Anarchy

In the wildest anarchy of man’s insurgent appetites and sins there is still a reclaiming voice, a voice which, even when in practice disregarded, it is impossible not to own; and to which, at the very moment that we refuse our obedience, we find that we cannot refuse the homage of what ourselves do feel and acknowledge to be the best, the highest principles of our nature.

With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by plan-conforming, conscious organization. The struggle for individual existence disappears... Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history - only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom.

Beneath a free government there is nothing but the intelligence of the people to keep the people’s peace. Order must be preserved, not by a military police or regiments of horse-guards, but by the spontaneous concert of a well-informed population, resolved that the rights which have been rescued from despotism shall not be subverted by anarchy.

Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and imitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy, or despotism in some form, is all that is left.

It is clear that property in itself owes allegiance to no particular form of government, and is bound by no dynastic or legal ties. Its politics may be summed up in a single word: exploitation, or even anarchy. It is the most formidable enemy and most treacherous ally of any form of power. In short, in its relation to the State it is governed by only one principle, one sentiment, one concern: self-interest, or egoism... That is why all governments, all utopias, and all Churches distrust property... We can conclude that property is the greatest existing revolutionary force, with an unequaled capacity for setting itself against authority.

We spend a good part of our time establishing personal boundaries, creating individuality by drawing lines that define the limits of the self. But it becomes increasingly clear that these limits are artificial. We are part of the fabric and cannot avoid being so. Mere anarchy is seldom loosed upon the real world.

Idleness leads to relaxation, sooner or later bringing about ideological and material corruption, accompanied by lack of discipline, anarchy, chaos and defeat.

If each man relies on his individual reason for his religious beliefs, the result will be anarchy of belief or the annihilation of religious sovereignty.

Trust is the fabric that binds us together, creating an orderly civilized society from chaos and anarchy… Trust must be carefully constructed, vigorously nurtured, and constantly reinforced.

Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society. The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil.

In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law ... that would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Man is at bottom a wild and terrible animal. We know him only as what we call civilization has tamed and trained him; hence we are alarmed by the occasional breaking out of his true nature. But whenever the locks and chains of law and order are cast off, and anarchy comes in, he shows himself for what he really is.

Periods of confused anarchy… seem always destined to precede the birth of every new society.

We have two American flags always; one for the rich and one for the poor. When the rich fly it it means that things are under control; when the poor fly it it means danger, revolution, anarchy.

The worst thing in the world, next to anarchy, is government.

If the will, which is the law of our nature, were withdrawn from our memory, fancy, understanding, and reason, no other hell could equal, for a spiritual being, what we should then feel from the anarchy of our powers. It would be conscious madness, a horrid thought!

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution.

Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.

For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy ... the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments.

Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress.