Modern Science and Anarchism.
further back than 1903, as a result of the Taff Vale decision, the
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants had to pay £26,000
to a railway company for having declared a strike.
Need we speak after that of France, where the right of
constituting Labour Unions and peasant Syndicates was obtained
only in 1884, after the Anarchist agitation which broke out at
Lyons and among the miners in 1883; or of Switzerland, where
strikers were shot at Airolo during the boring of the St. Gothard
tunnel- to say nothing of Germany, Spain, Russia, and the
United' States, where State intervention in favour of capitalist
misrule was still worse ?
On the other side, we have only to remember how every
State reduces the peasants and the industrial workers to a life of
misery, by means of taxes, and through the monopolies it creates
in favour of the landlords, the cotton lords, the railway magnates,
the publicans, and the like. We have only to think how the
communal possession of the land was destroyed in this country
by Enclosure Acts, or how at this very moment it is destroyed in
Russia in order to supply "hands" to the landlords and the
And we need only to look round, to see how everywhere in
Europe and America the States are constituting monopolies in
favour of capitalists at home, and still more in conquered lands,
such as Egypt, Tonkin, the Transvaal, and so on.
What, then, is the use of talking, with Marx, about the
"primitive accumulation "—as if this "push" given to capitalists
were a thing of the past] In reality, new monopolies have
been granted every year till now by the Parliaments of all
nations to railway, tramway, gas, water, and maritime transport
companies, schools, institutions, and so on. The State's " push'
is, and has ever been, the first foundation of all great capitalist
In short, nowhere has the system of " non-intervention of the
State" ever existed. Everywhere the State has been, and still
is, the main pillar and the creator, direct and indirect, of
Capitalism and its powers over the masses. Nowhere, since
States have grown up, have the masses had the freedom of
resisting the oppression by capitalists. The few rights they
have now they have gained only by determination and endless
To speak therefore of " non-intervention of the State may be
aH right for middle-class economists, who try to persuade the