„I think the question is not about "communists" and "individualists", but rather about anarchists and non-anarchists.“

—  Errico Malatesta, Note to the article 'Individualism and Anarchism' by Adams (1924), Context: I claimed that "individualist anarchism and communist anarchism are the same, or nearly so, in terms of moral motivations and ultimate goals". I know that one could counter my claim with hundreds of texts and plenty of deeds of self-proclaimed individualist anarchists, which would demonstrate that individualist anarchist and communist anarchist are separated by something of a moral abyss. However, I deny that that kind of individualists can be included among anarchists, despite their liking for calling themselves so. If anarchy means non-government, non-domination, non-oppression by man over man, how can one call himself anarchist without lying to himself and the others, when he frankly claims that he would oppress the others for the satisfaction of his Ego, without any scruple or limit, other than that drawn by his own strength? He can be a rebel, because he is being oppressed and he fights to become an oppressor, as other nobler rebels fight to destroy any kind of oppression; but he sure cannot be anarchist. He is a would-be bourgeois, a would-be tyrant, who is unable to accomplish his dreams of dominion and wealth by his own strength and by legal means, and therefore he approaches anarchists to exploit their moral and material solidarity. Therefore, I think the question is not about "communists" and "individualists", but rather about anarchists and non-anarchists. And we, or at least many of us, were quite wrong in discussing a certain kind of alleged "anarchist individualism" as if it really was one of the various tendencies of anarchism, instead of fighting it as one of the many disguises of authoritarianism.
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Errico Malatesta
1853 - 1932
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„We live in a badly developed anarchist situation in which the biggest gang has taken over and have declared that it is not an anarchist situation – that it is a capitalist or a communist situation. But I tend to think that anarchy is the most natural form of politics for a human being to actually practice.“

—  Alan Moore English writer primarily known for his work in comic books 1953
Context: I suppose I first got involved in radical politics as a matter of course, during the late 1960s when it was a part of the culture. The counterculture, as we called it then, was very eclectic and all-embracing. It included fashions of dress, styles of music, philosophical positions, and, inevitably, political positions. And although there would be various political leanings coming to the fore from time to time, I suppose that the overall consensus political standpoint was probably an anarchist one. Although probably back in those days, when I was a very young teenager, I didn’t necessarily put it into those terms. I was probably not familiar enough with the concepts of anarchy to actually label myself as such. It was later, as I went into my twenties and started to think about things more seriously that I came to a conclusion that basically the only political standpoint that I could possibly adhere to would be an anarchist one. It furthermore occurred to me that, basically, anarchy is in fact the only political position that is actually possible. I believe that all other political states are in fact variations or outgrowths of a basic state of anarchy; after all, when you mention the idea of anarchy to most people they will tell you what a bad idea it is because the biggest gang would just take over. Which is pretty much how I see contemporary society. We live in a badly developed anarchist situation in which the biggest gang has taken over and have declared that it is not an anarchist situation – that it is a capitalist or a communist situation. But I tend to think that anarchy is the most natural form of politics for a human being to actually practice. All it means, the word, is no leaders. An-archon. No leaders. And I think that if we actually look at nature without prejudice, we find that this is the state of affairs that usually pertains.

Bob Black photo

„The history of anarchism is a history of unparalleled defeat and martyrdom, yet anarchists venerate their victimized forebears with a morbid devotion which occasions suspicion that the anarchists, like everybody else, think that the only good anarchist is a dead one.“

—  Bob Black American anarchist 1951
Anarchism And Other Impediments To Anarchy (1985), Context: The history of anarchism is a history of unparalleled defeat and martyrdom, yet anarchists venerate their victimized forebears with a morbid devotion which occasions suspicion that the anarchists, like everybody else, think that the only good anarchist is a dead one. Revolution — defeated revolution — is glorious, but it belongs in books and pamphlets. In this century — Spain in 1936 and France in 1968 are especially clear cases — the revolutionary upsurge caught the official, organized anarchists flat-footed and initially non-supportive or worse. The reason is not far to seek. It's not that all these ideologues were hypocrites (some were). Rather, they had worked out a daily routine of anarchist militancy, one they unconsciously counted on to endure indefinitely since revolution isn't really imaginable in the here-and-now, and they reacted with fear and defensiveness when events outdistanced their rhetoric. In other words, given a choice between anarchism and anarchy, most anarchists would go for the anarchism ideology and subculture rather than take a dangerous leap into the unknown, into a world of stateless liberty.

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„Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that's only because most people don't know what anarchist means. Most people hear you're an anarchist and they think you're getting ready to throw a bomb at a building.“

—  Robert Anton Wilson American author and polymath 1932 - 2007
Context: Well I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that's only because most people don't know what anarchist means. Most people hear you're an anarchist and they think you're getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don't understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn't arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists. They take the position which they call minarchy, which is the smallest possible government... The reason I don't believe in the smallest possible government is because we started out with that and it only took us 200 years to arrive at the czarist occupation of government that we have now. I think any government is dangerous no matter how small you make it. Instead of governments we should have contractual associations that you can opt out of if you don't like the way the association is going. Religions fought for hundreds of years over which one should dominate Europe and then they finally gave up and made a truce, and they all agreed to tolerate each other — at least in this part of the world... But I think government should be treated like religion, everyone should be able to pick the kind they like. Only it should be contractual not obligatory. I wouldn't mind paying tax money to a local association to maintain a police force, as long as we need one. But I hate like hell paying taxes to help the US government build more nuclear missiles to blow up more people I don't even know and don't think I'd hate them if I did know them. A lot of anarchists had a major roll in influencing my political thinking, especially the individualist anarchists. Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner especially. But I've also been influenced by Leo Tolstoy's anarcho-pacifism. And I find a lot of Kropotkin compatible even though he was a communist anarchist. Nothing wrong with communist anarchism as long as it remains voluntary. Any one that wants to go make a commune, go ahead, do it. I got nothing against it. As long as there's room to the individualist to do his or her own thing. Interview in TSOG (2002) http://www.blackcrayon.com/ (sound file) http://www.blackcrayon.com/audio/RAW-anarchism.mp3

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„Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals.“

—  Lucy Parsons American communist anarchist labor organizer 1853 - 1942
The Principles of Anarchism, Context: Anarchists know that a long period of education must precede any great fundamental change in society, hence they do not believe in vote begging, nor political campaigns, but rather in the development of self-thinking individuals. We look away from government for relief, because we know that force (legalized) invades the personal liberty of man, seizes upon the natural elements and intervenes between man and natural laws; from this exercise of force through governments flows nearly all the misery, poverty, crime and confusion existing in society.

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„The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. "To establish Anarchy." "Anarchy will be instituted."“

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„Philosophy is an activity: it is a way of thinking about certain sorts of question.“

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„It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while.“

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The Salmon of Doubt (2002), Context: For Children: You will need to know the difference between Friday and a fried egg. It's quite a simple difference, but an important one. Friday comes at the end of the week, whereas a fried egg comes out of a chicken. Like most things, of course, it isn't quite that simple. The fried egg isn't properly a fried egg until it's been put in a frying pan and fried. This is something you wouldn't do to a Friday, of course, though you might do it on a Friday. You can also fry eggs on a Thursday, if you like, or on a cooker. It's all rather complicated, but it makes a kind of sense if you think about it for a while.

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„No one ever wanted to see it as anything other than a boring play about a middle-aged man having a mid-life crisis. I think it’s about rather more than that - or maybe it’s not. Maybe that’s exactly what it is about.“

—  Patrick Marber English comedian, actor and screenwriter 1964
Interview in Jewish Chronicle, 26 September 2007 http://thejc.com/home.aspx?AId55759&ATypeId1&searchtrue2&srchstrpatrick%20marber&srchtxt1&srchhead1&srchauthor1&srchsandp1&scsrch0, Of his play Howard Katz.

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