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Anarchist Quotes: Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher (1929-)

The skylines lit up at dead of night, the air-conditioning systems cooling empty hotels in the desert and artificial light in the middle of the day all have something both demented and admirable about them. The mindless luxury of a rich civilization, and yet of a civilization perhaps as scared to see the lights go out as was the hunter in his primitive night.

If we consider the superiority of the human species, the size of its brain, its powers of thinking, language and organization, we can say this: were there the slightest possibility that another rival or superior species might appear, on earth or elsewhere, man would use every means at his disposal to destroy it.

Everywhere one seeks to produce meaning, to make the world signify, to render it visible. We are not, however, in danger of lacking meaning; quite the contrary, we are gorged with meaning and it is killing us.

We are becoming like cats, slyly parasitic, enjoying an indifferent domesticity. Nice and snug in the social, our historic passions have withdrawn into the glow of an artificial coziness, and our half-closed eyes now seek little other than the peaceful parade of television pictures.

It is not entrails that we try to interpret these days, nor even hearts or facial expressions; it is, quite simply, the brain. We want to expose to view its billions of connections and watch it operating like a video game...All that fascinates us is the spectacle of the brain and its workings. What we are wanting here is to see our thoughs unfolding before us – and this itself is a superstition.

-- Anarchist Quotes: Franz Kafka

Kafka by Flavio Costantini
Anarchist quotes by Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka,
(1883-1924). Czech lawyer & novelist whose anarchist influences & ideas find an aesthetic, rather than political, embodiment.

"The Revolution evaporates, & leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. The chains of tormented mankind are made out of red tape."

— Franz Kafka

Kafka illustration by Flavio Costantini

-- Anarchist Quotes: Henrik Ibsen

Anarchist Quotes: Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen, dramatist

"The State is the curse of the individual. . . The State must go! That will be a revolution which will find me on its side. Undermine the idea of the State, set up in its place spontaneous action, and the idea that spiritual relationship is the only thing that makes for unity, and you will start the elements of a liberty which will be something worth possessing."
Emma Goldman The Social Significance of the Modern Drama

-- Anarchist Quotes: Thomas Paine

Anarchist Quotes: Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins ... Society is in every state a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." --- Thomas Paine, Common Sense; forgotten American & revolutionary whose remains are lost

-- Anarchist Quotes: Sacco & Vanzetti

Sacco & Vanzetti
Anarchist Quotes: Sacco & Vanzetti

Sacco & Vanzetti

This appeared in The Industrial Worker (Spokane, Seattle Aug. 20, 1927)

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested outside Boston in 1920 and charged with robbing and killing a shoe factory paymaster and his guard. Though a prosecutor insisted they would be tried for murder and "nothing else," their radical politics remained a focus of the 1921 trial. Judge Webster Thayer, whose bias against the two men surfaced repeatedly, denied the first motion for a new trial in October 1924. In the years that followed he would deny five other motions. In late 1925, new evidence surfaced that gave the Sacco-Vanzetti defense new grounds for an appeal: a convicted murderer told Sacco he committed the South Braintree murders. But Thayer again denied the motion for a new trial, finding that the confession was untruthful. The battle to save Sacco and Vanzetti ended when they were executed in the electric chair on August 23, 1927.

In the months leading up to the execution, every issue of the Industrial Worker contained an update on the two including calls for strikes, editorials on the trials and the authorities involved, and even comments by the convicted anarchists. One of the most moving pieces is a poem by the two, called "Last Will":

We, Sacco and Vanzetti, sound of body and mind,
Devise and bequeath to all we leave behind,
The worldly wealth we inherited at our birth,
Each one to share alike as we leave this earth.

To Wit:
To babies we will their mothers’ love,
To youngsters we will the sun above.
To spooners who wont to tryst the night,
We give the moon and stars that shine so bright.
To thrill them in their hours of joy,
When boy hugs maid and maid hugs boy.
To nature’s creatures we allot the spring and summer,
To the doe, the bear, the gold-finch and the hummer.
To the fishes we ascribe the deep blue sea,
The honey we apportion to the bustling bee.
To the pessimist—good cheer—his mind to sooth,
To the chronic liar we donate the solemn truth.

And Lastly:

To those who judge solely seeking renown,
With blaring trumpets of the fakir and clown;
To the prosecutor, persecutor, and other human hounds,
Who’d barter another’s honor, recognizing no bounds,
To the Governor, the Jury, who another’s life they’d sell—
We endow them with the fiery depths of HELL!(Indust. Wrkr., Aug. 20, 1927)

In the issue after the execution there was a full page memorial to the two fallen martyrs. It contained a final editorial on the trial and the last message written by Vanzetti.


-- Anarchist Quotes: Edward Abbey, anarchist

Anarchist Quotes: Ed Abbey

Ed Abbey

"Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies."

— Ed Abbey

-- Anarchist Quotes: Noam Chomsky

Chomsky's Head
Anarchist Quotes: Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky American critic

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged."

Noam Chomsky



"Freedom without Socialism is privilege & injustice, & Socialism without freedom is slavery & brutality"

Mikhail Bakunin

"No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world.

I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker."



The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, & not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.

Mikhail Bakunin, God & the State


"No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world.

I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker."Mikhail Bakunin

-- Anarchist Quotes: Edward Abbey

Abbey's Road

Anarchist Quotes: Ed Abbey

Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, & county commissioners."

Edward Abbey


""The state calls its own violence law, & that of the individual, crime."

— Max Stirner

-- Anarchist Quotes: Jean Baudrillard

Anarchist Quotes: Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher (1929-)

Subject: The Fourth World War Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 22:23:29 -1000 From Paris Le Monde, Nov 2. by Jean Baudrillard as reported in Harper's Magazine February 2002: There have been four world wars fought in the last 100 years to arrest global hegemony: World War One stopped European Colonialism World War Two stopped Nazism The Cold War stopped Communism And the War on Terror? The so-called War on Terror is actually a global uprising launched for the purpose of stopping Globalization -- stopping Global Corporate Colonialism.

"The USA was on the winning side in the first three world wars. And in the fourth? We are the ENGINE of global capitalism. We're on the wrong side. We cannot win. Or rather, the corporations that run U.S. politics cannot win. The Global Economy has gotten so big that it is breeding the very "evil", the very "terrorism", that is the only possible response to its tyrannical, ubiquitous overreach. The larger the global economy grows, the larger the "terrorist" response will grow. Corporate colonization of the globe cannot succeed. If Islam tried to overrun the entire globe it would breed its own "terrorist" response. The only solution, the only "end" to the war, is to gracefully and authoritatively rein in global corporations." Rich Zubaty, author of The Corporate Cult

-- Anarchist Quotes: Jean Baudrillard

Anarchist Quotes: Jean Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher (1929-)

Radical analyst & schizo-theorist Felix Guattari dies, Paris. From his gravestone:

"There is no mark in the absence / the absence is a presence in me / — the Club of Borders."



"Three-fourths of philosophy & literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering."

— Gary Snyder, Zen Anarchist Poet




"Language is a virus..."


"We must find out what words are

& how they function.

They become images when written down,

but images of words repeated in the mind

& not of the image of the thing itself."

--- Billy Burroughs

Emma Goldman (1869-1940)
Russian-American anarchist, writer, publisher; eventually deported to Russia

Emma Goldman The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

The worker who knows the cause of his misery, who understands the make-up of our iniquitous social and industrial system can do more for himself and his kind than Christ and the followers of Christ have ever done for humanity; certainly more than meek patience, ignorance, and submission have done.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

I was called before the head matron, a tall woman with a stolid face. She began taking my pedigree. "What religion?" was the first question. "None, I am an atheist." "Atheism is prohibited here. You will have to go to church." I replied that I would do nothing of the kind. I did not believe in anything the Church stood for and, not being a hypocrite, I would not attend.
-- Emma Goldman, having been sentenced to Blackwell's Island for a year for saying, at a mass rally at Union Square, "If they do not give you work, demand bread. If they deny you both, take bread. It is your sacred right!" Quoted in Living My Life, p. 133, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 382.

I do not believe in God, because I believe in man. Whatever his mistakes, man has for thousands of years past been working to undo the botched job your God has made.
-- Emma Goldman, speaking from a Detroit pulpit in 1898, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 382

How to raise this dead level of theistic belief is really a matter of life and death for all denominations. Therefore their tolerance; but it is a tolerance not of understanding; but of weakness.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

It is characteristic of theistic "tolerance" that no one really cares what the people believe in, just so they believe or pretend to believe.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Redemption through the Cross is worse than damnation, because of the terrible burden it imposes upon humanity, because of the effect it has on the human soul, fettering and paralyzing it with the weight of the burden exacted through the death of Christ.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Emma Goldman, Mug Shot: Septermber 1, 1893, City of Philadelphia ArchivesMankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods; nothing but pain and persecution have been man's lot since gods began. There is but one way out of this blunder: Man must break his fetters which have chained him to the gates of heaven and hell, so that he can begin to fashion out of his reawakened and illumined consciousness a new world upon earth.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Have not all theists painted their Deity as the god of love and goodness? Yet after thousands of years of such preachments the gods remain deaf to the agony of the human race. Confucius cares not for the poverty, squalor and misery of the people of China. Buddha remains undisturbed in his philosophical indifference to the famine and starvation of outraged Hindoos; Jahve continues deaf to the bitter cry of Israel; while Jesus refuses to rise from the dead against his Christians who are butchering each other.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

There are ... some potentates I would kill by any and all means at my disposal. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry -- the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth.
-- Emma Goldman, speaking from a Detroit pulpit in 1898, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 382

The burden of all song and praise "unto the Highest" has been that God stands for justice and mercy. Yet injustice among men is ever on the increase; the outrages committed against the masses in this country alone would seem enough to overflow the very heavens. But where are the gods to make an end to all these horrors, these wrongs, this inhumanity to man? No, not the gods, but MAN must rise in his mighty wrath. He, deceived by all the deities, betrayed by their emissaries, he, himself, must undertake to usher in justice upon the earth.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partiy with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.
     The Christian religion and morality extols the glory of the Hereafter, and therefore remains indifferent to the horrors of the earth. Indeed, the idea of self-denial and of all that makes for pain and sorrow is its test of human worth, its passport to the entry into heaven.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

"Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven."
     The reward in heaven is the perpetual bait, a bait that has caught man in an iron net, a strait-jacket which does not let him expand or grow. All pioneers of truth have been, and still are, reviled; they have been, and still are, persecuted. But did they ask humanity to pay the price? Did they seek to bribe mankind to accept their ideas? They knew too well that he who accepts a truth because of the bribe, will soon barter it away to a higher bidder....
     Proud and self-reliant characters prefer hatred to such sickening artificial love. Not because of any reward does a free spirit take his stand for a great truth, nor has such a one ever been deterred because of fear of punishment.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

Emma Goldman, speaking in 1919 (cropped from Library of Congress photo LC-USZ62-20178)Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us to-day.... The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gun.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

Atheism ... in its philosophic aspect refuses allegiance not merely to a definite concept of God, but it refuses all servitude to the God idea, and opposes the theistic principle as such. Gods in their individual function are not half as pernicious as the principle of theism which represents the belief in a supernatural, or even omnipotent, power to rule the earth and man upon it. It is the absolutism of theism, its pernicious influence upon humanity, its paralyzing effect upon thought and action, which Atheism is fighting with all its power.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

So weak and helpless was this "Savior of Men" that he must needs the whole human family to pay for him, unto all eternity, because he "hath died for them." Redemption through the Cross is worse than damnation, because of the terrible burden it imposes upon humanity, because of the effect it has on the human soul, fettering and paralyzing it with the weight of the burden exacted through the death of Christ.
     Thousands of martyrs have perished, yet few, if any, of them have proved so helpless as the great Christian God. Thousands have gone to their death with greater fortitude, with more courage, with deeper faith in their ideas than the Nazarene. Nor did they expect eternal gratitude from their fellow-men because of what they endured for them.
     Compared with Socrates and Bruno, with the great martyrs of Russia, with the Chicago Anarchists, Francisco Ferrer, and unnumbered others, Christ cuts a poor figure indeed. Compared with the delicate, frail Spiridonova who underwent the most terrible tortures, the most horrible indignities, without losing faith in herself or her cause, Jesus is a veritable nonentity. They stood their ground and faced their executioners with unflinching determination, and though they, too, died for the people, they asked nothing in return for their great sacrifice.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

It is safe to say that no other superstition is so detrimental to growth, so enervating and paralyzing to the minds and hearts of the people, as the superstition of Morality.
-- Emma Goldman, "Victims of Morality," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, March, 1913

The abuses of Christianity, like the abuses of government, are conditioned in the thing itself, and are not to be charged to the representatives of the creed. Christ and his teachings are the embodiment of submission, of inertia, of the denial of life; hence responsible for the things done in their name.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

I am not interested in the theological Christ. Brilliant minds like Bauer, Strauss, Renan, Thomas Paine, and others refuted that myth long ago. I am even ready to admit that the theological Christ is not half so dangerous as the ethical and social Christ. In proportion as science takes the place of blind faith, theology loses its hold. But the ethical and poetical Christ-myth has so thoroughly saturated our lives that even some of the most advanced minds find it difficult to emancipate themselves from its yoke. They have rid themselves of the letter, but have retained the spirit; yet it is the spirit which is back of all the crimes and horrors committed by orthodox Christianity. The Fathers of the Church can well afford to preach the gospel of Christ. It contains nothing dangerous to the regime of authority and wealth; it stands for self-denial and self-abnegation, for penance and regret, and is absolutely inert in the face of every [in]dignity, every outrage imposed upon mankind.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913

The God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

The triumph of the philosophy of Atheism is to free man from the nightmare of gods; it means the dissolution of the phantoms of the beyond.
-- Emma Goldman, "The Philosophy of Atheism," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, February, 1916

Imagine, capitalist America also divides the anarchists into two categories, philosophic and criminal. The first are accepted in highest circles; one of them is even high in the councils of the Wilson Administration. The second category, to which we have the honor of belonging, is persecuted and often imprisoned. Yours also seems to be a distinction without a difference. Don't you think so?
-- Emma Goldman, to Lenin, responding to his claim that "We do have bandits in prison, and Makhnovtsy, but no ideiny anarchists," quoted from Goldman's autobiography, Living My Life

Emma GoldmanWomen need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open.
-- Emma Goldman, words for which she was sent to prison, according to Margaret Anderson, editor of The Little Review, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 382

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?
     Free love? As if love is anything but free!
-- Emma Goldman, "Marriage and Love" published in Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)

Biographical sketches, source citations, notes, critical editing, layout, and HTML formatting are copyright © 1996-2002, by Cliff Walker.



"Controlled mediations separate individuals from themselves, their desires, their dreams, & their will to live; & so people come to believe in the legend that you can't do without them, or the power that governs them.

Where Power fails to paralyze with constraints, it paralyses by suggestion, by forcing everyone to use crutches of which it is the sole owner & purveyor. Power as the sum of alienating mediations awaits only the holy water of cybernetics to baptize it into the state of Totality.

But total power does not exist, only totalitarian powers. & cyberneticians make such pitiful priests that their baptism of organization will be laughed off the stage."

— Raoul Vaneigem, "Technology & Its Mediated Use"

BleedMeister prepares today's Bleed

Anarchist Encyclopedia Short Name Index Page


"The very existence of the State demands
that there be some privileged class vitally
interested in maintaining that existence.

& it is precisely the group interests
of that class that are called patriotism."

      —  Michael Bakunin, Letters on Patriotism, 1869.

                 Mikhail Bakunin

">Biographical information/links
This quote courtesy of  Recollection Used Anarchist Books

"Speak, speak, speak,
& remember that whenever
anyone's liberty to speak is denied,
your liberty is denied also, & your place
is where the attack is.."

        —  Voltairine De Cleyre [1886-1912].

                   Biographical information/links

This quote courtesy of  Recollection Used Anarchist Books


The people in power will not disappear voluntarily, giving flowers to the cops just isn't going to work. This thinking is fostered by the establishment; they like nothing better than love & nonviolence. The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a high window.


— William Burroughs (b. 1914), U.S. author, Daily Bleed Saint, November 22, 1997. The Job: Interviews with Daniel Odier, Prisoners of the Earth Come Out (1969).


Emiliano Zapata

It is better to die
on your feet
than to live on your knees

      — Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata


"[Anarchism is the] philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, & are therefore wrong & harmful, as well as unnecessary."

— Emma Goldman




by Diego Abad de Santillan

" facing the problem of social transformation, the Revolution cannot consider the state as a medium, but must depend on the organization of producers. We have followed this norm and we find no need for the hypothesis of a superior power to organized labor, in order to establish a new order of things. We would thank anyone to point out to us what function, if any, the State can have in an economic organization, where private property has been abolished and in which parasitism and special privilege have no place. The suppression of the State cannot be a languid affair; it must be the task of the Revolution to finish with the State. Either the Revolution gives social wealth to the producers in which case the producers organize themselves for due collective distribution and the State has nothing to do; or the Revolution does not give social wealth to the producers, in which case the Revolution has been a lie and the State would continue. Our federal council of economy is not a political power but an economic and administrative regulating power. It receives its orientation from below and operates in accordance with the resolutions of the regional and national assemblies. It is a liaison corps and nothing else."


by Rudolf Rocker

"Anarcho-Syndicalists are of the opinion that political parties are not fitted . . . 1. To enforce the demands of the producers for the safeguarding and raising of their standard of living [or] 2. To acquaint the workers with the technical management of production and economic life in general and prepare them to take the socio-economic organism into their own hands and shape it according to socialist principles . . . According to their conceptions the trade union has to be the spearhead of the labour movement, toughened by daily combats and permeated by a socialist spirit. Only in the realm of economy are the workers able to display their full strength; for it is their activity as producers which holds together the whole social structure and guarantees the existence of society. Only as a producer and creator of social wealth does the worker become aware of his strength. In solidary union with his followers he creates the great phalanx of militant labour, aflame with the spirit of freedom and animated by the ideal of social justice. For the Anarcho-Syndicalists the labour syndicate are the most fruitful germs of a future society, the elementary school of Socialism in general. Every new social structure creates organs for itself in the body of the old organism; without this prerequisite every social evolution is unthinkable."


by Fernand Pelloutier

"Suppose now that, on the day the revolution breaks out, virtually every single producer is organised into the unions: will these not represent, ready to step into the shoes of the present organisation, a quasi-libertarian organisation, in fact suppressing all political power, an organisation whose every part, being master of the instruments of production, would settle all of its affairs for itself, in sovereign fashion and through the freely given consent of its members? And would this not amount to the "free association of free producers?"


by Rudolf Rocker


Published by the Solidarity Federation - IWA

"There are two points inherited from a marxist perspective. First of all, marxism separates the political and the economic to try and promote the idea of economic unions, unions that deal purely and simply with economic issues, whereas the political issues are tackled by the political party. Secondly, we are left with the need to struggle against the whole culture that has been built up around delegating activities, around delegating power to others. Anarcho-syndicalism is trying to oppose these negative legacies of marxism, so that people are actually re-educated in order to destroy this culture of dependency and to build up a new kind of culture that is based on activity and action for people, by themselves."


Published by the Local Federation of the CNT-AIT Sevilla

"Anarcho-syndicalism is a current of thought and principles which appeared at the end of the 19th century. It has these fundamental characteristics: [1] The goal of organizing the world's workers for the defense of their immediate interests, and to obtain improvements in their quality of life. To form unions to achieve this. [2] The creation of a structure in which there are neither leaders nor executive power. [3] The desire for the radical transformation of society, a transformation to be brought about by the means of a Social Revolution. Without this goal of transformation, anarcho-syndicalism does not exist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The revolution is thought, liberty and desire in action. People who have lived through revolutionary times describe them as a festival of lights, sounds and joy. It is not a bath of blood and violence such as they show on television. The people stop in the street and talk, this happens always and is very important. They talk about everything, they talk with people of other languages and they understand them because they want to communicate with you. They talk about things that nobody before had ever said and that now comes out naturally, without effort. They accomplish things which days before would have been inconceivable..."

-- Anarchist Quotes: Edward Abbey, anarchist


Anarchist Quotes: Ed Abbey

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Edward Abbey

"Speak, speak, speak,
& remember that whenever
anyone's liberty to speak is denied,
your liberty is denied also, & your place
is where the attack is.."

        —  Voltairine De Cleyre [1886-1912].

                   Biographical information/links

This quote courtesy of  Recollection Used Anarchist Books

animated fist

Write with slogans.

Write to the nth degree.

— Deleuze & Guattari

Alexander Berkman


Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876)

Michael Bakunin
It was a festival without beginning or end; I saw everyone and no-one, for each individual was lost in the same enormous strolling crowd; I spoke to everyone without remembering either my own words or those spoken by others, because everyone's attention was absorbed at every step by new objects and events, and by unexpected news.

Errico Malatesta

Errico Malatesta (1853-1932)

"In all times and in all places, whatever may be the name that the government takes, whatever has been its origin, or its organization, its essential function is always that of oppressing and exploiting the masses, and of defending the oppressors and exploiters. Its principal characteristic and indispensable instruments are the policeman and the tax collector, the soldier and the prison."

-- Abbie Hoffman quote on media: just sell us shit Abbie Hoffman quote


Camillo Berneri (1814-1876)

Camillo Berneri
"A harem lacks variety compared to a woman with whom you are deeply in love."

— Camillo Berneri


Quotes from Eugene Debs
Eugene Debs, libertarian socialist & labor militant

"We [propose] to destroy the capitalist & save the man. We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces & the capitalist shall produce what he gets."

— speech, December 10, 1905

(Apropos the Pullman Strike, which he was involved in):

(Debs is)... a lawbreaker at large, & enemy of the human race ... Debs should be jailed, if there are jails in his neighborhood, & the disorder his bad teaching has endangered must be squelched."

— The New York Times editorial, 1894

"The time has come when forbearance has ceased to be virtue. There must be some shooting, men must be killed, & then there will be an end to this defiance to law & destruction of property. Violence must be met with violence. The soldiers must use their guns. They must shoot to kill."

— Rev. Herrick Johnson, Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Chicago, 1894

"I would no more teach children military training than I would teach them arson, robbery, or assassination."
— Eugene Debs

Eugene Debs

His belief in the people was very genuine, & his vision of socialism quite unlike the State machine pictured in Marx's communist manifesto. Hearing his views, I could not help exclaiming: "Why, Mr. Debs, you're an anarchist!" "Not Mister, but Comrade," he corrected me; "won't you call me that?" Clasping my hand warmly, he assured me that he felt very close to the anarchists, that anarchism was the goal to strive for, & that all socialists should also be anarchists. Socialism to him was only a stepping-stone to the ultimate ideal, which was anarchism. "I know & love Kropotkin & his work," he said; "I admire him & I revere our murdered comrades who lie in Waldheim, as I do also all the other splendid fighters in your movement. You see, then, I am your comrade. I am with you in your struggle."

--- Emma Goldman, Living My Life

-- William Burroughs
The "happy, dead man" of American beat culture.

"We gotta find a way off this goddamn cop-ridden planet."


Emiliano Zapata


strong people do not need a government

      — Emiliano Zapata

Emiliano Zapata

Ed Abbey, anarchist quotations
1927 --

"I am a redneck myself, born & bred on a submarginal farm in Appalachia, descended from an endless line of dark-complected, lug-eared, beetle-browed, insolent barbarian peasants, a line reaching back to the dark forests of central Europe & the alpine caves of my Neanderthal primogenitors."

Monkey wrench       — Edward Abbeyfrom "In defense of the Redneck", Abbey's Road

1989 -- US: No More Monkeying Around? American naturalist novelist, anarchist, xenophobe, Cactus — Ed Abbey Lives! Dies, more or less, today.

Edward Abbey wanted his body transported in the bed of a pickup truck. He wanted to be buried as soon as possible. He wanted no undertakers. No embalming, for Godsake. No coffin. Just an old sleeping bag... Disregard all state laws concerning burial. "I want my body to help fertilize the growth of a cactus or cliff rose or sagebrush or tree," said the message. ? As for graveside ceremony: He wanted gunfire, & a little music.
"No formal speeches desired, though the deceased will not interfere if someone feels the urge. But keep it all simple & brief."

And then a big happy raucous wake. He wanted more music, gay & lively music. He wanted bagpipes.
"& a flood of beer & booze! Lots of singing, dancing, talking, hollering, laughing, & lovemaking," said the message.
& meat! Beans & chilis! & corn on the cob. Only a man deeply in love with life & hopelessly soft on humanity would specify, from beyond the grave, that his mourners receive corn on the cob.

"I work best under duress. In fact I only work under duress."

A Prayer for the Traveler

by Edward Abbey

May your trails be crooked, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into & above the clouds, May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples & castles & poets towers into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch & monkeys howl, through miasmal & mysterious swamps & down into a desert of red rock, blue mesas, domes & pinnacles & grottos of endless stone, & down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, where deer walk across the white sand beaches, where storms come & go as lightning clangs upon the high crags, where something more beautiful & more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you -- beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.

"It's a fools life, a rogue's life, & a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave."

2004 -- Anarchist Quotations

[dictionary][definitions][essays][people][library][quotes][market][links] library: quotes

Anarchist Quotations

The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

Proudhon tattoo
The social revolution is seriously compromised if it comes through a political revolution.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

I build no system. I ask an end to privilege, the abolition of slavery, equality of rights, and the reign of law. Justice, nothing else.That is the alpha and omega of my argument.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first self-labeled anarchist

"Property is theft!"

"Anarchy is order."

"Whoever puts his hand on me to govern me is a usurper & a tyrant. I declare him my enemy."

Proudhon stamp on a t-shirt



— Pierre Joseph Proudhon

The Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that 'the best government is that which governs least,' and that which governs least is no government at all.

Benjamin Tucker

"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."

Leo Tolstoy, Russian Novelist and Christian Anarchist

From my point of view the killing of another, except in defense of human life, is archistic, authoritarian, and therefore, no Anarchist can commit such deeds. It is the very opposite of what Anarchism stands for...

Joseph Labadie, Anarchism and Crime

In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it.

Peter Kropotkin, "Law and Authority"

Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice.

Henry David Thoreau

The main question ... is not what motive inspired the law, but what it will be possible for men of bad motive to do with the law ...

Benamin R. Tucker

Governments and the military purport to protect the public from enemies, and if there were no enemies they would have to invent some, for the simple purpose of rationalizing their existence ....

Laurance Labadie, son of Joseph Labadie

If we cannot by reason, by influence, by example, by strenuous effort, and by personal sacrifice, mend the bad places of civilization, we certainly cannot do it by force.

Auberon Herbert, 1894

Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

It's sad to me that such a basic thing as the principled opposition to coercion is considered to be extremist, unreasonable, unrealistic. Why do I have to believe in permanent peace to oppose war? How is it utopian to denounce force?

bkMarcus, Isn't Anarchism Unrealistic?

Statism is the claim that institutionalized proactive coercion is justified.

bkMarcus, Isn't Anarchism Unrealistic?

An Anarchist is anyone who denies the necessity and legitimacy of government; the question of his methods of attacking it is foreign to the definition.

Benjamin R. Tucker, III 2

"All government in essence," says Emerson, "is tyranny." It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

ANARCHISM:--The philosophy of a new social order based on liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

Dynamite ... is government in its most intensified and concentrated form ...

Auberon Herbert

Even were the workers able to have their own representatives, for which our good Socialist politicians are clamoring, what chances are there for their honesty and good faith?

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution.

popular paraphrase of Emma Goldman

In 1903 the United States Congress passed legislation that banned immigrants who advocated the overthrow of government. Wouldn't that include the Founding Fathers?


AnarchY might be imaginary -- meaning that we don't now and may never have a society without coercive rulers -- but anarchISM is a value-set, like pacifism or Christian love, or Buddhist empathy. It is not a description of the world, but a standard for judging situations within the world.

bkMarcus, Isn't Anarchism Unrealistic?

It takes less effort to condemn than to think.

Emma Goldman

It was play rather than work which enabled man to evolve his higher faculties -- everything we mean by the word 'culture'.

Herbert Read, Anarchy & Order

John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities?

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

Liberty is the solution of all social and economic questions.

Joseph Labadie

Perhaps it is this theory of all work and no play that has made the Marxist such a very dull boy.

Herbert Read, Anarchy & Order

Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

The emotions of the ignorant man are continuously kept at a pitch by the most blood-curdling stories about Anarchism. Not a thing too outrageous to be employed against this philosophy and its exponents. Therefore Anarchism represents to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child,--a black monster bent on swallowing everything; in short, destruction and violence.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

The "health, education, and welfare" section of government is another boondoggle. First we manufacture indigent and superfluous people by legal monopolies in land, money and idea patents, erecting tariff barriers to protect monopolies from foreign competition, and taxing laborers to subsidize rich farmers and privileged manufacturers. Then we create "social workers, " etc., to care for them and thereby establish a self-aggravating and permanent institutionalized phenomenon ...

Laurance Labadie, son of Joseph Labadie

The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

...There are some troubles from which mankind can never escape .... [The anarchists] have never claimed that liberty will bring perfection; they simply say that its results are vastly preferable to those that follow from authority .... As a choice of blessings, liberty is the greater; as a choice of evils, liberty is the smaller. Then liberty always says the Anarchist. No use of force except against the invader....

Benamin R. Tucker

There is no freedom that I would grant to any man that I would refuse to woman, and there is no freedom that I would refuse to either man or woman except the freedom to invade ... whoever has the ballot has the freedom to invade, and whoever wants the ballot wants the freedom to invade. Give woman equality with man, by all means; but do it by taking power from man, not giving it to woman."

Benjamin R. Tucker, II 8

The State is said by some to be a necessary evil; it must be made unnecessary.

Benjamin R. Tucker, "Liberty's Declaration of Purpose"

The student of Liberty must constantly endeavor to disassociate his imagination from sanguinary dramas of assassination and revolt.

Benjamin R. Tucker, 1883

They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere.

Emma Goldman, "What is Anarchy?"

I believe that the people in power -- not only political power, but also economic and social power -- will not non-violently give up that power to the people. Power is not a material possession that can be given, it is the ability to act. Power must be taken, it is never given.

The Anarchist Cookbook

Anarchy can no longer be defined as freedom from oppression or lack of governmental control. It has gone further than that. It has become, especially in the young people today, a state of mind, an essence of being. It can be expressed as "doing their own thing," or maybe just simply having the choice to do or not to do.

The Anarchist Cookbook

Today has brought forth a great revivial of anarchy in all fields: politics, arts, music, education, and even to a small degree in business. Although this surge of individualism is present, you won't find too many people willing to call it anarchy. But that's just terminology.

The Anarchist Cookbook

An anarchist is not necessarily a revolutionary, although it is more common than not that a person who has attempted to rid himself of exterior controls, for the purpose of developing his own philosophy, will find himself oppressed.

The Anarchist Cookbook

This book is not for children or morons.

The Anarchist Cookbook

If the individual has a right to govern himself, all external government is tyranny. Hence the necessity of abolishing the State.

Benjamin R. Tucker

Aggression is simply another name for government. Aggression, invasion, government, are interconvertible terms. The essence of government is control, or the attempt to control. He who attempts to control another is a governor, an aggressor, an invader; and the nature of such invasion is not changed, whether it is made by one man upon another man, after the manner of the ordinary criminal, or by one man upon all other men, after the manner of an absolute monarch, or by all other men upon one man, after the manner of a modern democracy.

Benjamin R. Tucker

He who attempts to control another is a governor, an aggressor, an invader; and the nature of such invasion is not changed, whether it is made by one man upon another man ... or by all other men upon one man, after the manner of a modern democracy.

Benjamin R. Tucker

This, then, is the Anarchistic definition of government: the subjection of the non-invasive individual to an external will. And this is the Anarchistic definition of the State: the embodiment of the principle of invasion in an individual, or a band of individuals, assuming to act as representatives or masters of the entire people within a given area. As to the meaning of the remaining term in the subject under discussion, the word "individual," I think there is little difficulty. Putting aside the subtleties in which certain metaphysicians have indulged, one may use this word without danger of being misunderstood.

Benjamin R. Tucker

This, then, is the Anarchistic definition of government: the subjection of the non-invasive individual to an external will...

Benjamin R. Tucker

Anarchism does not repudiate the right of ownership, but it has a conception thereof sufficiently different from [others'] to include the possibility of an end of that social organization which will arise, not out of the ruins of government, but out of the transformation of government into voluntary association for defence.

Benjamin R. Tucker

"If it had not been for these thing, I might have live out my life, talking at street-corners to scorning men. I might have die unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. Never in our full life can we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man, as we now do by an accident. Our words - our lives, our pains - nothing! The taking of our lives, lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish-pedlar - all! That last moment belong to us - that agony is our triumph."

Vanzetti (of Saccho & Vanzetti) in a letter left in his cell before his exectution.

We see that not only is the emperor naked--he is a murder, tyrant, brigand, liar, and bungler.

James W. Harris

Anarchism in its most mature form in the United States, has demanded freedom, not for one individual or one group, but for each and every individual.

Eunice Minette Schuster,
Native American Anarchism:
A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism, 1932

The free and spontaneous inner life of the individual the Anarchists have regarded as the source of greatest pleasure and also of progress itself ...

Eunice Minette Schuster,
Native American Anarchism:
A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism, 1932

The question is, and the Anarchists from the earliest time have asked this, will the people of the United States allow any authority to destroy that vital principle of Individuality which finds the greatest personal happiness and the highest social good in the free and spontaneous development of a rich individual life, both in thought and in action?

Eunice Minette Schuster,
Native American Anarchism:
A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism, 1932

Viewed in perspective, therefore, the Anarchist movement both native and foreign suggests two things: first, that Democracy has failed to protect the critical minority, and second, that authority institutionalized, whether religious, social, moral, or economic strikes both the one who wields it and the one who suffers from it.

Eunice Minette Schuster,
Native American Anarchism:
A Study of Left-Wing American Individualism, 1932

All my life I was an "anarchist" without recognizing that such a term might also represent a formal philosophy I could possibly 80% agree with. The bulk of these "agreements" I now discover I have with Bakunin or Tucker or Spooner, I'd had no idea: I had to think all that stuff through myself.

Paul Knatz

On the free market, everyone earns according to his productive value in satisfying consumer desires. Under statist distribution, everyone earns in proportion to the amount he can plunder from the producers.

Murray N. Rothbard

They maintain that only a dictatorship -- their dictatorship, of course -- can create the will of the people, while our answer to this is: No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up.

Mikhail Bakunin

[General Semantics to the rescue:]

"Let us designate anarchism1 anarchism as you define it. Let us desiginate anarchism2 anarchism as I and the American Heritage College Dictionary define it." This is a FAQ about anarchism2.

Bryan Caplan, Appendix: Defining Anarchism

I see anarchism as the theoretical ideal to which we are all gradually evolving to a point where everybody can tell the truth to everybody else and nobody can get punished for it. That can only happen without hierarchy and without people having the authority to punish other people.

Robert Anton Wilson, the Utopia USA interview

The measure of the state's success is that the word anarchy frightens people, while the word state does not.

Joseph Sobran, Anarchy without Fear

Even if we are all doomed to live under the state, it doesn't follow that there is, or even can be, such a thing as a good state.

Joseph Sobran, The State: Evil and Idol

Thus does a 'necessary evil' become an idol. Maybe we're stuck with it. But do we have to worship it?

Joseph Sobran, The State: Evil and Idol

Since outright slavery has been discredited, democracy is the only remaining rationale for state compulsion that most people will accept.

Joseph Sobran, The Myth of "Limited Government"

There can be no such thing as "limited government," because there is no way to control an entity that in principle enjoys a monopoly of power...

Joseph Sobran, The Myth of "Limited Government"

Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.

Joseph Sobran, The Myth of "Limited Government"

Anarchism is my declaration of peace with you. It is a repudiation of the use of coercive power to achieve my own ends, or to abet the domination of any man by his fellows, or over his fellows.

Cat Farmer

Good intentions are no excuse for making prisoners and hostages of people who have less political clout than you do.

Cat Farmer

Anarchism is my statement of intention to mind my own business, and not to interest myself in yours beyond what is welcome, mannerly, and appropriate to our relationship, because I expect the same courtesy from you. We will only care about each other when our relationship is peaceful, and it is not a peaceful act to care to the extent of violating another person's boundaries.

Cat Farmer

If you honestly value diversity, yet believe that it must be administered or doled out by a central authority, you anticipate that the one thing that is most capable of killing diversity, and also has the best incentive to destroy it, will magically act to preserve it.

Cat Farmer

Giving diversity a limited range of acceptable ways in which it can manifest doesn't honor it any more than protest zones honor the right to free speech; that's just another way to quarantine the healthy elements of society against infecting the diseased ones.

Cat Farmer

Anarchism is grounded in a rather definite social-psychological hypothesis: that forceful, graceful and intelligent behaviour occurs only when there is an uncoerced and direct response to the physical and social environment; that in most human affairs, more harm than good results from compulsion, top-down direction, bureaucratic planning, pre-ordained curricula, jails, conscription, states.

Paul Goodman,
Like A Conquered Province, 1965
Chapter 6: "Is American democracy viable?"

When we vote in an election, we are declaring, by our actions, our support for the process of some people ruling others by coercive means.

Butler Shaffer

Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist.

Jacob Halbrooks

When you advocate any government action, you must first believe that violence is the best answer to the question at hand.

Allen Thornton, Laws of the Jungle

Will you and your government teach eagles to fly and tigers to hunt? Of course not. No one is so arrogant with nature. But you and your government want to tell me what to buy and how to live, and I am more complex than any eagle or tiger. Give me only the same respect you pay the badger and the blue jay, and leave me alone.

After all, anarchy means nothing more than human ecology.

Allen Thornton, Laws of the Jungle

I believe that although there are certain important tasks which for special reasons are difficujlt to do under institutions of total private property, these difficulties are in principle, and may be in practice, soluble. I hold that there are no proper functions of government. In that sense I am an anarchist.

David Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom

That forcible government is a moral wrong in itself is enough reason to abolish it, even if market solutions were not an improvement.

Brad Edmonds

To be an anarchist only means that you believe that aggression is not justified, and that states necessarily employ aggression. And, therefore, that states, and the aggression they necessarily employ, are unjustified. It's quite simple, really. It's an ethical view, so no surprise it confuses utilitarians.

N. Stephan Kinsella

I do not think we will see a stateless society in my lifetime. But I am sure we will not see a state that conforms to the minarchists' ideals. The closer we get, the better, but I see no reason not to aspire for the best government as Thoreau imagined it: none at all. It's certainly more consistently idealistic than what the minarchists imagine, and yet it's at least possible, whereas the existence of a lasting, minimal state is a hopeless fantasy.

Anthony Gregory, The Minarchist's Dilemma

3000 --

I heartily accept the motto, — "That government is best which governs least;" & I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly & systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, — "That government is best which governs not at all;" & when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

— Henry David Thoreau, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"

3000 --




for the sake of growth
is the ideology of the cancer cell."

Edward Abbey, reminding us that "corporate-sponsored" environmental activities is a rather bad joke.

Black Rose

9003 --

Anarchists and Fellow Travellers

Anarchism is the theory that no government is just and that no government is therefore exactly what we ought to strive for. The theme of this particular page on anarchism is "they said it best, first."

I've included some non-anarchist thinkers (e.g. Thomas Paine) whose radical critiques of (then) established governments are worth a look, as well as some future-primitivist and luddite theorists (e.g. Zerzan) and others (e.g. Bey, Black) whose critique of modern society and whose programs for change reach further than the organization and dissolution of government.

Anarchism (when it's not merely a leather-jacket fashion statement) is often thought of as a dramatic battle of mad bombers (Kaczynski) and assassination (Czolgolsz, Berkman) - but the con-game of government has never been more powerful or more jealous of power. Today anarchism is a battle of inches - individuals insisting on reclaiming individual sovereignty one decision and one moment at a time.

You can't assassinate tyrants very often anymore and expect anything meaningful to change. Taking casualties from 'their side' may have a deterrent effect but may just as easily make things worse. If you want to kill the tyrant today you're talking about oceans of blood, probably including your own. The tyrant today is the body politic as an evolved organism, parasitical where it is tangent to our lives.

So if assassinating tyrants is out, what's left for the freedom-fighter? Wouldn't you know it: Revolution can be fun! Exercise your creativity and exorcise the busybodies and sadists at the same time by checking out the rest of the Culture Jammers' Encyclopedia.

Hakim Bey

"The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it."

Bob Black

"There is more freedom in any moderately deStalinized dictatorship than there is in the ordinary American workplace."

Murray Bookchin

"Anarchism [has] developed in the tension between two basically contradictory tendencies: a personalistic commitment to individual autonomy and a collectivist commitment to social freedom."

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912)

Voltairine de Cleyre
"Of the essence of government... it is a thing apart, developing its own interests at the expense of what opposes it; all attempts to make it anything else fail."

  • Anarchism and Other Essays
  • Anarchism: What it Really Stands For
  • The Individual, Society and the State
  • Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure
  • Francisco Ferrer and the Modern School
  • Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty
  • The Psychology of Political Violence
  • The Hypocrisy of Puritanism
  • The Traffic in Women
  • Woman Suffrage
  • The Tragedy of Woman's Emancipation
  • Marriage and Love
  • The Modern Drama: A Powerful Disseminator of Radical Thought
  • The Social Significance of the Modern Drama
  • Living My Life
  • My Disillusionment in Russia
  • My Further Disillusionment in Russia
  • A Sketch of Alexander Berkman
  • On the shooting of Henry Clay Frick by Alexander Berkman
  • The Place of the Individual in Society
  • Minorities Versus Majorities

    Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Emma Goldman
"Real wealth consists in things of utility and beauty, in things that help to create strong, beautiful bodies and surroundings inspiring to live in. But if man is doomed to wind cotton around a spool, or dig coal, or build roads for thirty years of his life, there can be no talk of wealth. What he gives to the world is only gray and hideous things, reflecting a dull and hideous existence - too weak to live, too cowardly to die. Strange to say, there are people who extol this deadening method of centralized production as the proudest achievement of our age. They fail utterly to realize that if we are to continue in machine subserviency, our slavery is more complete than was our bondage to the King. They do not want to know that centralization is not only the death-knell of liberty, but also of health and beauty, of art and science, all these being impossible in a clock-like, mechanical atmosphere."

Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)

Peter Kropotkin
"If you reason instead of repeating what is taught you; if you analyze the law and strip off those cloudy fictions with which it has been draped in order to conceal its real origin, which is the right of the stronger, and its substance, which has ever been the consecration of all the tyrannies handed down to mankind through its long and bloody history; when you have comprehended this, your contempt for the law will be profound indeed."

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

Thomas Paine
"Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured."

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

Lysander Spooner
"A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years."

Henry David Thoreau (1816-1862)

H.D. Thoreau
"I have not so surely forseen that any Cossack or Chippeway would come to disturb the honest and simple commonwealth, as that some monster institution would at length embrace and crush its free members in its scaly folds; for it is not to be forgotten, that while the law holds fast the thief and murderer, it lets itself go loose. When I have not paid the tax which the State demanded for that protection which I did not want, itself has robbed me; when I have asserted the liberty it presumed to declare, itself has imprisoned me... Thus it has happened, that not the Arch Fiend himself has been in my way, but these toils which tradition says were originally spun to obstruct him."

Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (1854-1939)

Benjamin Tucker
"The Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that 'the best government is that which governs least,' and that that which governs least is no government at all."

John Zerzan

"Many say that millions would die if the present techno-global fealty to work and the commodity were scrapped. But this overlooks many potentialities. For example, consider the vast numbers of people who would be freed from manipulative, parasitic, destructive pursuits for those of creativity, health and liberty."

9003 --


Endorsed by the Confederation Generale du Travaille (830 votes to 8) at its 1906 congress.


"Organisation: The base of discussion and decision is the workers assemblies and all decisions come from the base."


By Emile Pouget

"Direct Action . . . implies that the working class subscribes to notions of freedom and autonomy instead of genuflecting before the principle of authority.

Now, it is thanks to this authority principle, the pivot of the modern world - democracy being its latest incarnation - that the human being, tied down by a thousand ropes, moral as well as material, is bereft of any opportunity to display will and initiative."


"Fernand Pelloutier can, in the words of Pierre Monatte, be 'justly regarded as the father of revolutionary syndicalism' . . . 'Can you deny', he wrote in 1894, 'that at the source of all disorder, of bad politics and bad morals, of greed and cruelty, of egoism and envy, one always finds money. Money is the beginning and end of everything'. Specifically, Pelloutier located the cause of the ills of society in a perversion of the system of exchange, the substitution by capitalism of exchange value for use value. The law of supply and demand ensured that products were priced not according to their intrinsic value but in line with the dictates of the market. Inevitably, Pelloutier argued, such a system operated in the interests of those who possessed capital, the manipulators of the system of exchange, and contrary to the interests of the consumer and producer, whose labour benefited only 'the parasite, the rentier and the financier'. 'To the extent that one can say that a man is rich', Pelloutier observed, 'the less he has worked: his useful production is inversely proportionate to his wealth'. Here, in essence, was 'the origin of the modern social system in its entirety'..."


By Mikhail Bakunin

"Only individuals, and a small number of them at that, can be carried away by an abstract and "pure" idea. The millions, the masses, not only of the proletariat but also of the enlightened and privileged classes, are carried away only by the power and logic of "facts," apprehending and envisaging most of the time only their immediate interests or moved only by their monetary, more or less blind, passions. Therefore, in order to interest and draw the whole proletariat into the work of the International, it is necessary approach it not with general and abstract ideas, but with a living tangible comprehension of its own pressing problems, of which evils the workers are aware in a concrete manner."


By Ralph Chaplin

"Every intelligent person now realizes that there is something radically wrong with the social system under which we are living. Everyone, excepting the beneficiaries of this system, agrees that something ought to be done about it. The trouble is that people at present seem unable to agree on any common program of action. Some accept their unhappy lot with a patience and fortitude worthy of a better cause, others theorize ineffectually and do little, while still others complain bitterly and strike out blindly. Nearly everyone rushes hither and tither seeking escape but without having any clear-cut objective in view . . . The argument for the General Strike is based on the persistent and very logical working class conviction that the ruling class will refuse to permit itself to be dispossessed by any power weaker than its own and that public opinion, political action and insurrection therefore will not be permitted to be developed or used to any appreciable extent. It is further based on the firm belief that Labor alone can save the world from chaos during and following the period of transition. As long as the production of goods under any system depends on the disciplined solidarity of the producing class it is evident that this solidarity alone is capable of stopping the operations of the old order or of starting and continuing those of the new."


by Murray Bookchin

"Although the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July, 1936, was followed by a far-reaching social revolution in the anti-Franco camp -- more profound in some respects than the Bolshevik Revolution in its early stages -- millions of discerning people outside of Spain were kept in ignorance, not only of its depth and range, but even of its existence, by virtue of a policy of duplicity and dissimulation of which there is no parallel in history. - Burnett Bolloten"


by Emile Pouget

"The Party of Labour is what it says it is, the banding together of the workers into one homogeneous bloc; the autonomous organisation of the working class into an aggregate operating on the terrain of the economy; by virtue of its origins, its essence, it shuns all compromise with bourgeois elements . . . The Party of Labour is a party of interests. It takes no account of the opinions of its component members: it acknowledges and co-ordinates only the interests - be they material or moral or intellectual - of the working class. Its ranks are open to all of the exploited regardless of their political or religious views."


By Michael Bakunin

". . . there is still too great a difference in the level of industrial, political, intellectual, and moral development among the working masses in various countries for it to be possible today to unite them around a single political, anti-religious program. To suggest such a program for the International and to make it an absolute condition for admission to that Association, would be to establish a sect, not a worldwide association, and it would destroy the International."


by Grover H. Perry

"The Industrial Workers of the World are laying the foundation of a new government. This government will have for its legislative halls the mills, the workshops and factories. Its legislators will be the men in the mills, shops and factories. Its legislative enactments will be those pertaining to the welfare of the workers . . . These things are to be. No force can stop them. Armies will be of no avail. Capitalist governments may issue their mandates in vain. The power of the workers--industrially organized--is the only power on earth worth considering--once they realize that power. Classes will disappear, and in their place will be only useful members of society--the workers."


By Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

"For us to discuss the morality of sabotage would be as absurd as to discuss the morality of the strike or the morality of the class struggle itself. In order to understand sabotage or to accept it at all it is necessary to accept the concept of class struggle. If you believe that between the workers on the one side and their employers on the other there is peace, there is harmony such as exists between brothers, and that consequently whatever strikes and lockouts occur are simply family squabbles; if you believe that a point can be reached whereby the employer can get enough and the worker can get enough, a point of amicable adjustment of industrial warfare and economic distribution, then there is no justification and no explanation of sabotage intelligible to you. Sabotage is one weapon in the arsenal of labor to fight its side of the class struggle. Labor realizes, as it becomes more intelligent, that it must have power in order to accomplish anything; that neither appeals for sympathy nor abstract rights will make for better conditions."


By Emile Pouget

"Since the day a man had the criminal ability to profit by another man's labour, since that very same day the exploited toiler has instinctively tried to give to his master less than was demanded from him. In this wise the worker was unconsciously doing SABOTAGE, demonstrating in an indirect way the irrepressible antagonism that arrays Capital and Labor one against the other."


By L. Gambone

"Syndicalism died after WWI. Syndicalism was finished as a revolutionary movement by 1910. Syndicalism was finished off by Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Syndicalism was a primitive millennial movement which evolved into modern social democratic unionism. Or so the academic labour historians will tell you. The purpose of this pamphlet is to show that these conceptions are myths."


by Emile Pouget

" The trade union offers itself as a school for the will: its preponderant role is the result of its members' wishes, and, if it is the highest form of association, the reason is that it is the condensation of workers' strengths made effective through their direct action, the sublime form of the deliberate enactment of the wishes of the proletarian class. ."

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