Modern Science and Anarchism.
social evils within the present middle class State proved more
and more the fallacy of such tactics.
The wider the sphere of those experiments, the more evident
it was that the machinery of the State could not be utilised as
an instrument of emancipation. The State is an institution which
was developed for the very purpose of establishing monopolies in
favour of the slave and serf owners, the landed proprietors,
canonic and laic, the merchant guilds and the moneylenders, the
kings, the military commanders, the " noble-men," and finally,
in the nineteenth century, the industrial capitalists, whom the
State supplied with "hands" driven away from the land. Consequently the State would be, to say the least, a useless institution,
once these monopolies ceased to exist. Life woxdd be simplified,
once the mechanism created for the exploitation of the poor by
the rich would have been done awray with.
The idea of independent Communes for the territorial organisation, and of federations of Trade Unions for the organisation
of men in accordance wTith their different functions, gave a
concrete conception of society regenerated by a social revolution.
There remained only to add to these two modes of organisation a
third, which we saw rapidly developing during the last fifty
years, since a little liberty was conquered in this direction: the
thousands upon thousands of free combines and societies growing
up everywhere for the satisfaction of all possible and imaginable
needs, economic, sanitary, and educational; for mutual protection,
for the propaganda of ideas, for art, for amusement, and so on.
All of them covering each other, and all of them always ready to
meet the new needs by new organisations and adjustments.
More than that. It begins to be understood now that if
human societies go on developing on these lines, coercion and
punishment must necessarily fall into decay. The greatest
obstacle to the maintenance of a certain moral level in our present
societies lies in the absence of social equality. Without real
equality, the sense of justice can never be universally developed,
because Justice implies the recognition of Equality; while in a
society in which the principles of justice would not be contradicted at every step by the existing inequalities of rights and
possibilities of development, they would be bound to spread and
to enter into tbe habits of tbe people.
In such a case the individual would be free, in the sense that
his freedom would not be limited any more by fear: by the fear
of a social or a mystical punishment, or by obedience, either to
other men reputed to be his superiors, or to mystical and