. To speak of Anarchy means, to many people, to preach the end of the world!!! And, curiously, if we ask the ones who fear, fight, or slander it, what Anarchy is, they would not know how to properly define it. And still they are against it!!! Anarchy has opponents and enemies to the left, right, and center, as well as amongst those who have heard someone say that it is unachievable. Many of them have attended Universities. They are emeritus professors, writers, historians, poets, lawyers, talkative politicians, clerics, highly ranked authorities; others are simply traders, bourgeois, Socialists, Bolsheviks, Fascists, artists graduated in colleges of crafts, factories, fields or sea, or candidates for Government. They are all “great” connoisseurs of the Anarchist ideas, learnt from dictionary writers, encyclopedia collaborators, and/or found in police reports. Those who criticize Anarchy seldom make the effort to read Anarchist papers, and their printed material. They come up with a negative image of the non-hierarchical doctrine before even knowing it, before studying it. They act in the opposite manner than the Catholics. Most of them believe in the Bible without having read it. The opponents of Anarchism do not believe in it because they have not read it. That is why we usually hear the word ‘Anarchy’ being used as a synonym for ‘disorder’, and the word ‘Anarchist’ meaning ‘violence enthusiast’ and ‘society destroyer’! For the more generous ones, the Anarchist is ‘a visionary, a dreamer, a utopist’. However, Anarchy is a state of society driven by reason, voluntary order, and education. In Anarchy, all human beings have the right of life and of the benefit of natural resources, as well 171
as resources produced by free associated work. It is a human community, fundamentally based on freedom, which allows individuals to develop their artistic and creative potentials. There is a solidarity sense, with the â€œmagical powerâ€? of emotionally connecting people through their hearts and brains. The Anarchist is, therefore, an adept of Anarchy, a citizen who is contrary to inequality within society. Merchant, belligerent, imperialist, and explorer societies alienate and subjugate people, jeopardizing happiness and life! To the Anarchist, the most important thing to be preserved and developed is the human being. So, he defends complete freedom (physical, psychic, religious, political, economical, etc.). Freedom allows people a possibility for wakening and developing all their abilities and capacities without fear, restriction or frustration. This open society cultivates freedom as a right to defend freedom itself, just like health and the oxygen we breathe. That is why Anarchy and Order are not enemies. Anarchism and doctrine Mutual support and human Solidarity are the foundations of Anarchism. It is a profoundly humanitarian doctrine. Its militants are ideologically integrated and configure humansocial organisms, universal values within the Groups, the federations, and in society. Anarchism is based on a New Social Order of total freedom, where natural wealth must attend to everyoneâ€™s needs, regardless of age, sex, race and/or color. Whether this wealth results from manual, intellectual, mechanic, or electronic work, in short, from production, consumption, and education. Anarchism proposes the substitution of an organization restricted by law, which is compulsorily standardized and 172
robotifying, for a voluntary organization based on free agreement. These free agreements will be based upon spontaneous affinities, and can always dissolve, as long as interests and reciprocities cease to exist. It has become a habit to establish rules, consent, conditioning laws, in alienating dimensions, that lead people to resignedly accept inequality and exploitation. Anarchism is opposed to these habits, it does not accept that people have to be governed and/or exploited. It repels the conditioning concept that acting otherwise is not only utopian but also unattainable, or a public calamity of unimaginable proportions. It is not true that people have to suffer from the authority of the government and its auxiliaries to perform their duties and to know how to deal with their freedom. According to political sophisms, “your freedom ends where the other’s begin”, as if all human’s needs could be measured or weighted. Anarchism – doctrine of the anarchists – repudiates the “certainty” that people must allow themselves to be deformed by letting go of their most valuable possessions: intelligence, reason, and desire for freedom! Anarchism understands freedom as a public heritage, that is as necessary to human development as light, or as the air we breathe. This is why Anarchists defend that everyone’s access to this valuable Common Good should become a Principle within the New Education! Anarchism is the philosophy of Humanity. All of us – like it or not – are a little bit anarchist. Human beings complete themselves in Anarchism. They achieve the maximum expression of their development in it. Anarchism does not close itself; it is not framed into any pre-established scheme or script for human conduct. It is life itself! It goes as far as the sense of freedom can reach. The essence of Anarchy is the plenitude of freedom and responsibility. The recent interest from a new generation of researchers, professors, 173
writers, playwrights, and moviemakers proves Anarchism to be a current topic. Here are their works, novels, and films. That is the message of Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos (The Anarchist Doctrine Accessible to All) of José Oiticica. Rio de Janeiro, February 23, 1983
* “A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos (The Anarchist Doctrine Accessible to All) was originally published as feuilleton by the newspaper Ação Direta (Direct Action). In 1947, an anarchist group from São Paulo edited it and soon it was out of print. In 1963, as an initiative of Cooperativa Editora Mundo Livre, founded by “Centro de Estudos Professor José Oiticica” (Professor José Oiticica Study Center), a second edition was released in Rio de Janeiro. Soon, it was also out of print. A 3rd edition was being considered when the “revolution” of the 1st of April 1964, came to stay 6… In solidarity to this desire, a group of anarchists united around the anarchist newspaper A Batalha (The Battle) from the Portuguese capital, released, with great effort, the 3rd edition that was supposed to have come out in Rio. “A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos (The Anarchist Doctrine Accessible to All) was soon out of print in Lisbon as well. Now the Econômica Editorial in São Paulo reprints it here.
Notes on the translation: 1. Bolo-Pasha was a French financier charged with treason against his nation and executed in 1918. 2. Tupiniquim is the name of a group of indigenous people in Brazil. 3. Getúlio Vargas was the dictator president of Brazil from 1930 to 1945 in his first mandate. 4. Cisão refers to the split between anarchists and communists within the workers’ movement in 1922. 5. The revolution here mentioned refers to the Brazilian military coup (1964 to 1985), which was still ongoing when this preface was written. During the dictatorship, the coup was called revolution. 6. ibid 5
There were some textual issues that have required adjustments to the written structure of certain passages so to facilitate their reading. Written Portuguese is remarkably tolerant of long sentences in a way that English is not. Additionally, the original text makes extensive use of predominantly masculine terms to refer to human kind and people in general. The translators believe it is a responsibility of our generation to propose gender-neutral language as a way to achieve a richer life experience. Also, we prefer to name native peoples as indigenous rather than savages. As a result, some passages in this translation have been modified from the original in Portuguese to reflect contemporary language issues. We believe the author would encourage these decisions. Maíra das Neves and Kadija de Paula Agência Transitiva, 2014
WORD+MOIST PRESS VOLUME 1 was published in the month of September 2014 in the City of Livorno, Italy, after discussing whether we should or we shouldn’t translate to English A Doutrina Anarquista ao Alcance de Todos written in 1925 by José Oiticica. After pondering on my desire to read the book and the possible sharing of the translation, I took the decision of letting this wonderful text pollinate. Back in time, I wrote to Sonia Oiticica’s survivors and to Robson Achiamé, the last editor of the original book in Portuguese, to ask for permission for translating the text, but with no success in communicating. Hope they will approve and realize the importance of José Oiticica being known to the rest of the world, in these, our times. The edition was of 1000 copies.
Written in 1925 by José Oiticica - philologist, poet, anarchist and grandfather of the Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. Translated by Kadija...
Published on Oct 10, 2014
Written in 1925 by José Oiticica - philologist, poet, anarchist and grandfather of the Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. Translated by Kadija...