Anarchy 70/Anarchist anthologies

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Anarchist anthologies


After the histor­ies of anarch­ism come the an­tho­lo­gies. We have already had Anarch­ism by George Woodcock, and The Anarch­ists by James Joll, which were re­viewed in anarchy 28 and 46. Now we have The Anarch­ists (no con­nec­tion) edited by Irving L. Horo­witz, and Pat­terns of Anarchy edited by Leonard I. Krimerman and Lewis Perry, which are re­viewed together now.

  Both books are Amer­ican paper­backs edited by Amer­ican aca­dem­ics. Horowitz is As­soci­ate Pro­fessor of So­ci­ology at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity, St. Louis, and The Anarch­ists is pub­lished by Dell as Laurel Book 0131 (1964, 95c.). Krimerman is As­sist­ant Pro­fessor of Philo­sophy at Louisi­ana State Uni­ver­sity, New Orleans, and Perry is Lec­turer in History at New York State Uni­ver­sity, Buffalo, and Pat­terns of Anarchy is pub­lished by Double­day as Anchor Book A501 (1966, $1.95).

  Both books come from out­side the anarch­ist move­ment. The Anarch­ists ori­gin­ated when C. Wright Mills, the left-wing Amer­ican soci­olo­gist, planned “a reader on Anar­chists, Crim­in­als and Devi­ants” (shades of Lombroso!). He later “came to con­sider anarch­ism as one of the three major pivots of Marxism, the other two being So­cial Demo­cracy
and Bolshev­ism”, and then planned a tri­logy of an­tho­lo­gies of Marxist, Trotsky­ist, and anarch­ist writ­ings. The only one he pro­duced before he died in 1962 was The Marxists (1962, pub­lished as a Penguin Book in 1963). He hadn’t begun work on the anarch­ist volume, and it was taken over by his dis­ciple Horowitz (who has edited a post­hum­ous volume of his essays and a me­morial volume of essays by his ad­mirers). It is com­fort­ing to know that Horowitz has more sens­ible ideas about anarch­ism than Wright Mills: “My own view is that anarch­ism, far from being a ‘pivot’ of Marxism, as Mills be­lieved, is an ef­fort to fash­ion a rad­ical al­tern­at­ive to the Marxist tradi­tion in its ortho­dox forms.”

  Patterns of Anarchy ori­gin­ated when Krimerman and Perry “began to dis­cuss, in deep ignor­ance, the like­li­hood that the anarch­ist posi­tion had not been given its due.” Well, it is prob­ably better to have no ideas than wrong ideas. “Agreed on the likely value of anarch­ism, we were almost stymied by the paucity of avail­able ma­ter­i­als. Slowly the idea of an an­tho­logy took hold, as we con­tinued to un­cover inter­est­ing but neglec­ted anarch­ist writ­ings. Our amaze­ment at the wealth of anarch­ist liter­ature has been grow­ing ever since.”

  The Anarch­ists has 640 pages. It begins with a Pre­face and an Intro­duc­tion and ends with a Post­script by the editor. The rest of the book is di­vided into two parts con­tain­ing 35 passages.

  “The Theory” is di­vided into three sec­tions. “Anarch­ism as a Cri­tique of So­ciety” con­tains ex­tracts from Diderot’s Sup­ple­ment to Bougain­ville’s “Voyage” (1772)*; Mala­testa’s pamph­let Anarchy (1891)*; Proudhon’s book What is Prop­erty? (1840); Godwin’s book Polit­ical Just­ice (1793); Bakunin’s essays “Sci­ence and the Urgent Revo­lu­tion­ary Task” (1870) and “The Pro­gramme of the Inter­na­tional Revo­lu­tion­ary Alli­ance” (1871)*, both from G. P. Maximoff’s book The Polit­ical Philo­sophy of Bakunin (1953); Kropot­kin’s book Modern Sci­ence and Anarch­ism (1903)*; Benjamin Tucker’s article “State Social­ism and Anarch­ism” from his maga­zine Liberty (1886)* and his book Instead of a Book (1893); and Rudolf Rocker’s essay “Anarch­ism and Anarcho-Syn­dic­al­ism” from Feliks Gross’s book European Ideo­logies (1948).

  “Anarch­ism as a Style of Life” con­tains ex­tracts from Joseph Conrad’s novel The Secret Agent (1907); Dostoev­ski’s novel Notes from Underground (1864)*; Tolstoy’s book What Then Shall We Do? (1886)*; Albert Camus’s book The Rebel (1951)*; Emma Goldman’s essays “The Tragedy of Woman’s Eman­cip­a­tion” (1906)* and “Marriage and Love”,* both from her maga­zine Mother Earth and her book Anarch­ism and Other Essays (1910); and the letters of Sacco and Vanzetti (1927), from the edition by Frank­furter and Jack­son.

  “Anarch­ism as a Sys­tem of Philo­sophy” con­tains ex­tracts from Max Stirner’s book The Ego and His Own (1845)*; Thoreau’s essay “Resist­ance to Civil Govern­ment” (1848)*; Josiah Warren’s book True Civil­isa­tion (1869); William Hocking’s book Man and the State (1926); Herbert Read’s article “Anarch­ism in a Capit­al­ist So­ciety”, from the maga­zine Re­con­struir (1962); and Paul Schilpp’s article “In Defence
of Socrates’ Judges”, from the maga­zine Enquiry (1944).

  “The Practice” is di­vided into two sec­tions. “The Histor­ical Di­men­sion” con­tains ac­counts of the anarch­ist move­ment in Spain up to 1902 (by Gerald Brenan), in Italy during the 1870s (by Richard Hostetter, in the United States during the 1880s (by Samuel Yellen), in France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States during the 1890s (by Barbara Tuchman), in Russia up to 1883 (by Thomas Masaryk), in America out­side the United States and in northern Europe out­side Britain up to the 1930s (by George Woodcock), and in Spain during the 1930s (by Hugh Thomas), to­gether with Alexander Berkman’s diary of the Kronstadt Rising (1921).

  “The Socio­logical Di­men­sion” con­tains ex­tracts from Sorel’s book Re­flec­tions on Viol­ence (1906)*; Paul Goodman’s book Draw­ing the Line (1946); Robert Presthus’s book The Organ­isa­tional So­ciety (1962); Philip Selznick’s article “Revo­lu­tion Sacred and Pro­fane”, from the maga­zine Enquiry (1944); and Karl Shapiro’s article “On the Re­vival of Anarch­ism”, from the maga­zine Lib­er­a­tion (1961).

  Patterns of Anarchy has 570 pages. It begins with a Fore­word and ends with an essay called “Anarch­ism: The Method of Indi­vidu­al­isa­tion” by the editors. The rest of the book is di­vided into seven sec­tions con­tain­ing 63 pas­sages.

  “Defin­ing Anarch­ism” con­tains ex­tracts from D. Novak’s article “The Place of Anarch­ism in the History of Polit­ical Thought”, from the maga­zine The Re­view of Polit­ics (1958); John Mackay’s novel The Anarch­ists (1891); Senex’s article “Whither the Liber­tarian Move­ment?”, from the maga­zine Vanguard (1933); George Woodcock’s pamph­let Rail­ways and So­ciety (1943)*; James Estey’s book Re­volu­tion­ary Syn­dic­al­ism (1913); Ammon Hennacy’s Auto­bio­graphy of a Cath­olic Anarch­ist (1954); and Paul Goodman’s “Reply”, to Richard Lichtman on porno­graphy and cen­sor­ship from the maga­zine Com­ment­ary (1961).

  “Cri­ti­cising So­cial­ism”—au­thor­it­arian so­cial­ism, that is—con­tains ex­tracts from Benjamin Tucker’s article “State So­cial­ism and Anarch­ism”, from his maga­zine Liberty (1886)* and his book Instead of a Book (1893); Tolstoy’s book The Slavery of Our Times (1900); Bakunin’s books Fed­er­al­ism, So­cial­ism and Anti­theo­lo­gism (1867)* and The Knouto-Germanic Empire and the So­cial Re­volu­tion (1871)*, and some minor works of the same period from K. J. Kenafick’s book Marx­ism, Free­dom and the State (1950); Emma Goldman’s book My Further Dis­il­lu­sion­ment in Russia (1924); the anarchy Edit­or­ial “Mov­ing with the Times . . . but Not in Step” from anarchy 3 (May 1961); and Paul Goodman’s book People or Person­nel (1965).

  “Philo­soph­ical Founda­tions” con­tains ex­tracts from Adin Ballou’s Non-Resist­ance in Rela­tion to Human Govern­ment (1839)*; Nicolas Berdyaev’s book Slavery and Free­dom (1944); Max Stirner’s The Ego and His Own (1845)*; William Godwin’s Polit­ical Just­ice (1793); Stephen Andrews’ book The Sci­ence of So­ciety (1852); and Kropotkin’s pamph­lets Anarch­ist Com­mun­ism (1887)*, Anarch­ist Moral­ity (1891)*, and Anarchy: Its Philo­sophy and Ideal (1896)*.

  “Anarch­ism on the At­tack” con­tains ex­tracts from Lysander Spooner’s No Treason (1867); Benjamin Tucker’s article “The Rela­tion of the State to the Indi­vidual”, from his maga­zine Liberty (1890)* and Instead of a Book; Max Stirner’s The Ego and His Own; John Beverley Robin­son’s book The Eco­nom­ics of Liberty (1916); Frank Lanham’s article “Two Kinds of Union­ism” from the maga­zine Why? (1947); Sam Weiner’s pamph­let Ethics and Amer­ican Union­ism (1958); Kropotkin’s pamph­let Law and Author­ity (1882); and Alex Comfort’s book Author­ity and De­lin­quency in the Modern State (1950).

  “Con­struct­ive Anarch­ism” con­tains ex­tracts from Josiah Warren’s book Equit­able Com­merce (1846); Charles Dana’s articles “Proudhon and His Bank of the People”, from the New York Tribune (1849)*; Alexander Berkman’s pamphlet What is Com­mun­ist Anarch­ism? (1929)*; Senex’s article “De­central­isa­tion and So­cial­ism”, from the maga­zine Van­guard (1938); Rudolf Rocker’s book Anarcho-Syn­dic­al­ism (1938); Ammon Hennacy’s Auto­bio­graphy of a Cath­olic Anarch­ist (1954); Dorothy Day’s book The Long Lone­li­ness (1952); Paul Goodman’s People and Person­nel (1965); and Colin Ward’s articles “Anarch­ism as a Theory of Organ­isa­tion” and “Ad­ven­ture Play­ground”, from anarchy 62 (April 1966) and anarchy 7 (September 1961).

  “The Anarch­ists on Edu­ca­tion” con­tains ex­tracts from Herbert Read’s books Edu­ca­tion through Art (1943) and Edu­ca­tion for Peace (1949); Francis­co Ferrer’s book The Origins and Ideals of the Modern School (1908)*; Bayard Boyesen’s pamph­let The Modern School (1911)*; William Godwin’s books The En­quirer (1797) and Polit­ical Just­ice (1793); Tony Gibson’s pamph­let Youth for Freedom (1951); Josiah Warren’s Equit­able Com­merce (1846); Paul Goodman’s book The Com­mun­ity of Schol­ars (1962); and Tolstoy’s essays “The School at Yasnaya Polyana” and “Are the Peas­ant Chil­dren to Learn to Write from Us?”*

  “How Sound is Anarch­ism?”—con­sist­ing of pas­sages at­tack­ing anarch­ism—con­tains ex­tracts from Bertrand Russell’s book Roads to Free­dom (1918)*; Georgi Plekhanov’s book Anarch­ism and So­cial­ism (1894)*; Bernard Shaw’s pamph­let The Im­pos­sibil­it­ies of Anarch­ism (1893); Frédéric Bastiat’s Essays in Polit­ical Eco­nomy (1874); two letters from Hugo Bilgram to Benjamin Tucker’s maga­zine Liberty (1890)*, from Tucker’s Instead of a Book; James Estey’s Re­volu­tion­ary Syn­dic­al­ism (1913); Aylmer Maude’s Life of Tolstoy (1918 and 1928); Karl Marx’s at­tack on Max Stirner in The German Ideo­logy (1846)*, as sum­mar­ised in Sidney Hook’s book From Hegel to Marx (1962); and D. H. Monro’s book Godwin’s Moral Philo­sophy (1953).

  General dis­cus­sion of the books must un­for­tun­ately begin with general cri­ti­cism. My first cri­ti­cism is of their bib­lio­graph­ical and bio­graph­ical ap­par­atus. In both books—though The Anarch­ists is the worst of­fender—the notes about the sources of nearly half the pas­sages are in­ad­equate, and in too many cases they are in­ac­curate as well.

  My next cri­ti­cism is of the bal­ance of the books. The Anarch­ists is the worst of­fender again, because Horo­witz has made a highly per­sonal choice of pas­sages, which has led to many bad ones being in­cluded and many good ones being ex­cluded. He tries to ex­cuse “obvi­ous omis­sions” on the grounds that the book “when ini­tially de­livered to the pub­lisher was much longer,” and he adds that he has “tried to com­pens­ate for the gaps and de­fects by pro­vid­ing a Post­script of the ques­tions most often asked of anarch­ists, the kinds of answers they in turn most fre­quently pro­vide, and fin­ally, my own be­liefs on these mat­ters of con­tro­versy.” It’s a good try, but it won’t do. If an editor has to cut an an­tho­logy to fit it into the avail­able space, the first thing to go should surely be his own con­trib­u­tion. As it is, Horo­witz’s Intro­duc­tion and Post­script between them take up a tenth of the book, and, although they are inter­est­ing, more con­trib­u­tions by anarch­ists would have been more inter­est­ing.

  Pat­terns of Anarchy has many more and much shorter pas­sages, and manages to give a much wider view of anarch­ist thought, but there is still some dis­tor­tion. Why is there nothing writ­ten before 1793, when the first pas­sage in the book traces the anarch­ist tradi­tion back to an­cient Greece, and when even Horo­witz goes back to 1772? Why is there nothing from out­side Europe and North Amer­ica? Why are there three pas­sages about reli­gious anarch­ism, and none about anti­reli­gious anarch­ism? Why are there eight pas­sages about author­it­arian so­cial­ism, and eleven about edu­ca­tion?

  To begin with The Anarch­ists. Horo­witz’s Pre­face is pro­mis­ing. He says that he speaks “not as an anarch­ist but as a so­cial sci­ent­ist.” He con­siders that “the anarch­ist tradi­tion is a par­tic­u­larly fruit­ful and fright­fully neg­lected source in the com­mon human ef­fort to over­come mani­pu­la­tion,” and he adds that his “sym­path­ies for the anarch­ists shall not be dis­guised.” He agrees that anarch­ism is not what it was once, but “the col­lapse of anarch­ism as a so­cial move­ment does not sig­nify its an­nihil­a­tion as an intel­lect­ual force.” Anarch­ism may have failed, but “the anarch­ist does not live in terms of cri­teria of suc­cess, and neither should his views be judged in such terms,” for “we in­habit a world of dismal suc­cess and heroic fail­ure.” He com­ments that “this sort of ori­ent­a­tion may not qual­ify me as a bona fide anarch­ist, but it is my belief that at least it does not dis­qual­ify me from writ­ing on and intro­ducing the reader to the wealth of anarch­ist lit­era­ture.” No indeed.

  After this, his Intro­duc­tion is dis­ap­point­ing. It is full of the sort of ab­stract gener­al­isa­tion that dis­figures much modern so­cio­logical writing—and dis­figured James Joll’s book The Anarch­ists as well. Because of this, the good things he has to say are ob­scured.

  The Intro­duc­tion also con­tains a “typo­logy of anarch­ist strat­egies and be­liefs,” which is un­fortun­ately never heard of again. Horo­witz dis­tin­guishes eight vari­eties of anarch­ism; util­it­arian (men­tion­ing Hel­vétius, Diderot, Godwin, and Saint-Simon, peasant men­tion­ing Münzer, Sis­mondi, Fourier, Proudhon, and Bakunin), syn­dic­al­ist (men­tion­ing Pel­loutier), col­lect­iv­ist (men­tion­ing Bakunin and Kropotkin),
con­spir­at­orial (mentioning Most and Henry), com­mun­ist (men­tion­ing Mala­testa, Stepniak, and Cafiero), in­di­vidual­ist (mentioning Stirner, Warren, Spooner, and Tucker), and pacif­ist (men­tion­ing Tolstoy and Gandhi). This is reason­able enough, though there are some oddit­ies. Six of the people men­tioned weren’t anarch­ists at all (Münzer, Hel­vétius, Diderot, Sis­mondi, Saint-Simon, and Gandhi); two of the variet­ies are surely wrongly named—Diderot and Godwin weren’t util­it­arian, in the normal sense of the prag­matic tradi­tion from Bentham and Mill to the Fabian So­ciety and the Wel­fare State, but ration­al­ist, inter­ested not in the great­est happi­ness of the great­est number but in justice and truth; and Most and Henry weren’t just con­spir­at­orial, like many other anarch­ists, but terror­ist, inter­ested not in con­spiracy for its own sake but in con­spiracy to murder. And is there not some con­fu­sion over Bakunin, who wanted an in­sur­rec­tion of workers as well as peas­ants and called himself a col­lect­iv­ist, and over Kropot­kin, who always called himself a com­mun­ist?

  Horo­witz’s Post­script was pub­lished in anarchy 50, and readers will remem­ber it as a useful survey of some of the prob­lems of anarch­ism—the liber­at­ive poten­ti­al­ity of the state, the uto­pian, meta­phys­ical, de­struct­ive and re­ac­tion­ary tend­en­cies of anarch­ism, and the per­sonal pecu­li­ar­it­ies of anarch­ists—but it really has no place in this book.

  “The Theory” con­tains some of the basic texts of anarch­ism, but readers who are un­fa­mil­iar with the move­ment should have been told about the pas­sages which are not really anarch­ist, or even an­archic, or else they might get a rather con­fused im­pres­sion. The con­tribu­tions by Diderot, Tolstoy, Camus, and Thoreau have all been found valu­able by anarch­ists, but they are hardly as central as those by Mala­testa, Proudhon, Godwin, Bakunin, Kropot­kin, Tucker, Rocker, Goldman, and Stirner. Read’s essay is a useful sum­mary, and the letters of Sacco and Vanzetti pro­vide a tragic glimpse of living—and dying—anarch­ism. The ex­tract from Hocking’s for­gotten book is dili­gent but dull, and Schilpp’s essay is a re­pe­ti­tion of what Randolph Bourne said much better during the First World War—es­pe­cially in The War and the Intel­lect­uals (1917).

  What are in­ex­plic­able and in­ex­cus­able are the con­trib­u­tions by Conrad and Dostoev­ski. Conrad’s novel was drawn os­tens­ibly from the Greenwich Park Affair of 1894, but it is ac­tu­ally a grot­esque mis­repre­sent­a­tion of the British or any other anarch­ist move­ment. Conrad himself said in the Preface that his ori­ginal feeling about anarch­ism was of “the crim­inal futil­ity of the whole thing, doc­trine, action, men­tal­ity,” and of “the con­tempt­ible as­pect of the half-crazy pose as of a brazen cheat ex­ploit­ing the poignant miser­ies and pas­sion­ate cred­ul­it­ies of a man­kind always so tragic­ally eager for self-de­struc­tion.” In­cid­ent­ally, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that the “Secret Agent” of the title is an un­suc­cess­ful agent pro­vocateur who ar­ranges the ex­plo­sion to dis­credit the anarch­ists, and that the “Pro­fessor” of the ex­tract given here is an un­bal­anced nihil­ist who gives ex­plos­ives to anyone who asks—neither of them coming near Samuels, the mystery
man of the Greenwich Park Affair (or Coulon, who played the same part in the Walsall Affair of 1892). As for Dostoev­ski’s novel, it is little more than a psych­otic scream of hate against the ideas of human­ity, pro­gress, reason, and hope, which are surely essen­tial to most kinds of anarch­ism. It would be inter­est­ing to know how it ever got into the book.

  “The Practice” con­tains far fewer useful pas­sages. The his­tor­ical sec­tion, as I said, is very un­even. Gerald Brenan’s Spanish Labyrinth and George Woodcock’s Anarch­ism need no intro­duc­tion, since their general high qual­ity has already been noted in anarchy. Nor does Hugh Thomas’s Spanish Civil War, since its low qual­ity has also been noted. Richard Hostetter’s Italian So­cial­ist Move­ment and Samuel Yellen’s Amer­ican Labour Strug­gles con­tain a great deal of in­form­a­tion, so much indeed that it is easy to get con­fused. Barbara Tuchman’s article “The Anarch­ists” (origin­ally pub­lished in the Atlantic Monthly, and now in­cor­por­ated in her book The Proud Tower) is another matter al­to­gether, being full of sens­a­tional non­sense—Reclus is “the sooth­sayer of the move­ment” and Malatesta is “the fire­brand of anarch­ism” (who—of course—escapes from Lampe­dusa “in a row­boat during a storm”, and—of course—is shot at “by an Italian fellow-anarch­ist of the ex­treme anti-organ­izza­tori wing”**), and most of the pas­sage de­scribes the terror­ist wave of the 1890s with a wealth of melo­dra­matic detail. Berkman’s diary is cer­tainly out­stand­ing ma­terial for the history of the Kronstadt Rising, but by itself it gives a rather narrow view of a com­plex episode.

  The “so­ci­olo­gical” sec­tion has little so­ci­olo­gical about it. Sorel was hardly a so­cial sci­entist; nor was he one of “the clas­sical anarch­ists,” as Horo­witz claims (he ought to know, too, since he has written a whole book on Sorel, called Rad­ical­ism and the Re­volt against Reason). Re­flec­tions on Viol­ence is always inter­est­ing to read, but for some reason the pas­sage here is not the one in which Sorel deals with the myth of the general strike—his most im­port­ant idea. Paul Goodman is much admired by many anarch­ists, but I must say I find his writing quite anti­path­etic, and the pas­sage here quite ab­surd (to use one of his favour­ite words); but other readers may well think other­wise. Presthus is a real so­ci­olo­gist, and his book seems to be similar to William Whyte’s better-known Organ­isa­tion Man—not really anarch­ist, but cer­tainly relev­ant to modern anarch­ism. Selznick rightly apo­lo­gises for his essay, and it would really have been kinder to leave it out. Shapiro’s essay isn’t really about the re­vival of anarch­ism so much as the in­creas­ing at­trac­tion of liber­tarian ideas, with spe­cial re­fer­ence to Gandhi, and it is a weak ending for an antho­logy de­scribed
by the pub­lisher as “a ring­ing roll-call of the great non-con­form­ists and dis­senters”.

  Turning to Pat­terns of Anarchy, Krimer­man and Perry re­mark in the Fore­word that “the peace move­ments, the civil rights strug­gles, the agita­tion of stu­dents for un­shackled edu­ca­tion have evinced vague feel­ings of af­fin­ity to anarch­ism,” and that dis­il­lu­sion­ment with Com­mun­ism “has raised further inter­est in left-wing altern­at­ives to Marxism.” Although most of the re­newed inter­est in anarch­ism is not serious, they “are de­term­ined to take anarch­ism seri­ously,” for they “have become more and more amazed at how many per­cept­ive so­cial theor­ists have spoken in the anarch­ist trad­i­tion,” and they “have tried to re­store anarch­ism to its right­ful place as more than a re­jec­tion of polit­ics, indeed as a re­ward­ing full-scale theory of human con­duct.”

  There is much less de­tailed crit­icism to be made of the pas­sages they have se­lected. They have had the help of the Freedom Press in London and of the Liber­tarian League in New York, and they have made good use of it. I must say that I am sorry to see so little from Bakunin and Mala­testa, who I think are under­rated, and so much from Berdyaev and Paul Goodman, who I think are over­rated. But I am glad to see proper at­ten­tion given to the neglected early Amer­ican anarch­ists (Ballou, Warren, Andrews, and Spooner), and to at least some of the con­tempor­ary English anarch­ists (Herbert Read, Alex Comfort, Tony Gibson, and Colin Ward).

  There are a few de­tailed crit­icisms to make. Novak’s essay is a weak open­ing for such an ambi­tious work, and Novak is hardly “one of the few scholars” to deal with the origins of anarch­ism, which is after all one of the com­mon­est pre­oc­cu­pa­tions of anarch­ist schol­ars, from Kropot­kin onwards. It should have been ex­plained that Estey’s study of syn­dic­al­ism is con­fused about more than just Proudhon’s rela­tion­ship with anarch­ism and syn­dic­al­ism, above all in giving far too much promin­ence to the writ­ings of Sorel. It should also have been ex­plained that Dana, though an ad­mirer of Proudhon’s eco­nomic ideas, later became an ex­treme re­action­ary news­paper editor, as well as Lincoln’s As­sist­ant Secret­ary of War during the Amer­ican Civil War.

  Another very useful feature is the final sec­tion—“How Sound is Anarch­ism?”—but this is to some ex­tent spoilt by the large claims made for it. Krimer­man and Perry de­scribe it as “far more than a sample of the serious ef­forts to evalu­ate the anarch­ist posi­tion,” and they even claim that, “with little ex­ag­ger­a­tion, we could offer them as the only ef­forts of this sort.” On the con­trary, this is a huge ex­ag­ger­a­tion. Take for ex­ample the state­ment that there aren’t “any­thing ap­proach­ing com­pre­hens­ive crit­ical works on such first-rank liber­tarian thinkers as Berdyaev, Bakunin, and the in­di­vidual­ist anarch­ists.” Berdyaev was hardly a liber­tarian, or a first-rank thinker of any kind, but there are several books about him pub­lished just after the last war. There are also several books about Bakunin, as well as im­port­ant con­tempor­ary crit­icisms by Herzen and Marx. There is a book about Max Stirner, as well as Marx’s at­tack in The German Ideo­logy, which is after all given in this sec­tion—though in Sidney Hook’s words, “For
some reason, rather than that of Marx himself.”

  There is in fact a much larger body of cri­ticism of anarch­ism than Krimer­man and Perry real­ise. They give Marx’s at­tack on Stirner, but not his at­tack of Proudhon in The Poverty of Philo­sophy (1847), though this is in­cluded in the bib­li­o­graphy. They give Plekhanov’s Anarch­ism and So­cial­ism, but not the earlier works by Marx (In­dif­fer­ence in Polit­ical Mat­ters) and Engels (On Author­ity), or the later works by Lenin (The State and the Revo­lu­tion) and Stalin (Anarch­ism or So­cial­ism). They give Monro’s modern cri­ticism of Godwin, but not Hazlitt’s con­tempor­ary cri­ticism in The Spirit of the Age (1825). They don’t men­tion the chap­ters on Godwin, Proudhon and Bakunin in Alex­ander Gray’s The So­cial­ist Trad­i­tion (1946) and in John Bowle’s Polit­ics and Opin­ion in the Nine­teenth Cen­tury (1954). They don’t seem to be aware of the long list of 19th-cen­tury studies of anarch­ism men­tioned in Eltz­bacher’s Anarch­ism (1900). They don’t men­tion the Epi­logue of Wood­cock’s Anarch­ism or the Con­clu­sion of Joll’s The Anarch­ists. And they don’t even mention the Post­script of Horo­witz’s The Anarch­ists.

  Patterns of Anarchy is clearly a better book than The Anarch­ists, though the latter does quote more basic anarch­ist texts at length, and is of course much cheaper. The real trouble is that neither book is as good as it could and should have been. Horo­witz has a great deal of abil­ity, and Krimer­man and Perry have done a great deal of work, but some­how they have all missed their op­por­tun­ity, and there is still room for a really good antho­logy of anarch­ism. In ideal circum­stances both books would be almost value­less, because even the best antho­logy is only a second-best in com­par­ison with original ma­terial, and these are far from the best. But the circum­stances are not ideal, and in fact both books are ex­tremely valu­able, because even the worst antho­logy is better than nothing—and apart from them, there is almost nothing of the original ma­terial of anarch­ist lit­er­at­ure in print.

  This is indeed one of the most seri­ous de­fects of the English-speak­ing anarch­ist move­ment today. Many im­port­ant anarch­ist works have been written in, or trans­lated into, English at one time or an­other, but very few are still ob­tain­able. I wonder how many read­ers of anarchy have ever read any book by any major anarch­ist writer, and how many of those who have done so ac­tu­ally own one. It is pos­sible to get hold of them, but it isn’t easy. Win­stanley and Godwin were re­printed in the United States and Canada during the war, but were soon out of print again. The old trans­la­tion of Stirner by Steven Byington was re­printed in the United States a few years ago, but it has aready gone. The old trans­la­tions of Proudhon by Benjamin Tucker—and Tucker’s own Instead of a Book—have been out of print for years. Bakunin’s frag­ment­ary out­put has long been ob­tain­able only in di­gests, and Kropot­kin’s enorm­ous out­put only through a few pamph­lets. Some of Tolstoy’s tracts are still in print, but mostly the reli­gious rather than the polit­ical ones. Emma Gold­man and Rudolf Rocker have virtu­ally dis­ap­peared, and the same was true of Mala­testa until Vernon Richards res­cued him last year. Many more have com­
pletely dis­ap­peared. Krimer­man and Perry re­mark that “there is a need for full new edi­tions of the best works of Proudhon, Tucker, Kropot­kin, and many others, whom the reader can only begin to ap­preci­ate here.” There is indeed, but until then these two antho­logies will give their read­ers at least some idea of what the major anarch­ist writers are like.

  In the present circum­stances, then, we must be grate­ful for both books, and they are cer­tainly good value for only a guinea or so. But we must also con­sider the dangers of these circum­stances. We have a weekly and a monthly paper, a new pamph­let every year or so, oc­ca­sional re­prints of old pamph­lets (Berk­man and Mala­testa being the most re­cent), and very oc­ca­sional books (such as Richards’ Malatesta). Apart from that, there are mis­cel­laneous second-hand books and pamph­lets in cur­cu­la­tion, and oc­ca­sional maga­zines ap­pear­ing at ir­regu­lar inter­vals. That’s about all, because that’s about all we can af­ford. The trouble is that there are not only old things which ought to be re­printed again, but also new things which ought to be printed or re­printed for the first time. It is im­port­ant to re­member the past, as these antho­logies remind us, but not at the price of for­get­ting the future. In practice, what hap­pens is that we are stuck in the present, run­ning as fast as we can to stay in the same place, work­ing so hard to fill up our papers and keep them going from week to week and from month to month, that we have no time or energy (or money) for any­thing else. Partly because of this, most of what is printed is dis­ap­point­ingly bad—most of the articles in freedom and anarchy are best for­got­ten, but the good ones are for­got­ten too. We have had to wait for Pat­terns of Anarchy to see a few of the valu­able articles dis­in­terred, and this is the sort of work we should be doing our­selves; it is not enough to bind up back numbers or annual selec­tions.

  It is true that if we pay too much at­ten­tion to lit­er­at­ure we may neglect other im­port­ant things—di­rect con­tact with ap­pro­pri­ate people, for ex­ample, and di­rect action in ap­pro­pri­ate places—and it is true that both these antho­logies, like most lit­er­at­ure, stress the theory of anarch­ism at the ex­pense of the practice. But no one can say that we are all so active that we have no time to pre­serve the lit­er­at­ure of the past or create the lit­er­at­ure of the future. Lit­er­at­ure is after all the main voice of a move­ment. These antho­logies may be only a faint echo, but then our own ef­forts are hardly more than a whisper. If we don’t like what people write about us, the remedy is in our hands. Both the antho­logies refer to and re­sult from the re­cent re­vival of inter­est in anarch­ism. It is a pity that this re­vival has taken place almost in spite of, rather than because of, what we have said or done. It is time that we took ad­vant­age of it, and raised our voice again.

* I have aster­isked the pas­sages which have some­thing wrong with them, and this will give an idea of the prob­lem; there is no room here to list all the mis­takes in detail.

** These two stories have been de­mol­ished by Vernon Richards in his article “Anarch­ism and the His­tor­i­ans” (anarchy 46) and his book Malatesta: His Life and Ideas (1965).

Thomas Masaryk’s Spirit of Russia may have been a good book when it was pub­lished, nearly half a cen­tury ago, but it has been com­pletely super­seded by Franco Venturi’s Russian Pop­u­lism—pub­lished in this country as Roots of Revo­lu­tion (1960).