"...the lower classes of the people... [are] by far the most numerous in all countries and in all ages..." -- James Steuart, 1767Every society is founded on a common principle. A group of people is more capable of producing more together than each person would be individually. Industrialized production and specialized labour are some examples of how the group size contributes to a larger per-person output of the social product. In this organization, the worker's ability to labour is bound to the other workers. Since their machinery requires many hands to function, they require each other to produce as much as they require their tools. How well each labourer is able to perform their task, then, is necessarily tied to how well all workers as a whole are labouring. Where Capitalism reigns, there are even greater dependencies; not only is the labourer bound to themselves as a class, but they are bound to the class of proprietors. The worker rely on the owners of the bakeries and the mills for their sustenance; and they must rely on an employer as a labourer.The Capitalist class has its own Read More
IntroductionThe following is a piece on ethics and morality. Many of my works tend to be in the area of applied ethics, such as on matters of vegetarianism, peace, sexuality, and abortion. However, these are issues in the realm of applied ethics.That is to say, they are the application of an ethical base -- how an idea of "right" and "wrong" applies to the real world and the issues that confront us. For example, one ethic might be: "Any action that causes suffering is immoral," and the applied ethics of this would be that to oppose euthanasia is immoral, that the abortion of an unconscious fetus is not immoral, that to eat meat and promote agribusiness's murder of animals is immoral, among other things.This essay differs from my other essays in this one aspect: I am not dealing with ethics as it is applied to our real world, but rather with ethics as it exists in its "primal form." However, like my other essays, I can only hope that it is informative and not a drag to read.
Desire and actionIt is not an uncommon incident to hear a person attempt to justify their actions with, "But I was drunk," and it is not rare to hear someone similarly attempt to justify their actions with, "But I was under the influence of drugs." In both situations (of which they are not very much intrinsically different), a person is trying to explain why they did something, whether it was something that embarrasses them or is immoral. Whether it justifies an action will vary on who you ask. I am not trying to question whether it is "acceptable" or "unacceptable" for such occurrences to take place. But the reason why a person will make such statements about their inebriated state is because it's an explanation as to why they did what they did, and in a very sincere way, a sort of way of saying that no punishment should be given -- or at least, if a punishment is given, that it is given with extreme lightness. Read More
Whenever we read the great tales of ghosts and goblins, of gods and their helpers, of priests, lore, and magic, we are always struck with the idea that these spirits have emotions, that they are suffering from human frailties, and that they have a will power. The origin of the idea of the soul, of the spirits and the gods, all comes from the most human desire: immortality, freedom from fear of death. As it so happens to be natural, humans desire to avoid pain, suffering, misery, and death. The idea that death or the end of life is not really the end of life, and that a misery-less future awaits those who die, this idea is a relatively attractive one. With an afterlife, there is no death, so it is easy to see why one might enjoy such a theory, regardless of the lack of any evidence whatsoever. Since this idea in an afterlife flourishes considerably, there is are other popular ideas about spirits, souls, and other items that exist in this afterlife theory.
Our memories, our experiences, our thoughts, ideas, notions, character, attitude, and feelings are all stored within the mind. Science, or at least all honest investigative studies, would tell us that our mind is located within the physical brain of the body. So far, no other theory has come up with any verifiable evidence to the contrary. Another theory, with much less evidence, does exist. It is the idea that the mind is a part of the soul — that when the body dies, the mind leaves the body with the soul. Some individuals have offered evidence on behalf of such a trite idea. They have argued that since it is a part of the spiritual realm, one which tools and devices and technology cannot reach nor see, that it is out of their jurisdiction of judgment. An interesting idea, I admit. One might as well claim that they have invented, discovered, or uncovered something that is wonderful and beautiful, but that is completely unsensible by human senses. (i.e. we might have a tourist trap with the holy grail, only to find a plaque “If you have sinned, you cannot see or feel it, but you must believe it is there.”)
One might be so educated and thoughtful enough to feel that the theory of a soul is so discredited, that it needs no further examination; it becomes a moot point. However, there are some things in this field that might want to be considered, just in a hypothetical point of view at most. So it indeed happens that every folk story and every old religion regards spirits as vibrant and powerful beings. In Greek mythology, the gods often came down from their clouds, to mate with earthlings, or kill them, or have dealings with them. In the stories of these gods, they all seem to have the exact same characteristics of any human being. They have desires, wants, fears, hopes, beliefs. They react to their environment. When they are informed that their plans have failed, they react with disappointment, and maybe rage or violence. When they are informed that their plans have succeeded, they react with happiness, and maybe feasting or gloating. The gods are essentially the most human of any theoretical being, and this is no surprise when we think of their creator.
I cannot, for the life of me, suppose any idea or theory as to why any of the gods are endowed with desires or wants anyway. When I think of the origin of such psychological phenomena in humans, or any other organism, my question is immediately answered. Humans are endowed with a complex brain because it is necessary towards survival. The same can be argued for any other living creature. Desire motivates, it creates movement. When a predator, either a crocodile or a lion or any other for that matter, is hungry, it hunts to satisfy its desire. In this situation, the component of the brain that creates desire and want, especially for satisfying hunger, this component is essential. Those predators that were born without this capability could not hunt or eat as effectively, and could not fight for breeding rights very well either, since they could not want them. And, so, it would die, leaving no offspring, leaving no other organisms on this planet with their DNA — DNA which contains a lack of desire. We can apply this to other organisms, too. Prey that is born without a desire to flee its natural predator, for example, will not live long enough to reproduce. The same can be said of prey that does not want to eat to satisfy its hunger, either. It will waste away to weakness and then be taken by its predator.
Desire definitely plays a strong and important role in the psyche of all consciousness-endowed organisms. However, it is not the only important part of consciousness. For example, there is also pain, the physical affliction, or misery, the mental affliction. An animal can suffer, and it is this suffering that they will forever be afraid of. Their fear and their suffering gives them something to desire: happiness and security. Without pain, an organism will not react negatively to another trying to kill it — at least, if instincts were gone as well. Without happiness, an animal would not know whether it was doing something right or wrong. The social instinct, to be in a collective of like organisms, is natural to almost every mammal. When wolves hunt in packs, they are more effective killers. When humans band together to form societies and civilizations, the fruit of their labor increases. When zebras feed and mate in packs, all of their stripes form a natural defense, by disallowing predators from knowing where one zebra starts and another ends. The social instinct has given each organism a strong advantage in survival. And, when organisms survive, they can reproduce, and more organisms like themselves, with the same emotions and mental faculties, will be produced.
Let us not forget the importance of the mating instinct. The sexual arrousal caused by flirting or foreplay plays a significant role in the mating act. The orgasm itself and the sexual drive to achieve are important to every creature. It seems that in every group of thoughtful organisms, there is not competition for the right to reproduce, some how or some way. Often, it is the male competing for the female, but this is not the only case. In some cases, there is polygamy, and in others, there is polyandry. Every rule of behavior that we can think of for other organisms will always have exceptions to it. The underlying fact that sex plays an important role in the mental faculties of conscious organisms is important to my thesis. The mind is full of complexities and faculties that make it conscious. All of these emotions, these feelings, play a strong sense in the conscious organism.
Now that I have covered a great deal on the complexities of conscious organisms, one might be curious as to why I brought up this subject in the discussion of spirits. First of all, all of the components of the mind that I mentioned above — desire, fear, social instinct, sex — all of these components have a reason for existence. By this, I mean that they all exist because of the natural and perpetual struggle that goes on in the natural world. Without desire or fear or sexual impulses, an organism would not reproduce, and therefore, no other organisms with that mentality would be created, except by chance of reversion, which is very unlikely. My question is this: why is it that spirits and souls are endowed with these psychological aspects?
In all of the stories I have read of the gods, I have uncovered all of these impulses. I have encountered the sexual urge of the gods of Greece and Rome. I have discovered the ability to desire and feel accomplishment or disappointment in the gods and spirits of Animist cultures. It seems that there is no god, excepting the god of Deism, that has no interest in being involved with the people who believe in him. The Christians believe their god will save them. The Hindus believe their god will reincarnate them. The Jews believe that their god has smashed societies and cultures for the tiniest of reasons. Every religion remains identical in this fact.
Okay, so, we have spirits, souls, and gods, many of them endowed with human mentality. I am quite curious, though. Why is it that no playwright in ancient Greece ever described one of the gods as rubbing his belly and hungry? Why have I seen no spirits that get hungry? Some cultures feed their spirits, but that’s even more absurd. They leave only enough food for a few days or a weeks. And why leave any food at all? Will the spirits decompose and go to the state of the after-afterlife? The sexual urge that seems so prevalent in so many religions, from the god of Christianity violating a virgin meant to be married to the Greek gods that committed such fornication on a regular basis — just why does the sexual urge prevail? Of what use is it? Are the gods going to mate and then produce spiritual offspring?
What seems a thousand times more odd is that the gods are lacking those parts that make sexual activity useful, for procreation or recreation. The penis and the vagina, these two parts that are responsible for producing the pleasure of sex, are non-existent on ghosts. If a human loses such a part, it is impossible to engage in sexual activity. And, it seems that these ghosts have lost all their bodies. Yet, the urge to have sex is prevalent, while their sex organs are not prevalent. One may argue with me, “But the gods and ghosts have physical bodies that they can use!” If this is true, then it shouldn’t be even slightly difficult to get evidence of god. Whenever pressed for evidence, the religionist usually claims, “But they are noncorporal entities — they are not physical, they are spiritual.” No thoughtful spiritualist will claim their god is actually physical, because in doing so, they have opened the doors to dispelling their beliefs in a heartbeat.
The need to eat is as absurd as the desire to have sex for the gods. Other things, such as the social instinct and any desire at all, seem to also be quite absurd. Why animals and other conscious organisms are equipped with desires and the social instinct is easy to understand. With regard to the social instinct, it has helped organisms to survive against the natural elements, or predators, or aided in obtaining their prey. When organisms had a social instinct, they were more effective at survival, and that means they were more effective at reproducing. When organisms had no social instinct, they died rather quickly — not able to reproduce something like themselves, leaving the world destitute of such types of species. (And while there may be exceptions to this rule of the social instinct, the previous description is how Evolution works: those unfit, do not survive.) Why would the gods ever be needing of the social instinct? Why ever should the gods band together with other gods? In all honesty, I m bankrupt of any answer. The gods cannot die, they cannot suffer afflictions caused by natural disasters, they cannot be wounded. Everything that makes the social instinct desirable and useful is nonexistent with the gods. Banding together does nothing for them. One might argue “It cures loneliness,” but loneliness may in fact just be that instinct to band together unsatisfied.
Then there is the idea of desire. In all my studying of literature, I must say that the mythology of Greece, Egypt, and the entire Fertile Crescent is full of gods with more desires and wants than any sane man. Since it seems very easy to believe that the gods are simply an image of mankind, exaggerrated in many aspects, so it seems that these gods are endowed with many supernatural wants, needs, impulses, desires. Sometimes the drowning of an entire civilization in blood is not enough to quell the heart of the least dominant deity. I am also curious here… Why is it that the gods have been endowed with this ability of desiring? To what use is it really, when one is a god? It has no use. For, if god, or the gods, are capable of doing anything, then they would not desire, but simply have. I can see the use of the desire ability in organisms and animals on our own planet. When there is hunger, or sexual lust, or gaining security in society, all of these desires push and motivate the organism to do what is necessary to live and to reproduce. And, once reproduction has occured, the cycle can happen all over again. When an animal is not fit enough to reproduce, or cannot live to that stage, then the genes that cursed it to a sexless life will not be found again, exception in the rare instances of reversion perhaps.
Many of the Freethinkers and philosophes of earlier years, and even our own day, have attacked the idea of religion. God created man in his own image was a questioned idea, and we reversed it: man created god in his own image. This would seem to be the more credulous case of the matter. We find gods in each civilization, taking the race and species of its people. This has varied in some cases, where gods take on the forms of reptiles, mammals, and birds. However, there is one thing in the nature of gods, spirits, and souls that seems to be consistent in every religion we investigate: they have wants, desires, lust, hunger, and needs. Where every human being — no, where every living creature is the same, in having a consciousness, we find that same consciousness in a rather inplausible place: in a god, or a soul, or a spirit. It is clearly understood, then, that these gods and spirits are based on human ideas, that they come from the minds of men, that they spread by our mouths. And, it must also be clearly understood, that the gods are nothing more than an imperfect creation by the hands of man.
“Why should an atheist pay more taxes so that a church which he despises should pay no taxes? That’s a fair question. How can the apologists for the church exemption answer it?”
— E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is A Burden, Not A Benefit, In Social Life
It has been a historically valid argument that churches never contributed to society, but have had the habit of leaching off of it. For all the morals they purport to have given us, whether it was the infamous and treacherous silence during the Jewish Holocaust, or the embers they supplied to the millions of human burnings, the church has done nothing but suck at the sweetness that honest humans have labored to created. The thoughtfulness of our nation’s creators gave us the freedom from having to support these churches. Unfortunately, some framers of the states decided to form state constitutions that authorized one religion over another. It cannot be expected that all humans shall follow the road to freedom all at the same time.
While it happens to be true that the church cannot receive tax money, the are allowed the exemption of paying taxes — which one might accurately say is the same thing. If the collective running of the society of money requires so much tax money, exempting one or two parties only means that the others are required to pay more, are required to work more to maintain the same degree of luxury, while the exempt parties are allowed more luxury with the same amount of work, or the same amount of luxury with less work.
This dissertation is not about the deceit and villany that the church has provided humanity with. It is not an attack on the ideals that preachers claim that they are guardians of. It is not an assault on the principles which are part of Christian doctrine, or any religious doctrine for that matter. The bitter irony that religion is a source of spirituality as much as it is of hate and violence, the thousands of books which have been sacrificed to flames by the heads of the church, the cloak pastors have placed over the eyes of their churchgoers in order to turn them in to sheep — all of this I have elsewhere written at length. This essay is not about the past crimes of a heartless regime. It is about the present policy that our civilization has enacted: that is to say, the tax-exempt status that churches and other religious organizations currently are allowed.
The first argument that must be considered is this: what church proceeds are going to be used for. The church apologists argue that the funds the church receives by donation are used for charitable purposes, that these churches improve their communities and help people better their lives. I cannot say that this is always wrong, but no honest person can say that it is always true. Yes, the churches do use their funding to create some community things. In most cases, before one can use these community activities, one must be a member of the faith, not using alcohol or drugs, and must be Heterosexual. The home of the scripture that reads: “Love thy enemy” is inhabited by a priest, a pastor, and a preacher whose words speak: “Jew, Muslim, and Hindu, begone. Those who intoxicate and indulge, whether to make their lives easier or to discover sublime and revered truths, begone. Men who lust after men and women who pine after women, these satanic abominations, begone.”
The churches are private organizations. If it is their will to exclude the teaching of Evolution from their sunday school, it is allowed. If they also wish to teach children that women are inferior to men, that the Bible is a good book and must be obeyed when it reads: “Women are to be silent,” then it is taught. As a private organization, they are allowed these liberties and freedoms. If a church be so bold and daring as to refuse admittance of black people to their ceremonies, they are allowed this right. Universities of our era, or so-called “institutions of learning,” have passed rules that disallow blacks and whites from courtship — a ruling that predates at least three decades of progressive and humanizing reform. If churches wanted to donate some of their excess income to these universities, there would be no way to stop them. If they wanted to focus and centralize the income, by preaching against secular schools and supporting racism in the classroom, and by donating only to those places which promise to oppress blacks, then that is their right, as a private organization.
The church knows no end to cruelty, and this is not an indictment against the church. It is a fact that has been recognized, year after year, person by person. However, it must be accepted and understood that when it comes to the funding of the church, we will find some of the most merciless and brutal acts that arrise out of our own human frailties. Perhaps we will find a church that refuses the rights of blacks to even enter or use their charity money. Churches were once the divine guardians of the institution of slavery. Today, they do nothing to stop the slave traffic that continues to flourish, the wretched one by the name of Capitalism. Today, the churches have done little to nothing to foster the ideals of acceptance, tolerance, understanding, open-mindedness, for the sole sake that to preach these ideals is to deny the divinity of the Bible — to admit that the cruelty inherent in those pages came from the heart of man, not the mouth of god.
As history has shown us, the church may potentially do anything. They may make charity, but deny Homosexuals. They may give service, but deny African Americans. To other religions, they preach intolerance and bitterness, encouraging an aura of misunderstanding — the embers to violence, cruelty, and brutality. Then, I ask the question again: why are the churches exempt from taxation? The taxes of the people that are collected to ensure a smooth-running society are used in a variety of ways: they build schools and teach children, they help run social programs such as welfare and food stamps, and they lend foreign aid to countries in dire poverty. When the church has gains, it may build schools, but they might teach children racism, or intolerance, or sexism, or the idea that Evolution is an evil, underground conspiracy, or a number of ridiculous and heartless things. The church might run a charity, but they might just refuse admittance by Homosexuals, members of certain races or religions, or people who dress differently. And, the church might donate some of its income to other charities, but they might refuse charity to any hospital that performs abortions. Yes, we have seen the churches do all of these things. There is no doubt to these questions. There is no conjecture in my theory. The church has burdened the society of men with bigotry and prejudice, making us fight each other when we could have been learning new ways of love, affection, and happiness.
When churches are exempt from taxes, an apologist will often say: “It is because the money of the churches goes to the same causes as taxes: to help the general order of society, with charities, schools, and the like.” But, by understanding our current social situation, and the one of the past millenium, it is not difficult to see how wrong such an apology is. Churches must be taxed, so that their income can be fairly used and not employed to create racism and poverty. The same must apply to any religious organization. I am not arguing that churches cannot do the incredible things that they already do, at least legally. Ethics is another question. I am only arguing that, as private organizations that are allowed to such activity, they must be legitimately required to pay taxes. The churches have their own interests, just as businesses have their interests of maintaining a profit and cutting back on cost. Just as a business is required to pay taxes, so should a church. The difference is non-existent.
Men and women who profess to believe in a god, a goddess, or a multiple of them, are exercising their rights as living creatures. I can never argue against a person’s right to believe what they will, to share what they believe, to practice their religion or philosophy in an attempt to satisfy the burnings of their heart. So long as a person’s actions do not offend the sweetness of justice, the only argument I can offer him might be one on the logical errors of what he believes. And even then, I will not say a word about what he has the right to believe or practice. Ultimately, what is real or not real is something for each of us to decide. As a person who highly values Freethought and the independence of spirit, I will always find myself combating religion, not unlike any other revolutionary who fights ignorance or superstition. Among the great contradictions of religion, there is the question on the thoughts of god. When a religious follower tells you their ideas of what god believes, you will be hearing a speech about what this religious follower believes — so it follows a person who believes in god and “knows” what god thinks will rarely disagree with god. And, so we have it today, with millions of religions, each thinking that god thinks something different. In actuality, what god believes is just what their religious followers believe. After all, if god believed in something different than the religious follower, why would they continue believing something false? Even with this logic, there remains a slew of religions out there. They have their right to exist and preach, as much as I have my right to criticize and think.
Author’s Note: Written on Monday, November 8, 2004, with the Salt Shaker of Doom (TM) — a salt shaker full of Codeine, Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and sugar. Completion made on Friday, December 3-5, 2004, while high and drunk.
“When, in some obscure country town, the farmers come together to a special town meeting, to express their opinion on some subject which is vexing the land, that, I think, is the true Congress, and the most respectable one that is ever assembled in the United States.”
— Henry David Thoreau, “Slavery in Massachusetts,” 1906 Houghton Mifflin edition printing
What is it that turns a man or a woman in to an Anarchist? When I ask this question, there are many others that I might as well ask. What is it that makes a person a Communist, a Socialist, a Liberal, a Leftist, a Syndicalist, a Freethinker, a Non-Conformist — all words in to one, what is it that makes a man a Progressive? I know the definitions of these terms. I am quite familiar with that part of the question, “what makes a person a progressive?” A person is made a Communist by his ideal of turning all farms, factories, and mines in to public property. Another individual is made an anti-authoritarian by his ideal for a social organization where authority must respect all the rights of the private citizen. Those who call themselves Liberals are supportive of reform measures in the system, such as welfare to alleviate poverty. All of these individuals, all of these little sects, collectives, and groups work to change the world. Respect for the freedom of association, speech, and thought; demilitarization of all western nations; regulations to protect the working class; a fair tax that takes more from the wealthy than from the poor. It is understood by nearly everyone that these are the common ends that these progressive groups organize to achieve.
The essential premise of every group I mentioned was the improvement of mankind by certain changes, reforms, and other alterations of habit and policy. “By following the suggestions we present here, in heart and in mind, following them as a practice and believing in them as a theory, we will create a better condition of civilization,” they all say, “We will support this change. Some will offer our support in finances, others in action, others in their vote, and others still, just in their voice. In effect, we will be creating a new order of social organization and cultural understanding that will alleviate misery and create happiness.” All of our arguments generally seem to be based on philanthropy; we have the same motives as those men and women who want to end suffering and make a utopia out of the existing social order. That is to say, not that class of individual who calls themselves revolutionary, or even reformer, but one who goes by the title philanthropist, humanitarian, or saint to the poor and unwanted. These people who are trying to improve the lot of mankind when they build hospitals, arrange for funds to cure cancer or educate the people, organize community activities, or they work to feed those whose our social order has hurt the most. This is always the case when it comes to the poor, minorities, or other groups that have been disadvantaged by the present situation of society. Today when we look back, at authors like Saint-Simon who argued for a fund be set up for innovation and technology, or promiment figures like Jane Addams who managed a charity house. While we praise these people as the great forefathers of the philanthropy movements, in their time, they were considered revolutionaries, breakers of society’s tides. In their own time, these defenders of science funds and poor houses were considered unorthodox, maybe even un-Christian and anti-social.
The goals of these humanitarians and revolutionaries are the same: to create a society where there is less evil and greater good. What is the difference, then, between the philanthropists and social agitators? The motives of both may essentially both be the same: we want to create a world that is much more desirable. The philanthropists do this through charity work, while the revolutionaries do this through trying to change the system. The first respect the social order and desire not to change it, while the second feels that all of the ills of our present system are caused by the regulations and laws of the people. The call of the charity worker is, “Work together, in order to help those who have been lost.” But the call of the revolutionary soldier is, “Work together, in order that we might overthrow today’s oppressive regime.” We differ from the humanitarians in many marked ways. Most notable of all differences, there is the question of how society respects these two groups. Rarely has the established order ever taken an opposition to charity groups. They don’t seek to change things, but only to alleviate temporary miseries; and they do this as though the suffering they end is not a part of the system’s excess, but in accordance with the idea that the humans of this society are flawed. They believe in the theory that humanity, not the social relationship, needs to be reformed. Either it’s the poor not trying hard enough, or it’s the wealthy not being liberal enough. The theories of charity workers never ceases to impress the imaginations of revolutionaries.
We want to alter the system, change its rules, revolutionize the social organization. The traditions or heritages that the members of human history have carried with them must be abandoned. There is a better word for such “traditions”: prejudices. And they must be left behind, ignored, and not our source of guidance, if we are going to live cooperatively and mutually in order to achieve peace and happiness. In desiring to change social roles, we revolutionaries act as an enormous threat to those who have power. The defenders of Civil Rights acted as a threat to those the white community that had accepted the prejudices of an ancient society. Martin Luther King’s efforts focused on allowing African Americans in any role in society, whether as members of the ruling class, employees of any business, or students of all schools. The advocates of Free Enterprise were an enormous threat to the feudal lords. They wanted all serfs to be freed from what has always seemed to be a perpetual slavery of the poor and downtrodden. The Feminist movement, the anti-Child labor movement, the Socialist movement, the Environmentalist movement — all of these organizations of citizens were brought together so that the social order would be rearranged for the interests of all. We are a threat to the established “way of things,” this rightfully demonized thing called culture. All of the members who benefit from the culture, all of those who hold high positions, or moderately high positions, all of them have an interest in preventing the revolution from achieving its aims. Whether it creates happiness or not, whether it prevents suffering or not, it doesn’t matter. Their argument is and always will be: “We may or may not believe in our way of doing things. That’s not the point at hand. The point at hand is that I can live like a king so long as you live like a slave. If you stop being a slave, I won’t be able to exist in the lavish conditions that give me luxury and comfort.”
Philanthropists and charity workers organize in order to save the system. Their calling to hand is the betterment of mankind. That is the initial instinct that draws together Socialists, Communists, Leftists, Progressives, and Anarchists in their efforts: the betterment of mankind. However, we differ widely at this point in the road with our brothers of good heart. We want to destroy the system, in order so a more effective social organization can take place, where the miseries of mankind are absent and where his freedom is prized above all else. In their efforts, they are met with kindness and felicity. But in our efforts, as revolutionaries and agitators of the government, the coals under the foot of the giant, we are opposed, detested, and persecuted. The Haymarket Riot was caused by police officers shooting and killing unarmed protestors who wanted an eight hour work day. Thousands of Pacifists were arrested by the government for refusing to take up arms against their fellow brethren of European nations in the first world war. Those who burned their draft cards during the Vietnam conflict were likewise arrested. The authors of unpopular essays, pamphlets, and journals have always been oppressed by society or looked upon with suspicion by authorities. Whether they released publications that question sexual morals or supported equal rights, their books have been censored and their publishers have been fined. There is this enormous structure of the privileged classes, doing all that they can, committing all types of crimes, so that they can prevent this change of organization, these revolutionary changes.
The arguments presented by all Conservative theorists and parties are always the same. Whenever presented with a new reform, an alteration of modern society, a change in organization of social order, we always hear the same arguments. We will always hear their primary argument: humanity was not built for this new system. There is no way that the nature of humans could ever allow for a utopian dream. Man is naturally cruel, greedy, and mean-hearted, and it is his baser instincts that should be given free reign in the social order; otherwise, the functionality that we appreciate of today’s economy would completely fail. “It won’t work!” Of course, though, this was the same argument the Conservatives presented to Abolitionists and Women Suffragists. They claimed that, if the slaves were freed, or if women were allowed to vote, that the nuts and bolts of social organization would snap, and we would end up as hunter gatherers again. They also tell us that these new reforms will compromise our integrity. “By giving women the right to vote, it saps the morality out of men,” is the argument. They will make references to god and religion, or just about any obscure, unknown, unseen principle. Since religion has kept men in shackles for hundreds of years, these industrialists feel content that it can still keep them in slavery for the coming years. Whatever the case, the arguments of these Conservatives always fail. Our social organization is a much more effective system than theirs, in theory and in practice. There is no argument that can bypass that simple fact.
It is we, the Anarchists, the Progressives, the Communists, the Socialists, and the others who want to compromise the position of a few top individuals in order to give peace and liberty to the general population. Because of this, we have a second reason to come together and work in cooperation. We call this reason a sense of justice, of right conquering wrong, of good triumphing over evil; we are motivated to work side by side so that we can achieve the greater good. In marches, we stand face-to-face with riot police. In unions, we always must accept the fact of a lockout or losing our jobs. We are rebellious and non-conformist students in the schools and organizers of the people. The fact that we must band together, that we must have a living and breathing solidarity with our brothers and sisters, that we are fighting together against the enemies of goodness and truth, that there are people who are working to oppress us, all of these facts bring us together and make us fight harder. Philanthropists never bring people together to “achieve social justice” or “eliminate the system that has caused so many toxic excesses.” Only revolutionaries come together in order to obstruct the path of the god Moloch, to organize so that our combined strength is enough to outdo the enormous, centralized, regimented forces of the defenders of slavery. That is where this sense of justice always come from. We unite not just as bringers of a new way of life, the prophets of an ideal civilization realized through cooperative effort. We unite as active and powerful changers of the current standing order. We work together not to ask for scraps from our masters, but to demand and take our liberty back from them!
The first act of becoming a revolutionary is in understanding that the current state of society is not the only way social organization can take place. There is a better way for the world exist and there are better policies for men to adopt. Should these progressive policies gain widespread approval, the primary miseries of civilization will be abolished and the excesses and corruption of the spirit will be eliminated. The philosophers will look at this new culture and this new people, and maybe they will call them ideal, but I know the poets will look upon our new world and say it is free. The second step in becoming a revolutionary is accepting and believing the fact that this free world is and always has been possible, but there are privileged individuals of the current system who have mobilized their power against the interests of the people. In order to set up a food bank or housing for the homeless, philanthropists are not hindered by police officers. But in order to destroy the system that causes starvation and homelessness, we are are attacked, harassed, and beaten by the stormtroopers of the present order. They bitterly oppose us, because if we succeed, then they lose their power, and the world loses all forms of slavery and authority. The third and final step of becoming a revolutionary, of becoming the gunpowder to spark an explosion in social relationships, is action. We must act. We must proliferate these ideas, organize unions, protest, march in the streets, publish, distribute, exchange, cooperate, manage, organize, organize, organize. That is the call to the Anarchist of our world.
The only reason that liberty means anything to us is because authority means something to us. If we were ignorant of their tactics of imprisonment, torture, executions, censorship, and deception; if we were totally blind to their methods of oppression, coercion, and violence, then we would not cling to liberty as an all-serving agent of good. It was not until disease came about that physicians stressed prevention methods of spreading germs. It was not until cancer came about that medical professionals became so engrossed in chasing the cure. And it so happens with our cause: the illness Capitalism and government shows with the extraordinary amounts of poverty, unemployment, and misery. It seems to be a perpetual hell on this earth, solely because the heritage and traditions of our forefathers included Capitalism, an idea that would serve as the right hand to exploitation. The one common string that can be found in all of these progressive movements, whether Anarchist, Syndicalist, Libertarian, Liberal, Communist, Socialist, or Marxist, is to overthrow authority where it is harmful towards mankind. Progressivists of human sexuality argue that the state should have no authority over sexual activity; group of individuals can do whatever they want, so long as there is consent. Unionists always organize so that employers do not have as much authority over them. And those proud members of the civil disobedience squad are in opposition to the government’s use of authority in foreign countries, through aggressive militarism and imperialism. We may use all of these titles and names that we’ve applied to ourselves in so many cases. But the goals of these leftist activists is all the same: to eliminate the painful condition of being a slave in obedience to an unjust authority.
As men and women who seek change in society, our primary objective is this: to organize the social forces in a way that justice, peace, and equality genuinely exist. For this reason, we are in the same ranks as social reformers, organizers of charities, pro-bono legal counsel for the poor, distributors of food boxes to low-income families, and those who cook food to give to the homeless. What makes us, the revolutionaries of the world, different from these philanthropists is that we believe the misery of society was created by its organization. In our opinion, poverty is not simply the byproduct of the Capitalist, so much as it is the direct result of Free Enterprise. War, Imperialism, and Colonialism, the exploitation of these foreign countries, is not an indirect result of government, but the chief aim of all organized, hierarchal groups. Racism, bigotry, prejudice, and cultural clashes are not so much caused by differences of heritage, so much as they are caused by lack of a truly free education. We analyze society, and see the very causes of all the suffering that humans are enduring. And, as revolutionaries, it is our goal not to repair the damage done by the system, but to change the system. That is the manifesto of a revolutionary.