Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anarchist Crowd

Anarchy week continues with this picture from 1914. It shows an anarchist crowd in Union Square in 1914. Alexander Berkman is addressing the crowd. 

I have found the comments this week very interesting. I don't post comments in the comments section, as that is your place to speak. I did detect a hint of anarchy sympathy in some of the comments. The point was made that not all anarchist want violence, and you can not lump them all together. I would claim that it is not about what anarchist want, it is about what anarchism leads to . . . it leads to violence whether the individual anarchist wants that or not. 

I will admit that as I get older I am leaning more and more in the libertarian direction, wishing for a much smaller federal government. While these are my sympathies, I realize that the "purist" libertarian ideals would not work. Since we have evolved into a society that has concentrated so much power in large corporations, a large government is in effect needed to offer some restraint. I think practically the only way to really move to a smaller government is to move to a simpler society where goods and services are manufactured locally, and sold by small locally owned businesses. Likely not going to happen.


  1. I agree with you about smaller is better, the smaller companies know their customers, but there also is the problem with a monopoly created by the smaller company getting large enough to push out the others in their field. And then they grow and grow until you have giant companies again.

    But make no mistake about it, with all our flaws, we live in the greatest Country in the World.

    What would be your chances of having the life you have now if you had been born in the Middle East, or in the far East.

    Even in England/Ireland as great as sophisticated a Island as they are, you have to worry about religious persecution.

    We live in a country where you can argue over baseball, football teams and not worry about getting shot or stabbed (well at least not to often). Where can a group of people be on a team and may have 6 or 7 different religions in the team and that never comes up as a problem.


  2. I wonder what is in that pile in the left background?
    Maybe something free that they are giving away to the people that attend the rally.

  3. What we need is a return to the Constitution of the U.S. It limits government to a controllable size. As for large corporations, "too big to fail" sounds like a monopoly to me, making them unconstitutional.

  4. I agree with Danny. The government has overstepped its intended design. I also agree with Roger, monopolies obviously limit choice and competition. On the other hand large companies have the resources to make improvements (R&D). They won't take the chance if hamstringed by government regulations.

    From the looks of the crowd I would guess the pile in the photo background is straw hats. Lots of them.

  5. Danny said, in essence, that large corporations are unconstitutional. Most of you are probably too young to remember when Bell Telephone was forced to break up, for just that very reason. Rates went up, not down, and service is nonexistant. For a while, calling a neighbor could be be long-distance, because they have a different service. In Maryland, if you do not have Verizon (Bell System) service, you are not in the phone book. You want anarchy?

  6. My recollection is that phone rates dropped dramatically with the break up of Ma Bell. However, in Texas, deregulation of the electric utilities brought about electric rates that are amongst the highest in the country.

  7. Good point, PJM, on the results of anarchy! I wouldn't trust anarchists, even peaceful ones, to organize a business, let alone society. We do need leaders, rules, and regulations in order for people and nations to get along with one another.

    Best thing about anarchy week so far is seeing how people view governance!

  8. I'd like to see a little anarchy directed at Washington right about now.

    On a lighter note, I LOVE the "skimmer" hats in this photo - I wish men wore them today!!

  9. Upon enlarging the photo, the pile in the background looks like bricks or large stones.

  10. Reminds me of the old saying:

    A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.

    Roger is right, we should never lose sight of the good fortune we have to live in the greatest country in the world.

  11. DAG:

    You said it!!!

  12. I'm part of an "anarchist" business (its a co-op, and all the members are anarchists), and I frequent an anarchist bookstore/cafe (Firestorm Cafe in Asheville, NC- lovely coffee.) Both of these enterprises are doing fairly well.
    JM, anarchists want to do away with government, by whatever means necessary, by whatever methods available. Armed revolts aren't much in style anymore- the latest strategy is called "dual power"- but that doesn't mean there won't be violence. Governments, like gangsters, do not give up power without a fight.
    What justifies this violence? The anarchist position (at least, this anarchist's position) is that the violence the State does to its own citizens dwarfs anything anarchists. We don't fight to cause violence to the State, we fight to stop the violence the State is doing to us.
    Corporations need governments. They couldn't exist without them. They need the muscle, the illusion quality and character, and the rigged financial system, all of which are provided by governments. Get rid of those, and corporations fall like vampiric dinosaurs getting staked by the tree trunk of justice.

  13. I think the Rev Johnny Lemuria, of the Church of the Subgenius has been over indulging in yippee beans.
    What I have been reading about the governments behind the governments,tells me there is in fact,total anarchy already abroad....if you get my drift...

    Great post Mr PJM. as always.

    Cheers from Downunder

  14. roger, i don't mean to sound like an *hole, but you are leaving out spain, italy, switzerland, and a host of other very wonderful places to live. i daresay that this country is by far *not* the greatest country in the world. we are falling behind educationally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. i have been to a few of the places i mentioned, and i have to tell you that the u.s. is mediocre at best. like i said, i am really not trying to call you out or anything, just sharing my opinion. i wish i could have the pride in our country that you are feeling! btw, one trip to barcelona, and you will understand. respectfully...

  15. Quite possibly a stupid question indeed...
    Does anyone know the EXACT name or a similar name for the hats the gentlemen are wearing in this photo...
    ANY info would be great; been looking for one of these for quite some time... THANK YOU! Great Blog!!


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