Joshua King Ingalls from Social Wealth:
As the boundaries of tribes extended they came into contact with other tribes, upon whom they made war or who made war upon them. Mutual destruction and the possession of the domain and goods was doubtless the purpose of these conflicts. The more warlike destroyed the weaker or less warlike, and appropriated their wealth, as formerly our farmers destroyed the bees to obtain their accumulated honey; but, like them, the warlike tribes soon learned a better way. We have seen, now, what we may class as the primitive form, both of "production and division by usurpation." Under this most discouraging state of affairs, however, production still went on, evincing the aptitude of mankind even in a savage or semi-savage, for productive industry, notwithstanding the word of our teachers of economics and apologists for existing usurpations; that unless the capitalist and landlord be assured of the lion's share in the distribution they would not co-operate, and industry must cease.
This form was superseded by another form, in which the lives of the conquered were saved, upon the condition that they would become the bond-slaves of the victors—they, and their children, and their children's children. This form may be termed chattelism. Under it production and division were quite simplistic problems. Its effect upon the increase of wealth was, no doubt, considerable in comparison with the barbarity which it superseded, and which killed the worker to obtain possession of his product. It was in some respects more considerate to the vanquished, and much more convenient for the predatory class; but it was less favorable to production than might have been expected, for the worker before had the normal incentive to industry, the prospective possession of its fruit, and till the last the hope that he might escape the threatened doom. But as a productive worker, the slave soon sank to the lowest level known to industrial activity—so low that the lash became the resort to stimulate his flagging purpose. To this enslavement and usurpation there was this justification, and this only. The victor could plead that he had saved the life of the vanquished, which was forfeited by the laws of barbaric war, and in consideration of which the victim gave his long-life service and also that of his posterity.
Francis Dashwood Tandy from his Voluntary Socialism:
Liberty works automatically. Tyranny ever has to bolster itself up with elaborate machinery which is always getting out of order and producing the most unlooked for and grotesque results.
Lysander Spooner from Natural Law:
All the great governments of the world—those now
existing, as well as those that have passed away—have been of this character.
They have been mere bands of robbers, who have associated for purposes of
plunder, conquest, and the enslavement of their fellow men. And their laws, as
they have called them, have been only such agreements as they have found it
necessary to enter into, in order to maintain their organizations, and act
together in plundering and enslaving others, and in securing to each his agreed
share of the spoils.
All these laws have had no more real obligation than have
the agreements which brigands, bandits, and pirates find it necessary to enter
into with each other, for the more successful accomplishment of their crimes,
and the more peaceable division of their spoils.
Thus substantially all the legislation of the world has
had its origin in the desires of one class of persons to plunder and enslave
others, and hold them as property.
Henry Appleton from What is Freedom and When
Am I Free?:
Things seem to be freest in Nature when no artificial
arrangement is interposed to prevent their association in the manner most
conducive to their growth and most in harmony with the conditions of their
being. If this be so, it will apply to man and to society. Man is the cosmos in
miniature. Society has been his greatest curse in one respect. It has coaxed
him into selling his individuality, and burying it in collectivity. As soon as
a man is prompted to follow some wholesale law of growth, his neighbor stands
ready with the warning: "But you must not forget that you are a member of
society; you do not own yourself; society owns you." This is the most
fatal heresy that ever seduced the race. Human progress never will begin in
earnest till every man is taught to feel his own divinity.
Emery K. Hunt and Mark Lautzenheiser from History
of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective:
Although the notion that "capital is the produce of
labour" contains the seed of a labor theory of value, such a theory was
not developed in this work. Rather, profit and rent were seen as legal robbery.
Hodgskin explained them as being the results of a class-divided society in
which the rich controlled the legislative processes and thus perpetuated their
influence, wealth, and power:
Laws . . . are everywhere a trap for the unwary, an
instrument employed by a particular class to enrich themselves at the expense
of other men.
It is not enough, in the eyes of legislators, that wealth
has of itself a thousand charms, but they have . . . given it a multitude of
privileges. In fact, it has now usurped all the power of legislation, and most
penal laws are now made for the mere protection of wealth.
The cure for this social injustice that Hodgskin
advocated was the elimination of government and laws. Although in Travels
in the North of Germany Hodgskin did not mention the writers who might
have influenced him, his ideas seem to reflect the influence of Godwin and
Smith . . . .
William B. Greene from Communism
Versus Mutualism, published originally in Ezra Heywood's journal, The
The march of social progress is out of communism into
mutualism. Communism sacrifices the individual to secure the unity of the
whole. Mutualism has unlimited individualism as the essential and necessary
prior condition of its own existence, and co-ordinates individuals without any
sacrifice of individuality, into one collective whole, by spontaneous
confederation, or solidarity. Communism is the ideal of the past; mutualism, of
the future. The garden of Eden is before us, as something to be achieved and attained;
not behind us, as something that was lost when labor was divided, tasks were
distributed, individualities were encouraged, and communism, or the mere animal
and instinctive social order, had the sentence pronounced against it,
"Dying, thou shalt surely die."
Thomas Hodgskin from The Natural and
Artificial Right of Property Contrasted:
What is the law?—Who are the law makers?—The great scheme
of rules intended to preserve the power of government, secure the wealth of the
landowner, the priest, and the capitalist, but never to secure his produce to
the labourer.—The law-maker is never a labourer, and has no right to any
wealth.—He takes no notice of the natural right of property.—Manifold miseries
which result from his appropriating the produce of labor, and from the legal
right of property being in opposition to the natural.
J.K. Ingalls from Economic
Equities: A Compend of the Natural Laws of Industrial Production and
[T]he very law of property depends upon "the right
to control that which our labor has effected." And since labor is
absolutely powerless to create or effect the production of any property without
access to the raw material, the earth and its substances and forces, any
ownership of these which debars labor from their use destroys the right to
produce property, and thus strikes at the fundamental principles upon which all
true property in human society rests.
In treating our subject, then, we find ourselves unable
to make a single economic equation except upon the ground that the earth as
well as the man is free. Without such freedom of the producing factors, we can
have only forced exchanges, and to use the terms, "equitable
exchange," or "free competition," is calculated, then, only to
delude and insnare. That this principle is recognized but partially in our
civil institutions is no more a reason why we should defer to imperfect
conditions than why a trade economist should treat an existing protective
tariff as a natural factor in exchange; or why a chemist should designate as
component parts of a purely chemical composition the adulterations which a
tricky dealer has added to cheapen the production and defraud his customers.
Benjamin Tucker from Liberty, Nov. 20, 1886:
[Johann] Most is much nearer to [Henry M.] Hyndman than
to Liberty, and Anarchism is much nearer to the Manchester men than to Most. In
principle, that is. Liberty's aim—universal happiness—is that of all
Socialists, in contrast with that of the Manchester men—luxury fed by misery.
But its principle—individual sovereignty—is that of the Manchester men, in
contrast with that of the Socialists—individual subordination. But individual
sovereignty, when logically carried out, leads, not to luxury fed by misery,
but to comfort for all industrious persons and death for all idle ones.
Brian Doherty from Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the
Modern American Libertarian Movement:
But David DeLeon, "The American as Anarchist: Social
Criticism in the 1960s," American Quarterly, December 1973, 529,
notes with some validity that modern libertarians are more likely to mention these
figures [the Individualist Anarchists] than understand them, much
less be influenced by them directly. The farther one gets in space and time
from Murray Rothbard—the major conduit of these individualist anarchists to
modern libertarians—the less likely an early twenty-first-century
self-identified libertarian is to have even heard much about them, much less
embrace them as ancestors. Even to the extent that modern libertarians do
appreciate and honor them, they discover them in a fit of intellectual
archeology, dredging for a usable radical past, after already becoming
fascinated with or converted by modern libertarian synthesis; they were not
converted to libertarianism by them.
James J. Martin (author of Men
Against the State) from his review of David DeLeon's The American as
Anarchist: Reflections on Indigenous Radicalism:
The important aspect of Professor DeLeon's work is his
recognition that, in America, anarchism has been and is mainly a negative
response to organization and power-gripping, and a resentment of their material
and other advantageous consequences, and that it is a tendency, not a program.
In this sense Americans do differ from the program-anarchists of Europe and
elsewhere, but anarchism abroad is far from being exclusively devoted to
programs, either in the past or now. The latter is so obviously a failure that
persistence in its promotion and the endless recrimination in the anarchist
press, especially that of Europe, as to what it should comprise tends to make
program-anarchism look slightly absurd to many Americans, even though the
American scene has not been as innocent of program-anarchism's promotional
propaganda as some might assume. And one must agree that not all of the
non-American world has been obsessed with formulae, programs and manifestoes
dedicated to supplying a substitute structure to that which they seek to
terminate. Max Stirner, author of the ultimate encouragement to individual
rebellion and self-liberation without a suggested replacement for what is to be
overthrown, probably hardly ever ventured outside the confines of his native
Germany. The achievements of anarchists have been preponderantly by
individuals, and there is a large part of this which remains unknown, though
recognized, like the submerged part of an iceberg, and successful because of
the consistent and intelligent low-profile tactics of those involved. The
fiascoes of many "activists" stand in contradiction to this,
spectacular, dramatic, appealing, but the result of involvement in
fuzzily-conceived operations mainly encumbered by sentimentalism, martyr
complexes and hazy unshared idealism, which latter is one of mankind's great
and enduring menaces. (Omitted from this brief survey and analysis is an
attempted classification of the trendy "anarchist" of the last 15
years, with a "Smash the State" button on his lapel, with, as likely
as not, a check from some branch of the government partially subsidizing his
education nestling in his pocket, and a comfortable job in some part of the
Establishment shortly after attaining a few post-teenage years.)
Kevin A. Carson from his Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism,
back in 2006:
The goo-goo myth that government regulation is
idealistically motivated, in order to protect us from the big bad corporations,
is the work of court historians; and the people who repeat those myths are
useful idiots for big business. The fucking laws were written by big
corporations. Hell, if you look at the interlocking elites that have run the
state and the large corporations since the large corporation first came into
existence, the large corporations are the government, in the same way the big
landowners were the government under feudalism. The state is, as libertarians
say, the ruling class; but conversely, the ruling class is the state.
Laurance Labadie (son of Joseph Labadie) on the naivety of the idea of government as a benevolent
institution designed to produce social justice and the public good:
It is being proposed, as an answer to the questions
raised by the civil rights movement, by cybernation, and the prospects of an
atomic holocaust, that everyone be given government checks, and presumably the
political and economic life of the country be relegated to the tender mercies
of power elites who no doubt will be entrusted with our health, education, and
welfare, "from cradle to grave." One might comment on the infantile
state of mind of the worthies who so propose—a sort of parasitic exploitation in
reverse with the State as a full-fitted nursemaid taking care of its victims.
But who would expect the members of any institution, school, or study group
that had been subsidized by the "powers that be" to come to any
conclusion inimical to the privileges of their sponsors?
From Professor William Gary Kline's The
Individualist Anarchists: A Critique of Liberalism (1987):
In Practical Details [Josiah Warren] made this point
by saying that each individual should be "a system within himself."
Warren felt that the "law of natural consequences," of cause and
effect would produce a balance between the multiplicity of individual
Many entrepreneurs and businessmen at this time were
calling for less government interference. What they actually wanted is a
question that will go unexamined here. In a sense, though, Warren wanted to
extend to every individual the freedom exercised by the capitalists.
Stephen Pearl Andrews from the 1851 introduction to his
own work, The Science of Society:
It has been the belief of the author that there are in
the ranks of those who are denominated Conservatives many who sympathize deeply
with the objects of radical reform, but who have never identified themselves
with the movements in that direction, either because they have no seen that the
practical measures proposed by the advocates of reform contained the elements
of success, or else because they have distinctly perceived or intuitively felt
that they did not. They may have been repelled, too, by the want of
completeness in the programme, the want of scientific exactness in the in the
principles announced, or, finally, by the want of a lucid conception of the
real nature of the remedy which is needed for the manifold social evils of
which all confess the existence in the actual condition of society. If there
are minds in this position, minds more rigid than others in their demands for
precise and philosophical principles preliminary to action, it is from such
that the author anticipates the most cordial reception of the elements propounded
by [Josiah] Warren, so soon as they are seen in their connections and
interrelations with each other.
In the March 1889 installment of Political Science
Quarterly, published by the Academy of Political Science, Herbert L. Osgood
set about to elucidate the development of "Scientific Anarchism," in
the process offering a summary of Proudhon's contributions to the ideas
therein. Here is a bit of what Osgood said about Proudhon's unique theory of
property, which informed those of the Individualists for decades:
Like the socialists, he found [the] root of bitterness
not in man himself, not in the individual, but in society. Something was wrong
in the form of social organization; some evil institution had been allowed to
develop which by its influence had thrown the whole system into disorder. If
this could be swept away, order would be restored, the diseased organism would
become healthy and perfect. The Satan in the social philosophy of Proudhon was
property: not property right limited by social expediency and high moral
considerations, but the jus utendi et abutendi of the Roman law,
the absolutely unlimited right of private property [emphasis added].
. . . In the thought of Proudhon, the essence of property was not the thing
possessed nor the act of possession, but the privileges, the power, the
possibility of gain, of obtaining rent, profit or interest which accompanied
Stephen Pearl Andrews from The Science of Society:
The doctrine of the Sovereignty of the Individual—in one
sense itself a principle—grows out of the still more fundamental principle of
"INDIVIDUALITY," which pervades the universal nature. Individuality
is positively the most fundamental and universal principle which the finite
mind seems capable of discovering, and the best image of the Infinite. There are
no two objects in the universe which are precisely alike. Each has its own
constitution and peculiarities, which distinguish it from every other. Infinite
diversity is the universal law. In the multitude of human countenances, for
example, there are no two alike, and in the multitude of human characters there
is the same variety. The hour which your courtesy has assigned to me would be
entirely consumed, if I were to attempt to adduce a thousandth part of the
illustrations of this subtile principle of Individuality, which lie patent upon
the face of nature, all around me. It applies equally to persons, to things,
and to events. There have been no two occurrences which were precisely alike
during all the cycling periods of time. No action, transaction, or set of
circumstances whatsoever ever corresponded precisely to any other action,
transaction, or set of circumstances. Had I a precise knowledge of all the
occurrences which have ever taken place up to this hour, it would not suffice
to enable me to make a law which would be applicable in all respects to the
very next occurrence which shall take place, nor to any one of the infinite
millions of events which shall hereafter occur. This diversity reigns
throughout every kingdom of nature, and mocks at all human attempts to make
laws, or constitutions, or regulations, or governmental institutions of any
sort, which shall work justly and harmoniously amidst the unforeseen
contingencies of the future.
Laurance Labadie from his essay "Origin and Nature of Government":
In time it must have occurred to someone that one tribe
could rob another tribe. In such forays the winners would kill the losers.
Natural handicaps made women weaker than men, so men became the warriors and
the women did the work. Women thus being useful, in subsequent raids they were
captured instead of killed.
Somewhere along the line a fellow who had been clubbed
for his goods survived, and proceeded to gather more goods. When this was
observed, probably the greatest humanitarian idea that man has discovered throughout
the ages was born–that it was not necessary to kill a man in order to get his
goods. This boon was slavery, which at least promised a lease on life. Thus, in
conquest between tribes, the conquerors became the rulers and the conquered the
This, in my view, was the origin of the State, which may
be defined as an organization of rulers who rob the populace over which it can
hold sway, and which uses that populace as soldiers to enlarge the territory
and number of people it can exploit. The political history of the world has
been the record of internal struggles to grasp State power, and between
governments to enlarge their domains.
(That governments provide services which citizens want or
can be persuaded to want, does not alter the basic concept of nature and origin
of the State.)
The ruler-ruled relation became in the course of time so
ingrained as to become a universal superstition. It is the common belief that
no society could exist without government.
John Henry Mackay from The Anarchists, on the difference between the vulgar libertarian and the
"It seems to me you are approaching
the laissez-faire, laissez-aller of the champions of free
"The reverse is true: the Manchester men are
approaching us. But they are far behind us. However, a consistent advance along
the lines they have chosen must unfailingly lead them to where we are standing.
They claim to champion free competition. But in reality they champion
competition only among the despoiled, while with the assistance of the State
they remove capital from competition, monopolize it. We, on the other hand,
wish to popularize it, to make it possible for every one to become a
capitalist, by making it accessible to all by means of the freedom of credit
and by forcing it to enter competition, like all other products."
From Voltairine de
I pass to the extreme Individualists,—those who hold to
the tradition of political economy, and are firm in the idea that the system of
employer and employed, buying and selling, banking, and all the other essential
institutions of Commercialism, centering upon private property, are in themselves
good, and are rendered vicious merely by the interference of the State. Their
chief economic propositions are: land to be held by individuals or companies
for such time and in such allotments as they use only; . . . Money to represent
all staple commodities, to be issued by whomsoever pleases; naturally, it would
come to individuals depositing their securities with banks and accepting bank
notes in return; such bank notes representing the labor expended in production
and being issued in sufficient quantity, (there being no limit upon any one's
starting in the business, whenever interest began to rise more banks would be
organized, and thus the rate per cent would be constantly checked by
competition), exchange would take place freely, commodities would circulate,
business of all kinds would be stimulated, and, the government privilege being
taken away from inventions, industries would spring up at every turn, bosses
would thus be hunting men rather than men bosses, wages would rise to the full
measure of the individual production, and forever remain there. Property, real
property, would at last exist, which it does not at the present day, because no
man gets what he makes.
From Peter Ryley's Making Another World Possible: Anarchism, Anti-Capitalism and Ecology in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Britain
For [Thomas] Hodgskin, Marxism would have been yet another violation of natural rights, as ownership must be individual and based on labour, and not collective and vested in the state. Expropriation by the state, or even by the most numerous class, would be identical to expropriation by the current ruling class. Hodgskin's alternative to oppression was consistently individualist and anti-statist. Indeed, state organisations can only impede the development of society. He wrote:
"When conceited politicians ask me what I would substitute for their systems, my answer is, that I propose no substitute. My argument is, that individual man does not make society, and that man cannot organize it. Society is the offspring of the instincts of the human animal, not of his will, and it cannot be modelled by an individual as he makes a watch or a steam engine. . . . I trust to that great power, call it Nature, or call it God, which has brought society forth out of the wilderness, to provide for its future welfare."
Government is no more than the institution of injustice; economic disorder is the result. Surpluses bring impoverishment not wealth, property becomes an instrument of robbery; hatred, fear and oppression are the result. Mutual trust, the glue that holds societies together, breaks down completely. Hodgkin wrote:
"As long as we cherish the mistrust of each other avowed by legislation, though contrary to the mutual reliance continually taught and continually extended by nature, as division of labour is extended, and all the families of mankind are knit by the common bond of commerce into one, so long shall we be the victims of those vices and crimes which pollute all our domestic relations, arming man against man, and nation against nation, till the face of the whole earth is stained with the blood of private assassinations and public murders. As long as we, thus mistrusting each other, are guilty of these atrocities, so long will the greed and the ambition of the priesthood be fattened by our apprehensions and remorse, and so long will they, for the sake of base lucre, invest our benevolent God with their own vile characteristics, filling the mind with horrid phantoms by their furious denunciations, turning religion, from being a consolation, into a plague and a curse, and by corrupting thought at its source, make all mankind feel as if the barb of death were ever rankling in their hearts. We like to go far about to seek the causes of our misery, but they may all be found in those unholy political institutions, which, originally founded by the sword have since been maintained by the sword, breathing nothing but hatred, discord, and bloodshed."
It is a complete statement of anarchism. Government should be removed, not seized or reformed.
From Henry Meulen's Industrial Justice Through Banking Reform: An Outline of a Policy of Individualism:
Individualism in economics is, briefly, the doctrine that the individual should receive for his own efforts whatever under free exchange another is willing to give him. . . . it simply affirms that, in the present industrial stage of society, that community will experience the greatest material prosperity, together with the least social friction, wherein each member is permitted to form his own relations with his fellow men with the least possible directive interference from his neighbours.
Let it be understood that I do not affirm that the competition of to-day results in an equitable distribution of wealth. This book is an endeavor to prove that competition is to-day hindered by vicious State interference, and that the greater part of present social inequity results from this restriction of competition.
From Joshua King Ingalls' Economic Equities
“The belief that our sexual relations can be better governed by the state than by personal choice is as barbarous and shocking as it is senseless.” – Ezra Heywood
To treat economics, therefore, as the "science of exchanges," without regard to the relation in which the exchangers stand to each other and to the land from which all values are to be created, must prove a totally barren as well as a "dismal science." With the vast inequalities in condition, and the arbitrary control of a few over the material and forces of nature, and through them of the worker himself, no equitable or other than a forced exchange is possible. A slave or tenant can only exchange with his master or landlord under duress, and at such disadvantage as to set at defiance not only the ethics and equities, but also the true economics of life.
"And there is no difference, in principle — but only in degree — between political and chattel slavery. The former, no less than the latter, denies a man's ownership of himself and the products of his labor; and asserts that other men may own him, and dispose of him and his property, for their uses, and at their pleasure." - Lysander Spooner, No Treason, №1