Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Proposed Roads To Freedom by Bertrand Russell

Part 1 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Scanned by Charles Keller with
OmniPage Professional OCR software
donated by Caere Corporation, 1-800-535-7226.
Contact Mike Lough










THE attempt to conceive imaginatively a better
ordering of human society than the destructive and
cruel chaos in which mankind has hitherto existed
is by no means modern: it is at least as old as Plato,
whose ``Republic'' set the model for the Utopias of
subsequent philosophers. Whoever contemplates the
world in the light of an ideal--whether what he seeks
be intellect, or art, or love, or simple happiness, or
all together--must feel a great sorrow in the evils
that men needlessly allow to continue, and--if he be
a man of force and vital energy--an urgent desire to
lead men to the realization of the good which inspires
his creative vision. It is this desire which has been
the primary force moving the pioneers of Socialism
and Anarchism, as it moved the inventors of ideal
commonwealths in the past. In this there is nothing
new. What is new in Socialism and Anarchism, is
that close relation of the ideal to the present
sufferings of men, which has enabled powerful political
movements to grow out of the hopes of solitary thinkers.
It is this that makes Socialism and Anarchism
important, and it is this that makes them dangerous
to those who batten, consciously or unconsciously
upon the evils of our present order of society.

The great majority of men and women, in ordinary
times, pass through life without ever contemplating
or criticising, as a whole, either their own
conditions or those of the world at large. They find
themselves born into a certain place in society, and
they accept what each day brings forth, without any
effort of thought beyond what the immediate present
requires. Almost as instinctively as the beasts of
the field, they seek the satisfaction of the needs of
the moment, without much forethought, and without
considering that by sufficient effort the whole
conditions of their lives could be changed. A certain
percentage, guided by personal ambition, make the effort
of thought and will which is necessary to place
themselves among the more fortunate members of the
community; but very few among these are seriously
concerned to secure for all the advantages which they
seek for themselves. It is only a few rare and exceptional
men who have that kind of love toward mankind
at large that makes them unable to endure
patiently the general mass of evil and suffering,
regardless of any relation it may have to their own
lives. These few, driven by sympathetic pain, will
seek, first in thought and then in action, for some
way of escape, some new system of society by which
life may become richer, more full of joy and less
full of preventable evils than it is at present. But
in the past such men have, as a rule, failed to interest
the very victims of the injustices which they wished
to remedy. The more unfortunate sections of the
population have been ignorant, apathetic from excess
of toil and weariness, timorous through the imminent
danger of immediate punishment by the holders of
power, and morally unreliable owing to the loss of
self-respect resulting from their degradation. To
create among such classes any conscious, deliberate
effort after general amelioration might have seemed
a hopeless task, and indeed in the past it has
generally proved so. But the modern world, by the
increase of education and the rise in the standard of
comfort among wage-earners, has produced new
conditions, more favorable than ever before to the
demand for radical reconstruction. It is above all
the Socialists, and in a lesser degree the Anarchists
(chiefly as the inspirers of Syndicalism), who have
become the exponents of this demand.

What is perhaps most remarkable in regard to
both Socialism and Anarchism is the association of a
widespread popular movement with ideals for a better
world. The ideals have been elaborated, in the
first instance, by solitary writers of books, and yet
powerful sections of the wage-earning classes have
accepted them as their guide in the practical affairs
of the world. In regard to Socialism this is evident;
but in regard to Anarchism it is only true with some
qualification. Anarchism as such has never been a
widespread creed, it is only in the modified form of
Syndicalism that it has achieved popularity. Unlike
Socialism and Anarchism, Syndicalism is primarily
the outcome, not of an idea, but of an organization:
the fact of Trade Union organization came first, and
the ideas of Syndicalism are those which seemed
appropriate to this organization in the opinion of
the more advanced French Trade Unions. But the
ideas are, in the main, derived from Anarchism, and
the men who gained acceptance for them were, for
the most part, Anarchists. Thus we may regard
Syndicalism as the Anarchism of the market-place
as opposed to the Anarchism of isolated individuals
which had preserved a precarious life throughout the
previous decades. Taking this view, we find in
Anarchist-Syndicalism the same combination of ideal
and organization as we find in Socialist political
parties. It is from this standpoint that our study
of these movements will be undertaken.

Socialism and Anarchism, in their modern form,
spring respectively from two protagonists, Marx and
Bakunin, who fought a lifelong battle, culminating
in a split in the first International. We shall begin
our study with these two men--first their teaching,
and then the organizations which they founded or
inspired. This will lead us to the spread of Socialism
in more recent years, and thence to the Syndicalist
revolt against Socialist emphasis on the State
and political action, and to certain movements outside
France which have some affinity with Syndicalism--
notably the I. W. W. in America and Guild
Socialism in England. From this historical survey
we shall pass to the consideration of some of the
more pressing problems of the future, and shall try
to decide in what respects the world would be happier
if the aims of Socialists or Syndicalists were

My own opinion--which I may as well indicate
at the outset--is that pure Anarchism, though it
should be the ultimate ideal, to which society should
continually approximate, is for the present impossible,
and would not survive more than a year or two
at most if it were adopted. On the other hand, both
Marxian Socialism and Syndicalism, in spite of many
drawbacks, seem to me calculated to give rise to a
happier and better world than that in which we live.
I do not, however, regard either of them as the best
practicable system. Marxian Socialism, I fear,
would give far too much power to the State, while
Syndicalism, which aims at abolishing the State,
would, I believe, find itself forced to reconstruct a
central authority in order to put an end to the
rivalries of different groups of producers. The BEST
practicable system, to my mind, is that of Guild
Socialism, which concedes what is valid both in the
claims of the State Socialists and in the Syndicalist
fear of the State, by adopting a system of federalism
among trades for reasons similar to those which
are recommending federalism among nations. The
grounds for these conclusions will appear as we

Before embarking upon the history of recent
movements In favor of radical reconstruction, it will
be worth while to consider some traits of character
which distinguish most political idealists, and are
much misunderstood by the general public for other
reasons besides mere prejudice. I wish to do full
justice to these reasons, in order to show the more
effectually why they ought not to be operative.

The leaders of the more advanced movements
are, in general, men of quite unusual disinterestedness,
as is evident from a consideration of their careers.
Although they have obviously quite as much ability
as many men who rise to positions of great power,
they do not themselves become the arbiters of
contemporary events, nor do they achieve wealth or the
applause of the mass of their contemporaries. Men
who have the capacity for winning these prizes, and
who work at least as hard as those who win them,
but deliberately adopt a line which makes the winning
of them impossible, must be judged to have an
aim in life other than personal advancement;
whatever admixture of self-seeking may enter into the
detail of their lives, their fundamental motive must
be outside Self. The pioneers of Socialism, Anarchism,
and Syndicalism have, for the most part,
experienced prison, exile, and poverty, deliberately
incurred because they would not abandon their
propaganda; and by this conduct they have shown that
the hope which inspired them was not for themselves,
but for mankind.

Nevertheless, though the desire for human welfare
is what at bottom determines the broad lines of such
men's lives, it often happens that, in the detail of
their speech and writing, hatred is far more visible
than love. The impatient idealist--and without some
impatience a man will hardly prove effective--is
almost sure to be led into hatred by the oppositions
and disappointments which he encounters in his
endeavors to bring happiness to the world. The more
certain he is of the purity of his motives and the truth
of his gospel, the more indignant he will become when
his teaching is rejected. Often he will successfully
achieve an attitude of philosophic tolerance as
regards the apathy of the masses, and even as regards
the whole-hearted opposition of professed defenders
of the status quo. But the men whom he finds it
impossible to forgive are those who profess the same desire
for the amelioration of society as he feels himself,
but who do not accept his method of achieving this
end. The intense faith which enables him to withstand
persecution for the sake of his beliefs makes
him consider these beliefs so luminously obvious that
any thinking man who rejects them must be dishonest,
and must be actuated by some sinister motive
of treachery to the cause. Hence arises the spirit of
the sect, that bitter, narrow orthodoxy which is the
bane of those who hold strongly to an unpopular
creed. So many real temptations to treachery exist
that suspicion is natural. And among leaders,
ambition, which they mortify in their choice of a
career, is sure to return in a new form: in the desire
for intellectual mastery and for despotic power
within their own sect. From these causes it results
that the advocates of drastic reform divide
themselves into opposing schools, hating each other with
a bitter hatred, accusing each other often of such
crimes as being in the pay of the police, and demanding,
of any speaker or writer whom they are to
admire, that he shall conform exactly to their
prejudices, and make all his teaching minister to their
belief that the exact truth is to be found within the
limits of their creed. The result of this state of
mind is that, to a casual and unimaginative attention,
the men who have sacrificed most through the
wish to benefit mankind APPEAR to be actuated far
more by hatred than by love. And the demand for
orthodoxy is stifling to any free exercise of intellect.
This cause, as well as economic prejudice, has made
it difficult for the ``intellectuals'' to co-operate prac-
tically with the more extreme reformers, however they
may sympathize with their main purposes and even
with nine-tenths of their program.

Another reason why radical reformers are
misjudged by ordinary men is that they view existing
society from outside, with hostility towards its
institutions. Although, for the most part, they have
more belief than their neighbors in human nature's
inherent capacity for a good life, they are so
conscious of the cruelty and oppression resulting from
existing institutions that they make a wholly
misleading impression of cynicism. Most men have
instinctively two entirely different codes of behavior:
one toward those whom they regard as companions or
colleagues or friends, or in some way members of the
same ``herd''; the other toward those whom they
regard as enemies or outcasts or a danger to society.
Radical reformers are apt to concentrate their
attention upon the behavior of society toward the
latter class, the class of those toward whom the
``herd'' feels ill-will. This class includes, of course,
enemies in war, and criminals; in the minds of those
who consider the preservation of the existing order
essential to their own safety or privileges, it includes
all who advocate any great political or economic
change, and all classes which, through their poverty
or through any other cause, are likely to feel a
dangerous degree of discontent. The ordinary citizen
probably seldom thinks about such individuals or
classes, and goes through life believing that he and
his friends are kindly people, because they have no
wish to injure those toward whom they entertain no
group-hostility. But the man whose attention is
fastened upon the relations of a group with those
whom it hates or fears will judge quite differently.
In these relations a surprising ferocity is apt to be
developed, and a very ugly side of human nature
comes to the fore. The opponents of capitalism
have learned, through the study of certain historical
facts, that this ferocity has often been shown by the
capitalists and by the State toward the wage-earning
classes, particularly when they have ventured to
protest against the unspeakable suffering to which
industrialism has usually condemned them. Hence
arises a quite different attitude toward existing
society from that of the ordinary well-to-do citizen:
an attitude as true as his, perhaps also as untrue,
but equally based on facts, facts concerning his
relations to his enemies instead of to his friends.

The class-war, like wars between nations,
produces two opposing views, each equally true and
equally untrue. The citizen of a nation at war,
when he thinks of his own countrymen, thinks of them
primarily as he has experienced them, in dealings
with their friends, in their family relations, and so
on. They seem to him on the whole kindly, decent
folk. But a nation with which his country is at
war views his compatriots through the medium of a
quite different set of experiences: as they appear
in the ferocity of battle, in the invasion and subjugation
of a hostile territory, or in the chicanery of a
juggling diplomacy. The men of whom these facts
are true are the very same as the men whom their
compatriots know as husbands or fathers or friends,
but they are judged differently because they are
judged on different data. And so it is with those who
view the capitalist from the standpoint of the
revolutionary wage-earner: they appear inconceivably
cynical and misjudging to the capitalist, because the
facts upon which their view is based are facts which
he either does not know or habitually ignores. Yet
the view from the outside is just as true as the view
from the inside. Both are necessary to the complete
truth; and the Socialist, who emphasizes the outside
view, is not a cynic, but merely the friend of the
wage-earners, maddened by the spectacle of the needless
misery which capitalism inflicts upon them.

I have placed these general reflections at the
beginning of our study, in order to make it clear to
the reader that, whatever bitterness and hate may
be found in the movements which we are to examine,
it is not bitterness or hate, but love, that is their
mainspring. It is difficult not to hate those who
torture the objects of our love. Though difficult, it
is not impossible; but it requires a breadth of
outlook and a comprehensiveness of understanding which
are not easy to preserve amid a desperate contest.
If ultimate wisdom has not always been preserved by
Socialists and Anarchists, they have not differed in
this from their opponents; and in the source of their
inspiration they have shown themselves superior to
those who acquiesce ignorantly or supinely in the
injustices and oppressions by which the existing
system is preserved.







SOCIALISM, like everything else that is vital, is
rather a tendency than a strictly definable body of
doctrine. A definition of Socialism is sure either to
include some views which many would regard as not
Socialistic, or to exclude others which claim to be
included. But I think we shall come nearest to the
essence of Socialism by defining it as the advocacy
of communal ownership of land and capital. Communal
ownership may mean ownership by a democratic
State, but cannot be held to include ownership
by any State which is not democratic. Communal
ownership may also be understood, as Anarchist
Communism understands it, in the sense of
ownership by the free association of the men and
women in a community without those compulsory
powers which are necessary to constitute a State.
Some Socialists expect communal ownership to arrive
suddenly and completely by a catastrophic revolution,
while others expect it to come gradually, first
in one industry, then in another. Some insist upon
the necessity of completeness in the acquisition of
land and capital by the public, while others would
be content to see lingering islands of private ownership,
provided they were not too extensive or powerful.
What all forms have in common is democracy
and the abolition, virtual or complete, of the present
capitalistic system. The distinction between Socialists,
Anarchists and Syndicalists turns largely upon
the kind of democracy which they desire. Orthodox
Socialists are content with parliamentary democracy
in the sphere of government, holding that the evils
apparent in this form of constitution at present
would disappear with the disappearance of capitalism.
Anarchists and Syndicalists, on the other
hand, object to the whole parliamentary machinery,
and aim at a different method of regulating the political
affairs of the community. But all alike are
democratic in the sense that they aim at abolishing
every kind of privilege and every kind of artificial
inequality: all alike are champions of the wage-
earner in existing society. All three also have much
in common in their economic doctrine. All three
regard capital and the wages system as a means of
exploiting the laborer in the interests of the possessing
classes, and hold that communal ownership, in one
form or another, is the only means of bringing freedom
to the producers. But within the framework
of this common doctrine there are many divergences,
and even among those who are strictly to be called
Socialists, there is a very considerable diversity of

Socialism as a power in Europe may be said
to begin with Marx. It is true that before his time
there were Socialist theories, both in England and in
France. It is also true that in France, during the
revolution of 1848, Socialism for a brief period
acquired considerable influence in the State. But
the Socialists who preceded Marx tended to indulge
in Utopian dreams and failed to found any strong or
stable political party. To Marx, in collaboration
with Engels, are due both the formulation of a coherent
body of Socialist doctrine, sufficiently true or
plausible to dominate the minds of vast numbers of
men, and the formation of the International Socialist
movement, which has continued to grow in all
European countries throughout the last fifty years.

In order to understand Marx's doctrine, it is
necessary to know something of the influences which
formed his outlook. He was born in 1818 at Treves
in the Rhine Provinces, his father being a legal
official, a Jew who had nominally accepted
Christianity. Marx studied jurisprudence, philosophy,
political economy and history at various German
universities. In philosophy he imbibed the doctrines
of Hegel, who was then at the height of his fame,
and something of these doctrines dominated his
thought throughout his life. Like Hegel, he saw in
history the development of an Idea. He conceived
the changes in the world as forming a logical development,
in which one phase passes by revolution into
another, which is its antithesis--a conception which
gave to his views a certain hard abstractness, and a
belief in revolution rather than evolution. But of
Hegel's more definite doctrines Marx retained nothing
after his youth. He was recognized as a brilliant
student, and might have had a prosperous career as
a professor or an official, but his interest in politics
and his Radical views led him into more arduous
paths. Already in 1842 he became editor of a newspaper,
which was suppressed by the Prussian Government
early in the following year on account of
its advanced opinions. This led Marx to go to Paris,
where he became known as a Socialist and acquired
a knowledge of his French predecessors.[1] Here in the
year 1844 began his lifelong friendship with Engels,
who had been hitherto in business in Manchester,
where he had become acquainted with English Socialism
and had in the main adopted its doctrines.[2] In
1845 Marx was expelled from Paris and went with
Engels to live in Brussels. There he formed a German
Working Men's Association and edited a paper
which was their organ. Through his activities in
Brussels he became known to the German Communist
League in Paris, who, at the end of 1847, invited him
and Engels to draw up for them a manifesto, which
appeared in January, 1848. This is the famous
``Communist Manifesto,'' in which for the first time
Marx's system is set forth. It appeared at a fortunate
moment. In the following month, February,
the revolution broke out in Paris, and in March it
spread to Germany. Fear of the revolution led the
Brussels Government to expel Marx from Belgium,
but the German revolution made it possible for him
to return to his own country. In Germany he again
edited a paper, which again led him into a conflict
with the authorities, increasing in severity as the
reaction gathered force. In June, 1849, his paper
was suppressed, and he was expelled from Prussia.
He returned to Paris, but was expelled from there
also. This led him to settle in England--at that
time an asylum for friends of freedom--and in England,
with only brief intervals for purposes of agitation,
he continued to live until his death in 1883.

[1] Chief among these were Fourier and Saint-Simon, who
constructed somewhat fantastic Socialistic ideal commonwealths.
Proudhon, with whom Marx had some not wholly friendly relations,
is to be regarded as a forerunner of the Anarchists rather
than of orthodox Socialism.

[2] Marx mentions the English Socialists with praise in ``The
Poverty of Philosophy'' (1847). They, like him, tend to base
their arguments upon a Ricardian theory of value, but they
have not his scope or erudition or scientific breadth. Among
them may be mentioned Thomas Hodgskin (1787-1869), originally
an officer in the Navy, but dismissed for a pamphlet critical
of the methods of naval discipline, author of ``Labour Defended
Against the Claims of Capital'' (1825) and other works;
William Thompson (1785-1833), author of ``Inquiry into the
Principles of Distribution of Wealth Most Conducive to Human
Happiness'' (1824), and ``Labour Rewarded'' (1825); and
Piercy Ravenstone, from whom Hodgskin's ideas are largely
derived. Perhaps more important than any of these was Robert

The bulk of his time was occupied in the composition
of his great book, ``Capital.''[3] His other
important work during his later years was the formation
and spread of the International Working Men's
Association. From 1849 onward the greater part
of his time was spent in the British Museum, accumulating,
with German patience, the materials for his
terrific indictment of capitalist society, but he
retained his hold on the International Socialist movement.
In several countries he had sons-in-law as
lieutenants, like Napoleon's brothers, and in the
various internal contests that arose his will generally

[3] The first and most important volume appeared in 1867;
the other two volumes were published posthumously (1885 and

The most essential of Marx's doctrines may be
reduced to three: first, what is called the material-
istic interpretation of history; second, the law of the
concentration of capital; and, third, the class-war.

1. The Materialistic Interpretation of History.--
Marx holds that in the main all the phenomena of
human society have their origin in material conditions,
and these he takes to be embodied in economic
systems. Political constitutions, laws, religions,
philosophies--all these he regards as, in their broad
outlines, expressions of the economic regime in the
society that gives rise to them. It would be unfair
to represent him as maintaining that the conscious
economic motive is the only one of importance; it
is rather that economics molds character and opinion,
and is thus the prime source of much that appears
in consciousness to have no connection with them.
He applies his doctrine in particular to two revolutions,
one in the past, the other in the future. The
revolution in the past is that of the bourgeoisie
against feudalism, which finds its expression, according
to him, particularly in the French Revolution.
The one in the future is the revolution of the wage-
earners, or proletariat, against the bourgeoisie,
which is to establish the Socialist Commonwealth.
The whole movement of history is viewed by him as
necessary, as the effect of material causes operating
upon human beings. He does not so much advocate
the Socialist revolution as predict it. He holds, it
is true, that it will be beneficent, but he is much more
concerned to prove that it must inevitably come.
The same sense of necessity is visible in his exposition
of the evils of the capitalist system. He does
not blame capitalists for the cruelties of which he
shows them to have been guilty; he merely points out
that they are under an inherent necessity to behave
cruelly so long as private ownership of land and
capital continues. But their tyranny will not last
forever, for it generates the forces that must in the
end overthrow it.

2. The Law of the Concentration of Capital.--
Marx pointed out that capitalist undertakings tend
to grow larger and larger. He foresaw the substitution
of trusts for free competition, and predicted
that the number of capitalist enterprises must diminish
as the magnitude of single enterprises increased.
He supposed that this process must involve a diminution,
not only in the number of businesses, but also
in the number of capitalists. Indeed, he usually
spoke as though each business were owned by a single
man. Accordingly, he expected that men would be
continually driven from the ranks of the capitalists
into those of the proletariat, and that the capitalists,
in the course of time, would grow numerically weaker
and weaker. He applied this principle not only to
industry but also to agriculture. He expected to
find the landowners growing fewer and fewer while
their estates grew larger and larger. This process
was to make more and more glaring the evils and
injustices of the capitalist system, and to stimulate
more and more the forces of opposition.

3. The Class War.--Marx conceives the wage-
earner and the capitalist in a sharp antithesis. He
imagines that every man is, or must soon become,
wholly the one or wholly the other. The wage-
earner, who possesses nothing, is exploited by the
capitalists, who possess everything. As the capitalist
system works itself out and its nature becomes more
clear, the opposition of bourgeoisie and proletariat
becomes more and more marked. The two classes,
since they have antagonistic interests, are forced
into a class war which generates within the capitalist
regime internal forces of disruption. The working
men learn gradually to combine against their
exploiters, first locally, then nationally, and at last
internationally. When they have learned to combine
internationally they must be victorious. They
will then decree that all land and capital shall be
owned in common; exploitation will cease; the tyranny
of the owners of wealth will no longer be
possible; there will no longer be any division of
society into classes, and all men will be free.

All these ideas are already contained in the
``Communist Manifesto,'' a work of the most amazing
vigor and force, setting forth with terse compression
the titanic forces of the world, their epic battle, and
the inevitable consummation. This work is of such
importance in the development of Socialism and
gives such an admirable statement of the doctrines
set forth at greater length and with more pedantry
in ``Capital,'' that its salient passages must be
known by anyone who wishes to understand the hold
which Marxian Socialism has acquired over the intellect
and imagination of a large proportion of working-class

``A spectre is haunting Europe,'' it begins, ``the
spectre of Communism. All the Powers of old
Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise
this spectre--Pope and Czar, Metternich and Guizot,
French Radicals and German police-spies. Where
is the party in opposition that has not been decried
as communistic by its opponents in power? Where
the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding
reproach of Communism against the more
advanced opposition parties, as well as against its
re-actionary adversaries?''

The existence of a class war is nothing new:
``The history of all hitherto existing society is the
history of class struggles.'' In these struggles the
fight ``each time ended, either in a revolutionary
re-constitution of society at large, or in the common
ruin of the contending classes.''

``Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie . . .
has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a
whole is more and more splitting up into two great
hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing
each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.'' Then follows
a history of the fall of feudalism, leading to a
description of the bourgeoisie as a revolutionary
force. ``The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a
most revolutionary part.'' ``For exploitation, veiled
by religious and political illusions, it has substituted
naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.'' ``The
need of a constantly expanding market for its products
chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface
of the globe.'' ``The bourgeoisie, during its rule of
scarce one hundred years, has created more massive
and more colossal productive forces than have all
preceding generations together.'' Feudal relations
became fetters: ``They had to be burst asunder;
they were burst asunder. . . . A similar movement
is going on before our own eyes.'' ``The weapons
with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the
ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.
But not only has the bourgoisie forged the weapons
that bring death to itself; it has also called into
existence the men who are to wield those weapons--
the modern working class--the proletarians.''

The cause of the destitution of the proletariat
are then set forth. ``The cost of production of a
workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means
of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance
and for the propagation of his race. But the price
of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal
to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore,
as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage
decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of
machinery and diversion of labor increases, in the
same proportion the burden of toil also increases.''

``Modern industry has converted the little workshop
of the patriarchal master into the great factory
of the industrial capitalist. Masses of laborers,
crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers.
As privates of the industrial army they are placed
under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers
and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois
class, and of the bourgeois State, they are
daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the
over-looker, and, above all, by the individual
bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this
despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the
more petty, the more hateful, and the more embittering
it is.''

The Manifesto tells next the manner of growth
of the class struggle. ``The proletariat goes
through various stages of development. With its
birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. At
first the contest is carried on by individual laborers,
then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the
operatives of one trade, in one locality, against the
individual bourgeois who directly exploits them.
They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois
conditions of production, but against the instruments
of production themselves.''

``At this stage the laborers still form an incoherent
mass scattered over the whole country, and broken
up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they
unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet
the consequence of their own active union, but of
the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to
attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the
whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for
a time, able to do so.''

``The collisions between individual workmen and
individual bourgeois take more and more the character
of collisions between two classes. Thereupon
the workers begin to form combinations (Trades
Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together
in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found
permanent associations in order to make provision
beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and
there the contest breaks out into riots. Now and
then the workers are victorious, but only for a time.
The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate
result, but in the ever-expanding union of
the workers. This union is helped on by the im-
proved means of communication that are created
by modern industry, and that place the workers
of different localities in contact with one another.
It was just this contact that was needed to centralize
the numerous local struggles, all of the same character,
into one national struggle between classes.
But every class struggle is a political struggle. And
that union, to attain which the burghers of the
Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required
centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways,
achieve in a few years. This organization of
the proletarians into a class, and consequently into
a political party, is continually being upset again by
the competition between the workers themselves. But
it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It
compels legislative recognition of particular interests
of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions
among the bourgeoisie itself.''

``In the conditions of the proletariat, those of
old society at large are already virtually swamped.
The proletarian is without property; his relation
to his wife and children has no longer anything in
common with the bourgeois family-relations; modern
industrial labor, modern subjection to capital, the
same in England as in France, in America as in
Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national
character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so
many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in
ambush just as many bourgeois interests. All the
preceding classes that got the upper hand, sought
to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting
society at large to their conditions of appropriation.
The proletarians cannot become masters
of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing
their own previous mode of appropriation, and
thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation.
They have nothing of their own to secure and to
fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous
securities for, and insurances of, individual property.
All previous historical movements were movements
of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The
proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent
movement of the immense majority, in the
interest of the immense majority. The proletariat,
the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot
stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole super-
incumbent strata of official society being sprung
into the air.''

The Communists, says Marx, stand for the proletariat
as a whole. They are international. ``The
Communists are further reproached with desiring
to abolish countries and nationality. The working
men have no country. We cannot take from them
what they have not got.''

The immediate aim of the Communists is the conquests
of political power by the proletariat. ``The
theory of the Communists may be summed up in the
single sentence: Abolition of private property.''

The materialistic interpretation of history is
used to answer such charges as that Communism is
anti-Christian. ``The charges against Communism
made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally,
from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving
of serious examination. Does it require deep
intuition to comprehend that man's ideas, views and
conceptions, in one word, man's consciousness,
changes with every change in the conditions of his
material existence, in his social relations, and in his
social life?''

The attitude of the Manifesto to the State is not
altogether easy to grasp. ``The executive of the
modern State,'' we are told, ``is but a Committee for
managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.''
Nevertheless, the first step for the proletariat
must be to acquire control of the State. ``We have
seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the
working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position
of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.
The proletariat will use its political supremacy to
wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie,
to centralize all instruments of production in the
hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized
as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive
forces as rapidly as possible.''

The Manifesto passes on to an immediate program
of reforms, which would in the first instance
much increase the power of the existing State, but
it is contended that when the Socialist revolution is
accomplished, the State, as we know it, will have
ceased to exist. As Engels says elsewhere, when the
proletariat seizes the power of the State ``it puts an
end to all differences of class and antagonisms of
class, and consequently also puts an end to the State
as a State.'' Thus, although State Socialism might,
in fact, be the outcome of the proposals of Marx and
Engels, they cannot themselves be accused of any
glorification of the State.

The Manifesto ends with an appeal to the wage-
earners of the world to rise on behalf of Communism.
``The Communists disdain to conceal their views and
aims. They openly declare that their ends can be
attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing
social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble
at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have
nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world
to win. Working men of all countries, unite!''

In all the great countries of the Continent,
except Russia, a revolution followed quickly on the
publication of the Communist Manifesto, but the
revolution was not economic or international, except
at first in France. Everywhere else it was inspired
by the ideas of nationalism. Accordingly, the rulers
of the world, momentarily terrified, were able to
recover power by fomenting the enmities inherent
in the nationalist idea, and everywhere, after a very
brief triumph, the revolution ended in war and
reaction. The ideas of the Communist Manifesto
appeared before the world was ready for them, but
its authors lived to see the beginnings of the growth
of that Socialist movement in every country, which
has pressed on with increasing force, influencing
Governments more and more, dominating the Russian
Revolution, and perhaps capable of achieving
at no very distant date that international triumph to
which the last sentences of the Manifesto summon
the wage-earners of the world.

Marx's magnum opus, ``Capital,'' added bulk
and substance to the theses of the Communist Manifesto.
It contributed the theory of surplus value,
which professed to explain the actual mechanism
of capitalist exploitation. This doctrine is very
complicated and is scarcely tenable as a contribution
to pure theory. It is rather to be viewed as a translation
into abstract terms of the hatred with which
Marx regarded the system that coins wealth out of
human lives, and it is in this spirit, rather than in
that of disinterested analysis, that it has been read
by its admirers. A critical examination of the theory
of surplus value would require much difficult and
abstract discussion of pure economic theory without
having much bearing upon the practical truth or
falsehood of Socialism; it has therefore seemed impossible
within the limits of the present volume. To
my mind the best parts of the book are those which
deal with economic facts, of which Marx's knowledge
was encyclopaedic. It was by these facts that
he hoped to instil into his disciples that firm and
undying hatred that should make them soldiers to
the death in the class war. The facts which he
accumulates are such as are practically unknown to
the vast majority of those who live comfortable lives.
They are very terrible facts, and the economic system
which generates them must be acknowledged to be
a very terrible system. A few examples of his choice
of facts will serve to explain the bitterness of many

Mr. Broughton Charlton, county magistrate, declared,
as chairman of a meeting held at the Assembly Rooms,
Nottingham, on the 14th January, 1860, ``that there was
an amount of privation and suffering among that portion
of the population connected with the lace trade, unknown
in other parts of the kingdom, indeed, in the civilized
world. . . . Children of nine or ten years are dragged
from their squalid beds at two, three, or four o clock in
the morning and compelled to work for a bare subsistence
until ten, eleven, or twelve at night, their limbs wearing
away, their frames dwindling, their faces whitening,
and their humanity absolutely sinking into a stone-like
torpor, utterly horrible to contemplate.''[4]

[4] Vol. i, p. 227.

Three railway men are standing before a London coroner's
jury--a guard, an engine-driver, a signalman.
A tremendous railway accident has hurried hundreds of
passengers into another world. The negligence of the
employes is the cause of the misfortune. They declare
with one voice before the jury that ten or twelve years
before, their labor only lasted eight hours a day. During
the last five or six years it had been screwed up to
14, 18, and 20 hours, and under a specially severe pressure
of holiday-makers, at times of excursion trains, it
often lasted 40 or 50 hours without a break. They
were ordinary men, not Cyclops. At a certain point their
labor-power failed. Torpor seized them. Their brain
ceased to think, their eyes to see. The thoroughly
``respectable'' British jurymen answered by a verdict that
sent them to the next assizes on a charge of manslaughter,
and, in a gentle ``rider'' to their verdict, expressed the
pious hope that the capitalistic magnates of the railways
would, in future, be more extravagant in the purchase of
a sufficient quantity of labor-power, and more ``abstemious,''
more ``self-denying,'' more ``thrifty,'' in the
draining of paid labor-power.[5]

[5] Vol. i, pp. 237, 238.

In the last week of June, 1863, all the London daily
papers published a paragraph with the ``sensational''
heading, ``Death from simple over-work.'' It dealt with
the death of the milliner, Mary Anne Walkley, 20 years
of age, employed in a highly respectable dressmaking
establishment, exploited by a lady with the pleasant name
of Elise. The old, often-told story was once more recounted.
This girl worked, on an average, 16 1/2 hours,
during the season often 30 hours, without a break, whilst
her failing labor-power was revived by occasional supplies
of sherry, port, or coffee. It was just now the
height of the season. It was necessary to conjure up
in the twinkling of an eye the gorgeous dresses for the
noble ladies bidden to the ball in honor of the newly-
imported Princess of Wales. Mary Anne Walkley had
worked without intermission for 26 1/2 hours, with 60
other girls, 30 in one room, that only afforded 1/3 of
the cubic feet of air required for them. At night, they
slept in pairs in one of the stifling holes into which the
bedroom was divided by partitions of board. And this
was one of the best millinery establishments in London.
Mary Anne Walkley fell ill on the Friday, died on Sunday,
without, to the astonishment of Madame Elise,
having previously completed the work in hand. The doctor,
Mr. Keys, called too late to the death bed, duly bore
witness before the coroner's jury that ``Mary Anne
Walkley had died from long hours of work in an over-
crowded workroom, and a too small and badly ventilated
bedroom.'' In order to give the doctor a lesson in good
manners, the coroner's jury thereupon brought in a verdict
that ``the deceased had died of apoplexy, but there
was reason to fear that her death had been accelerated
by over-work in an over-crowded workroom, &c.'' ``Our
white slaves,'' cried the ``Morning Star,'' the organ of the
free-traders, Cobden and Bright, ``our white slaves, who
are toiled into the grave, for the most part silently pine
and die.''[6]

[6] Vol. i, pp. 239, 240.

Edward VI: A statue of the first year of his reign,
1547, ordains that if anyone refuses to work, he shall be
condemned as a slave to the person who has denounced
him as an idler. The master shall feed his slave on bread
and water, weak broth and such refuse meat as he thinks
fit. He has the right to force him to do any work, no
matter how disgusting, with whip and chains. If the
slave is absent a fortnight, he is condemned to slavery for
life and is to be branded on forehead or back with the
letter S; if he runs away thrice, he is to be executed as
a felon. The master can sell him, bequeath him, let him
out on hire as a slave, just as any other personal chattel
or cattle. If the slaves attempt anything against the
masters, they are also to be executed. Justices of the
peace, on information, are to hunt the rascals down. If it
happens that a vagabond has been idling about for three
days, he is to be taken to his birthplace, branded with a
redhot iron with the letter V on the breast and be set
to work, in chains, in the streets or at some other labor.
If the vagabond gives a false birthplace, he is then to
become the slave for life of this place, of its inhabitants,
or its corporation, and to be branded with an S. All persons
have the right to take away the children of the
vagabonds and to keep them as apprentices, the young
men until the 24th year, the girls until the 20th. If
they run away, they are to become up to this age the
slaves of their masters, who can put them in irons, whip
them, &c., if they like. Every master may put an iron
ring around the neck, arms or legs of his slave, by which
to know him more easily and to be more certain of him.
The last part of this statute provides that certain poor
people may be employed by a place or by persons, who
are willing to give them food and drink and to find them
work. This kind of parish-slaves was kept up in England
until far into the 19th century under the name of

[7] Vol. i, pp. 758, 759.

Page after page and chapter after chapter of
facts of this nature, each brought up to illustrate
some fatalistic theory which Marx professes to have
proved by exact reasoning, cannot but stir into fury
any passionate working-class reader, and into
unbearable shame any possessor of capital in whom
generosity and justice are not wholly extinct.

Almost at the end of the volume, in a very brief
chapter, called ``Historical Tendency of Capitalist
Accumulation,'' Marx allows one moment's glimpse
of the hope that lies beyond the present horror:--

As soon as this process of transformation has
sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom,
as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their
means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist
mode of production stands on its own feet, then the
further socialization of labor and further transformation
of the land and other means of production into so-
cially exploited and, therefore, common means of production,
as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors,
takes a new form. That which is now to be
expropriated is no longer the laborer working for himself,
but the capitalist exploiting many laborers. This
expropriation is accomplished by the action of the immanent
laws of capitalistic production itself, by the
centralization of capital. One capitalist always kills
many, and in hand with this centralization, or this
expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on
an ever extending scale, the co-operative form of the
labor-process, the conscious technical application of
science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the
transformation of the instruments of labor into instruments
of labor only usable in common, the economizing of all
means of production by their use as the means of production
of combined, socialized labor, the entanglement
of all peoples in the net of the world-market, and with
this, the international character of the capitalistic regime.
Along with the constantly diminishing number of the
magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all
advantages of this process of transformation, grows the
mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation;
but with this, too, grows the revolt of the working-
class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined,
united, organized by the very mechanism of the
process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of
capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production,
which has sprung up and flourished along with, and
under it. Centralization of the means of production and
socialization of labor at last reach a point where they
become incompatible with their capitalist integument.
This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist
private property sounds. The expropriators are

[8] Vol. i pp. 788, 789.

That is all. Hardly another word from beginning
to end is allowed to relieve the gloom, and in this
relentless pressure upon the mind of the reader lies
a great part of the power which this book has

Two questions are raised by Marx's work: First,
Are his laws of historical development true? Second,
Is Socialism desirable? The second of these questions
is quite independent of the first. Marx professes
to prove that Socialism must come, but scarcely concerns
himself to argue that when it comes it will be
a good thing. It may be, however, that if it comes,
it will be a good thing, even though all Marx's arguments
to prove that it must come should be at fault.
In actual fact, time has shown many flaws in Marx's
theories. The development of the world has been
sufficiently like his prophecy to prove him a man of
very unusual penetration, but has not been sufficiently
like to make either political or economic history
exactly such as he predicted that it would be.
Nationalism, so far from diminishing, has increased,
and has failed to be conquered by the cosmopolitan
tendencies which Marx rightly discerned in finance.
Although big businesses have grown bigger and have
over a great area reached the stage of monopoly,
yet the number of shareholders in such enterprises
is so large that the actual number of individuals
interested in the capitalist system has continually
increased. Moreover, though large firms have grown
larger, there has been a simultaneous increase in
firms of medium size. Meanwhile the wage-earners,
who were, according to Marx, to have remained at
the bare level of subsistence at which they were in
the England of the first half of the nineteenth century,
have instead profited by the general increase
of wealth, though in a lesser degree than the capitalists.
The supposed iron law of wages has been
proved untrue, so far as labor in civilized countries
is concerned. If we wish now to find examples of
capitalist cruelty analogous to those with which
Marx's book is filled, we shall have to go for most
of our material to the Tropics, or at any rate to
regions where there are men of inferior races to
exploit. Again: the skilled worker of the present day
is an aristocrat in the world of labor. It is a question
with him whether he shall ally himself with the
unskilled worker against the capitalist, or with the
capitalist against the unskilled worker. Very often
he is himself a capitalist in a small way, and if he
is not so individually, his trade union or his friendly
society is pretty sure to be so. Hence the sharpness
of the class war has not been maintained. There
are gradations, intermediate ranks between rich and
poor, instead of the clear-cut logical antithesis
between the workers who have nothing and the capitalists
who have all. Even in Germany, which
became the home of orthodox Marxianism and developed
a powerful Social-Democratic party, nominally
accepting the doctrine of ``Das Kapital'' as all but
verbally inspired, even there the enormous increase
of wealth in all classes in the years preceding the
war led Socialists to revise their beliefs and to adopt
an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary attitude.
Bernstein, a German Socialist who lived long in
England, inaugurated the ``Revisionist'' movement
which at last conquered the bulk of the party. His
criticisms of Marxian orthodoxy are set forth in
his ``Evolutionary Socialism.''[9] Bernstein's work,
as is common in Broad Church writers, consists
largely in showing that the Founders did not hold
their doctrines so rigidly as their followers have
done. There is much in the writings of Marx and
Engels that cannot be fitted into the rigid orthodoxy
which grew up among their disciples. Bernstein's
main criticisms of these disciples, apart from such as
we have already mentioned, consist in a defense of
piecemeal action as against revolution. He protests
against the attitude of undue hostility to Liberalism
which is common among Socialists, and he blunts the
edge of the Internationalism which undoubtedly is
part of the teachings of Marx. The workers, he
says, have a Fatherland as soon as they become
citizens, and on this basis he defends that degree of
nationalism which the war has since shown to be
prevalent in the ranks of Socialists. He even goes
so far as to maintain that European nations have a
right to tropical territory owing to their higher
civilization. Such doctrines diminish revolutionary
ardor and tend to transform Socialists into a left
wing of the Liberal Party. But the increasing prosperity
of wage-earners before the war made these
developments inevitable. Whether the war will have
altered conditions in this respect, it is as yet
impossible to know. Bernstein concludes with the wise
remark that: ``We have to take working men as they
are. And they are neither so universally paupers as
was set out in the Communist Manifesto, nor so free
from prejudices and weaknesses as their courtiers
wish to make us believe.''

[9] Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben
der Sozial-Demokratie.''

In March, 1914, Bernstein delivered a lecture in Budapest
in which he withdrew from several of the positions he had taken
up (vide Budapest ``Volkstimme,'' March 19, 1914).

Berstein represents the decay of Marxian orthodoxy
from within. Syndicalism represents an attack
against it from without, from the standpoint of a
doctrine which professes to be even more radical and
more revolutionary than that of Marx and Engels.
The attitude of Syndicalists to Marx may be seen in
Sorel's little book, ``La Decomposition du Marxisme,''
and in his larger work, ``Reflections on
Violence,'' authorized translation by T. E. Hulme
(Allen & Unwin, 1915). After quoting Bernstein,
with approval in so far as he criticises Marx, Sorel
proceeds to other criticisms of a different order. He
points out (what is true) that Marx's theoretical
economics remain very near to Manchesterism: the
orthodox political economy of his youth was accepted
by him on many points on which it is now known to
be wrong. According to Sorel, the really essential
thing in Marx's teaching is the class war. Whoever
keeps this alive is keeping alive the spirit of Socialism
much more truly than those who adhere to the
letter of Social-Democratic orthodoxy. On the basis
of the class war, French Syndicalists developed a
criticism of Marx which goes much deeper than those
that we have been hitherto considering. Marx's
views on historical development may have been in a
greater or less degree mistaken in fact, and yet the
economic and political system which he sought to
create might be just as desirable as his followers
suppose. Syndicalism, however, criticises, not only
Marx's views of fact, but also the goal at which he
aims and the general nature of the means which he
recommends. Marx's ideas were formed at a time
when democracy did not yet exist. It was in the
very year in which ``Das Kapital'' appeared that
urban working men first got the vote in England and
universal suffrage was granted by Bismarck in
Northern Germany. It was natural that great hopes
should be entertained as to what democracy would
achieve. Marx, like the orthodox economists,
imagined that men's opinions are guided by a more
or less enlightened view of economic self-interest, or
rather of economic class interest. A long experience
of the workings of political democracy has shown
that in this respect Disraeli and Bismarck were
shrewder judges of human nature than either Liberals
or Socialists. It has become increasingly difficult
to put trust in the State as a means to liberty,
or in political parties as instruments sufficiently
powerful to force the State into the service of the
people. The modern State, says Sorel, ``is a body of
intellectuals, which is invested with privileges, and
which possesses means of the kind called political for
defending itself against the attacks made on it by
other groups of intellectuals, eager to possess the
profits of public employment. Parties are constituted
in order to acquire the conquest of these
employments, and they are analogous to the State.''[10]

[10] La Decomposition du Marxisme,'' p. 53.

Syndicalists aim at organizing men, not by party,
but by occupation. This, they say, alone represents
the true conception and method of the class war.
Accordingly they despise all POLITICAL action through
the medium of Parliament and elections: the kind of
action that they recommend is direct action by the
revolutionary syndicate or trade union. The battle-
cry of industrial versus political action has spread
far beyond the ranks of French Syndicalism. It is
to be found in the I. W. W. in America, and among
Industrial Unionists and Guild Socialists in Great
Britain. Those who advocate it, for the most part,
aim also at a different goal from that of Marx. They
believe that there can be no adequate individual
freedom where the State is all-powerful, even if the
State be a Socialist one. Some of them are out-and-
out Anarchists, who wish to see the State wholly
abolished; others only wish to curtail its authority.
Owing to this movement, opposition to Marx, which
from the Anarchist side existed from the first, has
grown very strong. It is this opposition in its older
form that will occupy us in our next chapter.



IN the popular mind, an Anarchist is a person
who throws bombs and commits other outrages,
either because he is more or less insane, or because
he uses the pretense of extreme political opinions as
a cloak for criminal proclivities. This view is, of
course, in every way inadequate. Some Anarchists
believe in throwing bombs; many do not. Men of
almost every other shade of opinion believe in throwing
bombs in suitable circumstances: for example,
the men who threw the bomb at Sarajevo which
started the present war were not Anarchists, but
Nationalists. And those Anarchists who are in
favor of bomb-throwing do not in this respect differ
on any vital principle from the rest of the community,
with the exception of that infinitesimal portion
who adopt the Tolstoyan attitude of non-resistance.
Anarchists, like Socialists, usually believe
in the doctrine of the class war, and if they use
bombs, it is as Governments use bombs, for purposes
of war: but for every bomb manufactured by an
Anarchist, many millions are manufactured by Governments,
and for every man killed by Anarchist
violence, many millions are killed by the violence of
States. We may, therefore, dismiss from our minds
the whole question of violence, which plays so large
a part in the popular imagination, since it is neither
essential nor peculiar to those who adopt the Anarchist

Anarchism, as its derivation indicates, is the
theory which is opposed to every kind of forcible
government. It is opposed to the State as the
embodiment of the force employed in the government
of the community. Such government as Anarchism
can tolerate must be free government, not merely in
the sense that it is that of a majority, but in the sense
that it is that assented to by all. Anarchists object
to such institutions as the police and the criminal
law, by means of which the will of one part of the
community is forced upon another part. In their
view, the democratic form of government is not very
enormously preferable to other forms so long as
minorities are compelled by force or its potentiality
to submit to the will of majorities. Liberty is the
supreme good in the Anarchist creed, and liberty
is sought by the direct road of abolishing all forcible
control over the individual by the community.

Anarchism, in this sense, is no new doctrine. It
is set forth admirably by Chuang Tzu, a Chinese philosopher,
who lived about the year 300 B. C.:--

Horses have hoofs to carry them over frost and snow;
hair, to protect them from wind and cold. They eat grass
and drink water, and fling up their heels over the champaign.
Such is the real nature of horses. Palatial
dwellings are of no use to them.

One day Po Lo appeared, saying: ``I understand the
management of horses.''

So he branded them, and clipped them, and pared
their hoofs, and put halters on them, tying them up by
the head and shackling them by the feet, and disposing
them in stables, with the result that two or three in
every ten died. Then he kept them hungry and thirsty,
trotting them and galloping them, and grooming, and
trimming, with the misery of the tasselled bridle before
and the fear of the knotted whip behind, until more than
half of them were dead.

The potter says: ``I can do what I will with Clay.
If I want it round, I use compasses; if rectangular, a

The carpenter says: ``I can do what I will with
wood. If I want it curved, I use an arc; if straight, a

But on what grounds can we think that the natures
of clay and wood desire this application of compasses and
square, of arc and line? Nevertheless, every age extols
Po Lo for his skill in managing horses, and potters and
carpenters for their skill with clay and wood. Those
who govern the empire make the same mistake.

Now I regard government of the empire from quite
a different point of view.

The people have certain natural instincts:--to weave
and clothe themselves, to till and feed themselves. These
are common to all humanity, and all are agreed thereon.
Such instincts are called ``Heaven-sent.''

And so in the days when natural instincts prevailed,
men moved quietly and gazed steadily. At that time
there were no roads over mountains, nor boats, nor
bridges over water. All things were produced, each for
its own proper sphere. Birds and beasts multiplied,
trees and shrubs grew up. The former might be led by
the hand; you could climb up and peep into the raven's
nest. For then man dwelt with birds and beasts, and
all creation was one. There were no distinctions of good
and bad men. Being all equally without knowledge,
their virtue could not go astray. Being all equally
without evil desires, they were in a state of natural
integrity, the perfection of human existence.

But when Sages appeared, tripping up people over
charity and fettering them with duty to their neighbor,
doubt found its way into the world. And then, with
their gushing over music and fussing over ceremony, the
empire became divided against itself.[11]

[11] ``Musings of a Chinese Mystic.'' Selections from the Philosophy
of Chuang Tzu. With an Introduction by Lionel Giles,
M.A. (Oxon.). Wisdom of the East Series, John Murray, 1911.
Pages 66-68.

The modern Anarchism, in the sense in which we
shall be concerned with it, is associated with belief
in the communal ownership of land and capital, and
is thus in an important respect akin to Socialism.
This doctrine is properly called Anarchist Com-
munism, but as it embraces practically all modern
Anarchism, we may ignore individualist Anarchism
altogether and concentrate attention upon the
communistic form. Socialism and Anarchist Communism
alike have arisen from the perception that private
capital is a source of tyranny by certain individuals
over others. Orthodox Socialism believes that the
individual will become free if the State becomes the
sole capitalist. Anarchism, on the contrary, fears
that in that case the State might merely inherit the
tyrannical propensities of the private capitalist.
Accordingly, it seeks for a means of reconciling communal
ownership with the utmost possible diminution
in the powers of the State, and indeed ultimately with
the complete abolition of the State. It has arisen
mainly within the Socialist movement as its extreme
left wing.

In the same sense in which Marx may be regarded
as the founder of modern Socialism, Bakunin may
be regarded as the founder of Anarchist Communism.
But Bakunin did not produce, like Marx, a finished
and systematic body of doctrine. The nearest
approach to this will be found in the writings of his
follower, Kropotkin. In order to explain modern
Anarchism we shall begin with the life of Bakunin[12]
and the history of his conflicts with Marx, and shall
then give a brief account of Anarchist theory as set
forth partly in his writings, but more in those of

[12] An account of the life of Bakunin from the Anarchist
standpoint will be found in vol. ii of the complete edition of
his works: ``Michel Bakounine, OEuvres,'' Tome II. Avec une
notice biographique, des avant-propos et des notes, par James
Guillaume. Paris, P.-V, Stock, editeur, pp. v-lxiii.

[13] Criticism of these theories will be reserved for Part II.

Michel Bakunin was born in 1814 of a Russian
aristocratic family. His father was a diplomatist,
who at the time of Bakunin's birth had retired to his
country estate in the Government of Tver. Bakunin
entered the school of artillery in Petersburg at the
age of fifteen, and at the age of eighteen was sent as
an ensign to a regiment stationed in the Government
of Minsk. The Polish insurrection of 1880 had just
been crushed. ``The spectacle of terrorized Poland,''
says Guillaume, ``acted powerfully on the heart of
the young officer, and contributed to inspire in him
the horror of despotism.'' This led him to give up
the military career after two years' trial. In 1834
he resigned his commission and went to Moscow,
where he spent six years studying philosophy. Like
all philosophical students of that period, he became
a Hegelian, and in 1840 he went to Berlin to continue
his studies, in the hope of ultimately becoming a
professor. But after this time his opinions underwent
a rapid change. He found it impossible to
accept the Hegelian maxim that whatever is, is
rational, and in 1842 he migrated to Dresden, where
he became associated with Arnold Ruge, the publisher
of ``Deutsche Jahrbuecher.'' By this time he had
become a revolutionary, and in the following year
he incurred the hostility of the Saxon Government.
This led him to go to Switzerland, where he came in
contact with a group of German Communists, but, as
the Swiss police importuned him and the Russian
Government demanded his return, he removed to
Paris, where he remained from 1843 to 1847. These
years in Paris were important in the formation of his
outlook and opinions. He became acquainted with
Proudhon, who exercised a considerable influence on
him; also with George Sand and many other well-
known people. It was in Paris that he first made
the acquaintance of Marx and Engels, with whom he
was to carry on a lifelong battle. At a much later
period, in 1871, he gave the following account of his
relations with Marx at this time:--

Marx was much more advanced than I was, as he
remains to-day not more advanced but incomparably more
learned than I am. I knew then nothing of political
economy. I had not yet rid myself of metaphysical
abstractions, and my Socialism was only instinctive. He,
though younger than I, was already an atheist, an
instructed materialist, a well-considered Socialist. It
was just at this time that he elaborated the first foundations
of his present system. We saw each other fairly
often, for I respected him much for his learning and his
passionate and serious devotion (always mixed, however,
with personal vanity) to the cause of the proletariat,
and I sought eagerly his conversation, which was always
instructive and clever, when it was not inspired by a
paltry hate, which, alas! happened only too often. But
there was never any frank intimacy between as. Our
temperaments would not suffer it. He called me a
sentimental idealist, and he was right; I called him a
vain man, perfidious and crafty, and I also was right.

Bakunin never succeeded in staying long in one
place without incurring the enmity of the authorities.
In November, 1847, as the result of a speech
praising the Polish rising of 1830, he was expelled
from France at the request of the Russian Embassy,
which, in order to rob him of public sympathy, spread
the unfounded report that he had been an agent of
the Russian Government, but was no longer wanted
because he had gone too far. The French Government,
by calculated reticence, encouraged this story,
which clung to him more or less throughout his life.

Being compelled to leave France, he went to
Brussels, where he renewed acquaintance with Marx.
A letter of his, written at this time, shows that he
entertained already that bitter hatred for which
afterward he had so much reason. ``The Germans,
artisans, Bornstedt, Marx and Engels--and, above
all, Marx--are here, doing their ordinary mischief.
Vanity, spite, gossip, theoretical overbearingness
and practical pusillanimity--reflections on life, action
and simplicity, and complete absence of life,
action and simplicity--literary and argumentative
artisans and repulsive coquetry with them: `Feuerbach
is a bourgeois,' and the word `bourgeois' grown
into an epithet and repeated ad nauseum, but all of
them themselves from head to foot, through and
through, provincial bourgeois. With one word, lying
and stupidity, stupidity and lying. In this society
there is no possibility of drawing a free, full breath.
I hold myself aloof from them, and have declared
quite decidedly that I will not join their communistic
union of artisans, and will have nothing to do
with it.''

The Revolution of 1848 led him to return to Paris
and thence to Germany. He had a quarrel with
Marx over a matter in which he himself confessed
later that Marx was in the right. He became a member
of the Slav Congress in Prague, where he vainly
endeavored to promote a Slav insurrection. Toward
the end of 1848, he wrote an ``Appeal to Slavs,''
calling on them to combine with other revolutionaries
to destroy the three oppressive monarchies, Russia,
Austria and Prussia. Marx attacked him in print,
saying, in effect, that the movement for Bohemian
independence was futile because the Slavs had no
future, at any rate in those regions where they hap-
pened to be subject to Germany and Austria.
Bakunin accused Mars of German patriotism in
this matter, and Marx accused him of Pan-Slavism,
no doubt in both cases justly. Before this dispute,
however, a much more serious quarrel had taken
place. Marx's paper, the ``Neue Rheinische Zeitung,''
stated that George Sand had papers proving
Bakunin to be a Russian Government agent and one
of those responsible for the recent arrest of Poles.
Bakunin, of course, repudiated the charge, and
George Sand wrote to the ``Neue Rheinische
Zeitung,'' denying this statement in toto. The denials
were published by Marx, and there was a nominal
reconciliation, but from this time onward there was
never any real abatement of the hostility between
these rival leaders, who did not meet again until 1864.

Meanwhile, the reaction had been everywhere
gaining ground. In May, 1849, an insurrection in
Dresden for a moment made the revolutionaries masters
of the town. They held it for five days and
established a revolutionary government. Bakunin
was the soul of the defense which they made against
the Prussian troops. But they were overpowered,
and at last Bakunin was captured while trying to
escape with Heubner and Richard Wagner, the last
of whom, fortunately for music, was not captured.

Now began a long period of imprisonment in
many prisons and various countries. Bakunin was
sentenced to death on the 14th of January, 1850, but
his sentence was commuted after five months, and he
was delivered over to Austria, which claimed the
privilege of punishing him. The Austrians, in their
turn, condemned him to death in May, 1851, and
again his sentence was commuted to imprisonment for
life. In the Austrian prisons he had fetters on hands
and feet, and in one of them he was even chained to the
wall by the belt. There seems to have been some
peculiar pleasure to be derived from the punishment
of Bakunin, for the Russian Government in its turn
demanded him of the Austrians, who delivered him
up. In Russia he was confined, first in the Peter and
Paul fortress and then in the Schluesselburg. There
be suffered from scurvy and all his teeth fell out.
His health gave way completely, and he found almost
all food impossible to assimilate. ``But, if his body
became enfeebled, his spirit remained inflexible. He
feared one thing above all. It was to find himself
some day led, by the debilitating action of prison,
to the condition of degradation of which Silvio Pellico
offers a well-known type. He feared that he might
cease to hate, that he might feel the sentiment of
revolt which upheld him becoming extinguished in
his hearts that he might come to pardon his persecutors
and resign himself to his fate. But this fear
was superfluous; his energy did not abandon him a
single day, and he emerged from his cell the same
man as when he entered.''[14]

[14] Ibid. p. xxvi.

After the death of the Tsar Nicholas many political
prisoners were amnested, but Alexander II with
his own hand erased Bakunin's name from the list.
When Bakunin's mother succeeded in obtaining an
interview with the new Tsar, he said to her, ``Know,
Madame, that so long as your son lives, he can never
be free.'' However, in 1857, after eight years of
captivity, he was sent to the comparative freedom of
Siberia. From there, in 1861, he succeeded in escaping
to Japan, and thence through America to London.
He had been imprisoned for his hostility to
governments, but, strange to say, his sufferings had
not had the intended effect of making him love those
who inflicted them. From this time onward, he
devoted himself to spreading the spirit of Anarchist
revolt, without, however, having to suffer any further
term of imprisonment. For some years he lived in
Italy, where he founded in 1864 an ``International
Fraternity'' or ``Alliance of Socialist Revolutionaries.''
This contained men of many countries, but
apparently no Germans. It devoted itself largely to
combating Mazzini's nationalism. In 1867 he moved
to Switzerland, where in the following year he
helped to found the ``International Alliance of So-
cialist Democracy,'' of which he drew up the program.
This program gives a good succinct resume of
his opinions:--

The Alliance declares itself atheist; it desires the
definitive and entire abolition of classes and the political
equality and social equalization of individuals of both
sexes. It desires that the earth, the instrument of labor,
like all other capital, becoming the collective property of
society as a whole, shall be no longer able to be utilized
except by the workers, that is to say, by agricultural and
industrial associations. It recognizes that all actually
existing political and authoritarian States, reducing
themselves more and more to the mere administrative functions
of the public services in their respective countries,
must disappear in the universal union of free
associations, both agricultural and industrial.

The International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
desired to become a branch of the International
Working Men's Association, but was refused admission
on the ground that branches must be local, and
could not themselves be international. The Geneva
group of the Alliance, however, was admitted later,
in July, 1869.

The International Working Men's Association
had been founded in London in 1864, and its statutes
and program were drawn up by Marx. Bakunin at
first did not expect it to prove a success and refused
to join it. But it spread with remarkable rapidity
in many countries and soon became a great power
for the propagation of Socialist ideas. Originally
it was by no means wholly Socialist, but in successive
Congresses Marx won it over more and more to his
views. At its third Congress, in Brussels in September,
1868, it became definitely Socialist. Meanwhile
Bakunin, regretting his earlier abstention, had
decided to join it, and he brought with him a
considerable following in French-Switzerland, France,
Spain and Italy. At the fourth Congress, held at
Basle in September, 1869, two currents were strongly
marked. The Germans and English followed Marx
in his belief in the State as it was to become after the
abolition of private property; they followed him also
in his desire to found Labor Parties in the various
countries, and to utilize the machinery of democracy
for the election o representatives of Labor to
Parliaments. On the other hand, the Latin nations in
the main followed Bakunin in opposing the State and
disbelieving in the machinery of representative
government. The conflict between these two groups grew
more and more bitter, and each accused the other
of various offenses. The statement that Bakunin
was a spy was repeated, but was withdrawn after
investigation. Marx wrote in a confidential
communication to his German friends that Bakunin was
an agent of the Pan-Slavist party and received from
them 25,000 francs a year. Meanwhile, Bakunin
became for a time interested in the attempt to stir
up an agrarian revolt in Russia, and this led him
to neglect the contest in the International at a crucial
moment. During the Franco-Prussian war Bakunin
passionately took the side of France, especially after
the fall of Napoleon III. He endeavored to rouse
the people to revolutionary resistance like that of
1793, and became involved in an abortive attempt at
revolt in Lyons. The French Government accused
him of being a paid agent of Prussia, and it was
with difficulty that he escaped to Switzerland. The
dispute with Marx and his followers had become
exacerbated by the national dispute. Bakunin, like
Kropotkin after him, regarded the new power of
Germany as the greatest menace to liberty in the
world. He hated the Germans with a bitter hatred,
partly, no doubt, on account of Bismarck, but probably
still more on account of Marx. To this day,
Anarchism has remained confined almost exclusively
to the Latin countries, and has been associated with, a
hatred of Germany, growing out of the contests
between Marx and Bakunin in the International.

The final suppression of Bakunin's faction
occurred at the General Congress of the International
at the Hague in 1872. The meeting-place was
chosen by the General Council (in which Marx was
unopposed), with a view--so Bakunin's friends contend--
to making access impossible for Bakunin (on
account of the hostility of the French and German
governments) and difficult for his friends. Bakunin
was expelled from the International as the result of
a report accusing him inter alia of theft backed; up
by intimidation.

The orthodoxy of the International was saved,
but at the cost of its vitality. From this time onward,
it ceased to be itself a power, but both sections continued
to work in their various groups, and the Socialist
groups in particular grew rapidly. Ultimately
a new International was formed (1889) which continued
down to the outbreak of the present war. As
to the future of International Socialism it would be
rash to prophesy, though it would seem that the
international idea has acquired sufficient strength to
need again, after the war, some such means of expression
as it found before in Socialist congresses.

By this time Bakunin's health was broken, and
except for a few brief intervals, he lived in retirement
until his death in 1876.

Bakunin's life, unlike Marx's, was a very stormy
one. Every kind of rebellion against authority
always aroused his sympathy, and in his support he
never paid the slightest attention to personal risk.
His influence, undoubtedly very great, arose chiefly
through the influence of his personality upon important
individuals. His writings differ from Marx's as
much as his life does, and in a similar way. They are
chaotic, largely, aroused by some passing occasion,
abstract and metaphysical, except when they deal
with current politics. He does not come to close
quarters with economic facts, but dwells usually in
the regions of theory and metaphysics. When he
descends from these regions, he is much more at the
mercy of current international politics than Marx,
much less imbued with the consequences of the belief
that it is economic causes that are fundamental. He
praised Marx for enunciating this doctrine,[15] but
nevertheless continued to think in terms of nations.
His longest work, ``L'Empire Knouto-Germanique et
la Revolution Sociale,'' is mainly concerned with the
situation in France during the later stages of the
Franco-Prussian War, and with the means of resisting
German imperialism. Most of his writing was
done in a hurry in the interval between two insurrections.
There is something of Anarchism in his lack
of literary order. His best-known work is a fragment
entitled by its editors ``God and the State.''[16]

In this work he represents belief in God and belief in
the State as the two great obstacles to human liberty.
A typical passage will serve to illustrate its style.

[15] ``Marx, as a thinker, is on the right road. He has established
as a principle that all the evolutions, political, religious,
and juridical, in history are, not the causes, but the effects of
economic evolutions. This is a great and fruitful thought, which
he has not absolutely invented; it has been glimpsed, expressed
in part, by many others besides him; but in any case to him
belongs the honor of having solidly established it and of having
enunciated it as the basis of his whole economic system. (1870;
ib. ii. p. xiii.)

[16] This title is not Bakunin's, but was invented by Cafiero
and Elisee Reclus, who edited it, not knowing that it was a
fragment of what was intended to he the second version of
``L'Empire Knouto-Germanique'' (see ib. ii. p 283).

The State is not society, it is only an historical form
of it, as brutal as it is abstract. It was born historically
in all countries of the marriage of violence, rapine, pillage,
in a word, war and conquest, with the gods successively
created by the theological fantasy of nations.
It has been from its origin, and it remains still at present,
the divine sanction of brutal force and triumphant

The State is authority; it is force; it is the ostentation
and infatuation of force: it does not insinuate
itself; it does not seek to convert. . . . Even when
it commands what is good, it hinders and spoils it, just
because it commands it, and because every command provokes
and excites the legitimate revolts of liberty; and
because the good, from the moment that it is commanded,
becomes evil from the point of view of true morality, of
human morality (doubtless not of divine), from the point
of view of human respect and of liberty. Liberty, morality,
and the human dignity of man consist precisely
in this, that he does good, not because it is commanded,
but because he conceives it, wills it and loves it.

We do not find in Bakunin's works a clear picture
of the society at which he aimed, or any argument
to prove that such a society could be stable.
If we wish to understand Anarchism we must turn
to his followers, and especially to Kropotkin--like
him, a Russian aristocrat familiar with the prisons
of Europe, and, like him, an Anarchist who, in spite
of his internationalism, is imbued with a fiery hatred
of the Germans.

Kropotkin has devoted much of his writing to
technical questions of production. In ``Fields,
Factories and Workshops'' and ``The Conquest of
Bread'' he has set himself to prove that, if production
were more scientific and better organized, a
comparatively small amount of quite agreeable work
would suffice to keep the whole population in comfort.
Even assuming, as we probably must, that he
somewhat exaggerates what is possible with our
present scientific knowledge, it must nevertheless be
conceded that his contentions contain a very large
measure of truth. In attacking the subject of production
he has shown that he knows what is the really
crucial question. If civilization and progress are to
be compatible with equality, it is necessary that
equality should not involve long hours of painful
toil for little more than the necessaries of life, since,
where there is no leisure, art and science will die and
all progress will become impossible. The objection
which some feel to Socialism and Anarchism alike on
this ground cannot be upheld in view of the possible
productivity of labor.

The system at which Kropotkin aims, whether or
not it be possible, is certainly one which demands a
very great improvement in the methods of production
above what is common at present. He desires
to abolish wholly the system of wages, not only, as
most Socialists do, in the sense that a man is to be
paid rather for his willingness to work than for the
actual work demanded of him, but in a more fundamental
sense: there is to be no obligation to work,
and all things are to be shared in equal proportions
among the whole population. Kropotkin relies upon
the possibility of making work pleasant: he holds
that, in such a community as he foresees, practically
everyone will prefer work to idleness, because work will
not involve overwork or slavery, or that excessive
specialization that industrialism has brought about,
but will be merely a pleasant activity for certain
hours of the day, giving a man an outlet for his
spontaneous constructive impulses. There is to be no
compulsion, no law, no government exercising force;
there will still be acts of the community, but these
are to spring from universal consent, not from any
enforced submission of even the smallest minority.
We shall examine in a later chapter how far such
an ideal is realizable, but it cannot be denied that
Kropotkin presents it with extraordinary persuasiveness
and charm.

We should be doing more than justice to Anarchism
if we did not say something of its darker side,
the side which has brought it into conflict with the
police and made it a word of terror to ordinary citizens.
In its general doctrines there is nothing essentially
involving violent methods or a virulent hatred
of the rich, and many who adopt these general doctrines
are personally gentle and temperamentally
averse from violence. But the general tone of the
Anarchist press and public is bitter to a degree that
seems scarcely sane, and the appeal, especially in
Latin countries, is rather to envy of the fortunate
than to pity for the unfortunate. A vivid and readable,
though not wholly reliable, account, from a
hostile point of view, is given in a book called ``Le
Peril Anarchiste,'' by Felix Dubois,[17] which
incidentally reproduces a number of cartoons from anarchist
journals. The revolt against law naturally leads,
except in those who are controlled by a real passion
for humanity, to a relaxation of all the usually
accepted moral rules, and to a bitter spirit of
retaliatory cruelty out of which good can hardly come.

[17] Paris, 1894.

One of the most curious features of popular
Anarchism is its martyrology, aping Christian forms,
with the guillotine (in France) in place of the cross.
Many who have suffered death at the hands of the
authorities on account of acts of violence were no
doubt genuine sufferers for their belief in a cause,
but others, equally honored, are more questionable.
One of the most curious examples of this outlet for
the repressed religious impulse is the cult of Ravachol,
who was guillotined in 1892 on account of
various dynamite outrages. His past was dubious,
but he died defiantly; his last words were three lines
from a well-known Anarchist song, the ``Chant du
Pere Duchesne'':--

Si tu veux etre heureux,
Nom de Dieu!
Pends ton proprietaire.

As was natural, the leading Anarchists took no part
in the canonization of his memory; nevertheless it
proceeded, with the most amazing extravagances.

It would be wholly unfair to judge Anarchist
doctrine, or the views of its leading exponents, by
such phenomena; but it remains a fact that Anarchism
attracts to itself much that lies on the borderland
of insanity and common crime.[18] This must be
remembered in exculpation of the authorities and
the thoughtless public, who often confound in a common

Book of the day: