Quotes

Some of Our Favorite Quotes / Emma Goldman

Anarchist and anarchy quotes and much more.

“Anarchism envisions a flexible pluralist society where all the needs of
mankind would be supplied by an infinite variety of voluntary associations. The world is honeycombed with affinity groups from chess clubs to anarchist propaganda groups. They are formed, dissolved, and reconstituted according to the fluctuating needs and fancies of the
individual adherents. It is precisely because they reflect *individual preferences* that such groups are the lifeblood of the free society.”

— Sam Dolgoff, The Relevance of Anarchism to Modern Society (1970)


“To speak of ‘limits to growth’ under a capitalistic market economy is as meaningless as to speak of limits of warfare under a warrior society. The moral pieties, that are voiced today by many well-meaning environmentalists, are as naive as the moral pieties of multinationals are manipulative. Capitalism can no more be ‘persuaded’ to limit growth than a human being can be ‘persuaded’ to stop breathing. Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.”

Murray Bookchin, Remaking Society


Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones.

— Ambrose Bierce.


“Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy, because facts of that sort don’t change. Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.”

Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury


“The minimum that most minimalists want leaves in place just the institutions who protect their interests. That’s libertarians for you – anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.”

— Coyote in Green Mars (1992) by Kim Stanley Robinson


“You have your thoughts and I have mine. This is the fact and you can’t change it even if you kill me.”

— Ba Jin, shouted out at the end of a televised public humiliation in the People’s Stadium of Shanghai, during the “Cultural Revolution” (20 June 1968)


“There are self-styled “anarcho-capitalists” (not to be confused with anarchists of any persuasion), who want the state abolished as a regulator of capitalism, and government handed over to capitalists.”

— Donald Rooum in What is Anarchism?


“Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary’s life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.”

— Angela Davis.


“Today’s librarians are using websites, e-mail, text messages, and more to create an international community of like-minded and tech-savvy library workers. They are challenging perceptions and redefining themselves as fierce defenders of free speech who make activism part of the job.”

— AP writer Jessica M. Pasko, reporting on the group Radical
Reference
, November 12, 2005.


“All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”

— I. F. Stone, Time of Torment, p. 317


“Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.”

— George Carlin


“You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.”

— George Carlin


“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

— Mark Twain


“Oh, judge, your damn laws: the good people don’t need them and the bad people don’t follow them so what good are they?”

— Ammon Hennacy


“It is the fundamental duty of the citizen to resist and to restrain the violence of the state. Those who choose to disregard this responsibility can justly be accused of complicity in war crimes, which is itself designated as ‘a crime under international law’ in the principles of the Charter of Nuremberg.”

— Noam Chomsky
Source: Preface to Bertrand Russell War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, 1971


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

— Edward Abbey


“Society is like a stew. If you don’t keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.”

— Edward Abbey


“The Church hates a thinker precisely for the same reason a robber dislikes a sheriff, or a thief despises the prosecuting witness.”

— Robert Ingersoll, Individuality.


Do you have any advice for secular Americans who are faced with living in a country that’s increasingly governed by religious fundamentalists?

If I have any advice, it’s that every day that you wake up, don’t say, “This is normal.” Every day, wake up with this idea that you have to defend your freedom. Nobody has the right to take from women the right to abortion, nobody has the right to take from homosexuals the right to be homosexual, nobody has the right to stop people laughing, to stop people thinking, to stop people talking.

If I have one message to give to the secular American people, it’s that the world is not divided into countries. The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don’t know each other, but we talk together and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same.

Marjane Satrapi,
interviewed by Salon.com


The things the worker buys with his wages are first of all consumer goods which enable him to survive, to reproduce his labor-power so as to be able to continue selling it; & they are spectacles, objects for passive admiration. He consumes & admires the products of human activity passively.

He does not exist in the world as an active agent who transforms it, but as a helpless, impotent spectator; he may call this state of powerless admiration “happiness,” & since labor is painful, he may desire to be “happy,” namely inactive, all his life (a condition similar to being born dead).

The commodities, the spectacles, consume him; he uses up living energy in passive admiration; he is consumed by things.

In this sense, the more he has, the less he is.

Fredy Perlman, The Reproduction of Daily Life


“Society has good reason to fear the Radical. Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the Radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives.”

— Saul Alinsky


To lead people, walk beside them… As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate… When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!

— Lao Tzu


You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. Revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way.

— Malcom X


There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.

— Fannie Lou Hamer


Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.

Guy Debord


SLAVERY

My country came together in one revolution and was nearly broken by another.

The first revolution was a protest against galling, stupid, but relatively mild social and economic exploitation. It was almost uniquely successful.

Many of those who made the first revolution practiced the most extreme form of economic exploitation and social oppression: they were slave owners.

The second American revolution, the Civil War, was an attempt to preserve slavery. It was partially successful. the institution was abolished, but the mind of the master and the mind of the slave still think a good many of the thoughts of America.

Ursula K. Le Guin, “A War Without End,” The Wave in the Mind


“Personally, I’m in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can’t have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control.”

Noam Chomsky


“The establishment people tell us that if the workers wanted to share the profits, it was called communism. When management wants to share profits, it’s called a bonus.”

Phil Donahue

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“Workers are like lemons: When the rich have sucked out all the juice, they throw them in the garbage.”

Ricardo Flores Magon, Regeneracion, April 1911


“Some religionists seem to delight in ascribing to “God” the credit for having made apple trees in fields of green, under a blue sky; but where is their creator when we remember that there are tapeworms in the world? I think I would be embarassed to have to admit that I believed in an ‘all-wise God’ who made tapeworms.”

Fred Woodworth, There is No God


“”Whether the mask is labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus – the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brother’s enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.”

— Simone Weil

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”

— A. Whitney Griswold

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“When we begin to love and respect Great Mother Nature’s gift to us of gayness, we’ll discover that the bondage of our childhood and adolescence in the trials and tribulations of neitherness was actually an apprenticeship for teaching her children new cutting edges of consciousness and social change. In stunning paradox, our neitherness is our talisman, our fairie wand, our gift we bring to the hetero world to….transform their pain into healings; …transform their tears to laughter: …transform their hand-me-downs to visions of loveliness.”

— Harry Hay


“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

— George Orwell

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“Show me a country with no strikes and I’ll show you the country in which
there is no liberty.”

— Samuel Gompers

Credit: [email protected]nk.net, Thought du jour


“I have often heard reformers say that the working class does not revolt because it is not yet wretched and starving enough, and that the sooner economic conditions get worse the sooner they will revolt. This is another wrong conception of men and conditions. Take the coal miners, the most ill paid and il treated wage workers in existence. To try to describe the conditions of the miners of Western Pennsylvania is to attempt the impossible. In many places grown men, with families, have not been able to earn more than $1.50 a week. They are herded together in miserable, filthy hovels, 12 or 15 people occupying one room; for how else can they pay the rent? Yet these men do not revolt, and never will. They have not the strength. They are like animals–dumb, stupid, indifferent, ready to lick the hand that lashes them. But when I reached the districts where they earned $5 and $6 a week (a fortune (?) as they work), I found them carrying themselves with some pride and self respect, and open to ideas. It is therefore an unpardonable mistake to sit with folded hands awaiting the development of things to such a state that it will be too late to act. Men with empty stomachs do not fight for freedom. They fight for bread, and as soon as they get the crust, gnawing on it they forget their good intentions to fight for more. I have not spent 18 weeks in missionary work without learning that it is useless to appeal to the overfed, but still less use to appeal to the underfed. To be successful we must reach that class whose brains have not yet been destroyed by starvation.”

Emma Goldman, “A Short Account of My Late Tour,” Solidarity, 15 July
1898 (found in Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years,
edited by Candace Falk, Barry Pateman and Jessica Moran)


“Libraries, if they are truly used, require the active participation of readers to inform themselves and others. A reader is the essential and equal partner to the library, which makes the current management trend of turning readers into customers such a menace. Customers merely consume and are powerless and dependent; readers read, an activity that is both productive and cooperative. And, with luck, the motivated library reader may also become the writer and so continue in the provision of free thought.”

Piers Denton. “I Was a Teen-Age Anarcho-Terrorist,” in Revolting Librarians Redux, McFarland, 2003.


“Intellectual nitpicking tells us these competing factions could never have a civil debate over coffee, much less work together on a common project, right? Yet working on common projects is exactly what anarchists of different backgrounds are doing more of. We don’t need unity in theory, we need solidarity in practice. Once we acknowledge and embrace our collective differences, we will be able to spread the practice of anarchy throughout our communities and the world. Going beyond cartoon politics (put a green stripe on your black star, and suddenly anarchism is reduced to saving trees; put a red stripe on your black star, and anarchism is just about the class war) is absolutely vital. Sectarianism leads straight to authoritarianism, for as soon as one identifies with the correct anarcho-sect, everyone else is wrong. The founder of the correct ideology is inevitably accorded more power than his or her soon-to-be followers, and the sect musters its forces to engage in a holy war against all other brands of the anarchist rainbow. Let us not mimic the failures of other Leftists. It’s much easier for us to attack each other than to destroy the State. People have different visions of liberation and any anarchist society will have a diversity of tactics and projects. Today, we need radical anarchist unions capable of stopping the unceasing machine, radical writers that inspire and spread knowledge, militants to fight cops in the streets, and tree-sitters to save the last of wild nature: in other words, we need more anarchy!”

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs


“If people eat their ballots, then that nut-case Stockwell Day will get in. Right-wingers aren’t angst-ridden about voting. Don’t we have to vote strategically, even if that means voting for the Liberals?”

“Having to decide between Tweedledum and Tweedledee — that’s not a choice — that’s a threat. Our electoral system favors a two-party race, and we should reject it. We have to start working towards a democratic system that doesn’t force people to vote for the lesser of two evils (or the evil of two lessers). We can’t keep jumping from election to election, voting for one moron because we’re terrified that there’s something worse. Now’s the time to stop legitimizing this process and take a stand for fundamental, long-term change. It’s more important to call attention to the farce of electoral politics than to split-hairs by choosing between Tweedledumb andTweedledee (or The Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Doormouse for that matter).”

– The Edible Ballot Society <http://edibleballot.tao.ca/faq.html>


“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
— Noam Chomsky


“It is not Capital that transforms raw materials, nor Capital that produces goods. If living activity did not transform the materials, these would remain untransformed, inert, dead matter. If men were not disposed to continue selling their living activity, the impotence of Capital would be revealed; Capital would cease to exist; its last remaining potency would be the power to remind people of a bypassed form of everyday life characterized by daily universal prostitution.”
— Fredy Perlman, “The Reproduction of Daily Life”

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“To stay quiet is as political an act as speaking out.”
— Arundhati Roy

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“Our government is a bird with two right wings… They’re devoted to the perpetuation & spread of corporate capitalism.”
— Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“We need not courtrooms but schoolrooms, not jails and prisons but decent
homes and jobs for the millions of every color … who are being denied
their human and civil rights every day of every week by the special interests
that are trying to steal America. Government must be by, of, and for the
people, not by, of, and for the special interests. Read your own Declaration
of Independence and Constitution, America. It’s all there.”
— Leonard Peltier

Credit: [email protected], Thought du jour


“So how do you extract coherence from a movement filled with
anarchists, whose greatest tactical strength so far has been its
similarity to a swarm of mosquitoes? Maybe, as with the Internet
itself, you don’t do it by imposing a preset structure but rather by
skilfully surfing the structures that are already in place. Perhaps
what is needed is not a single political party but better links among
the affinity groups; perhaps rather than moving toward more
centralisation, what is needed is further radical decentralisation.”

Klein takes on the critics who complain that the new movement
lacks a unifying vision, but rather only targets, to which she
answers that we should be thankful: “At the moment, the
anti-corporate street activists are ringed by would-be leaders,
anxious for the opportunity to enlist them as foot soldiers for their
particular cause.” Klein sees the possibility of something truly new
emerging, rather than repeating the unworkable centralised
movements of the past…

Taken from a review of a Naomi Klein article
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The essay was first published in
the July 10,
2000 issue of The Nation.

Credit: zabalaza, by way of A-Infos


“Propaganda exploits a strong human tendency: the automatic and strong
tendency to believe what we’re told. Believing what one’s government tells
one is relatively easy. It takes no effort at all. Disbelief, on the other
hand, seems to run contrary to human nature. We are, it would seem, inherently
lazy in such matters. It actually requires considerable intellectual and
psychological effort to disbelieve what our leaders tell us. Added to that
is the commonly applied social stigma that comes with disbelief. Disbelievers
— may God save them — lack patriotism, a sin seen by most Americans as
being on the order of patricide.”
— Richard L. Franklin

Credit to [email protected]


“It is forbidden
to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large
numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
— Voltaire


To the fervent proponents of ruthless corporate
capitalism I say: make a millionaire CEO live as a
poor sweatshop worker in Indonesia for one month and
then ask him about the merits of the world economic
system.

— Vassilis Epaminondou


It should be unnecessary to point out that massive terrorism is a standard device of powerful states…. Some cases
are not even controversial. Take the US war against Nicaragua, leaving tens of thousands dead and the country in
ruins. Nicaragua appealed to the world court, which condemned the US for international terrorism (“the unlawful
use of force”), ordering it to desist and pay substantial reparations. The US responded to the court ruling by sharply
escalating the war, and vetoing a security council resolution calling on all states to observe international law. The
escalation included official orders to attack “soft targets” — undefended civilian targets, like agricultural collectives
and health clinics — and to avoid the Nicaraguan army. The terrorists were able to carry out these instructions,
thanks to the complete control of Nicaraguan air space by the US and the advanced communications equipment
provided to them by their supervisors.

— Noam Chomsky


PATRIOTISM, n. 1) The inability to distinguish between the government and one’s “country”; 2) A highly praiseworthy virtue characterized by the desire to dominate and kill; 3) A feeling of exultation experienced when contemplating heaps of charred “enemy” corpses; 4) The first, last, and perennial refuge of scoundrels.

PATRIOT, n. A dangerous tool of the powers that be. A herd
member who compensates for lack of self-respect by indentifying with an
abstraction. An enemy of individual freedom. A fancier of the rich, satisfying
flavor of boot leather.

— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary edited by Chaz Bufe
(See Sharp Press)


“Why is it that our society continues to pour investment into punishing
humans for crimes, instead of investin in educating to prevent crimes
and/or pinpoint
what causes these crimes in the first place? The
ACA (American Correctional Association) is the pinnacle of our social disease, and as humans we need to
confront this disease with a
grassroots community decision making body of
voices. The government has made it clear that they aren’t invested in our
concerns and are only making it
extremely easy for profit-hungry corporations to
benefit from incarceration. Every prisoner is a political prisoner.”

* Floyd Peterson, Anarchist Black Cross

 


“There is an aspect to political activism that involves an incredible
sense of urgency, people thinking, ‘I absolutely know what is right,’
and spirituality advocates that people step back, reflect, and approach
the world with a sense of mystery–that maybe they don’t know exactly
what is right. This is a good quality to bring into activism, to look
at some of the deeper issues that way.”

–Starhawk, anarchist witch (Clamor – February/March 2001)


“Executing McVeigh will not bring back the people he
killed, but it will bring back the machinery of death.
The federal government hasn’t killed anyone in 40
years, and now they’re trying to use McVeigh to bring
the death penalty back. But don’t make any mistake
about it after McVeigh, the next person they kill
won¹t look like him, he will look like me. He might be
innocent like me, too.”

–Darby Tillis, an exonerated former Illinois death row inmate


“…ironically, perhaps, the best organised dissenters in the world today
are anarchists, who are busily undermining capitalism while the rest of
the left is still trying to form committees.”

–Jeremy Hardy, The Guardian (UK)


“I advocate revolutionary changes…an end to capitalist exploitation,
the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism and the elimination
of political repression. If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty”

— Assata Shakur


“Only through their own struggle for liberation will ordinary people come to
comprehend their true nature, suppressed and distorted within institutional
structures designed to assure obedience and subordination. Only in this
way will people develop more humane ethical standards, ‘a new sense of
right’, ‘the consciousness of their strength and their importance as a
social factor in the life of their time’ and their capacity to realise
the strivings of their ‘inmost nature.’ Such direct engagement in the
work of social reconstruction is a prerequisite for coming to perceive
this ‘inmost nature’ and is the indispensable foundations upon which it
can flourish”

— Noam Chomsky, preface to Rudolf Rocker’s Anarcho-Syndicalism,
p. viii


“The anarchists’ electoral abstentionism implies not only a conception
that is opposed to the principle of representation (which is totally rejected
by anarchism), it implies above all an absolute lack of confidence in
the State. And this distrust, which is instinctive in the working masses,
is for the anarchists the result of their historical experience with the
State and its function, which has, at all times and in all places, resulted
in a selfish and exclusive protection of the ruling classes and their
privileges. Anarchist abstentionism strips the State of the constitutional
fraud with which it presents itself to the gullible as the true representative
of the whole nation, and, in so doing, exposes its essential character
as representative, procurer, and protector of the ruling classes.”

— Luigi Galleani, The End of Anarchism?


“Government cannot exist without the tacit consent of the populace. This
consent is maintained by keeping people in ignorance of their real power.
Voting is not an expression of power, but an admission of powerlessness,
since it cannot do otherwise than reaffirm the governmnet’s supposed legitimacy.”

— Fred Woodworth, Anarchism


“We will continue to put our bodies on the line to show how police
resort to violence even when they do not need to,” said 17-year-old activist
Jesse Wilson, as hundreds of protesters regrouped Tuesday night after
being chased through the streets by dozens of police. “They could arrest
people peacefully for painting on cop cars, but this is an authoritarian
state, so they feel the need to beat us. This is what we want to show
the American people.”

— August 1, 2000 / Philadelphia


“Agricultural technology is built on the assumption that world hunger is caused
by a scarcity of food and a lack of technology, and that therefore new
technologies are needed to produce more food for the world’s growing population.
However, hunger is caused not by scarcity, but by free market economic
policies that undermine food security and local self-reliance and create
a system of institutionalized economic justice. These policies, whose
effects are worsened by economic globalization, allocate food not to the
needy, but to oligopolistic global markets where one dollar equals one
vote. Agro-biotechnology will only exacerbate this situation.”

— Carmelo Ruiz, “Winners and Losers in the Biotechnology Revolution.”
in Avant Gardening (Autonomedia, 1999)


By the way your city is terrifying, there are millions of statues of random
guys on horses. Here are my two favorite DC quotes for the week.

As we pull in to DC in the wee hours and are driving around the gov area,
my friend mark, awed: “Wow…..There’s a lot of state to smash here…..we
don’t have this much state at home….”

As we drive around the barricade for the zillionth time, with that fucking
chopper overhead, mike: “I hate this city! This city is like…..it’s
like one giant cop.”

— Various Canadian activists about their visit to Washington, DC for
the IMF/World Bank protests.


“Organisation, far from creating authority, is the only cure for it
and the only means whereby each of us will get used to taking an active
and conscious part in collective work, and cease being passive instruments
in the hands of leaders.”
Errico
Malatesta


“The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a
mode of human behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships,
by behaving differently.”

Gustav Landauer


Anarchists are opposed to violence…The main plank of anarchism is the removal
of violence from human relations. It is life based on the freedom of the
individual, without the intervention of the police. For this reason we
are enemies of capitalism, which depends on the protection of the police
to force workers to allow themsleves to be exploited…We are therefore
enemies of the State, which is the coercive, violent organization of society.

Errico Malatesta, Umanita Nova, August,
25, 1921


Oscar Wilde defines a perfect personality as “one who develops under perfect
conditions, who is not wounded, maimed, or in danger.” A perfect personality,
then, is only possible in a state of society where man is free to choose
the mode of work, the conditions of work, and the freedom to work. One
to whom the making of a table, the building of a house, or the tilling
of the soil, is what the painting is to the artist and the discovery to
the scientist — the result of inspiration, of intense longing, and deep
interest in work as a creative force.
Emma Goldman, “Anarchism: What It Really Stands For”


“The destruction of the capitalist media (via raids, detournement, explosions,
sabotage, guerilla theatre during bourgeois events, etc.) must be simultaneously
accompanied by the development of a counter-culture, a revolutionary bohemia,
an anarchist aesthetic. For this we need liberated printing presses, alternative
gallery/performance spaces, experimental cafes, anarchist bookstores,
the things that allow for an intellectual and radical community to grow.
It is becoming increasingly evident that this may be impossible in the
American metropolis. Gentrification has consistently destroyed every venture
of this sort. The commune, an idea that has scarcely been explored by
anti-statists in America since the 1840s, is an idea which must be articulated,
developed, and acted on.”
Drunken Boat Manifesto

“The strongest bulwark of the capitalist system is the ignorance of its
victims.” — Adolf Fischer


“Yesterday’s Seattle Times had an article on the delegation of anarchists from
Eugene, Oregon, who are being blamed for most of the violence. The Eugenians
– playing the always-useful role of outside agitators – published a manifesto
denouncing the unions and NGOs protesting the WTO as “part of the glue
holding a rotting order together. It’s time to create a new world from
the ashes after the ruined one. Fight back and don’t get caught.” And
they didn’t; almost all the arrestees were doing nothing violent, while
the window-smashers seem to have skipped town unhindered. Before leaving,
though, the Eugene anarchists amazingly flattened the tires of eight police
cars and spray-painted them with the circled A that symbolizes anarchism.
Doing that takes amazing nerve; getting away with it is stunning.”
Doug Henwood


God Bless you Queen Mum
The Sun thinks you’re just great
But what we all are waiting for
Is to see you in a crate

God Bless you Queen Mum
Your husband rots in hell
The only thing wrong with that’s
you’re not there as well

God Bless you Queen Mum
Your daughter’s just as bad
Let’s hope she dies of cancer
Just like her fucking dad

from CLASS WAR


“The whole history of progress of human liberty shows that all concessions
yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there
is no struggle there is no progress.

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are
men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without
thunder and lightning, they want the ocean without the awful roar of its
many waters.

This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it
may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes
nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found
the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,
and these will continue till they are resisted. . .”
— Frederick Douglass (1857)


“I am a free prince and have as much authority to make war on the whole world
as he who has a hundred sail of ships and an army of a hundred thousand
men in the field. And this my conscience tells me; that there is no arguing
with such sniveling puppies who allow superiors to kick them about the
deck at pleasure, and pin their faith upon the pimp of a parson, a squab
who neither practices nor believes what he puts upon the chuckle-headed
fools he preaches to.”
–Black Sam Bellamy, pirate captain


“… today ‘s day was so good. A small expedition of five of us went on our
bikes to Kamenica – a village 15 km from Kraljevo, towards the Goc mountain.
Atmosphere was very relaxed. We foulled around and without any hurry advanced
in the direction of our destination. Green forest, awakened nature and
a beautifull day, made us almost completely forget our situation, and
that because of increasing number of “accidental” mistakes of smart missiles
and even brighter NATO pilots we are potential targets just like any other
participant in traffic. We even made some jokes on that account. A day
spent in nature, in playing table tennis, with ball, dogs, listening to
music, eating some food and in a good mood brought energy back into my
ruined body which is beeing trapped between 4 walls and in front of the
computer for the last couple of days. But it was inevitable to mention
the damn bombing. Somebody asked: ‘what did they hit last night?’ and
then we started talking about Cacak and catastrophe which has stroken
that city. The peace and innocence of newborn forest around us was destroyed
in a moment. We went back to the city very fast, as almost the whole way
is downhill. We will definitevly repeat this trip. Maybe even tommorow.
I even managed to get some sun tan, and I am glad because of that…”

Zaginflatch #39, 8th May: newsletter published by Zagreb
Anarchist Movement


“Asceticism in most cases is either the result of a sordid imagination or of
passion diverted from its natural course, and experience has shown that
when the protection of public morals is entrusted to its votaries, the
consequences are usually appalling.”
— Rudolf Rocker, Pioneers of American Freedom


Remember ‘the Earth is not dying, it is being murdered and the people murdering
it have names and addresses’
— British EF!, seen in DiY Culture: Party and Protest in Nineties
Britain
(Verso)


“Nearly every assassination for years past has been attributed to Anarchists.
It is a wonder they were not charged with the killing of Lincoln, Garfield,
Harrison and others. Indeed, President McKinley’s death was certainly
taxed to Anarchism

“Nevertheless, the assassin of McKinley–Leon Czolgosz–was a Republican
who voted at Repiblican primaries (and no doubt was insane).

“These facts come to me by letter from Peter Witt, City Clerk of Cleveland
while Tom L. Johnson was mayor. ‘Czolgosz was not an Anarchist,’ writes
Mr. Witt. ‘To charge that he was is simply ridiculous. In politics he
was a Republican, and as such voted at the Republican primaries for several
years. This fact I brought out shortly after the assassination by going
over the election records. These records have since been destroyed, not
because of what they contained, but to make room for later ones. His father
and brother voted at the same primaries.’

“This ought to forever silence the criminal charge that Anarchism was
responsible for the assassination of McKinley. But it probably will not.
This kind of a lie dies hard.”

— (Jo Labadie, in “Anarchism: genuine and Asinine”, 1925, printed by
himslef in his shop, Bubbling Waters, Wixom, Michigan)
Quoted in the The Match! no.93 (Winter 1998-99)


“A society is a healthy society only to the degree that it exhibits anarchistic
traits.”
– Jens Bj&oslash;rneboe


“‘I voted against the constitution because it was a constitution!’ said
the great French political philosopher, Pierre Joseph Proudhon during the
French Revolution of 1848 when he was asked why he had been among the tiny
minority of the National Assembly voting against proposals for a constitution.
His attitude was not based merely on his libertarian view that society should
be allowed to develop its institutions empirically and organically, rather
than by formal fiat. He also pointed out that in a constitution which divided
powers, the tendency would always be for the executive, the most rigid,
centralist and power-oriented branch of government, to take control. His
point was well taken, and history has given it justification in the centuries
since the American states adopted their own pioneer constitution. Louis
Napoleon Bonaparte, the president of France elected under the constitution
that Proudhon rejected, made himself first a dictator and then an emperor.
And with only brief intervals, the president of the United States has represented
all that is reactionary and overbearing in American life and in the American
attitude towards the world in general. I need hardly expand on the offences
against basic human rights that have taken place under the apparently benign
constitutions of the Soviet Union in the past, or the People’s Republic
of China in the present.”

– George Woodcock


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

– Noam Chomsky


Gays are not oppressed on a whim, but because of the specific need of capitalism
for the nuclear family. The nuclear family, as the primary — and inexpensive
— provider and carer for the workforce, fulfilled in the nineteenth century
and still fulfills an important need for capitalism. Alternative sexualities
represent a threat to the family model because they provide an alternative
role model for people. Gays are going to be in the front line of attack
whenever capitalism wants to reinforce family values.

Louise Tierney, “Looking to the Future”


… there are reformist strategies that waste the energies of women, that
raise expectations of great change, and that are misleading and alienating
because they cannot deliver the goods. The best (or worst) example is
electoral politics. Some socialists (beguiled by the notion of gradualism)
fall for that one. Anarchists know better. You cannot liberate yourself
by non-liberatory means; you cannot elect a new set of politicians (no
matter how sisterly) to run the same old corrupt institutions — which
in turn run you.

Carol Ehrlich, “Socialism, Anarchism, and Feminism,” in Howard
J. Ehrlich (ed.), Reinventing Anarchy, Again


It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem,
to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite
group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment.

Albert Einstein


It is the belief that power corrupts, and that people become irresponsible
in their exercise of it, that forms the basis for much of their [anarchists]
criticism of political authority and centralised power. Power must be
dispersed they say, not so much because everyone is always good, but because
when power is concentrated some people tend to become extremely evil.

John Clark, The Anarchist Moment


Cyberspace is an illusion, virtual reality is not reality, instantaneous communication
with bodies huddled over computer screens is not communication. It’s funny
how many people have swallowed the WWW bait. People itch to go home and
log on to the WWW.

The Raven, Anarchist Quarterly, Vol. 8, no 4. ISSN 0951
4066.


“Religious fundamentalists alone are a huge popular grouping in the United States, which resembles

pre-industrial societies in that regard. This is a culture in which three-fourths of the population believe in

religious miracles, half believe in the devil, 83 percent believe that the Bible is the ‘actual’ or the inspired word of

God, 39 percent believe in the Biblical prediction of Armageddon and ‘accept it with a certain fatalism,’ a mere 9

percent accept Darwinian evolution while 44 percent believe that ‘God created man pretty much in his present

form at one time within the last 10,000 years,’ and so on. The ‘God and Country rally’ that opened the national

Republican convention is one remarkable illustration, which aroused no little amazement in conservative circles

in Europe.”

Noam Chomsky, From: “‘Mandate for Change,’ or Business as
Usual,” Z Magazine, February 1993, pp. 32-33


How does it become a man to behave toward the American government today? I
answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. I cannot
for an instant recognize that political organization as my government
which is the slave’s government also.

Henry David Thoreau


But he who has no confidence in the creative capacity of the masses and in
their capability to revolt doesn’t belong in the revolutionary movement.
He should go to a monastery and get on his knees and start praying. Because
he is no revolutionist. He is a son of a bitch.

Sam Dolgoff


Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs
for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets
in the hands of government.

Pierre Joseph Proudhon quoted in The Match!


I have never read Marx. Well, I read a few pages then decided he was a bore.
Karl didn’t invent the class struggle, he merely wrote about it in a way
that impressed some people, using lots of big words. While it can certainly
be useful to know about the history of the working class, you don’t need
to have studied Marxist theory to know that being bossed around is degrading.

Dave Coull


The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode
of human behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by
behaving differently.

Gustav Landauer


Samuel Johnson’s saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has
some truth in it, but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the
great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater
than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military
bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests
firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means — that any blow,
whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale
denial of plain facts.

H.L. Mencken; Minority Report