Modern Science and Anarchism.
law, by learned professors of State law, or by the political
economy of metaphysicians ; and it endeavours to clearly understand all questions arising in these spheres, basing itself on a
mass of work done from the naturalist's point of view during the
last thirty or forty years.
In the same way as the metaphysical conceptions of a Mind
of the Universe, a Creative Force of Nature, a Loving Attraction
of Matter, an Incarnation of the Idea, an Aim of Nature, a
Reason for its Existence, the Unknowable, and so forth were
gradually abandoned by the materialist (mechanical, or rather
kinetic) philosophy, and the embryos of generalisations found
hidden behind these words were translated in the concrete
language of facts, so do we endeavour now to proceed when
we approach the facts of life in societies.
When metaphysicians wish to persuade a naturalist that the
intellectual and emotional life of man is unrolled " according to
the inherent laws of the Spirit," the naturalist shrugs his
shoulders and continues his patient study of the phenomena of
life, of intelligence, and of emotions and passions, in order to
prove that they may all be reduced to physical and chemical
phenomena. He endeavours to discover their natural laws.
Likewise when an Anarchist is told that, according to Hegel,
"every evolution represents a thesis, an antithesis, and a synthesis";
or that " the aim of Law is to establish Justice, which represents
a materialisation of the Supreme Idea"; or yet again, when be is
asked : " What is, then, according to you, the Aim of Life I' the
Anarchist likewise shrugs his shoulders. And he asks himself :
" How is it possible that with the present development of natural
science there should still exist such antiquated beings who go on
believing in these * words and words'! Men speaking still tbe
language of the primitive savage, who used to anthropomorphise
Nature by representing it as something governed by beings
having human forms ! "
Anarchists are not to be deceived by such sonorous phrases, as
they know that these phrases only serve to cover, either ignorance
—that is to say, incomplete investigation—or, which is far worse,
superstition—the fear before the unknown. Therefore, when
they are addressed in this language, they pass on without paying
attention to it, and continue their study of social conceptions and
institutions, past and present, always following the method of the
JVnd they find that ^he development of the lif^ of societies is