Friday, October 29, 2010

Anarchist Alexander Berkman

Good Friday morning to you all. We wrap up Anarchy Week with the same way we started it; with a picture of Alexander Berkman.

I have enjoyed this week of pictures, and especially the civil discourse in the comments section on the topic of anarchy. I think the anarchy posters did an eloquent job in clearly stating their positions, but I remain unconvinced that mankind can live in small groups governing themselves without one of those groups deciding to take over their neighbors. I can see some aspects of attractiveness to the society they dream would exist, but unfortunately that society will never exist.

Hmmm . . . now to come up with a "Mystery Person" for in the morning.


  1. I fully agree with you on the aspect of one group getting stronger and taking over the lesser group.

    There was a TV series on last year called Jericho. It was about the group of people that set off nuclear bombs in major cities in the USA. The results were that it crippled the country and communities had to fend for themselves. The government was wiped out. No electric power going to the smaller towns.
    One series of episodes was one town trying to take over another town, because they had something the other town wanted. A simple thing like a salt mine. It was starting to turn into a full scale war between the two towns when the season ended.

    Am I wrong or is that is a perfect example of anarchy

  2. Roger's comment reminds me of the song "One Tin Soldier" from the 60s.

  3. I found this week of anarchists interesting. I thought we would see something on Sacco and Vanzetti.

    Another well done week by PJM.

  4. PJM:

    I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis of the anarchist ideology and it’s practical implications.

    Re today’s subject, Mr. Berkman, I feel that he looked much better with his hat on as in the previous photo. In any event, he appears to be someone I would not wish to annoy.

    On another note - as Halloween approaches, tomorrow we plan to visit the infamous “Lizzie Borden House” in nearby Fall River, Mass. This is the house were the actual axe murders took place - it now functions as a bed and breakfast along with guided tours and is supposedly haunted. It has been restored to look exactly as it did when Lizzie allegedly hacked up her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892. You can even spend the night in the room where Abby Borden was killed and groups can rent the entire house for seances.

    I suggest that we have a “famous criminals” week featuring the likes of good ole Lizzie, John Wilkes Booth, Jack the Ripper, Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy, the Rosenbergs, Bruno Hauptmann, etc. etc.

  5. I was surprised that ?Paul? Prudhommme didn't make an appearance. When studying Philosophy at U of MT in the far distant past, he was the only anarchist I remember. His big deal was that "Property is Theft", though, from looking at the photos this week, that idea probably wasn't much of a hit with his fellow anarchists. They all appeared to be of the well-to-do set and proud of it. Another case of the poor-little-rich-kid.

    I would think that the closest and most recent attempt at anarchy would be the Plains Indian societies. There was no permanent leader and, indeed, the villages themselves appeared to be fairly fluid in composition. It worked well until confronted with the dynamism of the capitalist white economy. Pretty much the same thing that has happened/is happening to Communism today.

  6. Berkman (not intimidating at all to to this New Yorker) appears to be wearing a membership pin of some sort on his right center of his chest and possibly another on his left lapel. Membership to what I wonder. Some type of "organization" or "society"? Why would a true anarchist belong to any such thing?

    I would like to see a week dedicated to those awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.


  7. Despite its smattering of warts, I believe I prefer archy over anarchy.

  8. PJM,

    Thanks for sharing this weeks Anarchist pictures. I really enjoyed it.

    I appreciate all the old photo's you post. I spend much time just looking and trying to view it as if it were the moment of the snap shot.

  9. This has been a very interesting week. I learned a lot about anarchy, and I can see that the anarchists do have some points. Still, I have to agree with DowntownIndy--"archy" is preferable to anarchy.
    And I've gotta say--Alexander sure looked better in the first pic than he does in this one!

  10. Sorry. Paul Prudhomme is a chef in New Orleans, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon is the 19th century anarchist.