The State: Its Historic RSle.
the South-East of Russia, others in Greenland, where to this day they
have been able to live in communities and to refuse all service to the
Henceforth, the State's existence was secure. The lawyer, the priest
and the soldier-lord, having consiituted a solidary alliance around th«
thrones, they could carry on their work of annihilation.
How many lies have been accumulated by State-paid historians, concerning that period !
In fact, have we not all learned at school that the State rendered
great service in constituting national unions on the ruins of feudal society; unions made impracticable in earlier times by the rivalry of
cities ? We have all learned it in school and we have all believed it in
And nevertheless, to-day we learn that in spite of all rivalries, medieval cities had already worked during four ceuturies to constitute
these unions by federation, freely consented to, and that they had fully
succeeded in that work of consolidation.
The Lombard union, for example, included the cities of Upper Italy
and had its federal treasury in safe keeping in Genoa and Venice.
Other federations, such as the Tuscan Union, the Rhenan Union (comprising sixty towns), the federations of Westphalia, of Bohemia, of
Servia, of Poland, and of Russian towns covered Europe. At the same
time, the commercial union of the Hansa included Scandinavian, German, Polish, and Russian towns throughout the basin of the Baltic.
All the elements were there already, as well as the fact itself, of large
human agglomerations, freely constituted.
Do you wish for a living proof of these groups ?—You have it in
Switzerland ! There the union asserted itself first between village
commnnes (the old Cantons), in the same way as it was constituted in
France in the Laonnais. And as in Switzerland the separation between
town and village was never so great as it was for towns carrying on an
extensive and distant commerce, the Swiss towns lent a hand to the
peasant insurrections of the sixteenth century, and the union encompassed both towns and villages, and constituted a federation that still
But the State, by its very essence, cannot tolerate free federation;
because the latter represents this nightmare of the legist: " The State
within the State." The State does not recognize a freely adopted union
working within itself. It only deals with subjects. The State alone
and its prop, the Church, arrogate to themselves the right of being the
connecting link between men.
Consequently the State must perforce annihilate cities based on direct