Anarchy as the Greatest Possible Wellbeing

by Errico Malatesta (Sep 26, 2013)

earth-flag1Anarchy is a word that comes from the Greek, and signifies, strictly speaking, “without government”: the state of a people without any constituted authority.

Before such an organization had begun to be considered possible and desirable by a whole class of thinkers, so as to be taken as the aim of a movement (which has now become one of the most important factors in modern social warfare), the word “anarchy” was used universally in the sense of disorder and confusion, and it is still adopted in that sense by the ignorant and by adversaries interested in distorting the truth. […]

Nor is this fact without parallel in the history of words. In those epochs and countries where people have considered government by one man (monarchy) necessary, the word “republic” (that is, the government of many) has been used precisely like “anarchy,” to imply disorder and confusion. Traces of this meaning of the word are still to be found in the popular languages of almost all countries.

When this opinion is changed, and the public are convinced that government is not necessary, but extremely harmful, the word “anarchy,” precisely because it signifies “without government,” will become equal to saying “natural order, harmony of needs and interests of all, complete liberty with complete solidarity.” […]

The future of humankind is a happier one because the law governing it is milder. This natural law of humankind is SOLIDARITY… Solidarity, that is the harmony of interests and of feelings, the coming together of individuals for the wellbeing of all, and of all for the wellbeing of each, is the only environment in which humanity can express her personality and achieve her optimum development and enjoy the greatest possible wellbeing. This is the goal towards which human evolution advances; it is the higher principle which resolves all existing antagonisms, that would otherwise be insoluble, and results in the freedom of each not being limited by, but complemented –indeed finding the necessary raison d’étre— in the freedom of others.  […]

No individual can recognize his own humanity, and consequently realize it in his lifetime, if not by recognizing it in others and cooperating in its realization for others. No person can achieve his own emancipation without at the same time working for the emancipation of all people around him. My freedom is the freedom of all since I am not truly free in thought and in fact, except when my freedom and my rights are confirmed and approved in the freedom and rights of all people who are my equals. […]

The abolition of government does not and cannot mean the breakdown of the social link. Quite the contrary, cooperation which today is imposed and directed to the benefit of a few, would be free, voluntary and directed to everybody’s interests; and therefore it would become that much more widespread and effective.

Social instinct, the sentiment of solidarity, would be developed to the highest degree; and every human would strive to do her best for everybody else, both to satisfy her intimate feelings as well as for her clearly understood interest. From the free participation of all, by means of the spontaneous grouping of humans according to their requirements and their sympathies, from the bottom to the top, from the simple to the complex, starting with the most urgent interests and arriving in the end at the most remote and most general, a social organization would emerge the function of which would be the greatest wellbeing and the greatest freedom for everybody, and would draw together the whole of humankind into a community of comradeship, and would be modified and improved according to changing circumstances and the lessons learned from experience.

–Errico Malatesta in his Anarchy pamphlet, 1891. 

About Pancho

To live in radical joyous shared servanthood to unify humanity.
This entry was posted in ahimsa, anarchism, anarchy, Awakin Oakland, education, meditation, natural philosophy, noncooperation, nonviolence, Peace Army, satyagraha, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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