Modern, Science ynd Anarchism.
But it would not be fair to describe such a conception as
a Utopia, because the word " Utopia " in our current language
conveys the idea of something that cannot be realised.
Taken in its usual current sense, therefore, the word " Utopia"
ought to be limited to those conceptions only which are based on
merely theoretical reasonings as to what is desirable from the
writer's point of view, but not on what is already developing in
human agglomerations. Such were, for instance, the LTtopias of
the Catholic Empire of the Popes, the Napoleonic Empire, the
Messianism of Mickiewicz, and so on. But it cannot be applied
to a conception of society which is based, as Anarchism is, on an
analysis of tendencies of an evolution that is already going on in
society, and on inductions therefrom as to the future—those
tendencies which have been, as we saw, for thousands of years
the mainspring for the growth of sociable habits and customs,
known in science under the name of Customary Law, and which
affirm themselves more and more definitely in modern society.
With regard to what is very often said as to the necessary
slowness of every new step that is made by evolution, let us
remember that not further than at the end of the eighteenth
century—at the very time when the United States had started in
life—a society of a somewhat larger size without a monarch was
considered a foolish Utopia. But the North and the South
American Republics, the Swiss Republic and France have proved
since, as we know, that the " Utopians " were not the Republicans
but the admirers of monarchy. It was the latter, who, guided by
their desires only, did not take into account the tendencies of
societies developing far from the yoke of monarchist traditions;
the latter, and not the Republicans, who attributed too much
importance and stability to the monarchist institutions—without
noticing that they were not an outcome of human nature, but an
outcome of temporary historical conditions.
When we look into the origin of the Anarchist conception of
society, we see that it has had a double origin : the criticism, on
the one side, of the hierarchical organisations and the authoritarian conceptions of society; and on the other side, the analysis
of the tendencies that are seen in the progressive movements of
mankind, both in the past, and still more so at the present time.
From the remotest, Stone-age antiquity, men must have
realised the evils that resulted from letting some of them acquire
personal authority—even if they were the most intelligent, the
bravest, or the wisest. Consequently, they developed, in th©