Violence and the Labor Movement

Robert Hunter, 1914







This volume is the result of some studies that I felt impelled to make when, about three years ago, certain sections of the labor movement in the United States were discussing vehemently political action versus direct action. A number of causes combined to produce a serious and critical controversy. The Industrial Workers of the World were carrying on a lively agitation that later culminated in a series of spectacular strikes. With ideas and methods that were not only in opposition to those of the trade unions, but also to those of the socialist party, the new organization sought to displace the older organizations by what it called the "one Big Union." There were many in the older organizations who firmly believed in industrial unionism, and the dissensions which arose were not so much over that question as over the antagonistic character of the new movement and its advocacy here of the violent methods employed by the revolutionary section of the French unions. The most forceful and active spokesman of these methods was Mr. William D. Haywood, and, largely as a result of his agitation, la grève générale and le sabotage became the subjects of the hour in labor and socialist circles. In 1911 Mr. Haywood and Mr. Frank Bohn published a booklet, entitled Industrial Socialism, in which they urged that the worker should "use any weapon which will win his fight."[A] They declared that, as "the present laws of property are made by and for the capitalists, the workers should not hesitate to break them."[B]

The advocacy of such doctrines alarmed the older socialists, who were familiar with the many disasters that had overtaken the labor movement in its earlier days, and nearly all of them assailed the direct actionists. Mr. Eugene V. Debs, Mr. Victor L. Berger, Mr. John Spargo, Mr. Morris Hillquit, and many others, less well known, combated "the new methods" in vigorous language. Mr. Hillquit dealt with the question in a manner that immediately awakened the attention of every active socialist. Condemning without reserve every resort to lawbreaking and violence, and insisting that both were "ethically unjustifiable and tactically suicidal," Mr. Hillquit pointed out that whenever any group or section of the labor movement "has embarked upon a policy of 'breaking the law' or using 'any weapons which will win the fight,' whether such policy was styled 'terrorism,' 'propaganda of the deed,' 'direct action,' 'sabotage,' or 'anarchism,' it has invariably served to demoralize and destroy the movement, by attracting to it professional criminals, infesting it with spies, leading the workers to needless and senseless slaughter, and ultimately engendering a spirit of disgust and reaction. It was this advocacy of 'lawbreaking' which Marx and Engels fought so severely in the International and which finally led to the disruption of the first great international parliament of labor, and the socialist party of every country in the civilized world has since uniformly and emphatically rejected that policy."[C]

There could be no better introduction to the present volume than these words of Mr. Hillquit, and it will, I think, be clear to the reader that the history of the labor movement during the last half-century fully sustains Mr. Hillquit's position. The problem of methods has always been a vital matter to the labor movement, and, for a hundred years at least, the quarrels now dividing syndicalists and socialists have disturbed that movement. In the Chartist days the "physical forcists" opposed the "moral forcists," and later dissensions over the same question occurred between the Bakouninists and the Marxists. Since then anarchists and social democrats, direct actionists and political actionists, syndicalists and socialists have continued the battle. I have attempted here to present the arguments made by both sides of this controversy, and, while no doubt my bias is perfectly clear, I hope I have presented fairly the position of each of the contending elements. Fortunately, the direct actionists have exercised a determining influence only in a few places, and everywhere, in the end, the victory of those who were contending for the employment of peaceable means has been complete. Already in this country, as a result of the recent controversy, it is written in the constitution of the socialist party that "any member of the party who opposes political action or advocates crime, sabotage, or other methods of violence as a weapon of the working class to aid in its emancipation shall be expelled from membership in the party."[D] Adopted by the national convention of the party in 1911, this clause was ratified at a general referendum of all the membership of the party. It is clear, therefore, that the immense majority of socialists are determined to employ peaceable and legal methods of action.

It is, of course, perfectly obvious that the methods to be employed in the struggles between classes, as between nations, cannot be predetermined. And, while the socialists everywhere have condemned the use of violent measures and are now exercising every power at their command to keep the struggle between labor and capital on legal ground, events alone will determine whether the great social problems of our day can be settled peaceably. The entire matter is largely in the hands of the ruling classes. And, while the socialists in all countries are determined not to allow themselves to be provoked into acts of despair by temporary and fleeting methods of repression, conditions may of course arise where no organization, however powerful, could prevent the masses from breaking into an open and bloody conflict. On one memorable occasion (March 31, 1886), August Bebel uttered some impressive words on this subject in the German Reichstag. "Herr von Puttkamer," said Bebel, "calls to mind the speech which I delivered in 1881 in the debate on the Socialist Law a few days after the murder of the Czar. I did not then glorify regicide. I declared that a system like that prevailing in Russia necessarily gave birth to Nihilism and must necessarily lead to deeds of violence. Yes, I do not hesitate to say that if you should inaugurate such a system in Germany it would of necessity lead to deeds of violence with us as well. (A deputy called out: 'The German Monarchy?') The German Monarchy would then certainly be affected, and I do not hesitate to say that I should be one of the first to lend a hand in the work, for all measures are allowable against such a system."[E] I take it that Bebel was, in this instance, simply pointing out to the German bureaucracy the inevitable consequences of the Russian system. At that very moment he was restraining hundreds of thousands of his followers from acts of despair, yet he could not resist warning the German rulers that the time might come in that country when no considerations whatever could persuade men to forego the use of the most violent retaliative measures. This view is, of course, well established in our national history, and our Declaration of Independence, as well as many of our State constitutions, asserts that it is both the right and the duty of the people to overthrow by any means in their power an oppressive and tyrannical government. This was, of course, always the teaching of what Marx liked to call "the bourgeois democrats." It was, in fact, their only conception of revolution.

The socialist idea of revolution is quite a different one. Insurrection plays no necessary part in it, and no one sees more clearly than the socialist that nothing could prove more disastrous to the democratic cause than to have the present class conflict break into a civil war. If such a war becomes necessary, it will be in spite of the organized socialists, who, in every country of the world, not only seek to avoid, but actually condemn, riotous, tempestuous, and violent measures. Such measures do not fit into their philosophy, which sees, as the cause of our present intolerable social wrongs, not the malevolence of individuals or of classes, but the workings of certain economic laws. One can cut off the head of an individual, but it is not possible to cut off the head of an economic law. From the beginning of the modern socialist movement, this has been perfectly clear to the socialist, whose philosophy has taught him that appeals to violence tend, as Engels has pointed out, to obscure the understanding of the real development of things.

The dissensions over the use of force, that have been so continuous and passionate in the labor movement, arise from two diametrically opposed points of view. One is at bottom anarchistic, and looks upon all social evils as the result of individual wrong-doing. The other is at bottom socialistic, and looks upon all social evils as in the main the result of economic and social laws. To those who believe there are good trusts and bad trusts, good capitalists and bad capitalists, and that this is an adequate analysis of our economic ills, there is, of course, after all, nothing left but hatred of individuals and, in the extreme case, the desire to remove those individuals. To those, on the other hand, who see in certain underlying economic forces the source of nearly all of our distressing social evils, individual hatred and malice can make in reality no appeal. This volume, on its historical side, as well as in its survey of the psychology of the various elements in the labor movement, is a contribution to the study of the reactions that affect various minds and temperaments in the face of modern social wrongs. If one's point of view is that of the anarchist, he is led inevitably to make his war upon individuals. The more sensitive and sincere he is, the more bitter and implacable becomes that war. If one's point of view is based on what is now called the economic interpretation of history, one is emancipated, in so far as that is possible for emotional beings, from all hatred of individuals, and one sees before him only the necessity of readjusting the economic basis of our common life in order to achieve a more nearly perfect social order.

In contrasting the temperaments, the points of view, the philosophy, and the methods of these two antagonistic minds, I have been forced to take two extremes, the Bakouninist anarchist and the Marxian socialist. In the case of the former, it has been necessary to present the views of a particular school of anarchism, more or less regardless of certain other schools. Proudhon, Stirner, Warren, and Tucker do not advocate violent measures, and Tolstoi, Ibsen, Spencer, Thoreau, and Emerson – although having the anarchist point of view – can hardly be conceived of as advocating violent measures. It will be obvious to the reader that I have not dealt with the philosophical anarchism, or whatever one may call it, of these last. I have confined myself to the anarchism of those who have endeavored to carry out their principles in the democratic movement of their time and to the deeds of those who threw themselves into the active life about them and endeavored to impress both their ideas and methods upon the awakening world of labor. It is the anarchism of these men that the world knows. By deeds and not by words have they written their definition of anarchism, and I am taking and using the term in this volume in the sense in which it is used most commonly by people in general. If this offends the anarchists of the non-resistant or passive-resistant type, it cannot be helped. It is the meaning that the most active of the anarchists have themselves given it.

I have sought to take my statements from first-hand sources only, although in a few cases I have had to depend on secondary sources. I am deeply indebted to Mr. Herman Schlueter, editor of the New Yorker Volkszeitung, for lending me certain rare books and pamphlets, and also for reading carefully and critically the entire manuscript. With his help I have managed to get every document that has seemed to me essential. At the end of the volume will be found a complete list of the authorities which I have consulted. I have to regret that I could not read, before sending this manuscript to the publisher, the four volumes just published of the correspondence between Marx and Engels (Der Briefwechsel zwischen Friedrich Engels und Karl Marx 1844 bis 1833, herausgegeben von A. Bebel und Ed. Bernstein, J. H. W. Dietz, Stuttgart, 1913). I must also express here my gratitude to Mr. Morris Hillquit and to Miss Helen Phelps Stokes for making many valuable suggestions, as well as my indebtedness to Miss Helen Bernice Sweeney and Mr. Sidney S. Bobbé for their most capable secretarial assistance. Special appreciation is due my wife for her helpfulness and painstaking care at many difficult stages of the work.

Highland Farm, Noroton Heights, Connecticut. November 1, 1913.


[A] P. 57.

[B] P. 57.

[C] The New York Call, November 20, 1911.

[D] Article II, Section 6.

[E] Quoted by Dawson, "German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle," p. 272.





   I. THE FATHER OF TERRORISM                     3
  II. A SERIES OF INSURRECTIONS                  28
 III. THE PROPAGANDA OF THE DEED                 49
  IV. JOHANN MOST IN AMERICA                     62
   V. A SERIES OF TRAGEDIES                      77
  VI. SEEKING THE CAUSES                         90



  IX.   THE FIGHT FOR EXISTENCE                 194
   X.    THE NEWEST ANARCHISM                   229
  XI.   THE OLDEST ANARCHISM                    276
 XII.  VISIONS OF VICTORY                       327
AUTHORITIES                                     357
INDEX                                           375



Violence and the Labor Movement



"Dante tells us," writes Macaulay, "that he saw, in Malebolge, a strange encounter between a human form and a serpent. The enemies, after cruel wounds inflicted, stood for a time glaring on each other. A great cloud surrounded them, and then a wonderful metamorphosis began. Each creature was transfigured into the likeness of its antagonist. The serpent's tail divided into two legs; the man's legs intertwined themselves into a tail. The body of the serpent put forth arms; the arms of the man shrank into his body. At length the serpent stood up a man, and spake; the man sank down a serpent, and glided hissing away."[1] Something, I suppose, not unlike this appalling picture of Dante's occurs in the world whenever a man's soul becomes saturated with hatred. It will be remembered, for instance, that even Shelley's all-forgiving and sublime Prometheus was forced by the torture of the furies to cry out in anguish,

"Whilst I behold such execrable shapes, Methinks I grow like what I contemplate."

It would not be strange, then, if here and there a man's entire nature were transfigured when he sees a monster appear, cruel, pitiless, and unyielding, crushing to the earth the weak, the weary, and the heavy-laden. Nor is it strange that in Russia – the blackest Malebolge in the modern world – a litter of avengers is born every generation of the savage brutality, the murderous oppression, the satanic infamy of the Russian government. And who does not love those innumerable Russian youths and maidens, driven to acts of defiance – hopeless, futile, yet necessary – if for no other reason than to fulfill their duty to humanity and thus perhaps quiet a quivering conscience? There is something truly Promethean in the struggle of the Russian youth against their overpowering antagonist. They know that the price of one single act of protest is their lives. Yet, to the eternal credit of humanity, thousands of them have thrown themselves naked on the spears of their enemy, to become an example of sacrificial revolt. And can any of us wonder that when even this tragic seeding of the martyrs proved unfruitful, many of the Russian youth, brooding over the irremediable wrongs of their people, were driven to insanity and suicide? And, if all that was possible, would it be surprising if it also happened that at least one flaming rebel should have developed a philosophy of warfare no less terrible than that of the Russian bureaucracy itself? I do not know, nor would I allow myself to suggest, that Michael Bakounin, who brought into Western Europe and planted there the seeds of terrorism, came to be like what he contemplated, or that his philosophy and tactics of action were altogether a reflection of those he opposed. Yet, if that were the case, one could better understand that bitter and bewildering character.

That there is some justification for speculation on these grounds is indicated by the heroes of Bakounin. He always meant to write the story of Prometheus, and he never spoke of Satan without an admiration that approached adoration. They were the two unconquerable enemies of absolutism. He was "the eternal rebel," Bakounin once said of Satan, "the first free-thinker and emancipator of the worlds."[2] In another place he speaks of Proudhon as having the instinct of a revolutionist, because "he adored Satan and proclaimed anarchy."[3] In still another place he refers to the proletariat of Paris as "the modern Satan, the great rebel, vanquished, but not pacified."[4] In the statutes of his secret organization, of which I shall speak again later, he insists that "principles, programs, and rules are not nearly as important as that the persons who put them into execution shall have the devil in them."[5] Although an avowed and militant atheist, Bakounin could not subdue his worship of the king of devils, and, had anyone during his life said that Bakounin was not only a modern Satan incarnate, but the eight other devils as well, nothing could have delighted him more. And no doubt he was inspired to this demon worship by his implacable hatred of absolutism – whether it be in religion, which he considered as tyranny over the mind, or in government, which he considered as tyranny over the body. To Bakounin the two eternal enemies of man were the Government and the Church, and no weapon was unworthy of use which promised in any measure to assist in their entire and complete obliteration.

Absolutism was to Bakounin a universal destroyer of the best and the noblest qualities in man. And, as it stands as an effective barrier to the only social order that can lift man above the beast – that of perfect liberty – so must the sincere warrior against absolutism become the universal destroyer of any and everything associated with tyranny. How far such a crusade leads one may be gathered from Bakounin's own words: "The end of revolution can be no other," he declares, "than the destruction of all powers – religious, monarchical, aristocratic, and bourgeois – in Europe. Consequently, the destruction of all now existing States, with all their institutions – political, juridical, bureaucratic, and financial."[6] In another place he says: "It will be essential to destroy everything, and especially and before all else, all property and its inevitable corollary, the State."[7] "We want to destroy all States," he repeats in still another place, "and all Churches, with all their institutions and their laws of religion, politics, jurisprudence, finance, police, universities, economics, and society, in order that all these millions of poor, deceived, enslaved, tormented, exploited human beings, delivered from all their official and officious directors and benefactors, associations, and individuals, can at last breathe with complete freedom."[8] All through life Bakounin clung tenaciously to this immense idea of destruction, "terrible, total, inexorable, and universal," for only after such a period of destructive terror – in which every vestige of "the institutions of tyranny" shall be swept from the earth – can "anarchy, that is to say, the complete manifestation of unchained popular life,"[9] develop liberty, equality, and justice. These were the means, and this was the end that Bakounin had in mind all the days of his life from the time he convinced himself as a young man that "the desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire."[10]

Even so brief a glimpse into Bakounin's mind is likely to startle the reader. But there is no fiction here; he is what Carlyle would have called "a terrible God's Fact." He was a very real product of Russia's infamy, and we need not be surprised if one with Bakounin's great talents, worshiping Satan and preaching ideas of destruction that comprehended Cosmos itself, should have performed in the world a unique and never-to-be-forgotten rôle. It was inevitable that he should have stood out among the men of his time as a strange, bewildering figure. To his very matter-of-fact and much annoyed antagonist, Karl Marx, he was little more than a buffoon, the "amorphous pan-destroyer, who has succeeded in uniting in one person Rodolphe, Monte Cristo, Karl Moor, and Robert Macaire."[11] On the other hand, to his circle of worshipers he was a mental giant, a flaming titan, a Russian Siegfried, holding out to all the powers of heaven and earth a perpetual challenge to combat. And, in truth, Bakounin's ideas and imagination covered a field that is not exhausted by the range of mythology. He juggled with universal abstractions as an alchemist with the elements of the earth or an astrologist with the celestial spheres. His workshop was the universe, his peculiar task the refashioning of Cosmos, and he began by declaring war upon the Almighty himself and every institution among men fashioned after what he considered to be the absolutism of the Infinite.

It is, then, with no ordinary human being that we must deal in treating of him who is known as the father of terrorism. Yet, as he lived in this world and fought with his faithful circle to lay down the principles of universal revolution, we find him very human indeed. Of contradictions, for instance, there seems to be no end. Although an atheist, he had an idol, Satan. Although an eternal enemy of absolutism, he pleaded with Alexander to become the Czar of the people. And, although he fought passionately and superbly to destroy what he called the "authoritarian hierarchy" in the organization of the International, he planned for his own purpose the most complete hierarchy that can well be imagined. His only tactic, that of lex talionis, also worked out a perfect reciprocity even in those common affairs to which this prodigy stooped in order to conquer, for he seemed to create infallibly every institution he combated and to use every weapon that he execrated when employed by others. The most fertile of law-givers himself, he could not tolerate another. Pope of Popes in his little inner circle, he could brook no rival. Machiavelli's Prince was no richer in intrigue than Bakounin; yet he always fancied himself, with the greatest self-compassion, as the naïve victim of the endless and malicious intrigues of others. However affectionate, generous, and open he seemed to be with those who followed him worshipfully, even they were not trusted with his secrets, and, if he was always cunning and crafty toward his enemies, he never had a friend that he did not use to his profit. Volatile in his fitful changes toward men and movements, rudderless as he often seemed to be in the incoherence of his ideas and of his policies, there nevertheless burned in his soul throughout life a great flaming, and perhaps redeeming, hatred of tyranny. At times he would lead his little bands into open warfare upon it, dreaming always that the world once in motion would follow him to the end in his great work of destruction. At other times he would go to it bearing gifts, in the hope, as we must charitably think, of destroying it by stealth.

In general outline, this is the father of terrorism as I see him. How he developed his views is not entirely clear, as very little is known of his early life, and there are several broken threads at different periods both early and late in his career. The little known of his youth may be quickly told. He was born in Russia in 1814, of a family of good position, belonging to the old nobility. He was well educated and began his career in the army. Shortly after the Polish insurrection had been crushed, militarism and despotism became abhorrent to him, and the spectacle of that terrorized country made an everlasting impression upon him. In 1834 he renounced his military career and returned to Moscow, where he gave himself up entirely to the study of philosophy, and, as was natural at the period, he saturated himself with Hegel. From Moscow he went to St. Petersburg and later to Berlin, constantly pursuing his studies, and in 1842 he published under the title, "La réaction en Allemagne, fragment, par un Français," an article ending with the now famous line: "The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire."[12] This article appeared in the Deutsche Jahrbücher, in which publication he soon became a collaborator. The authorities, however, were hostile to the paper, and he went into Switzerland in 1843, only to be driven later to Paris. There he made the acquaintance of Proudhon, "the father of anarchism," and spent days and nights with him discussing the problems of government, of society, and of religion. He also met Marx, "the father of socialism," and, although they were never sympathetic, yet they came frequently in friendly and unfriendly contact with each other. George Sand, George Herwegh, Arnold Ruge, Frederick Engels, William Weitling, Alexander Herzen, Richard Wagner, Adolf Reichel, and many other brilliant revolutionary spirits of the time, Bakounin knew intimately, and for him, as for many others, the period of the forties was one of great intellectual development.

In the insurrectionary period that began in 1848 he became active, but he appears to have done little noteworthy before January, 1849, when he went secretly to Leipsic in the hope of aiding a group of young Czechs to launch an uprising in Bohemia. Shortly afterward an insurrection broke out in Dresden, and he rushed there to become one of the most active leaders of the revolt. It is said that he was "the veritable soul of the revolution," and that he advised the insurrectionists, in order to prevent the Prussians from firing upon the barricades, to place in front of them the masterpieces from the art museum.[13] When that insurrection was suppressed, he, Richard Wagner, and some others hurried to Chemnitz, where Bakounin was captured and condemned to death. Austria, however, demanded his extradition, and there, for the second time, he was condemned to be hanged. Eventually he was handed over to Russia, where he again escaped paying the death penalty by the pardon of the Czar, and, after six years in prison, he was banished to Siberia. Great efforts were made to secure a pardon for him, but without success. However, through his influential relatives, he was allowed such freedom of movement that in the end he succeeded in escaping, and, returning to Europe through Japan and America, he arrived in England in 1861.

The next year is notable for the appearance of two of his brochures, "Aux amis russes, polonais, et à tous les amis slaves," and "La Cause du Peuple, Romanoff, Pougatchoff, ou Pestel?" One would have thought that twelve years in prison and in Siberia would have made him more bitter than ever against the State and the Czar; but, curiously, these writings mark a striking departure from his previous views. For almost the only time in his life he expressed a desire to see Russia develop into a magnificent "State," and he urged the Russians to drive the Tartars back to Asia, the Germans back to Germany, and to become a free people, exclusively Russian. By coöperative effort between the military powers of the Russian Government and the insurrectionary activities of the Slavs subjected to foreign governments, the Russian peoples could wage a war, he argued, that would create a great united empire. The second of the above-mentioned volumes was addressed particularly to Alexander II. In this Bakounin prophesies that Russia must soon undergo a revolution. It may come through terrible and bloody uprisings on the part of the masses, led by some fierce and sanguinary popular idol, or it will come through the Czar himself, if he should be wise enough to assume in person the leadership of the peasants. He declared that "Alexander II. could so easily become the popular idol, the first Czar of the peasants.... By leaning upon the people he could become the savior and master of the entire Slavic world."[14] He then pictures in glowing terms a united Russia, in which the Czar and the people will work harmoniously together to build up a great democratic State. But he threatens that, if the Czar does not become the "savior of the Slavic world," an avenger will arise to lead an outraged and avenging people. He again declares, "We prefer to follow Romanoff (the family name of the Czar), if Romanoff could and would transform himself from the Petersbourgeois emperor into the Czar of the peasants."[15] Despite much flattery and ill-merited praise, the Czar refused to be converted, and Bakounin rushed off the next year to Stockholm, in the hope of organizing a band of Russians to enter Poland to assist in the insurrection which had broken out there.

The next few years were spent mostly in Italy, and it was here that he conceived his plan of a secret international organization of revolutionists. Little is known of how extensive this secret organization actually became, but Bakounin said in 1864 that it included a number of Italian, French, Scandinavian, and Slavic revolutionists. As a scheme this secret organization is remarkable. It included three orders: I. The International Brothers; II. The National Brothers; III. The semi-secret, semi-public organization of the International Alliance of Social Democracy. Without Bakounin's intending it, doubtless, the International Brothers resembled the circle of gods in mythology; the National Brothers, the circle of heroes; while the third order resembled the mortals who were to bear the burden of the fighting. The International Brothers were not to exceed one hundred, and they were to be the guiding spirits of the great revolutionary storms that Bakounin thought were then imminent in Europe. They must possess above all things "revolutionary passion," and they were to be the supreme secret executive power of the two subordinate organizations. In their hands alone should be the making of the programs, the rules, and the principles of the revolution. The National Brothers were to be under the direction of the International Brothers, and were to be selected because of their revolutionary zeal and their ability to control the masses. They were "to have the devil in them." The semi-secret, semi-public organization was to include the multitude, and sections were to be formed in every country for the purpose of organizing the masses. However, the masses were not to know of the secret organization of the National Brothers, and the National Brothers were not to know of the secret organization of the International Brothers. In order to enable them to work separately but harmoniously, Bakounin, who had chosen himself as the supreme law-giver, wrote for each of the three orders a program of principles, a code of rules, and a plan of methods all its own. The ultimate ends of this movement were not to be communicated to either the National Brothers or to the Alliance, and the masses were to know only that which was good for them to know, and which would not be likely to frighten them. These are very briefly the outlines of the extraordinary hierarchy that was to form throughout all Europe and America an invisible network of "the real revolutionists."

This organization was "to accelerate the universal revolution," and what was understood by the revolution was "the unchaining of what is to-day called the bad passions and the destruction of what in the same language is called 'public order.' We do not fear, we invoke anarchy, convinced that from this anarchy, that is to say, from the complete manifestation of unchained popular life, must come forth liberty, equality, justice ..."[16] It was clearly foreseen by Bakounin that there would be opponents to anarchy among the revolutionists themselves, and he declared: "We are the natural enemies of these revolutionists ... who ... dream already of the creation of new revolutionary States."[17] It was admitted that the Brothers could not of themselves create the revolution. All that a secret and well-organized society can do is "to organize, not the army of the revolution – the army must always be the people – but a sort of revolutionary staff composed of individuals who are devoted, energetic, intelligent, and especially sincere friends of the people, not ambitious nor self-conceited – capable of serving as intermediaries between the revolutionary idea and the popular instincts. The number of these individuals does not have to be immense. For the international organization of all Europe, one hundred revolutionists, strongly and seriously bound together, are sufficient. Two or three hundred revolutionists will be sufficient for the organization of the largest country."[18]

The idea of a secret organization of revolutionary leaders proved to be wholly repugnant to many of even the most devoted friends of Bakounin, and by 1868 the organization is supposed to have been dissolved, because, it was said, secrets had leaked out and the whole affair had been subjected to much ridicule.[19] The idea of the third order, however, that of the International Alliance, was not abandoned, and it appears that Bakounin and a number of the faithful Brothers felt hopeful in 1867 of capturing a great "bourgeois" congress, called the "League of Peace and of Liberty," that had met that year in Geneva. Bakounin, Élisée Reclus, Aristide Rey, Victor Jaclard, and several others in the conspiracy undertook to persuade the league to pass some revolutionary resolutions. Bakounin was already a member of the central committee of the league, and, in preparation for the battle, he wrote the manuscript afterward published under the title, "Fédéralisme, Socialisme, et Antithéologisme." But the congress of 1868 dashed their hopes to the ground, and the revolutionists separated from the league and founded the same day, September 25th, a new association, called L'Alliance Internationale de la Démocratie Socialiste. The program now adopted by the Alliance, although written by Bakounin, expressed quite different views from those of the International Brothers. But it, too, began its revolutionary creed by declaring itself atheist. Its chief and most important work was "to abolish religion and to substitute science for faith; and human justice for divine justice." Second, it declared for "the political, economic, and social equality of the classes" (which, it was assumed, were to continue to exist), and it intended to attain this end by the destruction of government and by the abolition of the right of inheritance. Third, it assailed all forms of political action and proposed that, in place of the community, groups of producers should assume control of all industrial processes. Fourth, it opposed all centralized organization, believing that both groups and individuals should demand for themselves complete liberty to do in all cases whatever they desired.[20] The same revolutionists who a short time before had planned a complete hierarchy now appeared irreconcilably opposed to any form of authority. They now argued that they must abolish not only God and every political State, but also the right of the majority to rule. Then and then only would the people finally attain perfect liberty.

These were the chief ideas that Bakounin wished to introduce into the International Working Men's Association. That organization, founded in 1864 in London, had already become a great power in Europe, and Bakounin entered it in 1869, not only for the purpose of forwarding the ideas just mentioned, but also in the hope of obtaining the leadership of it. Failing in 1862 to convert the Czar, in 1864-1867 to organize into a hierarchy the revolutionary spirits of Europe, in 1868 to capture the bourgeoisie, he turned in 1869 to seek the aid of the working class. On each of these occasions his views underwent the most magical of transformations. With more bitterness than ever he now declared war upon the political and economic powers of Europe, but he was unable to prosecute this war until he had destroyed every committee or group in the International which possessed, or sought to possess, any power. He assailed Marx, Engels, and all those who he thought wished to dominate the International. The beam in his own eye he saw in theirs, and he now expressed an unspeakable loathing for all hierarchical tendencies and authoritarian methods. The story of the great battle between him and Marx must be left for a later chapter, and we must content ourselves for the present with following the history of Bakounin as he gradually developed in theory and in practice the principles and tactics of terrorism.

While struggling to obtain the leadership of the working classes of Western Europe, Bakounin was also busy with Russian affairs. "I am excessively absorbed in what is going on in Russia," he writes to a friend, April 13, 1869. "Our youth, the most revolutionary in the world perhaps, in theory and in practice, are so stirred up that the Government has been forced to close the universities, academies, and several schools at St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kazan. I have here now a specimen of these young fanatics, who hesitate at nothing and who fear nothing.... They are admirable, ... believers without God and heroes without phrase!"[21] He who called forth this eulogy was the young Russian revolutionist, Sergei Nechayeff. Whether admirable or not we shall leave the reader to judge. But, if Bakounin bewilders one, Nechayeff staggers one. And, if Bakounin was the father of terrorism, Nechayeff was its living embodiment. He was not complex, mystical, or sentimental. He was truly a revolutionist without phrase, and he can be described in the simplest words. He was a liar, a thief, and a murderer – the incarnation of Hatred, Malice, and Revenge, who stopped at no crime against friend or foe that promised to advance what he was pleased to call the revolution. Bakounin had for a long time sought his coöperation, and now in Switzerland they began that collaboration which resulted in the most extraordinary series of sanguinary revolutionary writings known to history.

In the summer of 1869 there was printed at Geneva "Words Addressed to Students," signed by them both; the "Formula of the Revolutionary Question"; "The Principles of the Revolution"; and the "Publications of the People's Tribunal" – the three last appearing anonymously. All of them counsel the most infamous doctrines of criminal activity. In "Words Addressed to Students," the Russian youth are exhorted to leave the universities and go among the people. They are asked to follow the example of Stenka Razin, a robber chieftain who, in the time of Alexis, placed himself at the head of a popular insurrection.[F] "Robbery," declare Bakounin and Nechayeff, "is one of the most honorable forms of Russian national life. The brigand is the hero, the defender, the popular avenger, the irreconcilable enemy of the State, and of all social and civil order established by the State. He is the wrestler in life and in death against all this civilization of officials, of nobles, of priests, and of the crown.... He who does not understand robbery can understand nothing in the history of the Russian masses. He who is not sympathetic with it, cannot sympathize with the popular life, and has no heart for the ancient, unbounded sufferings of the people; he belongs in the camp of the enemy, the partisans of the State.... It is through brigandage only that the vitality, passion, and force of the people are established undeniably.... The brigand in Russia is the veritable and unique revolutionist – revolutionist without phrase, without rhetoric borrowed from books, a revolutionist indefatigable, irreconcilable, and irresistible in action.... The brigands scattered in the forests, the cities, and villages of all Russia, and the brigands confined in the innumerable prisons of the empire, form a unique and indivisible world, strongly bound together, the world of the Russian revolution. In it, in it alone, has existed for a long time the veritable revolutionary conspiracy."[22]

Once again the principles of the revolution appear to be complete and universal destruction. "There must 'not rest ... one stone upon a stone.' It is necessary to destroy everything, in order to produce 'perfect amorphism,' for, if 'a single one of the old forms' were preserved, it would become 'the embryo' from which would spring all the other old social forms."[23] The same leaflet preaches systematic assassination and declares that for practical revolutionists all speculations about the future are "criminal, because they hinder pure destruction and trammel the march of the revolution. We have confidence only in those who show by their acts their devotion to the revolution, without fear of torture or of imprisonment, and we disclaim all words unless action should follow immediately." ...[24] "Words have no value for us unless followed at once by action. But all is not action that goes under that name: for example, the modest and too-cautious organization of secret societies without some external manifestations is in our eyes merely ridiculous and intolerable child's play. By external manifestations we mean a series of actions that positively destroy something – a person, a cause, a condition that hinders the emancipation of the people. Without sparing our lives, without pausing before any threat, any obstacle, any danger, etc., we must break into the life of the people with a series of daring, even insolent, attempts, and inspire them with a belief in their own power, awake them, rally them, and drive them on to the triumph of their own cause."[25]

The most remarkable of this series of writings is "The Revolutionary Catechism." This existed for several years in cipher, and was guarded most carefully by Nechayeff. Altogether it contained twenty-six articles, classified into four sections. Here it is declared that if the revolutionist continues to live in this world it is only in order to annihilate it all the more surely. "The object remains always the same: the quickest and surest way of destroying this filthy order." ... "For him exists only one single pleasure, one single consolation, one reward, one satisfaction: the success of the revolution. Night and day he must have but one thought, but one aim – implacable destruction." ... "For this end of implacable destruction a revolutionist can and often must live in the midst of society, feigning to be altogether different from what he really is. A revolutionist must penetrate everywhere: into high society as well as into the middle class, into the shops, into the church, into the palaces of the aristocracy, into the official, military, and literary worlds, into the third section (the secret police), and even into the imperial palace."[26]

"All this unclean society must be divided into several categories, the first composed of those who are condemned to death without delay." (Sec. 15.) ... "In the first place must be destroyed the men most inimical to the revolutionary organization and whose violent and sudden death can frighten the Government the most and break its power in depriving it of energetic and intelligent agents." (Sec. 16.) "The second category must be composed of people to whom we concede life provisionally, in order that by a series of monstrous acts they may drive the people into inevitable revolt." (Sec. 17.) "To the third category belong a great number of animals in high position or of individuals who are remarkable neither for their mind nor for their energy, but who, by their position, have wealth, connections, influence, power. We must exploit them in every possible manner, overreach them, deceive them, and, getting hold of their dirty secrets, make them our slaves." (Sec. 18.) ... "The fourth class is composed of sundry ambitious persons in the service of the State and of liberals of various shades of opinion. With them we can conspire after their own program, pretending to follow them blindly. We must take them in our hands, seize their secrets, compromise them completely, in such a way that retreat becomes impossible for them, so as to make use of them in bringing about disturbances in the State." (Sec. 19.) "The fifth category is composed of doctrinaires, conspirators, revolutionists, and of those who babble at meetings and on paper. We must urge these on and draw them incessantly into practical and perilous manifestations, which will result in making the majority of them disappear, while making some of them genuine revolutionists." (Sec. 20.) "The sixth category is very important. They are the women, who must be divided into three classes: the first, frivolous women, without mind or heart, which we must use in the same manner as the third and fourth categories of men; the second, the ardent, devoted, and capable women, but who are not ours because they have not reached a practical revolutionary understanding, without phrase – we must make use of these like the men of the fifth category; finally, the women who are entirely with us, that is to say, completely initiated and having accepted our program in its entirety. We ought to consider them as the most precious of our treasures, without whose help we can do nothing." (Sec. 21.)[27]

The last section of the "Catechism" treats of the duty of the association toward the people. "The Society has no other end than the complete emancipation and happiness of the people, namely, of the laborers. But, convinced that this emancipation and this happiness can only be reached by means of an all-destroying popular revolution, the Society will use every means and every effort to increase and intensify the evils and sorrows, which must at last exhaust the patience of the people and excite them to insurrection en masse. By a popular revolution the Society does not mean a movement regulated according to the classic patterns of the West, which, always restrained in the face of property and of the traditional social order of so-called civilization and morality, has hitherto been limited merely to exchanging one form of political organization for another, and to the creating of a so-called revolutionary State. The only revolution that can do any good to the people is that which utterly annihilates every idea of the State and overthrows all traditions, orders, and classes in Russia. With this end in view, the Society has no intention of imposing on the people any organization whatever coming from above. The future organization will, without doubt, proceed from the movement and life of the people; but that is the business of future generations. Our task is terrible, total, inexorable, and universal destruction."[28] These are in brief the tactics and principles of terrorism, as understood by Bakounin and Nechayeff. As only the criminal world shared these views in any degree, the "Catechism" ends: "We have got to unite ourselves with the adventurer's world of the brigands, who are the veritable and unique revolutionists of Russia."[29]

It is customary now to credit most of these writings to Nechayeff, although Bakounin himself, I believe, never denied that they were his, and no one can read them without noting the ear-marks of both Bakounin's thought and style. In any case, Nechayeff was constantly with Bakounin in the spring and summer of 1869, and the most important of these brochures were published in Geneva in the summer of that year. And, while it may be said for Bakounin that he nowhere else advocates all the varied criminal methods advised in these publications, there is hardly an argument for their use that is not based upon his well-known views. Furthermore, Nechayeff was primarily a man of action, and in a letter, which is printed hereafter, it appears that he urgently requested Bakounin to develop some of his theories in a Russian journal. Evidently, then, Nechayeff had little confidence in his own power of expression. We must, however, leave the question of paternity undecided and follow the latter to Russia, where he went late in the summer, loaded down with his arsenal of revolutionary literature and burning to put into practice the principles of the "Catechism."

Without following in detail his devious and criminal work, one brief tale will explain how his revolutionary activities were brought quickly to an end. There was in Moscow, so the story runs, a gentle, kindly, and influential member of Nechayeff's society. Of ascetic disposition, this Iwanof spent much of his time in freely educating the peasants and in assisting the poorer students. He starved himself to establish cheap eating houses, which became the centers of the revolutionary groups. The police finally closed his establishments, because Nechayeff had placarded them with revolutionary appeals. Iwanof, quite unhappy at this ending of his usefulness, begged Nechayeff to permit him to retire from the secret society. Nechayeff was, however, in fear that Iwanof might betray the secrets of the society, and he went one night with two fellow conspirators and shot Iwanof and threw the corpse into a pond. The police, in following up the murder, sought out Nechayeff, who had already fled from Russia and was hurrying back to Bakounin in Switzerland.

From January until July, 1870, he was constantly with Bakounin, but quarrels began to arise between them in June, and Bakounin writes in a letter to Ogaref: "Our boy (Nechayeff) is very stubborn, and I, when once I make a decision, am not accustomed to change it. Therefore, the break with him, on my side at least seems inevitable."[30] In the middle of July it was discovered that Nechayeff was once more carrying out the ethics they had jointly evolved, and, in order to make Bakounin his slave, had recourse to all sorts of "Jesuitical maneuvers, of lies and of thefts." Suddenly he disappeared from Geneva, and Bakounin and other Russians discovered that they had been robbed of all their papers and confidential letters. Soon it was learned that Nechayeff had presented himself to Talandier in London, and Bakounin hastened to write to his friend an explanation of their relations. "It may appear strange to you that we advise you to repulse a man to whom we gave letters of recommendation, written in the most cordial terms. But these letters date from the month of May, and there have happened since some events so serious that they have forced us to break all connections with Nechayeff." ... "It is perfectly true that Nechayeff is more persecuted by the Russian Government than any other man.... It is also true that Nechayeff is one of the most active and most energetic men that I have ever met. When it is a question of serving what he calls the cause, he does not hesitate, he stops at nothing, and is as pitiless toward himself as toward all others. That is the principal quality which attracted me to him and which made me for a long time seek his coöperation. There are those who pretend that he is nothing but a sharper, but that is a lie. He is a devoted fanatic, but at the same time a dangerous fanatic, with whom an alliance could only prove very disastrous for everyone concerned. This is the reason: He first belonged to a secret society which, in reality, existed in Russia. This society exists no more; all its members have been arrested. Nechayeff alone remains, and alone he constitutes to-day what he calls the 'Committee.' The Russian organization in Russia having been destroyed, he is forced to create a new one in a foreign country. All that was perfectly natural, legitimate, very useful – but the means by which he undertakes it are detestable.... He will spy on you and will try to get possession of all your secrets, and to do that, in your absence, left alone in your room, he will open all your drawers, will read all your correspondence, and whenever a letter appears interesting to him, that is to say, compromising you or one of your friends from one point of view or another, he will steal it, and will guard it carefully as a document against you or your friend.... If you have presented him to a friend, his first care will be to sow between you seeds of discord, scandal, intrigue – in a word, to set you two at variance. If your friend has a wife or a daughter, he will try to seduce her, to lead her astray, and to force her away from the conventional morality and throw her into a revolutionary protest against society.... Do not cry out that this is exaggeration. It has all been fully developed and proved. Seeing himself unmasked, this poor Nechayeff is indeed so childlike, so simple, in spite of his systematic perversity, that he believed it possible to convert me. He has even gone so far as to beg me to consent to develop this theory in a Russian journal which he proposed to me to establish. He has betrayed the confidence of us all, he has stolen our letters, he has horribly compromised us – in a word, he has acted like a villain. His only excuse is his fanaticism. He is a terribly ambitious man without knowing it, because he has at last completely identified the revolutionary cause with his own person. But he is not an egoist in the worst sense of that word, because he risks his own person terribly and leads the life of a martyr, of privations, and of unheard-of work. He is a fanatic, and fanaticism draws him on, even to the point of becoming an accomplished Jesuit. At moments he becomes simply stupid. Most of his lies are sewn with white thread.... In spite of this relative naïveté, he is very dangerous, because he daily commits acts, abuses of confidence, and treachery, against which it is all the more difficult to safeguard oneself because one hardly suspects the possibility. With all that, Nechayeff is a force, because he is an immense energy. It is with great pain that I have separated from him, because the service of our cause demands much energy, and one rarely finds it developed to such a point."[31]

The irony of fate rarely executes itself quite so humorously. Although perfectly familiar with Nechayeff's philosophy of action for over a year, the viciousness of it appeared to Bakounin only when he himself became a victim. When Nechayeff arrived in London he began the publication of a Russian journal, the Commune, where he bitterly attacked Bakounin and his views. Early in the seventies, he was arrested and taken back to Russia, where he and over eighty others, mostly young men and women students, were tried for belonging to secret societies. For the first time in Russian history the court proceeding took place before a jury and in public. Most of those arrested were condemned for long periods to the mines of Siberia at forced labor, while Nechayeff was kept in solitary imprisonment until his death, some years later.

Bakounin, on the other hand, remained in Switzerland and became the very soul of that element in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland which fought the policies of Marx in the International. At the same time he was training a group of youngsters to carry out in Western Europe the principles of revolution as laid down in his Russian publications. Over young middle-class youths, especially, Bakounin's magnetic power was extraordinary, and his followers were the faithful of the faithful. A very striking picture of Bakounin's hypnotic influence over this circle is to be found in the memoirs of Madame A. Bauler. She tells us of some Sundays she spent with Bakounin and his friends.

"At the beginning," she says, "being unfamiliar with the Italian language, I did not even understand the general drift of the conversation, but, observing the faces of those present, I had the impression that something extraordinarily grave and solemn was taking place. The atmosphere of these conferences imbued me; it created in me a state of mind which I shall call, for want of a better term, an 'état de grâce.' Faith increased; doubts vanished. The value of Bakounin became clear to me. His personality enlarged. I saw that his strength was in the power of taking possession of human souls. Beyond a doubt, all these men who were listening to him were ready to undertake anything, at the slightest word from him. I could picture to myself another gathering, less intimate, that of a great crowd, and I realized that there the influence of Bakounin would be the same. Only the enthusiasm, here gentle and intimate, would become incomparably more intense and the atmosphere more agitated by the mutual contagion of the human beings in a crowd.

"At bottom, in what did the charm of Bakounin consist? I believe that it is impossible to define it exactly. It was not by the force of persuasion that he agitated. It was not his thought which awakened the thought of others. But he aroused every rebellious heart and awoke there an 'elemental' anger. And this anger, transplendent with beauty, became creative and showed to the exalted thirst for justice and happiness an issue and a possibility of accomplishment. 'The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire,' Bakounin has repeated to the end of his life."[32]


[F] This formidable peasant insurrection occurred in 1669-1671. When Pougatchoff, a century later, in 1773-1775, urged the Cossacks and serfs to insurrection against Catherine II, the Russian people saw in him a new Stenka Razin; and they expected in Russia, in 1869 and the following years, a third centennial apparition of the legendary brigand who, in the minds of the oppressed people, personified revolt.



At the beginning of the seventies Bakounin and his friends found opening before them a field of practical activity. On the whole, the sixties were spent in theorizing, in organizing, and in planning, but with the seventies the moment arrived "to unchain the hydra of revolution." On the 4th of September, 1870, the Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris, and a few days afterward there were many uprisings in the other cities of France. It was, however, only in Lyons that the Bakouninists played an important part. Bakounin had a fixed idea that, wherever there was an uprising of the people, there he must go, and he wrote to Adolphe Vogt on September 6: "My friends, the revolutionary socialists of Lyons, are calling me there. I am resolved to take my old bones thither and to play there what will probably be my last game. But, as usual, I have not a sou. Can you, I do not say lend me, but give me 500 or 400, or 300 or 200, or even 100 francs, for my voyage?"[1] Guillaume does not state where the money finally came from, but Bakounin evidently raised it somehow, for he left Locarno on September 9. The night of the 11th he spent in Neuchâtel, where he conferred with Guillaume regarding the publication of a manuscript. On the 12th he arrived in Geneva, and two days later set out for Lyons, accompanied by two revolutionary enthusiasts, Ozerof and the young Pole, Valence Lankiewicz.

Since the 4th of September a Committee of Public Safety had been installed at the Hôtel de Ville composed of republicans, radicals, and some militants of the International. Gaspard Blanc and Albert Richard, two intimate friends of Bakounin, were not members of this committee, and in a public meeting, September 8, Richard made a motion, which was carried, to name a standing commission of ten to act as the "intermediaries between the people of Lyons and the Committee of Public Safety." Three of these commissioners, Richard, Andrieux, and Jaclard, were then appointed to go as delegates to Paris in order to come to some understanding with the Government. Andrieux, in the days of the Empire, had acquired fame as a revolutionist by proposing at a meeting to burn the ledger of the public debt. It seems, however, that these close and trusted friends of Bakounin began immediately upon their arrival in Paris to solicit various public positions remunerative to themselves,[2] and, although they succeeded in having General Cluseret sent to take command of the voluntary corps then forming in the department of the Rhone, that proved, as we shall see, most disastrous of all.

This is about all that had happened previous to Bakounin's arrival in Lyons, and, when he came, there was confusion everywhere. Even the members of the Alliance had no clear idea of what ought to be done. Bakounin, however, was an old hand at insurrections, and in a little lodging house where he and his friends were staying a new uprising was planned. He lost no time in getting hold of all the men of action. Under his energetic leadership "public meetings were multiplied and assumed a character of unheard-of violence. The most sanguinary motions were introduced and welcomed with enthusiasm. They openly provoked revolt in order to overthrow the laws and the established order of things."[3] On September 19 Bakounin wrote to Ogaref: "There is so much work to do that it turns my head. The real revolution has not yet burst forth here, but it will come. Everything possible is being done to prepare for it. I am playing a great game. I hope to see the approaching triumph."[4]

A great public meeting was held on the 24th, presided over by Eugène Saignes, a plasterer and painter, and a man of energy and influence among the Lyons workmen, at which various questions relative to proposed political changes were voted upon. But it was the following day, the 25th, that probably the most notable event of the insurrection took place. "The next day, Sunday, was employed," Guillaume says, "in the drawing up and printing of a great red placard, containing the program of the revolution which the Central Committee of Safety of France proposed to the people...."[5] The first article of the program declares: "The administrative and governmental machinery of the State, having become powerless, is abolished. The people of France once again enter into full possession of themselves." The second article suspends "all civil and criminal courts," and replaces them "by the justice of the people." The third suspends "the payment of taxes and of mortgages." The fourth declares that "the State, having decayed, can no longer intervene in the payment of private debts." The fifth states that "all existing municipal organizations are broken up and replaced in all the federated communes by Committees of Safety of France, which will exercise all powers under the immediate control of the people." The revolution was at last launched, and the placard ends, "Aux Armes!!!"[6]

While the Bakouninists were decreeing the revolution by posters and vainly calling the people to arms, an event occurred in Lyons which brought to them a very useful contingent of fighters. The Lyons municipality had just reduced the pay of the workers in the national dock yards from three to two and a half francs a day, and, on this account, these laborers joined the ranks of the insurgents. On the evening of September 27 a meeting of the Central Committee of Safety of France took place, and there a definite plan of action for the next day was decided upon. Velay, a tulle maker and municipal councillor, Bakounin, and others advised an armed manifestation, but the majority expressed itself in favor of a peaceful one. An executive committee composed of eight members signed the following proclamation, drawn up by Gaspard Blanc, which was printed during the night and posted early the next morning: "The people of Lyons ... are summoned, through the organ of their assembled popular committees, to a popular manifestation to be held to-day, September 28, at noon, on the Place des Terreaux, in order to force the authority to take immediately the most energetic and efficacious measures for the national defense."[7]

Turning again to Guillaume, we find "At noon many thousands of men pressed together on the Place des Terreaux. A delegation of sixteen of the national dock-yard workmen entered the Hôtel de Ville to demand of the Municipal Council the reëstablishment of their wage to three francs a day, but the Council was not in session. Very soon a movement began in the crowd, and a hundred resolute men, Saignes at their head, forcing the door of the Hôtel de Ville, penetrated the municipal building. Some members of the Central Committee of Safety of France, Bakounin, Parraton, Bastelica, and others, went in with them. From the balcony, Saignes announced that the Municipal Council was to be compelled to accept the program of the red proclamation of September 26 or to resign, and he proposed to name Cluseret general of the revolutionary army. Cluseret, cheered by the crowd, appeared in the balcony, thanked them, and announced that he was going to Croix-Rousse" (the working-class district).[8] He went there, it is true, but not to call to arms the national guards of that quarter. Indeed, his aim appears to have been to avoid a conflict, and he simply asked the workers "to come down en masse and without arms."[9] In the meantime the national guards of the wealthier quarters of the city hastened to the Hôtel de Ville and penetrated the interior court, while the Committee of Safety of France installed itself inside the building. There they passed two or three hours in drawing up resolutions, while Bakounin and others in vain protested: "We must act. We are losing time. We are going to be invaded by the national bourgeois guard. It is necessary to arrest immediately the prefect, the mayor, and General Mazure."[10] But their words went unheeded. And all the while the bourgeois guards were massing themselves before the Hôtel de Ville, and Cluseret and his unarmed manifestants were yielding place to them. In fact, Cluseret even persuaded the members of the Committee of Safety to retire and those of the Municipal Council to return to their seats, which they consented to do.

Bakounin made a last desperate effort to save the situation and to induce the insurgents to oppose force to force, but they would not. Even Albert Richard failed him. The Revolutionary committee, after parleying with the Municipal Councillors, then evacuated the Hôtel de Ville and contented itself with issuing a statement to the effect that "The delegates of the people have not believed it their duty to impose themselves on the Municipal Council by violence and have retired when it went into session, leaving it to the people to fully appreciate the situation."[11] "At the moment," says Guillaume, "when ... Mayor Hénon, with an escort of national bourgeois guards, reëntered the Hôtel de Ville, he met Bakounin in the hall of the Pas-Perdus. The mayor immediately ordered his companions to take him in custody and to confine him at once in an underground hiding-place."[12] The Municipal Councillors then opened their session and pledged that no pursuit should be instituted in view of the happenings of the day. They voted to reëstablish the former wage of the national dock-yard workers, but declared themselves unable to undertake the revolutionary measures proposed by the Committee of Safety of France, as these were outside their legal province.

In the meantime Bakounin was undergoing an experience far from pleasant, if we are to judge from the account which he gives in a letter written the following day: "Some used me brutally in all sorts of ways, jostling me about, pushing me, pinching me, twisting my arms and hands. I must, however, admit that others cried: 'Do not harm him.' In truth the bourgeoisie showed itself what it is everywhere: brutal and cowardly. For you know that I was delivered by some sharpshooters who put to flight three or four times their number of these heroic shopkeepers armed with their rifles. I was delivered, but of all the objects which had been stolen from me by these gentlemen I was able to find only my revolver. My memorandum book and my purse, which contained 165 francs and some sous, without doubt stayed in the hands of these gentlemen.... I beg you to reclaim them in my name. You will send them to me when you have recovered them."[13]

As a matter of fact, it was at the instance of his follower, Ozerof, that Bakounin was finally delivered. When he came forth from the Hôtel de Ville, the Committee of Safety of France and its thousands of sympathizers had disappeared, and he found himself practically alone. He spent the night at the house of a friend, and departed for Marseilles the next day, after writing the following letter to Palix: "My dear friend, I do not wish to leave Lyons without having said a last word of farewell to you. Prudence keeps me from coming to shake hands with you for the last time. I have nothing more to do here. I came to Lyons to fight or to die with you. I came because I am profoundly convinced that the cause of France has become again, at this supreme hour, ... the cause of humanity. I have taken part in yesterday's movement, and I have signed my name to the resolutions of the Committee of Safety of France, because it is evident to me that, after the real and certain destruction of all the administrative and governmental machinery, there is nothing but the immediate and revolutionary action of the people which can save France.... The movement of yesterday, if it had been successful ... could have saved Lyons and France.... I leave Lyons, dear friend, with a heart full of sadness and somber forebodings. I begin to think now that it is finished with France.... She will become a viceroyalty of Germany. In place of her living and real socialism,[G] we shall have the doctrinaire socialism of the Germans, who will say no more than the Prussian bayonets will permit them to say. The bureaucratic and military intelligence of Prussia, combined with the knout of the Czar of St. Petersburg, are going to assure peace and public order for at least fifty years on the whole continent of Europe. Farewell, liberty! Farewell, socialism! Farewell, justice for the people and the triumph of humanity! All that could have grown out of the present disaster of France. All that would have grown out of it if the people of France, if the people of Lyons, had wished it."[14]

The insurrection at Lyons and Bakounin's decree abolishing the State amounted to very little in the history of the French Republic. Writing afterward to Professor Edward Spencer Beesly, Karl Marx comments on the events that had taken place in Lyons: "At the beginning everything went well," he writes. "Under the pressure of the section of the International, the Republic had been proclaimed at Lyons before it had been at Paris. A revolutionary government was immediately established, namely the Commune, composed in part of workmen belonging to the International, in part of bourgeois radical republicans.... But those blunderers, Bakounin and Cluseret, arrived at Lyons and spoiled everything. Both being members of the International, they had unfortunately enough influence to lead our friends astray. The Hôtel de Ville was taken, for a moment only, and very ridiculous decrees on the abolition of the State and other nonsense were issued. You understand that the fact alone of a Russian – whom the newspapers of the bourgeoisie represented as an agent of Bismarck – pretending to thrust himself at the head of a Committee of Safety of France was quite sufficient to change completely public opinion. As to Cluseret, he behaved at once like an idiot and a coward. These two men left Lyons after their failure."[15] Bakounin's so-called abolition of the State appealed to the humor of Marx. He speaks of it in another place in these words: "Then arrived the critical moment, the moment longed for since many years, when Bakounin was able to accomplish the most revolutionary act the world has ever seen: he decreed the abolition of the State. But the State, in the form and aspect of two companies of national bourgeois guards, entered by a door which they had forgotten to guard, swept the hall, and caused Bakounin to hasten back along the road to Geneva."[16]

Such indeed was the humiliating and vexatious ending of Bakounin's dream of an immediate social revolution. His sole reward was to be jostled, pinched, and robbed. This was perhaps most tragic of all, especially when added to this injury there was the further indignity of allowing the father of terrorism to keep his revolver. The incident is one that George Meredith should have immortalized in another of his "Tragic Comedians." However, although the insurrection at Lyons was a complete failure, the Commune of Paris was really a spontaneous and memorable working-class uprising. The details of that insurrection, the legislation of the Commune itself, and its violent suppression on May 28, 1871, are not strictly germane to this chapter, because, in fact, the Bakouninists played no part in it. In the case of Lyons, the revolution maker was at work; in the case of Paris, "The working class," says Marx, "did not expect miracles from the Commune. They have no ready-made utopias to introduce par décret du peuple. They know that in order to work out their own emancipation, and along with it that higher form to which present society is irresistibly tending, by its own economic agencies, they will have to pass through long struggles, through a series of historic processes, transforming circumstances and men."[H] But, while Marx wrote in this manner of the Paris Commune, he evidently had in mind men of the type of Bakounin when he declared: "In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of a different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to past revolutions, ... others mere bawlers, who by dint of repeating year after year the same set of stereotyped declamations against the Government of the day have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists of the first water. After the 18th of March some such men turned up, and in some cases contrived to play preeminent parts. As far as their power went, they hampered the real action of the working class, exactly as men of that sort have hampered the full development of every previous revolution. They are an unavoidable evil; with time they are shaken off; but time was not allowed to the Commune."[17]

The despair of Bakounin over the miserable ending of his great plans for the salvation of France had, of course, disappeared long before the revolution broke out in Spain, and he easily persuaded himself that his presence there was absolutely necessary to insure its success. "I have always felt and thought," he wrote in the Mémoire justificatif, "that the most desirable end for me would be to fall in the midst of a great revolutionary storm."[18] Consequently, in the summer of the year 1873, when the uprising gave promise of victory to the insurgents, Bakounin decided that he must go and, to do so, that he must have money. Bakounin then wrote to his wealthy young disciple, Cafiero, in a symbolic language which they had worked out between them, declaring his intention of going to Spain and asking him to furnish the necessary money for his expenses. As usual, Bakounin became melodramatic in his effort to work upon the impressionable Cafiero, and, as he put it afterward in the Mémoire justificatif, "I added a prayer that he would become the protector of my wife and my children, in case I should fall in Spain."[19] Cafiero, who at this time worshiped Bakounin, pleaded with him not to risk his precious life in Spain. He promised to do everything possible for his family in case he persisted in going, but he sent no money, whether because he did not have it or because he did not wish Bakounin to go is not clear. Bakounin now wrote to Guillaume that he was greatly disappointed not to be able to take part in the Spanish revolution, but that it was impossible for him to do so without money. Guillaume admits that he was not convinced of the absolute necessity of Bakounin's presence in Spain, but, nevertheless, since he desired to go there, Guillaume offered to secure for him fifteen hundred francs to make the journey. On the receipt of this news, Bakounin answered Guillaume that the sum would be wholly insufficient.

If, however, the Spanish revolution was forced to proceed without Bakounin, his influence in that country was not wanting. In the year 1873 the Spanish sections of the International were among the largest and most numerous in Europe. At the time of the congress of Cordova, which assembled at the close of the year 1872, three hundred and thirty-one sections with over twenty-five thousand members expressed themselves in favor of "anarchist and collectivist" principles. The trade unions were very active, and they formed the basis of the Spanish movement. They had numerous organs of propaganda, and the general unrest, both political and economic, led for a time to an extraordinary development in revolutionary ideas.

On February 11, 1873, the king abdicated and a republic was proclaimed. Insurrections broke out in all parts of Spain. At Barcelona, Cartagena, Murcia, Cadiz, Seville, Granada, and Valencia there existed a state of civil war, while throughout the industrial districts strikes were both frequent and violent. Demands were made on all sides for shorter hours and increase of wages. At Alcoy ten thousand workingmen declared a general strike, and, when the municipal authorities opposed them, they took the town by storm. In some cases the strikers lent their support to the republicans; in other cases they followed the ideas of Bakounin, and openly declared they had no concern for the republic. The changes in the government were numerous. Indeed, for three years Spain, politically and industrially, was in a state of chaos. At times the revolt of the workers was suppressed with the utmost brutality. Their leaders were arrested, their papers suppressed, and their meetings dispersed with bloodshed. At other times they were allowed to riot for weeks if the turbulence promised to aid the intrigues of the politicians.

A lively discussion took place as to the wisdom of the tactics employed by the anarchists in Spain. Frederick Engels severely criticised the position of the Bakouninists in two articles which he published in the Volksstaat. He reviewed the events that had taken place during the summer of 1873, and he condemned the folly of the anarchists, who had refused to coöperate with the other revolutionary forces in Spain. In his opinion, the workers were simply wasting their energy and lives in pursuit of a distant and unattainable end. "Spain is a country so backward industrially," he wrote, "that it cannot be a question there of the immediate complete emancipation of the workers. Before arriving at that stage, Spain will still have to pass through diverse phases of development and struggle against a whole series of obstacles. The republic furnished the means of passing through these phases most rapidly and of removing these obstacles most quickly. But, to accomplish that, the Spanish proletariat would have had to launch boldly into active politics. The mass of the working people realized this, and everywhere demanded that they should take part in what was happening, that they should profit by the opportunities to act, instead of leaving, as formerly, the field free to the action and intrigues of the possessing classes. The government ordered elections for the Cortès members. What position should the International take? The leaders of the Bakouninists were in the greatest dilemma. A continued political inactivity appeared more ridiculous and more impossible from day to day. The workers wanted to 'see deeds.' On the other hand, the alliancistes (Bakouninists) had preached for years that one ought not to take part in any revolution that had not for its end the immediate and entire emancipation of the workers, that participation in any political action constituted an acceptance of the principle of the State, that source of all evil, and that especially taking part in any election was a mortal sin."[20]

The anarchists were of course very bitter over this attack on their policies, and they concluded that the socialists had become reactionaries who no longer sought the emancipation of the working class. They were more than incensed at the reference Engels had made to an act of the insurgents of Cartagena, who, in order to gain allies in their struggle, had armed the convicts of a prison, "eighteen hundred villains, the most dangerous robbers and murderers of Spain."[21] According to Engels' information, this infamous act had been undertaken upon the advice of Bakounin, but, whether or not that is true, it was a fatal mistake that brought utter disaster to the insurgents.

Certainly of this fact there can be no question – the divisions among the revolutionary forces in Spain, which Engels deplored, resulted, after many months of fighting, in returning to power the most reactionary elements in Spain. And this was foreseen, as even before the end of the summer Bakounin had despaired of success. In his opinion, the Spanish revolution miscarried miserably, "for want," as he afterward wrote, "of energy and revolutionary spirit in the leaders as well as in the masses. And all the rest of the world was plunged," he lamented, "into the most dismal reaction."[22]

France and Spain, having now failed to launch the universal revolution, Bakounin's hopes turned to Italy, where a series of artificial uprisings among the almost famished peasants was being stirred up by his followers. Their greatest activity was during the first two weeks in August of the next year, 1874, and the three main centers were Bologna, Romagna, and Apulia. In spite of the fact that the followers of Mazzini were opposed to the International, an attempt was made in the summer of 1874 by some Italian socialists (Celso Cerretti among others), to effect a union in order that by common action they might work more advantageously against the monarchy. Garibaldi, to whom these socialists appealed, at first disapproved of any reconciliation with Bakounin and his friends, but later allowed himself to be persuaded. A meeting of the Mazzinian leaders to discuss the matter convened August 2 at the village of Ruffi. The older members were opposed to all common action, while the younger elements desired it. However, before an agreement was reached, twenty-eight Mazzinians were arrested, among them Saffi, Fortis, and Valzania. Three days later, the police succeeded in arresting Andrea Costa, for whom they had been searching for more than a year on account of his participation in the International congress at Geneva. Although these events were something of a setback, the revolutionists decided that they had gone too far to retreat. It was then that Bakounin wrote: "And now, my friends, there remains nothing more for me but to die. Farewell!"[23] On the way to Italy he wrote to his friend, Guillaume, saying good-by to him and announcing, without explanation, that he was journeying to Italy to take part in a struggle from which he would not return alive. On his arrival in that country, however, he carefully concealed himself in a small house where only the revolutionary "intimates" could see him.

The nights of August 7 and 8 had been chosen for the insurrection which was to burst forth in Bologna and thence to extend, first to Romagna, and afterward to the Marches and Tuscany. A group of Bologna insurgents, reinforced by about three thousand others from Romagna, were to enter Bologna by the San Felice gate. Another group would enter the arsenal, the doors of which would be opened by two non-commissioned officers, and take possession of the arms and ammunition, carrying them to the Church of Santa Annunziata, where all the guns should be stored. At certain places in the city material was already gathered with which to improvise barricades. One hundred republicans had promised to take part in the movement, not as a group, but individually. On the 7th copies of the proclamation of the Italian Committee for the Social Revolution were distributed throughout the city, calling the masses to arms and urging the soldiers to make common cause with the people. During the nights of the 7th and 8th, groups from Bologna assembled at the appointed places of meeting outside the walls, but the Romagna comrades did not come, or at least came in very small numbers. Those from Imola were surrounded in their march, some being arrested and others being forced to retreat. At dawn the insurgents who had gathered under the walls of Bologna dispersed, some taking refuge in the mountains. Bakounin had been alone during the night, and became convinced that the insurrection had failed. He was trying to make up his mind to commit suicide, when his friend, Silvio, arrived and told him that all was not lost and that perhaps other attempts might yet be made. The following day Bakounin was removed to another retreat of greater safety, as numerous arrests had been made at Bologna, Imola, Romagna, the Marches, as well as in Florence, Rome, and other parts of Italy.

About the same time a conspiracy similar to that undertaken at Bologna was launched by Enrico Malatesta and some friends in Apulia. A heavy chest of guns had been dispatched from Tarentum to a station in the province of Bari, from which it was carried on a cart to the old château of Castel del Monte, which had been chosen as the rendezvous. "Many hundreds of conspirators," Malatesta recounts, "had promised to meet at Castel del Monte. I arrived, but of all those who had sworn to be there we found ourselves six. No matter. We opened the box of arms and found it was filled with old percussion guns, but that made no difference. We armed ourselves and declared war on the Italian army. We roamed the country for some days, trying to gain over the peasants, but meeting with no response. The second day we met eight carabinieri, who opened fire on us and imagined that we were very numerous. Three days later we discovered that we were surrounded by soldiers. There remained only one thing to do. We buried the guns and decided to disperse. I hid myself in a load of hay, and thus succeeded in escaping from the dangerous region."[24] An attempt at insurrection also took place in Romagna, but it appears to have been limited to cutting the telegraph wires between Bologna and Imola.

Back of all the Italian riots lay a serious economic condition. The peasants were in very deep distress, and it was not difficult for the Bakouninists to stir them to revolt. The Bulletin of the Jura Federation of August 16 informs us: "During the last two years there have been about sixty riots produced by hunger; but the rioters, in their ignorance, only bore a grudge against the immediate monopolists, and did not know how to discern the fundamental causes of their misery."[25] This is all too plainly shown in the events of 1874. Beyond giving the Bakouninists a chance to play at revolution, there is little significance in the Italian uprisings of that year.

The failure of the various insurrections in France, Spain, and Italy was, naturally enough, discouraging to Bakounin and his followers. The Commune of Paris was the one uprising that had made any serious impression upon the people, and it was the one wherein the Bakouninists had played no important part. The others had failed miserably, with no other result than that of increasing the power of reaction, while discouraging and disorganizing the workers. Even Bakounin had now reached the point where he was thoroughly disillusioned, and he wrote to his friends that he was exhausted, disheartened, and without hope. He desired, he said, to withdraw from the movement which made him the object of the persecutions of the police and the calumnies of the jealous. The whole world was in the evening of a black reaction, he thought, and he wrote to the truest and most devoted of all that loyal circle of Swiss workmen, James Guillaume, that the time for revolutionary struggles was past and that Europe had entered into a period of profound reaction, of which the present generation would probably not see the end. "He urged me," relates Guillaume, "to imitate himself and 'to make my peace with the bourgeoisie.'"[26] "It is useless," are Bakounin's words, "to wish obstinately to obtain the impossible. It is necessary to recognize reality and to realize that, for the moment, the popular masses do not wish socialism. And, if some tipplers of the mountains desire on this account to accuse you of treason, you will have for yourself the witness of your conscience and the esteem of your friends."[27]

In July, 1873, Bakounin retired to an estate that had been bought for him through the generosity of Cafiero, on the route from Locarno to Bellinzona, and for the next few months lavish expenditures were made in the construction and reconstruction of an establishment where the "intimates" could be entertained. That fall Bakounin wrote to the Jura Federation, announcing his retreat from public life and requesting it to accept his resignation. "For acting in this way," he wrote, "I have many reasons. Do not believe that it is principally on account of the personal attacks of which I have been made the object these last years. I do not say that I am absolutely insensible to such. However, I would feel myself strong enough to resist them if I thought that my further participation in your work and in your struggles could aid in the triumph of the cause of the proletariat. But I do not think so.

"By my birth and my personal position, and doubtless by my sympathies and my tendencies, I am only a bourgeois, and, as such, I could not do anything else among you but propaganda. Well, I have a conviction that the time for great theoretical discourses, whether printed or spoken, is past. In the last nine years there have been developed within the International more ideas than would be necessary to save the world, if ideas alone could save it, and I defy anybody to invent a new one."[28]

This letter in reality marks the end of Bakounin's activity in the revolutionary movement. After squandering most of Cafiero's fortune, Bakounin sought a martyr's death in Italy, but in this, as in all his other exploits, he was unsuccessful. And from that time on to his death his life is a humiliating story as he sought here and there the necessary money for his livelihood. Nearly always he had been forced to live from hand to mouth. Money, money, money was the burden of hundreds of his letters. In order to obtain funds he had resorted to almost every possible plan. He had accepted money in advance from publishers for books which he had never had time to write. From time to time he would find an almoner to care for him, only in the end to lose him through his importunate and exacting demands. An account is given by Guillaume of what I believe is the last meeting between Bakounin and certain of his old friends in September, 1874. Ross, Cafiero, Spichiger, and Guillaume met Bakounin in a hotel at Neuchâtel. Guillaume, it appears, was cold and unfeeling; Cafiero and Ross said nothing, while Spichiger wept silently in a corner. "The explicit declaration made by me ..." says Guillaume, "took away from Bakounin at the very beginning all hope of a change in our estimation of him. It was also a question of money in this last interview. We offered to assure to our old friend a monthly pension of 300 francs, expressing the hope that he would continue to write, but he refused to accept anything. As a set-off, he asked Cafiero to loan him 3,000 francs (no longer 5,000), ... and Cafiero replied that he would do it. Then we separated sadly."[29]

On the first of July, 1876, Bakounin, after a brief illness, died at Bern at the house of his old friend, Dr. Vogt. The press of Europe printed various comments upon his life and work. The anarchists wrote their eulogies, while the socialists generally deplored the ruinous and disrupting tactics that Bakounin had employed in the International Working Men's Association. This story will be told later, but it is well to mention here that since 1869 an unbridgeable chasm had opened itself between the anarchists and the socialists. When they first came together in the International there was no clear distinction between them, but, after Bakounin was expelled from that organization in 1872, at The Hague, his followers frankly called themselves anarchists, while the followers of Marx called themselves socialists. In principles and tactics they were poles apart, and the bitterness between them was at fever heat. The anarchists took the principles of Bakounin and still further elaborated them, while his methods were developed from conspiratory insurrections to individual acts of violence. While the idea of the Propaganda of the Deed is to be found in the writings of Bakounin and Nechayeff, it was left to others to put into practice that doctrine. For the next thirty years the principles and ideals of anarchism made no appreciable headway, but the deeds of the anarchists became the talk and, to a degree, the terror of the world.


[G] Previous to 1848, socialism was used by Robert Owen and his followers, as well as by many French idealists, to mean phalansteries, colonies, or other voluntary communal undertakings. Marx and Engels at first called themselves "communists," and were thus distinguished from these earlier socialists. During the period of the International all its members began more and more to call themselves "socialists." The word, anarchism, was rarely used. As a matter of fact, it was the struggle in the International which eventually clarified the views of both anarchists and socialists and made clear the distinctions now recognized between communism, anarchism, and socialism. See Chapter VIII, infra.

[H] This is from "The Commune of Paris," which was read by Marx to the General Council of the International on May 30, two days after the last of the combatants of the Commune were crushed by superior numbers on the heights of Belleville.



The insurrections in France and Spain were on the whole spontaneous uprisings, but those disturbances in Italy in which the anarchists played a part were largely the result of agitation. Of course, adverse political and economic conditions were the chief causes of that general spirit of unrest which was prevalent in the early seventies in all the Latin countries, but after 1874 the numerous riots in which the anarchists were active were almost entirely the work of enthusiasts who believed they could make revolutions. The results of the previous uprisings had a terribly depressing effect upon nearly all the older men, but there were four youths attached to Bakounin's insurrectionary ideas whose spirits were not bowed down by what had occurred. Carlo Cafiero, Enrico Malatesta, Paul Brousse, and Prince Kropotkin were at the period of life when action was a joyous thing, and they undertook to make history. Cafiero we know as a young Italian of very wealthy parents. Malatesta "had left the medical profession and also his fortune for the sake of the revolution."[1] Paul Brousse was of French parentage, and had already distinguished himself in medicine, but he cast it aside in his early devotion to anarchism. He had rushed to Spain when the revolution broke out there, and he was always ready to go where-ever an opportunity offered itself for revolutionary activity. The Russian prince, Kropotkin, the fourth member of the group, was a descendant of the Ruriks, and it was said sometimes, in jest, that he had more right to the Russian throne than Czar Alexander II. The fascinating story of his life is told in the "Memoirs of a Revolutionist," but modesty forbade him to say that no one since Bakounin has exercised so great an influence as himself over the principles and tactics of anarchism. Kropotkin first visited Switzerland in 1872, when he came in close contact with the men of the Jura Federation. A week's stay with the Bakouninists converted him, he says, to anarchism.[2] He then returned to St. Petersburg, and shortly after entered the famous circle of Tchaykovsky, and, as a result of his revolutionary activity, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul. After his thrilling escape from prison, in 1876, Kropotkin returned to Switzerland, and for several years gave himself up entirely to the cause of anarchism. These four young men, all far removed by training and position from the working class, after the death of Bakounin, devised the Propaganda of the Deed, a method of agitation that was destined to become famous throughout the world.

Hitherto the Bakouninists had all been firmly convinced that the masses were ready to rise at a moment's notice in order to tear down the existing governments. They were obsessed with the idea that only a spark was needed to set the whole world into a general conflagration. But repeated failures taught them that the masses were inclined to make very little sacrifice for the sake of communism and that stupendous efforts were needed to create a revolution. It appeared to them, therefore, that the propaganda of words and of theories was of little avail. Consequently, these four youths, with their friends, set out to spread knowledge by acts of violence. Of course, they had not entirely given up the hope that a minority could, by a series of well-planned assaults, gradually sweep in after them the masses. But even should they fail in that, they felt that they must strike at the enemy, though they stood alone. Whatever happened, they argued, the acts themselves would prove of great propaganda value. Even the trials would enable them to use the courts as a tribune, and the bourgeois press itself would print their words and spread throughout the world their doctrines.

In the Bulletin of the Jura Federation, December 3, 1876, Cafiero and Malatesta wrote: "The great majority of Italian socialists are grouped about the program of the Italian Federation – a program which is anarchist, collectivist, and revolutionary. And the small number who, up to the present, have remained on the outside – the dupes of intrigues and lies – are all beginning to enter our organization. We do not refer to a small group who, influenced by personal considerations and reactionary ends, are trying to establish a propaganda which they call 'gradual and peaceful.' These have already been judged in the opinion of the Italian socialists and represent nothing but themselves.

"The Italian Federation believes that the insurrectionary deed, destined to affirm socialist principles by acts, is the most efficacious means of propaganda."[3] The next year Paul Brousse originated the famous phrase, the Propaganda of the Deed. He reviews in the Bulletin the various methods of propaganda which had previously been employed. "Propaganda from individual to individual, propaganda by mass meeting or conference, propaganda by newspaper, pamphlet, or book – these means," he declares, "are adapted only to theoretical propaganda. Besides, they become more and more difficult to employ in any efficacious fashion in the presence of those means possessed by the bourgeoisie, with its orators, trained at the bar and knowing how to wheedle the popular assemblies, and with its venal press which calumniates and disguises everything."[4] In the opinion of Brousse, the workers, "laboring most of the time eleven and twelve hours a day ... return home so exhausted by fatigue that they have little desire to read socialist books and newspapers."[5] Rejecting thus all other methods of propaganda, Brousse concludes that "the Propaganda of the Deed is a powerful means of awakening the popular conscience."[6]

Kropotkin was even more enthusiastic over this new method of education. "A single deed," he declared, "makes more propaganda in a few days than a thousand pamphlets. The government defends itself, it rages pitilessly; but by this it only causes further deeds to be committed by one or more persons, and drives the insurgents to heroism. One deed brings forth another; opponents join the mutiny; the government splits into factions; harshness intensifies the conflict; concessions come too late; the revolution breaks out."[7] Here at last is the famous Propaganda of the Deed, destined to such tragic ends. It owes its inspiration, of course, to the teachings of Bakounin, and we find among these youths the same contempt for words and theories that Bakounin himself had, and they proposed, in the words of Bakounin, "to destroy something – a person, a cause, a condition that hinders the emancipation of the people."[8] Consequently, they undertook immediately to carry into effect these new theories of propaganda, and during the year 1877 they organized two important demonstrations, the avowed purpose of which was to show anarchism in action.

The first event, which occurred at Bern, March 18, under the leadership of Paul Brousse, was a manifestation to celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of the Commune. All the members of the Jura Federation were invited to take part, and the red flag was to be unfurled. Among the most conspicuous in this demonstration were Brousse, Werner, Chopard, Schwitzguébel, Kropotkin, Pindy, Jeallot, Ferré, Spichiger, Guillaume, and George Plechanoff, recently arrived from St. Petersburg. The participants became mixed up in a violent affray in the streets, blows were exchanged between them and the police, but in the effort to tear away the red flags many of the gendarmes were wounded. The climax came on August 16 of the same year, when twenty-five of the manifestants appeared before the correctional tribunal of Bern, accused "(1) of participation in a brawl with deadly instruments, (2) of resisting, by means of force, the employees of the police." Most of the prisoners were condemned to imprisonment, the terms varying from ten days to two months. James Guillaume was condemned to forty days, Brousse to a month. The latter and five other convicted foreigners were also banished for three years from the canton of Bern.[9]

The second of these demonstrations took place in April in the form of an insurrectionary movement of the Internationalists of Italy. They chose the massive group of mountains which border on the Province of Bénévent for the scene of their operations, and made Naples their headquarters. During the whole of the preceding winter they were occupied in making their preparations, and endeavoring to gain the support of the peasants of the near-by villages. They instructed all those who joined their cause from Emilia, Romagna, and Tuscany to be ready for action the beginning of April, as soon as the snow disappeared from the summits of the Apennines. According to information furnished by Malatesta to Guillaume, on April 6 and 7 they journeyed from San Lupo (Province of Bénévent) into the region at the south of the Malta Mountains (Province of Caserte). On the 8th they attacked the communes of Letino and Gallo, burned the archives of the first named, pillaged the treasury of the preceptor, and burned the parish house of the second. On the 9th and 10th they tried to penetrate the other communes, but in vain, for they found them all occupied by troops sent directly by the government to oppose them. Their provisions were exhausted, and they would have bought a fresh supply in the village of Venafro, only the soldiers gave the alarm and pursued the band as far as a wood, in which they hid themselves. All of the 11th was spent in a long march through rain and snow. The jaded band was finally surprised and captured in a sheepfold, where they had sought shelter for that night. Two of the revolutionists escaped, but were recaptured a short time afterward. They were confined in the prison of Santa-Maria Capua Visere, to the number of thirty-seven, among them being Cafiero, Malatesta, Ceccarelli, Lazzari, Fortini (curé of Letino), Tomburri Vincenzo (curé of Gallo), Starnari, and others. On December 30 the Chamber of Arraignment of Naples rendered its decision. The two priests and a man who had served as guide to the insurgents were exempted from punishment, but the thirty-four others were sent before the court of assizes on the charge of conspiracy against the security of the State. As these were political crimes, which were covered by a recent amnesty, there remained only the murder of a carabineer, of which the court of assizes of Bénévent finally acquitted Cafiero, Malatesta, and their friends in August, 1878.[10]

By the above series of events the Propaganda of the Deed was launched, and from this day on it became a recognized method of propaganda. Neither money, nor organization, nor literature was any longer absolutely necessary. One human being in revolt with torch or dynamite was able to instruct the world. Bakounin and Nechayeff had written their principles, and had, in fact, in some measure, endeavored to carry them into effect. But the Propaganda of the Deed was no more evolved as a principle of action than these four daring youths put it into practice. In the next few years it became the chief expression of anarchism, and little by little it made the very name of anarchism synonymous with violence and crime. Surely these four zealous youths could hardly have devised a method of propaganda that could have served more completely to defeat their purpose.

The year 1878 witnessed a series of violent acts which brought in their train serious consequences. In that year an attempt was made upon the life of King Humbert of Italy; and, while driving in Berlin with his daughter, the Grand Duchess of Baden, Emperor William was shot at by a half-witted youth named Hödel. Three weeks later Dr. Karl Nobiling fired at the Emperor from an upper window overlooking the Unter den Linden. These assaults were made to serve as the pretext for a series of brutally repressive measures against the German socialists, although the authorities were unable to connect either Hödel or Nobiling with the anarchists or with the socialists. An excellent opportunity, however, had arrived to deal a crushing blow to socialism, and "Bismarck used his powerful influence with the press," August Bebel says, "in order to lash the public into a fanatical hatred of the social-democratic party. Others who had an interest in the defeat of the party joined in, especially a majority of the employers. Henceforth our opponents spoke of us exclusively as the party of assassins, or the 'Ruin all' party – a party that wished to rob the masses of their faith in God, the monarchy, the family, marriage, and property."[11] The attempt to destroy the German socialist organization was only one of the many repressive measures that were taken by the governments of Europe in the midst of the panic. To the terrorism of the anarchists the governments responded by a terrorism of repression, and this in itself helped to establish murderous assaults as a method of propaganda.

Up to this time Germany had been comparatively free from anarchist teachings. A number of the Lassalleans had advocated violent methods. Hasselmann had several years before launched the Red Flag, which advocated much that was not in harmony with socialism, and eventually the German socialist congress requested him to cease the publication of his paper. A few individuals without great influence had endeavored at various times to import Bakounin's philosophy and methods into Germany, but their propaganda bore no fruit whatever. It was only when the German Government began to imitate the terrorism of the Russian bureaucracy that a momentary passion for retaliation arose among the socialists. In fact, a few notable socialists went over to anarchism, frankly declaring their belief in terrorist tactics. And one of the most striking characters in the history of terrorism, Johann Most, was a product of Bismarck's man-hunting policies and legal tyranny. Nevertheless, those policies failed utterly to provoke the extensive retaliation which Bismarck expected, although it was a German who, after five attempts had been made on the life of Czar Alexander II. of Russia – the last being successful – proposed at an anarchist congress in Paris, in 1881, the forcible removal of all the potentates of the earth. This was rejected by the Paris conference as "at present not yet suitable,"[12] although the idea proved attractive to some anarchists who even believed that a few daring assaults could so terrify the royal families of Europe that they would be forced to abdicate their power.

During the same period the anarchist movement was developing in Austria-Hungary. A number of anarchist newspapers were launched, and a ceaseless agitation was in progress under the guidance of Peukert, Stellmacher, and Kammerer. Most's Freiheit was smuggled into the country in large quantities and was read greedily. At the trial of Merstallinger it was shown that the money for anarchist agitation was obtained by robbery. This discovery added to the bitterness of the fight going on between the socialists and the anarchists. The anarchists, however, overpowered their opponents, and everywhere secret printing presses were busily producing incendiary literature which advocated the murder of police officials and otherwise developed the tactics of terrorism. "At a secret conference at Lang Enzersdorf," says Zenker, "a new plan of action was discussed and adopted, namely, to proceed with all means in their power to take action against 'exploiters and agents of authority,' to keep people in a state of continual excitement by such acts of terrorism, and to bring about the revolution in every possible way. This program was immediately acted upon in the murder of several police agents. On December 15, 1883, at Floridsdorf, a police official named Hlubek was murdered, and the condemnation of Rouget, who was convicted of the crime, on June 23, 1884, was immediately answered the next day by the murder of the police agent Blöct. The Government now took energetic measures. By order of the Ministry, a state of siege was proclaimed in Vienna and district from January 30, 1884, by which the usual tribunals for certain crimes and offences were temporarily suspended, and the severest repressive measures were exercised against the anarchists, so that anarchism in Austria rapidly declined, and at the same time it soon lost its leaders. Stellmacher and Kammerer were executed, Peukert escaped to England, most of the other agitators were fast in prison, the journals were suppressed and the groups broken up."[13]

While these events were taking place in Austria, anarchist agitation was manifesting itself in several great strikes that broke out in the industrial centers of Southern France. At Lyons, Fournier, who shot his employer in the open street, was honored in a public meeting by the presentation of a revolver. A great demonstration was planned for Paris, but, as there happened to be a review of troops on the day set, the anarchists decided to abandon the demonstration. In the autumn of the same year (1882), troubles arose in Monceau-les-Mines and at Blanzy, where the workers were bent under a terrible capitalist and clerical domination. Under the circumstances, the anarchist propaganda was very welcome, and it was only a short time until it produced an anti-religious demonstration. Three or four hundred men, armed with pitchforks and revolvers, spread over the country, breaking the crosses and the statues of the Virgin which were placed at the junctions of the roads. They called the working classes to arms and took as hostages landlords, curés, and functionaries. These riots were the childlike manifestations of exasperated and miserable men, destined in advance to failure. Numerous arrests followed, and in the mines the workers suffered increased oppression.

In 1882 the great silk industry of Lyons was undergoing a serious crisis, and the misery among the weavers was intense. The anarchists were carrying on a big agitation led by Kropotkin, Gautier, Bordas, Bernard, and others. In the center of this city reduced almost to starvation there was, says Kropotkin, an "underground café at the Théâtre Bellecour, which remained open all night, and where, in the small hours of the morning, one could see newspaper men and politicians feasting and drinking in company with gay women. Not a meeting was held but some menacing allusion was made to that café, and one night a dynamite cartridge was exploded in it by an unknown hand. A worker who was occasionally there, a socialist, jumped to blow out the lighted fuse of the cartridge, and was killed, while a few of the feasting politicians were slightly wounded. Next day a dynamite cartridge was exploded at the doors of a recruiting bureau, and it was said that the anarchists intended to blow up the huge statue of the Virgin which stands on one of the hills of Lyons."[14] A panic seized the wealthier classes of the city, and some sixty anarchists were arrested, including Kropotkin. A great trial, known as the Procès des Anarchistes de Lyons, ensued, which lasted many weeks. At the conclusion only three out of the entire number were acquitted. Although nearly all the anarchists were condemned, the police of Lyons were still searching for the author of the explosion. At last, Cyvoct, a militant anarchist of Lyons, was identified as the one who had thrown the bomb. Cyvoct had first gone to Switzerland, then to Brussels, in the suburbs of which city he was finally arrested. He was given over to the French police, appeared before the court of assizes of the Rhone, and was condemned to death. His sentence was afterward commuted to that of enforced labor, and in 1897 he was pardoned.

On March 29, 1883, the carpenters' union of Paris called the unemployed to a meeting to be held on the Esplanade des Invalides. Two groups of anarchists formed. One started toward the Élysée and was scattered on its way by the police. The second went toward the suburb of Saint-Antoine. On the march many bakeries were robbed by the manifestants. Arrived at Place Maubert, they clashed with a large force of police. As a result, many arrests were made. Accused of inciting to pillage, Louise Michel and Émile Pouget were condemned to several years' imprisonment. The same month, at Monceau-les-Mines and in Paris, great demonstrations of the "unemployed" took place in the streets, combined with robbery and dynamite outrages, while in July there were sanguinary encounters with the armed forces in Roubaix and elsewhere. Again and again the populace was incited to rise against the bourgeoisie, "who (it was said) were indulging in festivities while they had condemned Louise Michel, the champion of the proletariat, to a cruel imprisonment."[15]

These are but a few instances of the activity of the anarchists at the end of the seventies and at the beginning of the eighties. They are perhaps sufficient to show that the Propaganda of the Deed was making headway in Western Europe. Certainly in Germany and Austria its course was soon run, but in France, Italy, Spain, and even in Belgium every strike was attended with violence. Insurrections, dynamite outrages, assassinations – all played their part. At the same time the governments carried on a ferocious persecution, and the chief anarchists were driven from place to place and hunted as wild animals. Police spies and agents provocateurs swarmed over the labor, socialist, and anarchist movements, and at the slightest sign of an uprising the soldiers were brought out to shoot down the people. Hardly a month went by without some "anarchist trouble," and many harmless strikes resulted in dreadful massacres. It was a tragic period, that reminds one again of the picture in Dante in which the two bitter enemies inflict upon each other cruel wounds in a fight that on both sides was inspired by the deepest hatred.



While the above events were transpiring in the Latin countries, the Bakouninists were keeping a sharp eye on America as a land of hopeful possibilities. As early as 1874 Bakounin himself considered the matter of coming here, while Kropotkin and Guillaume followed with interest the labor disturbances that were at that time so numerous and so violent in this country. The panic of 1873 had caused widespread suffering among the working classes. For several years afterward hordes of unemployed tramped the country. The masses were driven to desperation and, in their hunger, to frequent outbreaks of violence. When later a measure of prosperity returned, both the trade-union and the socialist movements began to attract multitudes of the discontented. The news of two important events in the labor world of America reached the anarchists of the Jura and filled them, Guillaume says, "with a lively emotion." In June, 1877, Kropotkin called attention to the act of the Supreme Court of the United States in declaring unconstitutional the eight-hour law on Government work. He was especially pleased with an article in the Labor Standard of New York, which declared: "This will teach the workers not to put their confidence in Congress and to trust only in their own efforts. No law of Congress could be of any use to the worker if he is not so organized that he can enforce it. And, if the workers are strong enough to do that, if they succeed in solidly forming the federation of their trade organizations, then they will be able, not only to force the legislators to make efficacious laws on the hours of work, on inspection, etc., but they will also be able to make the law themselves, deciding that henceforth no worker in the country shall work more than eight hours a day." "It is the good, practical sense of an American which says that,"[1] comments Kropotkin. This act of the Supreme Court and this statement of the Labor Standard were very welcome news to the anarchists. They were convinced that the Americans had abandoned political action and were turning to what they had already begun to call "direct action."

Another event, a month later, added to this conviction. In its issue of July 29 the Bulletin published this article: "'Following a strike of the machinists of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, a popular insurrection has burst forth in the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. If at Martinsburg (West Virginia) the workmen have been conquered by the militia, at Baltimore (Maryland), a city of 300,000 inhabitants, they have been victorious. They have taken possession of the station and have burned it, together with all the wagons of petroleum which were there. At Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), a city of 100,000 inhabitants, the workers are at the present time masters of the city, after having seized guns and cannon.... The strike is extending to the near-by railroads and is gaining in the direction of the Pacific. Great agitation reigns in New York. It is announced that the troops will concentrate, that Sheridan has been named commander, and that the Western States have offered their help.' In the following number, a detailed article, written by Kropotkin, recounted the dénouement of the crisis, the recovery of Pittsburgh, where two thousand wagons loaded with merchandise had been burned, the repression and the disarray of the strikers following the treachery of the miserable false brothers, and the final miscarriage of the movement. But if there had been, in this attempt of popular insurrection, weak sides that had brought about the failure, Kropotkin rightly praised the qualities of which the American working people had just given proof: 'This movement will have certainly impressed profoundly the proletariat of Europe and excited its admiration. Its spontaneity, its simultaneousness at so many distant points communicating only by telegraph, the aid given by the workers of different trades, the resolute character of the uprising from the beginning, call forth all our sympathies, excite our admiration, and awaken our hopes.... But the blood of our brothers of America shall not have flowed in vain. Their energy, their union in action, their courage will serve as an example to the proletariat of Europe. But would that this flowing of noble blood prove once again the blindness of those who amuse the people with the plaything of parliamentarism when the powder magazine is ready to take fire, unknown to them, at the fall of the least spark.'"[2]

The news of industrial troubles, such as the above, convinced the anarchist elements of Europe that America was ripe for direct action and the revolution. And it was indeed this period of profound industrial unrest that gave a forward impulse to all radical movements in the late seventies. Socialist newspapers sprang up in all parts of the country, and both socialist and trade-union organizations took on an immense development. Riots, minor insurrections, and strikes were symptoms of an all-pervading discontent. Simultaneously with this, many revolutionists, upon being expelled from Germany, were injected into the ferment. With many other refugees, the Germans then began to form revolutionary clubs, and, in 1882, Johann Most appeared in the United States scattering broadcast the terrorist ideas of Bakounin and Nechayeff.

Most was perhaps the most fiery personality that appeared in the ranks of the anarchists after the death of Bakounin. A cruel stepmother, a pitiless employer, a long sickness, and an operation which left his face deformed forever are some of the incidents of his unhappy childhood. He received a poor education, but read extensively, and as a bookbinder worked at his trade in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. He became attached to the labor movement toward the end of the sixties, and was elected to the German Reichstag in 1874. Forced to leave Germany as a result of the anti-socialist law, he went to London, where he established Die Freiheit, at first a social-democratic paper, which was smuggled into Germany. He became, however, more and more violent, and in 1880, at a secret gathering of the German socialists at Wyden in Switzerland, he and his friend Hasselmann were expelled from the Germany party. After this he no longer attempted to conceal his anarchist sympathies, and in the Freiheit, on the platform, and on every possible occasion he preached principles almost identical with those of Nechayeff and Bakounin. In a pamphlet on the scientific art of revolutionary warfare and of dynamiters he prescribes in detail where bombs should be placed in churches, palaces, and ball-rooms.[I] He advises wholly individual action, in order that the groups may suffer as little harm as possible. His pamphlet also contains a dictionary of poisons which may be usefully employed against politicians, traitors, and spies. "Extirpate the miserable brood!" he writes in Die Freiheit; "extirpate the wretches! Thus runs the refrain of a revolutionary song of the working classes, and this will be the exclamation of the executive of a victorious proletariat army when the battle has been won. For at the critical moment the executioner's block must ever be before the eyes of the revolutionist. Either he is cutting off the heads of his enemies or his own is being cut off. Science gives us means which make it possible to accomplish the wholesale destruction of these beasts quietly and deliberately." Elsewhere he says, "Those of the reptile brood who are not put to the sword remain as a thorn in the flesh of the new society; hence it would be both foolish and criminal not to annihilate utterly this race of parasites."[3]

It was this cheerful individual who, after being expelled from the German socialist party, made prodigious efforts to establish revolutionary organizations all over Europe. In London he captured the Communist Working Men's Educational Society, despite the protest of a considerable minority, and through it he undertook to launch other revolutionary clubs. The parliamentary socialists were bitterly assailed, and a congress was held in Paris and a later one in London for the purpose of uniting the revolutionists of all countries. According to Zenker, the headquarters of the association were at London, and sub-committees were formed to act in Paris, Geneva, and New York. Money was to be collected "for the purchase of poison and weapons, as well as to find places suitable for laying mines, and so on. To attain the proposed end, the annihilation of all rulers, ministers of State, nobility, the clergy, the most prominent capitalists, and other exploiters, any means are permissible, and therefore great attention should be given specially to the study of chemistry and the preparation of explosives, as being the most important weapons. Together with the chief committee in London there will also be established an executive bureau, whose duty is to carry out the decisions of the chief committee and to conduct correspondence."[4]

After these attempts to establish an anarchist International, Most sailed for New York. Some of his ideas had preceded him, and when he arrived he was met and greeted by masses of German workingmen. Miss Emma Goldman, in "Anarchism and Other Essays," tells us of the impression he made upon her. "Some twenty-one years ago," she says, "I heard the first great anarchist speaker – the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then, and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could never be erased from the human mind and soul. How could any one of all the multitudes who flocked to Most's meetings escape his prophetic voice!"[5] At the time of Most's arrival the American socialist movement was hopelessly divided over questions of methods and tactics. Already there had been bitter quarrels between those in the movement who had formed secret drilling organizations which were preparing for a violent revolution, and those others who sought by education, organization, and political action to achieve their demands. In the year 1880 a number of New York members had left the socialist organization and formed a revolutionary group, and in October of the following year a convention was held to organize the various revolutionary groups into a national organization. Everything was favorable for Most, and when he arrived it was not long, with his magnetic personality and fiery agitation, until he had swept out of existence the older socialist organizations. In 1883 representatives from twenty-six cities met in Pittsburgh to form the revolutionary socialist and anarchist groups into one body, called the "International Working People's Association." The same year a dismal socialist convention was held in Baltimore with only sixteen delegates attending. They attempted to stem the tide to terrorism by declaring: "We do not share the folly of the men who consider dynamite bombs as the best means of agitation. We know full well that a revolution must take place in the heads and in the industrial life of men before the working class can achieve lasting success."[6]

The tide, however, was not stayed. The advocates of direct action continued headlong toward the bitter climax at the Haymarket in Chicago in 1886. Just previous to that fatal catastrophe, a series of great strikes had occurred in and about that city. At the McCormick Reaper Works a crowd of men was being addressed by Spies, an anarchist, when the "scabs" left the factory. A pitched battle ensued. The police were called, and, when they were assaulted with stones, they opened fire on the crowd, shooting indiscriminately men, women, and children, killing six and wounding many more. Spies, full of rage, hurried to the office of Arbeiter Zeitung, the anarchist paper, and composed the proclamation to the workingmen of Chicago which has since become famous as "the revenge circular." It called upon the workingmen to arm themselves and to avenge the brutal murder of their brothers. Five thousand copies of the circular, printed in English and German, were distributed in the streets. The next evening, May 4, 1886, a mass meeting was called at the Haymarket. About two thousand working people attended the meeting. The mayor of the city went in person to hear the addresses, and later testified that he had reported to Captain Bonfield, at the nearest police station, that "nothing had occurred nor was likely to occur to require interference." Nevertheless, after Mayor Harrison had gone, Captain Bonfield sent one hundred and seventy-six policemen to march upon the little crowd that remained. Captain Ward, the officer in charge, commanded the meeting to disperse, and, as Fielden, one of the speakers, retorted that the meeting was a peaceable one, a dynamite bomb was thrown from an adjoining alley that killed several policemen and wounded many more.

In the agitation that led up to the Haymarket tragedy, dynamite had always been glorified as the poor man's weapon. It was the power that science had given to the weak to protect them from injustice and tyranny. As powder and the musket had destroyed feudalism, so dynamite would destroy capitalism. In the issue of the Freiheit, March 18, 1883, Most printed an article called "Revolutionary Principles." Many of the phrases are evidently taken from the "Catechism" of Bakounin and Nechayeff, and the sentiments are identical. During all this period great meetings were organized to glorify some martyr who, by the Propaganda of the Deed, had committed some great crime. For instance, vast meetings were organized in honor of Stellmacher and others who had murdered officers of the Viennese police. At one of these meetings Most declared that such acts should not be called murder, because "murder is the killing of a human being, and I have never heard that a policeman was a human being."[7] When August Reinsdorf was executed for an attempt on the life of the German Emperor, Most's Freiheit appeared with a heavy black border. "One of our noblest and best is no more," he laments. "In the prison yard at Halle under the murderous sword of the criminal Hohenzollern band, on the 7th of February, August Reinsdorf ended a life full of battle and of self-sacrificing courage, as a martyr to the great revolution."[8] It was inevitable that such views should lead sooner or later to a tragedy, and, while most of the Chicago anarchists were plain workingmen, simple and kindly, at least one fanatic in the group deserves to rank with Nechayeff and Most as an irreconcilable enemy of the existing order. This was Louis Lingg, whose last words as he was taken from the court were: "I repeat that I am the enemy of the 'order' of to-day, and I repeat that, with all my powers, so long as breath remains in me, I shall combat it. I declare again, frankly and openly, that I am in favor of using force. I have told Captain Schaack, and I stand by it, 'If you cannonade us, we shall dynamite you.' You laugh! Perhaps you think, 'You'll throw no more bombs'; but let me assure you that I die happy on the gallows, so confident am I that the hundreds and thousands to whom I have spoken will remember my words; and, when you shall have hanged us, then, mark my words, they will do the bomb-throwing! In this hope I say to you: I despise you. I despise your order, your laws, your force-propped authority. Hang me for it!"[9]

There are many minor incidents now quite forgotten that played a part in this American terrorism. Benjamin R. Tucker, of New York, himself an anarchist, but not an advocate of terrorist tactics, had in the midst of this period to cry out in protest against the acts of those who called themselves anarchists. In his paper, Liberty, March 27, 1886, Tucker wrote on "The Beast of Communism."[10] He began by quoting Henri Rochefort, who was reported to have said: "Anarchists are merely criminals. They are robbers. They want no government whatever, so that, when they meet you on the street, they can knock you down and rob you."[11]

"This infamous and libelous charge," says Tucker, "is a very sweeping one; I only wish that I could honestly meet it with as sweeping a denial. And I can, if I restrict the word anarchist as it always has been restricted in these columns, and as it ought to be restricted everywhere and always. Confining the word anarchist so as to include none but those who deny all external authority over the individual, whether that of the present State or that of some industrial collectivity or commune which the future may produce, I can look Henri Rochefort in the face and say: 'You lie!' For of all these men I do not recall even one who, in any ordinary sense of the term, can be justly styled a robber.

"But unfortunately, in the minds of the people at large, this word anarchist is not yet thus restricted in meaning. This is due principally to the fact that within a few years the word has been usurped, in the face of all logic and consistency, by a party of communists who believe in a tyranny worse than any that now exists, who deny to the laborer the individual possession of his product, and who preach to their followers the following doctrine: 'Private property is your enemy; it is the beast that is devouring you; all wealth belongs to everybody; take it wherever you can find it; have no scruples about the means of taking it; use dynamite, the dagger, or the torch to take it; kill innocent people to take it; but, at all events, take it.' This is the doctrine which they call anarchy, and this policy they dignify with the name of 'propagandism by deed.'

"Well, it has borne fruit with most horrible fecundity. To be sure, it has gained a large mass of adherents, especially in the Western cities, who are well-meaning men and women, not yet become base enough to practice the theories which they profess to have adopted. But it has also developed, and among its immediate and foremost supporters, a gang of criminals whose deeds for the past two years rival in 'pure cussedness' any to be found in the history of crime. Were it not, therefore, that I have first, last, and always repudiated these pseudo-anarchists and their theories, I should hang my head in shame before Rochefort's charge at having to confess that too many of them are not only robbers, but incendiaries and murderers. But, knowing as I do that no real anarchist has any part or lot in these infamies, I do not confess the facts with shame, but reiterate them with righteous wrath and indignation, in the interest of my cause, for the protection of its friends, and to save the lives and possessions of any more weak and innocent persons from being wantonly destroyed or stolen by cold-blooded villains parading in the mask of reform.

"Yes, the time has come to speak. It is even well-nigh too late. Within the past fortnight a young mother and her baby boy have been burned to death under circumstances which suggest to me the possibility that, had I made this statement sooner, their lives would have been saved; and, as I now write these lines, I fairly shudder at the thought that they may not reach the public and the interested parties before some new holocaust has added to the number of those who have already fallen victims. Others who know the facts, well-meaning editors of leading journals of so-called communistic anarchism, may, from a sense of mistaken party fealty, bear longer the fearful responsibility of silence, if they will; for one I will not, cannot. I will take the other responsibility of exposure, which responsibility I personally and entirely assume, although the step is taken after conference upon its wisdom with some of the most trusted and active anarchists in America.

"Now, then, the facts. And they are facts, though I state them generally, without names, dates, or details.

"The main fact is this: that for nearly two years a large number of the most active members of the German Group of the International Working People's Association in New York City, and of the Social Revolutionary Club, another German organization in that city, have been persistently engaged in getting money by insuring their property for amounts far in excess of the real value thereof, secretly removing everything that they could, setting fire to the premises, swearing to heavy losses, and exacting corresponding sums from the insurance companies. Explosion of kerosene lamps is usually the device which they employ. Some seven or eight fires, at least, of this sort were set in New York and Brooklyn in 1884 by members of the gang, netting the beneficiaries an aggregate profit of thousands of dollars. In 1885 nearly twenty more were set, with equally profitable results. The record for 1886 has reached six already, if not more. The business has been carried on with the most astonishing audacity. One of these men had his premises insured, fired them, and presented his bill of loss to the company within twenty-four hours after getting his policy, and before the agent had reported the policy to the company. The bill was paid, and a few months later the same fellow, under another name, played the game over again, though not quite so speedily. In one of the fires set in 1885 a woman and two children were burned to death. The two guilty parties in this case were members of the Bohemian Group and are now serving life sentences in prison. Another of the fires was started in a six-story tenement house, endangering the lives of hundreds, but fortunately injuring no one but the incendiary. In one case in 1886 the firemen have saved two women whom they found clinging to their bed posts in a half-suffocated condition. In another a man, woman, and baby lost their lives. Three members of the gang are now in jail awaiting trial for murdering and robbing an old woman in Jersey City. Two others are in jail under heavy bail and awaiting trial for carrying concealed weapons and assaulting an officer. They were walking arsenals, and were found under circumstances which lead to the suspicion that they were about to perpetrate a robbery, if not a murder.

"The profits accruing from this 'propagandism by deed' are not even used for the benefit of the movement to which the criminals belong, but go to fill their own empty pockets, and are often spent in reckless, riotous living. The guilty parties are growing bolder and bolder, and, anticipating detection ultimately, a dozen or so of them have agreed to commit perjury in order to involve the innocent as accomplices in their crimes. It is their boast that the active anarchists shall all go to the gallows together."

The history of terrorist tactics in America largely centers about the career of Johann Most. In August Bebel's story of his life he speaks in high terms of the unselfish devotion and sterling character of Most in his early days. "If later on," says Bebel, "under the anti-socialist laws, he went astray and became an anarchist and an advocate of direct action, and finally, although he had been a model of abstinence, ended in the United States as a drunkard, it was all due to the anti-socialist laws, laws which drove him and many others from the country. Had he remained under the influence of the men who were able to guide him and restrain his passionate temper, the party would have possessed in him a most zealous, self-sacrificing, and indefatigable fighter."[12] Most, then, was one of the victims of Bismarck's savage policies, as were also nearly all the other Germans who took part in the sordid crimes related by Tucker. And the Haymarket – the greatest of all American tragedies – leads directly back to the Iron Chancellor and his ferocious inquisition.

A few minor incidents of anarchist activity may be recorded for the following years, but the only acts of importance were the shooting of President McKinley by Czolgosz and the shooting of Henry C. Frick by Alexander Berkman. In the "Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist," Berkman has now told us that as a youth he became a disciple of Bakounin and a fiery member of the Nihilist group. It was after the Homestead strike that Berkman saw a chance to propagate his gospel by a deed. Leaving his home in New York, he went to Pittsburgh for the purpose of killing Henry C. Frick, then head of the Carnegie Steel Company. Berkman made his way into Frick's office, shot at and slightly wounded him. In explanation of this act he says: "In truth, murder and attentat (that is, political assassination) are to me opposite terms. To remove a tyrant is an act of liberation, the giving of life and opportunity to an oppressed people."[13] For this attempt on the life of Frick, Berkman was condemned to a term of imprisonment of twenty-two years. Despite a few isolated outbreaks, it may be said, therefore, that the seeds of anarchism have never taken root in America, just as they have never taken root in Germany or in England. To-day there are no active American terrorists and only a handful of avowed anarchists. In the Latin countries, however, the deeds of terrorism still played a tragic part in the history of the next few years.


[I] See Revolutionäre Kriegswissenschaft.



While Johann Most was sowing the seeds of terrorism in America, his comrades were actively at work in Europe. And, if the tactics of Most led eventually to petty thievery, somewhat the same degeneration was overtaking the Propaganda of the Deed in Europe. Up to 1886 robbery had not yet been adopted as a weapon of the Latin revolutionists. In America, in Austria, and in Russia, the doctrine had been preached and, to a certain extent, practiced, but l'affaire Duval was responsible for its introduction into France. Unlike most of the preceding demonstrations, the act of Duval was essentially an individual one. On October 5, 1886, a large house situated at 31 rue de Monceau, Paris, and occupied by Mme. Herbelin and her daughter, Mme. Madeleine Lemaire, the well-known artist, was robbed and half burned. Some days later, Clément Duval and two accomplices, Didier and Houchard, were arrested as the perpetrators of this act. At first the matter was treated by the newspapers as an ordinary robbery. The Cri du Peuple called it a simple burglary, followed by an incendiary attempt. But after some days, Duval announced himself an anarchist and declared that his act was in harmony with his faith.

On January 11 and 12, 1887, the case came before the court. The discussions were very heated. After M. Fernand Labori, then a very young advocate, who had been appointed to defend Duval, had made his plea, Duval became anxious to defend himself. He threatened, in leaving the prison, to blow up with dynamite the jury and the court, and heaped upon them most abusive language. The president ordered that he should be removed from the court. An enormous tumult then ensued in that part of the hall where the anarchists were massed. "Help! Help! Comrades! Long live Anarchy!" cried Duval. "Long live Anarchy!" answered his comrades. Thirty guards led Duval away, and the verdict was read in the presence of an armed force with fixed bayonets. He was condemned to death and his two accomplices acquitted.

Eight days afterward, on January 23, an indignation meeting against the condemnation of Duval was organized by the anarchists, at which nearly 1,000 were present. Tennevin, Leboucher, and Louise Michel spoke in turn, glorifying Duval. The opposition was taken by a Blanquist, a Normandy citizen, who censured the act of Duval, because such acts, he said, throw discredit on the revolutionists and so retard the hour of the Social Revolution.

Duval's case was appealed to the highest court in France, but the appeal was rejected. The President of the Republic, however, commuted his sentence of capital punishment to enforced labor. Then followed a long period of discussions and violent controversies between the anarchists and the socialists over the whole affair. The anarchists claimed the right of theft on the grounds that it was the beginning of capitalist expropriation and that stolen wealth could aid in propaganda and action. The socialists, on the other hand, protested against this theory with extreme vigor.

After Duval, there is little noteworthy in the terrorist movement for a period of four years, but with May 1, 1891, there began what is known as La Période Tragique. Five notable figures, Decamps, Ravachol, Vaillant, Henry, and Caserio, within a period of three years, performed a series of terrorist acts that cannot be forgotten. Their utter desperation and abandon, the terrible solemnity of their lives, and the almost superhuman efforts they made to bring society to its knees mark the most tragic and heroic period in the history of anarchism. At Levallois-Perret a demonstration was organized by the anarchists for May 1. They brought out their red and black flags, and, when the police attempted to interfere and to take away their banners, they opened fire upon them. Several fell injured, while others returned the fire. The fight continued for some time, until finally reinforcements arrived and the anarchists were subdued. Six of the police and three of the anarchists were severely injured, one of the latter being Decamps, who had received severe blows from a sword. The trial took place in August, and, when Decamps attempted to defend himself, the judge refused to hear him. Finally he and his friends were condemned to prison.

The next year, 1892, the avenger of Decamps appeared. It was the famous Ravachol, who for a time kept all Paris in a state of terror. In the night of February 14 there was a theft of dynamite from the establishment of Soisy-sous-Etioles. On March 11 an explosion shook the house on Boulevard Saint-Germain, in which lived M. Benoît, the judge who had presided in August, 1891, at the trial of Decamps at Levallois. On March 15 a bomb was discovered on the window of the Lobau barracks. On March 27 a bomb was exploded on the first floor of a house on rue de Clichy, occupied by M. Bulot, who had held the office of Public Minister at the trial in Levallois. It was only by chance, on the accusation of a boy by the name of Lhérot, who was employed in a restaurant, that the police eventually captured Ravachol. He admitted having exploded the bombs in rue de Clichy and Boulevard Saint-Germain, "in order to avenge," he said, "the abominable violences committed against our friends, Decamps, Léveillé, and Dardare."[1] On April 26 a bomb was exploded in the restaurant where Lhérot, the informer, worked, killing the proprietor and severely wounding one of the patrons.

The public was thrown into a state of dreadful alarm. The next day, when Ravachol was brought to trial, some awful foreboding seemed to possess those who were present. All Paris was guarded. In spite of the efforts of the Public Minister, the jury spared Ravachol on the ground of extenuating circumstances. It is difficult to say whether it was fear or pity that determined the decision of the jurors. In any case, Ravachol was acquitted, only to be condemned to death a few months later for strangling the hermit of Chambles, and he was then executed.

"What shall one think of Ravachol?" says Prolo in Les Anarchistes. "He assassinated a mendicant, he broke into tombs in order to steal jewels, he manufactured counterfeit money, or, more exactly, substituting himself for the State, he cast five-franc pieces in silver, with the authentic standard, and put them in circulation. Lastly, he dynamited some property. He is of mystical origin. Profoundly religious in his early youth, he embraces with the same ardor, the same passion, and the same spirit of sacrifice the new political theory of equality. He throws himself deliberately outside the limits of the society which he abhors – kills, robs, and avenges his brothers. And let anyone question him, he replies: 'A begging hermit, he is a parasite and should be suppressed. One ought not to bury jewels when children are hungry, when mothers weep, and when men suffer from misery. The State makes money. Is it of good alloy? I make it as the State makes it and of the same alloy! As to dynamite, it is the arm of the weak who avenge themselves or avenge others for the humiliating oppression of the strong and their unconscious accomplices.'"[2]

Although the anarchists accepted Duval and defended his acts, Ravachol was variously appreciated by them. Jean Grave, the French anarchist, and Merlino, the Italian anarchist, both condemned Ravachol. "He is not one of us," declared the latter, "and we repudiate him. His explosions lose their revolutionary character because of his personality, which is unworthy to serve the cause of humanity."[3] Élisée Reclus, on the contrary, wrote of Ravachol in the Sempre Avanti as follows: "I admire his courage, his goodness of heart, his grandeur of soul, the generosity with which he has pardoned his enemies. I know few men who surpass him in generosity. I pass over the question of knowing up to what point it is always desirable to push one's own right to the extreme and whether other considerations, actuated by a sentiment of human solidarity, ought not to make it yield. But I am none the less of those who recognize in Ravachol a hero of a rare grandeur of soul."[4]

In the Entretiens politiques et littéraires, under the title, Eloge de Ravachol, Paul Adam wrote: "Whatever may have been the invectives of the bourgeois press and the tenacity of the magistrates in dishonoring the act of the victim, they have not succeeded in persuading us of his error. After so many judicial debates, chronicles, and appeals to legal murder, Ravachol remains the propagandist of the grand idea of the ancient religions which extolled the quest of individual death for the good of the world, the abnegation of self, of one's life, and of one's fame for the exaltation of the poor and the humble. He is definitely the Renewer of the Essential Sacrifice."[5] Museux, in l'Art social, said: "Ravachol has remained what he at first showed himself, a rebel. He has made the sacrifice of his life for an idea and to cause that idea to pass from a dream into reality. He has recoiled before nothing, claiming the responsibility for his acts. He has been logical from one end to the other. He has given example of a fine character and indomitable energy, at the same time that he has summed up in himself the vague anger of the revolutionists."[6]

Hardly had the people of Paris gotten over their terror of the deeds of Ravachol when August Vaillant endeavored to blow up with dynamite the French Chamber of Deputies. He was a socialist, almost unknown among the anarchists. He said afterward that political-financial scandals were arousing popular anger and that it was necessary to thrust the sword into the heart of public powers, since they could not be conquered peaceably. In order to carry out his plan, he went to Palais-Bourbon, and, when the session opened, Vaillant arose in the gallery to throw his bomb. A woman, perceiving the intentions of the thrower, grasped his arm, causing the bomb to strike a chandelier, with the result that only Abbé Lemire and some spectators were injured. In the midst of commotion, with men stupefied with terror, the president of the Chamber, M. Charles Dupuy, called out the memorable words, "The session continues."

Arraigned before the court, Vaillant was condemned to death. He said in explanation of his act, "I carried this bomb to those who are primarily responsible for social misery."[7] "Gentlemen, in a few minutes you are to deal your blow, but in receiving your verdict I shall have at least the satisfaction of having wounded the existing society, that cursed society in which one may see a single man spending, uselessly, enough to feed thousands of families; an infamous society which permits a few individuals to monopolize all the social wealth, while there are hundreds of thousands of unfortunates who have not even the bread that is not refused to dogs, and while entire families are committing suicide for want of the necessities of life....[8]

"I conclude, gentlemen, by saying that a society in which one sees such social inequalities as we see all about us, in which we see every day suicides caused by poverty, prostitution flaring at every street corner – a society whose principal monuments are barracks and prisons – such a society must be transformed as soon as possible, on pain of being eliminated, and that speedily, from the human race. Hail to him who labors, by no matter what means, for this transformation! It is this idea that has guided me in my duel with authority, but as in this duel I have only wounded my adversary, it is now its turn to strike me."[9]

The Abbé Lemire, Deputy from the North, the only member of the Chamber who had been slightly wounded by the explosion of the bomb, urged the pardon of the condemned man. The socialist Deputies likewise decided to appeal to the pardoning power of the President of the Republic and signed the following petition: "The undersigned, members of the Chamber of Deputies which was made the object of the criminal attempt of December 9, have the honor to address to the President of the Republic a last appeal in favor of the condemned."[10] It has long been the custom in France not to punish an abortive crime with the death penalty, and it was generally believed that Vaillant's sentence would be changed to life imprisonment. President Carnot, however, refused to extend any mercy, and Vaillant was guillotined.

A few days after the execution of Vaillant, a bomb was thrown among some guests who were quietly assembled, listening to the music, in the café of the Hotel Terminus. Several persons were severely wounded. After a fierce struggle with the police, Émile Henry was arrested. In the trial it was learned that he had been responsible for a number of other explosions that had taken place in the two or three years previous. He had attempted to avenge the miners who had been on strike at Carmaux by blowing up the manager of the company. He had deposited the bomb in the office of the company, where it was discovered by the porter. It was brought to the police, where it exploded, killing the secretary and three of his agents. Henry was a silent, lonely man, wholly unknown to the police. Mystical, sentimental, and brooding, he believed that the rich were individually responsible for misery and social wrong. "I had been told that life was easy and with abundant opportunity for all intellects and all energies," he declared at his trial, "but experience has shown me that only the cynics and the servile can make a place for themselves at the banquet. I had been told that social institutions were based on justice and equality, and I have seen about me only lies and deceit. Each day robbed me of an illusion. Everywhere I went I was witness of the same sorrows about us, of the same joys about others. Therefore I was not long in understanding that the words which I had been taught to reverence – honor, devotion, duty – were nothing but a veil concealing the most shameful baseness....

"For an instant I was attracted by socialism; but I was not long in withdrawing myself from that party. I had too much love for liberty, too much respect for individual initiative, too much dislike for incorporation to take a number in the registered army of the Fourth Estate. I brought into the struggle a profound hatred, every day revived by the repugnant spectacle of this society in which everything is sordid, ... in which everything hinders the expansion of human passions, the generous impulses of the heart, the free flight of thought. I have, however, wished, as far as I was able, to strike forcibly and justly.... In this pitiless war which we have declared on the bourgeoisie we ask no pity. We give death and know how to suffer it. That is why I await your verdict with indifference."[11]

In the case of Henry appeals were also made to President Carnot for mercy, but they, too, were ignored, and Henry was guillotined a few days after Vaillant. A month or so later, June 25, President Carnot arrived at Lyons to open an exposition. That evening, while on his way to a theater, he was stabbed to death by the Italian anarchist, Caserio, on the handle of whose stiletto was engraved "Vaillant."

This was the climax to the series of awful tragedies. It would be impossible to picture the utter consternation of the entire French nation. The characters that had figured in this terrible drama were not ordinary men. Their addresses before condemnation were so eloquent and impressive as to awaken lively emotions among the most thoughtful and brilliant men in France. They challenged society. The judge refused Decamps a hearing, and Ravachol undertook individually to destroy the judge. Vaillant, deciding that the lawmakers were responsible for social injustice, undertook with one bomb to destroy them. Henry, feeling that it was not the lawmakers who were responsible, but the rich, careless, and sensual, who in their mastery over labor caused poverty, misery, and all suffering, sought with his bomb to destroy them. Utterly blind to the sentiments which moved these men, the President of the Republic allowed them to be guillotined, and Caserio, stirred to his very depths by what he considered to be the sublime acts of his comrades, stabbed to death the President.

It is hard to pass judgment on lives such as these. One stands bewildered and aghast before men capable of such deeds; and, if they defy frivolous judgment, even to explain them seems beyond the power of one who, in the presence of the same wrongs that so deeply moved them, can still remain inert. Yet is there any escape to the conclusion that all this was utter waste of life and devotion? Far from awakening in their opponents the slightest thought of social wrong, these men, at the expense of their lives, awakened only a spirit of revenge. "An eye for an eye" was now the sentiment of the militants on both sides. All reason and sympathy disappeared, and, instead, every brutal passion had play. Politically and socially, the reactionaries were put in the saddle. Every progressive in France was placed on the defensive. Anyone who hinted of social wrong was ostracized. Cæsarism ruled France, and, through les lois scélérates, every bush was beaten, every hiding-place uncovered, until every anarchist was driven out. The acts of Vaillant and Henry, like the acts of the Chicago anarchists, not only failed utterly as propaganda, they even closed the ear and the heart of the world to everything and anything that was associated, or that could in any manner be connected, with anarchism. They served only one purpose – every malign influence and reactionary element took the acts of these misguided prodigies as a pretext to fasten upon the people still more firmly both social and political injustice. To no one were they so useful as to their enemy.

For three years after this tragic period little noteworthy occurred in the history of terrorism. In Barcelona, Spain, a bomb was thrown, and immediately three hundred men and women were arrested. They were all thrown into prison and subjected to torture. Some were killed, others driven insane, although after a time some were released upon appeals made by the press and by many notables of other countries of Europe. The Prime Minister of Spain, Canovas del Castillo, was chiefly responsible for the torture of the victims. And in 1897 a young Italian, Angiolillo, went to Spain, and, at an interview which he sought with the Prime Minister, shot him. The same year an attempt was made on the life of the king of Greece, and in 1898 the Empress of Austria was assassinated in Switzerland by an Italian named Luccheni. The latter had gone there intending to kill the Duke of York, but, not finding him, decided to destroy the Empress. In 1900 King Humbert of Italy was assassinated by Gaetano Bresci. The latter had been working as a weaver in America, where he had also edited an anarchist paper. He was deeply moved when the story reached him of some soldiers who had shot and killed some peasants, who through hunger had been driven to riot. He demanded money of his comrades in Paterson, New Jersey, and, when he obtained it, hurried back to his native land, where, at Monza, on the 29th of July he shot the King. The next year on September 5, President McKinley was shot in Buffalo by Leon Czolgosz.

No other striking figure appears among the anarchists until 1912. In the early months of that year all Paris was terrified by a series of crimes unexampled, it is said, in Western history. The deeds of Bonnot and his confederates were so reckless, daring, and openly defiant, their escapes so miraculous, and the audacity of their assaults so incredible, that the people of Paris were put in a state bordering on frenzy. Just before the previous Christmas, in broad daylight, on a busy street, the band fell upon a bank messenger. They shot him and took from his wallet $25,000. They then jumped in an automobile and disappeared. A short time later a police agent called upon a chauffeur who was driving at excess speed to stop. It was in the very center of Paris, but instead of slackening his pace one of the occupants of the car drew a revolver, and, firing, killed the officer. A pursuit was organized, but the murderers escaped.

Several other crimes were committed by the band in the next few days, but perhaps the most daring was that of March 25. In the forest of Senart, at eight o'clock in the morning, a band of five men stopped a chauffeur driving a powerful new motor car. They shot the chauffeur and injured his companion. The five men then took the car, and proceeded at great speed to the famous racing center of Chantilly. They went directly to a bank, descended from the car, and shot down the three men in charge of the bank. They then seized from the safe $10,000. A crowd which had gathered was kept back by one of the bandits with a rifle. The others came out, opened fire on the spectators, started the car at its utmost speed, and disappeared.

Not long after, Monsieur Jouin, deputy chief of the Sûreté, and Chief Inspector Colmar were making a domiciliary search in a house near Paris. Instead of finding what they thought, a man crouching beneath a bed sprang upon them, and in the fight Jouin was killed and Colmar severely injured. Bonnot, although injured, escaped by almost miraculous means.

At last, on April 29, the band, which had defied the police force of Paris for four months, was discovered concealed in a garage said to belong to a wealthy anarchist. A body of police besieged the place, and after two police officers were killed a dynamite cartridge was exploded that destroyed the garage. Bonnot was then captured, fighting to the last. The police reported the finding of Bonnot's will, in which he says: "I am a celebrated man.... Ought I to regret what I have done? Yes, perhaps; but I must live my life. So much the worse for idiotic and imbecile society.... I am not more guilty," he continues, "than the sweaters who exploit poor devils."[12] His final thought, it is said, was for his accomplices, both of whom were women, one his mistress, the other the manager of the Journal Anarchie.



Such is the tragic story of barely forty years of terrorism in Western Europe. It reads far more like lurid fiction than the cold facts of history. Yet these amazing irreconcilables actually lived – in our time – and fought, at the cost of their lives, the entire organization of society. Surely few other periods in history can show a series of characters so daring, so bitter, so bent on destruction and annihilation. Bakounin, Nechayeff, Most, Lingg, Duval, Decamps, Ravachol, Henry, Vaillant, Caserio, and Luccheni – these bewildering rebels – individually waged their deadly conflict with the world. With the weakness of their one single life in revolt against society – protected as it is by countless thousands of police, millions of armed men, and all its machinery for defense – these amazing creatures fought their fight and wrote their page of protest in the world's history. Think of it as we will, this we know, that the world cannot utterly ignore men who lay down their lives for any cause. Men may write and agitate, they may scream never so shrilly about the wrongs of the world, but when they go forth to fight single-handed and to die for what they preach they have at least earned the right to demand of society an inquiry.

What was it that drove these men to violence? Was it the teachings of Bakounin, of Nechayeff, and of Most? Their writings have been read and pondered over by thousands of yearning and impressionable minds. They have been drink to the thirsty and food to the hungry. Yet one anarchist at least denies that the writings of these terrorists have moved men to violence. "My contention is," says Emma Goldman, "that they were impelled, not by the teachings of anarchism, but by the tremendous pressure of conditions, making life unbearable to their sensitive natures."[1] Returning again to the same thought, she exclaims, "How utterly fallacious the stereotyped notion that the teachings of anarchism, or certain exponents of these teachings, are responsible for the acts of political violence."[2] To this indefatigable propagandist of anarchist doctrine, those who have been led into homicidal violence are "high strung, like a violin string." "They weep and moan for life, so relentless, so cruel, so terribly inhuman. In a desperate moment the string breaks."[3]

Yet, if it be true that doctrines have naught to do with the spread of terrorism, why is it that among many million socialists there are almost no terrorists, while among a few thousand anarchists there are many terrorists? The pressure of adverse social conditions is felt as keenly by the socialists as by the anarchists. The one quite as much as the other is a rebel against social ills. The indictment made by the socialists against political and economic injustice is as far-reaching as that of the anarchists. Why then does not the socialist movement produce terrorists? Is it not that the teachings of Marx and of all his disciples dwell upon the folly of violence, the futility of riots, the madness of assassination, while, on the other hand, the teachings of Bakounin, of Nechayeff, of Kropotkin, and of Most advocate destructive violence as a creative force? "Extirpate the wretches!" cries Most. "Make robbers our allies!" says Nechayeff. "Propagate the gospel by a deed!" urges Kropotkin, and throughout Bakounin's writings there appears again and again the plea for "terrible, total, inexorable, and universal destruction." Both socialists and anarchists preach their gospel to the weary and heavy-laden, to the despondent and the outraged, who may readily be led to commit acts of despair. They have, after all, little to lose, and their life, at present unbearable, can be made little worse by punishment. Yet millions of the miserable have come into the socialist movement to hear the fiercest of indictments against capitalism, and it is but rare that one becomes a terrorist. What else than the teachings of anarchism and of socialism can explain this difference?

Unquestionably, socialism and anarchism attract distinctly different types, who are in many ways alien to each other. Their mental processes differ. Their nervous systems jar upon each other. Even physically they have been known to repel each other. Born of much the same conditions, they fought each other in the cradle. From the very beginning they have been irreconcilable, and with perfect frankness they have shown their contempt for each other. About the kindest criticism that the socialist makes of the anarchist is that he is a child, while the anarchist is convinced that the socialist is a Philistine and an inbred conservative who, should he ever get power, would immediately hang the anarchists.[J] They are traditional enemies, who seem utterly incapable of understanding each other. Intellectually, they fail to grasp the meaning of each other's philosophy. It is but rare that a socialist, no matter how conscientious a student, will confess he fully understands anarchism. On the other hand, no one understands the doctrines of socialism so little as the anarchist. It is possible, therefore, that the same conditions which drive the anarchist to terrorist acts lead the socialist to altogether different methods, but the reasonable and obvious conclusion would be that teachings and doctrines determine the methods that each employ.

The anarchist is, as Emma Goldman says, "high strung." His ear is tuned to hear unintermittently the agonized cry. To follow the imagery of Shelley, he seems to be living in a "mind's hell,"[4] wherein hate, scorn, pity, remorse, and despair seem to be tearing out the nerves by their bleeding roots. Björnstjerne Björnson, François Coppée, Émile Zola, and many other great writers have sought to depict the psychology of the anarchist, but I think no one has approached the poet Shelley, who had in himself the heart of the anarchist. He was a son-in-law and a disciple of William Godwin, one of the fathers of anarchism. "Prometheus Unbound," "The Revolt of Islam," and "The Mask of Anarchy," are expressions of the very soul of Godwin's philosophy. Shelley was "cradled into poetry by wrong," as a multitude of other unhappy men are cradled into terrorism by wrong. He was "as a nerve o'er which do creep the else unfelt oppressions of this earth," and he "could moan for woes which others hear not." He, too, "could ... with the poor and trampled sit and weep."[5] There is in nearly all anarchists this supersensitiveness, this hyperæsthesia that leads to ecstasy, to hysteria, and to fanaticism. It is a neuropathy that has led certain scientists, like Lombroso and Krafft-Ebbing, to suggest that some anarchist crimes can only be looked upon as a means to indirect suicide. They are outbursts that lead to a spectacular martyr-like ending to brains that "too much thought expands," to hearts overladen, and to nerves all unstrung. Life is a burden to them, though they lack the courage to commit suicide directly. Such is the view of these students of criminal pathology, and they cite a long list of political criminals who can only be explained as those who have sought indirectly self-destruction. It is a type of insanity that leads to acts which seem sublime to others in a state of like torture both of mind and of nerves.

This explains no doubt the acts of some terrorists, and at the same time it condemns the present attitude of society toward the terrorist. Think of hanging the tormented soul who could say as he was taken to the gallows: "I went away from my native place because I was frequently moved to tears at seeing little girls of eight or ten years obliged to work fifteen hours a day for the paltry pay of twenty centimes. Young women of eighteen or twenty also work fifteen hours daily for a mockery of remuneration....

"I have observed that there are a great many people who are hungry, and many children who suffer, while bread and clothes abound in the towns. I saw many and large shops full of clothing and woolen stuffs, and I also saw warehouses full of wheat and Indian corn, suitable for those who are in want."[6] When such a tortured spirit is driven to homicide, how is it possible for society to demand and take that life? Shall we admit that there is a duel between society and these souls deranged by the wrongs of society? "In this duel," said Vaillant, "I have only wounded my adversary, it is now his turn to strike me."[7] It is tragic enough that a poor and desperate soul, like Vaillant, should have felt himself in deadly combat with society, but how much more tragic it is for society to admit that fact, accept the challenge, and take that life! "If you cannonade us, we shall dynamite you," said Louis Lingg.[8] And we answer, "If you dynamite us, we shall cannonade you." And in so far as this is our sole attitude toward these rebels, wherein are we superior? For Lingg to say that was at least heroic. For us so to answer is not even heroic. Our paid men see to it. It is done as a matter of course and forgotten.

These men say that justice exists only for the powerful, that the poor are robbed, and that "the lamp of their soul" is put out. They beg us to listen, and we will not. They ask us to read, and we will not. "It takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear," said Vaillant. They then give all they have to execute one dreadful deed of propaganda in order to awaken us. Must even this fail? We can hang them, but can we forget them? After every deed of the anarchists the press, the police, and the pulpit carry on for weeks a frenzied discussion over their atrocities. The lives of these Propagandists of the Deed are then crushed out, and in a few months even their names are forgotten. There seems to be an innate dread among us to seek the causes that lie at the bottom of these distressing symptoms of our present social régime. We prefer, it seems, to become like that we contemplate. We seek to terrorize them, as they seek to terrorize us. As the anarchist believes that oppression may be ended by the murder of the oppressor, so society cherishes the thought that anarchism may be ended by the murder of the anarchist. Are not our methods in truth the same, and can any man doubt that both are equally futile and senseless? Both the anarchy of the powerful and the anarchy of the weak are stupid and abortive, in that they lead to results diametrically opposed to the ends sought. Tennyson was never nearer a great social truth than when he wrote:

"He that roars for liberty Faster binds a tyrant's power; And the tyrant's cruel glee Forces on the freer hour."[9]

No one perhaps is better qualified than Lombroso to speak on the present punitive methods of society as a direct cause of terrorism. "Punishment," he says, "far from being a palliative to the fanaticism and the nervous diseases of others, exalts them, on the contrary, by exciting their altruistic aberration and their thirst for martyrdom. In order to heal these anarchist wounds there is, according to some statesmen, nothing but hanging on the gallows and prison. For my part, I consider it just indeed to take energetic measures against the anarchists. However, it is not necessary to go so far as to take measures which are merely the result of momentary reactions, measures which thus become as impulsive as the causes which have produced them and in their turn a source of new violence.

"For example, I am not an unconditional adversary of capital punishment, at least when it is a question of the criminal born, whose existence is a constant danger to worthy people. Consequently, I should not have hesitated to condemn Pini[K] and Ravachol. On the other hand, I believe that capital punishment or severe or merely ignominious penalties are not suited to the crimes and the offenses of the anarchists in general. First, many of them are mentally deranged, and for these it is the asylum, and not death or the gallows, that is fitting. It is necessary also to take account, in the case of some of these criminals, of their noble altruism which renders them worthy of certain regard. Many of these people are souls that have gone astray and are hysterical, like Vaillant and Henry, who, had they been engaged in some other cause, far from being a danger, would have been able to be of use in this society which they wished to destroy....

"As to indirect suicides, is it not to encourage them and to make them attain the end that they desire when we inflict on all those so disposed a spectacular death?... For many criminals by passion, unbalanced by an inadequate education, and whose feeling is aroused by either their own misery or at the sight of the misery of others, we would no more award the death penalty if the motive has been exclusively political, because they are much less dangerous than the criminal born. On the other hand, commitment to the asylum of the epileptic and the hysteric would be a practical measure, especially in France, where ridicule kills them. Martyrs are venerated and fools are derided."[10]

Of course, Lombroso is endeavoring to prescribe a method of treatment for the terrorist that will not breed more terrorists. He sees in the present punitive methods an active cause of violence. However, it is perhaps impossible to hope that society will adopt any different attitude than that which it has taken in the past toward these unbalanced souls. In fact, it seems that a savage lex talionis is wholly satisfying to the feudists on both sides. Neither the one nor the other seeks to understand the forces driving them both. They are bent on destroying each other, and they will probably continue in that struggle for a long time to come. However, if we learn little from those actually engaged in the conflict, there are those outside who have labored earnestly to understand and explain the causes of terrorism. Ethics, religion, psychology, criminal pathology, sociology, economics, jurisprudence – all contribute to the explanation. And, while it is not possible to go into the entire matter as exhaustively as one could wish, there are several points which seem to make clear the cause of this almost individual struggle between the anarchists above and the anarchists below.

Some of those who have written of the causes of terrorism have a partisan bias. There are those among the Catholic clergy, for instance, who have sought to place the entire onus on the doctrines of modern socialism. This has, in turn, led August Bebel to point out that the teachings of certain famous men in the Church have condoned assassination. He reminds us of Mariana, the Jesuit, who taught under what circumstances each individual has a right to take the life of a tyrant. His work, De Rege et Rege Constitutione, was famous in its time. Lombroso tells us that "the Jesuits ... who even to-day sustain the divine right of kings, when the kings themselves believe in it no longer, revolted at one time against the princes who were not willing to follow them in their misonéique and retrograde fanaticism and hurled themselves into regicide. Thus three Jesuits were executed in England in 1551 for complicity in a conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and two others in 1605 in connection with the powder plot. In France, Père Guignard was beheaded for high treason against Henry IV. (1595). Some Jesuits were beheaded in Holland for the conspiracies against Maurice de Nassau (1598); and, later in Portugal, after the attempt to assassinate King Joseph (1757), three of the Jesuits were implicated; and in Spain (1766) still others were condemned for their conspiracy against Ferdinand IV.

"During the same period two Jesuits were hanged in Paris as accomplices in the attempt against Louis XV. When they did not take an active part in political crimes, they exercised indirectly their influence by means of a whole series of works approving regicide or tyrannicide, as they were pleased to distinguish it in their books. Mariana, in his book, De Rege et Rege Constitutione, praises Clément and apologizes for regicide; and that, in spite of the fact that the Council of Constance had condemned the maxim according to which it was permitted to kill a tyrant."[L][11]

That the views of Mariana were very similar to those of the terrorists will be seen by the following quotation from his famous book: "It is a question," he writes, in discussing the best means of killing a king, "whether it is more expedient to use poison or the dagger. The use of poison in the food has a great advantage in that it produces its effect without exposing the life of the one who has recourse to this method. But such a death would be a suicide, and one is not permitted to become an accomplice to a suicide. Happily, there is another method available, that of poisoning the clothing, the chairs, the bed. This is the method that it is necessary to put into execution in imitation of the Mauritanian kings, who, under the pretext of honoring their rivals with gifts, sent them clothes that had been sprinkled with an invisible substance, with which contact alone has a fatal effect."[12]

It has also been pointed out that, although Catholics have rarely been given to revolutionary political and economic theories, the Mafia and the Camorra in Italy, the Fenians in Ireland, and the Molly Maguires in America were all organizations of Catholics which pursued the same terrorist tactics that we find in the anarchist movement. These are unquestionable facts, yet they explain nothing. Certainly Zenker is justified in saying, "The deeds of people like Jacques Clément, Ravaillac, Corday, Sand, and Caserio, are all of the same kind; hardly anyone will be found to-day to maintain that Sand's action followed from the views of the Burschenschaft, or Clément's from Catholicism, even when we learn that Sand was regarded by his fellows as a saint, as was Charlotte Corday and Clément, or even when learned Jesuits like Sa, Mariana, and others, cum licentia et approbatione superiorum, in connection with Clément's outrage, discussed the question of regicide in a manner not unworthy of Nechayeff or Most."[13] It therefore ill becomes the Catholic clergy to attack socialism on the ground of regicide, as not one socialist book or one socialist leader has ever yet been known to advocate even tyrannicide. On the other hand, while terrorism has been extraordinarily prevalent in Catholic countries, such as France, Italy, and Spain, no socialist will seriously seek to lay the blame on the Catholic Church. The truth is that the forces which produce terrorism affect the Catholic mind as they affect the Protestant mind. In every struggle for liberty and justice against religious, political, or industrial oppression, some men are moved to take desperate measures regardless of whether they are Catholics, Protestants, or pagans.

Still other seekers after the causes of terrorism have pointed out that the ethics of our time appear to justify the terrorist and his tactics. History glorifies the deeds of numberless heroes who have destroyed tyrants. The story of William Tell is in every primer, and every schoolboy is thrilled with the tale of the hero who shot from ambush Gessler, the tyrant.[M] From the Old Testament down to even recent history, we find story after story which make immortal patriots of men who have committed assassination in the belief that they were serving their country. And can anyone doubt that Booth when he shot President Lincoln[N] or that Czolgosz when he murdered President McKinley was actuated by any other motive than the belief that he was serving a cause? It was the idea of removing an industrial tyrant that actuated young Alexander Berkman when he shot Henry C. Frick, of the Carnegie Company. These latter acts are not recorded in history as heroic, simply and solely because the popular view was not in sympathy with those acts. Yet had they been committed at another time, under different conditions, the story of these men might have been told for centuries to admiring groups of children.

In Carlyle's "Hero Worship" and in his philosophy of history, the progress of the world is summarized under the stories of great men. Certain individuals are responsible for social wrongs, while other individuals are responsible for the great revolutions that have righted those wrongs. In the building up, as well as in the destruction of empires, the individual plays stupendous rôles. This egocentric interpretation of history has not only been the dominant one in explaining the great political changes of the past, it is now the reasoning of the common mind, of the yellow press, of the demagogue, in dealing with the causes of the evils of the present day. The Republican Party declared that President McKinley was responsible for prosperity; by equally sound reasoning Czolgosz may have argued that he was responsible for social misery. According to this theory, Rockefeller is the giant mind that invented the trusts; political bosses such as Croker and Murphy are the infamous creatures who fasten upon a helpless populace of millions of souls a Tammany Hall; Bismarck created modern Germany; Lloyd George created social reform in England; while Tom Mann in England and Samuel Gompers in America are responsible for strikes; and Keir Hardie and Eugene Debs responsible for socialism. The individual who with great force of ability becomes the foremost figure in social, political, or industrial development is immediately assailed or glorified. He becomes the personification of an evil thing that must be destroyed or of a good thing that must be protected. It is a result of such reasoning that men ignorant of underlying social, political, or industrial forces seek to obstruct the processes of evolution by removing the individual. On this ground the anarchists have been led to remove hundreds of police officials, capitalists, royalties, and others. They have been poisoned, shot, and dynamited, in the belief that their removal would benefit humanity. Yet nothing would seem to be quite so obvious as the fact that their removal has hardly caused a ripple in the swiftly moving current of evolution. Others, often more forceful and capable, have immediately stepped into their places, and the course of events has remained unchanged.

Speaking on this subject, August Bebel refers to the hero-worship of Bismarck in Germany: "There is no other person whom the social democracy had so much reason to hate as him, and the social democracy was not more hated by anybody than by just that Bismarck. Our love and our hatred were, as you see, mutual. But one would search in vain the entire social democratic press and literature for an expression of the thought that it would be a lucky thing if that man were removed.... But how often did the capitalist press express the idea that, were it not for Bismarck, we would not, to this day, have a united Germany? There cannot be a more mistaken idea than this. The unity of Germany would have come without Bismarck. The idea of unity and liberty was in the sixties so powerful among all the German people that it would have been realized, with or without the assistance of the Hohenzollerns. The unity of Germany was not only a political but an economic necessity, primarily in the interests of the capitalist class and its development. The idea of unity would have ultimately broken through with elementary force. At this juncture Bismarck made use of the tendency, in his own fashion, in the interest of the Hohenzollern dynasty, and at the same time in the interest of the capitalist class and of the Junkers, the landed nobility. The offspring of this compromise is the Constitution of the German Empire, the provisions of which strive to reconcile the interests of these three factors. Finally, even a man like Bismarck had to leave his post. 'What a misfortune for Germany!' cried the press devoted to him. Well, what has happened to Germany since then? Even Bismarck himself could not have ruled it much differently than it has been ruled since his days."[14]

This egoistic conception of history is carried to its most violent extreme by the anarchists. The principles of Nechayeff are a series of prescriptions by which fearless and reckless individuals may destroy other individuals. Ravachol, Vaillant, and Henry seemed obsessed with the idea that upon their individual acts rested the burden of deliverance. Bonnot's last words were, "I am a celebrated man." From the gallows in Chicago Fischer declared, "This is the happiest moment of my life."[15] "Call your hangman!" exclaimed August Spies. "Truth crucified in Socrates, in Christ, in Giordano Bruno, in Huss, in Galileo, still lives – they and others whose name is legion have preceded us on this path. We are ready to follow!"[16] Fielden said: "I have loved my fellowmen as I have loved myself. I have hated trickery, dishonesty, and injustice. The nineteenth century commits the crime of killing its best friend."[17] It is singularly impressive, in reading the literature of anarchism, to weigh the last words of men who felt upon their souls the individual responsibility of saving humanity. They have uttered memorable words because of their inherent sincerity, their devout belief in the individual, in his power for evil, and in his power to remove that evil.

In many anarchists, however, this deification of the individual induces a morbid and diseased egotism which drives them to the most amazing excesses; among others, the yearning to commit some memorable act of revolt in order to be remembered. In fact, the ego in its worst, as well as in its best aspect, dominates the thought and the literature of anarchism. Max Stirner, considered by some the founder of philosophical anarchism, calls his book "The Ego and His Own." "Whether what I think and do is Christian," he writes, "what do I care? Whether it is human, liberal, humane, whether unhuman, illiberal, inhuman, what do I ask about that? If only it accomplishes what I want, if only I satisfy myself in it, then overlay it with predicates as you will; it is all alike to me."[18] "Consequently my relation to the world is this: I no longer do anything for it 'for God's sake,' I do nothing 'for man's sake,' but what I do I do 'for my sake.'"[19] "Where the world comes in my way – and it comes in my way everywhere – I consume it to quiet the hunger of my egoism. For me you are nothing but – my food, even as I, too, am fed upon and turned to use by you."[20]

Here society is conceived of as merely a collection of egos. The world is a history of gods and of devils. All the evils of the time are embodied in individual tyrants. Some of these individuals control the social forces, others the political, still others the industrial forces. As individuals, they overpower and enslave their individual enemies. Remove a man and you destroy the source of tyranny. A judge commits a man to death, and the judge is dynamited. A Prime Minister sends the army to shoot down striking workmen and the Prime Minister is shot. A law is passed violating the rights of free speech, and, following that, an Emperor is shot. The rich exploit the poor, and a fanatic throws a bomb in the first café he passes to revenge the poor. Wicked and unjust laws are made, and Vaillant goes in person to the Chamber of Deputies to throw his bomb. The police of Chicago murder some hungry strikers, and an avenger goes to the Haymarket to murder the police. In all these acts we find a point of view in harmony with the dominant one of our day. It is the one taught in our schools, in our pulpits, on our political platforms, and in our press. It is the view, carried to an extreme, of that man or group of men who believes that the ideas of individuals determine social evolution. Nothing could be more logical to the revolutionist who holds this view than to seek to remove those individuals who are responsible for the existing order of society. As a rule, the socialist stands almost alone in combating this ideological interpretation of history and of social evolution.

There is something in the nature of poetic irony in the fact that the anarchist should take the very ethics of capitalism and reduce them to an absurdity. It is something in the nature of a satire, sordid and terrible, which the realism of things has here written. The very most cherished ethical ideals of our society are used by the bitterest enemies of that society to arouse the wronged to individual acts of revenge. Quite a number of notable anarchists have been the product of misery and oppression. Their souls were warped, and their minds distorted in childhood by hunger and brutality. They were wronged terribly by the world, and anarchism came to them as a welcome spirit, breathing revenge. It taught that the world was wrong, that injustice rode over it like a nightmare, that misery flourished in the midst of abundance, that multitudes labored with bent backs to produce luxuries for the few. Their eyes were opened to the wrong of hunger, poverty, unemployment, of woman and child labor, and of all the miseries that press heavily upon human souls. And in their revolt they saw kings, judges, police officials, legislators, captains of industry, who were said to be directly responsible for these social ills. It was not society or a system or even a class that was to blame; it was McKinley, or Carnot, or Frick. And those whom some worshiped as heroes, these men loathed as tyrants.

The powerful have thought to deprive the poor of souls. They have liked to think that they would forever bear their cross in peace. Yet when anarchism comes and touches the souls of the poor it finds not dead blocks of wood or mere senseless cogs in an industrial machine; it finds the living, who can pray and weep, love and hate. No matter how scared their souls become, there is yet a possibility that their whole beings may revolt under wrong. When the anarchist deifies even the veriest wreck of society – this individual, "this god, though in the germ" – when he inflames it with dignity and with pride, when he fills its whole being with a thirst for awful and incredible vengeance, you have Duval, Lingg, Ravachol, Luccheni, and Bonnot. Add to their desire for revenge the philosophy of anarchism and of our schoolbooks, that individuals are the makers of history, and the result is terrorism.

Other students of terrorism have noted the prevalence of violence in those countries and times where the courts are corrupt, where the law is brutal and oppressive, or where men are convinced that no available machinery exists to execute the ends of justice. This latter is the explanation given for the numerous lynchings in America and also for the practices of "popular justice" that used to be a common feature of frontier life. In the absence of a properly constituted legal machinery groups of men undertake to shoot, hang, or burn those whom they consider dangerous to the public weal. In Russia it was inevitable that a terrorist movement should arise. The courts were corrupt, the bureaucracy oppressive. Furthermore, no form of freedom existed. Men could neither speak nor write their views. They could not assemble, and until recently they did not possess the slightest voice in the affairs of government. Borne down by a most hideous oppression, the terrorist was the natural product. The same conditions have existed to an extent in Italy, and probably no other country has produced so many violent anarchists. Caserio, Luccheni, Bresci, and Angiolillo have been mentioned, but there are others, such as Santoro, Mantica, Benedicti, although these latter are accused of being police agents. In Italy the people have for centuries individually undertaken to execute their conception of equity. Official justice was too costly to be available to the poor, and the courts were too corrupt to render them justice. For centuries, therefore, men have been considered justified in murdering their personal enemies. Among all classes it has long been customary to deal individually with those who have committed certain crimes. The horrible legal conditions existing in both Spain and Italy have developed among these peoples the idea of "self-help." They have taken law into their own hands, and, according to their lights and passions, have meted out their rude justice. Assassination has been defended in these countries, as lynching has been defended recently, as some will remember, by a most eminent American anarchist, the Governor of South Carolina.

Lombroso says in his exhaustive study of the causes of violence, Les Anarchistes: "History is rich in examples of the complicity of criminality and politics, and where one sees in turn political passion react on criminal instinct and criminal instinct on political passion. While Pompey has on his side all honest people – Cato, Brutus, Cicero; Cæsar, more popular than he, has as his followers only degenerates – Antony, a libertine and drunkard; Curio, a bankrupt; Clelius, a madman; Dolabella, who made his wife die of grief and who wanted to annul all debts; and, above all, Catiline and Clodius. In Greece the Clefts, who are brigands in time of peace, have valiantly championed the independence of their country. In Italy, in 1860, the Papacy and the Bourbons hired brigands to oppose the national party and its troops; the Mafia of Sicily rose up with Garibaldi; and the Camorra of Naples coöperated with the liberals. And this shameful alliance with the Camorra of Naples is not yet dissolved; the last parliamentary struggles relative to the acts of the government of Naples have given us a sad echo of it – which, alas, proves that it still lasts without hope of change for the future. It is especially at the initial stages of revolutions that these sorts of people abound. It is then, indeed, that the abnormal and unhealthy spirits predominate over the faltering and the weak and drag them on to excesses by an actual epidemic of imitation."[21]

Marx and Engels saw very clearly the part that the criminal elements would play in any uprising, and as early as 1847 they wrote in the Communist Manifesto: "The 'dangerous class,' the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue."[22] The truth of this statement has been amply illustrated in the numerous outbreaks that have occurred since it was written. The use by the Bakouninists in Spain of the criminal elements there, the repeated exploits of the police agents in discrediting every uprising by encouraging the criminal elements to outrageous acts, and the terrible barbarities of the criminal classes at the time of the Paris Commune are all examples of how useful to reaction the rotting layers of old society may become. Even when they do not serve as a bribed tool of the reactionary elements, their atrocities, both cruel and criminal, repel the self-respecting and conscientious elements. They discredit the real revolutionists, who must bear the stigma that attaches to the inhuman acts of the "dangerous class."

That the European governments have used the terrorists in exactly this manner in order to discredit popular movements, is not, I think, open to any question. The money of the anarchists' bitterest enemy has helped to make anarchy so well known. The politics of Machiavelli is the politics of nearly every old established European government. It is the politics of families who have been trained in the profession of rulership. And this mastership, as William Morris has said, has many shifts. And one that has been most useful to them is that of subsidizing those persons or elements who by their acts promote reaction. In Russia it is an old custom to foment and provoke minor insurrections. Police agents enter a discontented district and do all possible to irritate the troublesome elements and to force them "to come into the street." In this manner the agitators and leaders are brought to the front, where at one stroke they may all be shot. Furthermore, the police agents themselves commit or provoke such atrocious crimes that the people are terrified and welcome the strong arm of the Government. Literally scores of instances might be given where, by well-planned work of this sort, the active leaders are cut down, the sources of agitation destroyed, and through the robberies, murders, and dynamite outrages of police agents the people are so terrified that they welcome the intervention of even tyranny itself.

An immense sensation throughout Europe was created by an address by Jules Guesde in the French Chamber of Deputies, the 19th of July, 1894. The deeds of Ravachol, Vaillant, and Henry were still the talk of Europe, and, three weeks before, the President of the Republic had been stabbed to death by Caserio. It was in that critical period, amidst commotions, interruptions, protests, and exclamations of amazement, that Guesde brought out his evidence that the chief of police of Paris had paid regular subsidies to promote and extend both the preaching and the practice of violent anarchism. He introduced, in support of his remarks, portions from the Memoirs of M. Andrieux, our old friend of Lyons and later the head of the Paris police. "The anarchists," says Andrieux, "wished to have a newspaper to spread their doctrines. If I fought their Propaganda of the Deed, I at least favored the spread of their doctrines by means of the press, and I have no reasons for depriving myself longer of their gratitude.[O] The companions were looking for some one to advance funds, but infamous capital was in no hurry to reply to their appeal. I shook it up and succeeded in persuading it that it was for its own interest to aid in the publication of an anarchist newspaper....

"But do not think that I boldly offered to the anarchists the encouragement of the Prefect of Police.... I sent a well-dressed bourgeois to one of the most active and intelligent of them. He explained that, having acquired a fortune in the drug business, he desired to devote a part of his income to help their propaganda. This bourgeois, anxious to be devoured, awakened no suspicion among the companions. Through his hands, I deposited the caution money in the coffers of the State, and the paper, la Révolution Sociale, made its appearance.... Every day, about the table of the editors, the authorized representatives of the party of action assembled; they looked over the international correspondence; they deliberated on the measures to be taken to end 'the exploitation of man by man'; they imparted to each other the recipes which science puts at the disposal of revolution. I was always represented in the councils, and I gave my advice in case of need.... The members had decided in the beginning that the Palais-Bourbon must be blown up. They deliberated on the question as to whether it would not be more expedient to commence with some more accessible monument. The Bank of France, the palais de l'Élysée, the house of the prefect of police, the office of the Minister of the Interior were all discussed, then abandoned, by reason of the too careful surveillance of which they were the object."[23] Toward the end of his address, Guesde turned to the reactionaries, and said: "I have shown you that everywhere, from the beginning of the anarchist epidemic in France, you find either the hand or the money of one of your prefects of police.... That is how you have fought in the past this anarchistic danger of which you make use to-day to commit, what shall I say?... real crimes, not only against socialism, but against the Republic itself."[24]

For the last forty years police agents have swarmed into the socialist, the anarchist, and the trade-union movements for the purpose of provoking violence. The conditions grew so bad in Russia that every revolutionist suspected his comrade. Many loyal revolutionists were murdered in the belief that they were spies. In the belief that they were comrades, the faithful intrusted their innermost secrets to the agents of the police. Every plan they made was known. Every undertaking proved abortive, because the police knew everything in advance and frequently had in charge of every plot their own men. Criminals were turned into the movement under the surveillance of the police.[P] All through the days of the International it was a common occurrence to expose police spies, and in every national party agents of the police have been discovered and driven out. It has become almost a rule, in certain sections of the socialist and labor movements, that the man who advocates violence must be watched, and there are numerous instances where such men have been proved to be paid agents of the police. Joseph Peukert was for many years one of the foremost leaders of the anarchists. He was in Vienna with Stellmacher and Kammerer, and devoted much of his time to translating into German the works of foreign anarchists. It was only discovered toward the end of his life that during all this time he was in the employ of the Austrian police.

These and similar startling facts were brought out by August Bebel in an address delivered in Berlin, November 2, 1898. Luccheni had just murdered the Empress of Austria, and the German reactionaries attempted, of course, to connect him with the socialists. Bebel created utter consternation in their camp when, as a part of his address, he showed the active participation of high officials in crimes of the anarchists. "And how often," said Bebel, "police agents have helped along in the attempted or executed assassinations of the last decades. When Bismarck was Federal Ambassador at Frankfort-on-the-Main he wrote to his wife: 'For lack of material the police agents lie and exaggerate in a most inexcusable manner.' These agents are engaged to discover contemplated assassinations. Under these circumstances, the bad fellows among them ... come easily to the idea: 'If other people don't commit assassinations, then we ourselves must help the thing along.' For, if they cannot report that there is something doing, they will be considered superfluous, and, of course, they don't want that to happen. So they 'help the thing along' by 'correcting luck,' as the French proverb puts it. Or they play politics on their own score.

"To demonstrate this I need only to remind you of the 'reminiscences' of Andrieux, the former Chief of Police of Paris, in which he brags with the greatest cynicism of how he, by aid of police funds, subsidized extreme Anarchist papers and organized Anarchist assassinations, just to give a thorough scare to rich citizens. And then there is that notorious Police Inspector Melville, of London, who also operated on these lines. That was revealed by the investigation of the so-called Walsall attempt at assassination. Among the assassinations committed by the Fenians there were also some that were the work of the police, as was shown at the Parnell trial. Everybody remembers how much of such activity was displayed in Belgium during the eighties by that prince of scoundrels, Pourbaix. Even the Minister Bernaard himself was compelled to admit before the Parliament that Pourbaix was paid to arrange assassinations in order to justify violent persecutions of the Social Democracy. Likewise was Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, nicknamed the 'bomb-baron,' unmasked as a police agent at the trial of the Luttich Anarchists.

"And then – our own good friends at the time of the [anti-] Socialist law. About them I myself could tell you some interesting stories, for I was among those who helped to unmask them. There is Schroeder-Brennwald, of Zurich, the chap who was receiving from Molkenmarkt, through police counsellor Krueger, a monthly salary of at first 200 and then 250 marks. At every meeting in Zurich this Schroeder was stirring up people and putting them up to commit acts of violence. But to guard against expulsion from Switzerland by the authorities of that country, he first acquired citizenship in Switzerland, presumably by means of funds furnished by the police of Prussia. During the summer of 1883 Schroeder and the police-Anarchist Kaufman called and held in Zurich a conference participated in by thirteen persons. Schroeder acted as chairman. At that conference plans were laid for the assassinations which were later committed in Vienna, Stuttgart, and Strassburg by Stellmacher, Kammerer, and Kumitzsch. I am not informed that these unscrupulous scoundrels, although they were in the service of the police, had informed the police commissioner that those murders were being contemplated.... Men like Stellmacher and Kammerer paid for their acts with their lives on the gallows. When [Johann] Most was serving a term in a prison in England, this same police spy Schroeder had Most's 'Freiheit' published at Schaffhausen, Switzerland, at his own expense. The money surely did not come out of his own pocket.

"That was a glorious time when [we unmasked this Schroeder and the other police organizer of plots, Haupt, to whom] the police counsellor Krueger wrote that he knew the next attempt on the life of the Czar of Russia would be arranged in Geneva, and he should send in reports. Was this demand not remarkable in the highest degree? And now Herr von Ehrenberg, the former colonel of artillery of Baden!... This fellow was unquestionably for good reason suspected of having betrayed to the General Staff of Italy the fortifications of Switzerland at St. Gotthard. When his residence was searched it was brought to light that Herr von Ehrenberg worked also in the employ of the Prussian police. He gave regularly written reports of conversations which he claimed to have had with our comrades, including me. Only in those alleged conversations the characters were reversed. We were represented as advocating the most reckless criminal plans, which in reality he himself suggested and defended, while he pictured himself in those reports as opposing the plans.... What would have happened if some day those reports had fallen into the hands of certain persons – and that was undoubtedly the purpose – and, if accused, we had no witnesses to prove the spy committed perfidy? Thus, for instance, he attempted to convince me – but in his records claimed that it was I who proposed it – that it would be but child's play to find out the residences of the higher military officers in all the greater cities of Germany, then, in one night, send out our best men and have all those officers murdered simultaneously. In four articles published in the 'Arbeiterstimme,' of Zurich, he explained in a truly classical manner how to conduct a modern street battle, what to do to get the best of artillery and cavalry. At meetings he urged the collection of funds to buy arms for our people. As soon as war broke out with France our comrades from Switzerland, according to him, should break into Baden and Wuerttemberg, should there tear up the tracks and confiscate the contents of the postal and railroad treasuries. And this man, who urged me to do all that, was, as I said, in the employ of the Prussian police.

"Another police preacher and organizer of violent plots was that well-known Friedeman who was driven out of Berlin, and, at the gatherings of comrades in Zurich, appealed to them, in prose and poetry, to commit acts of violence. A certain Weiss, a journeyman tinsmith, was arrested in the vicinity of Basel for having put up posters in which the deeds of Kammerer and Stellmacher were glorified. He, too, was in the employ of the German police, as was afterward established during the court proceedings.

"A certain Schmidt, who had to disappear from Dresden on account of his crooked conduct, came to Zurich and urged the establishment of a special fund for assassinations, contributing twenty francs to start the fund. Correspondence which he had carried on with Chief of Police Weller, of Dresden, and which later fell into our hands, proved that he was in the employ of the police, whom he kept informed of his actions. And then the unmasked secret police agent Ihring-Mahlow, here in Berlin, who announced that he was prepared to teach the manufacture of explosives, for 'the parliamentary way is too slow.'"[25]

Here certainly is a great source of violence and crime, and, in view of such revelations, no one can be sure that any anarchist outrage is wholly voluntary and altogether free from the manipulation of the secret police. With agents provocateurs swarming over the movement and working upon the minds of the weak, the susceptible, and the criminal, there is reason to believe that their influence in the tragedies of terrorism is far greater than will ever be known. To discredit starving men on strike, to defeat socialists in an election, to promote a political intrigue, to throw the entire legislature into the hands of the reaction, to conceal corruption, or to take the public mind from too intently watching the nefarious schemes of a political-financial conspiracy – for all these and a multitude of other purposes thousands of secret police agents are at work. The sordid facts of this infamous commerce are no longer in doubt, and one wonders how the anarchists can delude themselves into the belief that they are serving the weak and lowly when they commit exactly the same crimes that professional assassins are hired to commit. This certainly is madness. To be thus used by their bitterest enemies, the police and the State, to serve thus voluntarily the forces of intrigue, of reaction, and of tyranny – surely nothing can be so near to unreason as this. When Bismarck's personal organ declared again and again, "There is nothing left to be done but to provoke the social democrats to commit acts of despair, to draw them out into the open street, and there to shoot them down,"[26] a reasoning opponent would have seen that this was just what he would not allow himself to be drawn into. Yet Bismarck hardly says this and sets his police to work before the anarchist freely, voluntarily, and with tremendous exaltation of spirit attempts to carry it out.

Strange to say, the desire of the powerful to promote anarchy seems to be well enough understood by the anarchists themselves. Kropotkin, in his "Memoirs," tells of two cases where police agents were sent to him with money to help establish anarchist papers, and there was hardly a moment of his revolutionary career when there were not police agents about him. Emma Goldman also appreciates the fact that the police are always ready to lend a hand in anarchist outrages. "For a number of years," she says, "acts of violence had been committed in Spain, for which the anarchists were held responsible, hounded like wild beasts, and thrown into prison. Later it was disclosed that the perpetrators of these acts were not anarchists, but members of the police department. The scandal became so widespread that the conservative Spanish papers demanded the apprehension and punishment of the gang leader, Juan Rull, who was subsequently condemned to death and executed. The sensational evidence, brought to light during the trial, forced Police Inspector Momento to exonerate completely the anarchists from any connection with the acts committed during a long period. This resulted in the dismissal of a number of police officials, among them Inspector Tressols, who, in revenge, disclosed the fact that behind the gang of police bomb-throwers were others of far higher position, who provided them with funds and protected them. This is one of the many striking examples of how anarchist conspiracies are manufactured."[27] With knowledge such as this, is it possible that a sane mind can encourage the despairing to undertake riots and insurrections? Yet when we turn to the anarchists for our answer, they tell us "that the accumulated forces in our social and economic life, culminating in a political act of violence, are similar to the terrors of the atmosphere, manifested in storm and lightning. To thoroughly appreciate the truth of this view, one must feel intensely the indignity of our social wrongs; one's very being must throb with the pain, the sorrow, the despair millions of people are daily made to endure. Indeed, unless we have become a part of humanity, we cannot even faintly understand the just indignation that accumulates in a human soul, the burning, surging passion that makes the storm inevitable."[28] Such explosions of rage one would expect from the unreasonable and the childlike. They are bursts of passion that end in the knocking of one's head against a stone wall. This may in truth be the psychology of the violent, yet it cannot be the psychology of a reasoning mind. This may explain the action of those who have lost all control over themselves or even the action of a class that has not advanced beyond the stages of futile outbursts of passion, of aimless and suicidal violence, and of self-destructive rage. But it is incredible that it should be considered by anyone as reasonable or intelligent, or, least of all, revolutionary.

Probably still other causes of terrorism exist, but certainly the chief are those above mentioned. The writings of Bakounin, Nechayeff, Kropotkin, and Most; the miserable conditions which surround the life of a multitude of impoverished people; the often savage repression of any attempts on the part of the workers to improve their conditions; corrupt courts and parliaments and unjust laws; a false conception of ethics; a high-wrought nervous tension combined with compassion; the egocentric philosophy which deifies the individual and would press its claims even to the destruction of all else in the world; these are no doubt the chief underlying causes of the terrorism of the last forty years. Yet, as I have said, there is one force making for terrorism that throws a confusing light on the whole series of tragedies. Why should the governments of Europe subsidize anarchy? Why should their secret police encourage outrages, plant dynamite, and incite the criminal elements to become anarchists, and in that guise to burn, pillage, and commit murder? Why should that which assumes to stand for law and order work to the destruction of law and order? What is it that leads the corrupt, vicious, and reactionary elements in the official world to turn thus to its use even anarchy and terrorism? What end do the governments of Europe seek?

I have already suggested the answers to the above questions, but they will not be understood by the reader unless he realizes that throughout all of last century the democratic movement has been to the privileged classes the most menacing spectacle imaginable. Again and again it arose to challenge existing society. In some form, however vague, it lay back of every popular movement. At moments the powerful seemed actually to fear that it was on the point of taking possession of the world, and repeatedly it has been pushed back, crushed, subdued, almost obliterated by their repressive measures. Yet again and again it arose responsive to the actual needs of the time, and became toward the end of the century one of the most impressive movements the world has ever known. Filled with idealism for a new social order, and determined to change fundamentally existing conditions, the working class has fought onward and upward toward a world State and a socialized industrial life. There can be no doubt that the amazing growth of the modern socialist movement has terrified the powers of industrial and political tyranny. To them it is an incomparable menace, and superhuman efforts have been made to turn it from its path. They have endeavored to divide it, to misinterpret it, to divert it, to corrupt it, and the greatest of all their efforts has been made toward forcing it to become a movement of terrorists, in order ultimately to discredit and destroy it. "We have always been of the opinion," declared an unknown opponent of socialism, "that it takes the devil to drive out Beelzebub and that socialism must be fought with anarchy. As a corn louse and similar insects are driven out by the help of other insects that devour them and their eggs, so the Government should cultivate and rear anarchists in the principal nests of socialism, leaving it to the anarchists to destroy socialism. The anarchists will do that work more effectively than either police or district attorneys."[29] Has this been the chief motive in helping to keep terrorism alive?


[J] Kropotkin, in "The Conquest of Bread," p. 73, suggests that in the Revolution the socialists will probably hang the anarchists.

[K] Pini declared that he had committed robberies amounting to over three hundred thousand francs from the bourgeoisie in order to avenge the oppressed. Cf. Lombroso, "Les Anarchistes," p. 52.

[L] "The work of Mariana was afterward approved by Sola (Tractus de legibus), by Gretzer (Opera omnia), by Becano (Opuscula theologica Summa Theologicæ scholasticæ).

"Père Emanuel (Aphorismi confessariorum), Grégoire de Valence (Comment. Theolog.), Keller (Tyrannicidium), and Suarez (Defentio fidei cathol.) hold similar ideas, while Azor (Institut. moral.), Lorin (Comm. in librum psalmorum), Comitolo (Responsa morala), etc., recognized the right of every individual to kill the prince for his own defense." – Les Anarchistes, p. 207.

[M] Bakounin, when endeavoring to save Nechayeff from being arrested by the Swiss authorities and sent back to Russia, defends him on precisely these grounds, claiming that Nechayeff had taken the fable of William Tell seriously. Cf. OEuvres, Vol. II, p. 29.

[N] Booth wrote, a day or so after killing Lincoln: "After being hunted like a dog through swamps and woods, and last night being chased by gunboats till I was forced to return, wet, cold, and starving, with every man's hand against me, I am here in despair. And why? For doing what Brutus was honored for – what made William Tell a hero; and yet I, for striking down an even greater tyrant than they ever knew, am looked upon as a common cutthroat." Cf. "The Death of Lincoln," Laughlin, p. 135.

[O] Kropotkin tells of the effort made by the agents of Andrieux to persuade him and Elisée Reclus to collaborate in the publication of this so-called anarchist paper. He also says it was a paper of "unheard-of violence; burning, assassination, dynamite bombs – there was nothing but that in it." – "Memoirs of a Revolutionist," pp. 478-480.

[P] In "The Terror in Russia" Kropotkin tells of bands of criminals who, under pretense of being revolutionists and wanting money for revolutionary purposes, forced wealthy people to contribute under menace of death. The headquarters of the bands were at the office of the secret police.





While terrorism was running its tragic course, the socialists grew from a tiny sect into a world-wide movement. And, as terrorist acts were the expression of certain uncontrollably rebellious spirits, so coöperatives, trade unions, and labor parties arose in response to the conscious and constructive effort of the masses. As a matter of fact, the terrorist groups never exercised any considerable influence over the actual labor movement, except for a brief period in Spain and America. Indeed, they did not in the least understand that movement. The followers of Bakounin were largely young enthusiasts from the middle class, who were referred to scornfully at the time as "lawyers without cases, physicians without patients and knowledge, students of billiards, commercial travelers, and others."[1] Yet it cannot be denied that violence has played, and still in a measure plays, a part in the labor movement. I mean the violence of sheer desperation. It rises and falls in direct relation to the lawlessness, the repression, and the tyranny of the governments. Furthermore, where labor organizations are weakest and the masses most ignorant and desperate, the very helplessness of the workers leads them into that violence. This is made clear enough by the historic fact that in the early days of the modern industrial system nearly every strike of the unorganized laborers was accompanied by riots, machine-breaking, and assaults upon men and property.

No small part of this early violence was directly due to the brutal opposition of society to every form of labor organization. The workers were fought violently, and they answered violence with violence. It must not be forgotten that the trade unions and the socialist parties grew, in spite of every menace, in the very teeth of that which forbade them, and under the eye of that which sought to destroy them. And, like other living things in the midst of a hostile environment, they covered themselves with spurs to ward off the enemy. The early movements of labor were marked by a sullen, bitter, and destructive spirit; and some of the much persecuted propagandists of early trade unionism and socialism thought that "implacable destruction" was preferable to the tyranny which the workers then suffered. Not the philosophy, but the rancor of Bakounin, of Nechayeff, and of Most represented, three-quarters of a century ago, the feeling of great masses of workingmen. Riots, insurrections, machine-breaking, incendiarism, pillage, and even murder were then more truly expressive of the attitude of certain sections of the brutalized poor toward the society which had disinherited them than most of us to-day realize. In every industrial center, previous to 1850, the working-class movement, such as it was, yielded repeatedly to self-exhausting expressions of blind and sullen rage. The resentment of the workers was deep, and, without program or philosophy, a spirit of destruction often ran riot in nearly every movement of the workers.

During the first fifty years, then, of last century, little building was done. A mob spirit prevailed, and the great body of toilers was divided into innumerable bands, who fought their battles without aim, and, after weeks of rioting, left nothing behind them. Toward the middle of the century the real building of the labor movement commenced. In every country men soberly and seriously set to work, and everywhere throughout the entire industrial world the foundations were laid for the great movement that exists to-day. Yet the present world-wide movement, so harmonious in its principles and methods and so united in doctrines, could not have been all that it is had there not come to its aid in its most critical and formative period several of the ablest and best-schooled minds of Europe. At the period when the workers were finding their feet and beginning their task of organization on a large scale, there was also in Europe much revolutionary activity in "intellectual" circles. The forties was a germinating period for many new social and economic theories. In France, Germany, and England there were many groups discussing with heat and passion every theory of trade unionism, anarchism, and socialism. On the whole, they were middle-class "intellectuals," battling in their sectarian circles over the evils of our economic life, the problems of society, and the relations between the classes. Suddenly the revolution was upon them – the moment which they all instinctively felt was at hand – but, when it came, most of them were able to play no forceful part in it. It was a movement of vast masses, over which the social revolutionists had little influence, and the various groups found themselves incapable of any really effective action. To be sure, many of those seeking a social revolution played a creditable part in the uprisings throughout Europe during '48 and '49, but the time had not yet arrived for the working classes to achieve any striking reforms of their own. The only notable result of the period, so far as the social revolutionary element was concerned, was that it lost once again, nearly everywhere, its press, its liberty of speech, and its right of association. It was driven underground; but there germinated, nevertheless, in the innumerable secret societies, some of the most important principles and doctrines upon which the international labor movement was later to be founded.

In France socialist theories had never been wholly friendless from the time of the great Revolution. The memory of the enragés of 1793 and of Babeuf and his conspiracy of 1795 had been kept green by Buonarotti and Maréchal. The ruling classes had very cunningly lauded liberty and fraternity, but they rarely mentioned the struggle for equality, which, of course, appeared to them as a regrettable and most dangerous episode in the great Revolution. Yet, despite that fact, this early struggle for economic equality had never been wholly forgotten. Besides, there were Fourier and Saint-Simon, who, with very great scholarly attainments, had rigidly analyzed existing society, exposed its endless disorders, and advocated an entire social transformation. There were also Considérant, Leroux, Vidal, Pecqueur, and Cabet. All of these able and gifted men had kept the social question ever to the front, while Louis Blanc and Blanqui had actually introduced into politics the principles of socialism. Blanqui was an amazing character. He was an incurable, habitual insurrectionist, who came to be called l'enfermé because so much of his life was spent in prison.[Q] The authorities again and again released him, only to hear the next instant that he was leading a mob to storm the citadels of the Government. His life was a series of unsuccessful assaults upon authority, launched in the hope that, if the working class should once install itself in power, it would reorganize society on socialist lines. He was a man of the street, who had only to appear to find an army of thousands ready to follow him. Blanqui used to say – according to Kropotkin – that there were in Paris fifty thousand men ready at any moment for an insurrection. Again and again he arose like an apparition among them, and on one occasion, at the head of two hundred thousand people, he offered the dictatorship of France to Louis Blanc. The latter was an altogether different person. His stage was the parliamentary one. He was a powerful orator, who, throughout the forties, was preaching his practical program of social reform – the right to work, the organization of labor, and the final extinction of capitalism by the growth of coöperative production fostered by the State. In 1848 he played a great rôle, and all Europe listened with astonishment to the revolutionary proposals of this man who, for a few months, occupied the most powerful position in France. At the same time Proudhon was developing the principles of anarchism and earning everlasting fame as the father of that philosophy. In truth, the whole gamut of socialist ideas and the entire range of socialist methods had been agitated and debated in peace and in war for half a century in France.

In England the same questions had disturbed all classes for nearly fifty years. There had been no great revolutionary period, but from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the extinction of Chartism in 1848 every doctrine of trade unionism, syndicalism, anarchism, and socialism had been debated passionately by groups of workingmen and their friends. The principles and methods of trade unionism were being worked out on the actual battlefield, amid riots, strikes, machine-breaking, and incendiarism. Instinctively the masses were associating for mutual protection and, almost unconsciously, working out by themselves programs of action. Nevertheless, Joseph Hume, Francis Place, Robert Owen, and a number of other brilliant men were lending powerful intellectual aid to the workers in their actual struggle. A group of radical economists was also defending the claims of labor. Charles Hall, William Thompson, John Gray, Thomas Hodgskin, and J. F. Bray were all seeking to find the economic causes of the wrongs suffered by labor and endeavoring, in some manner, to devise remedies for the immense suffering endured by the working classes. Together with Robert Owen, a number of them were planning labor exchanges, voluntary communities, and even at one time the entire reorganization of the world through the trade unions. In this ferment the coöperative movement also had its birth. The Rochdale Pioneers began to work out practically some of the coöperative ideas of Robert Owen. With £28 a pathetic beginning was made that has led to the immensely rich coöperative movement of to-day. Furthermore, the Chartists were leading a vast political movement of the workers. In support of the suffrage and of parliamentary representation for workingmen, a wonderful group of orators and organizers carried on in the thirties and forties an immense agitation. William Lovett, Feargus O'Connor, Joseph Rayner Stephens, Ernest Jones, Thomas Cooper, and James Bronterre O'Brien were among the notable and gifted men who were then preaching throughout all England revolutionary and socialist ideas. Such questions as the abolition of inheritances, the nationalization of land, the right of labor to the full product of its toil, the necessity of breaking down class control of Parliament – these and other subversive ideas were germinating in all sections of the English labor movement. It was a heroic period – altogether the most heroic period in the annals of toil – in which the most advanced and varied revolutionary ideas were hurtling in the air. The causes of the ruin that overcame this magnificent beginning of a revolutionary working-class movement cannot be dwelt upon here. Quarrels between the leaders, the incoherence of their policies, and divisions over the use of violence utterly wrecked a movement that anticipated by thirty years the social democracy of Germany. The tragic fiasco in 1848 was the beginning of an appalling working-class reaction from years of popular excesses and mob intoxications, from which the wiser leadership of the German movement was careful to steer clear. And, after '48, solemn and serious men settled down to the quiet building of trade unions and coöperatives. Revolutionary ideas were put aside, and everywhere in England the responsible men of the movement were pleading with the masses to confine themselves to the practical work of education and organization.

Although Germany was far behind England in industrial development and, consequently, also in working-class organization, the beginnings of a labor and socialist movement were discernible. A brief but delightful description of the early communist societies is given by Engels in his introduction to the Révélations sur le Procès des Communistes. As early as 1836 there were secret societies in Germany discussing socialist ideas. The "League of the Just" became later the "League of the Righteous," and that eventually developed into the "Communist League." The membership cards read, "All men are brothers." Karl Schapper, Heinrich Bauer, and Joseph Moll, all workingmen, were among those who made an imposing impression upon Engels. Even more notable was Weitling, a tailor, who traveled all over Germany preaching a mixture of Christian communism and French utopian socialism. He was a simple-hearted missionary, delivering his evangel. "The World As It Is and As It Might Be" was the moving title of one of his books that attracted to him not only many followers among the workers, but also notable men from other classes. Most of the communists were of course always under suspicion, and many of them were forced out of their own countries. As a result, a large number of foreigners – Scandinavians, Dutch, Hungarians, Germans, and Italians – found themselves in Paris and in London, and astonished each other by the similarity of their views. All Europe in this period was discussing very much the same things, and not only the more intelligent among the workers but the more idealistic among the youth from the universities were in revolt, discussing fervently republican, socialist, communist, and anarchist ideas. In "Young Germany," George Brandes gives a thrilling account of the spiritual and intellectual ferment that was stirring in all parts of the fatherland during the entire forties.[2]

It was in this agitated period that Marx and Engels, both mere youths, began to press their ideas in revolutionary circles. They met each other in Paris in 1844, and there began their lifelong coöperative labors. Engels, although a German, was living in England, occupied in his father's cotton business at Manchester. He had taken a deep interest in the condition of the laboring classes, and had followed carefully the terrible and often bloody struggles that so frequently broke out between capital and labor in England during the thirties and forties. Arriving by an entirely different route, he had come to opinions almost identical with those of Marx; and the next year he persuaded Marx to visit the factory districts of Lancashire, in order to acquaint himself actually with the enraged struggle then being fought between masters and men. Engels had not gone to a university, although he seems somehow to have acquired, despite his business cares and active association with the men and movements of his time, a thorough education. On the other hand, Marx was a university man, having studied at Jena, Bonn, and Berlin. Like most of the serious young men of the period, Marx was a devoted Hegelian. When his university days were over, he became the editor of the Rheinische Zeitung of Cologne, but at the age of twenty-four he found his paper suppressed because of his radical utterances. He went to Paris, only to be expelled in 1845. He found a refuge in Belgium until 1848, when the Government evidently thought it wise that he should move on. Shortly after, he returned to Germany to take up his editorial work once more, but in 1849, his Neue Rheinische Zeitung was suppressed, and he was forced to return to Paris. The authorities, not wishing him there, sent him off to London, where he remained the rest of his life. By the irony of fate, even the governments of Europe seemed to be conspiring to force Marx to become the best equipped man of his time. To the leisure and travel enforced upon him by the European governments was due in no small measure his long schooling in economic theory, revolutionary political movements, and working-class methods of action. Both he and Engels penetrated into every nest of discontent. They came personally in touch with every group of dissidents. They spent many weary but invaluable weeks in the greatest libraries of Europe, with the result that they became thoroughly schooled in philosophy, economics, science, and languages. They pursued, to the minutest detail, with an inexhaustible thirst, the theories not only of the "authorities" but also of nearly every obscure socialist, radical, and revolutionist in England, France, Russia, and Germany.

In Brussels, Paris, and London, around the forties, a number of brilliant minds seemed somehow or other to come frequently in contact with each other. Many of them had been driven out of their own countries, and, as exiles abroad, they had ample leisure to plan their great conspiracies or to debate their great theories. Some of the notable radicals of the period were Heine, Freiligrath, Herwegh, Willich, Kinkel, Weitling, Bakounin, Ruge, Ledru-Rollin, Blanc, Blanqui, Cabet, Proudhon, Ernest Jones, Eccarius, Marx, Engels, and Liebknecht; and many of them came together from time to time and, in great excitement and passion, fought as "Roman to Roman" over their panaceas. Marx and Engels knew most of them and spent innumerable hours, not infrequently entire days and nights, at a sitting, in their intellectual battles.

It was a most fortunate thing for Marx that the French Government should have driven him in 1849 to London. "Capital" might never have been written had he not been forced to study for a long period the first land in all Europe in which modern capitalism had obtained a footing. On his earlier visit in 1845 he had spent a few weeks with Engels in the great factory centers, and he had been deeply impressed with this new industrialism and no less, of course, with the English labor movement. Nothing to compare with it then existed in France or Germany. As early as 1840 many of the trades were well organized, and repeated efforts had been made to bring them together into a national federation. How thoroughly Engels knew this movement and its varied struggles to better the status of labor is shown in his book, "The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844." How thoroughly and fundamentally Marx later came to know not only the actual working-class movement, but every economic theory from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill, and every insurgent economist and political theorist from William Godwin to Bronterre O'Brien, is shown in "Capital." In fact, not a single phase of insurgent thought seemed to escape Marx and Engels, nor any trace of revolt against the existing order, whether political or industrial. In Germany they were schooled in philosophy and science; in France they found themselves in a most amazing fermentation of revolutionary spirit and idealism; and in England they studied with the minutest care the coöperative movement and self-help, the trade-union movement with its purely economic aims and methods, the Chartist movement with its political action, and the Owenite movement, both in its purely utopian phases and in its later development into syndicalist socialism. This long and profound study placed Marx and Engels in a position infinitely beyond that of their contemporaries. Possessed as they were of unusual mental powers, it was inevitable that such a training should have placed them in a position of intellectual leadership in the then rapidly forming working-class organizations of Europe.

The study of English capitalism convinced Marx of the truthfulness of certain generalizations which he had already begun to formulate in 1844. It became more and more evident to him that economic facts, to which history had hitherto attributed no rôle or a very inferior one, constituted, at least in the modern world, a decisive historic force. "They form the source from which spring the present class antagonisms. These antagonisms in countries where great industry has carried them to their complete development, particularly in England, are the bases on which parties are founded, are the sources of political struggles, are the reasons for all political history."[3] Although Marx had arrived at this opinion earlier and had generalized this point of view in "French-German Annals," his study of English economics swept away any possible doubt that "in general it was not the State which conditions and regulates civil society, but civil society which conditions and regulates the State, that it was then necessary to explain politics and history by economic relations, and not to proceed inversely."[4] "This discovery which revolutionized historical science was essentially the work of Marx," says Engels, and, with his customary modesty, he adds: "The part which can be attributed to me is very small. It concerned itself directly with the working-class movement of the period. Communism in France and Germany and Chartism in England appeared to be something more than mere chance which could just as well not have existed. These movements became now a movement of the oppressed class of modern times, the working class. Henceforth they were more or less developed forms of the historically necessary struggle which this class must carry on against the ruling class, the bourgeoisie. They were forms of the struggle of the classes, but which were distinguished from all preceding struggles by this fact: the class now oppressed, the proletariat, cannot effect its emancipation without delivering all society from its division into classes, without freeing it from class struggles. No longer did Communism consist in the creation of a social ideal as perfect as possible; it resolved itself into a clear view of the nature, the conditions, and the general ends of the struggle carried on by the working class."[5]

It was not the intention of Marx and Engels to communicate their new scientific results to the intellectual world exclusively by means of large volumes. On the contrary, they plunged into the political movement. Besides having intercourse with well-known people, particularly in the western part of Germany, they were also in contact with the organized working classes. "Our duty was to found our conception scientifically, but it was just as important that we should win over the European, and especially the German, working classes to our convictions. When it was all clear in our eyes, we set to work."[6] A new German working-class society was founded in Brussels, and the support was enlisted of the Deutsche Brüsseler Zeitung, which served as an organ until the revolution of February. They were in touch with the revolutionary faction of the English Chartists under the leadership of George Julian Harney, editor of The Northern Star, to which Engels contributed. They also had intercourse with the democrats of Brussels and with the French social democrats of la Réforme, to which Engels contributed news of the English and German movements. In short, the relations that Marx and Engels had established with the radical and working-class organizations fully served the great purposes they had in mind.

It was in the Communist League that Marx and Engels saw their first opportunity to impress their ideas on the labor movement. At the urgent request of Joseph Moll, a watchmaker and a prominent member of the League, Marx consented, in 1847, to present to that organization his views, and the result was the famous Communist Manifesto. Every essential idea of modern socialism is contained in that brief declaration. Unfortunately, however, outside of Germany, the Communist League was an exotic organization that could make little use of such a program. Its members were mostly exiles, who, by the very nature of their position, were hopelessly out of things. Little groups, surrounded by a foreign people, exiles are rarely able to affect the movement at home or influence the national movement amid which they are thrust. There is little, therefore, noteworthy about the Communist League. It had, to be sure, gathered together a few able and energetic spirits, and some of these in later years exercised considerable influence in the International. But, as a rule, the groups of the Communist League were little more than debating societies whose members were filled with sentimental, visionary, and insurrectionary ideas. Marx himself finally lost all patience with them, because he could not drive out of their heads the idea that they could revolutionize the entire world by some sudden dash and through the exercise of will power, personal sacrifice, and heroic action. The Communist League, therefore, is memorable only because it gave Marx and Engels an opportunity for issuing their epoch-making Manifesto, that even to-day is read and reread by the workers in all lands of the world. Translated into every language, it is the one pamphlet that can be found in every country as a part of the basic literature of socialism.

There are certain principles laid down in the Communist Manifesto which time cannot affect, although the greater part of the document is now of historic value only. The third section, for instance, is a critique of the various types of socialism then existing in Europe, and this part can hardly be understood to-day by those unacquainted with those sectarian movements. It deals with Reactionary Socialism, Feudal Socialism, Clerical Socialism, Petty Bourgeois Socialism, German Socialism, Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism, Critical-Utopian Socialism, and Communism. The mere enumeration of these types of socialist doctrine indicates what a chaos of doctrine and theory then existed, and it was in order to distinguish themselves from these various schools that Marx and Engels took the name of communists. Beginning with the statement, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,"[7] the Manifesto treats at length the modern struggle between the working class and the capitalist class. After tracing the rise of capitalism, the development of a new working class, and the consequences to the people of the new economic order, Marx and Engels outline the program of the communists and their relation to the then existing working-class organizations and political parties. They deny any intention of forming a new sect, declaring that they throw themselves whole-heartedly into the working-class movement of all countries, with the one aim of encouraging and developing within those groups a political organization for the conquest of political power. They outline certain measures which, in their opinion, should stand foremost in the program of labor, all of them having to do with some modification of the institution of property.

In order to achieve these reforms, and eventually "To wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State,"[8] they urge the formation of labor parties as soon as proper preparations have been made and the time is ripe for effective class action. All through the Manifesto runs the motif that every class struggle is a political struggle. Again and again Marx and Engels return to that thought in their masterly survey of the historical conflicts between the classes. They show how the bourgeoisie, beginning as "an oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility," gradually ... "conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway," until to-day "the executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie."[9] Tracing the rise of the modern working class, they tell of its purely retaliative efforts against the capitalists; how at first "they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze"; how they fight in "incoherent" masses, "broken up by their mutual competition";[10] even their unions are not so much a result of their conscious effort as they are the consequence of oppression. Furthermore, the workers "do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies."[11] "Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers."[12] It is when their unions grow national in character and the struggle develops into a national struggle between the classes that it naturally takes on a political character. Then begins the struggle for conquering political power. But, while "all previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interests of minorities, the proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority."[13] Returning again to the underlying thought, it is pointed out that the working class must "win the battle of democracy."[14] It must acquire "political supremacy." It must raise itself to "the position of ruling class," in order that it may sweep away "the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms, and of classes generally."[15]

Such were the doctrines and tactics proclaimed by Marx and Engels in 1847. The Manifesto is said to have been received with great enthusiasm by the League, but, whatever happened at the moment, it is clear that the members never understood the doctrines manifested. In any case, various factions in the movement were still clamoring for insurrection and planning their conspiracies, wholly faithful to the revolution-making artifices of the period. Two of the most prominent, Willich and Schapper, were carried away with revolutionary passion, and "the majority of the London workers," Engels says, "refugees for the most part, followed them into the camp of the bourgeois democrats, the revolution-makers."[16] They declined to listen to protests. "They wanted to go the other way and to make revolutions," continues Engels. "We refused absolutely to do this and the schism followed."[17]

On the 15th of September, 1850, Marx decided to resign from the central council of the organization, and, feeling that such an act required some justification, he prepared the following written declaration: "The minority[R] [i. e., his opponents] have substituted the dogmatic spirit for the critical, the idealistic interpretation of events for the materialistic. Simple will power, instead of the true relations of things, has become the motive force of revolution. While we say to the working people: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and wars between nations not only to change existing conditions, but to change yourselves and make yourselves worthy of political power,' you, on the contrary, say, 'We ought to get power at once, or else give up the fight.' While we draw the attention of the German workman to the undeveloped state of the proletariat in Germany, you flatter the national spirit and the guild prejudices of the German artisans in the grossest manner, a method of procedure without doubt the more popular of the two. Just as the democrats made a sort of fetish of the words 'the people,' so you make one of the word 'proletariat.' Like them, you substitute revolutionary phrases for revolutionary evolution."[18] This statement of Marx is one of the most significant documents of the period and certainly one of the most illuminating we possess of Marx's determination to disavow the insurrectionary ideas then so prevalent throughout Europe. Although he had said the same thing before in other words, there could be no longer any doubt that he cherished no dreams of a great revolutionary cataclysm, nor fondled the then prevalent theory that revolutions could be organized, planned, and executed by will power alone.

It is clear, therefore, that Marx saw, as early as 1850, little revolutionary promise in sectarian organizations, secret societies, and political conspiracies. The day was past for insurrections, and a real revolution could only arrive as a result of economic forces and class antagonisms. And it is quite obvious that he was becoming more and more irritated by the sentimentalism and dress-parade revolutionism of the socialist sects. He looked upon their projects as childish and theatrical, that gave as little promise of changing the world's history as battles between tin soldiers on some nursery floor. He seemed no longer concerned with ideals, abstract rights, or "eternal verities." Those who misunderstood him or were little associated with him were horrified at what they thought was his cynical indifference to such glorious visions as liberty, fraternity, and equality. Like Darwin, Marx was always an earnest seeker of facts and forces. He was laying the foundations of a scientific socialism and dissecting the anatomy of capitalism in pursuit of the laws of social evolution. The gigantic intellectual labors of Marx from 1850 to 1870 are to-day receiving due attention, and, while one after another of the later economists has been forced reluctantly to acknowledge his genius, few now will take issue with Professor Albion W. Small when he says, "I confidently predict that in the ultimate judgment of history Marx will have a place in social science analogous with that of Galileo in physical science."[19] In exile, and often desperate poverty, Marx worked out with infinite care the scientific basis of the generalization – first given to the world in the Communist Manifesto – that social and political institutions are the product of economic forces. In all periods there have been antagonistic economic classes whose relative power is determined by struggles between them. "Freedman and slave," he says, "patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended either in a revolutionary reconstruction of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes."[20] Here is a summary of that conflict which Professor Small declares "is to the social process what friction is to mechanics."[21] It may well be that "the fact of class struggle is as axiomatic to-day as the fact of gravitation,"[22] yet, when Marx first elaborated his theory, it was not only a revolutionary doctrine among the socialist sects, but like Darwin's theory of evolution it was assailed from every angle by every school of economists. The important practical question that arises out of this scientific work, and which particularly concerns us here, is that this theory of the class struggle forever destroyed the old ideas of revolution, scrap-heaped conspiracies and insurrections, and laid the theoretical foundations for the modern working-class movement.

Actually, it was utopian socialism that was destroyed by this new theory. It expressed itself in at least three diverse ways. There were groups of conspirators and revolutionists who believed that the world was on the eve of a great upheaval and that the people should prepare for the moment when suddenly they could seize the governments of Europe, destroy ancient institutions, and establish a new social order. Another form of utopianism was the effort to persuade the capitalists themselves to abolish dividends, profits, rent, and interest, to turn the factories over to the workers, to become themselves toilers, and to share equally, one with another, the products of their joint labor. Still another form of utopian socialism was that of Owen, Fourier, and Cabet, who contemplated the establishment of ideal communities in which a new world should be built, where all should be free and equal, and where fraternity would be based upon a perfect economic communism. Some really noble spirits in France, England, and America had devoted time, love, energy, and wealth to this propaganda and in actual attempts to establish these utopias. But after '48 the upper classes were despaired of. Their brutal reprisals, their suppression of every working-class movement, their ferocious repression of the unions, of the press, and of the right of assembly – all these materially aided Marx's theory in disillusioning many of the philanthropic and tender-hearted utopians. And from then on the hope of every sincere advocate of fundamental social changes rested on the working class – on its organizations, its press, and its labors – for the establishment of the new order.

The most striking characteristic of the period which follows was the attempt of all the socialist and anarchist sects to inject their ideas into the rising labor movement. With the single exception of Robert Owen in England, the earlier socialists had ignored the working classes. All their appeals were made to well-to-do men, and some of them even hoped that the monarchs of Europe might be induced to take the initiative. But Marx and Engels made their appeal chiefly to the working class. The profound reaction which settled over Europe in the years following '48 ended all other dreams, and from this time on every proposal for a radical change in the organization of society was presented to the workers as the only class that was really seeking, by reason of its economic subjection, basic alterations in the institutions of property and the constitution of the State. The working classes of Germany, France, England, and other countries had already begun to form groups for the purpose of discussing political questions, and the ideas of Marx began to be propagated in all the centers of working-class activity.

The blending of labor and socialism in most of the countries of Europe was not, however, a work of months, but of decades. The first great effort to accomplish that task occurred in 1864, when the International Working Men's Association was launched in St. Martin's Hall in London. During the years from '47 to '64, Marx and Engels, with their little coterie in London and their correspondents in other countries, spent most of their time in study, reading, and writing, with little opportunity to participate in the actual struggles of labor. Marx was at work on "Capital" and schooling, in his leisure hours, a few of the notable men who were later to become leaders of the working class in Europe. It was a dull period, wearisome and vexatious enough to men who were boldly prophesying that industrial conditions would create a world-wide solidarity of labor. The first glimmer of hope came with the London International Exhibition of 1862, which brought together by chance groups of workingmen from various countries. The visit to London enabled them to observe the British trade unions, and they left deeply impressed by their strength. Furthermore, the Exhibition brought the English workers and those of other nationalities into touch with each other. How much this meant was shown in 1863. When the Polish uprising was being suppressed, the English workers sent to their French comrades a protest, in answer to which the Paris workmen sent a delegation to London. This gathering in sympathy with Poland laid the foundations for the International. Nearly every important revolutionary sect in Europe was represented: the German communists, the French Blanquists and Proudhonians, and the Italian Mazzinians; but the only delegates who represented powerful working-class organizations were the English trade unionists. The other organizations, even as late as this, were still little more than coteries, of hero-worshiping tendencies, fast developing into sectarian organizations that seemed destined to divide hopelessly and forever the labor movement.

It was perhaps inevitable that the more closely the sects were brought together, the more clearly they should perceive their differences, although Marx had exercised every care to draft a policy that would allay strife. Mazzini and his followers could not long endure the policies of the International, and they soon withdrew. The Proudhonians never at any time sympathized with the program and methods adopted by the International. The German organizations were not able to affiliate, by reason of the political conditions in that country, although numerous individuals attended the congresses. Nearly all the Germans were supporters of the policies of Marx, while most of the leading trade unionists of England completely understood and sympathized with Marx's aim of uniting the various working-class organizations of Europe into an international association. They all felt that such a movement was an historic and economic necessity and that the time for it had arrived. They intended to set about that work and to knit together the innumerable little organizations then forming in all countries. They sought to institute a meeting ground where the social and political program of the workers could be formulated, where their views could be clarified, and their purposes defined. It was not to be a secret organization, but entirely open and above board. It was not for conspiratory action, but for the building up of a great movement. It was not intended to encourage insurrection or to force ahead of time a revolution. In the opinion of Marx, as we know, a social revolution was thought to be inevitable, and the International was to bide its time, preparing for the day of its coming, in order to make that revolution as peaceable and as effective as possible.

The Preamble of the Provisional Rules of the International – entirely the work of Marx – expresses with sufficient clearness the position of the International. It was there declared: "That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves; that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;

"That the economic subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor, that is, the sources of life, lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;

"That the economic emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;

"That all efforts aiming at that great end have hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries;

"That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries;

"That the present revival of the working classes in the most industrial countries of Europe, while it raises a new hope, gives solemn warning against a relapse into the old errors and calls for the immediate combination of the still disconnected movements."[23]

In this brief declaration we find the essence of Marxian socialism: that the working classes must themselves work out their own salvation; that their servitude is economic; and that all workers must join together in a political movement, national and international, in order to achieve their emancipation. Unfortunately, the Proudhonian anarchists were never able to comprehend the position of Marx, and in the first congress at Geneva, in 1866, the quarrels between the various elements gave Marx no little concern. He did not attend that congress, and he afterward wrote to his young friend, Dr. Kugelmann: "I was unable to go, and I did not wish to do so, but it was I who wrote the program of the London delegates. I limited it on purpose to points which admit of an immediate understanding and common action by the workingmen, and which give immediately strength and impetus to the needs of the class struggle and to the organization of the workers as a class. The Parisian gentlemen had their heads filled with the most empty Proudhonian phraseology. They chatter of science, and know nothing of it. They scorn all revolutionary action, that is to say, proceeding from the class struggle itself, every social movement that is centralized and consequently obtainable by legislation through political means (as, for example, the legal shortening of the working day)."[24] These words indicate that Marx considered the chief work of the International to be the building up of a working-class political movement to obtain laws favorable to labor. Furthermore, he was of the opinion that such work was of a revolutionary nature.

The clearest statement, perhaps, of Marx's idea of the revolutionary character of political activity is to be found in the address which he prepared at the request of the public meeting that launched the International. He traces there briefly the conditions of the working class in England. After depicting the misery of the masses, he hastily reviews the growth of the labor movement that ended with the Chartist agitation. Although from 1848 to 1864 was a period when the English working class seemed, he says, "thoroughly reconciled to a state of political nullity,"[25] nevertheless two encouraging developments had taken place. One was the victory won by the working classes in carrying the Ten Hours Bill. It was "not only a great practical success; it was the victory of a principle; it was the first time that in broad daylight the political economy of the middle class succumbed to the political economy of the working class."[26] The other victory was the growth of the coöperative movement. "The value of these great social experiments cannot be overrated," he says. "By deed, instead of by argument, they have shown that production on a large scale, and in accord with the behests of modern science, may be carried on without the existence of a class of masters employing a class of hands."[27] Arguing that coöperative labor should be developed to national dimensions and be fostered by State funds, he urges working-class political action as the means to achieve this end. "To conquer political power has therefore become the great duty of the working classes."[28] This is the conclusion of Marx concerning revolutionary methods; and it is clear that his conception of "revolutionary action" differed not only from that of the Proudhonians and Mazzinians, but also from that of "the bourgeois democrats, the revolution-makers,"[29] who "extemporized revolutions."[30]

At the end of Marx's letter to Kugelmann, he tells of the beginning already made by the International in London in actual political work. "The movement for electoral reform here," he writes, "which our General Council (quorum magna pars) created and launched, has assumed dimensions that have kept on growing until now they are irresistible."[31] The General Council threw itself unreservedly into this agitation. An electoral reform conference was held in February, 1867, attended by two hundred delegates from all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Later, gigantic mass meetings were held throughout the country to bring pressure upon the Government. Frederic Harrison and Professor E. S. Beesly, well known for their sympathy with labor, were appealing to the working classes to throw their energies into the fight. "Nothing will compel the ruling classes," wrote Harrison in 1867, "to recognize the rights of the working classes and to pay attention to their just demands until the workers have obtained political power."[32] Professor Beesly, the intimate friend of Marx, was urging the unions to enter politics as an independent force, on the ground that the difference between the Tories and the Liberals was only the difference between the upper and nether millstones. In all this agitation Marx saw, of course, the working out of his own ideas for the upbuilding of a great independent political organization of the working class. All the energies of the General Council of the International were, therefore, devoted to the political struggle of the British workers. However, in all this campaign, emphasis was placed upon the central idea of the association – that political power was wanted, in order, peaceably and legally, to remedy economic wrongs. The wretched condition of the workers in the industrial towns and the even greater misery of the Irish peasants and English farm laborers were the bases of all agitation. While occupied at this time chiefly with the economic and political struggles in Britain, the General Council was also keeping a sharp eye on similar conditions in Europe and America. When Lincoln was chosen President for the second time, a warm address of congratulation was sent to the American people, expressing joy that the sworn enemy of slavery had been again chosen to represent them. More than once the International communicated with Lincoln, and perhaps no words more perfectly express the ideal of the labor movement than those that Lincoln once wrote to a body of workingmen: "The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds."[33]

To unite thus the workers of all lands and to organize them into great political parties were the chief aims of Marx in the International. And in 1869 it seemed that this might actually be accomplished in a few years. In France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and other countries the International was making rapid headway. Nearly all the most important labor bodies of Europe were actually affiliated, or at least friendly, to the new movement. At all the meetings held there was enthusiasm, and the future of the International seemed very promising indeed. It was recognized as the vehicle for expressing the views of labor throughout Europe. It had formulated its principles and tactics, and had already made a creditable beginning in the gigantic task before it of systematically carrying on its agitation, education, and organization. Marx's energies were being taxed to the utmost. Nearly all the immense executive work of the International fell on him, and nearly every move made was engineered by him. Yet at that very time he was on the point of publishing the first volume of "Capital," the result of gigantic researches into industrial history and economic theory. This great work was intended to be, in its literal sense, the Bible of the working class, as indeed it has since become. Certainly, Jaurès' tribute to Marx is well deserved and fairly sums up the work accomplished by him in the period 1847-1869. "To Marx belongs the merit," he says, " ... of having drawn together and unified the labor movement and the socialist idea. In the first third of the nineteenth century labor struggled and fought against the crushing power of capital; but it was not conscious itself toward what end it was straining; it did not know that the true objective of its effort was the common ownership of property. And, on the other hand, socialism did not know that the labor movement was the living form in which its spirit was embodied, the concrete practical force of which it stood in need. Marx was the most clearly convinced and the most powerful among those who put an end to the empiricism of the labor movement and the utopianism of the socialist thought, and this should always be remembered to his credit. By a crowning application of the Hegelian method, he united the Idea and the Fact, thought and history. He enriched the practical movement by the idea, and to the theory he added practice; he brought the socialist thought into proletarian life, and proletarian life into socialist thought. From that time on socialism and the proletariat became inseparable."[34]


[Q] The dramatic story of his life is wonderfully told in L'Enfermé by Gustave Geffroy. (Paris, 1904.)

[R] In the authority cited below this appears as "the minority," but I notice that in Jaurès' "Studies in Socialism," p. 44, it appears as "the majority."



At the moment when the future of the International seemed most promising and the political ideas of Marx were actually taking root in nearly all countries, an application was received by the General Council in London to admit the Alliance of Social Democracy. This, we will remember, was the organization that Bakounin had formed in 1868 and was the popular section of that remarkable secret hierarchy which he had endeavored to establish in 1864. The General Council declined to admit the Alliance, on grounds which proved later to be well founded, namely, that schisms would undoubtedly be encouraged if the International should permit an organization with an entirely different program and policies to join it in a body. Nevertheless, the General Council declared that the members of the Alliance could affiliate themselves as individuals with the various national sections. After considerable debate, Bakounin and his followers decided to abandon the Alliance and to join the International. Whether the Alliance was in fact abolished is still open to question, but in any case Bakounin appeared in the International toward the end of the sixties, to challenge all the theories of Marx and to offer, in their stead, his own philosophy of universal revolution. Anarchism as the end and terrorism as the means were thus injected into the organization at its most formative period, when the laboring classes of all Europe had just begun to write their program, evolve their principles, and define their tactics. With great force and magnetism, Bakounin undertook his war upon the General Council, and those who recall the period will realize that nothing could have more nearly expressed the occasional spirit of the masses – the very spirit that Marx and Engels were endeavoring to change – than exactly the methods proposed by Bakounin.

Whether it were better to move gradually and peacefully along what seemed a never-ending road to emancipation or to begin the revolution at once by insurrection and civil war – this was in reality the question which, from that moment on, agitated the International. It had always troubled more or less the earlier organizations of labor, and now, aided by Bakounin's eloquence and fiery revolutionism, it became the great bone of contention throughout Europe. The struggles in the International between those who became known later as the anarchists and the socialists remind one of certain Greek stories, in which the outstanding figures seem to impersonate mighty forces, and it is not impossible that one day they may serve as material for a social epic. We all know to-day the interminable study that engages the theologians in their attempts to describe the battles and schisms in the early Christian Church. And there can be no doubt that, if socialism fulfills the purpose which its advocates have in mind, these early struggles in its history will become the object of endless research and commentary. The calumnies, the feuds, the misunderstandings, the clashing of doctrines, the antagonism of the ruling spirits, the plots and conspiracies, the victories and defeats – all these various phases of this war to the death between socialists and anarchists – will in that case present to history the most vital struggle of this age. But, whatever may be the outcome of the socialist movement, it is hardly too much to say that to both anarchists and socialists these struggles seemed, at the time they were taking place, of supreme importance to the destinies of humanity.

The contending titans of this war were, of course, Karl Marx and Michael Bakounin. It is hardly necessary to go into the personal feud that played so conspicuous a part in the struggle between them. Perhaps no one at this late day can prove what Marx and his friends themselves were unable to prove – although they never ceased repeating the allegations – that Bakounin was a spy of the Russian Government, that his life had been thrice spared through the influence of that Government, that he was treacherous and dishonest, and that his sole purpose was to disrupt and destroy the International Working Men's Association. Nor is it necessary to consider the charges made against Marx – some of them time has already taken care of – that he was domineering, malicious, and ambitious, that his spirit was actuated by intrigue, and that, when he conceived a dislike for anyone, he was merciless and conscienceless in his warfare on that one. Incompatibility of temperament and of personality played its part in the battles between these two, but, even had there been no mutual dislike, the differences between their principles and tactics would have necessitated a battle à outrance.

For twenty years before the birth of the International, Marx and Bakounin had crossed and recrossed each other's circle. They had always quarreled. There was a mutual fascination, due perhaps to an innate antagonism, that brought them again and again together at critical periods. At times there seemed a chance of reconciliation, but they no more touched each other than immediately there flared forth the old animosity. When Bakounin left Russia in 1843, he met Proudhon and Marx in Paris. At that period the doctrines of all three were germinating. Bakounin had already written, "The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire."[1] Proudhon had begun to formulate the principles of anarchism, and Marx the principles of socialism. "He was much more advanced than I was," wrote Bakounin of Marx at this period. "I knew nothing then of political economy, I was not yet freed from metaphysical abstraction, and my socialism was only instinctive.... It was precisely at this epoch that he elaborated the first fundamentals of his present system. We saw each other rather often, for I respected him deeply for his science and for his passionate and serious devotion, although always mingled with personal vanity, to the cause of the proletariat, and I sought with eagerness his conversation, which was always instructive and witty – when it was not inspired with mean hatred, which, too often, alas, was the case. Never, however, was there frank intimacy between us. Our temperaments did not allow that. He called me a sentimental idealist, and he was right; I called him a vain man, perfidious and artful, and I was right also."[2] This mutual dislike and even distrust subsisted to the end.

Certain events in 1848 widened the gulf between them. At the news of the outbreak of the revolution in Paris, hundreds of the restless spirits hurried there to take a hand in the situation. And after the proclamation of the Republic they began to consider various projects of carrying the revolution into their own countries. Plans were being discussed for organizing legions to invade foreign countries, and a number of the German communists entered heartily into the plan of Herwegh, the erratic German poet – "the iron lark" – who led a band of revolutionists into Baden. "We arose vehemently against these attempts to play at revolution," says Engels, speaking for himself and Marx. "In the state of fermentation which then existed in Germany, to carry into our country an invasion which was destined to import the revolution by force, was to injure the revolution in Germany, to consolidate the governments, and ... to deliver the legions over defenseless to the German troops."[3] Wilhelm Liebknecht, then twenty-two years of age, who was in favor of Herwegh's project, wrote afterward of Marx's opposition. Marx "understood that the plan of organizing 'foreign legions' for the purpose of carrying the revolution into other countries emanated from the French bourgeois-republicans, and that the 'movement' had been artificially inspired with the twofold intention of getting rid of troublesome elements and of carrying off the foreign laborers whose competition made itself doubly felt during this grave business crisis."[4]

Undeterred by Marx, Herwegh marshaled his "legions" and entered Baden, to be utterly crushed, exactly as Marx had foreseen. A quarrel then arose between Marx and Bakounin over Herwegh's project. Far from changing Marx's mind, however, it made him suspect Bakounin as perhaps in the pay of the reactionaries. In any case, he made no effort to prevent the Neue Rheinische Zeitung from printing shortly after the following: "Yesterday it was asserted that George Sand was in possession of papers which seriously compromised the Russian who has been banished from here, Michael Bakounin, and represented him as an instrument or an agent of Russia, newly enrolled, to whom is attributed the leading part in the recent arrest of the unfortunate Poles. George Sand has shown these papers to some of her friends."[5] Marx later printed Bakounin's answer to these charges – which were, in fact, groundless – and in his letters to the New York Tribune (1852) even commended Bakounin for his services in the Dresden uprising of 1849.[6] Nevertheless, there is no doubt that to the end Marx believed Bakounin to be a tool of the enemy. These quarrels are important only as they are prophetic in thus early disclosing the gulf between Marx and Bakounin in their conception of revolutionary activity. Although profoundly revolutionary, Marx was also rigidly rational. He had no patience, and not an iota of mercy, for those who lost their heads and attempted to lead the workers into violent outbreaks that could result only in a massacre. On this point he would make no concessions, and anyone who attempted such suicidal madness was in Marx's mind either an imbecile or a paid agent provocateur. The failure of Herwegh's project forced Bakounin to admit later that Marx had been right. Yet, as we know, with Bakounin's advancing years the passion for insurrections became with him almost a mania.

If this quarrel between Bakounin and Marx casts a light upon the causes of their antagonism, a still greater illumination is shed by the differences between them which arose in 1849. Bakounin, in that year, had written a brochure in which he developed a program for the union of the revolutionary Slavs and for the destruction of the three monarchies, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. He advocated pan-Slavism, and believed that the Slavic people could once more be united and then federated into a great new nation. When Marx saw the volume, he wrote in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (February 14, 1849), "Aside from the Poles, the Russians, and perhaps even the Slavs of Turkey, no Slavic people has a future, for the simple reason that there are lacking in all the other Slavs the primary conditions – historical, geographical, political, and industrial – of independence and vitality."[7] This cold-blooded statement infuriated Bakounin. He absolutely refused to look at the facts. Possessed of a passion for liberty, he wanted all nations, all peoples – civilized, semi-civilized, or savage – to be entirely free. What had historical, geographical, political, or industrial conditions to do with the matter? All this is typical of Bakounin's revolutionary sentimentalism. He clashed again with Marx on very similar grounds when the latter insisted that only in the more advanced countries is there a possibility of a social revolution. Modern capitalist production, according to Marx, must attain a certain degree of development before it is possible for the working class to hope to carry out any really revolutionary project. Bakounin takes issue with him here. He declares his own aim to be "the complete and real emancipation of all the proletariat, not only of some countries, but of all nations, civilized and non-civilized."[8] In these declarations the differences between Marx and Bakounin stand forth vividly. Marx at no time states what he wishes. He expresses no sentiment, but confines himself to a cold statement of the facts as he sees them. Bakounin, the dreamer, the sentimentalist, and the revolution-maker, wants the whole world free. Whether or not Marx wants the same thing is not the question. He rigidly confines himself to what he believes is possible. He says certain conditions must exist before a people can be free and independent. Among them are included historical, geographical, political, and industrial conditions. Marx further states that, before the working-class revolution can be successful, certain economic conditions must exist. Marx is not stating here conclusions which are necessarily agreeable to him. He states only the results of his study of history, based on his analysis of past events. In the one case we find the idealist seeking to set the world violently right; in the other case we find the historian and the scientist – influenced no doubt, as all men must be, by certain hopes, yet totally regardless of personal desire – stating the antecedent conditions which must exist previous to the birth of a new historic or economic period.

In speaking of the antagonism between Marx and Bakounin in this earlier period, I do not mean to convey the impression that it was the cause of the dissensions that arose later. The slightest knowledge of Bakounin's philosophy and methods is enough to make one realize that neither the International nor any considerable section of the labor or socialist movements had anything in common with those ideas. Certainly the thought and policies of Marx were directly opposed to everything from first to last that Bakounin stood for. Nothing could be more grotesque than the idea that Marxism and Bakouninism could be blended, or indeed exist together, in any semblance of harmony. Every thought, policy, and method of the two clashed furiously. It would be impossible to conceive of two other minds that were on so many points such worlds apart. Both Bakounin and Marx instinctively felt this essential antagonism, yet the former wrote Marx, in December, 1868, when he was preparing to enter the International, assuring him that he had had a change of heart and that "my country, now, c'est l'Internationale, of which you are one of the principal founders. You see then, dear friend, that I am your disciple and I am proud to be it."[9] He then signs himself affectionately, "Your devoted M. Bakounin."[10]

With an olive branch such as that arrived the new "disciple" of Marx. He then set to work without a moment's delay to capture the International congress which was to be held at Basel, September, 1869. And it was there that the first battle occurred. From the very moment that the congress opened it was clear that on every important question there was to be a division. Most unexpectedly, the first struggle arose over a question that seemed not at all fundamental at the time, but which, as the later history of socialism shows, was really basic. The father of direct legislation, Rittinghausen, was a delegate to the congress from Germany. He begged the congress for an opportunity to present his ideas, and he won the support, quite naturally, of the Marxian elements. In his preliminary statement to the congress he said: "You are going to occupy yourselves at length with the great social reforms that you think necessary in order to put an end to the deplorable situation of the labor world. Is it then less necessary for you to occupy yourselves with methods of execution by which you may accomplish these reforms? I hear many among you say that you wish to attain your end by revolution. Well, comrades, revolution, as a matter of fact, accomplishes nothing. If you are not able to formulate, after the revolution, by legislation, your legitimate demands, the revolution will perish miserably like that of 1848. You will be the prey of the most violent reaction and you will be forced anew to suffer years of oppression and disgrace.

"What, then, are the means of execution that democracy will have to employ in order to realize its ideas? Legislation by an individual functions only to the advantage of that individual and his family. Legislation by a group of capitalists, called representatives, serves only the interests of this class. It is only by taking their interests into their own hands, by direct legislation, that the people can ... establish the reign of social justice. I insist, then, that you put on the program of this congress the question of direct legislation by the people."[11]

The forces led by Bakounin and Professor Hins, of Belgium, opposed any consideration of this question. The latter, in elaborating the remarks of Bakounin, declared: "They wish, they say, to accomplish, by representation or direct legislation, the transformation of the present governments, the work of our enemies, the bourgeois. They wish, in order to do this, to enter into these governments, and, by persuasion, by numbers, and by new laws, to establish a new State. Comrades, do not follow this line of march, for we would perish in following it in Belgium or in France as elsewhere. Rather let us leave these governments to rot away and not prop them up with our morality. This is the reason: the International is and must be a State within States. Let these States march on as they like, even to the point where our State is the strongest. Then, on their ruins, we will place ours, all prepared, all made ready, such as it exists in each section."[12] The result of this debate was that the father of direct legislation was not allowed time to present his views, and it is significant that this first clash of the congress resulted in a victory for the anarchists, despite all that could be done by Liebknecht and the other socialists.

The chief question on the program was the consideration of the right of inheritance. This was the main economic change desired by the Alliance. For years Bakounin had advocated the abolition of the right of inheritance as the most revolutionary of his economic demands. "The right of inheritance," declared Bakounin, "after having been the natural consequence of the violent appropriation of natural and social wealth, became later the basis of the political state and of the legal family.... It is necessary, therefore, to vote the abolition of the right of inheritance."[13] It was left to George Eccarius, delegate of the Association of Tailors of London, to present to that congress the views of Marx and the General Council. The report of the General Council was, of course, prepared in advance, but Bakounin's views were well known, and it was intended as a crushing rejoinder. "Inheritance," it declared, "does not create that power of transferring the produce of one man's labor into another man's pocket – it only relates to the change in the individuals who yield (sic) that power. Like all other civil legislation, the laws of inheritance are not the cause, but the effect, the juridical consequence of the existing economical organization of society, based upon private property in the means of production, that is to say, in land, raw material, machinery, etc. In the same way the right of inheritance in the slave is not the cause of slavery, but, on the contrary, slavery is the cause of inheritance in slaves.... To proclaim the abolition of the right of inheritance as the starting point of the social revolution would only tend to lead the working class away from the true point of attack against present society. It would be as absurd a thing as to abolish the laws of contract between buyer and seller, while continuing the present state of exchange of commodities. It would be a thing false in theory and reactionary in practice."[14] Despite the opposition of the Marxians at the congress, the proposition of Bakounin received thirty-two votes as against twenty-three given to the proposition of the General Council. As thirteen of the delegates abstained from voting, Bakounin's resolution did not obtain an absolute majority, and the question was thus left undecided.

Another important discussion at the congress was on landed property. Some of the delegates were opposed to the collective ownership of land, believing that it should be divided into small sections and left to the peasants to cultivate. Others advocated a kind of communism, in which associations of agriculturists were to work the soil. Still others believed that the State should own the land and lease it to individuals. Indeed, almost every phase of the question was touched, including the means of obtaining the land from the present owners and of distributing it among the peasants or of owning it collectively while allowing them the right to cultivate it for their profit. On this subject, again, Eccarius presented the views of Marx. To Bakounin, who expressed his terror of the State, no matter of what character, Eccarius said "that his relations with the French have doubtless communicated to him this conception (for it appears that the French workingmen can never think of the State without seeing a Napoleon appear, accompanied by a flock of cannon), and he replied that the State can be reformed by the coming of the working class into power. All great transformations have been inaugurated by a change in the form of landed property. The allodial system was replaced by the feudal system, the feudal system by modern private ownership, and the social transformation to which the new state of things tends will be inaugurated by the abolition of individual property in land. As to compensations, that will depend on the circumstances. If the transformation is made peacefully, the present owners will be indemnified.... If the owners of slaves had yielded when Lincoln was elected, they would have received a compensation for their slaves. Their resistance led to the abolition of slavery without compensation...."[15] The congress, after debating the question at length, contented itself with voting the general proposition that "society has the right to abolish private property in land and to make land the property of the community."[16]

The last important question considered by the congress was that dealing with trade unions. The debate aroused little interest, although Liebknecht opened the discussion. He pointed out the great extension of trade-union organization in England, Germany, and America, and he tried to impress upon the congress the necessity for vastly extending this form of solidarity. And, indeed, it seems to have been generally admitted that trade-union organization was necessary. No practical proposals were, however, made for actually developing such organizations. The interesting part of the discussion came upon the function of trade unionism in future society. The socialists were little concerned as to what might happen to the trade unions in future society, but Professor Hins outlined at that congress the program of the modern syndicalists. It is, therefore, especially interesting to read what Professor Hins said as early as 1869: "Societies de résistance (trade unions) will subsist after the suppression of wages, not in name, but in deed. They will then be the organization of labor, ... operating a vast distribution of labor from one end of the world to the other. They will replace the ancient political systems: in place of a confused and heterogeneous representation, there will be the representation of labor.

"They will be at the same time agents of decentralization, for the centers will differ according to the industries which will form, in some manner, each one a separate State, and will prevent forever the return to the ancient form of centralized State, which will not, however, prevent another form of government for local purposes. As is evident, if we are reproached for being indifferent to every form of government, it is ... because we detest them all in the same way, and because we believe that it is only on their ruins that a society conforming to the principles of justice can be established."[S][17]

The congress at Basel was the turning point in the brief history of the International. Although the Marxists were reluctant to admit it, the Bakouninists had won a complete victory on every important issue. Some of the decisions future congresses might remedy, but in refusing even to discuss the question of direct legislation many of the delegates clearly showed their determination to have nothing to do with politics or with any movement aiming at the conquest of political power. In all the discussions the anarchist tendencies of the congress were unmistakable, and the immense gulf between the Marxists and the Bakouninists was laid bare. The very foundation principles upon which the International was based had been overturned. Political action was to be abandoned, while the discussion on trade unions introduced for the first time in the International the idea of a purely economic struggle and a conception of future society in which groups of producers, and not the State or the community, should own the tools of production. This syndicalist conception of socialism was not new. Developed for the first time by Robert Owen in 1833, it had led the working classes into the most violent and bitter strikes, that ended in disaster for all participants. Born again in 1869, it was destined to lie dormant for thirty years, then to be taken up once more – this time with immense enthusiasm – by the French trade unions.

Needless to say, the decisive victory of the Bakouninists at Basel was excessively annoying and humiliating to Marx. He did not attend in person, but it was evident before the congress that he fully expected that his forces would, on that occasion, destroy root and branch the economic and political fallacies of Bakounin. He rather welcomed the discussion of the differences between the program of the Alliance and that of the International, in order that Eccarius, Liebknecht, and others might demolish, once and for all, the reactionary proposals of Bakounin. To Marx, much of the program of the Alliance seemed a remnant of eighteenth-century philosophy, while the rest was pure utopianism, consisting of unsound and impractical reforms, mixed with atheism and schoolboy declamation. Altogether, the policies and projects of Bakounin seemed so vulnerable that the General Council evidently felt that little preparation was necessary in order to defeat them. They seemed to have forgotten, for the moment, that Bakounin was an old and experienced conspirator. In any case, he had left no stone unturned to obtain control of the congress. Week by week, previous to the congress, l'Egalité, the organ of the Swiss federation, had published articles by Bakounin which, while professedly explaining the principles of the International, were in reality attacking them; and most insidiously Bakounin's own program was presented as the traditional position of the organization. Liberty, fraternity, and equality were, of course, called into service. The treason of certain working-class politicians was pointed out as the natural and inevitable result of political action, while to those who had given little thought to economic theory the abolition of inheritances seemed the final word. Nor did Bakounin limit his efforts to his pen. All sections of the Alliance undertook to see that friends of Bakounin were sent as delegates to the congress, and it was charged that credentials were obtained in various underhanded ways. However that may have been, the "practical," "cold-blooded" Marx was completely outwitted by his "sentimental" and "visionary" antagonist. Instead of a great victory, therefore, the Marxists left the congress of Basel utterly dejected, and Eccarius is reported to have said, "Marx will be terribly annoyed."[18]

That Marx was annoyed is to put it with extraordinary moderation, and from that moment the fight on Bakouninism, anarchism, and terrorism developed to a white heat. Immediately after the adjournment of the congress, Moritz Hess, a close friend of Marx and a delegate to the congress, published in the Réveil of Paris what he called "the secret history" of the congress, in which he declared that "between the collectivists of the International and the Russian communists [meaning the Bakouninists] there was all the difference which exists between civilization and barbarism, between liberty and despotism, between citizens condemning every form of violence and slaves addicted to the use of brutal force."[19] Even this gives but a faint idea of the bitterness of the controversy. Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, Hess, Outine, the General Council in London, and every newspaper under the control of the Marxists began to assail Bakounin and his circle. They no longer confined themselves to a denunciation of the "utopian and bourgeois" character of the anarchist philosophy. They went into the past history of Bakounin, revived all the accusations that had been made against him, and exposed every particle of evidence obtainable concerning his "checkered" career as a revolutionist. It will be remembered that it was in 1869 that Nechayeff appeared in Switzerland. When the Marxists got wind of him and his doctrine, their rage knew no bounds. And later they obtained and published in L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste the material from which I have already quoted extensively in my first chapter.

No useful purpose, however, would be served in dealing with the personal phases of the struggle. Bakounin became so irate at the attacks upon him, several of which happened to have been written by Jews, that he wrote an answer entitled "Study Upon the German Jews." He feared to attack Marx; and this "Study," while avoiding a personal attack, sought to arouse a racial prejudice that would injure him. He writes to Herzen, a month after the congress at Basel, that he fully realizes that Marx is "the instigator and the leader of all this calumnious and infamous polemic."[20] He was reluctant, however, to attack him personally, and even refers to Marx and Lassalle as "these two Jewish giants," but besides them, he adds, "there was and is a crowd of Jewish pigmies."[21] "Nevertheless," he writes, "it may happen, and very shortly, too, that I shall enter into conflict with him, not over any personal offense, of course, but over a question of principle, regarding State communism, of which he himself and the English and German parties which he directs are the most ardent partisans. Then it will be a fight to the finish. But there is a time for everything, and the hour for this struggle has not yet sounded.... Do you not see that all these gentlemen who are our enemies are forming a phalanx, which must be disunited and broken up in order to be the more easily routed? You are more erudite than I; you know, therefore, better than I who was the first to take for principle: Divide and rule. If at present I should undertake an open war against Marx himself, three-quarters of the members of the International would turn against me, and I would be at a disadvantage, for I would have lost the ground on which I must stand. But by beginning this war with an attack against the rabble by which he is surrounded, I shall have the majority on my side.... But, ... if he wishes to constitute himself the defender of their cause, it is he who would then declare war openly. In this case, I shall take the field also and I shall play the star rôle."[22]

This was written in October, 1869, a month after the Basel congress. On the 1st of January, 1870, the General Council at London sent a private communication to all sections of the International, and on the 28th of March it was followed by another. These, together with various circulars dealing with questions of principle, but all consisting of attacks upon Bakounin personally or upon his doctrines, finally goaded him into open war upon Marx, the General Council, all their doctrines, and even upon the then forming socialist party of Germany, with Bebel and Liebknecht at its head. During the year 1870 Bakounin was preparing for the great controversy, but his friends of Lyons interrupted his work by calling him there to take part in the uprising of that year. He hastened to Lyons, but, as we know, he was soon forced to flee and conceal himself in Marseilles. It was there, in the midst of the blackest despair, that Bakounin wrote: "I have no longer any faith in the Revolution in France. This nation is no longer in the least revolutionary. The people themselves have become doctrinaire, as insolent and as bourgeois as the bourgeois.... The bourgeois are loathsome. They are as savage as they are stupid – and as the police blood flows in their veins – they should be called policemen and attorneys-general in embryo. I am going to reply to their infamous calumnies by a good little book in which I shall give everything and everybody its proper name. I leave this country with deep despair in my heart."[23] He then set to work at last to state systematically his own views and to annihilate utterly those of the socialists. Many of these documents are only fragmentary. Some were started and abandoned; others ended in hopeless confusion. With the most extraordinary gift of inspirited statement, he passes in review every phase of history, leaping from one peak to another of the great periods, pointing his lessons, issuing his warnings, but all the time throwing at the reader such a Niagara of ideas and arguments that he is left utterly dazed and bewildered as by some startling military display or the rushing here and there of a military maneuver. In Lettres à un Français; Manuscrit de 114 Pages, écrit à Marseille; Lettre à Esquiros; Préambule pour la Seconde Livraison de l'Empire Knouto-Germanique; Avertissement pour l'Empire Knouto-Germanique; Au Journal La Liberté, de Bruxelles; and Fragment formant une Suite de l'Empire Knouto-Germanique, he returns again and again to the charge, always seeking to deal some fatal blow to Marxian socialism, but never apparently satisfying himself that he has accomplished his task. He touches the border of practical criticism of the socialist program in the fragment entitled Lettres à un Français. It ends, however, before the task is done. Again he takes it up in the Manuscrit écrit à Marseille. But here also, as soon as he arrives at the point of annihilating the socialists, his task is discontinued. In truth, he himself seems to have realized the inconclusive character of his writings, as he refused in some cases to complete them and in other cases to publish them. Nevertheless, we find in various places of his fragmentary writings not only a statement of his own views, but his entire critique upon socialism.

As I have made clear enough, I think, in my first chapter, there are in Bakounin's writings two main ideas put forward again and again, dressed in innumerable forms and supported by an inexhaustible variety of arguments. These ideas are based upon his antagonism to religion and to government. It was always Dieu et l'Etat that he was fighting, and not until both the ideas and the institutions which had grown up in support of "these monstrous oppressions" had been destroyed and swept from the earth could there arise, thought Bakounin, a free society, peopled with happy and emancipated human souls. When one has once obtained this conception of Bakounin's fundamental views, there is little necessity for dealing with the infinite number of minor points upon which he was forced to attack the men and movements of his time. On the one hand, he was assailing Mazzini, whose every move in life was actuated by his intense religious and political faith, while, on the other hand, he was attacking Marx as the modern Moses handing down to the enslaved multitudes his table of infamous laws as the foundation for a new tyranny, that of State socialism. In 1871 Bakounin ceased all maneuvering. Bringing out his great guns, he began to bombard both Mazzini and Marx. Never has polemic literature seen such another battle. With a weapon in each hand, turning from the one to the other of his antagonists, he battled, as no man ever before battled, to crush "these enemies of the entire human race."

There is, of course, no possibility of adequately summarizing, in such limited space as I have allotted to it, the thought of one who traversed the history of the entire world of thought and action in pursuit of some crushing argument against the socialism of Marx. This perverted form of socialism, Bakounin maintained, contemplated the establishment of a communisme autoritaire, or State socialism. "The State," he says, "having become the sole owner – at the end of a certain period of transition which will be necessary in order to transform society, without too great economic and political shocks, from the present organization of bourgeois privilege to the future organization of official equality for all – the State will also be the sole capitalist, the banker, the money lender, the organizer, the director of all the national work, and the distributor of its products. Such is the ideal, the fundamental principle of modern communism."[24] This is, of all Bakounin's criticisms of socialism, the one that has had the greatest vitality. It has gone the round of the world as a crushing blow to socialist ideals. The same thought has been repeated by every politician, newspaper, and capitalist who has undertaken to refute socialism. And every socialist will admit that of all the attempts to misrepresent socialism and to make it abhorrent to most people the idea expressed in these words of Bakounin has been the most effective. To state thus the ideal of socialism is sufficient in most cases to end all argument. Add to this program military discipline for the masses, barracks for homes, and a ruling bureaucracy, and you have complete the terrifying picture that is held up to the workers of every country, even to-day, as the nefarious, world-destroying design of the socialists.

It is, therefore, altogether proper to inquire if these were in reality the aims of the Marxists. Many sincere opponents of socialism actually believe that these are the ends sought, while the casual reader of socialist literature may see much that appears to lead directly to the dreadful State tyranny that Bakounin has pictured. But did Marx actually advocate State socialism? In the Communist Manifesto Marx proposed a series of reforms that the State alone was capable of instituting. He urged that many of the instruments of production should be centralized in the hands of the State. Moreover, nothing is clearer than his prophecy that the working class "will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State."[25] Indeed, in this program, as in all others that have developed out of it, the end of socialism would seem to be State ownership. "With trusts or without," writes Engels, "the official representative of capitalist society – the State – will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production." Commenting himself upon this statement, he adds in a footnote: "I say 'have to.' For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the State has become economically inevitable, only then – even if it is the State of to-day that effects this – is there an economic advance, the attainment of another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by society itself." "This necessity," he continues, "for conversion into State property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication – the post-office, the telegraphs, the railways."[26]

Here is the entire position in a nutshell. But Engels says the State will "have to." Thus Engels and Marx are not stating necessarily what they desire. And it must not be forgotten that in all such statements both were outlining only what appeared to them to be a natural and inevitable evolution. In State ownership they saw an outcome of the necessary centralization of capital and its growth into huge monopolies. Society would be forced to use the power of the State to control, and eventually to own, these menacing aggregations of capital in the hands of a few men. Both Marx and Engels saw clearly enough that State monopoly does not destroy the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. "The modern State, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine.... The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, ... the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage workers – proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."[27]

State ownership, then, was not considered by Marx and Engels in itself a solution of the problem. It is only a necessary preliminary to the solution. The essential step, either subsequent or precedent, is the capture of political power by the working class. By this act the means of production are freed "from the character of capital they have thus far borne, ..." and their "socialized character" is given "complete freedom to work itself out."[28] "Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master – free.

"To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the new oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism."[29]

Engels declares that the State, such as we have known it in the past, will die out "as soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society – the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society – this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not 'abolished.' It dies out. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase 'a free State,' both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the State out of hand."[30]

This conception of the rôle of the State is one that no anarchist can comprehend. He is unwilling to admit that social evolution necessarily leads through State socialism to industrial democracy, or even that such an evolution is possible. To him the State seems to have a corporeal, material existence of its own. It is a tyrannical machine that exists above all classes and wields a legal, military, and judicial power all its own. That the State is only an agency for representing in certain fields the power of a dominant economic class – this is something the anarchist will not admit. In fact, Bakounin seems to have been utterly mystified when Eccarius answered him at Basel in these words: "The State can be reformed by the coming of the working class into power."[31] That the State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the capitalist class can neither be granted nor understood by the anarchists. Nor can it be comprehended that, when the capitalist class has no affairs of its own to manage, the coercive character of the State will gradually disappear. State ownership undermines and destroys the economic power of private capitalists. When the railroads, the mines, the forests, and other great monopolies are taken out of their hands, their control over the State is by this much diminished. The only power they possess to control the State resides in their economic power, and anything that weakens that tends to destroy the class character of the State itself. The inherent weakness of Bakounin's entire philosophy lay in this fact, that it begins with the necessity of abolishing God and the State, and that it can never get beyond that or away from that. And, as a necessary consequence, Bakounin had to oppose every measure that looked toward any compromise with the State, or that might enable the working class to exercise any influence in or through the State.

When, therefore, the German party at its congress at Eisenach demanded the suffrage and direct legislation, when it declared that political liberty is the most urgent preliminary condition for the economic emancipation of the working class, Bakounin could see nothing revolutionary in such a program. When, furthermore, the party declared that the social question is inseparable from the political question and that the problems of our economic life could be solved only in a democratic State, Bakounin, of course, was forced to oppose such heresies with all his power. And these were indeed the really vital questions, upon which the anarchists and the socialists could not be reconciled. It is in his Lettres à un Français, written just after the failure of his own "practical" efforts at Lyons, that Bakounin undertakes his criticism of the program of the German socialists. Preparatory to this task, he first terrifies his French readers with the warning that if the German army, then at their doors, should conquer France, it would result in the destruction of French socialism (by which he means anarchism), in the utter degradation and complete slavery of the French people, and make it possible for the Knout of Germany and Russia to fall upon the back of all Europe. "If, in this terrible moment, ... [France] does not prefer the death of all her children and the destruction of all her goods, the burning of her villages, her cities, and of all her houses to slavery under the yoke of the Prussians, if she does not destroy, by means of a popular and revolutionary uprising, the power of the innumerable German armies which, victorious on all sides up to the present, threaten her dignity, her liberty, and even her existence, if she does not become a grave for all those six hundred thousand soldiers of German despotism, if she does not oppose them with the one means capable of conquering and destroying them under the present circumstances, if she does not reply to this insolent invasion by the social revolution no less ruthless and a thousand times more menacing – it is certain, I maintain, that then France is lost, her masses of working people will be slaves, and French socialism will have lived its life."[32]

Approaching his subject in this dramatic manner, Bakounin turns to examine the degenerate state of socialism in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany to see "what will be the chances of working-class emancipation in all the rest of Europe."[33] In the first country socialism is only in its infancy. The Italians are wholly ignorant of the true causes of their misery. They are crushed, maltreated, and dying of hunger. They are "led blindly by the liberal and radical bourgeois."[34] Altogether, there is no immediate hope of socialism there. In Switzerland the people are asleep. "If the human world were on the point of dying, the Swiss would not resuscitate it."[35] Only in Germany is socialism making headway, and Bakounin undertakes to examine this socialism and to put it forward as a horrible example. To be sure, the German workers are awakening, but they are under the leadership of certain cunning politicians, who have abandoned all revolutionary ideas, and are now undertaking to reform the State, hoping that that could be done as a result of "a great peaceful and legal agitation of the working class."[36] The very name Liebknecht had taken for his paper, the Volksstaat, was infamous in Bakounin's eyes, while all the leaders of the labor party had become merely appendages to "their friends of the bourgeois Volkspartei."[37] He then passes in review the program of the German socialists, and points to their aim of establishing a democratic State by the "direct and secret suffrage for all men" and its guidance by direct legislation, as the utter abandonment of every revolutionary idea. He dwells upon the folly of the suffrage and of every effort to remodel, recast, and change the State, as "purely political and bourgeois."[38]

Democracies and republics are no less tyrannical than monarchies. The suffrage cannot alter them. In England, Switzerland, and America, he declares, the masses now have political power, yet they remain in the deepest depths of misery. Universal suffrage is only a new superstition, while the referendum, already existing in Switzerland, has failed utterly to improve the condition of the people. The working-class slaves, even in the most democratic countries, "have neither the instruction; nor the leisure, nor the independence necessary to exercise freely and with full knowledge of the case their rights as citizens. They have, in the most democratic countries, which are governed by representatives elected by all the people, a ruling day or rather a day of Saturnalian celebration: that is election day. Then the bourgeois, their oppressors, their every-day exploiters, and their masters, come to them, with hats off, talk to them of equality and of fraternity, and call them the ruling people, of whom they (the bourgeois) are only very humble servants, the representatives of their will. This day over, fraternity and equality evaporate in smoke, the bourgeois become bourgeois once more, and the proletariat, the sovereign people, remain slaves.

"Such is the real truth about the system of representative democracy, so much praised by the radical bourgeois, even when it is amended, completed, and developed, with a popular intention, by the referendum or by that 'direct legislation of the people' which is extolled by a German school that wrongly calls itself socialist. For very nearly two years, the referendum has been a part of the constitution of the canton of Zurich, and up to this time it has given absolutely no results. The people there are called upon to vote, by yes or by no, on all the important laws which are presented to them by the representative bodies. They could even grant them the initiative without real liberty winning the least advantage."[39]

It is a discouraging picture that Bakounin draws here of the ignorance and stupidity of the people as they are led in every election to vote their enemies into power. What, then, is to be done? What shall these hordes of the illiterate and miserable do? If by direct legislation they cannot even vote laws in their own interest, how, then, will it be possible for them ever to improve their condition? Such questions do not in the least disturb Bakounin. He has one answer, Revolution! As he said in the beginning, so he repeats: "To escape its wretched lot, the populace has three ways, two imaginary and one real. The first two are the rum shop and the church, ... the third is the social revolution."[40] "A cure is possible only through the social revolution,"[41] that is, through "the destruction of all institutions of inequality, and the establishment of economic and social equality."[42]

However, if Bakounin's idea of the social revolution never altered, the methods by which it was to be carried out suffered a change as a result of his experience in the International. In 1871 he no longer advocated, openly at any rate, secret conspiracies, the "loosening of evil passions," or some vague "unchaining of the hydra." He begins then to oppose to political action what he calls economic action.[43] In the fragment – not published during Bakounin's life – the Protestation de l'Alliance, he covers for the hundredth time his arguments against the Volksstaat, which is a "ridiculous contradiction, a fiction, a lie."[44] "The State ... will always be an institution of domination and of exploitation ... a permanent source of slavery and of misery."[45] How, then, shall the State be destroyed? Bakounin's answer is "first, by the organization and the federation of strike funds and the international solidarity of strikes; secondly, by the organization and international federation of trade unions; and, lastly, by the spontaneous and direct development of philosophical and sociological ideas in the International....

"Let us now consider these three ways in their special action, differing one from another, but, as I have just said, inseparable, and let us commence with the organization of strike funds and strikes.

"Strike funds have for their sole object to provide the necessary money in order to make possible the costly organization and maintenance of strikes. And the strike is the beginning of the social war of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, while still within the limits of legality.[T] Strikes are a valuable weapon in this twofold connection; first, because they electrify the masses, give fresh impetus to their moral energy, and awaken in their hearts the profound antagonism which exists between their interests and those of the bourgeoisie, by showing them ever clearer the abyss which from this time irrevocably separates them from that class; and, second, because they contribute in large measure to provoke and to constitute among the workers of all trades, of all localities, and of all countries the consciousness and the fact itself of solidarity: a double action, the one negative and the other positive, which tends to constitute directly the new world of the proletariat by opposing it, almost absolutely, to the bourgeois world."[46]

In another place he says: "Once this solidarity is seriously accepted and firmly established, it brings forth all the rest – all the principles – the most sublime and the most subversive of the International, the most destructive of religion, of juridical right, and of the State, of authority divine as well as human – in a word, the most revolutionary from the socialist point of view, being nothing but the natural and necessary developments of this economic solidarity. And the immense practical advantage of the trade sections over the central sections consists precisely in this – that these developments and these principles are demonstrated to the workers not by theoretical reasoning, but by the living and tragic experience of a struggle which each day becomes larger, more profound, and more terrible. In such a way that the worker who is the least instructed, the least prepared, the most gentle, always dragged further by the very consequences of this conflict, ends by recognizing himself to be a revolutionist, an anarchist, and an atheist, without often knowing himself how he has become such."[47]

This is as far as Bakounin gets in the statement of his new program of action, as this article, like many others, was discontinued and thrown aside at the moment when he comes to clinching his argument. The mountain, however, had labored, and this was its mouse. It is chiefly remarkable as a forecast of the methods adopted by the syndicalists a quarter of a century later. Nevertheless, one cannot escape the thought that Bakounin's advocacy of a purely economic struggle was only a last desperate effort on his part to discover some method of action, aside from his now discredited riots and insurrections, that could serve as an effective substitute for political action. In reality, Bakounin found himself in a vicious circle. Again and again he tried to find his way out, but invariably he returned to his starting point. In despair he tore to pieces his manuscript, immediately, however, to start a new one; then once more to rush round the circle that ended nowhere.

Marx and Engels ignored utterly the many and varied assaults that Bakounin made upon their theoretical views. They were not the least concerned over his attacks upon their socialism. They had not invented it, and economic evolution was determining its form. It was not, indeed, until 1875 that Engels deals with the tendencies to State socialism, and then it was in answer to Dr. Eugene Duehring, privat docent at Berlin University, who had just announced that he had become "converted" to socialism. Like many another distinguished convert, he immediately began to remodel the whole theory and to create what he supposed were new and original doctrines of his own. But no sooner were they put in print than they were found to be a restatement of the old and choicest formulas of Proudhon and Bakounin. Engels therefore took up the cudgels once again, and, no doubt to the stupefaction of Duehring, denied that property is robbery,[48] that slaves are kept in slavery by force,[49] and that the root of social and economic inequality is political tyranny.[50] Furthermore, he deplored this method of interpreting history, and pointed out that capitalism would exist "if we exclude the possibility of force, robbery, and cheating absolutely...." Furthermore, "the monopolization of the means of production ... in the hands of a single class few in numbers ... rests on purely economic grounds without robbery, force, or any intervention of politics or the government being necessary." To say that property rests on force "merely serves to obscure the understanding of the real development of things."[51] I mention Engels' argument in answer to Dr. Duehring, because word for word it answers also Bakounin. Of course, Bakounin was a much more difficult antagonist, because he could not be pinned down to any systematic doctrines or to any clear and logical development or statement of his thought. Indeed, Marx and Engels seemed more amused than concerned and simply treated his essays as a form of "hyper-revolutionary dress-parade oratory," to use a phrase of Liebknecht's. They ridiculed him as an "amorphous pan-destroyer," and made no attempt to refute his really intangible social and economic theories.

However, they met Bakounin's attacks on the International at every point. On the method of organization which Bakounin advocated, namely, that of a federalism of autonomous groups, which was to be "in the present a faithful image of future society," Marx replied that nothing could better suit the enemies of the International than to see such anarchy reign amidst the workers. Furthermore, when Bakounin advocated insurrections, uprisings, and riots, or even indeed purely economic action as a substitute for political action, Marx undertook extraordinary measures to deal finally with Bakounin and his program of action. A conference was therefore called of the leading spirits of the International, to be held in London in September, 1871. The whole of Bakounin's activity was there discussed, and a series of resolutions was adopted by the conference to be sent to every section of the International movement. A number of these resolutions dealt directly with Bakounin and the Alliance, which it was thought still existed, despite Bakounin's statement that it had been dissolved.[U] But by far the most important work of the conference was a resolution dealing with the question of political action. It is perhaps as important a document as was issued during the life of the International, and it stands as the answer of Marx to what Bakounin called economic action and to what the syndicalists now call direct action. The whole International organization is here pleaded with to maintain its faith in the efficacy of political means. Political action is pointed out as the fundamental principle of the organization, and, in order to give authority to this plea, the various declarations that had been made during the life of the International were brought together. Once again, the old motif of the Communist Manifesto appeared, and every effort was made to give it the authority of a positive law. Although rather long, the resolution is too important a document not to be printed here almost in full.

"Considering the following passage of the preamble to the rules: 'The economic emancipation of the working classes is the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;'

"That the Inaugural Address of the International Working Men's Association (1864) states: 'The lords of land and the lords of capital will always use their political privileges for the defense and perpetuation of their economic monopolies. So far from promoting, they will continue to lay every possible impediment in the way of the emancipation of labor.... To conquer political power has therefore become the great duty of the working classes;'

"That the Congress of Lausanne (1867) has passed this resolution: 'The social emancipation of the workmen is inseparable from their political emancipation;'

"That the declaration of the General Council relative to the pretended plot of the French Internationals on the eve of the plébiscite (1870) says: 'Certainly by the tenor of our statutes, all our branches in England, on the Continent, and in America have the special mission not only to serve as centers for the militant organization of the working class, but also to support, in their respective countries, every political movement tending toward the accomplishment of our ultimate end – the economic emancipation of the working class;'

* * * * *

"Considering that against this collective power of the propertied classes the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes;

"That this constitution of the working class into a political party is indispensable in order to insure the triumph of the social revolution and its ultimate end – the abolition of classes;

"That the combination of forces which the working class has already effected by its economic struggles ought at the same time to serve as a lever for its struggles against the political power of landlords and capitalists.

"The Conference recalls to the members of the International:

"That, in the militant state of the working class, its economic movement and its political action are indissolubly united."[52]

From the congress at Basel in 1869 to the conference at The Hague in 1872, little was done by the International to realize its great aim of organizing politically the working class of Europe. It had been completely sidetracked, and all the energies of its leading spirits were wasted in controversy and in the various struggles of the factions to control the organization. It was a period of incessant warfare. Nearly every local conference was a scene of dissension; many of the branches were dissolved; and disruption in the Latin countries was gradually obliterating whatever there was of actual organization. It all resolved itself into a question of domination between Bakounin and Marx. The war between Germany and France prevented an international gathering, and it was not until September, 1872, that another congress of the International was held. It was finally decided that it should gather at The Hague. The Commune had flashed across the sky for a moment. Insurrection had broken out and had been crushed in various places in Europe. Strikes were more frequent than had ever been known before. And, because of these various disturbances, the International had become the terror of Europe. Its strength and influence were vastly overestimated by the reactionary powers. Its hand was seen in every act of the discontented masses. It became the "Red Spectre," and all the powers of Europe were now seeking to destroy it. Looming thus large to the outside world, those within the International knew how baseless were the fears of its opponents. They realized that internecine war was eating its heart out. During all this time, when it was credited and blamed for every revolt in Europe, there were incredible plotting and intrigue between the factions. Endless documents were printed, assailing the alleged designs of this or that group, and secret circulars were issued denouncing the character of this or that leader. Sections were formed and dissolved in the maneuvers of the two factions to control the approaching congress. And, when finally the congress gathered at The Hague, there was a gravity among the delegates that foreboded what was to come. The Marxists were in absolute control. On the resolution to expel Michael Bakounin from the International the vote stood twenty-seven for and six against, while seven abstained. The expulsion of Bakounin, however, occurred only after a long debate upon his entire history and that of his secret Alliance. Nearly all the amazing collection of "documentary proof," afterward published in L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, was submitted to the congress, and a resolution was passed that all the documents should be published, together with such others as might tend to enlighten the membership concerning the purposes of Bakounin's organization.

Two other important actions were taken at the congress. One was to introduce into the actual rules of the Association part of the resolution, which was passed by the conference in London the year before, dealing with political action, and this was adopted by thirty-six votes against five. The other action was to remove the seat of the General Council from London to New York. Although this was suggested by Marx, it was energetically fought on the ground that it meant the destruction of the International. By a very narrow vote the resolution was carried, twenty-six to twenty-three, a number of Marx's oldest and most devoted followers voting against the proposition. No really satisfactory explanation is given for this extraordinary act, although it has been thought since that Marx had arrived at the decision, perhaps the hardest of his life, to destroy the International in order to save it from the hands of the anarchists. To be sure, Bakounin was now out of it, and there was little to be feared from his faction, segregated and limited to certain places in the Latin countries; but everywhere the name of the International was being used by all sorts of elements that could only injure the actual labor movement. The exploits of Nechayeff, of Bakounin, and of certain Spanish and Italian sections had all conveyed to the world an impression of the International which perhaps could never be altogether erased. Furthermore, in Germany and other countries the seeds of an actual working-class political movement had been planted, and there was already promise of a huge development in the national organizations. What moved Marx thus to destroy his own child, the concrete thing he had dreamed of in his thirty years of incessant labor, profound study, and ceaseless agitation, will perhaps never be fully known, but in any case no act of Marx was ever of greater service to the cause of labor. It was a form of surgery that cut out of the socialist movement forever an irreconcilable element, and from then on the distinction between anarchist and socialist was indisputably clear. They stood poles apart, and everyone realized that no useful purpose would be served in trying to bring them together again.

Largely because of Bakounin, the International as an organization of labor never played an important rôle; but, as a melting pot in which the crude ideas of many philosophies were thrown – some to be fused, others to be cast aside, and all eventually to be clarified and purified – the International performed a memorable service. During its entire life it was a battlefield. In the beginning there were many separate groups, but at the end there were only two forces in combat – socialists and anarchists. When the quarrel began there was among the masses no sharply dividing line; their ideas were incoherent; and their allegiance was to individuals rather than to principles. Without much discrimination, they called themselves "communists," "Internationalists," "collectivists," "anarchists," "socialists." Even these terms they had not defined, and it was only toward the end of the International that the two combatants classified their principles into two antagonistic schools, socialism and anarchism. Anarchism was no longer a vague, undefined philosophy of human happiness; it now stood forth, clear and distinct from all other social theories. After this no one need be in doubt as to its meaning and methods. On the other hand, no thoughtful person need longer remain in doubt as to the exact meaning and methods of socialism. This work of definition and clarification was the immense service performed by the International in its eight brief years of life. Throughout Europe and America, after 1872, these two forces openly declared that they had nothing in common, either in method or in philosophy. To them at least the International had been a university.


[S] In the English report of the discussion Professor Hins's remarks are summarized as follows: "Hins said he could not agree with those who looked upon trade societies as mere strike and wages' societies, nor was he in favor of having central committees made up of all trades. The present trades unions would some day overthrow the present state of political organization altogether; they represented the social and political organization of the future. The whole laboring population would range itself, according to occupation, into different groups, and this would lead to a new political organization of society. He wanted no intermeddling of the State; they had enough of that in Belgium already. As to the central committees, every trade ought to have its central committee at the principal seat of manufacture. The central committee of the cotton trades ought to be at Manchester; that of the silk trades at Lyons, etc. He did not consider it a disadvantage that trade unions kept aloof more or less from politics, at least in his country. By trying to reform the State, or to take part in its councils, they would virtually acknowledge its right of existence. Whatever the English, the Swiss, the Germans, and the Americans might hope to accomplish by means of the present political State the Belgians repudiated theirs." – pp. 31-2.

[T] These are almost the exact words that Aristide Briand uses in his argument for the general strike. See "La Grève Générale," compiled by Lagardelle, p. 95.

[U] One of the resolutions prohibited the formation of sectarian groups or separatist bodies within the International, such as the Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, that pretended "to accomplish special missions, distinct from the common purposes of the Association." Another resolution dealt with what was called the "split" among the workers in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Still another resolution formally declared that the International had nothing in common with the infamies of Nechayeff, who had fraudulently usurped and exploited the name of the International. Furthermore, Outine was instructed to prepare a report from the Russian journals on the work of Nechayeff. Cf. Resolutions II, XVII, XIII, XIV, respectively, of the Conference of Delegates of the International Working Men's Association, Assembled at London from 17th to 23d September, 1871.



After The Hague congress the socialists and anarchists, divided into separate and antagonistic groups – with principles as well as methods of organization that were diametrically opposed to each other – were forced to undergo a terrific struggle for existence. Marx had clearly enough warned the followers of Bakounin that their methods were suicidal. "The Alliance proceeds the wrong way," he declared. "It proclaims anarchy in the working-class ranks as the surest means of destroying the powerful concentration of social and political forces in the hands of the exploiters. On this pretext it asks the International, at the moment when the old world is striving to crush it, to replace its organization by anarchy."[1] And, as strange as it may seem, this was in fact what Bakounin was actually striving for. In the name of liberty he was demanding that the International be broken up into thousands of isolated, autonomous groups, which were to do whatever they pleased, in any way they pleased, at any time they pleased. This may have been, and doubtless was, in perfect harmony with the philosophy of anarchism, but it had nothing in harmony with the idea of a solidified, international organization of workingmen that Marx was striving to bring into existence. Anarchism when advocated as an ideal for some distant social order of the future, concerned Marx and Engels very little; indeed, they did not even discuss it from this point of view. It was only when Bakounin counseled anarchy as a method of working-class organization that both Marx and Engels protested, on the ground that such tactics could lead only to self-destruction. Neither Bakounin nor his followers were convinced, however, and they set out bravely after 1872 to put into practice their ideas. Their revolt against authority was carried to its ultimate extreme. How far the anarchists were prepared to go in their revolt is indicated by a letter which Bakounin wrote to La Liberté of Brussels a few days after his expulsion from the International. Although not finished, and consequently not sent to that journal, it is especially interesting because he attacks the General Council as a new incarnation of the State. Here his lively imagination pictures the International as the germ of a new despotic social order, already fallen under the domination of a group of dictators, and he exclaims: "A State, a government, a universal dictatorship! The dream of Gregory VII., of Boniface VIII., of Charles V., and of Napoleon is reproduced in new forms, but ever with the same pretensions, in the camp of social democracy."[2] This is an altogether new point of view as to the character of the State. We now learn that it means any form of centralized organization; a committee, a chairman, an executive body of any sort is a State. The General Council in London was a State. Marx and Engels were a State. Any authority – no matter what its form, nor how controlled, appointed, or elected – is a State.

I am not sure that this marks the birth of the repugnance of the anarchists to even so innocent a form of authority as that of a chairman. Nor am I certain that this was the origin of those ideas of organization that make of an anarchist meeting a modern Babel, wherein all seems to be utter confusion. In any case, the Bakouninists, after The Hague congress, undertook to revive the International and to base this new organization on these ideas of anarchism. After a conference at Saint-Imier in the Jura, where Bakounin and his friends outlined the policies of a new International, a call was sent out for a congress to be held in Geneva in 1873. The congress that assembled there was not a large one, but, with no exaggeration whatever, it was one of the most remarkable gatherings ever held. For six entire days and nights the delegates struggled to create by some magic means a world-wide organization of the people, without a program, a committee, a chairman, or a vote. No longer oppressed by the "tyranny" of Marx, or baffled by his "abominable intrigues," they set out to create their "faithful image" of the new world – an organization that was not to be an organization; a union that was to be made up of fleeting and constantly shifting elements, agreeing at one moment to unite, at the next moment to divide. This was the insolvable problem that now faced the first congress of the anarchists. There were only two heretics among them. Both had come from England; but Hales was a "voice crying in the wilderness," while Eccarius sat silent throughout the congress.

The first great debate took place upon whether there should be any central council. The English delegates believed that there should be one, but that its power should be limited. Other delegates believed that there might be various commissions to perform certain necessary executive services. John Hales declared, in support of a central commission, that it will promote economy and facilitate the work, and that it will be easy to prevent such a commission from usurping power.[3] Paul Brousse, Guillaume, and others opposed this view with such heat, however, that Hales was forced to respond: "I combat anarchy because the word and the thing that it represents are the synonyms of dissolution. Anarchy spells individualism, and individualism is the basis of the existing society that we desire to destroy.... Let us suppose, for example, a strike. Can one hope to triumph with an anarchist organization? Under this régime each one, being able to do what he pleases, can, according to his will, work or not work. The general interest will be sacrificed to individual caprice. The veritable application of the anarchist principle would be the dissolution of the International, and this congress has precisely an opposite end, which is to reorganize the International. One should not confound authority and organization. We are not authoritarians, but we must be organizers. Far from approving anarchy, which is the present social state, we ought to combat it by the creation of a central commission and by the organization of collectivism. Anarchy is the law of death; collectivism, that of life."[4] This was, as Hales soon discovered, the very essence of heresy, and, when the vote was taken, he was overwhelmed by those opposed to any centralized organization.

The anarchists were not, however, content merely with having no central council, and they began to discuss whether or not the various federations should vote upon questions of principle. The commission that was dealing with the revision of the by-laws recommended that views should be harmonized by discussion and that any decisions made by the congress should be enforced only among those federations which accepted its decisions. Costa of Italy approved of these ideas. "For that which concerns theory, we can only discuss and seek to persuade each other, ... but we cannot enforce, for example, ... a certain political program."[5] Brousse vigorously opposed the process of voting in any form. It appeared to him that the true means of action was to obtain the opinion of everyone. "The vote," he declared, "simply divides an assembly into a majority and a minority.... The only truly practical means of obtaining a consensus of opinions is to have them placed in the minutes without voting."[6] That view seemed to prevail, and the amendment to this question suggested by Hales of England was voted down by the majority!

These two decisions of the congress will convey an idea of the anarchist conception of organization. There was to be no executive or administrative body. Nor were the decisions of the congress to have any authority. Anybody could join, believing anything he liked and doing anything he liked. Only those federations which voluntarily accepted the decisions of the congress were expected to obey them. Matters of principle were in no-wise to be voted upon, and each individual was allowed to accept or reject them according to his wishes. The actual rules, adopted unanimously, ran as follows: "Federations and sections, composing the Association, will conserve their complete autonomy, that is to say, the right to organize themselves according to their will, to administer their own affairs without any exterior interference, and to determine themselves the path they wish to follow in order to arrive at the emancipation of labor."[7]

It was fully expected that, in addition to its work of reorganization, if we may so speak of it, the congress would definitely devise some method, other than a political one, for the emancipation of labor. The general strike had been put down upon the agenda for discussion. In the report of the Jura section it was declared: "If the workers affiliated with the Association could fix a certain day for the general strike, not only to obtain a reduction of hours and a diminution[V] of wages, but also to find the means of living in the coöperative workshops, by groups and by colonies, we could not decline to lend them our assistance, and we would make appeal to the members of all nations to lend them both moral and material aid."[8] Unfortunately, the congress had little time to discuss this part of its program. In the Compte-Rendu Officiel there is no report of whatever discussion took place. But Guillaume, in his Documents et Souvenirs, gives us a brief account of what occurred. After two resolutions had been put on the subject they were withdrawn because of opposition, and finally Guillaume introduced the following:

"Whereas partial strikes can only procure for the workers momentary and illusory relief, and whereas, by their very nature, wages will always be limited to the strictly necessary means of subsistence in order to keep the worker from dying of hunger,

"The Congress, without believing in the possibility of completely renouncing partial strikes, recommends the workers to devote their efforts to achieving an international organization of trade bodies, which will enable them to undertake some day a general strike, the only really efficacious strike to realize the complete emancipation of labor."[9] All the delegates approved the resolution, excepting Hales, who voted against it, and Van den Abeele, who abstained from voting because the matter would be later discussed in Holland.

It was of course inevitable that such an "organization" should soon disappear. Vigorous efforts were made by a few of the devoted to keep the movement alive, but it is easy to see that an aggregation so loosely united, and without any really definite purpose, was destined to dissolution. During the next few years various small congresses were held, but they were merely beating a corpse in the effort to keep it alive. And, while the Bakouninists were engaged in this critical struggle with death, the spirit that had animated all their battles with Marx withdrew himself. Bakounin was tired and discouraged, and he left his friends of the Jura without advice or assistance in their now impossible task. Thus precipitately ended the efforts of the anarchists to build up a new International. George Plechanoff illuminates the insolvable problem of the anarchists with his powerful statement: "Error has its logic as well as truth. Once you reject the political action of the working class, you are fatally driven – provided you do not wish to serve the bourgeois politicians – to accept the tactics of the Vaillants and the Henrys."[10] That this is terribly true is open to no question whatever. And the anarchists now found themselves in a veritable cul-de-sac. Like the poor in Sidney Lanier's poem, they were pressing

"Against an inward-opening door That pressure tightens evermore."

The more they fretted and stormed and crushed each other, the more hopelessly impossible became the chance of egress. The more desperately they threw themselves against that door, the more securely they imprisoned themselves. It was the very logic of their tactics that they could not circumvent so small an obstacle as that inward-opening door. It meant self-destruction. And that, of course, was exactly what happened, as we know, to those who followed the vicious round of logic from which Bakounin could not extricate himself. Their struggle for an organized existence was brief, and at the end of the seventies it was entirely over.

Naturally, the complete failure of all their projects did not improve their temper, and they lost no opportunity to assail the Marxists. The Jura Bulletin of December 10, 1876, translated an article entitled Poco à Poco, written by Andrea Costa, who labeled the "pacific" socialists "apostles of conciliation and ambiguity." They wish, said Costa, to march slowly on the road of progress. "Otherwise, indeed, what would become of them and their newspapers? For them the field of fruitful study and of profound observations on the phenomena of industrial life would be closed. For the journalists the means of earning money would have likewise disappeared.... Finding the satisfaction of their own aspirations in the present state of misery, they end by becoming, often without wishing it, profoundly egotistic and bad.... While calling themselves socialists, they are more dangerous than the declared enemies of the popular cause."[11] About this time a new journal appeared at Florence under the name of l'Anarchia and announced the following program: "We are not armchair (Katheder) socialists. We will speak a simple language in order that the proletariat may understand once for all what road it must follow in order to arrive at its complete emancipation. L'Anarchia will fight without truce not only the exploiting bourgeoisie, but also the new charlatans of socialism, for the latter are the most dangerous enemies of the working class."[12]

The following year Kropotkin wrote two articles in the Bulletin, July 22 and 29, which vigorously attacked socialist parliamentary tactics. "At what price does one succeed in leading the people to the ballot boxes?" he asks in the first article. "Have the frankness to acknowledge, gentlemen politicians, that it is by inculcating this illusion, that in sending members to parliament the people will succeed in freeing themselves and in bettering their lot, that is to say, by telling them what one knows to be an absolute lie. It is certainly not for the pleasure of getting their education that the German people give their pennies for parliamentary agitation. It is because, from hearing it repeated each day by hundreds of 'agitators,' they come to believe that truly by this method they will be able to realize, in part at least, if not completely, their hopes. Acknowledge it for once, politicians of to-day, formerly socialists, that we may say aloud what you think in silence: 'You are liars!' Yes, liars, I insist upon the word, since you lie to the people when you tell them that they will better their lot by sending you to parliament. You lie, for you yourselves, but a few years since, have maintained absolutely the contrary."[13]

What infuriated the anarchists was the amazing growth of the socialist political parties. It was only after The Hague congress that the socialist movement was in reality free to begin its actual work. With ideas diametrically opposed to those of the anarchists, the socialists set out to build up their national movements by uniting the various elements in the labor world. There were now devoted disciples of Marx in every country of Europe, and in the next few years, in France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany, the foundations were laid for the great national movements that exist to-day. In France, Jules Guesde, Paul Lafargue, and Gabriel Deville launched a socialist labor party in 1878. A Danish socialist labor party was formed the same year by an agreement with the trade unions. In the early eighties the Social-Democratic Federation was founded in England, and in 1881 a congress of various groups of radicals, socialists, and republicans launched a political movement in Italy. In Germany the socialists had already built up a great political organization. This had been done directly under the guidance of Marx and Engels through Liebknecht and Bebel. Marx's ideas were there perfectly worked out, and nothing so much as that living, growing thing incensed the anarchists. Indeed, they seemed to be convinced that there was more of menace to the working class in these growing organizations of the socialists than in the power of the bourgeoisie itself.

The controversial literature of this period is not pleasant reading. The socialists and anarchists were literally at each other's throats, and the spirit of malignity that actuated many of their assaults upon each other is revolting to those of to-day who cannot appreciate the intensity of this battle for the preservation of their most cherished ideas. And in all this period the socialist and labor movement was overrun with agents provocateurs, and every variety of paid police agents sent to disrupt and destroy these organizations. And, as has always been the case, these "reptiles," as they were called, were advocating among the masses those deeds which the chief anarchists were proclaiming as revolutionary methods. Riots, insurrections, dynamite outrages, the shooting of individuals, and all forms of violence were being preached to the poor and hungry men who made up the mass of the labor movement. Under the guise of anarchists, these "reptiles" were often looked upon as heroic figures, and everywhere, even when they did not succeed in winning the confidence of the masses, they were able to awaken suspicion and distrust that demoralized the movement. The socialists were assailed as traitors to the cause of labor, because they were preaching peaceable methods. They were accused of alliances with other parties, because they sought to elect men to parliament. They were denounced as in league with the Government and even the police, because they disapproved of dynamite.

On the other hand, the socialists were equally bitter in their attacks upon the anarchists. They denounced their methods as suicidal and the Propaganda of the Deed as utter madness. In La Période Tragique, when Duval, Decamps, Ravachol, and the other anarchists in France were committing the most astounding crimes, Jules Guesde and other socialist leaders condemned these outrages and protested against being associated in the public mind with those who advocated theft and murder as a method of propaganda. Indeed, the anarchists in the late seventies and in the eighties lost many who had been formerly friendly to them. Guesde and Plechanoff, both of whom had been influenced in their early days by the Bakouninists, had broken with them completely. Later Paul Brousse and Andrea Costa left them. And, in fact, the anarchists were now incapable of any effective action or even education. Without committees, executives, laws, votes, or chairmen, they could not undertake any work which depended on organized effort, and, except as they managed from time to time to gain a prominent position in some labor or radical organization built up by others, they had no influence over any large body of people. They were fighting desperately to prevent extinction, and in their struggle a number of extraordinarily brilliant and daring characters came to the front. But during the next decade their tragic desperation, instead of advancing anarchism, served only to strengthen the reactionary elements of Europe in their effort to annihilate the now formidable labor and socialist movements.

Turning now to the struggle for existence of the socialist parties of the various countries, there is one story that is far too important in the history of socialism to be passed over. It was a magnificent battle against the terrorists above and the terrorists below, that ended in complete victory for the socialists. Strangely enough, the greatest provocation to violence that has ever confronted the labor movement and the greatest opportunity that was ever offered to anarchy occurred in precisely that country where it was least expected. Nowhere else in all Europe had socialism made such advances as in Germany; and nowhere else was the movement so well organized, so intelligently led, or so clear as to its aims and methods. An immense agitation had gone on during the entire sixties, and working-class organizations were springing up everywhere. Besides possessing the greatest theorists of socialism, Marx and Engels, the German movement was rich indeed in having in its service three such matchless agitators as Lassalle, Bebel, and Liebknecht. Lassalle certainly had no peer, and those who have written of him exhaust superlatives in their efforts to describe this prodigy. He, also, was a product of that hero-producing period of '48. He had been arrested in Düsseldorf at the same time that Marx and his circle had been arrested at Cologne. He was then only twenty-three years of age. Yet his defense of his actions in court is said to have been a masterpiece. Even the critic George Brandes has spoken of it as the most wonderful example of manly courage and eloquence in a youth that the history of the world has given us.

Precocious as a child, proud and haughty as a youth, gifted with a critical, penetrating, and brilliant mind, and moved by an ambition that knew no bounds, Lassalle, with all his powerful passion and dramatic talents, could not have been other than a great figure. When a man possesses qualities that call forth the wonder of Heine, Humboldt, Bismarck, and Brandes, when Bakounin calls him a "giant," and even George Meredith turns to him as a personality almost unequaled in fiction and makes a novel out of his career, the plain ordinary world may gain some conception of this "father of the German labor movement." This is no place to deal with certain deplorable and contradictory phases of his life nor even with some of his mad dreams that led Bismarck, after saying that "he was one of the most intellectual and gifted men with whom I have ever had intercourse, ..." to add "and it was perhaps a matter of doubt to him whether the German Empire would close with the Hohenzollern dynasty or the Lassalle dynasty."[14] Such was the proud, unruly, ambitious spirit of the man, who, in 1862, came actively to voice the claims of labor.

Setting out to regenerate society and appealing directly to the working classes, Lassalle lashed them with scorn. "You German workingmen are curious people," he said. "French and English workingmen have to be shown how their miserable condition may be improved; but you have first to be shown that you are in a miserable condition. So long as you have a piece of bad sausage and a glass of beer, you do not notice that you want anything. That is a result of your accursed absence of needs. What, you will say, is this, then, a virtue? Yes, in the eyes of the Christian preacher of morality it is certainly a virtue. Absence of needs is the virtue of the Indian pillar saint and of the Christian monk, but in the eyes of the student of history and the political economist it is quite a different matter. Ask all political economists what is the greatest misfortune for a nation? The absence of wants. For these are the spurs of its development and of civilization. The Neapolitan lazaroni are so far behind in civilization, because they have no wants, because they stretch themselves out contentedly and warm themselves in the sun when they have secured a handful of macaroni. Why is the Russian Cossack so backward in civilization? Because he eats tallow candles and is happy when he can fuddle himself on bad liquor. To have as many needs as possible, but to satisfy them in an honorable and respectable way, that is the virtue of the present, of the economic age! And, so long as you do not understand and follow that truth, I shall preach in vain."[15] Other nations may be slaves, he added, recalling the words of Ludwig Börne; they may be put in chains and be held down by force, but the Germans are flunkies – it is not necessary to lay chains on them – they may be allowed to wander free about the house. Yet, while thus shaming the working classes, he pleaded their cause as no other one has pleaded it, and, after humiliating them, he held them spellbound, as he traced the great rôle the working classes were destined to play in the regeneration of all society.

The socialism of Lassalle had much in common with that of Louis Blanc, and his theory of coöperative enterprises subsidized by the State was almost identical. Chiefly toward this end he sought to promote working-class organization, although he also believed that the working classes would eventually gain control of the entire State and, through it, reorganize production. He agitated for universal suffrage and even plotted with Bismarck to obtain it. He was confident that an industrial revolution was inevitable. The change "will either come in complete legality," he said, "and with all the blessings of peace – if people are only wise enough to resolve that it shall be introduced in time and from above – or it will one day break in amid all the convulsions of violence, with wild, flowing hair, and iron sandals upon its feet. In one way or the other it will come at all events, and when, shutting myself from the noise of the day, I lose myself in history – then I hear its tread. But do you not see, then, that, in spite of this difference in what we believe, our endeavors go hand in hand? You do not believe in revolution, and therefore you want to prevent it. Good, do that which is your duty. But I do believe in revolution, and, because I believe in it, I wish, not to precipitate it – for I have already told you that according to my view of history the efforts of a tribune are in this respect necessarily as impotent as the breath of my mouth would be to unfetter the storm upon the sea – but in case it should come, and from below, I will humanize it, civilize it beforehand." [16] Thus Lassalle saw that "to wish to make a revolution is the foolishness of immature men who have no knowledge of the laws of history."[17] Yet he stated also that, if a revolution is imminent, it is equally childish for the powerful to think they can stem it. "Revolution is an overturning, and a revolution always takes place – whether it be with or without force is a matter of no importance ... when an entirely new principle is introduced in the place of the existing order. Reform, on the other hand, takes place when the principle of the existing order is retained, but is developed to more liberal or more consequent and just conclusions. Here, again, the question of means is of no importance. A reform may be effected by insurrection and bloodshed, and a revolution may take place in the deepest peace."[18]

Through the agitation of Lassalle, the Universal German Working Men's Association was organized, and it was his work for that body that won him fame as the founder of the German labor movement. Not a laborer himself, nor indeed speaking to them as one of themselves, he led a life that would probably have ended disastrously, even to the cause itself, had it not been for his dramatic ending through the love affair and the duel. Fate was kind to Lassalle in that he lived only so long as his influence served the cause of the workers, and in that death took him before life shattered another idol of the masses. "One of two things," said Lassalle once before his judges. "Either let us drink Cyprian wine and kiss beautiful maidens – in other words, indulge in the most common selfishness of pleasure – or, if we are to speak of the State and morality, let us dedicate all our powers to the improvement of the dark lot of the vast majority of mankind, out of whose night-covered floods we, the propertied class, only rise like solitary pillars, as if to show how dark are those floods, how deep is their abyss."[19] With such marvelous pictures as this Lassalle created a revolution in the thought and even in the action of the working classes of Germany. At times he drank Cyprian wines, and what might have happened had he lived no one can tell. But he was indeed at the time a "solitary pillar," rising out of "night-covered floods," a heroic figure, who is even to-day an unforgettable memory.

Bebel and Liebknecht appeared in the German movement as influential figures only after the disappearance of Lassalle. And, while the labor movement was already launched, it was in a deplorable condition when these two began their great work of uniting the toilers and organizing a political party. One of the first difficult tasks placed before them was to root out of the labor movement the corruption which Bismarck had introduced into it. That great and rising statesman was a practical politician not excelled even in America. In the most cold-blooded manner he sought to buy men and movements. For various reasons of his own he wanted the support of the working-class; and, as early as 1864, he employed Lothar Bucher, an old revolutionist who had been intimately associated with Marx. Possessed of remarkable intellectual gifts and an easy conscience, Bucher was of invaluable service to Bismarck, both in his knowledge of the inside workings of the labor and socialist movement and as a go-between when the Iron Chancellor had any dealings with the socialists. Through Bucher, Bismarck tried to bribe even Marx, and offered him a position on the Government official newspaper, the Staats Anzeiger. Bucher was also an intimate friend of Lassalle's, and it was doubtless through him that Bismarck arranged his secret conferences with Lassalle. The latter left no account of their relations, and it is difficult now to know how intimate they were or who first sought to establish them. About all that is known is what Bismarck himself said in the Reichstag when Bebel forced him to admit that he had conferred frequently with Lassalle: "Lassalle himself wanted urgently to enter into negotiations with me."[20] It is known that Lassalle sent to the Chancellor numerous communications, and that one of his letters to the secretary of the Universal Association reads, "The things sent to Bismarck should go in an envelope" marked "Personal."[21] Liebknecht later exposed August Brass as in the employ of Bismarck, although he was a "red republican," who had started a journal and had obtained Liebknecht's coöperation. Furthermore, when he was tried for high treason in 1872, Liebknecht declared that Bismarck's agents had tried to buy him. "Bismarck takes not only money, but also men, where he finds them. It does not matter to what party a man belongs. That is immaterial to him. He even prefers renegades, for a renegade is a man without honor and, consequently, an instrument without will power – as if dead – in the hands of the master."[22] "I do not need to say ... that I repelled Bismarck's offers of corruption with the scorn which they merited," Liebknecht continues. "If I had not done so, if I had been infamous enough to sacrifice my principles to my personal interest, I would be in a brilliant position, instead of on the bench of the accused where I have been sent by those who, years ago, tried in vain to buy me."[23] As early as 1865 Marx and Engels had to withdraw from their collaboration with Von Schweitzer in his journal, the Sozialdemokrat, because it was suspected that he had sold out to Bismarck. This was followed by Bebel's and Liebknecht's war on Von Schweitzer because of his relations to Bismarck. Von Schweitzer, as the successor of Lassalle at the head of the Universal Working Men's Association, occupied a powerful position, and the quarrels between the various elements in the labor movement were at this time almost fatal to the cause. However, various representatives of the working class already sat in Parliament, and among them were Bebel and Liebknecht.

The exposures of Liebknecht and Bebel proved not only ruinous to Von Schweitzer, but excessively annoying to Bismarck, and as early as 1871 he wanted to begin a war upon the Marxian socialists. In 1874 he actually began his attempts to crush what he could no longer corrupt or control. He became more and more enraged at the attitude of the socialists toward him personally. Moreover, they were no longer advocating coöperative associations subsidized by the State; they were now propagating everywhere republican and socialist ideas. He tried in various ways to rid the country of the two chief malcontents, Bebel and Liebknecht, but even their arrests seemed only to add to their fame and to spread more throughout the masses their revolutionary views. He says himself that he was awakened to the iniquity of their doctrines when they defended the republican principles of the Paris workmen in 1871. At his trial in 1872 Liebknecht stated with perfect frankness his republican principles. "Gentlemen Judges and Jurors, I do not disown my past, my principles, and my convictions. I deny nothing; I conceal nothing. And, in order to show that I am an adversary of monarchy and of present society, and that when duty calls me I do not recoil before the struggle, there was truly no need of the foolish inventions of the policemen of Giessen. I say here freely and openly: Since I have been capable of thinking I have been a republican, and I shall die a republican.[24] ... If I have had to undergo unheard of persecutions and if I am poor, that is nothing to be ashamed of – no, I am proud of it, for that is the most eloquent witness of my political integrity. Yet, once more, I am not a conspirator by profession. Call me, if you will, a soldier of the Revolution – I do not object to that.

"From my youth a double ideal has soared above me: Germany free and united and the emancipation of the working people, that is to say, the suppression of class domination, which is synonymous with the liberation of humanity. For this double end I have struggled with all my strength, and for this double end I will struggle as long as a breath of life remains in me. Duty wills it!"[25]

Such doctrines must of course be suppressed, and the exposure of those who had relations with Bismarck made it impossible for him longer to deal even with a section of the labor movement. The result was that persecutions were begun on both the Lassalleans and the Marxists. And it was largely this new policy of repression that forced the warring labor groups in 1875 to meet in conference at Gotha and to unite in one organization. In the following election, 1877, the united party polled nearly five hundred thousand votes, or about ten per cent. of all the votes cast in Germany. It now had twelve members in the Reichstag, and Bismarck saw very clearly that a force was rising in Germany that threatened not only him but his beloved Hohenzollern dynasty itself.

For years most of its opponents comforted themselves with the belief that socialism was merely a temporary disturbance which, if left alone, would run its course and eventually die out. Again and again its militant enemies had discussed undertaking measures against it, but the wiser heads prevailed until 1877, when the socialists polled a great vote. And, of course, when it was once decided that socialism must be stamped out, a really good pretext was soon found upon which repressive measures might be taken. I have already mentioned that on May 11, 1878, Emperor William was shot at by Hödel. It was, of course, natural that the reactionaries should make the most possible of this act of the would-be assassin, and, when photographs of several prominent socialists were found on his person, a great clamor arose for a coercive law to destroy the social democrats. The question was immediately discussed in the Reichstag, but the moderate forces prevailed, and the bill was rejected. Hardly, however, had the discussion ended before a second attempt was made on the life of the aged sovereign. This time it was Dr. Karl Nobiling who, on June 2, 1878, fired at the Emperor from an upper window in the main street of Berlin. In this case, the Emperor was severely wounded, and, in the panic that ensued, even the moderate elements agreed that social democracy must be suppressed. Various suggestions were made. Some proposed the blacklisting of all workmen who avowed socialist principles, while others suggested that all socialists should be expelled from the country. To exile half a million voters was, however, a rather large undertaking, and, in any case, Bismarck had his own plans. First he precipitated a general election, giving the socialists no time to prepare their campaign. As a result, their members in the Reichstag were diminished in number, and their vote throughout the country decreased by over fifty thousand. When the Reichstag again assembled, Bismarck laid before it his bill against "the publicly dangerous endeavors of social-democracy." The statement accompanying the bill sought to justify its repressive measures by citing in the preamble the two attempts made upon the Emperor, and by stating the conviction of the Federal Government that extraordinary measures must be taken. A battle royal occurred in the Reichstag between Bismarck on the one side and Bebel and Liebknecht on the other. Nevertheless, the bill became a law in October of that year.

The anti-socialist law was intended to cut off every legal and peaceable means of advancing the socialist cause. It was determined that the German social democrats must be put mentally, morally, and physically upon the rack. Even the briefest summary of the provisions of the anti-socialist law will illustrate how determined the reactionaries were to annihilate utterly the socialist movement. The chief measures were as follows:

I. Prohibitory

1. The formation or existence of organizations which sought by social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic movements to subvert the present State and social order was prohibited. The prohibition was also extended to organizations exhibiting tendencies which threatened to endanger the public peace and amity between classes.

2. The right of assembly was greatly restricted. All meetings in which social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic tendencies came to light were to be dissolved. Public festivities and processions were regarded as meetings.

3. Social-democratic, socialistic, and communistic publications of all kinds were to be interdicted, the local police dealing with home publications and the Chancellor with foreign ones.

4. Stocks of prohibited works were to be confiscated, and the type, stones, or other apparatus used for printing might be likewise seized, and, on the interdict being confirmed, be made unusable.

5. The collection of money in behalf of social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic movements was forbidden, as were public appeals for help.

II. Penal

1. Any person associating himself as member or otherwise with a prohibited organization was liable to a fine of 500 marks or three months' imprisonment, and a similar penalty was incurred by anyone who gave a prohibited association or meeting a place of assembly.

2. The circulation or printing of a prohibited publication entailed a fine not exceeding one thousand marks or imprisonment up to six months.

3. Convicted agitators might be expelled from a certain locality or from a governmental district, and foreigners be expelled from federal territory.

4. Innkeepers, printers, booksellers, and owners of lending libraries and reading rooms who circulated interdicted publications might, besides being imprisoned, be deprived of their vocations.

5. Persons who were known to be active socialists, or who had been convicted under this law, might be refused permission publicly to circulate or sell publications, and any violation of the provision against the circulation of socialistic literature in inns, shops, libraries, and newsrooms was punishable with a fine of one thousand marks or imprisonment for six months.

III. Power conferred upon authorities.

1. Meetings may only take place with the previous sanction of the police, but this restriction does not extend to meetings held in connection with elections to the Reichstag or the Diets.

2. The circulation of publications may not take place without permission in public roads, streets, squares, or other public places.

3. Persons from whom danger to the public security or order is apprehended may be refused residence in a locality or governmental district.

4. The possession, carrying, introduction, and sale of weapons within the area affected are forbidden, restricted, or made dependent on certain conditions. All ordinances issued on the strength of this section were to be notified at once to the Reichstag and to be published in the official Gazette.[26]

When this law went into effect, the outlook for the labor movement seemed utterly black and hopeless. Every path seemed closed to it except that of violence. Immediately many places in Germany were put under martial law. Societies were dissolved, newspapers suppressed, printing establishments confiscated, and in a short time fifty agitators had been expelled from Berlin alone. A reign of official tyranny and police persecution was established, and even the employers undertook to impoverish and to blacklist men who were thought to hold socialist views. Within a few weeks every society, periodical, and agitator disappeared, and not a thing seemed left of the great movement of half a million men that had existed a few weeks before. There have been many similar situations that have faced the socialist and labor movements of other countries. England and France had undergone similar trials. Even to-day in America we find, at certain times and in certain places, a situation altogether similar. In Colorado during the recent labor wars and in West Virginia during the early months of 1913 every tyranny that existed in Germany in 1879 was repeated here. Infested with spies seeking to encourage violence, brutally maltreated by the officials of order, their property confiscated by the military, masses thrown into prison and other masses exiled, even the right of assemblage and of free speech denied them – these are the exactly similar conditions which have existed in all countries when efforts have been made to crush the labor movement.

And in all countries where such conditions exist certain minds immediately clamor for what is called "action." They want to answer violence with violence; they want to respond to the terrorism of the Government with a terrorism of their own. And in Germany at this time there were a number who argued that, as they were in fact outlaws, why should they not adopt the tactics of outlaws? Should men peaceably and quietly submit to every insult and every form of tyranny – to be thrown in jail for speaking the dictates of their conscience and even to be hung for preaching to their comrades the necessity of a nobler and better social order? If Bismarck and his police forces have the power to outlaw us, have we not the right to exercise the tactics of outlaws? "All measures," cried Most from London, "are legitimate against tyrants;"[27] while Hasselmann, his friend, advised an immediate insurrection, which, even though it should fail, would be good propaganda. It was inevitable that in the early moments of despair some of the German workers should have listened gladly to such proposals. And, indeed, it may seem somewhat of a miracle that any large number of the German workers should have been willing to have listened to any other means of action. What indeed else was there to do?

It is too long a story to go into the discussions over this question. Perhaps a principle of Bebel's gives the clearest explanation of the thought which eventually decided the tactics of the socialists. Bebel has said many times that he always considered it wise in politics to find out what his opponent wanted him to do, and then not to do it. And, to the minds of Bebel, Liebknecht, and others of the more clear-headed leaders, there was no doubt whatever that Bismarck was trying to force the socialists to commit crimes and outrages. Again and again Bismarck's press declared: "What is most necessary is to provoke the social-democrats to commit acts of despair, to draw them into the open street, and there to shoot them down."[28] Well, if this was actually what Bismarck wanted, he failed utterly, because, as a matter of fact, and despite every provocation, no considerable section of the socialist party wavered in the slightest from its determination to carry on its work. There was a moment toward the end of '79 when the situation seemed to be getting out of hand, and a secret conference was held the next year at Wyden in Switzerland to determine the policies of the party. In the report published by the congress no names were given, as it was, of course, necessary to maintain complete secrecy. However, it seemed clear to the delegates that, if they resorted to terrorist methods, they would be destroyed as the Russians, the French, the Spanish, and the Italians had been when similar conditions confronted them. In view of the present state of their organization, violence, after all, could be merely a phrase, as they were not fitted in strength or in numbers to combat Bismarck. One of the delegates considered that Johann Most had exercised an evil influence on many, and he urged that all enlightened German socialists turn away from such men. "Between the people of violence and the true revolutionists there will always be dissension."[29] Another speaker maintained that Most could be no more considered a socialist. He is at best a Blanquist and, indeed, one in the worst sense of the word, who had no other aim than to pursue the bungling work of a revolution. It is, therefore, necessary that the congress should declare itself decidedly against Most and should expel him from the party.[30] The word "revolution" has been misunderstood, and the socialist members of the Reichstag have been reproved because they are not revolutionary. As a matter of fact, every socialist is a revolutionist, but one must not understand by revolution the expression of violence. The tactics of desperation, as the Nihilists practice them, do not serve the purpose of Germany.[31] As a result of the Wyden congress, Most and Hasselmann were ejected from the party, and the tactics of Bebel and Liebknecht were adopted.

After 1880 there developed an underground socialist movement that was most baffling and disconcerting to the police. Socialist papers, printed in other countries, were being circulated by the thousands in all parts of Germany. Funds were being raised in some mysterious manner to support a large body of trusted men in all parts of the country who were devoting all their time to secret organization and to the carrying on of propaganda. The socialist organizations, which had been broken up, seemed somehow or other to maintain their relations. And, despite all that could be done by the authorities, socialist agitation seemed to be going on even more successfully than ever before. There was one loophole which Bismarck had not been able to close, and this of course was developed to the extreme by the socialists. Private citizens could not say what they pleased, nor was it allowed to newspapers to print anything on socialist lines. Nevertheless, parliamentary speeches were privileged matter, and they could be sent anywhere and be published anywhere. Bismarck of course tried to suppress even this form of propaganda, and two of the deputies were arrested on the ground that they were violating the new law. However, the Reichstag could not be induced to sanction this interference with the freedom of deputies. Bismarck then introduced a bill into the Reichstag asking for power to punish any member who abused his parliamentary position. There was to be a court established consisting of thirteen deputies, and this was to have power to punish refractory delegates by censuring them, by obliging them to apologize to the House, and by excluding them from the House. It was also proposed that the Reichstag should in certain instances prevent the publicity of its proceedings. This bill of Bismarck's aroused immense opposition. It was called "the Muzzle Bill," and, despite all his efforts, it was defeated.

The anti-socialist law had been passed as an exceptional measure, and it was fully expected that at the end of two years there would be nothing left of the socialists in Germany. But, when the moment came for the law to expire, Emperor Alexander II. of Russia was assassinated by Nihilists. The German Emperor wrote to the Chancellor urging him to do his utmost to persuade the governments of Europe to combine against the forces of anarchy and destruction. Prince Bismarck immediately opened up negotiations with Russia, Austria, France, Switzerland, and England. The Russian Government, being asked to take the initiative, invited the powers to a council at Brussels. As England did not accept the invitation, France and Switzerland also declined. Austria later withdrew her acceptance, with the result that Germany and Russia concluded an extradition and dynamite treaty for themselves, while on March 31, 1881, the anti-socialist law was reënacted for another period. In 1882 the Niederwald plot against the Imperial family was discovered. Various arrests were made, and three men avowedly anarchists were sentenced to death in December, 1884. In 1885 a high police official at Frankfort was murdered, and an anarchist named Lieske was executed as an accomplice. These terrorist acts materially aided Bismarck in his warfare on the social democrats. Again and again large towns were put in a minor state of siege, with the military practically in control. Meetings were dispersed, suspected papers suppressed, and all tyranny that can be conceived of exercised upon all those suspected of sympathy with the socialists. Yet everyone had to admit that the socialists had not been checked. Not only did their organization still exist, but it was all the time carrying on a vigorous agitation, both by meetings and by the circulation of literature. Papers printed abroad were being smuggled into the country in great quantities; socialist literature was even being introduced into the garrisons; and there seemed to be no dealing with associations, because no more was one dissolved than two arose to take its place.

Von Puttkamer himself reported to the Reichstag in 1882, "It is undoubted that it has not been possible by means of the law of October, 1878, to wipe social-democracy from the face of the earth or even to shake it to the center."[32] Indeed, Liebknecht was bold enough to say in 1884: "You have not succeeded in destroying our organization, and I am convinced that you will never succeed. I believe, indeed, it would be the greatest misfortune for you if you did succeed. The anarchists, who are now carrying on their work in Austria, have no footing in Germany – and why? Because in Germany the mad plans of those men are wrecked on the compact organization of social-democracy, because the German proletariat, in view of the fruitlessness of your socialist law, has not abandoned hope of attaining its ends peacefully by means of socialistic propaganda and agitation. If – and I have said this before – if your law were not pro nihilo, it would be pro nihilismo. If the German proletariat no longer believed in the efficacy of our present tactics; if we found that we could no longer maintain intact the organization and cohesion of the party, what would happen? We should simply declare – we have no more to do with the guidance of the party; we can no longer be responsible. The men in power do not wish that the party should continue to exist; it is hoped to destroy us – well, no party allows itself to be destroyed, for there is above all things the law of self-defense, of self-preservation, and, if the organized direction fails, you will have a condition of anarchy, in which everything is left to the individual. And do you really believe – you who have so often praised the bravery of the Germans up to the heavens, when it has been to your interest to do so – do you really believe that the hundreds of thousands of German social-democrats are cowards? Do you believe that what has happened in Russia would not be possible in Germany if you succeeded in bringing about here the conditions which exist there?"[33] Both Bebel and Liebknecht taunted the Chancellor with his failure to drive the socialists to commit acts of violence. "The Government may be sure," said Liebknecht in 1886, "that we shall not, now or ever, go upon the bird-lime, that we shall never be such fools as to play the game of our enemies by attempts ... the more madly you carry on, the sooner you will come to the end; the pitcher goes to the well until it breaks."[34]

At the end of this year the reports given from the several states of the working out of the anti-socialist law were most discouraging to the Chancellor. From everywhere the report came that agitation was unintermittent, and being carried on with zeal and success. And Bebel said publicly that nowhere was the socialist party more numerous or better organized than in the districts where the minor state of siege had been proclaimed. The year 1886 was a sensational one. Nine of the socialists, including Bebel, Dietz, Auer, Von Vollmar, Frohme – all deputies – were charged with taking part in a secret and illegal organization. All the accused were sentenced to imprisonment for six or nine months, Bebel and his parliamentary associates receiving the heavier penalty. The Reichstag asked for reports upon the working of the law. Again the discouraging news came that the movement seemed to be growing faster than ever before.

The crushing by repressive measures did not, however, exhaust Bismarck's plans for annihilating the socialists. At the same time he outlined an extraordinary program for winning the support of the working classes. Early in the eighties he proposed his great scheme of social legislation, intended to improve radically the lot of the toilers. Compulsory insurance against accident, illness, invalidity, and old age was instituted as a measure for giving more security in life to the working classes. Insurance against unemployment was also proposed, and Bismarck declared that the State should guarantee to the toilers the right to work. This began an era of immense social reforms that actually wiped out some of the worst slums in the great industrial centers, replaced them with large and beautiful dwellings for the working classes, and made over entire cities. The discussions in the Reichstag now seemed to be largely concerned with the problem of the working classes and with devising plans to obliterate the influence of the socialists over the workers and to induce them once more to ally themselves to the monarchy and to the Junkers.

For some reason wholly mysterious to Bismarck, all his measures against the socialists failed. Every assault made upon them seemed to increase their power, while even the great reforms he was instituting seemed somehow to be credited to the agitation of the socialists. Instead of proving the good will of the ruling class, these reforms seemed only to prove its weakness; and they were looked upon generally as belated efforts to remedy old and grievous wrongs which, in fact, made necessary the protests of the socialists. The result was that tens of thousands of workingmen were flocking each year into the camp of the socialists, and at each election the socialist votes increased in a most dreadful and menacing manner. When the anti-socialist law was put into effect, the party polled under 450,000 votes. After twelve years of underground work as outlaws, the party polled 1,427,000 votes. Despite all the efforts of Bismarck and all the immense power of the Government, socialism, instead of being crushed, was 1,000,000 souls stronger after twelve years of suffering under tyranny than it was in the beginning. This of course would not do at all, and everyone saw it clearly enough except the Iron Chancellor. Infuriated by his own failure and unwilling to confess defeat, he pleaded once more, in 1890, for the reënactment of the anti-socialist law and, indeed, that it should be made a permanent part of the penal code of the Empire. He even sought further powers and asked the Reichstag to give him a law that would enable him to expel not only from districts proclaimed to be in a state of siege, but from Germany altogether, those who were known to hold socialist views. The Reichstag, however, refused to grant him either request, and on September 30, 1890, just twelve years after its birth, the anti-socialist law was repealed.

That night was a glorious one for the socialists, as well as a very dreadful one for Bismarck and those others who had made prodigious but futile efforts to destroy socialism. Berlin was already a socialist stronghold, and its entire people that night came into the streets to sing songs of thanksgiving. Streets, parks, public places, cafés, theaters were filled with merrymakers, rejoicing with songs, with toasts to the leading socialists, and with boisterous welcomes to the exiles who were returning. All night long the red flag waved, and the Marseillaise was sung, as all that passion of love, enthusiasm, and devotion for a great cause, which, for twelve long years, had been brutally suppressed, burst forth in floods of joy. "He [Bismarck] has had at his entire disposal for more than a quarter of a century," said Liebknecht, "the police, the army, the capital, and the power of the State – in brief, all the means of mechanical force. We had only our just right, our firm conviction, our bared breasts to oppose him with, and it is we who have conquered! Our arms were the best. In the course of time brute power must yield to the moral factors, to the logic of things. Bismarck lies crushed to the earth – and social democracy is the strongest party in Germany!... The essence of revolution lies not in the means, but in the end. Violence has been, for thousands of years, a reactionary factor."[35] Certainly, the moral victory was immense. There had been a twelve-years-long torture of a great party, in which every man who was known to be sympathetic was looked upon as a criminal and an outlaw. Yet, despite every effort made to drive the socialists into outrages, they never wavered the slightest from their grim determination to depend solely upon peaceable methods. It is indeed marvelous that the German socialists should have stood the test and that, despite the most barbarous persecution, they should have been able to hold their forces together, to restrain their natural anger, and to keep their faith in the ultimate victory of peaceable, legal, and political methods. Prometheus, bound to his rock and tortured by all the furies of a malignant Jupiter, did not rise superior to his tormentor with more grandeur than did the social democracy of Germany.

Violence does indeed seem to be a reactionary force. The use of it by the anarchists against the existing régime seems to have deprived them of all sympathy and support. More and more they became isolated from even those in whose name they claimed to be fighting. So the violence of Bismarck, intended to uproot and destroy the deepest convictions of a great body of workingmen, deprived him and his circle of all popular sympathy and support. Year by year he became weaker, and the futility of his efforts made him increasingly bitter and violent. At last even those for whom he had been fighting had to put him aside. On the other hand, those he fought with his poisoned weapons became stronger and stronger, their spirit grew more and more buoyant, their confidence in success more and more certain. And, when at last the complete victory was won, it was heralded throughout the world, and from thousands of great meetings, held in nearly every civilized country, there came to the German social democracy telegrams and resolutions of congratulation. The mere fact that the Germany party polled a million and a half votes was in itself an inspiration to the workers of all lands, and in the elections which followed in France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and other countries the socialists vastly increased their votes and more firmly established their position as a parliamentary force. In 1892 France polled nearly half a million votes, little Belgium followed with three hundred and twenty thousand, while in Denmark and Switzerland the strength of the socialists was quadrupled. Instead of a mere handful of theorists, the socialists were now numbered by the million. Their movement was world-wide, and the program of every political party in the various countries was based upon the principles laid down by Marx. The doctrines which he had advocated from '47 to '64, and fought desperately to retain throughout all the struggles with Bakounin, were now the foundation principles of the movement in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Britain, and even in other countries east and west of Europe.


[V] Probably intended for "increase of wages," but this is as it reads in the official report.



At the beginning of the nineties the socialists were jubilant. Their great victory in Germany and the enormous growth of the movement in all countries assured them that the foundations had at last been laid for the great world-wide movement that they had so long dreamed of. Internal struggles had largely disappeared, and the mighty energies of the movement were being turned to the work of education and of organization. Great international socialist congresses were now the natural outgrowth of powerful and extensive national movements. Yet, almost at this very moment there was forming in the Latin countries a new group of dissidents who were endeavoring to resurrect what Bakounin called in 1871 French socialism, and what our old friend Guillaume recognized to be a revival of the principles and methods of the anarchist International.[W] And, indeed, in 1895, what may perhaps be best described as the renascence of anarchism appeared in France under an old and influential name. Up to that time syndicalism signified nothing more than trade unionism, and the French syndicats were merely associations of workmen struggling to obtain higher wages and shorter hours of labor. But in 1895 the term began to have a different meaning, and almost immediately it made the tour of the world as a unique and dreadful revolutionary philosophy. It became a new "red specter," with a menacing and subversive program, that created a veritable furore of discussion in the newspapers and magazines of all countries. Rarely has a movement aroused such universal agitation, awakened such world-wide discussions, and called forth such expressions of alarm as this one, that seemed suddenly to spring from the depths of the underworld, full-armed and ready for battle. Everywhere syndicalism was heralded as an entirely new philosophy. Nothing like it had ever been known before in the world. Multitudes rushed to greet it as a kind of new revelation, while other multitudes instinctively looked upon it with suspicion as something that promised once more to introduce dissension into the world of labor.

What is syndicalism? Whence came it and why? The first question has been answered in a hundred books written in the last ten years. In all languages the meaning of this new philosophy of industrial warfare has been made clear. There is hardly a country in the world that has not printed several books on this new movement, and, although the word itself cannot be found in our dictionaries, hardly anyone who reads can have escaped gaining some acquaintance with its purport. The other question, however, has concerned few, and almost no one has traced the origin of syndicalism to that militant group of anarchists whom the French Government had endeavored to annihilate. After the series of tragedies which ended with the murder of Carnot, the French police hunted the anarchists from pillar to post. Their groups were broken up, their papers suppressed, and their leaders kept constantly under the surveillance of police agents. Every man with anarchist sympathies was hounded as an outlaw, and in 1894 they were broken, scattered, and isolated. Scorning all relations with the political groups and indeed excluded from them, as from other sections of the labor movement, by their own tactics, they found themselves almost alone, without the opportunity even of propagating their views. Facing a blank wall, they began then to discuss the necessity of radically changing their tactics, and in that year one of the most militant of them, Émile Pouget, who had been arrested several times for provoking riots, undertook to persuade his associates to enter actively into the trade unions. In his peculiar argot he wrote in Père Peinard: "If there is a group into which the anarchists should thrust themselves, it is evidently the trade union. The coarse vegetables would make an awful howl if the anarchists, whom they imagine they have gagged, should profit by the circumstance to infiltrate themselves in droves into the trade unions and spread their ideas there without any noise or blaring of trumpets."[1] This plea had its effect, and more and more anarchists began to join the trade unions, while their friends, already in the unions, prepared the way for their coming. Pelloutier, a zealous and efficient administrator, had already become the dominant spirit in one entire section of the French labor movement, that of the Bourses du Travail. In another section, the carpenter Tortellier, a roving agitator and militant anarchist, had already persuaded a large number of unions to declare for the general strike as the sole effective weapon for revolutionary purposes. Moreover, Guérard, Griffuelhes, and other opponents of political action were preparing the ground in the unions for an open break with the socialists. By 1896 the strength of the anarchists in the trade unions was so great that the French delegates to the international socialist congress at London were divided into two sections: one in sympathy with the views of the anarchists, the other hostile to them. Such notable anarchists as Tortellier, Malatesta, Grave, Pouget, Pelloutier, Delesalle, Hamon, and Guérard were sent to London as the representatives of the French trade unions. Although the anarchists had been repeatedly expelled from socialist congresses, and the rules prohibited their admittance, these men could not be denied a hearing so long as they came as the representatives of bona fide trade unions. As a result, the anarchists, speaking as trade unionists, fought throughout the congress against political action. A typical declaration was that of Tortellier, when he said: "If only those in favor of political action are admitted to congresses, the Latin races will abandon the congresses. The Italians are drifting away from the idea of political action. Properly organized, the workers can settle their affairs without any intervention on the part of the legislature."[2] Guérard, of the railway workers, holding much the same views, urged the congress to adopt the general strike, on the ground that it is "the most revolutionary weapon we have."[3] Despite their threats and demands, the anarchists were completely ignored, although they were numerous in the French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch delegations. At last it became clear to the anarchists that the international socialist congresses would not admit them, if it were possible to keep them out, nor longer discuss with them the wisdom of political action. Consequently, the anarchists left London, clear at last on this one point, that the socialists were firmly determined to have no further dealings with them. The same decision had been made at The Hague in 1872, again in 1889 at the international congress at Paris, then in 1891 at Brussels, again in 1893 at Zurich, and finally at London in 1896.

The anarchists that returned to Paris from the London congress were not slow in taking their revenge. They had already threatened in London to take the workers of the Latin countries out of the socialist movement, but no one apparently had given much heed to their remarks. In reality, however, they were in a position to carry out their threats, and the insults which they felt they had just suffered at the hands of the socialists made them more determined than ever to induce the unions to declare war on the socialist parties of France, Italy, Spain, and Holland. Plans were also laid for the building up of a trade-union International based largely on the principles and tactics of what they now called "revolutionary syndicalism."

The year before (1895) the General Confederation of Labor had been launched at Limoges. Except for its declaration in favor of the general strike as a revolutionary weapon, the congress developed no new syndicalist doctrines. It was at Tours, in 1896, that the French unions, dominated by the anarchists, declared they would no longer concern themselves with reforms; they would abandon childish efforts at amelioration; and instead they would constitute themselves into a conscious fighting minority that was to lead the working class with no further delay into open rebellion. In their opinion, it was time to begin the bitter, implacable fight that was not to end until the working class had freed itself from wage slavery. The State was not worth conquering, parliaments were inherently corrupt, and, therefore, political action was futile. Other means, more direct and revolutionary, must be employed to destroy capitalism. As the very existence of society depends upon the services of labor, what could be more simple than for labor to cease to serve society until its rights are assured? Thus argued the French trade unionists, and the strike was adopted as the supreme war measure. Partial strikes were to broaden into industrial strikes, and industrial strikes into general strikes. The struggle between the classes was to take the form of two hostile camps, firmly resolved upon a war that would finish only when the one or the other of the antagonists had been utterly crushed. When John Brown marched with his little band to attack the slave-owning aristocracy of the South, he became the forerunner of our terrible Civil War. It was the same spirit that moved the French trade unionists. Although pitiably weak in numbers and poor in funds, they decided to stop all parleyings with the enemy and to fire the first gun.

The socialist congress in London was held in July, and the French trade-union congress at Tours was held in September of the same year. The anarchists were out in their full strength, prepared to make reprisals on the socialists. It was after declaring: "The conquest of political power is a chimera,"[4] that Guérard launched forth in his fiery argument for the revolutionary general strike: "The partial strikes fail because the workingmen become demoralized and succumb under the intimidation of the employers, protected by the government. The general strike will last a short while, and its repression will be impossible; as to intimidation, it is still less to be feared. The necessity of defending the factories, workshops, manufactories, stores, etc., will scatter and disperse the army.... And then, in the fear that the strikers may damage the railways, the signals, the works of art, the government will be obliged to protect the 39,000 kilometers of railroad lines by drawing up the troops all along them. The 300,000 men of the active army, charged with the surveillance of 39 million meters, will be isolated from one another by 130 meters, and this can be done only on the condition of abandoning the protection of the depots, of the stations, of the factories, etc. ... and of abandoning the employers to themselves, thus leaving the field free in the large cities to the rebellious workingmen. The principal force of the general strike consists in its power of imposing itself. A strike in one branch of industry must involve other branches. The general strike cannot be decreed in advance; it will burst forth suddenly; a strike of the railway men, for instance, if declared, will be the signal for the general strike. It will be the duty of militant workingmen, when this signal is given, to make their comrades in the trade unions leave their work. Those who continue to work on that day will be compelled, or forced, to quit.... The general strike will be the Revolution, peaceful or not."[5]

Here is a new program of action, several points of which are worthy of attention. It is clear that the general strike is here conceived of as a panacea, an unfailing weapon that obviates the necessity of political parties, parliamentary work, or any action tending toward the capture of political power. It is granted that it must end in civil war, but it is thought that this war cannot fail; it must result in a complete social revolution. Even more significant is the thought that it will burst forth suddenly, without requiring any preliminary education, extensive preparations, or even widespread organization. In one line it is proposed as an automatic revolution; in another it is said that the militant workingmen are expected to force the others to quit work. Out of 11,000,000 toilers in France, about 1,000,000 are organized. Out of this million, about 400,000 belong to the Confederation, and, out of this number, it is doubtful if half are in favor of a general strike. The proposition of Guérard then presents itself as follows: that a minority of organized men shall force not only the vast majority of their fellow unionists but twenty times their number of unorganized men to quit work in order to launch the war for emancipation. Under the compulsion of 200,000 men, a nation of 40,000,000 is to be forced immediately, without palaver or delay, to revolutionize society.

The next year, at Toulouse, the French unions again assembled, and here it was that Pouget and Delesalle, both anarchists, presented the report which outlined still another war measure, that of sabotage. The newly arrived was there baptized, and received by all, says Pouget, with warm enthusiasm. This sabotage was hardly born before it, too, made a tour of the world, creating everywhere the same furore of discussion that had been aroused by syndicalism. It presents itself in such a multitude of forms that it almost evades definition. If a worker is badly paid and returns bad work for bad pay, he is a saboteur. If a strike is lost, and the workmen return only to break the machines, spoil the products, and generally disorganize a factory, they are saboteurs. The idea of sabotage is that any dissatisfied workman shall undertake to break the machine or spoil the product of the machines in order to render the conduct of industry unprofitable, if not actually impossible. It may range all the way from machine obstruction or destruction to dynamiting, train wrecking, and arson. It may be some petty form of malice, or it may extend to every act advocated by our old friends, the terrorists.

The work of one other congress must be mentioned. At Lyons (1901) it was decided that an inquiry should be sent out to all the affiliated unions to find out exactly how the proposed great social revolution was to be carried out. For several years the Confederation had sought to launch a revolutionary general strike, but so many of the rank and file were asking, "What would we do, even if the general strike were successful?" that it occurred to the leaders it might be well to find out. As a result, they sent out the following list of questions:

"(1) How would your union act in order to transform itself from a group for combat into a group for production?

"(2) How would you act in order to take possession of the machinery pertaining to your industry?

"(3) How do you conceive the functions of the organized shops and factories in the future?

"(4) If your union is a group within the system of highways, of transportation of products or of passengers, of distribution, etc., how do you conceive of its functioning?

"(5) What will be your relations to your federation of trade or of industry after your reorganization?

"(6) On what principle would the distribution of products take place, and how would the productive groups procure the raw material for themselves?

"(7) What part would the Bourses du Travail play in the transformed society, and what would be their task with reference to the statistics and to the distribution of products?"[6]

The report dealing with the results of this inquiry contains such a variety of views that it is not easy to summarize it. It seems, however, to have been more or less agreed that each group of producers was to control the industry in which it was engaged. The peasants were to take the land. The miners were to take the mines. The railway workers were to take the railroads. Every trade union was to obtain possession of the tools of its trade, and the new society was to be organized on the basis of a trade-union ownership of industry. In the villages, towns, and cities the various trades were then to be organized into a federation whose duty would be to administer all matters of joint interest in their localities. The local federations were then to be united into a General Confederation, to whose administration were to be left only those public services which were of national importance. The General Confederation was also to serve as an intermediary between the various trades and locals and as an agency for representing the interests of all the unions in international relations.

This is in brief the meaning of syndicalism. It differs from socialism in both aim and methods. The aim of the latter is the control by the community of the means of production. The aim of syndicalism is the control by autonomous trade unions of that production carried on by those trades. It does not seek to refashion the State or to aid in its evolution toward social democracy. It will have nothing to do with political action or with any attempt to improve the machinery of democracy. The masses must arise, take possession of the mines, factories, railroads, fields, and all industrial processes and natural resources, and then, through trade unions or industrial unions, administer the new economic system. Furthermore, the syndicalists differ from the socialists in their conception of the class struggle. To the socialist the capitalist is as much the product of our economic system as the worker. No socialist believes that the capitalist is individually to blame for our economic ills. The syndicalist dissents from this view. To him the capitalist is an individual enemy. He must be fought and destroyed. There is no form of mediation or conciliation possible between the worker and his employer. Conditions must, therefore, be made intolerable for the capitalist. Work must be done badly. Machines must be destroyed. Industrial processes must be subjected to chaos. Every worker must be inspired with the one end and aim of destruction. Without the coöperation of the worker, capitalist production must break down. Therefore, the revolutionary syndicalist will fight, if possible, openly through his union, or, if that is impossible, by stealth, as an individual, to ruin his employer. The world of to-day is to be turned into incessant civil war between capital and labor. Not only the two classes, but the individuals of the two classes, must be constantly engaged in a deadly conflict. There is to be no truce until the fight is ended. The loyal workman is to be considered a traitor. The union that makes contracts or participates in collective bargaining is to be ostracized. And even those who are disinclined to battle will be forced into the ranks by compulsion. "Those who continue to work will be compelled to quit," says Guérard. The strike is not to be merely a peaceable abstention from work. The very machines are to be made to strike by being rendered incapable of production. These are the methods of the militant revolutionary syndicalists.[X]

Toward the end of the nineties another element came to the aid of the anarchists. It is difficult to class this group with any certainty. They are neither socialists nor anarchists. They remind one of those Bakouninists that Marx once referred to as "lawyers without cases, physicians without patients and knowledge, students of billiards, etc."[7] "They are good-natured, gentlemanly, cultured people," says Sombart; "people with spotless linen, good manners and fashionably dressed wives; people with whom one holds social intercourse as with one's equals; people who would at first sight hardly be taken as the representatives of a new movement whose object it is to prevent socialism from becoming a mere middle-class belief."[8] In a word, they appear to be individuals wearied with the unrealities of life and seeking to overcome their ennui by, at any rate, discussing the making of revolutions. With their "myths," their "reflections on violence," their appeals to physical vigor and to the glory of combat, as well as with their incessant attacks on the socialist movement, they have given very material aid to the anarchist element in the syndicalist movement. For a number of years I have read faithfully Le Mouvement Socialiste, but I confess that I have not understood their dazzling metaphysics, and I am somewhat comforted to see that both Levine[9] and Lewis[10] find them frequently incomprehensible.

Without injustice to this group of intellectuals, I think it may be truthfully said that they have contributed nothing essential to the doctrines of syndicalism as developed by the trades unionists themselves; and Edward Berth, in Les Nouveaux Aspects du Socialisme, has partially explained why, without meaning to do so. "It has often been observed," he says, "that the anarchists are by origin artisan, peasant, or aristocrat. Rousseau represents, obviously, the anarchism of the artisan. His republic is a little republic of free and independent craftsmen.... Proudhon is a peasant in his heart ... and, if we finally take Tolstoi, we find here an anarchism of worldly or aristocratic origin. Tolstoi is a blasé aristocrat, disgusted with civilization by having too much eaten of it."[11] Whether or not this characterization of Tolstoi is justified, there can be no question that many of this type rushed to the aid of syndicalism. Its savage vigor appeals to some artists, decadents, and déclassés. Neurotic as a rule, they seem to hunger for the stimulus which comes by association with the merely physical power and vigor of the working class. The navvy, the coalheaver, or "yon rower ... the muscles all a-ripple on his back,"[12] awakens in them a worshipful admiration, even as it did in the effete Cleon. Such a theory as syndicalism, declares Sombart, "could only have grown up in a country possessing so high a culture as France; that it could have been thought out only by minds of the nicest perception, by people who have become quite blasé, whose feelings require a very strong stimulus before they can be stirred; people who have something of the artistic temperament, and, consequently, look disdainfully on what has been called 'Philistinism' – on business, on middle-class ideals, and so forth. They are, as it were, the fine silk as contrasted with the plain wool of ordinary people. They detest the common, everyday round as much as they hate what is natural; they might be called 'Social Sybarites.' Such are the people who have created the syndicalist system."[13] On one point Sombart is wrong. All the essential doctrines of revolutionary syndicalism, as a matter of fact, originated with the anarchists in the unions, and the most that can be said for the "Sybarites" is that they elaborated and mystified these doctrines.

There are those, of course, who maintain that syndicalism is wholly a natural and inevitable product of economic forces, and, so far as the actual syndicalist movement is concerned, that is unquestionably true. But in all the maze of philosophy and doctrine that has been thrown about the actual French movement, we find the traces of two extraneous forces – the anarchists who availed themselves of the opportunity that an awakening trade unionism gave them, and those intellectuals of leisure, culture, and refinement who found the methods of political socialism too tame to satisfy their violent revolt against things bourgeois. And the philosophical syndicalism that was born of this union combines utopianism and anarchism. The yearning esthetes found satisfaction in the rugged energy and physical daring of the men of action, while the latter were astonished and flattered to find their simple war measures adorned with metaphysical abstractions and arousing an immense furore among the most learned and fashionable circles of Europe.

However, something in addition to personality is needed to explain the rise of syndicalist socialism in France. Like anarchism, syndicalism is a natural product of certain French and Italian conditions. It is not strange that the Latin peoples have in the past harbored the ideas of anarchism, or that now they harbor the ideas of syndicalism. The enormous proportion of small property owners in the French nation is the economic basis for a powerful individualism. Anything which interferes with the liberty of the individual is abhorred, and nothing awakens a more lively hatred than centralization and State power. The vast extent of small industry, with the apprentice, journeyman, and master-workman, has wielded an influence over the mentality of the French workers. Berth, for instance, follows Proudhon in conceiving of the future commonwealth as a federation of innumerable little workshops. Gigantic industries, such as are known in Germany, England, and America, seem to be problems quite foreign to the mind of the typical Latin worker. He believes that, if he can be left alone in his little industry, and freed from exploitation, he, like the peasant, will be supreme, possessing both liberty and abundance. He will, therefore, tolerate willingly neither the interference of a centralized State nor favor a centralized syndicalism. Industry must be given into the hands of the workers, and, when he speaks of industry, he has in mind workshops, which, in the socialism of the Germans, the English, and the Americans, might be left for a long time to come in private hands.

In harmony with the above facts, we find that the strongest centers of syndicalism in France, Italy, and Spain are in those districts where the factory system is very backward. Where syndicalism and anarchism prevail most strongly, we find conditions of economic immaturity which strikingly resemble those of England in the time of Owen. In all these districts trade unionism is undeveloped. When it exists at all, it is more a feeling out for solidarity than the actual existence of solidarity. It is the first groping toward unity that so often brings riots and violence, because organization is absent and the feeling of power does not exist. Carl Legien, the leader of the great German unions, said at the international socialist congress at Stuttgart (1907): "As soon as the French have an actual trade-union organization, they will cease discussing blindly the general strike, direct action, and sabotage."[14] Vliegen, the Dutch leader, went even further when he declared at the previous congress, at Amsterdam (1904), that it is not the representatives of the strong organizations of England, Germany, and Denmark who wish the general strike; it is the representatives of France, Russia, and Holland, where the trade-union organization is feeble or does not exist.[15]

Still another factor forces the French trade unions to rely upon violence, and that is their poverty. The trade-unionists in the Latin countries dislike to pay dues, and the whole organized labor movement as a result lives constantly from hand to mouth. "The fundamental condition which determines the policy of direct action," says Dr. Louis Levine in his excellent monograph on "The Labor Movement in France," "is the poverty of French syndicalism. Except for the Fédération du Livre, only a very few federations pay a more or less regular strike benefit; the rest have barely means enough to provide for their administrative and organizing expenses and cannot collect any strike funds worth mentioning.... The French workingmen, therefore, are forced to fall back on other means during strikes. Quick action, intimidation, sabotage, are then suggested to them by their very situation and by their desire to win."[16] That this is an accurate analysis is, I think, proved by the fact that the biggest strikes and the most unruly are invariably to be found at the very beginning of the attempts to organize trade unions. That is certainly true of England, and in our own country the great strikes of the seventies were the birth-signs of trade unionism. In France, Italy, and Spain, where trade unionism is still in its infancy, we find that strikes are more unruly and violent than in other countries. It is a mistake to believe that riots, sabotage, and crime are the result of organization, or the product of a philosophy of action. They are the acts of the weak and the desperate; the product of a mob psychology that seems to be roused to action whenever and wherever the workers first begin to realize the faintest glimmering of solidarity. History clearly proves that turbulence in strikes tends to disappear as the workers develop organized strength. In most countries violence has been frankly recognized as a weakness, and tremendous efforts have been made by the workers themselves to render violence unnecessary by developing power through organization. But in France the very acts that result from weakness and despair have been greeted with enthusiasm by the anarchists and the effete intellectuals as the beginning of new and improved revolutionary methods.

Both, then, in their philosophy and in their methods, anarchism and syndicalism have much in common, but there also exist certain differences which cannot be overlooked. Anarchism is a doctrine of individualism; syndicalism is a doctrine of working-class action. Anarchism appeals only to the individual; syndicalism appeals also to a class. Furthermore, anarchism is a remnant of eighteenth-century philosophy, while syndicalism is a product of an immature factory system. Marx and Engels frequently spoke of anarchism as a petty-bourgeois philosophy, but in the early syndicalism of Robert Owen they saw more than that, considering it as the forerunner of an actual working-class movement. When these differences have been stated, there is little more to be said, and, on the whole, Yvetot was justified in saying at the congress of Toulouse (1910): "I am reproached with confusing syndicalism and anarchism. It is not my fault if anarchism and syndicalism have the same ends in view. The former pursues the integral emancipation of the individual; the latter the integral emancipation of the workingman. I find the whole of syndicalism in anarchism."[17] When we leave the theories of syndicalism to study its methods, we find them identical with those of the anarchists. The general strike is, after all, exactly the same method that Bakounin was constantly advocating in the days of the old International. The only difference is this, that Bakounin sought the aid of "the people," while the syndicalists rely upon the working class. Furthermore, when one places the statement of Guérard on the general strike[Y] alongside of the statement of Kropotkin on the revolution,[Z] one can observe no important difference.

While it is true that some syndicalists believe that the general strike may be solely a peaceable abstention from work, most of them are convinced that such a strike would surely meet with defeat. As Buisson says: "If the general strike remains the revolution of folded arms, if it does not degenerate into a violent insurrection, one cannot see how a cessation of work of fifteen, thirty, or even sixty days could bring into the industrial régime and into the present social system changes great enough to determine their fall."[18] To be sure, the syndicalists do not lay so much emphasis on the abolition of government as do the anarchists, but their plan leads to nothing less than that. If "the capitalist class is to be locked out" – whatever that may mean – one must conclude that the workers intend in some manner without the use of public powers to gain control of the tools of production. In any case, they will be forced, in order to achieve any possible success, to take the factories, the mines, and the mills and to put the work of production into the hands of the masses. If the State interferes, as it undoubtedly will in the most vigorous manner, the strikers will be forced to fight the State. In other words, the general strike will necessarily become an insurrection, and the people without arms will be forced to carry on a civil war against the military powers of the Government.

If the general strike, therefore, is only insurrection in disguise, sabotage is but another name for the Propaganda of the Deed. Only, in this case, the deed is to be committed against the capitalist, while with the older anarchists a crowned head, a general, or a police official was the one to be destroyed. To-day property is to be assailed, machines broken and smashed, mines flooded, telegraph wires cut, and any other methods used that will render the tools of production unusable. This deed may be committed en masse, or it may be committed by an individual. It is when Pouget grows enthusiastic over sabotage that we find in him the same spirit that actuated Brousse and Kropotkin when they despaired of education and sought to arouse the people by committing dramatic acts of violence. In other words, the saboteur abandons mass action in favor of ineffective and futile assaults upon men or property.

This brief survey of the meaning of syndicalism, whence it came, and why, explains the antagonism that had to arise between it and socialism.[AA] Not only was it frankly intended to displace the socialist political parties of Europe, but every step it has taken was accompanied with an attack upon the doctrines and the methods of modern socialism. And, in fact, the syndicalists are most interesting when they leave their own theories and turn their guns upon the socialist parties of the present day. In reading the now extensive literature on syndicalism, one finds endless chapters devoted to pointing out the weaknesses and faults of political socialism. Like the Bakouninists, the chief strength of the revolutionary unionists lies in criticism rather than in any constructive thought or action of their own. The battle of to-day is, however, a very unequal one. In the International, two groups – comparatively alike in size – fought over certain theories that, up to that time, were not embodied in a movement. They quarreled over tactics that were yet untried and over theories that were then purely speculative. To-day the syndicalists face a foe that embraces millions of loyal adherents. At the international gatherings of trade-union officials, as well as at the immense international congresses of the socialist parties, the syndicalists find themselves in a hopeless minority.[AB] Socialism is no longer an unembodied project of Marx. It is a throbbing, moving, struggling force. It is in a daily fight with the evils of capitalism. It is at work in every strike, in every great agitation, in every parliament, in every council. It is a thing of incessant action, whose mistakes are many and whose failures stand out in relief. Those who have betrayed it can be pointed out. Those who have lost all revolutionary fervor and all notion of class can be held up as a tendency. Those who have fallen into the traps of the bureaucrats and have given way to the flattery or to the corruption of the bourgeoisie can be listed and put upon the index. Even working-class political action can be assailed as never before, because it now exists for the first time in history, and its every weakness is known. Moreover, there are the slowness of movement and the seemingly increasing tameness of the multitude. All these incidents in the growth of a vast movement – the rapidity of whose development has never been equaled in the history of the world – irritate beyond measure the impatient and ultra-revolutionary exponents of the new anarchism.

Naturally enough, the criticisms of the syndicalists are leveled chiefly against political action, parliamentarism, and Statism. It is Professor Arturo Labriola, the brilliant leader of the Italian syndicalists, who has voiced perhaps most concretely these strictures against socialism, although they abound in all syndicalist writings. According to Labriola, the socialist parties have abandoned Marx. They have left the field of the class struggle, foresworn revolution, and degenerated into weaklings and ineffectuals who dare openly neither to advocate "State socialism" nor to oppose it. In the last chapter of his "Karl Marx" Labriola traces some of the tendencies to State socialism. He observes that the State is gradually taking over all the great public utilities and that cities and towns are increasingly municipalizing public services. In the more liberal and democratic countries "the tendency to State property was greeted," he says, "as the beginning of the socialist transformation. To-day, in France, in Italy, and in Austria socialism is being confounded with Statism (l'étatisme).... The socialist party, almost everywhere, has become the party of State capitalism." It is "no more the representative of a movement which ranges itself against existing institutions, but rather of an evolution which is taking place now in the midst of present-day society, and by means of the State itself. The socialist party, by the very force of circumstances, is becoming a conservative party which is declaring for a transformation, the agent of which is no longer the proletariat itself, but the new economic organism which is the State.... Even the desire of the workingmen themselves to pass into the service of the State is eager and spontaneous. We have a proof of it in Italy with the railway workers, who, however, represent one of the best-informed and most advanced sections of the working class.

" ... Where the Marxian tradition has no stability, as in Italy, the socialist party refused to admit that the State was an exclusively capitalist organism and that it was necessary to challenge its action. And with this pro-State attitude of the socialist party all its ideas have unconsciously changed. The principles of State enterprise (order, discipline, hierarchy, subordination, maximum productivity, etc.) are the same as those of private enterprise. Wherever the socialist party openly takes its stand on the side of the State – contrary even to its intentions – it acquires an entirely capitalist viewpoint. Its embarrassed attitude in regard to the insubordination of the workers in private manufacture becomes each day more evident, and, if it were not afraid of losing its electoral support, it would oppose still more the spirit of revolt among the workers. It is thus that the socialist party – the conservative party of the future transformed State – is becoming the conservative party of the present social organization. But even where, as in Germany, the Marxian tradition still assumes the form of a creed to all outward appearance, the party is very far from keeping within the limits of pure Marxian theory. Its anti-State attitude is not one of inclination. It is imposed by the State itself, ... the adversary, through its military and feudal vanity, of every concession to working-class democracy."[19]

All this sounds most familiar, and I cannot resist quoting here our old friend Bakounin in order to show how much this criticism resembles that of the anarchists. If we turn to "Statism and Anarchy" we find that Bakounin concluded this work with the following words: "Upon the Pangermanic banner" (i. e., also upon the banner of German social democracy, and, consequently, upon the socialist banner of the whole civilized world) "is inscribed: The conservation and strengthening of the State at all costs; on the socialist-revolutionary banner" (read Bakouninist banner) "is inscribed in characters of blood, in letters of fire: the abolition of all States, the destruction of bourgeois civilization; free organization from the bottom to the top, by the help of free associations; the organization of the working populace (sic!) freed from all the trammels, the organization of the whole of emancipated humanity, the creation of a new human world."[AC] Thus frantically Bakounin exposed the antagonism between his philosophy and that of the Marxists. It would seem, therefore, that if Labriola knew his Marx, he would hardly undertake at this late date to save socialism from a tendency that Marx himself gave it. The State, it appears, is the same bugaboo to the syndicalists that it is to the anarchists. It is almost something personal, a kind of monster that, in all ages and times, must be oppressive. It cannot evolve or change its being. It cannot serve the working class as it has previously served feudalism, or as it now serves capitalism. It is an unchangeable thing, that, regardless of economic and social conditions, must remain eternally the enemy of the people.

Evidently, the syndicalist identifies the revolutionist with the anti-Statist – apparently forgetting that hatred of the State is often as strong among the bourgeoisie as among the workers. The determination to limit the power of the Government was not only a powerful factor in the French and American Revolutions, but since then the slaveholders of the Southern States in America, the factory owners of all countries, and the trusts have exhausted every means, fair and foul, to limit and to weaken the power of the State. What difference is there between the theory of laissez-faire and the antagonism of the anarchists and the syndicalists to every activity of the State? However, it is noteworthy that antagonism to the State disappears on the part of any group or class as soon as it becomes an agency for advancing their material well-being; they not only then forsake their anti-Statism, they even become the most ardent defenders of the State. Evidently, then, it is not the State that has to be overcome, but the interests that control the State.

It must be admitted that Labriola sketches accurately enough the prevailing tendency toward State ownership, but he misunderstands or willfully misinterprets, as Bakounin did before him, the attitude of the avowed socialist parties toward such evolution. When he declares that they confuse their socialism with Statism, he might equally well argue that socialists confuse their socialism with monopoly or with the aggregation of capital in the hands of the few. Because socialists recognize the inevitable evolution toward monopoly is no reason for believing that they advocate monopoly. Nowhere have the socialists ever advised the destruction of trusts, nor have they anywhere opposed the taking over of great industries by the State. They realize that, as monopoly is an inevitable outcome of capitalism, so State capitalism, more or less extended, is an inevitable result of monopoly. That the workers remain wage earners and are exploited in the same manner as before has been pointed out again and again by all the chief socialists. However, if socialists prefer monopoly to the chaos of competition and to the reactionary tendencies of small property, and if they lend themselves, as they do everywhere, to the promotion of the State ownership of monopoly, it is not because they confuse monopoly, whether private or public, with socialism. It is of little consequence whether the workers are exploited by the trusts or by the Government. As long as capitalism exists they will be exploited by the one or the other. If they themselves prefer to be exploited by the Government, as Labriola admits, and if that exploitation is less ruinous to the body and mind of the worker, the socialist who opposed State capitalism in favor of private capitalism would be nothing less than a reactionary.

Without, however, leaving the argument here, it must be said that there are various reasons why the socialist prefers State capitalism to private capitalism. It has certain advantages for the general public. It confers certain benefits upon the toilers, chief of all perhaps the regularity of work. And, above and beyond this, State capitalism is actually expropriating private capitalists. The more property the State owns, the fewer will be the number of capitalists to be dealt with, and the easier it will be eventually to introduce socialism. Indeed, to proceed from State capitalism to socialism is little more than the grasp of public powers by the working class, followed by the administrative measures of industrial democracy. All this, of course, has been said before by Engels, part of whose argument I have already quoted. Unfortunately, no syndicalist seems to follow this reasoning or excuse what he considers the terrible crime of extending the domain of the State. Not infrequently his revolutionary philosophy begins with the abolition of the State, and often it ends there. Marx, Engels, and Eccarius, as we know, ridiculed Bakounin's terror of the State; and how many times since have the socialists been compelled to deal with this bugaboo! It rises up in every country from time to time. The anarchist, the anarchist-communist, the Lokalisten, the anarcho-socialist, the young socialist, and the syndicalist have all in their time solemnly come to warn the working class of this insidious enemy. But the workers refuse to be frightened, and in every country, including even Russia, Italy, and France, they have less fear of State ownership of industry than they have of that crushing exploitation which they know to-day.

Even in Germany, where Labriola considers the socialists to be more or less free from the taint of State capitalism, they have from the very beginning voted for State ownership. As early as 1870 the German socialists, upon a resolution presented by Bebel, adopted by a large majority the proposition that the State should retain in its hands the State lands, Church lands, communal lands, the mines, and the railroads.[AD] When adopting the new party program at Erfurt in 1891, the Congress struck out the section directed against State socialism and adopted a number of propositions leading to that end. Again, at Breslau in 1895, the Germans adopted several State-socialist measures. "At this time," says Paul Kampffmeyer, "a proposition of the agrarian commission on the party program, which had a decided State-socialist stamp, was discussed. It contained, among other things, the retaining and the increase of the public land domain; the management of the State and community lands on their own account; the giving of State credit to coöperative societies; the socialization of mortgages, debts, and loans on land; the socialization of chattel and real estate insurance, etc. Bebel agreed to all these State-socialist propositions. He recalled the fact, that the nationalizing of the railroads had been accomplished with the agreement of the social-democracy."[21] "That which applies to the railways applies also to the forestry," said Bebel. "Have we any objections to the enlarging of the State forests and thereby the employment of workers and officials? The same thing applies to the mines, the salt industry, road-making, the post office, and the telegraphs. In all of these industries we have hundreds of thousands of dependent people, and yet we do not want to advocate their abolition but rather their extension. In this direction we must break with all our prejudices. We ought only to oppose State industry where it is antagonistic to culture and where it restricts development, as, for instance, is the case in military matters. Indeed, we must even compel the State constantly to take over means of culture, because by that means we will finally put the present State out of joint. And, lastly, even the strongest State power fails in that degree in which the State drives its own officers and workers into opposition to itself, as has occurred in the case of the postal service. The attitude which would refuse to strengthen the power of the State, because this would entrust to it the solution of the problems of culture, smacks of the Manchester school. We must strip off these Manchesterian egg-shells."[22]

Wilhelm Liebknecht also dealt with those who opposed the strengthening of the class State. "We are concerned," he said, " ... first of all about the strengthening of the State power. In all similar cases we have decided in favor of practical activity. We allowed funds for the Northeast Sea Canal; we voted for the labor legislation, although the proposed laws did decidedly extend the State power. We are in favor of the State railways, although we have thereby brought about ... the dependence of numerous livings upon the State."[23] As early, indeed, as 1881 Liebknecht saw that the present State was preparing the way for socialism. Speaking of the compulsory insurance laws proposed by Bismarck, he refers to such legislation as embodying "in a decisive manner the principle of State regulation of production as opposed to the laissez-faire system of the Manchester school. The right of the State to regulate production supposes the duty of the State to interest itself in labor, and State control of the labor of society leads directly to State organization of the labor of society."[24] Further even than this goes Karl Kautsky, who has been called the "acutest observer and thinker of modern socialism." "Among the social organizations in existence to-day," he says, "there is but one that possesses the requisite dimensions, and may be used as the framework for the establishment and development of the socialist commonwealth, and that is the modern State."[25]

Without going needlessly far into this subject, it seems safe to conclude that the State is no more terrifying to the modern socialist than it was to Marx and Engels. There is not a socialist party in any country that has not used its power to force the State to undertake collective enterprise. Indeed, all the immediate programs of the various socialist parties advocate the strengthening of the economic power of the State. They are adding more and more to its functions; they are broadening its scope; and they are, without question, vastly increasing its power. But, at the same time, they are democratizing the State. By direct legislation, by a variety of political reforms, and by the power of the great socialist parties themselves, they are really wresting the control of the State from the hands of special privilege. Furthermore – and this is something neither the anarchists nor the syndicalists will see – State socialism is in itself undermining and slowly destroying the class character of the State. According to the view of Marx, the State is to-day "but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole capitalist class."[26] And it is this because the economic power of the capitalist class is supreme. But by the growth of State socialism the economic power of the private capitalists is steadily weakened. The railroads, the mines, the forests, and other great monopolies are taken out of their hands, and, to the extent that this happens, their control over the State itself disappears. Their only power to control the State is their economic power, and, if that were entirely to disappear, the class character of the State would disappear also. "The State is not abolished. It dies out"; to repeat Engels' notable words. "As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection, ... nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary."[27]

The syndicalists are, of course, quite right when they say that State socialism is an attempt to allay popular discontent, but they are quite wrong when they accept this as proof that it must inevitably sidetrack socialism. They overlook the fact that it is always a concession granted grudgingly to the growing power of democracy. It is a point yielded in order to prevent if possible the necessity of making further concessions. Yet history shows that each concession necessitates another, and that State socialism is growing with great rapidity in all countries where the workers have developed powerful political organizations. Even now both friends and opponents see in the growth of State socialism the gradual formation of that transitional stage that leads from capitalism to socialism. The syndicalist and anarchist alone fail to see here any drift toward socialism; they see only a growing tyranny creating a class of favored civil servants, who are divorced from the actual working class. At the same time, they point out that the condition of the toilers for the State has not improved, and that they are exploited as mercilessly by the State as they were formerly exploited by the capitalist. To dispute this would be time ill spent. If it be indeed true, it defeats the argument of the syndicalist. If the State in its capitalism outrageously exploits its servants, tries to prevent them from organizing, and penalizes them for striking, it will only add to the intensity of the working-class revolt. It will aid more and more toward creating a common understanding between the workers for the State and the workers for the private capitalist. In any case, it will accelerate the tendency toward the democratization of the State and, therefore, toward socialism.

As an alternative to this actual evolution toward socialism, the syndicalists propose to force society to put the means of production into the hands of the trade unions. It is perhaps worth pointing out that Owen, Proudhon, Blanc, Lassalle, and Bakounin all advocated what may be called "group socialism."[28] This conception of future society contemplates the ownership of the mines by the miners, of the railroads by the railway workers, of the land by the peasants. All the workers in the various industries are to be organized into unions and then brought together in a federation. Several objections are made to this outline of a new society. In the first place, it is artificial. Except for an occasional coöperative undertaking, there is not, nor has there ever been, any tendency toward trade-union ownership of industry. In addition, it is an idea that is to-day an anachronism. It is conceivable that small federated groups might control and conduct countless little industries, but it is not conceivable that groups of "self-governing," "autonomous," and "independent" workmen could, or would, be allowed by a highly industrialized society to direct and manage such vast enterprises as the trusts have built up. If each group is to run industry as it pleases, the Standard Oil workers or the steel workers might menace society in the future as the owners of those monopolies menace it in the present. There is no indication in the literature of the syndicalists, and certainly no promise in a system of completely autonomous groups of producers, of any solution of the vast problems of modern trustified industry. It may be that such ideas corresponded to the state of things represented in early capitalism. But the socialist ideas of the present are the product of a more advanced state of capitalism than Owen, Proudhon, Lassalle, and Bakounin knew, or than the syndicalists of France, Italy, and Spain have yet been forced seriously to deal with. Indeed, it was necessary for Marx to forecast half a century of capitalist development in order to clarify the program of socialism and to emphasize the necessity for that program.

It is a noteworthy and rather startling fact that Sidney and Beatrice Webb had pointed out the economic fallacies of syndicalism before the French Confederation of Labor was founded or Sorel, Berth, and Lagardelle had written a line on the subject. In their "History of Trade Unionism" they tell most interestingly the story of Owen's early trade-union socialism. The book was published in 1894, two or three years before the theories of the French school were born. Nevertheless, their critique of Owenism expresses as succinctly and forcibly as anything yet written the attitude of the socialists toward the economics of modern syndicalism. "Of all Owen's attempts to reduce his socialism to practice," write the Webbs, "this was certainly the very worst. For his short-lived communities there was at least this excuse: that within their own area they were to be perfectly homogeneous little socialist States. There were to be no conflicting sections, and profit-making and competition were to be effectually eliminated. But in 'the Trades Union,' as he conceived it, the mere combination of all the workmen in a trade as coöperative producers no more abolished commercial competition than a combination of all the employers in it as a joint stock company. In effect, his Grand Lodges would have been simply the head offices of huge joint stock companies owning the entire means of production in their industry, and subject to no control by the community as a whole. They would, therefore, have been in a position at any moment to close their ranks and admit fresh generations of workers only as employees at competitive wages instead of as shareholders, thus creating at one stroke a new capitalist class and a new proletariat.[29] ... In short, the socialism of Owen led him to propose a practical scheme which was not even socialistic, and which, if it could possibly have been carried out, would have simply arbitrarily redistributed the capital of the country without altering or superseding the capitalist system in the least."[30]

Although this "group socialism" would certainly necessitate a Parliament in order to harmonize the conflicting interests of the various productive associations, there is nothing, it appears, that the syndicalist so much abhors. He is never quite done with picturing the burlesque of parliamentarism. While, no doubt, this is a necessary corollary to his antagonism to the State, it is aggravated by the fact that one of the chief ends of a political party is to put its representatives into Parliament. The syndicalist, in ridiculing all parliamentary activity, is at the same time, therefore, endeavoring to prove the folly of political action. That you cannot bring into the world a new social order by merely passing laws is something the syndicalist never wearies of pointing out. Parliamentarism, he likes to repeat, is a new superstition that is weakening the activity and paralyzing the mentality of the working class. "The superstitious belief in parliamentary action," Leone says, " ... ascribes to acts of Parliament the magic power of bringing about new social forces."[31] Sorel refers to the same thing as the "belief in the magic influence of departmental authority,"[32] while Labriola divines that "parties may elect members of Parliament, but they cannot set one machine going, nor can they organize one business undertaking."[33] All this reminds one of what Marx himself said in the early fifties. He speaks in "Revolution and Counter-Revolution," a collection of some articles that were originally written for the New York Tribune, of "parliamentary crétinism, a disorder which penetrates its unfortunate victims with the solemn conviction that the whole world, its history and future, are governed and determined by a majority of votes in that particular representative body which has the honor to count them among its members, and that all and everything going on outside the walls of their house – wars, revolutions, railway constructing, colonizing of whole new continents, California gold discoveries, Central American canals, Russian armies, and whatever else may have some little claim to influence upon the destinies of mankind – is nothing compared with the incommensurable events hinging upon the important question, whatever it may be, just at that moment occupying the attention of their honorable house."[34]

No one can read this statement of Marx's without realizing its essential truthfulness. But it should not be forgotten that Marx himself believed, and every prominent socialist believes, that the control of the parliaments of the world is essential to any movement that seeks to transform the world. The powerlessness of parliaments may be easily exaggerated. To say that they are incapable of constructive work is to deny innumerable facts of history. Laws have both set up and destroyed industries. The action of parliaments has established gigantic industries. The schools, the roads, the Panama Canal, and a thousand other great operations known to us to-day have been set going by parliaments. Tariff laws make and destroy industries. Prohibition laws have annihilated industries, while legality, which is the peculiar product of parliaments, has everything to do with the ownership of property, of industry, and of the management of capital. For one who is attacking a legal status, who is endeavoring to alter political, juridical, as well as industrial and social relations, the conquering of parliaments is vitally necessary. The socialist recognizes that the parliaments of to-day represent class interests, that, indeed, they are dominated by class interests, and, as such, that they do not seek to change but to conserve what now exists. As a result, there is a parliamentary crétinism, because, in a sense, the dominant elements in Parliament are only managing the affairs of powerful influences outside of Parliament. They are not the guiding hand, but the servile hand, of capitalism.

For the above reason, chiefly, the syndicalists are on safe ground when they declare that parliaments are corrupt. Corruption is a product of the struggle of the classes. To obtain special privilege, class laws, and immunity from punishment, the "big interests" bribe and corrupt parliaments. However, corruption does not stop there. The trade unions themselves suffer. Labor leaders are bought just as labor representatives are bought. Insurrection itself is often controlled and rendered abortive by corruption. Numberless violent uprisings have been betrayed by those who fomented them. The words of Fruneau at Basel in 1869 are memorable. "Bakounin has declared," he said, "that it is necessary to await the Revolution. Ah, well, the Revolution! Away with it! Not that I fear the barricades, but, when one is a Frenchman and has seen the blood of the bravest of the French running in the streets in order to elevate to power the ambitious who, a few months later, sent us to Cayenne, one suspects the same snares, because the Revolution, in view of the ignorance of the proletarians, would take place only at the profit of our adversaries."[35] There is no way to escape the corrupting power of capitalism. It has its representatives in every movement that promises to be hostile. It has its spies in the labor unions, its agents provocateurs in insurrections; and its money can always find hands to accept it. One does not escape corruption by abandoning Parliament. And Bordat, the anarchist, was the slave of a mania when he declared: "To send workingmen to a parliament is to act like a mother who would take her daughter to a brothel."[36] Parliaments are perhaps more corrupt than trade unions, but that is simply because they have greater power. To no small degree bribery and campaign funds are the tribute that capitalism pays to the power of the State.

The consistent opposition of the syndicalists to the State is leading them desperately far, and we see them developing, as the anarchists did before them, a contempt even for democracy. The literature of syndicalism teems with attacks on democracy. "Syndicalism and Democracy," says Émile Pouget, "are the two opposite poles, which exclude and neutralize each other.... Democracy is a social superfluity, a parasitic and external excrescence, while syndicalism is the logical manifestation of a growth of life, it is a rational cohesion of human beings, and that is why, instead of restraining their individuality, it prolongs and develops it."[37] Democracy is, in the view of Sorel, the régime par excellence, in which men are governed "by the magical power of high-sounding words rather than by ideas; by formulas rather than by reasons; by dogmas, the origin of which nobody cares to find out, rather than by doctrines based on observation."[38] Lagardelle declares that syndicalism is post-democratic. "Democracy corresponds to a definite historical movement," he says, "which has come to an end. Syndicalism is an anti-democratic movement."[39] These are but three out of a number of criticisms of democracy that might be quoted. Although natural enough as a consequence of syndicalist antagonism to the State, these ideas are nevertheless fatal when applied to the actual conduct of a working-class movement. It means that the minority believes that it can drive the majority. We remember that Guérard suggested, in his advocacy of the general strike, that, if the railroad workers struck, many other trades "would be compelled to quit work." "A daring revolutionary minority conscious of its aim can carry away with it the majority."[40] Pouget confesses: "The syndicalist has a contempt for the vulgar idea of democracy – the inert, unconscious mass is not to be taken into account when the minority wishes to act so as to benefit it...."[41] He refers in another place to the majority, who "may be considered as human zeros. Thus appears the enormous difference in method," concludes Pouget, "which distinguishes syndicalism and democracy: the latter, by the mechanism of universal suffrage, gives direction to the unconscious ... and stifles the minorities who bear within them the hopes of the future."[42]

This is anarchism all over again, from Proudhon to Goldman.[43] But, while the Bakouninists were forced, as a result of these views, to abandon organized effort, the newest anarchists have attempted to incorporate these ideas into the very constitution of the French Confederation of Labor. And at present they are, in fact, a little clique that rides on the backs of the organized workers, and the majority cannot throw them off so long as a score of members have the same voting power in the Confederation as that of a trade union with ten thousand members. All this must, of course, have very serious consequences. Opposition to majority rule has always been a cardinal principle of the anarchists. It is also a fundamental principle of every American political machine. To defeat democracy is obviously the chief purpose of a Tammany Hall. But, when this idea is actually advocated as an ideal of working-class organization, when it is made to stand as a policy and practice of a trade union, it can only result in suspicion, disruption, and, eventually, in complete ruin. It appears that the militant syndicalist, like the anarchist, realizes that he cannot expect the aid of the people. He turns, then, to the minority, the fighting inner circle, as the sole hope.

It is inevitable, therefore, that syndicalism and socialism should stand at opposite poles. They are exactly as far apart as anarchism and socialism. And, if we turn to the question of methods, we find an antagonism almost equally great. How are the workers to obtain possession of industry? On this point, as well as upon their conception of socialism, the syndicalists are not advanced beyond Owenism. "One question, and that the most immediately important of all," say the Webbs, speaking of Owen's projects, "was never seriously faced: How was the transfer of the industries from the capitalists to the unions to be effected in the teeth of a hostile and well-armed government? The answer must have been that the overwhelming numbers of 'the trades union' would render conflict impossible. At all events, Owen, like the early Christians, habitually spoke as if the day of judgment of the existing order of society was at hand. The next six months, in his view, were always going to see the 'new moral world' really established. The change from the capitalist system to a complete organization of industry under voluntary associations of producers was to 'come suddenly upon society like a thief in the night.'... It is impossible not to regret that the first introduction of the English Trade Unionist to Socialism should have been effected by a foredoomed scheme which violated every economic principle of collectivism, and left the indispensable political preliminaries to pure chance."[44] Little need be added to what the Webbs have said on the utopian features of syndicalism or even upon the haphazard method adopted to achieve them. "No politics in the unions" follows logically enough from an avowed antagonism to the State. If one starts with the assumption that nothing can be done through the State – as Owen, Bakounin, and the syndicalists have done – one is, of course, led irretrievably to oppose parliamentary and other political methods of action.

When the syndicalists throw over democracy and foreswear political action, they are fatally driven to the point where they must abandon the working class. In the meantime, they are sadly misleading it. It is when we touch this phase of the syndicalist movement that we begin to discover real bitterness. Here direct action stands in opposition to political action. The workers must choose the one method or the other. The old clash appears again in all its tempestuous hate. Jules Guesde was early one of the adherents of Bakounin, but in all his later life he has been pitiless in his warfare on the anarchists. As soon, therefore, as the direct-actionists began again to exercise an influence, Guesde entered the field of battle. I happened to be at Limoges in 1906 to hear Guesde speak these memorable words at the French Socialist Congress: "Political action is necessarily revolutionary. It does not address itself to the employer, but to the State, while industrial action addresses itself to the individual employer or to associations of employers. Industrial action does not attack the employer as an institution, because the employer is the effect, the result of capitalist property. As soon as capitalist property will have disappeared, the employer will disappear, and not before. It is in the socialist party – because it is a political party – that one fights against the employer class, and that is why the socialist party is truly an economic party, tending to transform social and political economy. At the present moment words have their importance. And I should like to urge the comrades strongly never to allow it to be believed that trade-union action is economic action. No; this latter action is taken only by the political organization of the working class. It is the party of the working class which leads it – that is to say, the socialist party – because property is a social institution which cannot be transformed except by the exploited class making use of political power for this purpose....

"I realize," he continued, "that the direct-actionists attempt to identify political action with parliamentary action. No; electoral action as well as parliamentary action may be forms; pieces of political action. They are not political action as a whole, which is the effort to seize public powers – the Government. Political action is the people of Paris taking possession of the Hôtel de Ville in 1871. It is the Parisian workers marching upon the National Assembly in 1848.... To those who go about claiming that political action, as extolled by the party, reduces itself to the production of public officials, you will oppose a flat denial. Political action is, moreover, not the production of laws. It is the grasping by the working class of the manufactory of laws; it is the political expropriation of the employer class, which alone permits its economic expropriation.... I wish that someone would explain to me how the breaking of street lights, the disemboweling of soldiers, the burning of factories, can constitute a means of transforming the ownership of property.... Supposing that the strikers were masters of the streets and should seize the factories, would not the factories still remain private property? Instead of being the property of a few employers or stockholders, they would become the property of the 500 or the 5,000 workingmen who had taken them, and that is all. The owners of the property will have changed; the system of ownership will have remained the same. And ought we not to consider it necessary to say that to the workers over and over again? Ought we to allow them to take a path that leads nowhere?... No; the socialists could not, without crime, lend themselves to such trickery. It is our imperative duty to bring back the workers to reality, to remind them always that one can only be revolutionary if one attacks the government and the State."[45] "Trade-union action moves within the circle of capitalism without breaking through it, and that is necessarily reformist, in the good sense of the word. In order to ameliorate the conditions of the victims of capitalist society, it does not touch the system. All the revolutionary wrangling can avail nothing against this fact. Even when a strike is triumphant, the day after the strike the wage earners remain wage earners and capitalist exploitation continues. It is a necessity, a fatality, which trade-union action suffers."[46]

Any comment of mine would, I think, only serve to mar this masterly logic of Guesde's. There is nothing perhaps in socialist literature which so ably sustains the traditional position of the socialist movement. The battles in France over this question have been bitterly fought for over half a century. The most brilliant of minds have been engaged in the struggle. Proudhon, Bakounin, Briand, Sorel, Lagardelle, Berth, Hervé, are men of undoubted ability. Opposed to them we find the Marxists, led in these latter years by Guesde and Jaurès. And while direct action has always been vigorously supported in France both by the intellectuals and by the masses, it is the policy of Guesde and Jaurès which has made headway. At the time when the general strike was looked upon as a revolutionary panacea, and the French working class seemed on the point of risking everything in one throw of the dice, Jaurès uttered a solemn warning: "Toward this abyss ... the proletariat is feeling itself more and more drawn, at the risk not only of ruining itself should it fall over, but of dragging down with it for years to come either the wealth or the security of the national life."[47] "If the proletarians take possession of the mine and the factory, it will be a perfectly fictitious ownership. They will be embracing a corpse, for the mines and factories will be no better than dead bodies while economic circulation is suspended and production is stopped. So long as a class does not own and govern the whole social machine, it can seize a few factories and yards, if it wants to, but it really possesses nothing. To hold in one's hand a few pebbles of a deserted road is not to be master of transportation."[48] "The working class would be the dupe of a fatal illusion and a sort of unhealthy obsession if it mistook what can be only the tactics of despair for a method of revolution."[49]

The struggle, therefore, between the syndicalists and the socialists is, as we see, the same clash over methods that occurred in the seventies and eighties between the anarchists and the socialists. In abandoning democracy, in denying the efficacy of political action, and in resorting to methods which can only end in self-destruction, the syndicalist becomes the logical descendant of the anarchist. He is at this moment undergoing an evolution which appears to be leading him into the same cul-de-sac that thwarted his forefather. His path is blocked by the futility of his own weapons. He is fatally driven, as Plechanoff said, either to serve the bourgeois politicians or to resort to the tactics of Ravachol, Henry, Vaillant, and Most. The latter is the more likely, since the masses refuse to be drawn into the general strike as they formerly declined to participate in artificial uprisings.[AE] The daring conscious minority more and more despair, and they turn to the only other weapon in their arsenal, that of sabotage. There is a kind of fatality which overtakes the revolutionist who insists upon an immediate, universal, and violent revolution. He must first despair of the majority. He then loses confidence even in the enlightened minority. And, in the end, like the Bakouninist, he is driven to individual acts of despair. What will doubtless happen at no distant date in France and Italy will be a repetition of the congress at The Hague. When the trade-union movement actually develops into a powerful organization, it will be forced to throw off this incubus of the new anarchism. It is already thought that a majority of the French trade unionists oppose the anarchist tendencies of the clique in control, and certainly a number of the largest and most influential unions frankly class themselves as reformist syndicalists, in order to distinguish themselves from the revolutionary syndicalists. What will come of this division time only can tell.

In any case, it is becoming clear even to the French unionists that direct action is not and cannot be, as Guesde has pointed out, revolutionary action. It cannot transform our social system. It is destined to failure just as insurrection as a policy was destined to failure. Rittinghausen said at Basel in 1869: "Revolution, as a matter of fact, accomplishes nothing. If you are not able to formulate, after the revolution, by legislation, your legitimate demands, the revolution will perish miserably."[50] This was true in 1848, in 1871, and even in the great French Revolution itself. Nothing would have seemed easier at the time of the French Revolution than for the peasants to have directly possessed themselves of the land. They were using it. Their houses were planted in the midst of it. Their landlords in many cases had fled. Yet Kropotkin, in his story of "The Great French Revolution," relates that the redistribution of land awaited the action of Parliament. To be sure, some of the peasants had taken the land, but they were not at all sure that it might not again be taken from them by some superior force. Their rights were not defined, and there was such chaos in the entire situation that, in the end, the whole question had to be left to Parliament. It was only after the action of the Convention, June 11, 1793, that the rights of ownership were defined. It was only then, as Kropotkin says, that "everyone had a right to the land. It was a complete revolution."[51] That the greatest of living anarchists should be forced to pay this tribute to the action of Parliament is in itself an assurance. For masses in the time of revolution to grab whatever they desire is, after all, to constitute what Jaurès calls a fictitious ownership. Some legality is needed to establish possession and a sense of security, and, up to the present, only the political institutions of society have been able to do that. For this precise reason every social struggle and class struggle of the past has been a political struggle.

There remains but one other fundamental question, which must be briefly examined. The syndicalists do not go back to Owen as the founder of their philosophy. They constantly reiterate the claim that they alone to-day are Marxists and that it is given to them to keep "pure and undefiled" the theories of that giant mind. They base their claim on the ground of Marx's economic interpretation of history and especially upon his oft-repeated doctrine that upon the economic structure of society rises the juridical and political superstructure. They maintain that the political institutions are merely the reflex of economic conditions. Alter the economic basis of society, and the political structure must adjust itself to the new conditions. As a result of this truly Marxian reasoning, they assert that the revolutionary movement must pursue solely economic aims and disregard totally the existing and, to their minds, superfluous political relations. They accuse the socialists of a contradiction. Claiming to be Marxists and basing their program upon the economic interpretation of history, the socialists waste their energies in trying to modify the results instead of obliterating the causes. Political institutions are parasitical. Why, therefore, ignore economic foundations and waste effort remodeling the parasitical superstructure? There is a contradiction here, but not on the part of the socialists. Proudhon was entirely consistent when he asked: "Can we not administer our goods, keep our accounts, arrange our differences, look after our common interests?"[52] And, moreover, he was consistent when he declared: "I want you to make the very institutions which I charge you to abolish, ... so that the new society shall appear as the spontaneous, natural, and necessary development of the old."[53] If that were once done the dissolution of government would follow, as he says, in a way about which one can at present make only guesses. But Proudhon urged his followers to establish coöperative banks, coöperative industries, and a variety of voluntary industrial enterprises, in order eventually to possess themselves of the means of production. If the working class, through its own coöperative efforts, could once acquire the ownership of industry, if they could thus expropriate the present owners and gradually come into the ownership of all natural resources and all means of production – in a word, of all social capital – they would not need to bother themselves with the State. If, in possessing themselves thus of all economic power, they were also to neglect the State, its machinery would, of course, tumble into uselessness and eventually disappear. As the great capitalists to-day make laws through the stock exchange, through their chambers of commerce, through their pools and combinations, so the working class could do likewise if they were in possession of industry. But the working class to-day has no real economic power. It has no participation in the ownership of industry. It is claimed that it might withdraw its labor power and in this manner break down the entire economic system. It is urged that labor alone is absolutely necessary to production and that if, in a great general strike, it should cease production, the whole of society would be forced to capitulate. And in theory this seems unassailable, but actually it has no force whatever. In the first place, this economic power does not exist unless the workers are organized and are practically unanimous in their action. Furthermore, the economic position of the workers is one of utter helplessness at the time of a universal strike, in that they cannot feed themselves. As they are the nearest of all classes to starvation, they will be the first to suffer by a stoppage of work. There is still another vital weakness in this so-called economic theory. The battles that result from a general strike will not be on the industrial field. They will be battles between the armed agents of the State and unarmed masses of hungry men. Whatever economic power the workers are said to possess would, in that case, avail them little, for the results of their struggles would depend upon the military power which they would be able to manifest. The individual worker has no economic power, nor has the minority, and it may even be questioned if the withdrawal of all the organized workers could bring society to its knees. Multitudes of the small propertied classes, of farmers, of police, of militiamen, and of others would immediately rush to the defense of society in the time of such peril. It is only the working class theoretically conceived of as a conscious unit and as practically unanimous in its revolutionary aims, in its methods, and in its revolt which can be considered as the ultimate economic power of modern society. The day of such a conscious and enlightened solidarity is, however, so far distant that the syndicalism which is based upon it falls of itself into a fantastic dream.


[W] His words are: "What is the General Confederation of Labor, if not the continuation of the International?" Documents et Souvenirs, Vol. IV, p. vii.

[X] In justice to the French unions it must be said that a large number, probably a considerable majority, do not share these views. The views of the latter are almost identical with those of the American and English unions; but at present the new anarchists are in the saddle, although their power appears to be waning.

[Y] See pp. 234, 235, supra.

[Z] See p. 52, supra.

[AA] I have not dealt in this chapter with the Industrial Workers of the World, which is the American representative of syndicalist ideas. First, because the American organization has developed no theories of importance. Their chief work has been to popularize some of the French ideas. Second, because the I. W. W. has not yet won for itself a place in the labor movement. It has done much agitation, but as yet no organization to speak of. Furthermore, there is great confusion of ideas among the various factions and elements, and it would be difficult to state views which are held in common by all of them. It should be said, however, that all the American syndicalists have emphasized industrial unionism, that is to say, organization by industries instead of by crafts – an idea that the French lay no stress upon.

[AB] At the Sixth International Conference of the National Trade Union Centers, held in Paris, 1909, the French syndicalists endeavored to persuade the trade unions to hold periodical international trade-union congresses that would rival the international socialist congresses. The proposition was so strongly opposed by all countries except France that the motion was withdrawn.

[AC] The comments are by Plechanoff.[20]

[AD] It should, however, be pointed out that the German social democrats voted at first against the State ownership of railroads, because it was considered a military measure.

[AE] The committee on the general strike of the French Confederation said despairingly in 1900: "The idea of the general strike is sufficiently understood to-day. In repeatedly putting off the date of its coming, we risk discrediting it forever by enervating the revolutionary energies." Quoted by Levine, "The Labor Movement in France," p. 102.



It is perhaps just as well to begin this chapter by reminding ourselves that anarchy means literally no government. Consequently, there will be no laws. "I am ready to make terms, but I will have no laws," said Proudhon; adding, "I acknowledge none."[1] However revolutionary this may seem, it is, after all, not so very unlike what has always existed in the affairs of men. Without the philosophy of the idealist anarchist, with no pretense of justice or "nonsense" about equality, there have always been in this old world of ours those powerful enough to make and to break law, to brush aside the State and any and every other hindrance that stood in their path. "Laws are like spiders' webs," said Anacharsis, "and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them." He might have said, with equal truth, that, with or without laws, the rich and powerful have been able in the past to do very much as they pleased. For the poor and the weak there have always been, to be sure, hard and fast rules that they could not break through. But the rich and powerful have always managed to live more or less above the State or, at least, so to dominate the State that to all intents and purposes, other than their own, it did not exist. When Bakounin wrote his startling and now famous decree abolishing the State, he created no end of hilarity among the Marxists, but had Bakounin been Napoleon with his mighty army, or Morgan and Rockefeller with their great wealth, he could no doubt in some measure have carried out his wish. Without, however, either wealth or numbers behind him, Bakounin preached a polity that, up to the present, only the rich and powerful have been able even partly to achieve. The anarchy of Proudhon was visionary, humanitarian, and idealistic. At least he thought he was striving for a more humane social order than that of the present. But this older anarchism is as ancient as tyranny, and never at any moment has it ceased to menace human civilization. Based on a real mastery over the industrial and political institutions of mankind, this actual anarchy has never for long allowed the law, the Constitution, the State, or the flag to obstruct its path or thwart its avarice.

Moreover, under the anarchism proposed by Proudhon and Bakounin, the maintenance of property rights, public order, and personal security would be left to voluntary effort, that is to say, to private enterprise. As all things would be decided by mutual agreement, the only law would be a law of contracts, and that law would need to be enforced either by associations formed for that purpose or by professionals privately employed for that purpose. So far as one can see, then, the methods of the feudal lords would be revived, by which they hired their own personal armies or went shares in the spoils with their bandits, buccaneers, and assassins. By organizing their own military forces and maintaining them in comfort, they were able to rob, burn, and murder, in order to protect the wealth and power they had, or to gain more wealth and power. For them there was no law but that of a superior fighting force. There was an infinite variety of customs and traditions that were in the nature of laws, but even these were seldom allowed to stand in the way of those who coveted, and were strong enough to take, the land, the money, or the produce of others. Indeed, the feudal duke or prince was all that Nechayeff claimed for the modern robber. He was a glorified anarchist, "without phrase, without rhetoric." He could scour Europe for mercenaries, and, when he possessed himself of an army of marauders, he became a law unto himself. The most ancient and honorable anarchy is despotism, and its most effective and available means of domination have always been the employment of its own personal military forces.

It will be remembered that Bakounin developed a kind of robber worship. The bandit leaders Stenka Razin and Pougatchoff appeared to him as national heroes, popular avengers, and irreconcilable enemies of the State. He conceived of the brigands scattered throughout Russia and confined in the prisons of the Empire as "a unique and indivisible world, strongly bound together – the world of the Russian revolution." The robber was "the wrestler in life and in death against all this civilization of officials, of nobles, of priests, and of the crown." Of course, Bakounin says here much that is historically true. Thieves, marauders, highwaymen, bandits, brigands, villains, mendicants, and all those other elements of mediæval life for whom society provided neither land nor occupation, often organized themselves into guerilla bands in order to war upon all social and civil order. But Bakounin neglects to mention that it was these very elements that eagerly became the mercenaries of any prince who could feed them. They were lawless, "without phrase, without rhetoric," and, if anyone were willing to pay them, they would gladly pillage, burn, and murder in his interest. They would have served anybody or anything – the State, society, a prince, or a tyrant. They had no scruples and no philosophies. They were in the market to be bought by anyone who wanted a choice brand of assassins. And the feudal duke or prince bought, fed, and cared for these "veritable and unique revolutionists," in order to have them ready for service in his work of robbery and murder. To be sure, when these marauders had no employer they were dangerous, because then they committed crimes and outrages on their own hook. But the vast majority of them were hirelings, and many of them achieved fame for the bravery of their exploits in the service of the dukes, the princes, and the priests of that time. There were even guilds of mercenaries, such as the Condottieri of Italy; and the Swiss were famous for their superior service. They were, it seems, revolutionists in Bakounin's use of the term, and every prince knew "no money, no Swiss" ("point d'argent, point de Suisse").

A very slight acquaintance with history teaches us that this anarchy has been checked and that the history of recent times consists largely of the struggles of the masses to harness and subdue this anarchy of the powerful. And perhaps the most notable step in that direction was that development of the State which took away the right of the nobles to employ and maintain their own private armies. In England, policing by the State began as late as 1826, when Sir Robert Peel passed the law establishing the Metropolitan force in London, and these agents of order are even now called "Bobbies" and "Peelers," in memory of him. Throughout all Europe the military, naval, and police forces are to-day in the hands of the State. We have, then, in contradistinction to the old anarchy, the State maintenance of law and order, and of protection to life and property. Even in Russia the coercive forces are under the control of the Government, and nowhere are individuals – be they Grand Dukes or Princes – allowed to employ their own military forces. When trouble arises without, it is the State that calls together its armed men for aggression or for defense. When trouble arises within – such as strikes, riots, and insurrections – it is the State that is supposed to deal with them. Individuals, no matter how powerful, are not to-day permitted to organize armies to invade a foreign land, to subdue its people, and to wrest from them their property. In the case of uprisings within a country, the individual is not allowed to raise his armies, subdue the troublesome elements, and make himself master. Within the last few centuries the State has thus gradually drawn to itself the powers of repression, of coercion, and of aggression, and it is the State alone that is to-day allowed to maintain military forces.

At any rate, this is true of all civilized countries except the United States. This is the only modern State wherein coercive military powers are still wielded by individuals. In the United States it is still possible for rich and powerful individuals or for corporations to employ their own bands of armed men. If any legislator were to propose a law allowing any man or group of men to have their own private battleships and to organize their own private navies and armies, or if anyone suggested the turning over of the coercive powers of the State to private enterprise, the masses would rise in rebellion against the project. No congressman would, of course, venture to suggest such a law, and few individuals would undertake to defend such a plan. Yet the fact is that now, without legal authority, private armies may be employed and are indeed actually employed in the United States. In the most stealthy and insidious manner there has grown up within the last fifty years an extensive and profitable commerce for supplying to the lords of finance their own private police. And the strange fact appears that the newest, and supposedly the least feudal, country is to-day the only country that allows the oldest anarchists to keep in their hands the power to arm their own mercenaries and, in the words of an eminent Justice, to expose "the lives of citizens to the murderous assaults of hireling assassins."[2] It is with these "hireling assassins," who, for the convenience of the wealthy, are now supplied by a great network of agencies, that we shall chiefly concern ourselves in this chapter. We must here leave Europe, since it is in the United States alone that the workings of this barbarous commerce in anarchy can be observed.

Robert A. Pinkerton was the originator of a system of extra-legal police agents that has gradually grown to be one of the chief commercial enterprises of the country. According to his own testimony,[3] he began in 1866 to supply armed men to the owners of large industries, and ever since his firm has carried on a profitable business in that field. Envious of his prosperity, other individuals have formed rival agencies, and to-day there exist in the United States thousands of so-called detective bureaus where armed men can be employed to do the bidding of any wealthy individual. While, no doubt, there are agencies that conduct a thoroughly legitimate business, there are unquestionably numerous agencies in this country where one may employ thugs, thieves, incendiaries, dynamiters, perjurers, jury-fixers, manufacturers of evidence, strike-breakers and murderers. A regularly established commerce exists, which enables a rich man, without great difficulty or peril, to hire abandoned criminals, who, for certain prices, will undertake to execute any crime. If one can afford it, one may have always at hand a body of highwaymen or a small private army. Such a commerce as this was no doubt necessary and proper in the Middle Ages and would no doubt be necessary and proper in a state of anarchy, but when individuals are allowed to employ private police, armies, thugs, and assassins in a country which possesses a regularly established State, courts, laws, military forces, and police the traffic constitutes a menace as alarming as the Black Hand, the Camorra, or the Mafia. The story of these hired terrorists and of this ancient anarchy revived surpasses in cold-blooded criminality any other thing known in modern history. That rich and powerful patrons should be allowed to purchase in the market poor and desperate criminals eager to commit any crime on the calendar for a few dollars, is one of the most amazing and incredible anachronisms of a too self-complaisant Republic.

For some reason not wholly obscure the American people generally have been kept in such ignorance of the facts of this commerce that few even dream that it exists. And I am fully conscious of the need for proof in support of what to many must appear to be unwarranted assertions. Indeed, it is rare to find anyone who suspects the character of the private detective. The general impression seems to be that he performs a very useful and necessary service, that the profession is an honorable one, and that the mass of detectives have only one ambition in life, and that is to ferret out the criminal and to bring him to justice. To denounce detectives as a class appears to most persons as absurdly unreasonable. To speak of them with contempt is to convey the impression that detectives stand in the way of some evil schemes of their detractor. Fiction of a peculiarly American sort has built up among the people an exalted conception of the sleuth. And it must appear with rather a shock to those persons who have thus idealized the detective to learn that thousands of men who have been in the penitentiaries are constantly in the employ of the detective agencies. In a society which makes it almost impossible for an ex-convict to earn an honorable living it is no wonder that many of them grasp eagerly at positions offered them as "strike-breakers" and as "special officers." The first and most important thing, then, in this chapter is to prove, with perhaps undue detail, the ancient saying that "you must be a thief to catch a thief," and that possibly for that proverbial reason many private detectives are schooled and practiced in crime.

So far as I know, the first serious attempt to inform the general public of the real character of American detectives and to tell of their extensive traffic in criminality was made by a British detective, who, after having been stationed in America for several years, was impelled to make public the alarming conditions which he found. This was Thomas Beet, the American representative of the famous John Conquest, ex-Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, who, in a public statement, declared his astonishment that "few ... recognize in them [detective agencies] an evil which is rapidly becoming a vital menace to American society. Ostensibly conducted for the repression and punishment of crime, they are in fact veritable hotbeds of corruption, trafficking upon the honor and sacred confidences of their patrons and the credulity of the public, and leaving in their wake an aftermath of disgrace, disaster, and even death."[4] He pointed out the odium that must inevitably attach itself to the very name "private detective," unless society awakens and protects in some manner the honest members of the profession. "It may seem a sweeping statement," he says, "but I am morally convinced that fully ninety per cent. of the private detective establishments, masquerading in whatever form, are rotten to the core and simply exist and thrive upon a foundation of dishonesty, deceit, conspiracy, and treachery to the public in general and their own patrons in particular."[5]

The statements of Thomas Beet are, however, not all of this general character, and he specifically says: "I know that there are detectives at the head of prominent agencies in this country whose pictures adorn the rogues' gallery; men who have served time in various prisons for almost every crime on the calendar.... Thugs and thieves and criminals don the badge and outward semblance of the honest private detective in order that they may prey upon society.... Private detectives such as I have described do not, as a usual thing, go out to learn facts, but rather to make, at all costs, the evidence desired by the patron."[6] He shows the methods of trickery and deceit by which these detectives blackmail the wealthy, and the various means they employ for convicting any man, no matter how innocent, of any crime. "We shudder when we hear of the system of espionage maintained in Russia," he adds, "while in the great American cities, unnoticed, are organizations of spies and informers."[7] It is interesting to get the views of an impartial and expert observer upon this rapidly growing commerce in espionage, blackmail, and assault, and no less interesting is the opinion of the most notable American detective, William J. Burns, on the character of these men. Speaking of detectives he declared that, "as a class, they are the biggest lot of blackmailing thieves that ever went unwhipped of justice."[8] Only a short time before Burns made this remark the late Magistrate Henry Steinert, according to reports in the New York press, grew very indignant in his court over the shooting of a young lad by these private officers. "I think it an outrage," he declared, "that the Police Commissioner is enabled to furnish police power to these special officers, many of them thugs, men out of work, some of whom would commit murder for two dollars. Most of the arrests which have been made by these men have been absolutely unwarranted. In nearly every case one of these special officers had first pushed a gun into the prisoner's face. The shooting last night when a boy was killed shows the result of giving power to such men. It is a shame and a disgrace to the Police Department of the city that such conditions are allowed to exist."[9]

Anyone who will take the time to search through the testimony gathered by various governmental commissions will find an abundance of evidence indicating that many of these special officers and private detectives are in reality thugs and criminals. As long ago as 1892 an inquiry was made into the character of the men who were sent to deal with a strike at Homestead, Pennsylvania. A well-known witness testified: "We find that one is accused of wife-murder, four of burglary, two of wife-beating, and one of arson."[10] A thoroughly reliable and responsible detective, who had been in the United States secret service, also gave damaging testimony. "They were the scum of the earth.... There is not one out of ten that would not commit murder; that you could not hire him to commit murder or any other crime." Furthermore, he declared, "I would not believe any detective under oath without his evidence was corroborated." He spoke of ex-convicts being employed, and alleged that the manager of one of the large agencies "was run out of Cincinnati for blackmail."[11] Similar statements were made by another detective, named Le Vin, to the Industrial Commission of the United States when it was investigating the Chicago labor troubles of 1900. He declared that the Contractors' Association of Chicago had come to him repeatedly to employ sluggers, and that on one occasion the employers had told him to put Winchesters in the hands of his men and to manage somehow to get into a fight with the pickets and the strikers. The Commission, evidently surprised at this testimony, asked Mr. Le Vin whether it was possible to hire detectives to beat up men. His answer was: "You cannot hire every man to do it." "Q. 'But can they hire men?' A. 'Yes, they could hire men.'

"Q. 'From other private detective agencies?' A. 'Unfortunately, from some, yes.'"[12]

In the hearing before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, August 13, 1912, lengthy testimony was given concerning a series of two hundred assaults that had been made upon the union molders of Milwaukee during a strike in 1906. One of the leaders of the union was killed, while others were brutally attacked by thugs in the employ of a Chicago detective agency. A serious investigation was begun by Attorney W. B. Rubin, acting for the Molders' Union, and in court the evidence clearly proved that the Chicago detective agency employed ex-convicts and other criminals for the purposes of slugging, shooting, and even killing union men. When some of these detectives were arrested they testified that they had acted under strict instructions. They had been sent out to beat up certain men. Sometimes these men were pointed out to them, at other times they were given the names of the men that were to be slugged. They told the amounts that they had been paid, of the lead pipe, two feet long, which they had used for the assault, and of the fact that they were all armed. There was also testimony given that nearly twenty-two thousand dollars had been paid by one firm to this one detective agency for services of this character. It was also shown that immediately after the assaults were committed the thugs were, if possible, shipped out of town for a few days; but, if they were arrested, they were defended by able attorneys and their fines paid. Although many assaults were committed where no arrests could be made, over forty "detectives" were actually arrested, and, when brought into court, were found guilty of crimes ranging from disturbing the peace and carrying concealed weapons to aggravated assault and shooting with intent to kill. Many of these detectives convicted in Milwaukee had been previously convicted of similar crimes committed in other cities. Although some of them had long criminal records, they were, nevertheless, regularly in the employ of the detective agency. It appeared in one trial that one of the men employed was very much incensed when he saw three of his associates attack a union molder with clubs, knocking him down and beating him severely. With indignation he protested against the outrage. When the head of the agency heard of this the man was discharged. The court records also show that the head of the detective agency had gone himself to Chicago to secure two men to undertake what proved to be a fatal assault upon a trade-union leader named Peter J. Cramer. When arrested and brought into court they testified that they received twenty dollars per day for their services.

Equally direct and positive evidence concerning the character of the men supplied by detective agencies for strike-breaking and other purposes is found in the annual report of the Chicago & Great Western Railway for the period ending in the spring of the year 1908. "To man the shops and roundhouses," says the report, "the company was compelled to resort to professional strike-breakers, a class of men who are willing to work during the excitement and dangers of personal injury which attend strikes, but who refuse to work longer than the excitement and dangers last.... Perhaps ten per cent. of the first lot of strike-breakers were fairly good mechanics, but fully 90 per cent, knew nothing about machinery, and had to be gotten rid of. To get rid of such men, however, is easier said than done.

"The first batch which was discharged, consisting of about 100 men, refused to leave the barricade, made themselves a barricade within the company's barricade, and, producing guns and knives, refused to budge. The company's fighting men, after a day or two, forced them out of the barricade and into a special train, which carried them under guard to Chicago." Here was one gang of hired criminals, "the company's fighting men," called into service to fight another gang, the company's strike-breakers. The character of these "detectives," as testified to in this case by the employers, appears to have been about the same as that of those described by "Kid" Hogan, who, after an experience as a strike-breaker, told the New York Sunday World: "There was the finest bunch of crooks and grafters working as strike-breakers in those American Express Company strikes you would ever want to see. I was one of 'em and know what I am talking about. That gang of grafters cost the Express Company a pile of money. Why, they used to start trouble themselves just to keep their jobs a-going and to get a chance to swipe stuff off the wagons.

"It was the same way down at Philadelphia on the street car strike. Those strike-breakers used to get a car out somewhere in the suburbs and then get off and smash up the windows, tip the car over, and put up an awful holler about being attacked by strikers, just so they'd have to be kept on the job."[13]

Thus we see that some American "detective" agencies have many and varied trades. But they not only supply strike-breakers, perjurers, spies, and even assassins, they have also been successful in making an utter farce of trial by jury. It appears that even some of the best known American detectives are not above the packing of a jury. At least, such was the startling charge made by Attorney-General George W. Wickersham, May 10, 1912. In the report to President Taft Mr. Wickersham accused the head of one of the chief detective agencies of the country of fixing a jury in California. The agents of this detective, with the coöperation of the clerk of the court, investigated the names of proposed jurors. In order to be sure of getting a jury that would convict, the record of each individual was carefully gone into and a report handed to the prosecuting attorneys. Some of the comments on the jurors follow: "Convictor from the word go." "Socialist. Anti-Mitchell." "Convictor from the word go; just read the indictment. Populist." "Think he is a Populist. If so, convictor. Good, reliable man." "Convictor. Democrat. Hates Hermann." "Hidebound Democrat. Not apt to see any good in a Republican." "Would be apt to be for conviction." "He is apt to wish Mitchell hung. Think he would be a fair juror." "Would be likely to convict any Republican politician." "Convictor." "Would convict Christ." "Convict Christ. Populist." "Convict anyone. Democrat."[14] This great detective even had the audacity, it seems, to telegraph William Scott Smith, at that time secretary to the Hon. E. A. Hitchcock, the Secretary of the Interior: "Jury commissioners cleaned out old box from which trial jurors were selected and put in 600 names, every one of which was investigated before they were placed in the box. This confidential."[15] It is impossible to reproduce here some of the language of this great detective. The foul manner in which he comments upon the character of the jurors is altogether worthy of his vocation. That, however, is unimportant compared to the more serious fact that a well-paid detective can so pervert trial by jury that it would "convict Christ."

I shall be excused in a matter so devastating to republican institutions as this if I quote further from the disclosures of Thomas Beet: "There is another phase," he says, "of the private detective evil which has worked untold damage in America. This is the private constabulary system by which armed forces are employed during labor troubles. It is a condition akin to the feudal system of warfare, when private interests can employ troops of mercenaries to wage war at their command. Ostensibly, these armed private detectives are hurried to the scene of the trouble to maintain order and prevent destruction of property, although this work always should be left to the official guardians of the peace. That there is a sinister motive back of the employment of these men has been shown time and again. Have you ever followed the episodes of a great strike and noticed that most of the disorderly outbreaks were so guided as to work harm to the interests of the strikers?... Private detectives, unsuspected in their guise of workmen, mingle with the strikers and by incendiary talk or action sometimes stir them up to violence. When the workmen will not participate, it is an easy matter to stir up the disorderly faction which is invariably attracted by a strike, although it has no connection therewith.

"During a famous strike of car builders in a western city some years ago, ... to my knowledge much of the lawlessness was incited by private detectives, who led mobs in the destruction of property. In one of the greatest of our strikes, that involving the steel industry, over two thousand armed detectives were employed supposedly to protect property, while several hundred more were scattered in the ranks of strikers as workmen. Many of the latter became officers in the labor bodies, helped to make laws for the organizations, made incendiary speeches, cast their votes for the most radical movements made by the strikers, participated in and led bodies of the members in the acts of lawlessness that eventually caused the sending of State troops and the declaration of martial law. While doing this, these spies within the ranks were making daily reports of the plans and purposes of the strikers. To my knowledge, when lawlessness was at its height and murder ran riot, these men wore little patches of white on the lapels of their coats that their fellow detectives of the 'two thousand' would not shoot them down by mistake.... In no other country in the world, with the exception of China, is it possible for an individual to surround himself with a standing army to do his bidding in defiance of law and order."[16]

That the assertions of Thomas Beet are well founded can, I think, be made perfectly clear by three tragic periods in the history of labor disputes in America. At Homestead in 1892, in the railway strikes of 1894, and in Colorado during the labor wars of 1903-1904 detectives were employed on a large scale. For reasons of space I shall limit myself largely to these cases, which, without exaggeration, are typical of conditions which constantly arise in the United States. Within the last year West Virginia has been added to the list. Incredible outrages have been committed there by the mine guards. They have deliberately murdered men in some cases, and, on one dark night in February last, they sent an armored train into Holly Grove and opened fire with machine guns upon a sleeping village of miners. They have beaten, clubbed, and stabbed men and women in the effort either to infuriate them into open war, or to reduce them to abject slavery. Unfortunately, at this time the complete report of the Senate investigation has not been issued, and it seems better to confine these pages to those facts only that careful inquiry has proved unquestionable. We are fortunate in having the reports of public officials – certainly unbiased on the side of labor – to rely upon for the facts concerning the use of thugs and hirelings in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado during three terrible battles between capital and labor.

The story of the shooting of Henry C. Frick by Alexander Berkman is briefly referred to in the first chapter, but the events which led up to that shooting have well-nigh been forgotten. Certainly, nothing could have created more bitterness among the working classes than the act of the Carnegie Steel Company when it ordered a detective agency to send to Homestead three hundred men armed with Winchester rifles. There was the prospect of a strike, and it appears that the management was in no mood to parley with its employees, and that nineteen days before any trouble occurred the Carnegie Steel Company opened negotiations for the employment of a private army. It had been the custom of the Carnegie Company to meet the representatives of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers from time to time and at these conferences to agree upon wages. On June 30, 1892, the agreement expired, and previous to that date the Company announced a reduction of wages, declaring that the new scale would terminate in January instead of June. The employees rejected the proposed terms, principally on the ground that they could not afford to strike in midwinter and in that case they would not be able to resist a further reduction in wages. Upon receiving this statement the company locked out its employees and the battle began.

The steel works were surrounded by a fence three miles long, fifteen feet in height, and covered with barbed wire. It was called "Fort Frick," and the three hundred detectives were to be brought down the river by boat and landed in the fort. Morris Hillquit gives the following account of the pitched battle that occurred in the early morning hours of July 6: "As soon as the boat carrying the Pinkertons was sighted by the pickets the alarm was sounded. The strikers were aroused from their sleep and within a few minutes the river front was covered with a crowd of coatless and hatless men armed with guns and rifles and grimly determined to prevent the landing of the Pinkertons. The latter, however, did not seem to appreciate the gravity of the situation. They sought to intimidate the strikers by assuming a threatening attitude and aiming the muzzles of their shining revolvers at them. A moment of intense expectation followed. Then a shot was fired from the boat and one of the strikers fell to the ground mortally wounded. A howl of fury and a volley of bullets came back from the line of the strikers, and a wild fusillade was opened on both sides. In vain did the strike leaders attempt to pacify the men and to stop the carnage – the strikers were beyond control. The struggle lasted several hours, after which the Pinkertons retreated from the river bank and withdrew to the cabin of the boat. There they remained in the sweltering heat of the July sun without air or ventilation, under the continuing fire of the enraged men on the shore, until they finally surrendered. They were imprisoned by the strikers in a rink, and in the evening they were sent out of town by rail. The number of dead on both sides was twelve, and over twenty were seriously wounded."[17]

These events aroused the entire country, and the state of mind among the working people generally was exceedingly bitter. It was a tension that under certain circumstances might have provoked a civil war. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives immediately appointed committees to inquire into this movement from state to state of armed men, and the employment by corporations of what amounted to a private army. It seems to have been clearly established that the employers wanted war, and that the attorney of the Carnegie Company had commanded the local sheriff to deputize a man named Gray, who was to meet the mercenaries and make all of them deputy sheriffs. This plan to make the detectives "legal" assassins did not carry, and the result was that a band of paid thugs, thieves, and murderers invaded Homestead and precipitated a bloody conflict. This was, of course, infamous, and, compared with its magnificent anarchy, Berkman's assault was child-like in its simplicity. Yet the enthusiastic and idealistic Berkman spent seventeen years in prison and is still abhorred; while no one responsible for the murder of twelve workingmen and the wounding of twenty others, either among the mercenaries or their employers, has yet been apprehended or convicted. With such equality of justice do we treat these agents of the two anarchies!

However, if Berkman spent seventeen years in prison, the other anarchists were mildly rebuked by the Committee of Investigation appointed by the Senate. "Your committee is of the opinion," runs the report, "that the employment of the private armed guards at Homestead was unnecessary. There is no evidence to show that the slightest damage was done, or attempted to be done, to property on the part of the strikers...."[18] "It was claimed by the Pinkerton agency that in all cases they require that their men shall be sworn in as deputy sheriffs, but it is a significant circumstance that in the only strike your committee made inquiry concerning – that at Homestead – the fact was admitted on all hands that the armed men supplied by the Pinkertons were not so sworn, and that as private citizens acting under the direction of such of their own men as were in command they fired upon the people of Homestead, killing and wounding a number."[19] "Every man who testified, including the proprietors of the detective agencies, admitted that the workmen are strongly prejudiced against the so-called Pinkertons, and that their presence at a strike serves to unduly inflame the passions of the strikers. The prejudice against them arises partly from the fact that they are frequently placed among workmen, in the disguise of mechanics, to report alleged conversations to their agencies, which, in turn, is transmitted to the employers of labor. Your committee is impressed with the belief that this is an utterly vicious system, and that it is responsible for much of the ill-feeling and bad blood displayed by the working classes. No self-respecting laborer or mechanic likes to feel that the man beside him may be a spy from a detective agency, and especially so when the laboring man is utterly at the mercy of the detective, who can report whatever he pleases, be it true or false....[20] Whether assumedly legal or not, the employment of armed bodies of men for private purposes, either by employers or employees, is to be deprecated and should not be resorted to. Such use of private armed men is an assumption of the State's authority by private citizens. If the State is incapable of protecting citizens in their rights of person and property, then anarchy is the result, and the original law of force should neither be approved, encouraged, nor tolerated until all known legal processes have failed."[21]

We must leave this black page in American history with such comfort as we can wring from the fact that the modern exponents of the oldest anarchy have been at least once rebuked, and with the further satisfaction that the Homestead tragedy brought momentarily to the attention of the entire nation a practice which even at that time was a source of great alarm to many serious men. In the great strikes which occurred in the late eighties and early nineties there was a great deal of violence, and C. H. Salmons, in his history of "The Burlington Strike" of 1888, relates how private detectives systematically planned outrages that destroyed property and how others committed murder. A few cases were fought out in the courts with results very disconcerting to the railroads who had hired these private detectives. In the strike on the New York Central Railroad which occurred in 1890 many detectives were employed. They were, of course, armed, and, as a result of certain criminal operations undertaken by them, Congress was asked to consider the drafting of a bill "to prevent corporations engaged in interstate-commerce traffic from employing unjustifiably large bodies of armed men denominated 'detectives,' but clothed with no legal functions."[22] Roger A. Pryor, then Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, vigorously protested against these "watchmen." "I mean," he said, "the enlistment of banded and armed mercenaries under the command of private detectives on the side of corporations in their conflicts with employees. The pretext for such an extraordinary measure is the protection of the corporate property; and surely the power of this great State is adequate to the preservation of the public order and security. At all events, in this particular instance, it was not pretended either that the strikers had invaded property or person, or that the police or militia in Albany had betrayed reluctance or inability to cope with the situation. On the contrary, the facts are undisputed that the moment the men went out Mr. Pinkerton and his myrmidons appeared on the scene, and the police of Albany declared their competency to repel any trespass on person or property. The executive of the State, too, denied any necessity for the presence of the military.

"I do not impute to the railroad officials a purpose, without provocation, to precipitate their ruffians upon a defenseless and harmless throng of spectators; but the fact remains that the ruffians in their hire did shoot into the crowd without occasion, and did so shed innocent blood. And it is enough to condemn the system that it authorizes unofficial and irresponsible persons to usurp the most delicate and difficult functions of the State and exposes the lives of citizens to the murderous assaults of hireling assassins, stimulated to violence by panic or by the suggestion of employers to strike terror by an appalling exhibition of force. If the railroad company may enlist armed men to defend its property, the employees may enlist armed men to defend their persons, and thus private war be inaugurated, the authority of the State defied, the peace and tranquillity of society destroyed, and the citizens exposed to the hazard of indiscriminate slaughter."[23]

Perhaps the most extensive use of these so-called detectives was at the time of the great railway strike of 1894. The strike of the workers at Pullman led to a general sympathetic strike on all the railroads entering Chicago, and from May 11 to July 13 there was waged one of the greatest industrial battles in American history. A railway strike is always a serious matter, and in a short time the Government came to the active support of the railroads. At one time over fourteen thousand soldiers, deputy marshals, deputy sheriffs, and policemen were on duty in Chicago. During the period of the strike twelve persons were shot and fatally wounded. A number of riots occurred, cars were burned, and, as a result of the disturbances, no less than seven hundred persons were arrested, accused of murder, arson, burglary, assault, intimidation, riot, and other crimes. The most accurate information we have concerning conditions in Chicago during the strike is to be found in the evidence which was taken by the United States Strike Commission appointed by President Cleveland July 26, 1894. There seems to be no doubt that during the early days of the strike perfect peace reigned in Chicago. At the very beginning of the trouble three hundred strikers were detailed by the unions to guard the property of the Pullman company from any interference or destruction. "It is in evidence, and uncontradicted," reports the Commission, "that no violence or destruction of property by strikers or sympathizers took place at Pullman."[24] It also appears that no violence occurred in Chicago in connection with the strike until after several thousand men were made United States deputy marshals. These "United States deputy marshals," says the Commission, "to the number of 3,600, were selected by and appointed at the request of the General Managers' Association, and of its railroads. They were armed and paid by the railroads."[25] In other words, the United States Government gave over its police power directly into the hands of one of the combatants. It allowed these private companies, through detective agencies, to collect as hastily as possible a great body of unemployed, to arm them, and to send them out as officials of the United States to do whatsoever was desired by the railroads. They were not under the control of the army or of responsible United States officials, and their intrusion into a situation so tense and critical as that then existing in Chicago was certain to produce trouble. And the fact is, the lawlessness that prevailed in Chicago during that strike began only after the appearance of these private "detectives."

It will astonish the ordinary American citizen to read of the character of the men to whom the maintenance of law and order was entrusted. Superintendent of Police Brennan referred to these deputy marshals in an official report to the Council of Chicago as "thugs, thieves, and ex-convicts," and in his testimony before the Commission itself he said: "Some of the deputy marshals who are now over in the county jail ... were arrested while deputy marshals for highway robbery."[26] Several newspaper men, when asked to testify regarding the character of these United States deputies, referred to them variously as "drunkards," "loafers," "bums," and "criminals." The now well-known journalist, Ray Stannard Baker, was at that time reporting the strike for the Chicago Record. He was asked by Commissioner Carroll D. Wright as to the character of the United States deputy marshals. His answer was: "From my experience with them I think it was very bad indeed. I saw more cases of drunkenness, I believe, among the United States deputy marshals than I did among the strikers."[27] Benjamin H. Atwell, reporter for the Chicago News, testified: "Many of the marshals were men I had known around Chicago as saloon characters.... The first day, I believe, after the troops arrived ... the deputy marshals went up into town and some of them got pretty drunk."[28] Malcomb McDowell, reporter for the Chicago Record, testified that the deputy marshals and deputy sheriffs "were not the class of men who ought to be made deputy marshals or deputy sheriffs.... They seemed to be hunting trouble all the time.... At one time a serious row nearly resulted because some of the deputy marshals standing on the railroad track jeered at the women that passed and insulted them.... I saw more deputy sheriffs and deputy marshals drunk than I saw strikers drunk."[29] Harold I. Cleveland, reporter for the Chicago Herald, testified: "I was ... on the Western Indiana tracks for fourteen days ... and I suppose I saw in that time a couple of hundred deputy marshals.... I think they were a very low, contemptible set of men."[30]

In Mr. Baker's testimony he speaks of seeing in one of the riots "a big, rough-looking fellow, whom the people called 'Pat.'"[31] He was the leader of the mob, and when the riot was over, "he mounted a beer keg in front of one of the saloons and advised men to go home, get their guns, and come out and fight the troops, fire on them.... The same man appeared two nights later at Whiting, Indiana, and made quite a disturbance there, roused the people up. In all that mob that had hold of the ropes I do not think there were many American Railway Union men. I think they were mostly roughs from Chicago.... The police knew well enough all about this man I have mentioned who was the ringleader of the mob, but they did nothing and the deputy marshals were not any better."[32] For some inscrutable reason, certain men, none of whom were railroad employees, were allowed openly to provoke violence. Fortunately, however, they were not able to induce the actual strikers to participate in their assaults upon railroad property, and every newspaper man testified that the riots were, in the main, the work of the vicious elements of Chicago. They were, said one witness, "all loafers, idlers, a petty class of criminals well known to the police."[33] Malcomb McDowell testified concerning one riot which he had reported for the papers: "The men did not look like railroad men.... Most of them were foreigners, and one of the men in the crowd told me afterward that he was a detective from St. Louis. He gave me the name of the agency at the time."[34]

Mr. Eugene V. Debs, the leader of that great strike, in a pamphlet entitled The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike, calls particular attention to the following declaration of the United States Strike Commission: "There is no evidence before the Commission that the officers of the American Railway Union at any time participated in or advised intimidation, violence or destruction of property. They knew and fully appreciated that, as soon as mobs ruled, the organized forces of society would crush the mobs and all responsible for them in the remotest degree, and that this means defeat."[35] Commenting upon this statement, Mr. Debs asks: "To whose interest was it to have riots and fires, lawlessness and crime? To whose advantage was it to have disreputable 'deputies' do these things? Why were only freight cars, largely hospital wrecks, set on fire? Why have the railroads not yet recovered damages from Cook County, Illinois, for failing to protect their property?... The riots and incendiarism turned defeat into victory for the railroads. They could have won in no other way. They had everything to gain and the strikers everything to lose. The violence was instigated in spite of the strikers, and the report of the Commission proves that they made every effort in their power to preserve the peace."[36]

This history is important in a study of the extensive system of subsidized violence that has grown up in America. Nearly every witness before the Commission testified that the strikers again and again gave the police valuable assistance in protecting the property of the railroads. No testimony was given that the workingmen advocated violence or that union men assisted in the riots. The ringleaders of all the serious outbreaks were notorious toughs from Chicago's vicious sections, and they were allowed to go for days unmolested by the deputy marshals – who, although representatives of the United States Government, were in the pay of the railroads. In fact, the evidence all points to the one conclusion, that the deputy marshals encouraged the violence of ruffians and tried to provoke the violence of decent men by insulting, drunken, and disreputable conduct. The strikers realized that violence was fatal to their cause, and the deputy marshals knew that violence meant victory for the railroads. And that proved to be the case.

Before leaving this phase of anarchy I want to refer as briefly as possible to that series of fiercely fought political and industrial battles that occurred in Colorado in the period from 1894 to 1904. The climax of the long-drawn-out battles there was perhaps the most unadulterated anarchy that has yet been seen in America. It was a terrorism of powerful and influential anarchists who frankly and brutally answered those who protested against their many violations of the United States Constitution: "To hell with the Constitution!"[37] The story of these Colorado battles is told in a report of an investigation made by the United States Commissioner of Labor (1905). The reading of that report leaves one with the impression that present-day society rests upon a volcano, which in favorable periods seems very harmless indeed, but, when certain elemental forces clash, it bursts forth in a manner that threatens with destruction civilization itself. The trouble in Colorado began with the effort on the part of the miners' union to obtain through the legislature a law limiting the day's work to eight hours in all underground mines and in all work for reducing and refining ores. That was in 1894. The next year an eight-hour bill was presented in the legislature. Expressing fear that such a bill might be unconstitutional, the legislature, before acting upon it, asked the Supreme Court to render a decision. The Supreme Court replied that, in its opinion, such a bill would be unconstitutional. In 1899, as a result of further agitation by the miners, an eight-hour law was enacted by the legislature – a large majority in both houses voting for the bill. By unanimous decision the same year the Supreme Court of Colorado declared the statute unconstitutional. The miners were not, however, discouraged, and they began a movement to secure the adoption of a constitutional amendment which would provide for the enactment of an eight-hour law. All the political parties in the State of Colorado pledged themselves in convention to support such a measure. In the general election of 1902 the constitutional amendment providing for an eight-hour day was adopted by the people of the State by 72,980 votes against 26,266. This was a great victory for the miners, and it seemed as if their work was done. According to all the traditions and pretensions of political life, they had every reason to believe that the next session of the legislature would pass an eight-hour law. It appears, however, that the corporations had determined at all cost to defeat such a bill. They set out therefore to corrupt wholesale the legislature, and as a result the eight-hour bill was defeated. After having done everything in their power, patiently, peacefully, and legally to obtain their law, and only after having been outrageously betrayed by corrupt public servants, the miners as a last resort, on the 3d of July, 1903, declared a strike to secure through their own efforts what a decade of pleading and prayers had failed to achieve.

I suppose no unbiased observer would to-day question that the political machines of Colorado had sold themselves body and soul to the mine owners. There can surely be no other explanation for their violation of their pledges to the people and to the miners. And further evidence of their perfidy was given on the night of September 3, 1903, at a conference between some of the State officials and certain officers of the Mine Owners' Association. Although the strike up to this time had been conducted without any violence, the State officials agreed that the mine owners could have the aid of the militia, provided they would pay the expenses of the soldiers while they remained in the strike district. Two days later over one thousand men were encamped in Cripple Creek. All the strike districts were at once put under martial law; the duly elected officials of the people were commanded to resign from office; hundreds of unoffending citizens were arrested and thrown into "bull pens"; the whole working force of a newspaper was apprehended and taken to the "bull pen"; all the news that went out concerning the strike was censored, the manager of one of the mines acting as official censor. At the same time this man, together with other mine managers and friends, organized mobs to terrorize union miners and to force out of town anyone whom they thought to be in sympathy with the strikers.

In the effort to determine whether the courts or the military powers were supreme, a writ of habeas corpus was obtained for four men who had been sent by the military authorities to the "bull pen." The court sent an order to produce the men. Ninety cavalrymen were then sent to the court house. They surrounded it, permitting no person to pass through the lines unless he was an officer of the court, a member of the bar, a county official, or a press representative. A company of infantrymen then escorted the four prisoners to the court, while fourteen soldiers with loaded guns and fixed bayonets guarded the prisoners until the court was called to order. When the court was adjourned, after an argument upon the motion to quash the return of the writ, the soldiers took the prisoners back to the "bull pen." The next day Judge Seeds was forced to adjourn the court, because the prisoners were not present. An officer of the militia was ordered to have them in court at two o'clock in the afternoon, but, as they did not appear at that time, a continuance was granted until the following day. On September 23 a large number of soldiers, cavalry and infantry, surrounded the court house. A Gatling gun was placed in position nearby, and a detail of sharpshooters was stationed where they could command the streets. The court, in the face of this military display, cited the Constitution of Colorado, which declares that the military shall always be in strict subordination to the civil power, and pointed out that this did not specify sometimes but always, declaring: "There could be no plainer statement that the military should never be permitted to rise superior to the civil power within the limits of Colorado."[38] The judge then ordered the military authorities to release the prisoners, but this they refused to do.

At Victor certain mine owners commanded the sheriff to come to their club rooms, where his resignation was demanded. When he refused to resign, guns were produced, a coiled rope was dangled before him, and on the outside several shots were fired. He was told that unless he resigned the mob outside the building would be admitted and he would be taken out and hanged. He then signed a written resignation, and a member of the Mine Owners' Association was appointed sheriff. With this new sheriff in charge, the mine owners, mine managers, and all they could employ for the purpose arrested on all hands everybody that seemed unfriendly to their anarchy. The new sheriff and a militia officer commanded the Portland mine, which was then having no trouble with its employees, to shut down. By this order four hundred and seventy-five men were thrown out of employment. In these various ways the mobs organized by the mine owners were allowed to obliterate the Government and abolish republican institutions, under the immediate protection of their leased military forces.

At Telluride, also, the military overpowered the civil authorities. When Judge Theron Stevens came there to hold the regular session of court he was met by soldiers and a mob of three hundred persons. Seeing that it was impossible for the civil authorities to exercise any power, he decided to adjourn the court until the next term, declaring: "The demonstration at the depot last night upon the arrival of the train could only have been planned and executed for the purpose of showing the contempt of the militia and a certain portion of this community for the civil authority of the State and the civil authority of this district. I had always been led to suppose from such research as I have been able to make that in a republic like ours the people were supreme; that the people had expressed their will in a constitution which was enacted for the government of all in authority in this State. That constitution provides that the military shall always be in strict subordination to the civil authorities."[39]

While this terrorism of the powerful was in full sway in Colorado, the entire world was being told through the newspapers of the infamous crimes being committed daily by the Western Federation of Miners. Countless newspaper stories were sent out telling in detail of mines blown up, of trains wrecked, of men murdered through agents of this federation of toilers engaged day in and day out at a dangerous occupation in the bowels of the earth. Not loafers, idlers, or drunkards, but men with calloused hands and bent backs. Stories were sent around the world of these laborers being arraigned in court charged with the most infamous and dastardly crimes. Yet hardly once has it been reported in the press of the world that in "every trial that has been held in the State of Colorado during the present strike where the membership has been charged with almost every perfidy in the catalogue of crime, a jury has brought in a verdict of acquittal."[40] On the other hand, a multitude of murders, wrecks, and dynamite explosions have been brought to the door of the detectives employed by the Mine Owners' Association. It was found that many ex-convicts and other desperate characters were employed by the detective agencies to commit crimes that could be laid upon the working miners. The story of Orchard and the recital of his atrocious crimes have occupied columns of every newspaper, but the fact is rarely mentioned that many of the crimes that he committed, and which the world to-day attributes to the officials of the Western Federation of Miners, were paid for by detective agencies. The special detective of one of the railroads and a detective of the Mine Owners' Association were known to have employed Orchard and other criminals. When Orchard first went to Denver to seek work from the officials of the Western Federation of Miners he was given a railroad pass by these detectives and the money to pay his expenses.[41] During the three months preceding the blowing up of the Independence depot Orchard had been seen at least eighteen or twenty times entering at night by stealth the rooms of a detective attached to the Mine Owners' Association, and at least seven meetings were held between him and the railroad detective already mentioned.

Previous to all this – in September and in November, 1903 – attempts were made to wreck trains. A delinquent member of the Western Federation of Miners was charged with these crimes. He involved in his confession several prominent members of the Western Federation of Miners. On cross-examination he testified that he had formerly been a prize-fighter and that he had come to Cripple Creek under an assumed name. He further testified that $250 was his price for wrecking a train carrying two hundred to three hundred people, but that he had asked $500 for this job, as another man would have to work with him. Two detectives had promised him that amount. An associate of this man was discovered to have been a detective who had later joined the Western Federation of Miners. He testified that he had kept the detective agencies informed as to the progress of the plot to derail the train. The detective of the Mine Owners' Association admitted that he and the other detectives had endeavored to induce members of the miners' union to enter into the plot; while the railroad detective testified that he and another detective were standing only a few feet away when men were at work pulling the spikes from the rails. An engineer on the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad testified that the railroad detective had, a few days before, asked him where there was a good place for wrecking the train. The result of the case was that all were acquitted except the ex-prize-fighter, who was held for a time, but eventually released on $300 bond, furnished by representatives of the mine owners.[42]

On June 6, 1904, when about twenty-five non-union miners were waiting at the Independence depot for a train, there was a terrible explosion which resulted in great loss of life. It has never been discovered who committed the crime, though the mine owners lost no time in attributing the explosion to the work of "the assassins" of the Federation of Miners. When, however, bloodhounds were put on the trail, they went directly to the home of one of the detectives in the employ of the Mine Owners' Association. They were taken back to the scene of the disaster and again followed the trail to the same place. A third attempt was made with the hounds and they followed a trail to the powder magazine of a nearby mine. The Western Federation of Miners offered a reward of $5,000 for evidence which would lead to the arrest and conviction of the criminal who had perpetrated the outrage at Independence. Unfortunately, the criminal was never found. Orchard, a year or so later, confessed that he had committed the crime and was paid for it by the officials of the Western Federation of Miners. The absurdity of that statement becomes clear when it is known that the court in Denver was at the very moment of the explosion deciding the habeas corpus case of Moyer, President of the Western Federation of Miners. In fact, a few hours after the explosion the decision of the court was handed down. As the action of the court was vital not only to Moyer but to the entire trade-union movement, and, indeed, to republican institutions, it is inconceivable that he or his friends should have organized an outrage that would certainly have prejudiced the court at the very moment it was writing its decision. On the other hand, there was every reason why the mine owners should have profited by such an outrage and that their detectives should have planned one for that moment.[AF]

The atrocities of the Congo occurred in a country without law, in the interest of a great property, and in a series of battles with a half-savage people. History has somewhat accustomed us to such barbarity; but when, in a civilized country, with a written constitution, with duly established courts, with popularly elected representatives, and apparently with all the necessary machinery for dealing out equal justice, one suddenly sees a feudal despotism arise, as if by magic, to usurp the political, judicial, and military powers of a great state, and to use them to arrest hundreds without warrant and throw them into "bull pens"; to drive hundreds of others out of their homes and at the point of the bayonet out of the state; to force others to labor against their will or to be beaten; to depose the duly elected officials of the community; to insult the courts; to destroy the property of those who protest; and even to murder those who show signs of revolt – one stands aghast. It makes one wonder just how far in reality we are removed from barbarism. Is it possible that the likelihood of the workers achieving an eight-hour day – which was all that was wanted in Colorado – could lead to civil war? Yet that is what might and perhaps should have happened in Colorado in 1904, when, for a few months, a military despotism took from the people there all that had been won by centuries of democratic striving and thrust them back into the Middle Ages.

Chaotic political and industrial conditions are, of course, occasionally inevitable in modern society – torn as it is by the very bitter struggle going on constantly between capital and labor. When this struggle breaks into war, as it often does, we are bound to suffer some of the evils that invariably attend war. Certainly, it is to be expected that the owners of property will exercise every power they possess to safeguard their property. They will, whenever possible, use the State and all its coercive powers in order to retain their mastery over men and things. The only question is this, must people in general continue to be the victims of a commerce which has for its purpose the creation of situations that force nearly every industrial dispute to become a bloody conflict? When men combine to commit depredations, destroy property, and murder individuals, society must deal with them – no matter how harshly. But it is an altogether different matter to permit privately paid criminals to create whenever desired a state of anarchy, in order to force the military to carry out ferocious measures of repression against those who have been in no wise responsible for disorder.

If we will look into this matter a little, we shall discover certain sinister motives back of this work of the detective agencies. It is well enough understood by them that violence creates a state of reaction. One very keen observer has pointed out that "the anarchist tactics are so serviceable to the reactionaries that, whenever a draconic, reactionary law is required, they themselves manufacture an anarchist plot or attempted crime."[43] Kropotkin himself, in telling the story of "The Terror in Russia," points out that a certain Azeff, who for sixteen years was an agent of the Russian police, was also the chief organizer of acts of terrorism among the social revolutionists.[44] Every conceivable crime was committed under his direct instigation, including even the murder of some officials and nobles. The purpose of the work of this police agent was, of course, to serve the Russian reactionaries and to furnish them a pretext and excuse for the most bloody measures of repression. In America "hireling assassins," ex-convicts, and thugs in the employ of detective agencies commit very much the same crimes for the same purpose. And the men on strike, who have neither planned nor dreamed of planning an outrage, suddenly find themselves faced by the military forces, who have not infrequently in the past shot them down. That the lawless situations which make these infamous acts possible, and to the general public often excusable, are the deliberate work of mercenaries, is, to my mind, open to no question whatever.

Anyone who cares to look up the history of the labor movement for the last hundred years will find that in every great strike private detectives and police agents have been at work provoking violence. It is almost incredible what a large number of criminal operations can be traced to these paid agents. From 1815 to the present day the bitterness of nearly every industrial conflict of importance has been intensified by the work of these spies, thugs, and provocateurs. "It was not until we became infested by spies, incendiaries, and their dupes – distracting, misleading, and betraying – that physical force was mentioned among us," says Bamford, speaking of the trade-union activity of 1815-1816. "After that our moral power waned, and what we gained by the accession of demagogues we lost by their criminal violence and the estrangement of real friends."[45] Some of the notable police agents that appear in the history of labor are Powell, Mitchell, Legg, Stieber, Greif, Fleury, Baron von Ungern-Sternberg, Schroeder-Brennwald, Krueger, Kaufmann, Peukert, Haupt, Von Ehrenberg, Friedeman, Weiss, Schmidt, and Ihring-Mahlow. In addition we find André, Andrieux, Pourbaix, Melville, and scores of other high police officials directing the work of these agents. In America, McPartland, Schaack, and Orchard – to mention the most notorious only – have played infamous rôles in provoking others, or in undertaking themselves, to commit outrages. There were and are, of course, thousands of others besides those mentioned, but these are historic characters, who planned and executed the most dastardly deeds in order to discredit the trade-union and socialist movements. The space here is too limited to go into the historic details of this commerce in violence. But he who is curious to pursue the study further will find a list of references at the end of the volume directing him to some of the sources of information.[46] He will there discover an appalling record of crime, for, as Thomas Beet points out, hardly a strike occurs where these special officers are not sent to make trouble. There are sometimes thousands of them at work, and, if one undertook to go into the various trials that have arisen as a result of labor disputes, one could prepare a long list of murders committed by these "hireling assassins."

The pecuniary interest of the detective agencies in provoking crime is immense. It is obvious enough, if one will but think of it, that these detective agencies depend for their profit on the existence, the extension, and the promotion of criminal operations. The more that people are frightened by the prospect of danger to their property or menace to their lives, the more they seek the aid of detectives. Nothing proves so advantageous to detectives as epidemics of strikes and even of robberies and murders. The heyday of their prosperity comes in that moment when assaults upon men and property are most frequent. Nothing would seem to be clearer, then, than that it is to the interest of these agencies to create alarm, to arouse terror, and, through these means, to enlarge their patronage. When a trade or profession has not only every pecuniary incentive to create trouble, but when it is also largely promoted by notorious criminals and other vicious elements, the amount of mischief that is certain to result from the combination may well exceed the powers of imagination.

And it must not be forgotten that this trade has developed into a great and growing business, actuated by exactly the same economic interests as any other business. With the agencies making so much per day for each man employed, the way to improve business is to get more men employed. Rumors of trouble or actual deeds, such as an explosion of dynamite or an assault, help to make the detective indispensable to the employer. It is with an eye to business, therefore, that the private detective creates trouble. It is with a keen sense of his own material interest that he keeps the employer in a state of anxiety regarding what may be expected from the men. And, naturally enough, the modern employer, unlike a trained ruler such as Bismarck, never seems to realize that most of the alarming reports sent him are masses of lies. Nothing appears to have been clearer to the Iron Chancellor than that his own police forces, in order to gain favor, "lie and exaggerate in the most shameful manner."[47] But such an idea seems never to enter the minds of the great American employers, who, although becoming more and more like the ruling classes of Europe, are not yet so wise. However, the great employer, like the great ruler, is unable now to meet his employees in person and to find out their real views. Consequently, he must depend upon paid agents to report to him the views of his men. This might all be very well if the returns were true. But, when it happens that evil reports are very much to the pecuniary advantage of the man who makes them, is it likely that there will be any other kind of report? Thousands of employers, therefore, are coming more and more to be convinced that their workmen spend most of their time plotting against them. It seems unreasonable that sane men could believe that their employees, who are regularly at work every day striving with might and main to support and bring up decently their families, should be at the same time planning the most diabolical outrages. Nothing is rarer than to find criminals among workingmen, for if they were given to crime they would not be at work. But with the great modern evil – the separation of the classes – there comes so much of misunderstanding and of mistrust that the employer seems only too willing to believe any paid villain who tells him that his tired and worn laborers have murder in their hearts. The class struggle is a terrible fact; but the class hatred and the personal enmity that are growing among both masters and men in the United States are natural and inevitable results of this system of spies and informers.

How widespread this evil has become is shown by the fact that nearly every large corporation now employs numerous spies, informers, and special officers, from whom they receive daily reports concerning the conversations among their men and the plans of the unions. Thousands of these detectives are, in fact, members of the unions. The employers are, of course, under the impression that they are thus protecting themselves from misinformation and also from the possibility of injury, but, as we have seen, they are in reality placing themselves at the mercy of these spies in the same manner as every despot in the past has placed himself at the mercy of those who brought him information. It may, perhaps, be possible that the Carnegie Company in 1892, the railroads in 1894, and the mine owners in 1904 were convinced that their employees were under the influence of dangerous men. Very likely they were told that their workmen were planning assaults upon their lives and property. It would not be strange if these large owners of property had been so informed. Indeed, the economics of this whole wretched commerce becomes clear only when we realize that the terror that results from such reports leads these capitalists to employ more and more hirelings, to pay them larger and larger fees, and in this manner to reward lies and to make even assaults prove immensely profitable to the detectives. So it happens that the great employers are chiefly responsible for introducing among their men the very elements that are making for riot, crime, and anarchy.

Close and intimate relations with the employers and with the men during several fiercely fought industrial conflicts have convinced me that the struggle between them rarely degenerates to that plane of barbarism in which either the men or the masters deliberately resort to, or encourage, murder, arson, and similar crimes. So far as the men are concerned, they have every reason in the world to discourage violence, and nothing is clearer to most of them than the solemn fact that every time property is destroyed, or men injured, the employers win public support, the aid of the press, the pulpit, the police, the courts, and all the powers of the State. Men do not knowingly injure themselves or persist in a course adverse to their material interests. It is true, as I think I have made clear in the previous chapters, that some of the workers do advocate violence, and, in a few cases that instantly became notorious, labor leaders have been found guilty of serious crimes. That these instances are comparatively rare is explained, of course, by the fact that violence is known invariably to injure the cause of the worker. It would be strange, therefore, if the workers did systematically plan outrages. On the other hand, it would be strange if the employers did not at times rejoice that somebody – the workmen, the detectives, or others – had committed some outrage and thus brought the public sentiment and the State's power to the aid of the employers. One cannot escape the thought that the employers would hardly finance so readily these so-called detectives, and inquire so little into their actual deeds, if they were not convinced that violence at the time of a strike materially aids the employer. Yet, despite evidence to the contrary, it may, I think, be said with truth that the lawlessness attending strikes is not, as a rule, the result of deliberate planning on the part of the men or of the masters.

There are, of course, numerous exceptions, and if we find the McNamaras on the one side, we also find some unscrupulous employers on the other. To the latter, violence becomes of the greatest service, in that it enables them to say with apparent truth that they are not fighting reasonable, law-abiding workmen, but assassins and incendiaries. No course is easier for the employer who does not seek to deal honestly with his men, and none more secure for that employer whose position is wholly indefensible on the subject of hours and wages, than to sidetrack all these issues by hypocritically declaring that he refuses to deal with men who are led by criminals. And it is quite beyond question that some such employers have deliberately urged their "detectives" to create trouble. Positive evidence is at hand that a few such employers have themselves directed the work of incendiaries, thugs, and rioters. With such amazing evidence as we have recently had concerning the systematically lawless work of the Manufacturers' Association, it is impossible to free the employers of all personal responsibility for the outrages committed by their criminal agents. There are many different ways in which violence benefits the employer, and it may even be said that in all cases it is only to the interest of the employer. As a matter of fact, with the systems of insurance now existing, any injury to the property of the employer means no loss to him whatever. The only possible loss that he can suffer is through the prolongation and success of the strike. If the workers can be discredited and the strike broken through the aid of violence, the ordinary employer is not likely to make too rigid an investigation into whether or not his "detectives" had a hand in it.

Curiously enough, the general public never dreams that special officers are responsible for most of the violence at times of strike, and, while the men loudly accuse the employers, the employers loudly accuse the men. The employers are, of course, informed by the detectives that the outrages have been committed by the strikers, and the detectives have seen to it that the employers are prepared to believe that the strikers are capable of anything. On the other hand, the men are convinced that the employers are personally responsible. They see hundreds and sometimes thousands of special officers swarming throughout the district. They know that these men are paid by somebody, and they are convinced that their bullying, insulting talk and actions represent the personal wishes of the employers. When they knock down strikers, beat them up, arrest them, or even shoot them, the men believe that all these acts are dictated by the employers. It is utterly impossible to describe the bitterness that is aroused among the men by the presence of these thugs. And the testimony taken by various commissions regarding strikes proves clearly enough that strikes are not only embittered but prolonged by the presence of detectives. Again and again, mediators have declared that, as soon as thugs are brought into the conflict, the settlement of a strike is made impossible until either the employers or the men are exhausted by the struggle. A number of reputable detectives have testified that the chief object of those who engage in "strike-breaking" is to prolong strikes in order to keep themselves employed as long as possible. Thus, the employers as well as the men are the victims of this commerce in violence.

It will, I am sure, be obvious to the reader that it would require a very large volume to deal with all the various phases of the work of the detective in the numerous great strikes that have occurred in recent years. I have endeavored merely to mention a few instances where their activities have led to the breaking down of all civil government. It is important, however, to emphasize the fact that there is no strike of any magnitude in which these hirelings are not employed. I have taken the following quotation as typical of numerous circulars which I have seen, that have been issued by detective agencies: "This bureau has made a specialty of handling strikes for over half a century, and our clients are among the largest corporations in the world. During the recent trouble between the steamboat companies and the striking longshoremen in New York City this office ... supplied one thousand guards.... Our charges for guards, motormen, conductors, and all classes of men during the time of trouble is $5.00 per day, your company to pay transportation, board, and lodge the men."[48] Here is another agency that has been engaged in this business for half a century, and there are thousands of others engaged in it now. One of them is known to have in its employ constantly five thousand men. And, if we look into the deeds of these great armies of mercenaries, we find that there is not a state in the Union in which they have not committed assault, arson, robbery, and murder. Several years ago at Lattimer, Pennsylvania, a perfectly peaceable parade of two hundred and fifty miners was attacked by guards armed with Winchester rifles, with the result that twenty-nine workers were killed and thirty others seriously injured. This was deliberate and unprovoked slaughter. Recently, in the Westmoreland mining district, no less than twenty striking miners have been murdered, while several hundred have been seriously injured. On one occasion deputies and strike-breakers became intoxicated and "shot up the town" of Latrobe. In the recent strike against the Lake Carriers' Association six union men were killed by private detectives. In Tampa, Florida, in Columbus, Ohio, in Birmingham, Alabama, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the mining districts of West Virginia, and in innumerable other places many workingmen have been murdered, not by officers of the law, but by privately paid assassins.

Even while writing these lines I notice a telegram to the Appeal to Reason from Adolph Germer, an official of the United Mine Workers of America, that some thugs, formerly in West Virginia, are now in Colorado, and that their first work there was to shoot down in cold blood a well-known miner. John Walker, a district president of the United Mine Workers of America, telegraphs the same day to the labor press that two of the strikers in the copper mines in Michigan were shot down by detectives, in the effort, he says, to provoke the men to violence. Anyone who cares to follow the labor press for but a short period will be astonished to find how frequently such outrages occur, and he will marvel that men can be so self-controlled as the strikers usually are under such terrible provocation. I mention hastily these facts in order to emphasize the point that the cases in which I have gone into detail in this chapter are more or less typical of the bloody character of many of the great strikes because of the deeds of the so-called detectives.

Brief, however, as this statement is of the work of these anarchists "without phrase" and of the great commerce they have built up, it must, nevertheless, convince anyone that republican institutions cannot long exist in a country which tolerates such an extensive private commerce in lawlessness and crime. Government by law cannot prevail in the same field with a widespread and profitable traffic in disorder, thuggery, arson, and murder. Here is a whole brood of mercenaries, the output of hundreds of great penitentiaries, that has been organized and systematized into a great commerce to serve the rich and powerful. Here is a whole mess of infamy developed into a great private enterprise that militates against all law and order. It has already brought the United States on more than one occasion to the verge of civil war. And, despite the fact that numerous judges have publicly condemned the work of these agencies, and that various governmental commissions have deprecated in the most solemn words this traffic in crime, it continues to grow and prosper in the most alarming manner. Certainly, no student of history will doubt that, if this commerce is permitted to continue, it will not be long until no man's life, honor, or property will be secure. And it is a question, even at this moment, whether the legislators have the courage to attack this powerful American Mafia that has already developed into a "vested interest."

As I said at the beginning, no other country has this form of anarchy to contend with. In all countries, no doubt, there are associations of criminals, and everywhere, perhaps, it is possible for wealthy men to employ criminals to work for them. But even the Mafia, the Camorra, and the Black Hand do not exist for the purpose of collecting and organizing mercenaries to serve the rich and powerful. Nor anywhere else in the world are these criminals made special officers, deputy sheriffs, deputy marshals, and thus given the authority of the State itself. The assumption is so general that the State invariably stands behind the private detective that few seem to question it, and even the courts frequently recognize them as quasi-public officials. Thus, the State itself aids and abets these mercenary anarchists, while it sends to the gallows idealist anarchists, such as Henry, Vaillant, Lingg, and their like. That the State fosters this "infant industry" is the only possible explanation for the fact that in every industrial conflict of the past the real provokers and executors of arson, riot, and murder have escaped prison, while in every case labor leaders have been put in jail – often without warrant – and in many cases kept there for many months without trial. Even the writ of habeas corpus has been denied them repeatedly. Without the active connivance of the State such conditions could not exist. However, the State goes even further in its opposition to labor. The power of a state governor to call out the militia, to declare even a peaceful district in a state of insurrection, and to abolish the writ of habeas corpus is a very great power indeed and one that is unquestionably an anomaly in a republic. If that power were used with equal justice, it might not create the intense bitterness that has been so frequently aroused among the workers by its exercise. Again and again it has been used in the interest of capital, but there is not one single case in all the records where this extraordinary prerogative has been exercised to protect the interest of the workers. It is not, then, either unreasonable or unjustifiable that among workmen the sentiment is almost unanimous that the State stands invariably against them. The three instances which I have dealt with here at some length prove conclusively that there is now no penalty inflicted upon the capitalist who hires thugs to invade a community and shoot down its citizens, or upon those who hire him these assassins, or upon the assassins themselves. Nor are the powerful punished when they collect a great army of criminals, drunkards, and hoodlums and make them officials of the United States to insult and bully decent citizens. Nor does there seem to be any punishment inflicted upon those who manage to transform the Government itself into a shield to protect toughs and criminals in their assaults upon men and property, when those assaults are in the interest of capital. Moreover, what could be more humiliating in a republic than the fact that a governor who has leased to his friends the military forces of an entire state should end his term of office unimpeached?

These various phases of the class conflict reveal a distressing state of industrial and political anarchy, and there can be no question that, if continued, it has in it the power of making many McNamaras, if not Bakounins. It will be fortunate, indeed, if there do not arise new Johann Mosts, and if the United States escapes the general use in time of that terrible, secretive, and deadly weapon of sabotage. Sabotage is the arm of the slave or the coward, who dares neither to speak his views nor to fight an open fight. As someone has said, it may merely mean the kicking of the master's dog. Yet no one is so cruel as the weak and the cowardly. And should it ever come about that millions and millions of men have all other avenues closed to them, there is still left to them sabotage, assassination, and civil war. These can neither be outlawed nor even effectively guarded against if there are individuals enough who are disposed to wield them. And it is not by any means idle speculation that a country which can sit calmly by and face such evils as are perpetrated by this vast commerce in violence, by this class use of the State, and by such monstrous outrages as were committed in Homestead, in Chicago, and in Colorado, will find one day its composure interrupted by a working class that has suffered more than human endurance can stand.

The fact is that society – the big body of us – is now menaced by two sets of anarchists. There are those among the poor and the weak who preach arson, dynamite, and sabotage. They are the products of conditions such as existed in Colorado – as Bakounin was the product of the conditions in Russia. These, after all, are relatively few, and their power is almost nothing. They are listened to now, but not heeded, because there yet exist among the people faith in the ultimate victory of peaceable means and the hope that men and not property will one day rule the State. The other set of anarchists are those powerful, influential terrorists who talk hypocritically of their devotion to the State, the law, the Constitution, and the courts, but who, when the slightest obstacle stands in the path of their greed, seize from their corrupt tools the reins of government, in order to rule society with the black-jack and the "bull pen." The idealist anarchist and even the more practical syndicalist, preaching openly and frankly that there is nothing left to the poor but war, are, after all, few in number and weak in action. Yet how many to-day despair of peaceable methods when they see all these outrages committed by mercenaries, protected and abetted by the official State, in the interest of the most sordid anarchism!

As a matter of fact, the socialist is to-day almost alone, among those watching intently this industrial strife, in keeping buoyant his abiding faith in the ultimate victory of the people. He has fought successfully against Bakounin. He is overcoming the newest anarchists, and he is already measuring swords with the oldest anarchists. He is confident as to the issue. He has more than dreams; he knows, and has all the comfort of that knowledge, that anarchy in government like anarchy in production is reaching the end of its rope. Outlawry for profit, as well as production for profit, are soon to be things of the past. The socialist feels himself a part of the growing power that is soon to rule society. He is conscious of being an agent of a world-wide movement that is massing into an irresistible human force millions upon millions of the disinherited. He has unbounded faith that through that mass power industry will be socialized and the State democratized. No longer will its use be merely to serve and promote private enterprise in foul tenements, in sweatshops, and in all the products that are necessary to life and to death. All these vast commercial enterprises that exist not to serve society but to enrich the rich – including even this sordid traffic in thuggery and in murder – are soon to pass into history as part of a terrible, culminating epoch in commercial, financial, and political anarchy. The socialist, who sees the root of all anti-social individualism in the predominance of private material interests over communal material interests, knows that the hour is arriving when the social instincts and the life interests of practically all the people will be arrayed against anarchy in all its forms. Commerce in violence, like commerce in the necessaries of life, is but a part of a social régime that is disappearing, and, while most others in society seem to see only phases of this gigantic conflict between capital and labor, and, while most others look upon it as something irremediable, the socialist, standing amidst millions upon millions of his comrades, is even now beginning to see visions of victory.


[AF] The Supreme Court sustained the action of the military authorities, Chief Justice William H. Gabbert, Associate justice John Campbell, concurring, Associate Justice Robert W. Steele dissenting. The dissenting opinion of Justice Steele deserves a wider reading than it has received, and no doubt it will rank among the most important statements that have been made against the anarchy of the powerful and the tyranny of class government. See Report, U. S. Bureau of Labor, 1905, p. 243.



We left the socialists, on September 30, 1890, in the midst of jubilation over the great victory they had just won in Germany. The Iron Chancellor, with all the power of State and society in his hands, had capitulated before the moral force and mass power of the German working class. And, when the sensational news went out to all countries that the German socialists had polled 1,427,000 votes, the impulse given to the political organizations of the working class was immense. Once again the thought of labor throughout the world was centered upon those stirring words of Marx and Engels: "Workingmen of all countries, Unite!" First uttered by them in '47, repeated in '64, and pleaded for once again in '72, this call to unity began to appear in the nineties as the one supreme commandment of the labor movement. And, in truth, it is an epitome of all their teachings. It is the pith of their program and the marrow of their principles. Nearly all else can be waived. Other principles can be altered; other programs abandoned; other methods revolutionized; but this principle, program, and method must not be tampered with. It is the one and only unalterable law. In unity, and in unity alone, is the power of salvation. And under the inspiration of this call more and more millions have come together, until to-day, in every portion of the world, there are multitudes affiliated to the one and only international army. In '47 it was not yet born. In '64 efforts were made to bring it into being. In '72 it was broken into fragments. In '90 it won its first battle – its right to exist. Now, twenty-three years later, nothing could be so eloquent and impressive as the figures themselves of the rising tide of international socialism.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 1887 1892 1897 1903 1913 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Germany 763,000 1,786,000 2,107,000 3,010,000 4,250,329 France 47,000 440,000 790,000 805,000 1,125,877 Austria 750,000 780,000 1,081,441 United States 2,000 21,000 55,000 223,494 931,406 Italy 26,000 135,000 300,000 825,280 Australia 678,012 Belgium 320,000 457,000 464,000[AG] 600,000 Great Britain 55,000 100,000 373,645 Finland 10,000 320,289 Russia 200,000 Sweden 723 10,000 170,299 Norway 7,000 30,000 124,594 Denmark 8,000 20,000 32,000 53,000 107,015 Switzerland 2,000 39,000 40,000 70,000 105,000 Holland 1,500 13,000 38,000 82,494 New Zealand 44,960 Spain 5,000 14,000 23,000 40,725 Bulgaria 25,565 Argentina 54,000 Chile 18,000 Greece 26,000 Canada 10,780 Servia 9,000 Luxembourg 4,000 Portugal 3,308 Roumania 2,057 – – – - – – – – - – – – – - – – – – - – – – – – Total 823,500 2,657,723 4,455,000 5,916,494 11,214,076 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The above table explains, in no small measure, the quiet patience and supreme confidence of the socialist. He looks upon that wonderful array of figures as the one most significant fact in the modern world. Within a quarter of a century his force has grown from 800,000 to 11,000,000. And, while no other movement in history has grown so rapidly and traversed the entire world with such speed, the socialist knows that even this table inadequately indicates his real power. For instance, in Great Britain the Labor Party has over one million dues-paying members, yet its vote is here placed at 373,645. Owing to the peculiar political conditions existing in that country, it is almost impossible for the Labor Party to put up its candidates in all districts, and these figures include only that small proportion of workingmen who have been able to cast their votes for their own candidates. The two hundred thousand socialist votes in Russia do not at all represent the sentiment in that country. Everything there militates against the open expression, and, indeed, the possibility of any expression, of the actual socialist sentiment. In addition, great masses of workingmen in many countries are still deprived of the suffrage, and in nearly all countries the wives of these men are deprived of the suffrage. Leaving, however, all this aside, and taking the common reckoning of five persons to each voter, the socialist strength of the world to-day cannot be estimated at less than fifty million souls.

Coming to the parliamentary strength of the socialists, we find the table on the following page illuminating.


Number of Seats Per in Lower House. Cent. Total Socialist. Socialist – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Australia 75 41 54.61 Finland 200 90 45.00 Sweden 165 64 38.79 Denmark 114 32 28.07 Germany 397 110 27.71 Belgium 186 39 20.96 Norway 123 23 18.70 Holland 100 17 17.00 Austria 516 82 15.89 Italy 508 78 15.35 Luxembourg 53 7 13.21 France 597 75 12.56 Switzerland 170 15 8.82 Great Britain 670 41 6.12 Russia 442 16 3.62 Greece 207 4 2.00 Argentina 120 2 1.67 Servia 160 1 .62 Portugal 164 1 .61 Bulgaria 189 1 .53 Spain 404 1 .25 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It appears that labor is in control of Australia, that 45 per cent. of the Finnish Parliament is socialist, while in Sweden more than a third, and in Germany and Denmark somewhat less than a third, is socialist. In several of the Northern countries of Europe the parliamentary position of the socialists is stronger than that of any other single party. In addition to the representatives here listed, Belgium has seven senators, Denmark four, and Sweden twelve, while in the state legislatures Austria has thirty-one, Germany one hundred and eighty-five, and the United States twenty. Here again the strength of socialism is greatly understated. In the United States, for instance, the astonishing fact appears that, with a vote of nearly a million, the socialist party has not one representative in Congress. On the basis of proportional representation it would have at least twenty-five Congressmen; and, if it were a sectional party, it could, with its million votes, control all the Southern states and elect every Congressman and Senator from those states. The socialists in the German Reichstag are numerous, but on a fair system of representation they would have two or three score more representatives than at present. However, this, too, is of little consequence, and in no wise disturbs the thoughtful socialist. The immense progress of his cause completely satisfies him, and, if the rate of advance continues, it can be only a few years until a world victory is at hand.

If, now, we turn from the political aspects of the labor movement to examine the growth of coöperatives and of trade unions, we find a progress no less striking. In actual membership the trade unions of twenty nations in 1911 had amassed over eleven million men and women. And the figures sent out by the international secretary do not include countries so strongly organized as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Unfortunately, it is impossible to add here reliable figures regarding the wealth of the great and growing coöperative movement. In Britain, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as in the Northern countries of Central Europe, the coöperative movement has made enormous headway in recent years. The British coöperators, according to the report of the Federation of Coöperative Societies, had in 1912 a turnover amounting to over six hundred millions of dollars. They have over twenty-four hundred stores scattered throughout the cities of Great Britain. The Coöperative Productive Society and the Coöperative Wholesale Society produced goods in their own shops to a value of over sixty-five millions of dollars; while the goods produced by the Coöperative Provision Stores amounted to over forty million dollars. Seven hundred and sixty societies have Children's Penny Banks, with a total balance in hand of about eight million dollars. The members of these various coöperative societies number approximately three million.[AH] Throughout all Europe, through coöperative effort, there have been erected hundreds of splendid "Houses of the People," "Labor Temples," and similar places of meeting and recreation. The entire labor, socialist, and coöperative press, numbering many thousands of monthly and weekly journals, and hundreds of daily papers, is also usually owned coöperatively. Unfortunately, the statistics dealing with this phase of the labor movement have never been gathered with any idea of completeness, and there is little use in trying even to estimate the immense wealth that is now owned by these organizations of workingmen.

America lags somewhat behind the other countries, but nowhere else have such difficulties faced the labor movement. With a working class made up of many races, nationalities, and creeds, trade-union organization is excessively difficult. Moreover, where the railroads secretly rebate certain industries and help to destroy the competitors of those industries, and where the trusts exercise enormous power, a coöperative movement is well-nigh impossible. Furthermore, where vast numbers of the working class are still disfranchised, and where elections are notoriously corrupt and more or less under the control of a hireling class of professional political manipulators, an independent political movement faces almost insurmountable obstacles. Nor is this all. No other country allows its ruling classes to employ private armies, thugs, and assassins; and no other country makes such an effort to prevent the working classes from acting peaceably and legally. While nearly everywhere else the unions may strike, picket, and boycott, in America there are laws to prevent both picketing and boycotting, and even some forms of strikes. The most extraordinary despotic judicial powers are exercised to crush the unions, to break strikes, and to imprison union men. And, if paid professional armies of detectives deal with the unions, so paid professional armies of politicians deal with the socialists. By every form of debauchery, lawlessness, and corruption they are beaten back, and, although it is absolutely incredible, not a single representative of a great party polling nearly a million votes sits in the Congress of the United States.

Nevertheless, the American socialist and labor movement is making headway, and the day is not far distant when it will exercise the power its strength merits. Although somewhat more belated, the various elements of the working class are coming closer and closer together, and it cannot be long until there will be perfect harmony throughout the entire movement. In many other countries this harmony already exists. The trade-union, coöperative, and socialist movements are so closely tied together that they move in every industrial, political, and commercial conflict in complete accord. So far as the immediate aims of labor are concerned, they may be said to be almost identical in all countries. Professor Werner Sombart, who for years has watched the world movement more carefully perhaps than anyone else, has pointed out that there is a strong tendency to uniformity in all countries – a "tendency," in his own words, "of the movement in all lands toward socialism."[1] Indeed, nothing so much astonishes careful observers of the labor movement as the extraordinary rapidity with which the whole world of labor is becoming unified, in its program of principles, in its form of organization, and in its methods of action. The books of Marx and Engels are now translated into every important language and are read with eagerness in all parts of the world. The Communist Manifesto of 1847 is issued by the socialist parties of all countries as the text-book of the movement. Indeed, it is not uncommon nowadays to see a socialist book translated immediately into all the chief languages and circulated by millions of copies. And, if one will take up the political programs of the party in the twenty chief nations of the world, he will find them reading almost word for word alike. For these various reasons no informed person to-day questions the claims of the socialist as to the international, world-wide character of the movement.

Perhaps there is no experience quite like that of the socialist who attends one of the great periodical gatherings of the international movement. He sees there a thousand or more delegates, with credentials from organizations numbering approximately ten million adherents. They come from all parts of the world – from mills, mines, factories, and fields – to meet together, and, in the recent congresses, to pass in utmost harmony their resolutions in opposition to the existing régime and their suggestions for remedial action. Not only the countries of Western Europe, but Russia, Japan, China, and the South American Republics send their representatives, and, although the delegates speak as many as thirty different languages, they manage to assemble in a common meeting, and, with hardly a dissenting voice, transact their business. When we consider all the jealousy, rivalry, and hatred that have been whipped up for hundreds of years among the peoples of the various nations, races, and creeds, these international congresses of workingmen become in themselves one of the greatest achievements of modern times.

Although Marx was, as I think I have made clear, and still is, the guiding spirit of modern socialism, the huge structure of the present labor movement has not been erected by any great architect who saw it all in advance, nor has any great leader molded its varied and wonderful lines. It is the work of a multitude, who have quarreled among themselves at every stage of its building. They differed as to the purpose of the structure, as to the materials to be used, and, indeed, upon every detail, big and little, that has had to do with it. At times all building has been stopped in order that the different views might be harmonized or the quarrels fought to a finish. Again and again portions have been built only to be torn down and thrown aside. Some have seen more clearly than others the work to be done, and one, at least, of the architects must be recognized as a kind of prophet who, in the main, outlined the structure. But the architects were not the builders, and among the multitude engaged in that work there have been years of quarrels and decades of strife. The story of terrorism, as told, is that of a group who had no conception of the structure to be erected. They were a band of dissidents, without patience to build. They and their kind have never been absent from the labor movement, and, in fact, for nearly one hundred years a battle has raged in one form or another between those few of the workers who were urging, with passionate fire, what they called "action" and that multitude of others who day and night were laying stone upon stone.

No individual – in fact, nothing but a force as strong and compelling as a natural law – could have brought into existence such a vast solidarity as now exists in the world of labor. Like food and drink, the organization of labor satisfies an inherent necessity. The workers crave its protection, seek its guidance, and possess a sense of security only when supported by its solidarity. Only something as intuitively impelling as the desire for life could have called forth the labor and love and sacrifice that have been lavishly expended in the disheartening and incredibly tedious work of labor organization. The upbuilding of the labor movement has seemed at times like constructing a house of cards: often it was hardly begun before some ill wind cast it down. It has cost many of its creators exile, imprisonment, starvation, and death. With one mighty assault its opponents have often razed to the ground the work of years. Yet, as soon as the eyes of its destroyers were turned, a multitude of loving hands and broken hearts set to work to patch up its scattered fragments and build it anew. The labor movement is unconquerable.

Unlike many other aggregations, associations, and benevolent orders, unlike the Church, to which it is frequently compared, the labor movement is not a purely voluntary union. No doubt there is a camaraderie in that movement, and unquestionably the warmest spirit of fellowship often prevails, but the really effective cause for working-class unity is economic necessity. The workers have been driven together. The unions subsist not because of leaders and agitators, but because of the compelling economic interests of their members. They are efforts to allay the deadly strife among workers, as organizations of capital are efforts to allay the deadly strife among capitalists. The coöperative movement has grown into a vast commerce wholly because it served the self-interest of the workers. The trade unions have grown big in all countries because of the protection, they offer and the insurance they provide against low wages, long hours, and poverty. The socialist parties have grown great because they express the highest social aspirations of the workers and their antagonism toward the present régime. Moreover, they offer an opportunity to put forward, in the most authoritative places, the demands of the workers for political, social, and economic reform. The whole is a struggle for democracy, both political and industrial, that is by no means founded merely on whim or caprice. It has gradually become a religion, an imperative religion, of millions of workingmen and women. Chiefly because of their economic subjection, they are striving in the most heroic manner to make their voice heard in those places where the rules of the game of life are decided. Thus, every phase of the labor movement has arisen in response to actual material needs.

And, if the labor movement has arisen in response to actual material needs, it is now a very great and material actuality. The workingmen of the world are, as we have seen, uniting at a pace so rapid as to be almost unbelievable. There are to-day not only great national organizations of labor in nearly every country, but these national movements are bound closely together into one unified international power. The great world-wide movement of labor, which Marx and Engels prophesied would come, is now here. And, if they were living to-day, they could not but be astonished at the real and mighty manifestation of their early dreams. To be sure, Engels lived long enough to be jubilant over the massing of labor's forces, but Marx saw little of it, and even the German socialists, who started out so brilliantly, were at the time of his death fighting desperately for existence under the anti-socialist law. Indeed, in 1883, the year of his death, the labor movement was still torn by quarrels and dissensions over problems of tactics, and in America, France, and Austria the terrorists were more active than at any time in their history. It was still a question whether the German movement could survive, while in the other countries the socialists were still little more than sects. That was just thirty years ago, while to-day, as we have seen, over ten millions of workingmen, scattered throughout the entire world, fight every one of their battles on the lines laid down by Marx. The tactics and principles he outlined are now theirs. The unity of the workers he pleaded for is rapidly being achieved throughout the entire world, and everywhere these armies are marching toward the goal made clear by his life and labor. "Although I have seen him to-night," writes Engels to Liebknecht, March 14, 1883, "stretched out on his bed, the face rigid in death, I cannot grasp the thought that this genius should have ceased to fertilize with his powerful thoughts the proletarian movement of both worlds. Whatever we all are, we are through him; and whatever the movement of to-day is, it is through his theoretical and practical work; without him we should still be stuck in the mire of confusion."[2]

What was this mire? If we will cast our eyes back to the middle of last century we cannot but realize that the ideas of the world have undergone a complete revolution. When Marx began his work with the labor movement there was absolute ignorance among both masters and men concerning the nature of capitalism. It was a great and terrible enigma which no one understood. The working class itself was broken up into innumerable guerilla bands fighting hopelessly, aimlessly, with the most antiquated and ineffectual weapons. They were in misery; but why, they knew not. They left their work to riot for days and weeks, without aim and without purpose. They were bitter and sullen. They smashed machines and burned factories, chiefly because they were totally ignorant of the causes of their misery or of the nature of their real antagonist. Not seldom in those days there were meetings of hundreds of thousands of laborers, and not infrequently mysterious epidemics of fires and of machine-breaking occurred throughout all the factory districts. Again and again the soldiers were brought out to massacre the laborers. In all England – then the most advanced industrially – there were few who understood capitalism, and among masters or men there was hardly one who knew the real source of all the immense, intolerable economic evils.

The class struggle was there, and it was being fought more furiously and violently than ever before or since. The most striking rebels of the time were those that Marx called the "bourgeois democrats." They were forever preaching open and violent revolution. They were dreaming of the glorious day when, amid insurrection and riot, they should stand at the barricades, fighting the battle for freedom. In their little circles they "were laying plans for the overthrow of the world and intoxicating themselves day by day, evening by evening, with the hasheesh-drink of: 'To-morrow it will start;'"[3] Before and after the revolutionary period of '48 there were innumerable thousands of these fugitives, exiles, and men of action obsessed with the dream that a great revolutionary cataclysm was soon to occur which would lay in ruins the old society. That a crisis was impending everyone believed, including even Marx and Engels. In fact, for over twenty years, from 1847 to 1871, the "extemporizers of revolutions" fretfully awaited the supreme hour. Toward the end of the period appeared Bakounin and Nechayeff with their robber worship, conspiratory secret societies, and international network of revolutionists. Wherever capitalism made headway the workers grew more and more rebellious, but neither they nor those who sought to lead them, and often did, in fact, lead them, had much of any program beyond destruction. Bakounin was not far wrong, at the time, in thinking that he was "spreading among the masses ideas corresponding to the instincts of the masses,"[4] when he advocated the destruction of the Government, the Church, the mills, the factories, and the palaces, to the end that "not a stone should be left upon a stone."

This was the mire of confusion that Engels speaks of. There was not one with any program at all adequate to meet the problem. The aim of the rebels went little beyond retaliation and destruction. What were the weapons employed by the warriors of this period? Street riots and barricades were those of the "bourgeois democrats"; strikes, machine-breaking, and incendiarism were those of the workers; and later the terrorists came with their robber worship and Propaganda of the Deed. In the midst of this veritable passion for destruction Marx and Engels found themselves. Here was a period when direct action was supreme. There was nothing else, and no one dreamed of anything else. The enemies of the existing order were employing exactly the same means and methods used by the upholders of that order. Among the workers, for instance, the only weapons used were general strikes, boycotts, and what is now called sabotage. These were wholly imitative and retaliative. It is clear that the strike is, after all, only an inverted lockout; and as early as 1833 a general strike was parried by a general lockout. The boycott is identical with the blacklist. The employer boycotts union leaders and union men. The employees boycott the non-union products of the employer; while sabotage, the most ancient weapon of labor, answers poor pay with poor work, and broken machines for broken lives. And, if the working class was striking back with the same weapons that were being used against it, so, too, were the "pan-destroyers," except that for the most part their weapons were incredibly inadequate and ridiculous. Sticks and stones and barricades were their method of combating rifles and trained armies. All this again is more evidence of the mire of confusion.

However, if the weapons of the rebellious were utterly futile and ineffectual, there were no others, for every move the workers or their friends made was considered lawless. All political and trades associations were against the law. Peaceable assembly was sedition. Strikes were treason. Picketing was intimidation; and the boycott was conspiracy in restraint of trade. Such associations as existed were forced to become secret societies, and, even if a working-class newspaper appeared, it was almost immediately suppressed. And, if all forms of trade-union activity were criminal, political activity was impossible where the vast majority of toilers had no votes. With methods mainly imitative, retaliative, and revengeful; with no program of what was wanted; in total ignorance of the causes of their misery; and with little appreciation that in unity there is strength, the workers and their friends, in the middle of the last century, were stuck in the mire – of ignorance, helplessness, and confusion.

This was the world in which Marx and Engels began their labor. Direct action was at its zenith, and the struggle of the classes was ferocious. Indeed, all Europe was soon to see barricades in every city, and thrones and governments tumbling into apparent ruin. Yet in the midst of all this wild confusion, and even touching elbows with the leaders of these revolutionary storms, Marx and Engels outlined in clear, simple, and powerful language the nature of capitalism – what it was, how it came into being, and what it was yet destined to become. They pointed out that it was not individual employers or individual statesmen or the Government or even kings and princes who were responsible for the evils of society, but that unemployment, misery, and oppression were due to an economic system, and that so long as capitalism existed the mass of humanity would be sunk in poverty. They called attention to the long evolutionary processes that had been necessary to change the entire world from a state of feudalism into a state of capitalism; and how it was not due to man's will-power that the great industrial revolution occurred, but to the growth of machines, of steam, and of electrical power; and that it was these that have made the modern world, with its intense and terrible contrasts of riches and of poverty. They also pointed out that little individual owners of property were giving way to joint-stock companies, and that these would in turn give way to even greater aggregations of capital. An economic law was driving the big capitalists to eat up the little capitalists. It was forcing them to take from the workers their hand tools and to drive them out of their home workshops; it was forcing them also to take from the small property owners their little properties and to appropriate the wealth of the world into their own hands. As a result of this economic process, "private property," they said, "is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population."[5] But they also pointed out that capitalism had within itself the seeds of its own dissolution, that it was creating a new class, made up of the overwhelming majority, that was destined in time to overthrow capitalism. "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave diggers."[6] In the interest of society the nine-tenths would force the one-tenth to yield up its private property, that is to say, its "power to subjugate the labor of others."[7]

Taking their stand on this careful analysis of historic progress and of economic evolution, they viewed with contempt the older fighting methods of the revolutionists, and turned their vials of satire and wrath upon Herwegh, Willich, Schapper, Kinkel, Ledru-Rollin, Bakounin, and all kinds and species of revolution-makers. They deplored incendiarism, machine destruction, and all the purely retaliative acts of the laborers. They even ridiculed the general strike.[AI] And, while for thirty years they assailed anarchists, terrorists, and direct-actionists, they never lost an opportunity to impress upon the workers of Europe the only possible method of effectually combating capitalism. There must first be unity – world-wide, international unity – among all the forces of labor. And, secondly, all the energies of a united labor movement must be centered upon the all-important contest for control of political power. They fought incessantly with their pens to bring home the great truth that every class struggle is a political struggle; and, while they were working to emphasize that fact, they began in 1864 actually to organize the workers of Europe to fight that struggle. The first great practical work of the International was to get votes for workingmen. It was the chief thought and labor of Marx during the first years of that organization to win for the English workers the suffrage, while in Germany all his followers – including Lassalle as well as Bebel and Liebknecht – labored throughout the sixties to that end. Up to the present the main work of the socialist movement throughout the world has been to fight for, and its main achievement to obtain, the legal weapons essential for its battles.

Let us try to grasp the immensity of the task actually executed by Marx. First, consider his scientific work. During all the period of these many battles every leisure moment was spent in study. While others were engaged in organizing what they were pleased to call the "Revolution" and waiting about for it to start, Marx, Engels, Liebknecht, and all this group were spending innumerable hours in the library. We see the result of that labor in the three great volumes of "Capital," in many pamphlets, and in other writings. By this painstaking scientific work of Marx the nature of capitalism was made known and, consequently, what it was that should be combated, and how the battle should be waged. In addition to these studies, which have been of such priceless value to the labor and socialist movements of the world, Marx, by his pitiless logic and incessant warfare, destroyed every revolution-maker, and then, by an act of surgery that many declared would prove fatal, cut out of the labor movement the "pan-destroyers." Once more, by a supreme effort, he turned the thought of labor throughout the world to the one end and aim of winning its political weapons, of organizing its political armies, and of uniting the working classes of all lands. Here, then, is a brief summary of the work of this genius, who fertilized with his powerful thoughts the proletarian movements of both worlds. The most wonderful thing of all is that, in his brief lifetime, he should not only have planned this gigantic task, but that he should have obtained the essentials for its complete accomplishment.

And, as we look out upon the world to-day, we find it actually a different world, almost a new world. The present-day conflict between capital and labor has no more the character of the guerilla warfare of half a century ago. It is now a struggle between immense organizations of capital and immense organizations of labor. And not only has there been a revolution in ideas concerning the nature of capitalism but there has been as a consequence a revolution in the methods of combat between labor and capital. While all the earlier and more brutal forms of warfare are still used, the conflict as a whole is to-day conducted on a different plane. The struggle of the classes is no longer a vague, undefined, and embittered battle. It is no longer merely a contest between the violent of both classes. It is now a deliberate, and largely legal, tug-of-war between two great social categories over the ends of a social revolution that both are beginning to recognize as inevitable. The representative workers to-day understand capitalism, and labor now faces capital with a program, clear, comprehensive, world-changing; with an international army of so many millions that it is almost past contending with; while its tactics and methods of action can neither be assailed nor effectively combated. From one end of the earth to the other we see capital with its gigantic associations of bankers, merchants, manufacturers, mine owners, and mill owners striving to forward and to protect its economic interests. On the other hand, we see labor with its millions upon millions of organized men all but united and solidified under the flag of international socialism.

And, most strange and wondrous of all – as a result of the logic of things and of the logic of Marx – the actual positions of the two classes have been completely transposed. Marx persuaded the workers to take up a weapon which they alone can use. Like Siegfried, they have taken the fragments of a sword and welded them into a mighty weapon – so mighty, indeed, that the working class alone, with its innumerable millions, is capable of wielding it. The workers are the only class in society with the numerical strength to become the majority and the only class which, by unity and organization, can employ the suffrage effectively. While fifty years ago the workers had every legal and peaceable means denied them, to-day they are the only class which can assuredly profit through legal and peaceable means. It is obvious that the beneficiaries of special privilege can hope to retain their power only so long as the working class is divided and too ignorant to recognize its own interests. As soon as its eyes open, the privileged classes must lose its political support and, with that political support, everything else. That is absolutely inevitable. The interests of mass and class are too fundamentally opposed to permit of permanent political harmony.

Nobody sees this more clearly than the intelligent capitalist. As the workers become more and more conscious of their collective power and more and more convinced that through solidarity they can quietly take possession of the world, their opponents become increasingly conscious of their growing weakness, and already in Europe there is developing a kind of upper-class syndicalism, that despairs of Parliaments, deplores the bungling work of politics, and ridicules the general incompetence of democratic institutions. At the same time, however, they exercise stupendous efforts, in the most devious and questionable ways, to retain their political power. Facing the inevitable, and realizing that potentially at least the suffrages of the immense majority stand over them as a menace, they are beginning to seek other methods of action. Of course, in all the more democratic countries the power of democracy has already made itself felt, and in America, at any rate, the powerful have long had resort to bribery, corruption, and all sorts of political conspiracy in order to retain their power. Much as we may deplore the debauchery of public servants, it nevertheless yields us a certain degree of satisfaction, in that it is eloquent testimony of this agreeable fact, that the oldest anarchists are losing their control over the State. They hold their sway over it more and more feebly, and even when the State is entirely obedient to their will, it is not infrequently because they have temporarily purchased that power. When the manufacturers, the trusts, and the beneficiaries of special privilege generally are forced periodically to go out and purchase the State from the Robin Hoods of politics, when they are compelled to finance lavishly every political campaign, and then abjectly go to the very men whom their money has put into power and buy them again, their bleeding misery becomes an object of pity.

This really amounts to an almost absolute transposition of the classes. In the early nineties Engels saw the beginning of this change, and, in what Sombart rightly says may be looked upon as a kind of "political last will and testament" to the movement, Engels writes: "The time for small minorities to place themselves at the head of the ignorant masses and resort to force in order to bring about revolutions is gone. A complete change in the organization of society can be brought about only by the conscious coöperation of the masses; they must be alive to the aim in view; they must know what they want. The history of the last fifty years has taught that. But, if the masses are to understand the line of action that is necessary, we must work hard and continuously to bring it home to them. That, indeed, is what we are now engaged upon, and our success is driving our opponents to despair. The irony of destiny is turning everything topsy-turvy. We, the 'revolutionaries,' are profiting more by lawful than by unlawful and revolutionary means. The parties of order, as they call themselves, are being slowly destroyed by their own weapons. Their cry is that of Odilon Barrot: 'Lawful means are killing us.'... We, on the contrary, are thriving on them, our muscles are strong, and our cheeks are red, and we look as though we intend to live forever!"[8]

And if lawful means are killing them, so are science and democracy. We no longer live in an age when any suggestion of change is deemed a sacrilege. The period has gone by when political, social, and industrial institutions are supposed to be unalterable. No one believes them fashioned by Divinity, and there is nothing so sacred in the worldly affairs of men that it cannot be questioned. There is no law, or judicial decision, or decree, or form of property, or social status that cannot be critically examined; and, if men can agree, none is so firmly established that it cannot be changed. It is agreed that men shall be allowed to speak, write, and propagate their views on all questions, whether religious, political, or industrial. In theory, at least, all authority, law, administrative institutions, and property relations are decided ultimately in the court of the people. Through their press these things may be discussed. On their platform these things may be approved or denounced. In their assemblies there is freedom to make any declaration for or against things as they are. And through their votes and representatives there is not one institution that cannot be molded, changed, or even abolished. Upon this theory modern society is held together. It is a belief so firmly rooted in the popular mind that, although everything goes against the people, they peacefully submit. So firmly established, indeed, is this tradition that even the most irate admit that where wrong exists the chief fault lies with the people themselves.

Whatever may be said concerning its limitations and its perversions, this, then, is an age of democracy, founded upon a widespread faith in majority rule. Whether it be true or not, the conviction is almost universal that the majority can, through its political power, accomplish any and every change, no matter how revolutionary. Our whole Western civilization has had bred into it the belief that those who are dissatisfied with things as they are can agitate to change them, are even free to organize for the purpose of changing them, and can, in fact, change them whenever the majority is won over to stand with them. This, again, is the theory, although there is no one of us, of course, but will admit that a thousand ways are found to defeat the will of the majority. There are bribery, fraudulent elections, and an infinite variety of corrupting methods. There is the control of parliaments, of courts, and of political parties by special privilege. There are oppressive and unjust laws obtained through trickery. There is the overwhelming power exercised by the wealthy through their control of the press and of nearly all means of enlightenment. Through their power and the means they have to corrupt, the majority is indeed so constantly deceived that, when one dwells only on this side of our political life, it is easy to arrive at the conviction that democracy is a myth and that, in fact, the end may never come of this power of the few to divert and pervert the institutions for expressing the popular will.

But there is no way of achieving democracy in any form except through democracy, and we have found that he who rejects political action finds himself irresistibly drawn into the use of means that are both indefensible and abortive. Curiously enough, in this use of methods, as in other ways, extremes meet. Both the despot and the terrorist are anti-democrats. Neither the anarchist of Bakounin's type nor the anarchist of the Wall Street type trusts the people. With their cliques and inner circles plotting their conspiracies, they are forced to travel the same subterranean passages. The one through corruption impresses the will of the wealthy and powerful upon the community. The other hopes that by some dash upon authority a spirited, daring, and reckless minority can overturn existing society and establish a new social order. The method of the political boss, the aristocrat, the self-seeker, the monopolist – even in the use of thugs, private armies, spies, and provocateurs – differs little from the methods proposed by Bakounin in his Alliance. And it is not in the least strange that much of the lawlessness and violence of the last half-century has had its origin in these two sources. In all the unutterably despicable work of detective agencies and police spies that has led to the destruction of property, to riots and minor rebellions that have cost the lives of many thousands in recent decades, we find the sordid materialism of special privilege seeking to gain its secret ends. In all the unutterably tragic work of the terrorists that has cost so many lives we find the rage and despair of self-styled revolutionists seeking to gain their secret ends. After all, it matters little whether the aim of a group of conspirators is purely selfish or wholly altruistic. It matters little whether their program is to build into a system private monopoly or to save the world from that monopoly. Their methods outrage democracy, even when they are not actually criminal. The oldest anarchist believes that the people must be deceived into a worse social order, and that at least is a tribute to their intelligence. On the other hand, the Bakouninists, old and new, believe that the people must be deceived into a better social order, and that is founded upon their complete distrust of the people.

And, rightly enough, the attitude of the masses toward the secret and conspiratory methods of both the idealist anarchist and the materialist anarchist is the same. If the latter distrust the people, the people no less distrust them. If the masses would mob the terrorist who springs forth to commit some fearful act, the purpose of which they cannot in the least understand, they would, if possible, also mob the individual responsible for manipulation of elections, for the buying of legislatures, and for the purchasing of court decisions. They fear, distrust, and denounce the terrorist who goes forth to commit arson, pillage, or assassination no less than the anarchist who purchases private armies, hires thugs to beat up unoffending citizens, and uses the power of wealth to undermine the Government. In one sense, the acts of the materialist anarchist are clearer even than those of the other. The people know the ends sought by the powerful. On the other hand, the ends sought by the terrorist are wholly mysterious; he has not even taken the trouble to make his program clear. We find, then, that the anarchist of high finance, who would suppress democracy in the interest of a new feudalism, and the anarchist of a sect, who would override democracy in the hope of communism, are classed together in the popular mind. The man who in this day deifies the individual or the sect, and would make the rights of the individual or the sect override the rights of the many, is battling vainly against the supreme current of the age.

Democracy may be a myth. Yet of all the faiths of our time none is more firmly grounded, none more warmly cherished. If any man refuses to abide by the decisions of democracy and takes his case out of that court, he ranges against himself practically the entire populace. On the other hand, the man who takes his case to that court is often forced to suffer for a long time humiliating defeats. If the case be a new one but little understood, there is no place where a hearing seems so hard to win as in exactly that court. Universal suffrage, by which such cases are decided, appears to the man with a new idea as an obstacle almost overwhelming. He must set out on a long and dreary road of education and of organization; he must take his case before a jury made up of untold millions; he must wait maybe for centuries to obtain a majority. To go into this great open court and plead an entirely new cause requires a courage that is sublime and convictions that have the intensity of a religion. One who possesses any doubt cannot begin a task so gigantic, and certainly one who, for any reason, distrusts the people cannot, of course, put his case in that court. It was with full realization of the difficulties, of the certainty of repeated defeats, and of the overwhelming power against them that the socialists entered this great arena to fight their battle. Universal suffrage is a merciless thing. How often has it served the purpose of stripping the socialist naked and exposing him to a terrible humiliation! Again and again, in the history of the last fifty years, have the socialists, after tremendous agitation, gigantic mass meetings, and widespread social unrest, marched their followers to the polls with results positively pitiful. A dozen votes out of thousands have in more cases than one marked their relative power. There is no other example in the world of such faith, courage, and persistence in politics as that of the socialists, who, despite defeat after defeat, humiliation after humiliation, have never lost hope, but on every occasion, in every part of the modern world, have gone up again and again to be knocked down by that jury.

And let it be said to their credit that never once anywhere have the socialists despaired of democracy. "Socialism and democracy ... belong to each other, round out each other, and can never stand in contradiction to each other. Socialism without democracy is pseudo-socialism, just as democracy without socialism is pseudo-democracy. The democratic state is the only possible form of a socialised society."[9] The inseparableness of democracy and socialism has served the organized movement as an unerring guide at every moment of its struggle for existence and of its fight against the ruling powers. It has served to keep its soul free from that cynical distrust of the people which is evident in the writings of the anarchists and of the syndicalists – in Bakounin, Nechayeff, Sorel, Berth, and Pouget. It has also served to keep it from those emotional reactions which have led nearly every great leader of the direct-actionists in the last century to become in the end an apostate. Feargus O'Connor, Joseph Rayner Stephens, the fierce leaders of Chartism; Bakounin, Blanc, Richard, Jaclard, Andrieux, Bastelica, the flaming revolutionists of the Alliance; Briand, Sorel, Berth, the leading propagandists and philosophers of modern syndicalism; every one of them turned in despair from the movement. Cobden, Bonaparte, Clémenceau, the Empire, the "new monarchy," or a comfortable berth, claimed in the end every one of these impatient middle-class intellectuals, who never had any real understanding of the actual labor movement. And, if the union of democracy and socialism has saved the movement from reactions such as these, it has also saved it from the desperation that gives birth to individual methods, such as the Propaganda of the Deed and sabotage. That is what the inseparableness of democracy and socialism has done for the movement in the past; and it has in it an even greater service yet to perform. It has the power of salvation for society itself in the not remote future, when it will be face to face, throughout the world, with an irresistible current toward State socialism. Industrial democracy and political democracy are indissolubly united; their union cannot be sundered except at the cost of destruction to them both.

In adopting, then, the methods of education, of organization, and of political action the socialists rest their case upon the decision of democracy. They accept the weapons that civilization has put into their hands, and they are testing the word of kings and of parliaments that democracy can, if it wishes, alter the bases of society. And in no small measure this is the secret of their immense strength and of their enormous growth. There is nothing strange in the fact that the socialists stand almost alone to-day faithful to democracy. It simply means that they believe in it even for themselves, that is to say, for the working class. They believe in it for industry as well as for politics, and, if they are at war with the political despot, they are also at war with the industrial despot. Everyone is a socialist and a democrat within his circle. No capitalist objects to a group of capitalists coöperatively owning a great railroad. The fashionable clubs of both city and country are almost perfect examples of group socialism. They are owned coöperatively and conducted for the benefit of all the members. Even some reformers are socialists in this measure – that they believe it would be well for the community to own public utilities, provided skilled, trained, honorable men, like themselves, are permitted to conduct them. Indeed, the only democracy or socialism that is seriously combated is that which embraces the most numerous and most useful class in society, "the only class that is not a class";[10] the only class so numerous that it "cannot effect its emancipation without delivering all society from its division into classes."[11]

In any case, here it is, "the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority,"[12] already with its eleven million voters and its fifty million souls. It has slowly, patiently, painfully toiled up to a height where it is beginning to see visions of victory. It has faith in itself and in its cause. It believes it has the power of deliverance for all society and for all humanity. It does not expect the powerful to have faith in it; but, as Jesus came out of despised Nazareth, so the new world is coming out of the multitude, amid the toil and sweat and anguish of the mills, mines, and factories of the world. It has endured much; suffered ages long of slavery and serfdom. From being mere animals of production, the workers have become the "hands" of production; and they are now reaching out to become the masters of production. And, while in other periods of the world their intolerable misery led them again and again to strike out in a kind of torrential anarchy that pulled down society itself, they have in our time, for the first time in the history of the world, patiently and persistently organized themselves into a world power. Where shall we find in all history another instance of the organization in less than half a century of eleven million people into a compact force for the avowed purpose of peacefully and legally taking possession of the world? They have refused to hurry. They have declined all short cuts. They have spurned violence. The "bourgeois democrats," the terrorists, and the syndicalists, each in their time, have tried to point out a shorter, quicker path. The workers have refused to listen to them. On the other hand, they have declined the way of compromise, of fusions, and of alliances, that have also promised a quicker and a shorter road to power. With the most maddening patience they have declined to take any other path than their own – thus infuriating not only the terrorists in their own ranks but those Greeks from the other side who came to them bearing gifts. Nothing seems to disturb them or to block their path. They are offered reforms and concessions, which they take blandly, but without thanks. They simply move on and on, with the terrible, incessant, irresistible power of some eternal, natural force. They have been fought; yet they have never lost a single great battle. They have been flattered and cajoled, without ever once anywhere being appeased. They have been provoked, insulted, imprisoned, calumniated, and repressed. They are indifferent to it all. They simply move on and on – with the patience and the meekness of a people with the vision that they are soon to inherit the earth.


[AG] The vote for Belgium is estimated. The Liberals and the Socialists combined at the last election in opposition to the Clericals, and together polled over 1,200,000 votes. The British Socialist Year Book, 1913, estimates the total Socialist vote at about 600,000.

[AH] Above data taken from International News Letter of National Trade Union Centers, Berlin, May 30, 1913.

[AI] "The general strike," Engels said, "is in Bakounin's program the lever which must be applied in order to inaugurate the social revolution.... The proposition is far from being new; some French socialists, and, after them, some Belgian socialists have since 1848 shown a partiality for riding this beast of parade." This appeared in a series of articles written for Der Volksstaat in 1873 and republished in the pamphlet "Bakunisten an der Arbeit."



[1] Macaulay, Critical, Historical, and Miscellaneous Essays: The Earl of Chatham, p. 3.

[2] Bakounin, OEuvres, Vol. III, p. 21. (P. V, Stock, Paris, 1912-1913.)

[3] Idem, Vol. II, p. xiv.

[4] Idem, Vol. II, p. xlvii.

[5] L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste et l'Association Internationale des Travailleurs, p. 121. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.) A. Darson, London, and Otto Meissner, Hamburg, 1873.

[6] Idem, p. 125. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[7] Idem, p. 128. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[8] Idem, p. 11. (The Secret Alliance.)

[9] Idem, p. 129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[10] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. II, p. viii.

[11] L'Alliance, etc., p. 95.

[12] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. II, p. viii.

[13] Idem, Vol. II, p. xxiii.

[14] Quoted in L'Alliance, etc., p. 112.

[15] Idem, p. 117.

[16] L'Alliance, etc., p. 129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[17] Idem, pp. 128-129. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[18] Idem, p. 132. (Secret Statutes of the Alliance.)

[19] Cf. Guillaume, L'Internationale; documents et souvenirs (1864-1878). Vol. I, p. 131. (Édouard Cornély et Cie., Paris, 1905-1910.)

[20] Cf. Idem, Vol. I, pp. 132-133, for entire program.

[21] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 53.

[22] L'Alliance, etc., pp. 64-65.

[23] Idem, p. 65 (quotations from The Principles of the Revolution).

[24] Idem, p. 66 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[25] Idem, p. 68 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[26] Idem, pp. 90-92.

[27] Idem, pp. 93-94.

[28] Idem, pp. 94-95.

[29] Idem, p. 95.

[30] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 60.

[31] Idem, Vol. II, pp. 61-63.

[32] Idem, Vol. III, p. 312.


[1] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 90.

[2] Lefrançais, Mémoires d'un révolutionnaire, p. 348 (Paris).

[3] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 92 (Oscar Testut).

[4] Idem, Vol. II, p. 92.

[5] Idem, Vol. II, p. 93.

[6] Idem, Vol. II. pp. 94-95.

[7] Idem, Vol. II, p. 96.

[8] Idem, Vol. II, p. 96.

[9] Idem, Vol. II, p. 96.

[10] Idem, Vol. II, p. 97.

[11] Idem, Vol. II, p. 97.

[12] Idem, Vol. II, p. 97.

[13] Idem, Vol. II, pp. 98-99.

[14] Idem, Vol. II, p. 98.

[15] Quoted by Idem, Vol. II, p. 101. Cf. The Social Democrat, April 15, 1903.

[16] L'Alliance, etc., p. 21.

[17] Marx, The Commune of Paris (Bax's translation), p. 123. (Twentieth Century Press, Ltd., London, 1895.)

[18] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 100.

[19] Idem, Vol. III, p. 98.

[20] Bakunisten an der Arbeit, I, by Frederick Engels, printed in Der Volksstaat, October 31, 1873, No. 105.

[21] Quoted by Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 154.

[22] Idem, Vol. III, p. 100.

[23] Idem, Vol. III, p. 204.

[24] Idem, Vol. III, p. 207.

[25] Idem, Vol. III, p. 208.

[26] Idem, Vol. III, p. 186.

[27] Idem, Vol. III, p. 186.

[28] Idem, Vol. III, p. 146.

[29] Idem, Vol. III, p. 237.


[1] Kropotkin, Memoirs of a Revolutionist, p. 394. (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, 1899.)

[2] Idem, p. 287.

[3] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 113-114.

[4] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 225.

[5] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 225.

[6] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 226.

[7] Kropotkin, Paroles d'un révolté, pp. 285-288 (E. Flammarion, Paris, 1885).

[8] L'Alliance, etc., p. 65 (The Principles of the Revolution).

[9] Prolo, Les Anarchistes, pp. 14-15 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris, 1912); or Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 160-168.

[10] Prolo, op. cit., pp. 15-17; or Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 184-188.

[11] Bebel, My Life, p. 330 (Chicago University Press, 1912).

[12] Zenker, Anarchism: A Criticism and History of the Anarchist Theory, p. 282 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New Y ork, 1901).

[13] Idem, pp. 294-295.

[14] Kropotkin, op. cit., pp. 448-449.

[15] Zenker, op. cit., p. 286.


[1] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV, p. 209.

[2] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 227.

[3] Quoted by Zenker, op. cit., pp. 235-236.

[4] Zenker, op. cit., pp. 282-283.

[5] Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, p. 47 (Mother Earth Publishing Co., New York, 1911).

[6] Quoted in History of Socialism in the United States, p. 219 (Funk & Wagnalls, New York, 1910), by Morris Hillquit, who gives a fuller account of this period.

[7] Quoted by Ely, The Labor Movement in America, p. 262 (Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 3d ed., 1910).

[8] Idem, p. 263.

[9] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 30 (Free Society Publishing Co., San Francisco, 1899).

[10] Reprinted in Instead of a Book, by Benjamin R. Tucker, pp. 429-432 (Benj. R. Tucker, New York, 1897).

[11] Idem, p. 429.

[12] Bebel, My Life, p. 237.

[13] Alexander Berkman, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, p. 7 (Mother Earth Publishing Company, New York, 1912).


[1] Quoted by Prolo, Les Anarchistes, p. 44.

[2] Prolo, op. cit., p. 45.

[3] Quoted from L'Éclair by Prolo, op. cit., p. 46.

[4] Quoted by Prolo, op. cit., p. 47.

[5] Quoted by Idem, p. 47.

[6] Quoted by Idem, p. 47.

[7] Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, p. 101.

[8] Idem, pp. 99-100.

[9] Idem, pp. 102-103.

[10] Prolo, op. cit., p. 52.

[11] Idem, pp. 54-55.

[12] Pall Mall Gazette, April 29, 1912.


[1] Emma Goldman, op. cit., p. 98.

[2] Idem, p. 113.

[3] Idem, pp. 113-114.

[4] Percy Bysshe Shelley, Julian and Maddalo.

[5] Idem.

[6] Angiolillo, quoted by Goldman, op. cit., pp. 104-105.

[7] Goldman, op. cit., p. 103.

[8] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 30.

[9] Alfred Tennyson, The Vision of Sin, IV.

[10] Lombroso, Les Anarchistes, pp. 184, 181-183, 196 (Flammarion, Paris, 1896).

[11] Idem, pp. 205-207.

[12] Quoted by Lombroso, op. cit., p. 207.

[13] Zenker, op. cit., pp. 306-307.

[14] Bebel, Attentate und Sozialdemokratie, p. 6, a speech delivered at Berlin, November 2, 1898 (Vorwärts, Berlin, 1905).

[15] The Chicago Martyrs, p. 130.

[16] Idem, p. 16.

[17] Idem, p. 62.

[18] Max Stirner, The Ego and His Own, p. 477 (A. C. Fifield, London, 1912).

[19] Idem, p. 425.

[20] Idem, p. 394.

[21] Lombroso, op. cit., pp. 52-54.

[22] Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, p. 29 (C. H. Kerr & Co., Chicago, 1906).

[23] Reprinted in Guesde's Quatre ans de lutte des classes, pp. 88-91 (G. Jacques et Cie., Paris, 1901).

[24] Idem, p. 92.

[25] Bebel, Attentate und Sozialdemokratie, pp. 12-14.

[26] Idem, p. 1.

[27] Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays, pp. 92-93.

[28] Idem, pp. 85-86.

[29] This is a translation of an editorial that has appeared in various foreign newspapers and also, it is said, in the Illinois Staats-Zeitung; Cf. De Leon, Socialism versus Anarchism, p. 61 (New York Labor News Company, New York).


[1] L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, etc., p. 48.

[2] George Brandes, Main Currents in Nineteenth Century Literature, Vol. VI (The Macmillan Company, New York, 1906).

[3] Engels in the introduction to Révélations sur le Procès des Communistes, published together with, and under the title of, Marx's L'Allemagne en 1848, p. 268 (Schleicher Frères, Paris, 1901).

[4] Idem, p. 268.

[5] Idem, pp. 268-269. My italics.

[6] Idem, pp. 269-270.

[7] Communist Manifesto, p. 12.

[8] Idem, p. 44.

[9] Idem, p. 15.

[10] Idem, p. 25.

[11] Idem, p. 25.

[12] Idem, p. 26.

[13] Idem, p. 30.

[14] Idem, p. 44.

[15] Idem, pp. 42, 46.

[16] Engels, op. cit., p. 287.

[17] Idem, p. 287.

[18] Quoted by Engels in op. cit., p. 297.

[19] Albion W. Small, Socialism in the Light of Social Science, reprinted from the American journal of Sociology, Vol. XVII, No. 6 (May, 1912), p. 810.

[20] Communist Manifesto, pp. 12, 13.

[21] Albion W. Small, article cited, p. 812.

[22] Idem, p. 812.

[23] Address and Provisional Rules of the International Working Men's Association (London, 1864), p. 12.

[24] Letter of Marx's of October 9, 1866, published in the Neue Zeit, April 12, 1902.

[25] Address and Provisional Rules of the International Working Men's Association (London, 1864), p. 9.

[26] Idem, p. 9.

[27] Idem, p. 10.

[28] Idem, p. 11.

[29] Engels, op. cit., p. 287.

[30] Marx, L'Allemagne en 1848, p. 188.

[31] Letter of October 9, 1866, published in the Neue Zeit, April 12, 1902.

[32] Quoted by Jaeckh, The International, p. 32 (Twentieth Century Press, Ltd., London).

[33] Nicolay and Hay, Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. X, p. 53 (Francis D. Tandy Co., New York). My italics.

[34] Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, p. 133 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1906, translated by Mildred Minturn).


[1] Bakounin, OEuvres, Vol. II, p. viii.

[2] Idem, Vol. II, pp. xi-xii.

[3] L'Allemagne en 1848, p. 279.

[4] Liebknecht, Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs, pp. 62-63 (C. H. Kerr, Chicago, 1904).

[5] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. II, p. xvii.

[6] Cf. Marx, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, p. 126 (Scribner's, New York, 1896).

[7] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. II, p. xx.

[8] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 383.

[9] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 103.

[10] Idem, Vol. I, p. 103.

[11] Compte-Rendu of the Fourth International Congress of the International Working Men's Association, Basel, 1869, pp. 6-7 (Bruxelles, 1869).

[12] Idem, p. 7.

[13] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 202.

[14] I am following here the English version, published by the General Council, pp. 26-27.

[15] Compte-Rendu of the Fourth International Congress of the International Working Men's Association, pp. 85-86.

[16] Idem, p. 89.

[17] Idem, pp. 144-145.

[18] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 204.

[19] Quoted by Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 223.

[20] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 232.

[21] Idem, Vol. V, p. 233.

[22] Idem, Vol. V, pp. 234-235.

[23] Idem, Vol. I, pp. xxxii-xxxiii.

[24] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 62.

[25] Communist Manifesto, p. 44.

[26] Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, pp. 69-70 (Scribner's, New York, 1892).

[27] Idem, pp. 71-72. Italics mine.

[28] Idem, p. 86.

[29] Idem, pp. 86-87.

[30] Idem, pp. 76-77.

[31] Compte-Rendu of the Fourth International Congress of the International Working Men's Association, p. 86.

[32] Bakounin, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 31-32.

[33] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 32.

[34] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 32.

[35] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 37.

[36] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 39.

[37] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 40.

[38] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 59.

[39] Idem, Vol. IV, pp. 191-192.

[40] Idem, Vol. III, p. 31.

[41] Idem, Vol. III, p. 40.

[42] Idem, Vol. III, p. 72.

[43] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 415.

[44] Idem, Vol. VI, p. 38.

[45] Idem, Vol. VI, pp. 38-39.

[46] Idem, Vol. IV, pp. 438-439.

[47] Idem, Vol. VI, p. 75.

[48] Engels, Landmarks of Scientific Socialism, p. 190 (Kerr, Chicago, 1907).

[49] Idem, p. 186.

[50] Idem, pp. 184-185.

[51] Idem, p. 190. My italics.

[52] Resolutions of the Conference of Delegates of the International Working Men's Association, Assembled at London from the 17th to the 23d of September, 1871, No. IX (London, 1871).


[1] L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, etc., p. 12.

[2] Bakounin, OEuvres, Vol. IV, p. 342.

[3] Cf. Compte-Rendu Officiel of the Geneva Congress, 1873, p. 51 (Locle, 1873).

[4] Idem, pp. 55-56.

[5] Idem, p. 86.

[6] Idem, p. 87.

[7] Idem, p. 85.

[8] Idem, p. 35.

[9] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. III, p. 118.

[10] Plechanoff, Anarchism and Socialism, p. 84 (The Twentieth Century Press, Ltd., London, 1906; trans, by Eleanor Marx Aveling).

[11] Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV, pp. 114-115.

[12] Idem, Vol. IV, p. 115.

[13] Idem, Vol. IV, pp. 223-224.

[14] Dawson, German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle, p. 169, (Scribner's Sons, New York, 1899).

[15] Ferdinand Lassalle, Reden und Schriften, Vol. II, pp. 543-544 (Vorwärts, Berlin, 1893).

[16] Idem, Vol. II, p. 383.

[17] Idem, Vol. II, p. 22.

[18] Idem, Vol. II, p. 104.

[19] Quoted by Dawson, op. cit., p. 187.

[20] Idem, p. 168; Cf. also, Bernstein, Ferdinand Lassalle as a Social Reformer, pp. 167-170 (Scribner's Sons, New York, 1893).

[21] Quoted by Dawson, op. cit., p. 168.

[22] Quoted by Milhaud, La Démocratie socialiste allemande, p. 32 (Félix Alcan, Paris, 1903).

[23] Idem, pp. 32-33.

[24] Idem, p. 41.

[25] Idem, p. 42.

[26] These sections are reduced from Dawson's summary in op. cit., pp. 255-257.

[27] Quoted in Dawson, op. cit., p. 260.

[28] Bebel, Attentate und Sozialdemokratie, p. 2.

[29] Protokoll of the Congress of the German Social-Democracy, Wyden, 1880, p. 38 (Zurich, 1880).

[30] Idem, p. 42.

[31] Idem, p. 43.

[32] Quoted by Dawson, op. cit., p. 265.

[33] Speech in the Reichstag, March 21, 1884; quoted by Dawson, op. cit., pp. 268-269.

[34] Speech in the Reichstag, April 2, 1886; quoted by Dawson, op. cit., p. 271.

[35] Protokoll of the Proceedings of Party Conferences of the German Social-Democracy, Erfurt, 1891, p. 206 (Berlin, 1891).


[1] Quoted by Prolo, Les Anarchistes, p. 66.

[2] International Socialist Workers and Trade Union Congress, London, 1896, p. 31.

[3] Idem, p. 50.

[4] De Seilhac, Les Congrès Ouvriers en France, p. 331 (Armand Colin et Cie., Paris, 1899).

[5] Idem, pp. 331-332.

[6] Compte-Rendu du Congrès National Corporatif, Montpelier, 1902.

[7] L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, etc., pp. 48-49.

[8] Sombart, Socialism and the Socialist Movement, pp. 98-99 (E. P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1909; trans, from 6th German edition).

[9] Louis Levine, The Labor Movement in France, p. 147 (Columbia University, New York, 1912).

[10] Arthur D. Lewis, Syndicalism and the General Strike, p. 70 (T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1912).

[11] Berth, Les Nouveaux aspects du Socialisme, p. 36 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris, 1908).

[12] Robert Browning, Cleon.

[13] Sombart, op. cit., p. 110.

[14] Compte-Rendu of the Seventh International Socialist Congress, Stuttgart, 1907, p. 202.

[15] Cf. Compte-Rendu of the Sixth International Socialist Congress, Amsterdam, 1904, p. 53.

[16] Levine, op. cit., p. 195.

[17] Compte-Rendu du Congrès National Corporatif, Toulouse, 1910, p. 226.

[18] Étienne Buisson, La Grève Générale, p. 59 (Librairie George Bellais, Paris, 1905).

[19] Labriola, Karl Marx, pp. 255-259 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris, 1910).

[20] Plechanoff, Anarchism and Socialism, p. 63.

[21] Kampffmeyer, Changes in the Theory and Tactics of the German Social Democracy, pp. 87-88 (C. H. Kerr, Chicago, 1908).

[22] Quoted in Kampffmeyer, op. cit., p. 88.

[23] Idem, p. 89.

[24] Quoted in Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, pp. 75-76.

[25] Kautsky, Das Erfurter Programm, pp. 117-119 (8th Edition, Stuttgart, 1907); Cf. also The Socialist Republic, by Kautsky, pp. 10-11.

[26] Communist Manifesto, p. 15.

[27] Engels, Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, p. 76.

[28] Cf. Menger, The Right to the Whole Produce of Labor, p. 117 (Macmillan & Co., London, 1899).

[29] Webb, The History of Trade Unionism, p. 145.

[30] Idem, p. 146.

[31] Quoted by Sombart, op. cit., p. 118.

[32] Sombart, op. cit., p. 118.

[33] Idem, p. 118.

[34] Marx, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, pp. 109-110.

[35] Compte-Rendu of the Fourth International Congress of the International Working Men's Association, p. 88.

[36] Quoted by Plechanoff, op. cit., p. 90.

[37] Émile Pouget, Le Syndicat, p. 13 (Émile Pouget, Paris, 2d Edition).

[38] Sorel, Illusions du progrès, p. 10 (Marcel Rivière et Cie., Paris, 1911).

[39] Compte-Rendu of the Fifth National Congress of the French Socialist Party, 1908, p. 352.

[40] XIe. Congrès National Corporatif, Paris, 1900, p. 198; quoted by Levine, op. cit., p. 97.

[41] La Confédération Générale du Travail; II La Tactique.

[42] Idem.

[43] Cf. Proudhon, La Révolution sociale et le coup d'État, (Ernest Flammarion, Paris); Goldman, Minorities versus Majorities, in Anarchism and Other Essays; and Kropotkin, Les Minorités Révolutionnaires, in Paroles d'un révolté.

[44] Webb, The History of Trade Unionism, pp. 147-148.

[45] Compte-Rendu of the Third National Congress of the French Socialist Party, 1906, pp. 189-192.

[46] Idem, p. 186.

[47] Jaurès, Studies in Socialism, pp. 127-128.

[48] Idem, pp. 124-125.

[49] Idem, pp. 128-129.

[50] Compte-Rendu of the Fourth International Congress of the International Working Men's Association, Basel, 1869, p. 6.

[51] Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution, p. 423 (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1909).

[52] Proudhon, Idée Générale de la Révolution au XIXe. Siècle, p. 304 (Garnier Frères, Paris, 1851).

[53] Idem, p. 197.


[1] Proudhon, Idée Générale de la Révolution, p. 149.

[2] Roger A. Pryor, quoted in the report of the Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 225.

[3] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: Senate Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 247.

[4] Thomas Beet, Methods of American Private Detective Agencies, Appleton's Magazine, October, 1906.

[5] Idem.

[6] Idem.

[7] Idem.

[8] New York Sun, May 8, 1911.

[9] New York Call, September 14, 1910.

[10] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 226.

[11] See his testimony, pp. 92-94 of the Senate Report.

[12] Report of the Industrial Commission, 1901, Vol. VIII, pp. 257-258, 261 (Chicago Labor Disputes).

[13] American Federationist, November, 1911, Vol. XVIII, p. 889.

[14] Limiting Federal Injunction: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Jan. 6, 1913, Part I, p. 19.

[15] Idem, p. 20.

[16] Appleton's Magazine, October, 1906.

[17] Hillquit, History of Socialism in the United States, pp. 280-281.

[18] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives, Senate Special Committee Report, 1892, p. xiii.

[19] Idem, p. ii.

[20] Idem, p. xii.

[21] Idem, p. xv.

[22] Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House Special Committee Report, 1892, p. 224.

[23] Idem, p. 225.

[24] Report on the Chicago Strike of June-July, 1894, by the United States Strike Commission, p. xxxviii.

[25] Idem, p. xliv.

[26] Idem, p. 356.

[27] Idem, p. 370.

[28] Idem, p. 397.

[29] Idem, pp. 366-367.

[30] Idem, p. 371.

[31] Idem, p. 368.

[32] Idem, pp. 368-369.

[33] Idem, p. 372 (from the testimony of Harold I. Cleveland).

[34] Idem, p. 360.

[35] Debs, The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike, p. 24 (Standard Publishing Co., Terre Haute, Ind., 1904).

[36] Idem, p. 24.

[37] Emma F. Langdon, The Cripple Creek Strike, p. 153 (The Great Western Publishing Co., Denver, 1905).

[38] Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1905, on Labor Disturbances in Colorado, p. 186.

[39] Idem, p. 206.

[40] Idem, p. 304.

[41] Cf. Clarence S. Darrow, Speech in the Haywood Case, p. 56 (Wayland's Monthly, Girard, Kan., October, 1907).

[42] Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1905, on Labor Disturbances in Colorado, p. 192.

[43] C. Dobrogeaunu-Gherea, Socialism vs. Anarchism, New York Call, February 5, 1911.

[44] Kropotkin, The Terror in Russia, p. 57 (Methuen & Co., London, 1909).

[45] Bamford, Passages in the Life of a Radical, Vol. II, p. 14 (T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1893).

[46] In Bamford's "Passages in the Life of a Radical" (T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1893), we find that spies and provocateurs were sent into the labor movement as early as 1815. In Holyoake's "Sixty Years of an Agitator's Life" (Unwin, 1900), in Howell's "Labor Legislation, Labor Movements, Labor Leaders" (Unwin, 1902), and in Webb's "History of Trade Unionism" (Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1902), the work of several noted police agents is spoken of. In Gammage's "History of the Chartist Movement" (Truslove & Hanson, London, 1894) and in Davidson's "Annals of Toil" (F. R. Henderson, London, n.d.) we are told of one police agent who gave balls and ammunition to the men and endeavored to persuade them to commit murder.

Marx, in "Revolution and Counter-Revolution" (Scribner's Sons, 1896), and Engels, in Révélations sur le Procès des Communistes (Schleicher Frères, Paris, 1901), tell of the work of the German police agents in connection with the Communist League; while Bebel, in "My Life" (Chicago University Press, 1912), and in Attentate und Sozialdemokratie (Vorwärts, Berlin, 1905), tells of the infamous work of provocateurs sent among the socialists at the time of Bismarck's repression. Kropotkin, in "The Memoirs of a Revolutionist" (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, 1899), and in "The Terror in Russia" (Methuen & Co., London, 1909), devotes many pages to the crimes committed by the secret police of Russia, not only in that country but elsewhere. Mazzini, Marx, Bakounin, and nearly all prominent anarchists, socialists, and republicans of the middle of the last century, were surrounded by spies, who made every effort to induce them to enter into plots.

In the "Investigation of the Employment of Pinkerton Detectives: House and Senate Special Committee Reports, 1892"; in the "Report on Chicago Strike of June-July, 1894; U. S. Strike Commission, 1895"; in the "Report of the Commissioner of Labor on Labor Disturbances in Colorado, 1905"; in the "Report of the Industrial Commission, 1901, Vol. VIII", there is a great mass of evidence on the work of detectives, both in committing violence themselves and in seeking to provoke others to violence.

In "Conditions in the Paint Creek District of West Virginia: Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor, U. S. Senate; 1913"; in "Hearings before the Committee on Rules, House of Representatives, on Conditions in the Westmoreland Coal Fields"; in the "Report on the Strike at Bethlehem, Senate Document No. 521"; in "Peonage in Western Pennsylvania: Hearings before the Committee on Labor, House of Representatives, 1911," considerable evidence is given of the thuggery and murder committed by detectives, guards, and state constabularies. Some of this evidence reveals conditions that could hardly be equaled in Russia.

"History of the Conspiracy to Defeat Striking Molders" (Internatl. Molders' Union of N. America); "Limiting Federal Injunction: Hearings before the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, U. S. Senate, 1912, Part V"; the report of the same hearings for January, 1913, Part I, "United States Steel Corporation: Hearings before Committee on Investigation, House of Representatives, Feb. 12, 1912"; the "Report on Strike of Textile Workers in Lawrence, Mass.: Commissioner of Labor, 1912"; and "Strike at Lawrence, Mass.: Hearings before the Committee on Rules, House of Representatives, March 2-7, 1912," also contain a mass of evidence concerning the crimes of detectives and the terrorist tactics used by those employed to break strikes.

Alexander Irvine's "Revolution in Los Angeles" (Los Angeles, 1911); F. E. Wolfe's "Capitalism's Conspiracy in California" (The White Press, Los Angeles, 1911); Debs's "The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike" (Standard Publishing Co., Terre Haute, Ind., 1904); Ben Lindsey's "The Rule of Plutocracy in Colorado"; the "Reply of the Western Federation of Miners to the 'Red Book' of the Mine Operators"; "Anarchy in Colorado: Who Is to Blame?" (The Bartholomew Publishing Co., Denver, Colo., 1905); the American Federationist, April, 1912; the American Federationist, November, 1911; Job Harriman's "Class War in Idaho" (Volks-Zeitung Library, New York, 1900), Emma F. Langdon's "The Cripple Creek Strike" (The Great Western Publishing Co., Denver, 1905); C. H. Salmons' "The Burlington Strike" (Bunnell & Ward, Aurora, Ill., 1889); and Morris Friedman's "The Pinkerton Labor Spy" (Wilshire Book Co., New York, 1907), contain the statements chiefly of labor leaders and socialists upon the violence suffered by the unions as a result of the work of the courts, of the police, of the militia, and of detectives. "The Pinkerton Labor Spy" gives what purports to be the inside story of the Pinkerton Agency and the details of its methods in dealing with strikes. Clarence S. Darrow's "Speech in the Haywood Case" (Wayland's Monthly, Girard, Kan., Oct., 1907) is the plea made before the jury in Idaho that freed Haywood. Only the oratorical part of it was printed in the daily press, while the crushing evidence Darrow presents against the detective agencies and their infamous work was ignored.

Capt. Michael J. Schaack's "Anarchy and Anarchists" (F. J. Schulte & Co., Chicago, 1899); and Pinkerton's "The Molly Maguires and Detectives" (G. W. Dillingham Co., New York, 1898) are the naïve stories of those who have performed notable rôles in labor troubles. They read like "wild-west" stories written by overgrown boys, and the manner in which these great detectives frankly confess that they or their agents were at the bottom of the plots which they describe is quite incredible.

"The Chicago Martyrs: The Famous Speeches of the Eight Anarchists in Judge Gary's Court and Altgeld's Reasons for Pardoning Fielden, Neebe and Schwab" (Free Society, San Francisco, 1899), contains the memorable message of Governor Altgeld when pardoning the anarchists. In his opinion they were in no small measure the dupes of police spies and the victims of judicial injustice. I have dealt at length with Thomas Beet's article on "Methods of American Private Detectives" in Appleton's Magazine for October, 1906, but it will repay a full reading. "Coeur d'Alene Mining Troubles: The Crime of the Century" (Senate Document) and "Statement and Evidence in Support of Charges Against the U. S. Steel Corporation by the American Federation of Labor" are perhaps worth mentioning.

I have not attempted to give an exhaustive list of references, but only to call attention to a few books and pamphlets which have found their way into my library.

[47] Quoted by August Bebel in Attentate und Sozialdemokratie, p. 12.

[48] Limiting Federal Injunctions: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 1913, Part I, p. 8.


[1] Sombart, Socialism and the Socialist Movement, p. 176.

[2] Liebknecht, Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs, p. 46.

[3] Idem, p. 85.

[4] L'Alliance de la Démocratie Socialiste, etc., p. 132 (Secret Statutes of the Alliance).

[5] Communist Manifesto, p. 37.

[6] Idem, p. 32.

[7] Idem, p. 38.

[8] Engels' introduction to Struggle of the Social Classes in France; quoted by Sombart, op. cit., pp. 68-69.

[9] Liebknecht, No Compromise, No Political Trading, p. 28; my italics.

[10] Frederic Harrison, quoted in Davidson's Annals of Toil, p. 273 (F. R. Henderson, London, n.d.).

[11] Engels in L'Allemagne en 1848, p. 269.

[12] Communist Manifesto, p. 30.



Adam, Paul, quoted concerning case of Ravachol, 81-82.

Agents provocateurs, work of, in popular uprisings and socialist and labor movements, 110-120, 203-204, 264; use of private detectives as, in United States, 290-292, 312-314.

Alexander II of Russia, assassination of, 56, 221.

America. See United States.

Anarchism, introduction of doctrines of, in Western Europe by Bakounin, 5 ff.; secret societies founded in interests of, 11-14; insurrections under auspices of, 28-39; criticism of, by socialists, 40; uprisings in Italy fathered by, 41-44; unbridgeable chasm between socialism and, 47-48; with the Propaganda of the Deed becomes synonymous with violence and crime, 55; foothold secured by, in Germany, 55-57; in Austria-Hungary, 57-58; agitation in France, 58-60; doctrines of, carried to America by Johann Most, 64-68; the Haymarket tragedy, 68-70; defense of, by Benjamin R. Tucker, and disowning of terrorist tactics, 70-74; responsibility for deeds of leaders of, laid at Bismarck's door, 74-75; assassination of President McKinley and shooting of H. C. Frick, 75; failure of, to take firm root in America any more than in Germany and England, 75-76; in the Latin countries, 76; acts of violence in name of, in Europe, 77-89; question of responsibility of, for acts of violence committed by terrorists, 90 ff.; different types attracted by socialism and, 92-93; the psychology of devotees of, 93-94; causes of terrorist tactics assigned by Catholic Church to doctrines of socialism, 98-100; source of, traceable to great-man theory, 102 ff.; work of police agents in connection with, 110-120; the battle between socialism and, 154-192; emergence of, as a distinct philosophy, 193; history of, after Hague congress of 1872, 194 ff.; congress in Geneva in 1873, 196-199; insolvable problem created by, in rejecting political action of the working class, 200; assaults on the Marxists by adherents of, 201-204; bitter warfare between socialism and, 201-205; appearance of syndicalism as an aid to, 229-239; ignoring of, in socialist congresses, 232; appearance of the "intellectuals" in ranks of, 239-241; similarities between philosophies and methods of syndicalism and, 239-245; differences between syndicalism and, 245-246; consideration of the oldest form of, that of the wealthy and ruling classes, 276-326; of the powerful in the United States, 280 ff.

Andrieux, French revolutionist, 29.

Angiolillo, Italian terrorist, 87.

Anti-socialist law, Bismarck's, responsible for Most's career as a terrorist, 74-75; passage of, and chief measures contained in, 214-217; growth of socialist vote under, 225; failure and repeal of, 225-226.

Arson practiced by revolutionists in America, 73-74.

Assassination, preaching of, by Bakounin and Nechayeff, 18; practice of, by anarchists in France, 77-89; the Catholic Church and, 98-100; glorification of, in history, 101-103.

Atwell, B. A., on character of deputy marshals in Chicago railway strike, 300.

Australia, parliamentary power of socialists in, 329, 330.

Austria, Empress of, assassinated by Italian anarchist, 87.

Austria-Hungary, development and checking of anarchist movement in, 57-58; growth of socialist and labor vote in, 328.


Baker, Ray Stannard, quoted on character of deputy marshals in Chicago railway strike, 299-300.

Bakounin, Michael, father of terrorism, 4; admiration of, for Satan, 5; views held by, on absolutism, 5-6; destruction of all States and all Churches advocated by, 6; varying opinions of, 7; shown to be human in his contradictions, 7-8; chief characteristics and qualities of his many-sided nature, 8; birth, family, and early life, 8-9; leaves Russia for Germany, Switzerland, and France, 9; meets Proudhon, Marx, George Sand, and other revolutionary spirits, 9; leads insurrectionary movements, 9-10; captured, sentenced to death, and finally banished to Siberia, 10; escapes and reaches England, 10; change in views shown in writings of, 10-11; spends some time in Italy, 11-12; forms secret organization of revolutionists, 11-13; the International Brothers, the National Brothers, and the International Alliance of Social Democracy, 12-14; enters the International Working Men's Association, with the hope of securing leadership, 15; declares war on political and economic powers of Europe and assails Marx, Engels, and other leaders, 15-16; interest of, in Russian affairs, 16; collaborates with Sergei Nechayeff, 16-17; expounds doctrines of criminal activity, 17-22; the "Words Addressed to Students," 17-19; the "Revolutionary Catechism," 19-22; quarrel between Nechayeff and, 23-26; remains in Switzerland and trains young revolutionists, 26-27; takes part in unsuccessful insurrection at Lyons, 28-35; Marx quoted concerning action of, at Lyons, 35-36; influence of, felt in Spanish revolution of 1873, 37-41; in Italy, during uprisings of 1874, 42-43; retires from public life, 45-46; humiliating experiences of last years, 46-47; opinions expressed by anarchists and by socialists concerning, upon death of, 47-48; teachings of, the inspiration of the Propaganda of the Deed, 52; principles of, preached by Johann Most, 65; spread of terrorist ideas of, in America, 65; history of the battle between Marx and, 154-193; suspected and charged with being a Russian police agent, 156, 158; quoted on Marx, 157; victory won over Marx by, at Basel congress of International in 1869, 162-169; attack of Marx and his followers on, and reply by, in the "Study upon the German Jews," 169-171; flood of literature by, based on his antagonism to religion and to Government, 172-174; inability of, to comprehend doctrines of Marxian socialism, 178-179; irreconcilability of doctrines of, with those of socialists, 179-185; expulsion of, from the International, 191; attacks the General Council of the International as a new incarnation of the State, 195; quoted to show antagonism between his doctrines and those of Marxists, 251; the robber worship of, 278-279.

Barcelona, bomb-throwing in, 87.

Barrot, Odilon, 348.

Basel, congress of International at (1869), 162-169.

Bauer, Heinrich, 131.

Bauler, Madame A., quoted on influence of Bakounin, 26-27.

Bebel, August, quoted on Bismarck's repressive measures, 55-56; quoted on Johann Most, 74-75; on the condoning of assassination by the Catholic Church, 98-99; reveals participations of high officials in crimes of the anarchists, 114-118; mentioned, 205, 209-210; account of struggle between Bismarck and party of, 211-227; State-socialist propositions favored by, 255-256.

Beesby, E. S., 35; urges political activity on early trade unions, 151.

Beet, Thomas, exposure by, of evils attending use of detectives in United States, 283-284, 290-291, 314.

Berkman, Alexander, shooting of H. C. Frick by, 75; motive which actuated, 101; events which led up to action of, 292-295; fate of, contrasted with that of agents of the anarchy of the wealthy during Homestead strike, 295.

Bern, revolutionary manifestation at (1877), 53.

Berth, Edward, quoted in connection with the "intellectuals," 240-241; mentioned, 270, 353.

Bismarck, stirs up Germany against social-democratic party on account of anarchistic acts, 55; effect of action of, on anarchism in Germany, 56; responsibility of, for Johann Most and other terrorists, and for Haymarket tragedy, 74-75; Bebel quoted in connection with the hero-worship of, in Germany, 103-104; admiration of, for Lassalle, 206; corruption introduced into German labor movement by, 210-211; exposed by Liebknecht and Bebel, begins war upon Marxian socialists, 211-212; futile efforts of, to provoke social democrats to violence, 218-219; reaction of his violent measures upon himself, 227.

Blanc, Gaspard, 29, 31.

Blanc, Louis, 128, 129, 353; Lassalle's views compared with those of, 207.

Blanqui, socialist insurrectionist, 128-129.

Bonnot, French motor bandit, 88-89, 104.

Booth, J. Wilkes, motive which actuated, in killing of Lincoln, 101.

Brandes, George, "Young Germany" by, 132; quoted on Lassalle, 205-206.

Brass, August, tool of Bismarck, 211.

Bray, J. F., 130.

Bresci, Gaetano, assassin of King Humbert, 87.

Briand, Aristide, 184 n., 270, 353.

Brousse, Paul, 49, 196-197, 198; originates phrase, "the Propaganda of the Deed," 51-52; leads revolutionary manifestation at Bern, 53; leaves the Bakouninists, 204.

Bucher, Lothar, tool of Bismarck, 210.

Burlington strike, outrages by private detectives during, 296.

Burns, William J., quoted on character of detectives as a class, 284-285.


Cabet, utopian socialism of, 144.

Cafiero, Carlo, Italian revolutionist, disciple of Bakounin, 38, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 54.

Camorra, an organization of Italians which pursues terrorist tactics, 100.

"Capital," Marx's work, 152, 344.

Capitalism, workingmen's ignorance concerning, previous to advent of Karl Marx, 338-341.

Carnot, President, assassination of, 85.

Caserio, assassin of President Carnot, 79, 85-86.

Castillo, Canovas del, torture of suspected terrorists by, 87.

Catholic Church, burden of anarchism laid on doctrines of socialism by, 98; right of assassination upheld by clergy of, 98-99; terrorist tactics pursued by organizations of, 100.

Cerretti, Celso, Italian insurrectionist, 42.

Chartists, the, 130, 136, 137, 149.

Cluseret, General, 29, 32, 36.

Colorado, governmental tyranny during labor wars in, 217; political and industrial battles in (1894-1904), 302-311.

Commune of Paris, viewed as a spontaneous uprising of the working class, 36-37.

Communist League, Marx presents his views to, resulting in the Communist Manifesto, 137-138.

Communist Manifesto, of Marx and Engels, 137-141; the universal text-book of the socialist movement, 334.

Communist societies in Germany, 131.

Congress of United States, socialists not represented in, 330, 333.

Congresses, international, of socialists, 334.

Cooper, Thomas, 130.

Coöperative movement, beginning of, in England, 130; progress in growth of, 331-332.

Corruption, the omnipresence of, 263-264.

Costa, Andrea, 42; at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 197-198; article by, attacking socialists, 201; leaves the Bakouninists, 204.

Courts, prevalence of violence set down to corruption of, 107, 108.

Cramer, Peter J., union leader killed by special police, 287.

Criminal elements, part played by, in uprisings, 109-110; use of, as the tool of reactionary intrigue, 110 ff., 281-326.

Cripple Creek, Colo., strike, 304-306.

Cyvoct, militant anarchist of Lyons, 59-60.

Czolgosz, assassin of President McKinley, 75, 88; motive which actuated, 101.


Debs, Eugene V., on instigation to violence by deputies in Chicago railway strike, 301-302.

Decamps, French terrorist, 79.

Delesalle, French anarchist, a sponsor of sabotage as a war measure of trade unionists, 236.

Democracy, attacks of syndicalism on, 264-265; view of the present day as the age of, 349; to be achieved only through democracy, 350, 352; eternal faith of socialists in, 353.

Detectives, employment of, as weapons of anarchists of the wealthy class in the United States, 281 ff.; character of the so-called, employed during big strikes in United States, 282-290; use of, as instigators and perpetrators of acts of violence, 290-292, 299-302, 312-314; pecuniary interest of, in provoking crime, 314; intentional misleading of employers by, 316-319; prolongation of strikes by, 319-320; a few of the outrages committed by, 320-321.

Deville, Gabriel, 202.

Direct action, opposed by syndicalists to the political action of socialists, 267 ff.; cannot be revolutionary action and is destined to failure, 272.

Duehring, Eugene, mistaken views of socialism held by, 186.

Duval, Clément, French anarchist and robber, 77-78.

Dynamite, glorifying of, by terrorists, as the poor man's weapon against capitalism, 69.


Eccarius, reply of, to Bakounin at Basel congress, 178; at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 196.

Egoistic conception of history, carried to its extreme by anarchism, 102 ff.

Engels, Frederick, 15; criticism by, of position of Bakouninists in Spanish revolution, 40, 41; description by, of early communist societies in Germany, 131; first meeting of Marx and, and beginning of their coöperative labors, 132-133; reply of, to Dr. Duehring, 186; socialist view of the State as expressed by, 257-258; on the lasting power exercised by Marx over the labor movement, 338; on the reorganization of society through the conscious coöperation of the masses, 347-348.


Fenians, an organization of Irishmen which pursued terrorist tactics, 100.

Feudal lords, anarchism of the, 277-278, 279.

Fortis, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Fourier, 128; utopian socialism of, 144.

France, anarchist activities in (1882), 58-60; deeds of terrorists in, 77-86; effects of terrorist tactics in, 86-87; crimes of motor bandits in, 88-89; early days of socialism in, 128-129; launching of socialist labor party in (1878), 202-203; individualism in, one cause for rise of syndicalism, 242-243; poverty as a cause for reliance upon violence of trade unions in, 244.

Frick, Henry C., shooting of, 75; events which led up to shooting of, 292-295.

Fruneau, quoted on corruption in revolutions, 263.


General Confederation of Labor, organization of, 233.

General strike, inauguration of idea, by French trade unionists, 233-234; Guérard's argument for, 234-235; notable points in program of action of, 235-236; program of trade unionists in case of success in, 237-238; conditions which produce agitation for, 243-244; doubts of syndicalists as to success of a peaceable strike, 246-247; Jaurès' warning against the, 270; ridicule of, by Marx and Engels, 343.

Geneva, congress of anarchists at, in 1873, 196-199.

Germany, beginning of anarchist activity in, 55-57; great political organization built up by socialists in, 203; meteoric career of Lassalle in, 205-209; history of Bismarck's losing battle with social democracy in, 211-227; State ownership favored by socialists in, 254-256; growth of socialist and labor vote in, 328; strong parliamentary position of socialists in, 329-330.

Goldman, Emma, quoted on Johann Most, 67; quoted on causes of violent acts by terrorists, 91; on the connection of police with anarchist outrages, 119.

Grave, Jean, French anarchist, 81.

Gray, John, 130.

Great-man theory, terrorist deeds of violence traceable to, 102 ff.

Guérard, argument of, for revolutionary general strike, 234-235.

Guesde, Jules, 202, 204; quoted on direct action vs. political action, 267-269.

Guillaume, James, Swiss revolutionist, friend of Bakounin, 28, 38, 42, 45, 47, 53, 197, 199, 229; takes part in manifestation at Bern (1877), 53.


Hales, John, at anarchist congress in Geneva (1873), 196-199.

Hall, Charles, 130.

Harney, George Julian, 137.

Harrison, Frederic, quoted, 151.

Hasselmann, German revolutionist, 56, 65; ejection of, from socialist party, 220.

Haymarket catastrophe, Chicago, 68-70.

Henry, Émile, French terrorist, 79, 84-85, 104.

Herwegh, German poet and revolutionist, 157-158.

Hess, Moritz, secret history of Basel congress of 1869 by, 169-170.

Hillquit, Morris, description by, of battle between strikers and detectives at Homestead, 293-294.

Hins, follower of Bakounin, quoted, 163; outlines, in 1869, program of modern syndicalists, 166-167.

Hödel, assassin of Emperor William, 55, 213.

Hodgskin, Thomas, 130.

Hogan, "Kid," quoted on strike-breakers, 288-289.

Homestead strike, character of Pinkertons employed in, 285-286; account of battle between strikers and special police, 292-294.

Houses of the People, in Europe, 332.

Humbert, King, attempt upon life of, 55; assassination of, 87.

Hume, Joseph, 130.


Individualism in France a contributing cause to rise of syndicalism, 242-243.

Industrial Workers of the World, American syndicalism, 247 n.

Inheritance, abolition of right of, advocated by Bakounin, 163-164.

Intellectuals, appearance of, as an aid to anarchism, 239-241; lack of real understanding of labor movement by, and fate of, 354.

International Alliance of Social Democracy, 12-14.

International Brothers, 12-14.

International Working Men's Association (the "International"), Bakounin's attempt to inject his ideas into, 7, 15; launching of the, 145-146; beginning made by, in actual political work, 150-152; struggles in, between followers of Marx and followers of Bakounin's anarchist doctrines, 154 ff.; congress of, at Basel in 1869 the turning-point in its history, 162-168; overturning of foundation principles of, owing to anarchist tendencies of the congress, 168; period of slight accomplishment, from 1869 to 1873, 189-190; congress of 1873 at The Hague, 191; expulsion of Bakounin and removal of seat of General Council to New York, 191-192; motives of Marx in destroying, 192; one chief result of existence of, the distinct separation of anarchism and socialism, 192-193; attempts of Bakouninists to revive, after Hague congress, 196 ff.; end of efforts of anarchists to build a new, 200.

International Working People's Association, anarchist society in America, 68, 73.

Italy, anarchist uprisings in, in 1874, 41-44; demonstration under doctrines of Propaganda of the Deed in (1877), 53-54; reasons for individual execution of justice in, found in expense of official justice and corruptness of courts, 108; conditions in, leading to rise of syndicalism, 242, 243; socialist and labor vote in, 328; parliamentary strength of socialists in, 330.

Iwanoff, Russian revolutionist, 22-23.


Jaclard, Victor, 14, 29.

Jaurès, tribute paid to Marx by, 152-153; warning pronounced by, against the general strike, 270.

Jesuits and doctrine of assassination, 98-99.

Jones, Ernest, 130.


Kammerer, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58.

Kampffmeyer, Paul, quoted on State-socialist propositions in Germany, 255.

Kautsky, Karl, on the Statism of the socialist party, 256.

Kropotkin, Prince, 49-50; enthusiasm of, over the Propaganda of the Deed, 52; quoted on anarchist activities at Lyons, 59; on act of United States Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional the eight-hour law on Government work, 62-63; quoted on the Pittsburgh strike, 63-64; on treatment of anarchists by socialists, 92 n.; quoted on Russian secret police system, 113 n.; articles by, attacking socialist parliamentary tactics, 201-202; on the necessity of parliamentary action in distribution of land after the French Revolution, 272.


Labor movement, violence characteristic of early years of the, 125-126; beginning of real building of, in the middle of the last century, 127; profit to, from aid of "intellectual" circles, 127; in France, 128-129; in England, 129-131; setback to, in England due to various causes, 131; beginnings of, in Germany, 131-134; beginning of work of Marx and Engels in connection with, 132 ff.; attempt of early socialist and anarchist sects to inject their ideas into, 145; launching of the International, 145 ff.; entrance of the International into actual political work, 150-152; the ideal of the labor movement as expressed by Lincoln, 152; part played by the International as an organization of labor, 192; origins of, in Germany, 209; Bismarck's persecution of social democrats in Germany, 211-227; entrance of anarchism into, in France, 231 ff.; illegitimate activities of capital against, in United States, 280-326; process of building structure of the present, 335-337; position as a great and material actuality, 337; tracing of work done by Marx in connection with, 338 ff.; progress of, as indicated by socialist and labor vote, 328-329; parliamentary strength of, 329-331; growth of coöperations and trade unions, 331-333.

Labor Standard article on United States Supreme Court decision, 62-63.

Labor Temples in Europe, 332.

Labriola, Arturo, syndicalist criticism of socialism by, 249-251; views of, on Parliamentarism, 261.

Lafargue, Paul, 202.

Lagardelle, on the antagonism of syndicalism and democracy, 264-265.

Lankiewicz, Valence, 28.

Lassalle, German socialist agitator, 205 ff.; by organizing the Universal German Working Men's Association, becomes founder of German labor movement, 209; relations between Bismarck and, 210.

Legien, Carl, quoted on French labor movement, 243.

Le Vin, detective, quoted on character of special police, 286.

Levine, Louis, "The Labor Movement in France" by, quoted, 244.

Liebknecht, Wilhelm, quoted on Marx's opposition to insurrection led by Herwegh, 158; mentioned, 205, 209-210; efforts of Bismarck to corrupt, 211; persecution of, by Bismarck, 211-212; frank statement of republican principles by, 212-213; quoted on defeat of Bismarck by socialists, 226; quoted as in favor of State-socialist propositions in Germany, 256.

Lincoln, Abraham, ideal of the labor movement as expressed by, 152.

Lingg, Louis, Chicago anarchist, 70, 95.

Lombroso, on corrective measures to be used with anarchists, 96-97; on the complicity of criminality and politics, 109.

Lovett, William, 130.

Luccheni, Italian assassin, 87.

Lynchings, an explanation given for, 107, 108.

Lyons, unsuccessful insurrection at, in 1870, 28-35.


McDowell, Malcomb, on character of deputy marshals in Chicago railway strike, 300-301.

McKinley, President, assassination of, 75, 88.

McNamaras, the, 318, 324.

Mafia, the, an organization of Italians which pursues terrorist tactics, 100.

Malatesta, Enrico, Italian revolutionist, 43-44, 49, 51.

Manufacturers' Association, lawless work of the, 318.

Mariana, Jesuit who upheld assassination of tyrants, 98, 99.

Marx, Karl, view of Bakounin held by, 7; meeting of Bakounin and, 9; assailed by Bakounin upon latter's entrance into the International, 15-16; quoted on the insurrection at Lyons in 1870, 35-36; on Bakounin's "abolition of the State," 36; on the Commune of Paris, 37; education and early career of, 132-134; the Communist Manifesto, 137-141; resignation of, from central council of Communist League, 141-142; gives evidence of perception of lack of revolutionary promise in sectarian organizations, secret societies, and political conspiracies, 142; gigantic intellectual labors of, in laying foundations of a scientific socialism, 143; the International launched by, 145-146; essence of socialism of, in Preamble of the Provisional Rules of the International, 147-148; statement of idea of, as to revolutionary character of political activity, 149-150; immense work of, in connection with the International, and publishing of "Capital" by, 152; summing up of services of, by Jaurès, 152-153; the battle between Bakounin and, 154 ff.; annoyance and humiliation of, by victory of Bakouninists at Basel congress, 168-169; bitter attack made on Bakounin and his circle by, 169-170; motives of, in destroying the International by moving seat of General Council to New York, 191-192; Bismarck's attempt to corrupt, 210; view held by, of the State and its functions, 257; quoted on "parliamentary crétinism," 261-262; battles of workingmen fought on lines laid down by, 338; immensity of task actually executed by, 344-356.

Merlino, Italian anarchist, 81.

Michel, Louise, French anarchist, 60.

Milwaukee, character of special police employed during molders' strike in, 286-287.

Mine Owners' Association, anarchism of, in Colorado, 304-311.

Moll, Joseph, 132, 137.

Molly Maguires, an organization of Irishmen which pursued terrorist tactics, 100.

Most, Johann, a product of Bismarck's man-hunting policy and legal tyranny, 56; the Freiheit of, 57, 65; brings terrorist ideas of Bakounin and Nechayeff to America, 64-65; early history of, 65-66; Emma Goldman's description of, 67; effect of agitation and doctrines of, on socialism in America, 67-68; climax of theories of, reached in the Haymarket tragedy, Chicago, 68-70; article on "Revolutionary Principles" by, 69-70; history of terrorist tactics in America centers about career of, 74; responsibility of anti-socialist laws for misguided efforts and final downfall of, 74-75; ejected from socialist party for advocating violence in war with Bismarck, 219-220.

Motor bandits, career of, in France, 88-89.

Museux, quoted on Ravachol, 82.

"Muzzle Bill," Bismarck's, 221.


National Brothers, the, 12-14.

Nechayeff, Sergei, young Russian revolutionist, 16; collaboration of, with Bakounin, 16 ff.; question of share of "Words Addressed to Students" and "The Revolutionary Catechism" to be attributed to, 22; activities of, in Russia, 22-23; murder of Iwanoff by, 23; quarrels with Bakounin, steals his papers, and flees to London, 23; subsequent career and death, 25-26.

Nobiling, Dr. Karl, 55, 214.


O'Brien, J. B., 130.

O'Connor, Feargus, 130, 353.

Orchard, Harry, crimes of, paid for by detective agencies, 307-310.

Owen, Robert, 130; utopian socialism of, 144; in the Webbs' critique of, the economic fallacies of syndicalism are revealed, 260-261.

Ozerof, revolutionary enthusiast, friend of Bakounin, 28, 30, 34.


Paris, anarchist movement in (1883), 60; acts of violence in, 77-89.

Parliamentarism, criticism of, by syndicalists, 249, 261; attitude of socialism toward, 262-263.

Parliamentary strength of socialism at present day, 329-331.

Pelloutier, leader in French labor movement, 231.

Peukert, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58; found to be a police spy, 113-114.

Pinkerton detectives, the tools of anarchists of the capitalist class in the United States, 281 ff.

Place, Francis, 130.

Plechanoff, George, 53; quoted, 200; breaks with the Bakouninists, 204.

Pini, French anarchist and robber, 96.

Police agents, work of, against anarchism, socialism, and trade-union movements, 110-120, 203-204; infamous rôles played by, in United States, 290-292, 299-302, 312-314; list of notable, who have played a double part in labor movements, 313.

Policing by the State, a check on anarchism of individuals, 279.

Political action, dependence of Marx's program on, 137-141; fight of anarchists against, 232; criticism of, by syndicalists, 249 ff.; direct action placed over against, by the syndicalists, 267 ff.

Pougatchoff, Bakounin's idealizing of, 278.

Pouget, Émil, French anarchist, 60; origin of modern syndicalism with, 231; sabotage introduced by, at trade-union congress in Toulouse, 235; attack of syndicalism on democracy voiced by, 264; on the syndicalist's contempt for democracy, 265.

Poverty, as a cause of reliance upon violence by French trade-unions, 244.

Propaganda of the Deed, origin of the, 49-52; inspiration of, found in the teachings of Bakounin, 52; revolutionary demonstrations organized under doctrines of, 52-54; as the chief expression of anarchism, makes the name anarchism synonymous with violence and crime, 55; progress of, as shown by anarchist activities in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and France, 55-60; influence of, in Italy, Spain, and Belgium, 60-61; bringing of, to America by Johann Most, 62-76. See Terrorism.

Proudhon, acquaintance between Bakounin and, 9; the father of anarchism, 129.

Proudhonian anarchists, inability of, to comprehend socialism of Marx, 148-149.

Pryor, Judge Roger A., condemnation by, of use of private detectives by corporations, 297-298.

Pullman strike, employment and character of private detectives in, 298-302.


Ravachol, French terrorist, 79-82, 104.

Razin, Stenka, leader of Russian peasant insurrection, 17; Bakounin's robber worship of, 278.

Reclus, Élisée, 14; quoted concerning Ravachol, 81.

Red Flag, Hasselmann's paper, 56.

Reinsdorf, August, assassin of German Emperor, 69-70.

"Revolutionary Catechism," by Bakounin and Nechayeff, 19-22.

Rey, Aristide, 14.

Richard, Albert, 29, 32.

Rittinghausen, delegate to congress of the International, quoted, 162-163; on the futility of insurrection as a policy, 272.

Robber-worship, Bakounin's, 17, 278.

Rochdale Pioneers, the, 130.

Rochefort, Henri, remarks of, on anarchists, 70-71.

Rubin, W. B., investigation of character of special police by, 286-287.

Rull, Juan, Spanish gang leader, 119.


Sabotage, danger of use of, in United States, 324-325; appearance of, and explanation, 236; as really another name for the Propaganda of the Deed, 247.

Saffi, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Saignes, Eugène, 30, 31.

Saint-Simon, 128.

Salmons, C. H., on outrages by private detectives during Burlington strike, 296.

Sand, George, 9, 158.

Schapper, Karl, 131, 141.

Secret societies organized by Bakounin, 11-14.

Shelley, P. B., psychology of the anarchists depicted by, 93.

Small, Albion W., estimate of Marx by, 143.

Socialism, early use of word, 34 n.; split between anarchism and, in 1869, 47-48, 162-169; rapid spread of, in America after panic of 1873, 64-65; disastrous effect on, of Most's agitation in America, 67-68; contrasted with anarchism on the point of the latter's inspiring deeds of violence by terrorists, 90-92; different types attracted by anarchism and, 92-93; burden of anarchism placed on, by Catholic clergy, 98; growth of, 125 ff., 202-203; early days of, in France, 128-129; in England, 129-131; in Germany, 131-134; Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels a part of the basic literature of, 138; the utopian, destroyed by Marx's scientific theory, 144-145; the blending of labor and, a matter of decades, 145; essence of Marx's, found in the Preamble of the Provisional Rules of the International, 147-148; routing of, by anarchist doctrines in congress of International at Basel in 1869, 162-169; inquiry into and exposition of the aims of the Marxian, 174-178; attacks on, by anarchists after Hague congress of 1872, 201 ff.; fruitless war waged on German social democracy by Bismarck, 211-227; defeat and humiliation of Bismarck by, 225-227; strength of, throughout Europe shown in elections of 1892, 227-228; difference between aims and methods of, and those of syndicalism, 238-239; antagonism between syndicalism and, 247 ff., 266; Statism of, criticised by syndicalists, 249-251, 252; real position of, regarding State ownership and State capitalism, 252-258; criticism of, by syndicalists on grounds of Parliamentarism, 261; real attitude of, toward control of parliaments, 262-263; battle of, is against both the old anarchists, and the new anarchists of the wealthy class in the United States, 325-326; statistics of increase in vote of, 328-329; parliamentary strength of, 329-331; conditions which retard progress of, in United States, 332-333; tendency of labor movement in all lands toward, 333-334; international congresses of party, 334; results of inseparableness of democracy and, 353-354; slow but sure and steady progress of, 355-356.

Sombart, Werner, quoted on syndicalism and the "social sybarites," 241; quoted on tendency of labor movement in all lands toward socialism, 333.

Sorel, quoted to show hostility of syndicalism to democracy, 264.

Spain, revolution of 1873 in, 37-41; repression of terrorist tactics in, 87.

Spies, August, "revenge circular" of, 68.

State, check placed on anarchism of the individual by the, 279-280; activity of, in opposition to labor in United States, 322-324.

Statism, criticism of, of the socialist party, by syndicalists, 249-252; statement of attitude of socialism toward, 252-258; economic fallacies of syndicalists regarding, pointed out by the Webbs on their critique of Owen's trade-union socialism, 260-261.

Steinert, Henry, quoted on special police and detectives, 285.

Stellmacher, anarchist in Austria-Hungary, 57, 58.

Stephens, Joseph Rayner, 130, 353.

Stirner, Max, "The Ego and His Own" by, quoted, 105.

"Study upon the German Jews," Bakounin's, 170-171.

Supreme Court of United States, act of, declaring unconstitutional the eight-hour law on Government work, 62-63.

Syndicalism, program of, outlined at congress of International in 1869, 166-167; forecast of, contained in Bakounin's arguments, 185; revival in 1895 of anarchism under name of, 229; explanation of, and reason for existence, 230 ff.; wherein aim and methods differ from those of socialism, 238-239; connection of the "intellectuals" with, 239-241; reasons found for, in certain French and Italian conditions, 242-245; essential differences between anarchism and, 245-246; necessary antagonism between socialism and, 247 ff.; objections to the outline of a new society contemplated by, 259 ff.; criticism of Parliamentarism of socialism by, 261; attacks of, on democracy, 264-265; antagonism of socialism and, in aim and methods, 266 ff.; proven to be the logical descendant of anarchism, 270-271; its fate to be the same as that of anarchism, 271-272; claim of, that revolutionary movement must pursue economic aims and disregard political relations, 273.


Tennyson, quotation from, 96.

Terrorism, doctrine of, brought into Western Europe by Bakounin, 4, 9-10, 17 ff.; set forth in "Revolutionary Catechism" by Bakounin and Nechayeff, 19-22; practical introduction of, in insurrections of the early seventies, 28 ff., 41-44; criticism of, by socialists, 40; advent of the Propaganda of the Deed, and resultant acts of violence in Italy, 50-55; carried into Germany, Austria-Hungary, and France, 56-60; doctrine of, spread in America by Johann Most, 65-68; protest voiced by Tucker, American anarchist, against terrorist tactics, 70-74; failure of, to take deep root in America, 75-76; acts of, committed by anarchists in France, 77-89; causes of, 90 ff.; due to hysteria and pseudo-insanity, 93-94; wrong attitude of society as to corrective measures, 94-98; burden of, placed by Catholics on socialism, 98-101; glorification of, in annals of history, 101; egoistic conception of history carried to an extreme in, 102-106; caused by corruption of courts and oppressive laws, 107-108; complicity of criminality and, 109; use of, by European governments, 110-120, 219 ff.; introduced into the International by Bakounin, and struggles of Marxists against, 154-193; part played by, in Bismarck's war on social democracy, 213, 217, 218; attempts of Bismarck to provoke, 219 ff.; reaction of, on Bismarck, 227; employed by ruling class in America, by means of private detectives and special police, 276-324.

Thompson, William, 130.

Tolstoi, Berth's characterization of, 241.

Tortellier, French agitator and anarchist, 231; declaration of, against political action, 232.

Trade unions, at basis of Spanish revolution of 1873, 39; entrance into, of anarchism, resulting in syndicalism, 231 ff. See Labor movement.

Tucker, Benjamin R., New York anarchist, quoted on "The Beast of Communism," 70-74.


United States, unsettled conditions in, after panic of 1873, 62-64; development of socialist and trade-union organizations in, 64; Bakounin's terrorist ideas brought to, by Johann Most, 65; acts of violence in, 67-70; protests of anarchists of, against terrorism, 70-74; failure of anarchism to take firm root in, 75; anarchism of the powerful in, 280 ff.; system of extra-legal police agents in, 281-291, 311 ff.; account of tragic episodes in history of labor disputes in, 291-311; abetting by the State of mercenary anarchists in, 322-325; figures of socialist and labor vote in, 328; socialists of, wholly lacking in representation in Congress, 330, 333; conditions in, calculated to retard progress of socialist and labor movement, 332-333.

Universal German Working Men's Association, organization of, 209.

Utopian socialism destroyed by Marx's scientific socialism, 144.


Vaillant, August, French terrorist, 79, 82-84, 104.

Valzania, Italian revolutionist, 42.

Vincenzo, Tomburri, Italian revolutionist, 54.

Violence, analysis of causes of, 90-122. See Terrorism.

Vliegen, Dutch labor leader, on the general strike, 243-244.

Von Schweitzer, leader in German labor movement, reported to have sold out to Bismarck, 211.

Vote of socialists and laborites (1887-1913), 328, 329.


Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, economic fallacies of syndicalism indicated by, 260-261.

Weitling, early German socialist agitator, 132.

Western Federation of Miners, crimes falsely attributed to, 307-310.

West Virginia, governmental tyranny during labor troubles in, 217; outrages committed by special police in, 292.

Wickersham, George W., testimony of, as to packing of a jury by private detectives, 289.

William I., Emperor, attempts on life of, 55, 213-214.

"Words Addressed to Students," Bakounin and Nechayeff's, 17.

Wyden, secret conference of German social democrats at, 219-220.


Yvetot, quoted on syndicalism and anarchism, 245.


Zenker, quoted on anarchist movement in Austria-Hungary, 57-58; on association formed by Most for uniting revolutionists, 66; on motives behind deeds of violence, 100.

Zola, psychology of the anarchist depicted by, 93.