Title: An Anarchist Manifesto
Subtitle: The Manifesto of Peace and Freedom; The Alternative to the Communist Manifesto
Author: Kurt Zube
Topics: anarchism, manifesto
Date: 1977
Source: Retrieved on 2nd June 2024 from www.panarchy.org


used in this book

    1. EITHER — OR !












































    11. The Indispensable Precondition for Peace


This work begins with a clarification of much used — and mis-used — concepts such as: FREEDOM, FORCE, and ANARCHY. It launches a critical attack upon prevalent stereotyped ideas about the nature of the modern State. It goes on to present new thought-processes as well as concrete suggestions for the realization of equal freedom for all:

1) Equal access to natural resources and distribution of the land-rent to everyone (especially in the cities);

2) Freedom of the means of exchange (of money and credit);

3) Open associations of management (and absurdity of unemployment);

4) Autonomous legal and social communities (genuine pluralism and freedom of choice).

Above all, THE MANIFESTO offers an alternative way of thinking, which is necessary if we are to avoid catastrophe. Laying the basis for new social relationships upon general agreement instead of ideology, it presents the reader with an inevitable choice: either the law of the sword and aggressive force — or non-domination and equal freedom!

used in this book

“If we want to discuss any important and interesting topic for an hour, then we ought first to spend four hours reaching agreement on the terms to be used. Otherwise we will talk past each other.” (Prof. Carl Ludwig Schleich)

The following concepts will be used as defined below:

FREEDOM: This is not a subjective, but an objective and quite exactly definable concept when we are dealing with freedom in a social context. Either my freedom is greater than that of another person, by occurring at his or their expense (in which case they are not free) or it is less than that of another person or group, at my expense (in which case I am not free). In either case there is no state of freedom. Freedom can, therefore, mean nothing other than equal freedom (not equality!) for all — which is essentially identical with non-domination.

DOMINATION: is a state of unequal freedom. Here the freedom of some is greater than the freedom of others and occurs at their expense and against their will. Thus a condition of unequal freedom which exists with the consent of the disadvantaged is not domination.

FORCE: is the physical or mental coercion exercised in an aggressive way, e.g. by injuring the equal freedom sphere of others. Defence against such aggression, including physical means, should thus not be considered as force.

METAPHYSICS: This comprises all concepts and doctrines which go beyond the realm of sensibly and logically graspable experienced reality and which, therefore, cannot be proven either true or false. Here one may leave open the question as to whether these concepts and doctrines expressing a subjective reality of experience and transcendent reality also represent an actual reality, perhaps even the true reality, or whether they are merely vacuous games of thought. When something cannot be proven with the standards of experienced reality then one can just as easily assert its opposite.

IDEOLOGIES: are statements which — like metaphysical statements — are, in essence or subject, beyond empirical proof or refutation because they contain at least some elements which go beyond experienced reality.

DEMOCRACY: is an ideology which submits the interests of individuals to the pretended interest of a majority, or of the abstractions “people” or “state.” It is a system of domination which, to be sure, lets the representatives of the new gods “people,” “state,” and “humanity” be elected by individuals, but expressly exempts them from any contractual obligation towards their voters. Democracy pre-supposes and aims at a state of unequal freedom.

ANARCHY: is a state of non-domination. Since there has never been such a state in a consistent form, the assertion that it would be identical with disorder, or even with chaos, does not express an experienced fact but amounts only to polemics and demagogy on the part of those who proclaim domination a necessity.

ANARCHISM: is a concept distorted by arbitrary mis-interpretations. Real anarchism sees in freedom not the daughter but the mother of order. It is not an ideology but begins with provable facts which lead to an unavoidable conclusion. (Kant: “Anarchism is freedom without violence.”)

1. EITHER — OR !

The peaceful and bloodless revolution of the 20th century which will lead to a true world revolution differs by its radicalism from all preceding ones, which were actually only revolts. It goes to the roots of the establishment.

For it brings not only some liberties but full and complete freedom, real freedom. It does not replace previous domination by a new domination, but brings non-domination for each and all. It frees not only abstract groups or classes but, without exception, all individuals. It proceeds not from an ideological basis but from a logically unassailable one.

It therefore differs from all previous revolutions in its starting point, means and end, and will also supply a surprisingly simple answer to Pilate’s old question: “What is truth?” It states only incontestable facts, which for many will mean saying goodbye to untenable ideas and accustomed ways of thinking. However, these facts can give everyone what he most lacked up to now — though without always being conscious of the lack. For the logical conclusion of these facts points to the unavoidable alternative: the alternative between aggressive force and agreement — on the only possible lasting basis!

For the first time in human history a basis is offered on which different world views, religions, moral systems and ideologies meet and not only can but must agree. For who can dare to declare himself openly an adherent of the law of the club and of aggressive force?

On this new, unshakable basis, from a surprising as well as a convincing point of view, there follows the description of a social state which is without domination not because it is classless, but is classless because it is without domination. Marx and his successors failed to describe such a society or even to think it through consistently.

Since the Greek word AN-ARCHY was chosen because of its meaning as the appropriate designation of this state, one should first of all exclude all notions which are normally associated with this concept. For it has to do neither with chaos nor with force, and not at all with terrorism. What has been and is considered “anarchistic” and “anarchy” is — with only relatively few exceptions — a distorted image of the real anarchism and rather the very opposite of it. One could even present the consequences developed here as what is actually meant by true democracy (which, of course, does not agree at all with the present reality of democracy).

A clever Frenchman once said: In the future there will be only two groups of people — those who want to live by their own work, and those who want to live by the work of others. More appropriately and inclusively one could say: A line is to be drawn between those who want to enlarge their own sphere of freedom by force, at the expense of the freedom of others, or wish to maintain a state which already ensures such an im-balance of freedom, and those whose goal is the equal freedom of everyone, and who, therefore, do not require additional freedom for themselves at the expense of the freedom of others.

A condition of equal freedom for everyone (in which, for example, unemployment is as absurd as it is impossible) needs no dictatorship. On the contrary, it cannot tolerate a dictatorship. The non-dominating society corresponding to this state is not a mere future aim either. Its foundations can be established here and now, that is immediately (and to the benefit of all). With all its consequences it can be realized in the quite near future.

Einstein, among others, pointed out that progress in human thinking, especially in the social sciences, has limped far behind technological progress. Thus, as the most urgent task for our time, he demanded a new way of thinking. It is offered here.

Apart from the optimal solution for all social relationships, this new way of thinking offers the indispensable conditions for peace!

And it requires a clear decision.


“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.”


The history of human society is above all the history of a more instinctive than conscious battle for release from chains that are more of a mental than material kind. It is especially a fight against religious and ideological systems of domination. In it the so-called conditions of production play a considerable but not the main part, since the conditions of production depend on the conditions of domination. The latter are circumscribed by certain ideas, and these ideas and the material conditions influence each other.

It is the sad history of errors thousands of years old, a “self-inflicted immaturity” (Kant) under the yoke of one’s own and of others’ thoughts. Their contents changed sometimes — but the yoke remained. For only with difficulty or not at all could even the most progressive people work themselves free of the vicious magic circle established by fixed ideas. These ideas are rooted in that remote antiquity when the first lucid thoughts ranged side by side with the instincts which up to then exclusively directed the behaviour of the first human-like beings.

There is a very plausible theory of Oscar Kiss Maerth (Der Anfang war das Ende — The Beginning Was the End, Düsseldorf, 1971) according to which excessive cerebral growth caused by cannibalism led to cerebral deficiencies which manifested themselves in insufficient logic, hallucinations, insecurity of judgment and fear of thought. This theory of “original sin” may be accepted or refuted — but the fact that man is more driven by impulses and feelings than by intellect can hardly be denied. When Kant (in What is Enlightenment?, 1781) addressed himself against the widespread dread of thinking — “Have the courage to use your own mind!” — he still assumed that human beings possess the natural ability to think perfectly, without any contradictions, in a comprehensive and exact way, and that only negligence, laziness and mean-spiritedness hinder us from using our “absolute” ability to think in a complete way. That it is not the case (and why it is not) was already demonstrated by Gustave F. Steffen (in Die Irrwege Sozialer Erkenntnis — The Errors of Social Understanding, Jena, 1913). He said that human beings, especially primitive ones, create a vast number of social concepts which do not correspond to reality at all but are superstitions. Furthermore, there exists a mass not only of religious, but also of scientifically sanctioned superstitious concepts. Besides such superstitions we have, especially, prejudices. Often even highly intelligent people succumb to prejudices.

“The way a prejudiced person understands something is already essentially determined before he receives any information on a subject. His personal experience of the subject plays a part only insofar as it supports the already-given tendency to judge the matter. Opposite experiences are simply ignored. There is no desire to include something new in one’s faith but, on the contrary, an inclination to continue believing whatever one has begun to believe, regardless of facts and logic.

“The prejudiced person hates ‘renegades’ unless they convert from ‘wrong’ beliefs to the ‘right’ ones — for rebels ‘obviously’ lack strength of character, as they do not defy reason and all their senses in order to maintain the ‘right’ thoughts taught to them by their parents, the authorities, their teachers and their class-mates. The superstitious person easily becomes a fanatic against those who see reality too clearly to see wonderful or dreadful things where he imagines them to be. Such human beings must lack, in his opinion, what is most holy in men: the impulse to believe, and the urge to pray or worship and to subordinate oneself.

“The socially prejudiced person does not judge his own material and cultural situation or that of his fellow creatures according to truly realistic and rigorous standards, but according to a systematically distorted image of the social conditions, an image whose origin he can scarcely explain but which he defends against critics as one of his holiest and most untouchable possessions.

“All thorough investigations into the human power of observation, as it manifests itself in daily social life, show that that power is highly incomplete even when it is not influenced by social superstition and social prejudices. This has often been proven of late, especially through the research of academic lawyers into statements by well-educated persons trained to observe unexpected events exactly. These events were arranged and completely controlled in their real sequence by the experimenters. Testimonies were quite regularly contradictory to each other and also, in most cases, completely misleading when compared with the play-acted reality.”

Steffen asserts — and backs it up very thoroughly — that as a rule we think falsely or do not arrive at proper thinking, and that, properly speaking, we do not even think, although we endeavor to think and believe ourselves to be thinking.

At the same time we are born non-logicians and born logicians. Our thinking has in reality no unchangeably determined or regulated capacity for thought. The only completely general law of thinking is the law of the development of thinking. According to experience there seems to be a law of increasing faultlessness in thinking, but this has been little explored as yet. Pioneering thinkers seem to establish new paths of thought, like paths cut into a jungle which others can follow more easily. However, there is also the perilous tendency to follow merely those paths which lead to fixed ideas and to petrified ways of thinking.

Some of what is unusual in the following presentation could be understood more easily and be more useful if (besides the two above mentioned books by Kiss Maerth and Steffen) the reader was also to consult The Mind in the Making (1921) by James Harvey Robinson, translated as Die Schule des Denkens (Berlin, 1949).

The first human beings possessed only tiny traces of our capacity for logical thinking and critical judgment, which generally, even today, is still very incomplete. For them there was no difference, after all, between what appeared in their minds as concepts and what they could grasp with their hands. The one appeared as real to them as the other.


Those first human beings, of course, soon recognized their own weaknesses and inferiority con-fronting the powers of nature. The latter seemed totally inconceivable and inexplicable to them, whilst they were able to recognize the effects of their own acts. So it was natural for them to suppose conscious acts by invisible beings, by ghosts and gods behind natural occurrences. Their mere conception of these quite unconsciously grew together with what they experienced as palpably real by their senses — especially since they thought they saw a real connection between those invisible beings and natural occurrences (as well as their own fates) quite distinctly, as effects, before their eyes. They were strengthened in this faith by medicine men, magicians and priests who possessed superior powers of thought and imagination and further superior abilities by means of which they gained authority, created tribal religions, and directed the faithful.

This happened not only — although frequently — as a pious or not-so-pious deception. The faithful, to whom self-thinking is a burden to be avoided, demanded and still demand today a leadership which will relieve them of this burden and impress them by superior appearances. On the other hand, most of the founders and interpreters of religions really acted in good faith, feeling themselves called and illuminated. Finally, the border between a “revelation” and an enlightening idea opening new dimensions is also fluid. Oscar Kiss Maerth declares, by the way, that the great philosophers and creators of religions are those who with the best of intentions (although not uninfluenced by contemporary conditions) proclaimed some useful “truths” whose symbolic character was most misunderstood or misinterpreted. The same author holds that these people possessed intuitive abilities and a remnant of original supersensible clairvoyance (at least compared with today’s human senses, which are far behind the instincts of free-living animals).

As a result of this development and from the earliest childhood on, the conviction was implanted in individuals that invisible beings and their self-appointed interpreters are to be worshipped and feared. The general spread of this conviction helped to strengthen the sense of its truth and reality, making it appear self-evident and hardly doubtable — and this all the more because individual skeptics found themselves exposed to the disapproval of rejection, if not the persecution and punishment, of the broad masses and authorities on account of irreverence and blasphemy.

This situation did not improve but became worse when the old animistic and fetishistic faiths were replaced by the great world religions, among which Christianity and Islam were spread with fire and the sword, while Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Shintoism, by promoting passive attitudes, indirectly promoted the authoritarian systems which included them. Even the dissipating influence of the various religions since the Age of Enlightenment changed nothing in the overwhelming influence of faith-conceptions on real life, for the role of religion was increasingly taken over by the ideologies, which took measures against their critics and heretics through their prophets and priests, their hells and paradises, and especially their inquisitors and criminal court judges. They knew how to create obedience by every means of mass psychology, as well as by massive pressure from the outside.

In this, German philosophy played an important part. Its strong influence was expressly acknowledged by Marx and Engel. With the exception of Stirner, this philosophy, unlike con-temporary French and English philosophy, did not proceed from the realities of practical life and from real human beings but from abstractions and intuitions of things, i.e. from concepts — from mere thoughts. It was theologically and metaphysically oriented, whether it thought theistically or pantheistically, and was, characteristically, obsessed with faith in the “duty” of the individual, in his “destiny” to serve some “higher purpose.”

While on one side belief in a personal God gradually disappeared, even though it is still alive in millions, originally religious commandments remained still in force, but now as “ethical” commandments and without people being conscious of their origin. At the same time, new gods with new commandments took the place of the previous ones. Philosophy, sociology and even modern theology have depersonalized the concept of “God” more and more, and transformed it into the rather misty concept of an abstraction of “love” or an impersonal world law, which again sets a “task” or a “final aim.” Naturally, the self-appointed prophets and interpreters of this new God determine the specific commandments and prohibitions and, more or less through coercion, keep the individual at work to fulfill his “task” or “destiny.”

Such “imposition of duty” was enforced increasingly by ideologies, e.g. by National Socialism, proclaiming nation and race to be absolute values for which the individual has to sacrifice himself unconditionally, though naturally it was self-appointed functionaries who proclaimed the “true interests” of the nation or race. Likewise, Marxist ideology sees in all events only economically conditioned class wars directed by an irresistible law of social development. The final result is supposed to be the liberation of man, who was, supposedly, alienated from his “true nature” and his “task.” There is always and without exception this “imposition of tasks,” with religions as well as with ideologies, and only the pressures by which the individual is urged and compelled to accomplish his alleged “task” were and are different.

What, then, is an ideology? The sociologist Theodore Geiger has established valuable and relevant distinctions, only the essence of which can be given here. For a closer explanation, also regarding possible objections, we refer to his work Ideologie und Wahrheit (Ideology and Truth), Vienna and Stuttgart, 1958.

Geiger differentiates between statements which may be proven right or wrong — verified or falsified — and those where this is not the case. He says: “Herewith is meant a procedure of verification before whose results everyone must bow. This is the case when the statement is nothing other than the ordering of observations according to the rules of logic. Here one can refer to perceptions of the mind. One can examine whether the material of perception is complete or shows gaps, whether the technique of observation is reliable or misleading, whether the conclusions are logically tenable or not, whether, for example, the declaration-content has exceeded the possibilities of the declaration-material, that is to say, whether too far-reaching conclusions have been drawn from the ascertained observations. The correctness or falseness of such declarations can be demonstrated. The classical example for this is the experiment.

“Such statements can only be made about objects which are perceivable with our senses — directly or indirectly — and only insofar as their — directly or indirectly — perceivable properties are in question. The essence of these objects is called ‘the reality of recognition.’ It corresponds to reality in space and time, for only this is perceivable to the senses.”

In opposition to this stand the adherents of another concept of “reality,” i.e. those who attribute reality to ideas or who speak of a subjective reality of experience, of transcendent reality, etc. From this asserted “reality proper” they derive conclusions and demands.

Geiger rightly opposes them as follows:

“The fact that you call these contents of the imagination (co-)realities, that you assert the possibility of true statements concerning them, has nothing to do with our question. You, too, must admit that the pretended reality of ideas, subjective experiences, super-sensibilities and suchlike is of a different kind than the reality of the sensibly-perceivable, space-time conditioned world of objects. You may even grant the super-sensible contents a higher degree of reality than our sensible world of reality. This we will not dispute with you. But you agree with us that God is real in a sense other than that of visible, audible and graspable appearances, and that the subjectively experienced reality differs from the objective reality of outside things. And, finally, you agree that the “truths” to be pronounced concerning such contents are “true” in a sense other than that of statements about sensibly perceived things and the demonstrable conclusions which are logically drawn from them. Even theologians have realized this nowadays.

“Statements about the one and the other are obtained in a totally different way, and are of correspondingly different validity. One could express the essentials in the following way: Statements about the reality of perception can be proven or disproven by observation and logic in such a way that an evasion is impossible. Statements on other realities are beyond a testing procedure. One can just as easily assert the opposite. Then we have merely one statement against another statement.”

It is characteristic of an ideology — that is, of an ideological statement — that it is not at all related or confined to the perceptions of reality but contains elements which are foreign to reality. It asserts things one knows or should know as impossible to prove. Ideological statements are, due to their nature and their contents, beyond empirical testing or refutation. The same applies, of course, to religious statements and demands.

Up to now there are no rules for relationships among men founded exclusively on the criteria of experienced reality as explained by Geiger. These relationships have hitherto depended exclusively on religious or ideological opinions or beliefs. Thus we can now make a first important part-statement:

The extremely varied and contradictory character of the various religions and ideological assertions and demands prove that at least most of them cannot have a basis in reality. They are merely mental images of concepts and wishes which allow no reasonable justification of the claims based on them. Even supposing that a small remnant of religious and ideological claims and concepts included a content of reality which goes beyond what is perceivable in experienced reality, the following statement applies: There is no objective criterion (as in the realm of experienced reality) for differentiating the asserted reality from images of pure fantasy.

In practice, daily life is therefore dominated by mere assertions (proven and unprovable) and opinions of faith, especially also by demands upon which an agreement is impossible from the beginning, since there is no objective criterion for right or wrong.

Up to now, not even an attempt has been made to regulate relationships among men according to criteria which are exclusively taken from the reality of perception, and thus must be generally acknowledged. Such an attempt can also benefit religious and ideological concepts — within the necessary limits of tolerance.

So things have not changed much even today, compared with the beginning of human thinking and judgment, since no clear distinction is made between reality and mere thoughts, between matters provable and unprovable. A number of ideas and concepts — similar to the demons and natural spirits of early history — fly about and are customarily considered quite real and generally valid, while closer examination reveals their religious and ideological character. For some people it comes as a real shock, and all their religiously and ideologically based prejudices revolt when they are con-fronted with Geiger’s soberly objective declaration:

“This statement concerns something upon which in all eternity — that means absolutely — no empirically provable or disprovable statement can be made, since its contents are outside of experienced reality (transcend it). Or here something is stated about a real object which does not belong to the properties making it a real thing. As examples, I quote two sentences:

‘Social justice demands the creation of equal educational opportunities for all talented persons.’

‘In the sphere of experimental reality there is no ‘social justice.’

‘The symbol of the cross is holy. In the sphere of experimental reality there is no property called ‘holy,’ and therefore no object which can have this property.”

N.B. This is not at all an assertion of the unreality of all that goes beyond the realm of experienced reality. However, everyone who truly cares for understanding with his fellow creatures must first learn to practice self-criticism and realize what in his convictions and claims is provable fact, and what is supposition or an opinion of his faith. He must find out also which ideas and concepts rely only on subjective suppositions and evaluations, unlike those which are objectively provable and generally valid.

When on the one hand the “Social Market Economy” is praised as an expression of “social justice” and on the other hand — also with reference to “social justice” — this same “Social Market Economy” is condemned as exploitative and oppressive, then this shows distinctly enough that there exists no objective measure for “social justice.” Thus the use of religious and ideological concepts is never convincing in arguments with those who think differently.

One must finally realize that with all ideological — as well as religious — convictions it is not a question of objectively provable knowledge but only of subjective opinions and faith. The degree of firmness of these convictions makes no impression on those who do not share them but hold differently oriented or contrary religious or ideological convictions.

In all such cases there are only two possibilities: either one tries by force to carry out one’s convictions, regardless of others, as far as one is able to, or one tries to agree with others on some working arrangement.

For the latter, the first precondition is that both renounce the use of religiously or ideologically established claims or correspondingly coloured concepts — especially those based on completely different and even contrary contents, such as “social justice.”

This condition is not easy to fulfill. While, with religious concepts, at least educated people are as a rule conscious of their basis in faith, this is not the case with ideological concepts. Even today, by educated as well as uneducated people, these are still considered true reality, not different from provable facts of experienced reality. They are defended and their implementation is attempted with an ardour and even fanaticism such as exists, nowadays, only rarely with religious concepts.

One of the most important ideological concepts is that of the “people” and the idea connected with it that it represents something “superior” to the individual, who, therefore, has to submit his interest to those of the “people” and has to serve the “people.” This is, at the same time, an example of the personification of abstractions and of substitution of completely different contents in the same concept.

Here, first of all, a distinction has to be made between the concept “people” as a designation for the totality of all individuals who together make up the people concerned (this is really a concept from the sphere of experienced reality) and the abstract concept of “people” that ostensibly makes claims. The latter concept reaches back into the past and forward into the future. The first concept is not yet ideological as long as it is limited to the factual statement that this or that person belongs to this or that people, provided only that no evaluation or claim is derived from this fact. But “people” becomes an ideology whenever individuals or a group of individuals set themselves up as a council of the pretended interests of the “people” and make corresponding claims for the submission of other individuals or groups. In this they attempt to make us believe that “people” is an independent organism with a will of its own and of a value fundamentally superior ‘to the sum total of all its individual members, who are supposed to have “duties” towards it. In reality, this is — by the standards of experienced reality — a purely mental construct, a fanciful image in the heads of those who merely believe this product of their faith — not even of their thinking — to be more than imagined.

It goes so far that Hitler said: “You are nothing. Your people is everything,” and that he also correspondingly treated individuals as mere “human material” for his concept of a people as an idol requiring human victims. But before and after him were and are innumerable persons who, more or less stringently, share the same concept and submit others as well as themselves to it. The notions of “people” or “fatherland” or “nation” have developed more and more as ideologies, the more intensively and systematically they have been disseminated through compulsory schooling and military service.

Originally, the feeling of cohesion in tribes and peoples was still purely instinctive and free from all mental motives. It was based on the familiarity of living together and on customs, as well as on the need for protection, as long as the members of foreign tribes and peoples mainly appeared as enemies, or at least as possible enemies, whose domination was feared. The conditions of domination in one’s own people were veiled by morals and custom. Each naturally felt that his own interests as well as those of the whole group were furthered when somebody else distinguished himself in battle for his tribe or people and correspondingly earned praise and prestige. So the feeling grew — and was confirmed by the behaviour of others — that sacrifices for the community were something worthy of praise. They are this, in fact, under certain circumstances and within certain limits, provided the person concerned makes them himself voluntarily, and does not demand them from others through pressure and coercion. The feeling of solidarity is always strengthened when external dangers of any kind threaten. From this purely instinctive feeling that has nothing to do with ideology, it is not too far to the concept (n. b. concept!) that the totality of a people is meaningful and “superior” to the individual. This was expressed more and more frequently and finally taught systematically.

Is “donkey-hood” “superior” to the individual donkey? Admittedly, a number of donkeys is undoubtedly more precious than a single one — but for whom? For their owner! Accordingly, the leaders and dominators of each people cherished and proclaimed the idea of unity and submission. They are always thinking of submission under their leadership and domination. The priests also strengthened this faith, in their own interests, since the members of other peoples were, as a rule, also believers in other religions.

The ideology of “people,” “fatherland” and “nation” thus became a substitute religion that among almost all peoples grew stronger than religion proper and in any case inspired more and greater sacrifices. In addition, there was the fanaticism, found even today, of the adherents of substitute religions, who consider every dissenter morally inferior if not a “traitor” deserving the death penalty. Even a Machiavelli, who thoroughly penetrated and revealed the business secrets of the dominators, was so obsessed with the idea of the national unification of Italy that he wrote his work The Prince primarily with the intention of giving the right hints to that man whom he thought the most appropriate for this unification: namely, not to be too squeamish with regard to perfidy and murder. This was quite logical within the framework of the old Roman “virtue,” which most valued patriotism and sacrifices made in the service of one’s country — sacrifice either of oneself or of others. Even today, the following thought of G. C. Lichtenberg’s is only hesitantly quoted:

“I would like to know for whom, in reality, those deeds are committed, of which it is publicly said that they are done for the fatherland.”

Since, unlike the invisible gods, “people,” “fatherland” or “nation” are considered indubitable realities (which they are in fact — as non-ideological concepts), only few have recognized as a falsification the ideological over-extension of these concepts which insinuates that they have a life of their own, with their own will. For what is proclaimed the ostensible will or interest of the “people” is always a mere abstraction hiding either the will or the interest of an individual or group. Whoever believes in it lets himself be dominated by an idea that has become fixed. Each abstraction is merely a screen hiding something concrete which substitutes its will and its interests in the name of the abstraction, in order to impress those unable to criticize and judge.

This becomes evident when one talks about submitting the interests of individuals — and also of groups — to the “public interest.” For the people is the totality of all members of the respective people. If the interests of a part are submitted to the interest of another part, then these are sacrifices which do not serve the whole community, but merely that other part, be it a minority or a majority.

And how does one know that it is “good” and “right” to make such a sacrifice? That is only asserted by those pretending to know the “true” interests of “the people” and who, quite evidently, do not represent the interest of all members of the people, at least not those from whom they demand or upon whom they impose the sacrifice. While the (non-ideological) concrete people has as many different voices, aims and interests as its individual members have, the (ideological) “people,” as an abstraction, has no voice of its own, no will of its own which it can utter by itself. (The “democratic will” of the majority will be investigated later). It is always only individuals or groups of such who speak and act for the abstraction “people,” who usurp legitimacy for themselves for that purpose or let others legitimize them — others who generously delegate authority which not only applies to themselves, but is supposed to apply to non-participating and even resisting third persons. No proof is provided that “people,” “fatherland” and “nation” are not merely subjective, but objective and absolute values, and that each individual has to respect these values and to serve them, like a religious commandment.

With religions it is evident from the beginning that it is not a question of knowledge but of faith, that what is asserted is thus not provable, for what one knows and can prove need not be believed. The philosophically educated person knows that and also why anything metaphysical (i.e. anything that goes beyond experienced reality) cannot be known and proven as experienced facts can be. Whoever relies upon religious doctrines and the revelations of others must realize that these others, as a rule, can know only as little as he himself. The subjective experience of a revelation may only be communicated to others by means of unprovable assertions. There is, above all, no standard for testing whether a particular revelation was really a metaphysical reality or a mere imagination, hallucination or self-suggestion.

With religions one can, in principle, admit that there may be a more comprehensive reality beyond experienced reality, one which may be beyond our limited senses and our mind, which is limited by insoluble contradictions (antimonies). In principle, one can even admit that this other reality may be comprehensible by meditation, perhaps even through revelation or intuition in a subjective and individual way. This does not change the fact that the results of such an access to this transcendent reality are not provable as “true” or “right.” In the same way one could assert the opposite.

With ideologies, like “people,” “fatherland” or “nation,” however, it would be absurd to speak of a revelation by which someone is convinced of the objective superiority of what he fancies under these concepts, however large the subjective value of these concepts may be — according to his subjective conviction. Seen objectively, “people,” “fatherland” and “nation” are no more superior entities compared with the individual than the individual is a superior being compared with these concepts.

This is simple logic. But it is psychologically easy to explain why these ideologically falsified concepts are so much liked by all demagogues: they speak so strongly to the broad mass’s impulse to submit and worship, by appealing to an original instinct that has been sanctified by custom. And especially, they have hitherto always proven their strength as slogans, making the great majority follow the goals and interests of the dominators. The latter, to some extent consciously, have abused these slogans for their own interests and to some extent have submitted to them themselves and credulously obeyed them.

The concept of “duty” as well as its correlated concept of “right” are also ideological. Both appear often in connection with the previously mentioned concepts of “people”, “fatherland” and “nation”, though in other contexts. But always, when such a “duty” is postulated, it includes a “superior” command which has to be followed by the person concerned as a “duty.”

Here, first of all, the following must be clearly distinguished: allegedly “given” “rights” and “duties” on the one hand; and rights and duties resulting from contracts on the other hand. The latter are not ideological and therefore can be proven as existing or not existing by witnesses or documents. Ideological “rights” and “duties,” however, can only be asserted like religious ones and it is not possible to demonstrate their real existence.

However, unclear and vague thinking and, above all, general habit bring it about that people believe in these pretended “rights” and “duties” as realities, never doubting them at all. Mostly there is also real power behind them, compelling resistors to acquiesce or at least to silence their criticism and opposition. Thus, legally stipulated “rights” or “duties” (frequently based on pretended ones and never on freely arranged contractual agreements) do indeed represent reality, but only the reality of superior power. They are not reasonable in themselves. Their “reasonableness” is effected openly by the stronger power.

Thus one is led to a dangerous confusion of concepts if one does not clearly distinguish genuine (that means freely-agreed-upon) rights and duties from pretended “given” ones. The latter are either only based on assertions or legally dictated by a superior force, be it the power of an open dictatorship or of a majority. The latter will be discussed later in a separate chapter.

Ideological “rights” and ‘duties” are, upon closer critical observation, nothing but wishes of the person concerned which he considers his “rights.” He wishes others to respect them, which means that they should become his contractual rights. The same applies to the “duties” he wants to impose on others. Both wishes can be realized only insofar as there is power behind them to carry them out. Lacking this power, they remain mere wishes and mental speculations, and the person concerned has only the small consolation that “actually” he is “right.” Imagination, at times, can indeed make one happy. But mostly it makes one unhappy — when bowing under the yoke of “duties” or respecting the pretended “rights” of others not because one freely agrees with them but because one feels oneself under moral pressure, under a “higher” obligation which is inculcated by one’s environment.

Pretended “rights” and “duties” are floating about everywhere. They are mere fantasies which find their only props in their establishment by law or dictate (that is, through a superior power) or by mere habit, inculcated as self-evident by parents, environment, and school from earliest childhood. Each deviation from the norm usually encounters indignant reactions from all around us, so that habit finally forms corresponding behaviour and does not let any opposition arise.

A wise man once said: “What one learns in childhood sits firm.” Therefore, most people utter opinions that are approximately thirty years old. As the teachers of that time were similarly influenced, most people — without regard to circumstances — hold opinions that have become senseless. With the end of their physical growth, the mental growth of most people also ends. Thus they carry their early acquired “views” to their grave.

Ignoring “rights” and “duties” founded by laws and dictates, to which we will come back later in detail, we start with the fact that from birth a human being finds himself and other people without any rights and duties as individuals and groups. This does not, however, mean that others can treat him arbitrarily. Nor does it exclude the possibility that they may, one-sidedly, grant certain rights to him. The assertion that there are “rights” and “duties” from birth is not superior to the opposite assertion. Claims based on the assertion of real “rights” and “duties” from birth must, therefore, be refused — even if they exist — for the same reason as is used by every objectively ruling court refusing a contested and unproven claim, even when it might really be justified. Assertions and claims of this kind are in principle simply unprovable.

The last statement is a provable piece of knowledge according to the criteria of experienced reality and refers to all “rights” and “duties” which are based on religious, moral, ethical or other ideological foundations. True rights and duties are only founded by an agreement, which may also be entered into tacitly. What is called “morality” and “ethics” is partly based on such agreements but largely on fantasy images, wishful thinking and unprovable assertions — this is the reason why moral concepts and customs change so often — and to a quite essential degree on coercion and aggressive force. Whoever refers to such ideological “rights” and “duties” as a basis for claims against others is at best one who is not thinking clearly and whose concepts are confused. But as a rule he is someone who consciously wants to mislead those unable to criticize and who wants to justify the use of aggressive force.

An intermediate position between ideologies and agreed-upon rights is occupied by the so-called “human rights.” They were developed during the fight against club law in order to confine it more and more, especially against the omnipotence of the State in order to secure for individuals at least some modest liberties against this institution. But, partly, they arose also from purely ideological claims which exceeded the limits of equal freedom for all and became, to that extent, aggressive in themselves.

Up to now human rights are not of direct value to men, i.e. not all men, or even a great majority, give their express approval. Nor could the individual practically assert them against other individuals, or even States. Only individual States proclaim and concede these “human rights,” and this only with considerable qualifications.

It should be noted that we have here mere proclamations like that expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights dated December 12, 1948, as a resolution of the UN General Assembly. This was no legalized act, and nobody can make realizable claims based upon it. It is a typical moralizing sermon without serious intention on the part of the preachers who practice these morals themselves. Of this everyone can be convinced who compares the practice of man — and even more — of the States with proclaimed “human rights.”

Quite typical in the nebulousness of its premises is the verbose preamble. It speaks, for example, of a “conscience of mankind.” Mankind, as an abstract and ideological concept, can have neither a will nor a conscience — apart from the insinuations of its self-appointed administrators. Mankind, as the sum of all individuals, has as many millions of different and mostly contrary consciences as there are millions of individual human beings.

This preamble, furthermore, declares that it is “essential” to protect human rights through the rule of law. “The law,” however, does not exist as something which is already given in advance or even clearly definable. What has been realized as “the law” up to now has always been only the power behind it, mostly representing an aggressive force — whenever it was not a question of rights based on a contract or agreement. The rule of “the law” has, hitherto, in practice, always meant only domination by force, since it was founded just on domination, even when this domination granted a few liberties. The “law” hitherto practiced has been only the right of the dominating and the strongest. Whenever proclaimed a powerless ideal by dominated and weak people, it was merely a forlorn protest against domineering power. In neither case can the real existence of such an ideological concepts as “the law” be proven, far less can a concrete wording of its contents be verified. (Meant here is real existence in experienced reality, thus also outside the mind — in which the existence of corresponding concepts is, of course, not identical with real existence — for non-existing things can also be imagined).

The preamble speaks further of “faith” in “fundamental human rights,” whereby it indirectly admits that there neither is nor can be any knowledge of them. Article 1 begins with two untenable assertions at once: all human beings are born “equal in rights” and also “endowed with reason and conscience.” It would be better to say that no man is born with privileges over others; unless one prefers a better wording expressing that by birth there are no rights at all to which one may reasonably lay claim but merely such rights as arise out of agreements. In contracts, as a rule, nobody will grant privileges to others and will endeavor to obtain not lesser rights, but instead, rights like those of the others.

Through appeals to “reason” — but always one’s own reason, never that of others — very contrary opinions have often been uttered. Reviewing world history or merely daily experience, it becomes evident that only a small minority really have and use reason. Concerning “conscience,” this first article (of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) obviously assumes that this voice is equal or similar in all men. This, however, is evidently not the case, nor can it be, since “conscience” is merely the sum of imposed or customary religious and moralistic concepts.

The equality before the law postulated in Article 7 justifies the unequal freedom of individuals vis-à-vis groups and their laws, without regard to whether these laws were passed by a totalitarian or a democratic regime. The latter is as much founded on the principle of domination as the former. Anatole France once quipped: “The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread.”

Article 13 limits the rights of freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. As States are very different in size and natural conditions (e.g. natural resources), in constitutions and social relations, the equal freedom of all is limited again in the name of “human rights.”

Article 17 guarantees quite summarily rights of property, without differentiating how this was acquired — whether, for instance, by legal or real privilege or by monopoly or by a privileged claim on something which nature offers as a present (as with land and mineral resources) — and without stating whether the claim of property applies only to the product of one’s own work.

In Article 21, the “authority” of government is justified by “the will of the people.” This is just an abstraction which hides only the will of a group of individuals who are not bound to express and follow the “will of the people.” Nor is this will identical with that of all the people. Here we have more coercion in the aggressive sense, that is, as intervention in the equal freedom of all. More on this will be said when considering the ideology of democracy and the majority principle.

In Article 22 “rights” are granted with regard to something really desirable — without the approval of those concerned — that means, claims and “rights” are granted against others at their cost and also against their will.

In Articles 23 and 25 the “right to work” as well as to “social protection” and “security in the event of unemployment” are formulated as “rights” and “claims.” These desirable claims presuppose an authority which, because of these “rights,” takes care of some with the money of others, although these services could be ensured by voluntary associations and, above all, by a genuine social order based on the principle of equal freedom for everyone.

The same applies to the “right to education” (Article 26), with its demand for free school instruction, at least in the elementary and basic stages. This includes — without mentioning it — compulsory school attendance and government determination of the curriculum and of educational aims. For, if someone has a “right,” it brings along a corresponding “duty” for those who grant or respect this right. Moreover, according to the partly expressed and partly tacitly held views of the authors of this “Declaration of Human Rights,” there are also such “duties” for those not recognizing such “rights,” since they are inborn rights and as such stand outside all agreements and have precedence.

Article 29 likewise claims: “Everyone has duties towards the community, in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” Apart from the fact that true duties can only be voluntarily accepted ones (for calling them “duties” when they are compulsory is merely an impudent masking of the aggressive force involved), we have here the substitution of the abstract concept of a community for the simple fact that each human being encounters and enters into relationships with a plurality of other individual human beings. Here one might let the concept “community” pass in the non-ideological sense, providing nothing more is meant than the sum of all mutual relations without any value judgments and provided the relationships of the individuals towards all others are based on the principle of equal freedom for all and on free contracts. But in reality the concept “community” stands for something quite different, namely for the State. While a true community is characterized by voluntary membership, the State is a coercive “community.” This special form of a “community” — not at all the only possible one — is the most dangerous of all ideological abstractions. For it acts as something independent that is superior to the individual. It claims “rights” and imposes “duties” on individuals whether they agree or not.

Curiously, the absurdity of this situation has not, hitherto, occurred to people — a situation in which what only exists in minds as concepts, as mere thoughts, ranges equally with the real, even takes precedence. And this is still happening more than four generations after Stirner addressed his vehement attack against “fixed ideas.” Fixed ideas as mere theories are quite tolerable — sometimes even acceptable — provided one remains conscious that they do not represent knowledge, but mere suppositions, opinions and beliefs. But they lead to a dangerous mental disturbance when consciousness of their mere suppositional character gets lost and the ideas harden into unshakable “fixed” ones. Then it is no longer the human being that has the idea or the particular thought, but the thought, his product, dominates the human being. Naturally, this applies likewise to thoughts accepted from others. Moreover, the fixed idea becomes something “superior” and “holy,” something not at all to be doubted or shaken.

“Do not think that I am joking or imagining things,” said Stirner, “when I consider as true fools, fools in a lunatic asylum, who are attached to ideals, i.e. the vast majority, almost the whole world of man.”

The slightest attack on the fixed idea of such a fool and one immediately has to guard one’s back from the fool’s malice. The great madmen are like the so-called little madmen in that they ambush all who dare to doubt their fixed ideas.”

N.B. One is not “obsessed” when one merely believes in things or commandments the proof of which one lacks and even cannot offer due to their nature, but exclusively when one wants to spread one’s belief in an aggressive manner beyond one’s personal sphere and to force others to respect one’s articles of faith as “holy” and “untouchable.”

This does not apply only to the religious dogmas but also and especially to ideological beliefs, which are so firmly rooted and have become fixed ideas to such an extent that most people are no longer able to distinguish between them and reality. When otherwise intelligent people who expect to be taken seriously operate with concepts in which they do not distinguish between concrete and abstract things, reality and mere thought, provable and unprovable points, then, like Stirner, one must have the “horrifying conviction that one is imprisoned in an institution together with fools.”

It is evident that, with such behaviour, people can only speak past each other and, moreover, cannot agree on a common basis. Such a basis can only be provable reality. (Then whatever goes beyond this, whether mere faith or more or less well-founded supposition, may take an appropriate place — but no more than that!) Within experienced reality there are no rights and duties except those freely agreed upon — or those established by a superior force, a force which does not openly manifest itself as such but hides behind pretended “higher” commandments. It is a mere assertion that these “superior” religiously or ideologically founded commandments really exist. To effect proof for or against them is impossible. Since, however, he who asserts an opinion, or even derives claims from it, has generally also the duty to prove his assertion, the person concerned must realize that he is merely trying an empty bluff or is committing an aggressive act under false pretences whenever he compels others on the basis of his assertion.

Numerous allegedly “superior” beings — like God, mankind, truth, freedom, humanity, justice, the people, the fatherland, the nation, class consciousness and “ the party which is always right”- make menacing and alluring claims on the individual, treat him only as a dependent part of a “greater being,” and assign him corresponding “destinies,” “tasks” or “duties,” or persuade him that he has certain “rights” towards other individuals, rights which are unknown to or denied by them. Never do these “superior beings” speak for themselves. There are always other individuals or groups who appoint themselves spokesmen for the “superior” beings — without offering proof of their existence at all or for their authority as the mouthpieces of higher beings.

“You poor creatures,” said Stirner, “you could live so happily if you were allowed to jump about as you like. Instead, you have to dance to the tune of the social masters and bear-trainers and perform tricks on which you would never waste your time. And you never resist the role imposed upon you. You never resist being treated as something other than the person you want to be. No, you mechanically repeat the given question yourself: ‘What am I called to do?’ ‘What must I do?’ In this way you only have to ask in order to be told and ordered what you should do.”

Nearly all contemporary slogans are ideologically founded. They imply claims against and orders given to the individual. Existing institutions have no better basis, but because they are so accustomed to them we no longer notice their ideological foundation.

The Romantic, Friedrich Schlegel babbled about the “first unclear stirrings of the consciousness of mankind as a person,” while his contemporaries raved in poetry and philosophy of a mystic worship of man and — as it was expressed then — of an incarnation of God or a deification of man. Nowadays, the sloganeering personification not only of collectives — which apart from their ideological distortion have at least a true content — but of concepts based on purely mental images, has become popular. This can partly be attributed to atavism: originally man believed that all he found in his consciousness (that means all his thoughts and concepts) corresponded to an outside reality. Thus he still believes in everything which, due to inside or outside inducements, he thinks, imagines or wants. He is not motivated to separate his concepts from reality and to compare them with reality — especially with external experience. The less content there is in human consciousness the stronger his uncritical impulse to believe.

Otherwise the dominant confusion of thought is based also on mis-understanding of what actually happens with value judgments which are always ideological: there indeed the feelings of persons towards an object are interpreted as properties of the object; the subjective sensation of “good” or “bad” towards an object or an action is not understood as a subjective sensation but misinterpreted as an objective characteristic of this object or action.

The effect is especially dangerous when such falsely objectified wishful concepts are established as the central contents of conscience. On them there is constructed an immense complex, according to the proven rules of formal logic. From an empirically unfounded determination of values a logically consistent structure is derived that has only one fault: the premises, as well as all derivations from it, are pure whims insofar as it is provable that, although they exist as mental concepts in the mind of the person concerned or possibly of others, it is likewise provable that it is impossible to demonstrate that these concepts correspond to reality, that they are more than arbitrary assumptions or impulsive, subjective sensations.

Unaffected by the statements of epistemologists, philosophers and sociologists — which indeed neither influence law studies nor promote one’s career in law — the German Federal Court still stated in 1954 the view that there is an objective moral law, which e.g. “has established monogamy and family as a binding way of life for human beings and made this order the basis for the lives of peoples and States.”

At least 99% of all human beings could neither say where this mysterious “moral law” originated nor what its actual content is, while the remaining one per cent do not really know anything about it but only believe that there is such a thing, without having any reasonable concept of it. It also appears in Article 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. Such a childlike and naive belief in something totally unproven and fundamentally unprovable justifies the “right” of the German Federal Court “according to the conviction of the Court” to mobilize all of the State’s coercive powers against those who do not share such a belief. This court also has the right to interfere aggressively in the freedom of individuals or of whole groups. Yet the same Federal Court would laugh derisively if, in a legal dispute, one party declared before it that it did, indeed, believe itself to be right but could not prove it.

Not only the German Federal Court plays such jokes on common sense (which it praises on another occasion), but also Chancellor Brandt declared himself in favour of orienting social policies by “basic moral values” (according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7.10.1972). Similar statements are continuously heard from all politicians, preachers, jurists and columnists, but always something quite different is meant. The alleged constraints of prevailing conditions upon the decisions of the dominators are, of course, always coloured by their subjective preferences and their own ideologies (unconsciously, since they do not consider their own ideology to be objective truth and reality).

The more warped feelings are, the more nebulous concepts are; and above all, the more “basic moral values” have been knocked into a person from childhood, the more uncritically they are expressed: “... not our own happiness, but our fatherland’s happiness is our happiness. We are not looking for our own freedom, but for our own subjection. We wait for the day of mobilization when a faithful youth may once again prove its loyalty. We stand ready with tensed muscles, each day ready to jump in and do Germany’s work with our hands. The fire of readiness burns in us because we are prepared for Germany.” -Thus wrote Hans Joachim Schoeps in 1933 — a Jew trying to enthuse the Jews for Hitler!

Recent sociological studies in Melanesia show more than 1,000 different ethnic cultures with a population of about three million people living under conditions like those of the Early Stone Age. The jungle, the island geography and head-hunting have brought it about that each tribe of 2,000 members (on an average) differs fundamentally from the neighbouring tribes it fights against. This is, by the way, also a refutation of Marxist dogmatic faith in the determining influence of “conditions of production” on the “ideological superstructure” of sociological, religious, cultural and political circumstances. For the “conditions of production” in these 1,000 societies of hunters and food gatherers were completely identical! As in this example, the influence of religion, ideology, politics — that is, the conditions of domination — existed prior to what Marxism, at a later stage, understands by “conditions of production,” hence they did not arise as their superstructure. Instead, religious and ideological concepts, and especially the conditions of domination which are closely connected with them, have always had — and still have — a decisive influence on the conditions of production and especially of property.

Something else, too, is proven by this endless variety which can be explored here almost in its natural circumstances: there is no higher purpose of a generally valid character to which all men have to bow. At least it is not recognizable by normal human senses and conceptual capacities. For if divine commandments or an impersonal moral law, obligatory for every human being, existed, then one would have to expect every man to be conscious of this ultimate aim and to recognize these commandments quite clearly as such — especially since the “word of God” as well as any other “higher” purpose imposed upon mankind — not by merely human words — should be quite clear and since nothing should be left to doubt or to various interpretations. The variety of mutually contradictory and often dark and ambiguous religions, morals and customs proves, however, that there is no agreement among the declarations and claims of all these doctrines which assert universal validity.

Even so-called conscience does not appear uniform, upon closer examination, but rather as the result of environmental influences, particularly of doctrines and values impressed upon the uncritical mind in early childhood. For instance, an ancient Egyptian who considered the crocodile holy, had pangs of conscience when he killed one in self- defense, while a European is not bothered by his conscience at all when killing a crocodile. The same applies to numerous other taboos. At present millions of “decent citizens” see merit in acts suppressing and killing other people for religious, racial or national motives, as “class enemies” or as “enemies of law and order.” The same acts, however, if directed against co- believers, are condemned with great indignation.

It states that “it is impossible to gain, through pure means of recognition, any consistent system of norms for correct behaviour that is evident for everybody.” This is right insofar as the recognition refers to allegedly “higher” norms, but wrong insofar as the recognition of the impossibility of experiencing pretended “superior” norms offers in itself a sure basis for conclusions quite different from those drawn so far. Hitherto one has concluded: “Precisely because men do not agree in their views on right and wrong, on good and evil, and because they argue again and again about what is just, there must be someone simply to command what has to be done. Concepts about what is right or wrong form an inseparable knot that can only be solved by the sword” — Reinhard Zippelius, Das Wesen des Rechts (The Essence of Right), Munich, 1965, pp. 108–109. This amounts, basically, to nihilism, which only knows the logic of the right of the sword. This nihilism, with a great variety of conclusions, plays a large part in all calamities we are suffering under today. It can only be overcome by anarchism, i.e. by consistently practiced non-domination.

We also have a case of the law of the strongest when, in an authoritarian way, values are fixed and forcefully realized merely on a basis of wide agreement among a certain group of people with certain morals and customs at a particular time — while criteria other than the customary ones (which are actually contradictory and impossible) are altogether denied. Not only are morals, customs and values greatly varied and even antagonistic among different groups of people at the same time or at different times, even within the same group, but opinions on values are also influenced and determined by the laws and the system of domination. If everything were “right” which a majority at a certain time considered “just” and “right,” then the burning of witches, the inquisition, torture and slavery, as well as the persecution of the Jews by the National Socialist regime, would be “right” too. Zippelius (ibid. pp. 100–101) says, moreover: “There is no objective and coherent value system which corresponds to an agreed-upon value experience of all people.” (In this context one should note the above-mentioned judgment of the German Federal Court of 1954). “To apply the majority principle also in questions of justice means, undoubtedly, resignation before the task of finding a valid truth for all men and for all times, a resignation that is not only founded on philosophical reasoning but also on the bitter experiences of cultural history.”

To believe in things that are unproven and not even provable; to esteem highly something which one erroneously assumes (just because one’s environment happens to suggest it) that all others value or should value highly, and then to use force against all those who do not share this faith or opinion — that is the practice of all our present so-called social “orders.”

Behind all abstractions and collective notions, all “commands” and “rights,” there is always a specific individual (or a group) who decides according to his personal interest or the inflexible ideas which direct his acts. Here are two typical examples for this.

Professor James Harvey Robinson in The Mind in the Making (1926) remembered the case of a U.S. Senator who once explained to him that even God the Almighty could not induce him to change his views on Latin-American politics.

Pope Pius XII once declared in a statement of tolerance (Salzburger Nachrichten, 24.12. 1953):

“Whatever does not correspond to objective truth and moral law has objectively no right. With principles it is absolute solidity that counts; principles cannot be shaken. No human authority can give a positive command or a positive authorization to teach or do something opposed to religious truth or moral goodness. Even God Himself could not issue such a positive command, since He is bound to the constitution once given by Him and since such a command would mean a contradiction of His absolute truthfulness and holiness.”

“It is different in the reality of human, and public relations. Here the religious and moral principle of tolerance applies. If God permits an error, then the following statement is no longer absolutely valid: A religious or moral deviation must be hindered or suppressed whenever this can be done, unconditionally, because its toleration is immoral in itself.”

“The duty to hinder or suppress religious or moral aberrations under any circumstances cannot therefore be a final norm for actions ... Whether the conditions for the tolerance formula are fulfilled in a specific case is always a question of facts which first the Catholic statesman and, in the last and highest instance, the Pope himself must decide.”

The Pope is, therefore, not only in the lucky position of knowing exactly what constitutes objective truth and moral law, but can also confine even God to the limits of a constitution of which the All-knowing knows nothing. For the Pope has declared — not in theory, but in practice — that the “common good” is a “higher norm” than religious and moral commandments (coming, in his opinion, from God).


In the confusion of non-existing (merely imagined), possibly existing (but not provable) and finally of provable (real) things — where so far the non-existing and non-provable have been ranked as not only equal but even as superior to provable facts — the first task is to find a solid base and starting point.

This can only be the actual mortal ego of each individual human being.

Stirner’s historical achievement lies in the fact that he not only achieved this consciousness of his own person, but that in an exemplary way he demonstrated it with all its consequences for everybody.

In doing this, he was mostly thoroughly misunderstood. Some did not understand the exemplary character and the main aim of his statements. They imputed that he — like an arrogant person — merely wanted to realize his own ego, regardless of the interests of others, although he spoke against this quite distinctly. Others even mistook him as the creator of a new ideology and did not notice that — in order to destroy the domination of all ideologies and abstractions — he had to base his views on the only sure starting point, the only one which is provable as such by the criteria of experienced reality. Quite intentionally, he did not state what his ego was that he made the spokesman for the ego of all other people. (Such a statement would have led beyond the provable into metaphysics). But, starting from his actual, mortal ego, which as with all other men is the starting point for all sensation, thinking and action, he analyzed the claims raised against and “tasks” imposed upon that ego from all sides. He clearly separated the provable from the imagined (non-existing) and from the possibly existing (but at any rate unprovable). It was not until Stirner that reasonable thinking in social relations properly began.

His measurable influence on the general consciousness has, up to now, remained regrettably small, since even the clearest of his statements was caught in the thickets of confusing prejudices and thousand-year-old custom, which did not know how to distinguish mere thoughts and images, from reality, abstractions from concrete facts. Nevertheless, the simple truth is making its way tenaciously and irresistibly, so that the following noteworthy statement appears in the recent work of a non-Stirnerian. (Gerhard Szcazesny, Das sogennante Gute. Vom Unvermoegen der Ideologen, — The So-Called Good. On the Incapacity of Ideologists, Hamburg, 1971) — of course, without drawing all the necessary conclusions.

“The elementary fact which we find when exploring our situation is the physiologically given priority of the actual individual human being over all groupings — which range from the marriage-partnership to the clan, from religions or political movements to the State and mankind. Measured against the reality of the living person, who alone can feel himself as such, all collectives are mere figments of the imagination which, again, exist only in the consciousness of the individual. Even the closest agreement between human beings does not result in their fusion into a new being with independent sensations and its own intelligence. If one calls man an individual because he is only divisible as a corpse one must likewise consider it a characteristic of man that he cannot be multiplied.

“The world has as many central points as there are human beings. In their individual consciousness, the universe circles around each of them as around a unique and central point. Even in the most extreme situations of external involvement, the feelings and consciousness remain bound to the individual: in physical embrace just as in mass-actions.

“It seems that there is nothing more obvious and more important than the incomparable reality of the individual human being. But actually, history consists of ever-renewed attempts by men to deny their being-on-their-own or to let others deny it for them.

“Up to now man has been accustomed to ascribing ‘feelings,’ ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ to family, class, nation, culture and every possible other grouping (small or large), and also to ascribing a greater degree of value of reality to them than to the ‘unimportant’ individual. It is as if the summing up of people under a certain historical or political aspect constituted a new, superhuman living being. But all these collective ‘beings’ live only through and in the individual: he conceives them, he makes them part of his feelings, and he turns them into motives for his deeds and crimes. When one speaks of the development of peoples, cultures, States or mankind towards good or evil, these are brought about only by single actors, and only individual human beings are involved.

“Even in those cases where some or many individuals feel, think and want the same thing, they do so as individuals. There exists no ‘national consciousness,’ no ‘class consciousness,’ no community ‘mind,’ no ‘soul’ of culture. One could agree with the allegorical use of such terms — if one did not overlook their analogical character when drawing conclusions from them. Precisely this, however, is what happens. Those demanding sacrifices from us in the name of people, party, class or a community of believers, begin consciously or unconsciously with the personal meaning of these concepts and ascribe to these collectives a higher form of life and a special value so that they may demand sacrifices for them.

“Since happiness and unhappiness only exist for the feeling individual, the splendor of a ‘greater whole’ cannot arise from the misery of many. No propagandistic, psychological or political manipulation can abolish the fact that human reality is always named Brown, Smith and Miller. With this we have expressed a second self-evident matter of importance. If only the individual with mind and feelings is real, then we are not concerned with a human being ‘in principle’ but with a particular person living in a certain place at a certain time. This fact compels us to look at specific human beings in a concrete social situation when establishing moral principles and political programs. It spares us the costly error of assuming that whatever is of use to particular men can be realized by means of a scheme that is obligatory for all human beings.”

One man who claimed to be able to recognize the metaphysical reality beyond the experienced one, declared as a fruit of this perception:

“Every single human being is a unique emanation of the original creative will. He arose from the eternal ‘unformed ocean of godhood’ to reach his individual formal completion, different from all other co-emanations.” (Bo Yin Ra, Das Buch vom Jenseits — The Book of the Other World, Basel, 1929, p. 144).

“Bound to the power of the lords of this external physical cosmos by your own will, a dependent of the ‘Prince of this world,’ you have become a victim of your own thoughts — you, who were formerly the lord of all thought! — Out of such dependency you must arise! ... “(Bo Yin Ra, Das Geheimnis — The Secret, Basel, 1952, p. 244).

Without any metaphysics, beginning merely with experienced reality, we can also achieve the same results: Each individual is not only a provable fact but can also be sovereign — if he wants to be so, that is to say, if he does not make himself a “victim of his thinking” by letting himself be dominated by personified abstractions and collective notions, pretended commandments and “duties,” all of which occur only in his mind, while their real existence is unprovable. In this, “sovereignty” is not to be understood as similar to that public “sovereignty” which is associated with arbitrariness (as far as the power of club law permits) and with the claim to domination over others. Here it means merely the refusal to be dominated by others, regardless of whether such domination derives only from the arbitrariness of persons or from allegedly existing “higher” beings, commands and “duties” — whose real existence is unprovable.

Contrary to the conclusion drawn above — which is wrongly thought to be the only one possible — that due to vast differences of opinions about the alleged “superior” commands, “rights” and “duties” it is necessary to establish and enforce them in an authoritarian and dictatorial manner through the State, there is, indeed, an alternative.

Since every human being is unique and different from all others, as Stirner first pointed out, and as has been confirmed by modern anthropology, it is already in principle nonsensical to attempt to apply one scheme to all men. Seeing that the existence of alleged “higher” norms for relationships between people is not only in doubt but at any rate unprovable,

Later on it will be shown — with logical precision and on the unassailable found experienced reality — what specific forms of behaviour and institutions will result from such an endeavor. But first some concepts must be clarified. Their confusion is today as dangerous as the rule of fixed ideas and of unproven and unprovable suppositions and concepts.


Confucius already pointed out the fundamental importance of clarifying and correcting these concepts which are used in arguments. Here we must first tackle the concepts of force, freedom and domination, while those of Marxism and democracy will be discussed in separate chapters.

As John Henry Mackay defines it in his Der Freiheitsucher (The Freedomseeker), Berlin, 1920:

“Force is the use of an outside physical (or also psychological) compulsion of any kind by one man against another, or by some men against others, exerted for the purpose of making him or them obey, tolerate or follow his or their will.

“The essence of force is thus compulsion, a compulsion exerted from the outside. Compulsion and voluntarism exclude each other. “Calling resistance to force also ‘force’ can only confuse terms. Force (coercion) can only be used in the sense of aggression. Thus the practice of force (coercion or violence) must always be preceded by aggression, exerted by a willing person against an unwilling one. “Force does not ask: ‘Do you want?’ — but it says: ‘You must!’ And it adds:’... as I wish!’

“Only one can be the aggressor. And aggression against aggression does not exist; there is only defence against aggression.

“Thus, defence and aggression are completely different concepts, just as force and aggression are identical or similar concepts.”

This statement is of extraordinary and far-reaching importance. The constant confusion of two completely opposite concepts by giving them the same name is the reason for numerous and repeated conflicts and, at the same time, the reason for their insolubility up to now.

While what must be referred to as the true concept of force — namely, aggressive force — is rightly taboo for most people (since, quite instinctively, they see in aggressive force the main reason for all social disorder), the defensive force — i.e. protection against aggression — is quite evidently something completely different and diametrically opposite, even in those cases where the defender against aggression, like the aggressor, uses physical means, e.g. arms. It would therefore be right and reasonable to limit the concept of force to aggressive force (which begins not merely with the real use of physical force but with the threat of its immediate employment). One should then no longer designate any kind of defence against such aggression (including defence with physical means) as “force.” However, since most people understand by the concept of “force” primarily any physically exerted compulsion (without distinguishing whether it is used for aggression or defence) and since the defensive use of physical force is, indeed, always “justified,” but not always opportune, we shall from now on designate true force pleonastically as aggressive force in order to distinguish it clearly from physical force used defensively against it.

The “justification” for such a defence results from the above-mentioned definition of genuine right as following exclusively from voluntary agreement, while all alleged “rights,” imposed and enforced against the will of those concerned, are nothing other than false masks concealing aggressive force and, therefore, should only be called “aggression — and not “right.” It is characteristic for the aggressive user of force that he refuses a negotiated agreement with his opposite party and, instead, wants to impose his own will dictatorially. Thus instead of genuine right he offers the right of the sword as his preferred form of relationship with others. Consequently, he cannot complain at all if this offer is accepted and he encounters the same “right” that he considers the only valid one.

It is, therefore, not decisive for the concept of aggressive force whether compulsion by physical means is used to subdue the will of the opponent — for this is sometimes unavoidable in defence against aggressive force. The important question is whether compulsion by physical means is exerted for aggressive or defensive purposes.

For this question, however, there is a definite criterion, one relying on the incontestable facts of experienced reality, not merely on unprovable assertions and ideological claims.

The conceptual confusion existing so far has not only clouded the distinction between aggression and defence. The observation that the use of physical means for defensive purposes is sometimes inevitable, has been perverted into the assertion that “force” (but this time genuinely aggressive force) is unavoidable and therefore acceptable.

The prevailing conceptual confusion was and is used primarily to declare those as aggressors and violators who, through defensive action, want to change conditions which arose and are maintained by force.

It is hypocrisy when someone who has created or maintained an institution or conditions by aggressive force (or is merely a parasite of such conditions maintained by others), anyone with a privilege or monopoly, raises an outcry against his victims when they defend themselves, if necessary, even with physical means and attempt to abolish these institutions or circumstances. It is hypocritical to call this a “use of force.” It is comparable to a thief or robber complaining about “use of force” when his plunder is taken from him against his will.

The borderline between aggression and defence can be clearly seen only after clarification of the freedom concept, which is one of the most confused concepts today. When “freedom” is discussed today, one either means (1) that “freedom” which claims unlimited authority for itself to interfere arbitrarily in the freedom of others or (2) at best, those miserable particular liberties graciously granted by the State to persons subject to its sovereign law (read: power of the State). But even these meager liberties are immediately limited by reservations in such a way that individuals, in practice, are in fact defencelessly exposed to the “authority of the State,” which derives from the abstract “people,” which specific people use to hide behind.

What, then, is Freedom (in a social sense); real and true freedom? Either my freedom is greater than that of another, or a group of others, at his or their expense, and my additional freedom is thus taken away from them against their will — then they are not free. Or, alternatively, my freedom is less than that of another or a group of others, whereby their additional freedom is taken away from me, and this against my will — then I am not free. In either case there is no state of freedom.

Freedom, therefore, can be nothing other than the state of equal freedom for all individuals. In this, no group can claim a greater degree of freedom for itself over individuals and against their will.

But this equality in freedom must not be confused with equality in general, and the concept of freedom must not be used vaguely as has commonly been the case so far.

Obviously, whoever possesses greater mental or physical capabilities than others, has also more “freedom” of action and more possessions resulting from his greater accomplishments. Those too have more freedom of action who have fewer self-imposed limits in their thinking and less faith in dogmas. But all this need never happen at the expense of others. It does not hinder others, nor does it take anything from them. So it does not touch on anything meant by the equal freedom of all.

Whoever, for instance, wants to equalize natural mental and physical differences, talents and abilities, differences of income and wealth — by various institutions or programs — wants to raise an ideological principle of equality (i.e. his concept of equality) to domination. It is different with differences in income and property based on privileges or monopolies; for these — like any privilege that is claimed against the will of those concerned — infringe on the state of equal freedom for all.

This state of equal freedom for all means, primarily, mutual freedom from aggressive coercive measures which — against the will of those concerned — enlarge the sphere of freedom of some at the expense of others, in such a way that, due to this compulsion, a state of unequal freedom arises.

Forceful measures which are not aggressive but purely defensive, by merely repelling aggression against the equal freedom of all, stay, therefore, within the framework of equal freedom for all. A purely protective organization on a voluntary basis and for the establishment and maintenance of this condition is a self-evident requirement.

When someone voluntarily restricts his own freedom in favour of the leadership or rule of another, be it for religious, ideological or practical purposes, then this voluntary unequal freedom also stays within the limits of what is to be understood by the state of equal freedom for all. This state includes the liberty of wanting to be a slave.

In this it is self-evident that someone can, of course, only limit his own freedom, not that of another against his will.

Equal freedom for all excludes any act or omission which enforces upon the persons concerned behaviour that is against their will and claims more freedom for one side at the expense of the freedom of the other side. It does not matter whether this is done in the personal interest of an individual or in the interest of a group or in the alleged “superior” interest of anything “higher,” be it a religion, an ideology or anything alleged to be “obviously reasonable” or “evidently necessary.”

What counts is the boundary between (aggressive) force and (defensive) freedom from this aggressive force, the limit consisting in the equal freedom of all. On this one may again quote John Henry Mackay (Der FreiheitsucherThe Freedomseeker, Berlin, 1920):

“There were cases where no doubt was possible: the robber or murderer who assaults me in order to take my property and my life is, undoubtedly, aggressive. If I get rid of him — and be it by force — I act in self-defense, protectively, and thus I am not aggressive. But there were cases which were not so blatant and evident. It was advisable to try to achieve the greatest possible clarity about these two concepts, seeing that they are hopelessly confused in the public mind, hardly ever discussed and nowhere clearly recognized.

“Some more examples, and again obvious ones: It was not aggressive to carry weapons, but it was aggressive to use them for purposes other than defence. Thus the prohibition against the bearing and possession of arms was aggressive, or rather the enforcement of this prohibition was.

“It was not aggressive to take land into one’s personal possession and make use of it — if it was not already possessed and used by another. It was, however, aggressive to claim taxes for the use of this land and also of its natural resources, regardless of the form and purpose of such taxes. It was not aggressive to issue money and to pay with it those who wanted to accept it under the conditions offered and at their own risk. But it was aggressive to prohibit the issue and circulation of money and to enforce compliance while declaring one standard of value and one currency to be exclusively valid — under the pretence of possessing exclusive authority for the issue and circulation of money. “It was not aggressive not to work if one did not feel like it or had other well-founded or implausible reasons for not wanting to work. But it was aggressive to keep others from the work they wanted to do.

“It was not aggressive to refuse taxes imposed by force, to refuse military service, to refuse inoculation and baptism, to sell one’s body, to live in free love, to whore, and to drink; but it was aggressive to impose taxes upon others and to compel their payment, to force people to train with weapons and to use them, to inoculate and baptize them against their own or their parents’ will, to ‘regulate’ prostitution and submit it to law, to persecute those living in free love: Every forceful suppression of vice was aggressive.

“It was not aggressive to practice medicine or any other profession. Everyone had to be free to attempt healing diseases if he believed he could do so; or free to choose the doctor in whom he had the greatest confidence. But it was aggressive to allow only ‘certified’ doctors to practice and to punish those exercising the profession without such approval. One may call aggressive cases of serious fraud, confidence tricks, and coercive seduction. But the extent to which they were really aggressive could only be decided in particular cases and only on the basis of the relevant facts.

“For, as was said before, there were certainly cases in which the borderline between aggressiveness and passivity was drawn so fine that it could be found only upon close examination, and even this only with the aid of prolonged and rich experience, an experience which is still far off nowadays, since the most naive ignorance still prevails even towards the most obvious infringements of this limit.”

The equal freedom of all is largely identical with the absence of privileges — unless someone has expressly granted another person, or group, a privilege over himself. The voluntary restriction of one’s own freedom, as mentioned before, does not offend the principle of equal freedom for all.

Any legal or actual monopoly or oligopoly is also an aggressive infringement of the equal freedom of all, whenever it is not based on the voluntary consent or agreement of those concerned.

The most important application of this statement is with respect to land and natural resources. Mackay’s example referred to a period more than fifty years ago when the world population was, approximately, only one third of today’s. Then there was still some land — however little — available that was not yet used by others. Nowadays, it is no longer possible for someone to use land freely, for even the land not actually used has its “owners,” too.

In the following we shall deal rather extensively with the hitherto overlooked consequences of this “ownership,” which is of a quite special kind. Anarchism approves of property in the form of the products of one’s own work and also in the form of the products of other people’s work that have been freely exchanged. But with “property” in land and natural resources we have a case of privilege with regard to something that was given, in its essence, by nature and whose utilization can therefore be equally claimed by every man. “Property” in land and natural resources is as absurd as would be a claim of property rights in the earth’s air that we breathe, since land and natural resources are, in several respects, of no less importance for the existence of every man than the air we breathe. Equal exploitation rights to land and natural resources for everyone can now, without exception, be settled in such an appropriate form that actual landowners lose only an unfounded privilege but not the value of their property.

This example also demonstrates how far-reaching conclusions are to be drawn from the principle of equal freedom for all.

This principle declares murder, manslaughter, assault, rape, robbery, theft, extortion to be aggressive acts, like any claim of the “I may do what you may not do!” kind.

The principle of equal freedom for all (freedom from aggressive force) is a principle of strict mutuality and consistent equality of rights for all.

Above all, it is not based on an ideological claim or value judgment, but follows — as will be demonstrated in detail — as the only alternative to aggressive force, as the logically compelling conclusion from incontestable facts.

Since the principle acts like a set of scales, its non-observances can be determined accurately and at first sight in 99 per cent of all cases. It is evident that the murderer, killer, rapist, robber, thief and extortionist claims more freedom of action for himself, at the expense of his victims against their will. It is equally obvious — even if this point of view is unusual — that no one can claim the least privilege over what nature offers as a gift. (This, however, must be distinguished from what the user of land obtains from it through cultivation).

One has merely to become accustomed to considering aggression not exclusively an act of force in which the aggressor takes the initiative. It may also consist, as mentioned earlier, in maintaining, by force and at the expense and against the will of those concerned, a situation which resulted from the non-observance of the freedom of all. Then the attempt to end previous interference in the equal freedom of all is falsified into aggression against the real aggressor or whoever profited from the aggression.

The equal freedom of all is a state of equilibrium which arises from the natural variety among individuals’ talents, abilities, interests and desires. In this state, no attempt at all is made to equalize differences brought about by talents, abilities, interests and desires. For otherwise one would move out of the world of facts — of what is — into the ideological world of fantasy, of what allegedly should be, for which there is no criterion and on which, generally, one cannot agree at all.

Instead, we try to achieve the greatest possible privacy for each individual in his uniqueness by conceiving of a free-play-area around each individual, as concentric circles, as it were. These touch each other and find their limits where any further expansion is possible only at the expense of another man’s sphere of freedom. This would mean the deprivation of other spheres for the enrichment of one’s own. Against the will of the persons concerned, this can happen only by means of aggressive force.

Our aim, therefore, is not equality itself but equality in liberty, in freedom from outside interference in equilibrium-borderlines arising from naturally given inequalities.

However, this does not at all exclude the possibility that free agreements between individuals concerned may establish conditions between them which aim at equality in economic relations and at equalization of natural differences in talents and abilities, as well as of interests and desires. “Volenti non fit injuria” (Ulpianus). The voluntary limitation of one’s own sphere of freedom in favour of the increased freedom of other individuals or groups is thus not contrary to the principle of the equal freedom of all, but presupposes it.

If no individual or group subdues the will of another individual or group by aggressive force, then no enforced privilege, no exploitation and no oppression remain.

The equal freedom of all is identical with non-domination!

This is the opposite of arbitrariness, as it forbids not only the arbitrariness of others but also one’s own, in one’s own, well-understood self-interest.

The maintenance of the equilibrium of the freedom of all in all social relationships between individuals and groups will be achieved by a corresponding and purely defensive organization on a voluntary basis. It will not allow anyone to claim more freedom for himself at the expense and against the will of another. If this should, nevertheless, happen, intentionally or un-intentionally, then reparations must be made.

The equal freedom of all requires no questionable foundation upon the “inborn rights” or “duties” of those who should respect them. The clarification of the freedom concept yields only one reasonable and non-contradictory meaning and also reveals all people’s mutual interest in establishing and preserving equal freedom for all.

The equal freedom of all includes all specific “freedoms” which remain within its framework. There is no objection to codifying these specific liberties which follow from the fundamental principle of the equal freedom of all. There is even less objection when those who unite for the recognition and preservation of the freedom of all speak of rights resulting from this recognition, as well as of duties arising from them. Then they are genuine rights and duties on the basis of a contract.

The so-called “human rights” are partly one-sidedly dictated by acts of force by the State, decreed to maintain a condition of highly unequal freedom. They do not lose this fundamental character by the fact that some individual “human rights” are concessions wrung from the State’s “sovereignty” and “public authority.” It is, by the way, characteristic that, in spite of the common Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a number of countries have anchored in law what other countries expose as violations of human rights.

Aggression against the equal freedom of all is undertaken not only to oppress and harm those concerned but often under the pretence and with the honest intention of furthering and helping those concerned. All measures, however, based on the alleged good of someone else, on protecting and caring for him — but this without his request and even against his will — must be recognized as subjection and aggressive intervention. The aggressor should remember not only the good old saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” but also its wise completion by G. B. Shaw: “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same as yours.”

With each concrete claim that one man raises against another, it can always be objectively determined whether it relies on a provable right based on voluntarily agreed-upon contracts or an alleged “right” in which he merely believes, whose existence, however, cannot be proven and whose forceful realization is aggression, if it goes beyond the limits of the equal freedom of all. It is, likewise, possible to determine in each concrete case whether, in the conditions existing or aimed at, anyone is claiming a larger sphere of free play at the expense of others and against their will (i.e. monopoly or oligopoly).

After this clarification of what freedom — in the social context — is and alone can be, the concept of aggressive force can also be precisely defined. Characteristic for this is not the use of physical means in order to bend the will of an opponent — for this may also take place in the case dramatically opposite to aggressive force, in defence against it. The decisive question is rather whether the “force” is exerted in an aggressive way, in order to overstep, or in a defensive way, in order to defend, the limit of the equal freedom of all. The criterion for aggression and force lies, therefore, in crossing this boundary against the will of those concerned. One should, once more, note that an existing condition also, one which arose in this way, is equal to aggression and force when it is maintained against the will of those concerned.

This offers, for the first time, a reliable and objective criterion, unaffected by all ideological confusion, for differentiating between aggression and defence. Moreover, confusion over the concept of force is also ended.

Coercive and aggressive is every enlargement of one’s own sphere of free play (as well as that of others) undertaken at the expense of the equal freedom of others and against their will.

There are people who assert that aggression is a basic human urge. Even if this were the case (it is strongly contested by many and with good reason), it would make it all the more necessary and in the common interest to protect oneself against outside aggression. This can only succeed on a mutual basis — that is to say, when aggression is generally outlawed.

The concept of rule or domination is also often confused to an absurd degree, for instance when one speaks of freedom ‘reigning’ under certain conditions. Just as one must clearly distinguish aggressive force from defence which is only answering such force, one must also draw a clear distinction between:

  1. domination in the proper sense (consisting in a state of unequal freedom caused by the aggressive and forceful subjugation of another’s will or in defence of a situation caused this way) and

  2. that state of unequal freedom in which one can also speak of “domination” of the one by the other, but in which the disadvantaged freely accepts this situation and even wants it.

In the second case, one should speak of “leadership” rather than of “domination.” We have already seen, when explaining the freedom concept, that unequal “freedom” resting on the free consent of the disadvantaged, is not opposed to what is meant by the equal freedom of all. The latter is in no way interfered with when individuals who, for example, subscribe to certain dogmas or beliefs, restrict their own freedom (but not the freedom of others) in favour of those they consider prophets or interpreters of those dogmas or beliefs. This also applies in other cases where the persons concerned seek a guardian or someone to relieve them of their own thinking and decisions.

One can speak of an infringement of the equal freedom for all only in cases of serious fraud by such “leaders.” But even then the will of those concerned must be awakened through enlightenment and must resist this fraud before third persons intervene to restore the complete freedom of the victims. Otherwise, their help is uncalled for.

Domination is thus a state of unequal freedom, where the freedom of some is greater than the freedom of the others, at their expense and against their will. Here the result is the same whether such domination is practiced on a basis of arbitrariness and the right of the sword, of an individual, or of a group, or in the name of an “ideal,” an ideology or a religion (neither of which is recognized by those dominated), or whether it is practiced in the name of an abstraction like people, class, State and humanity. For there are always specific individuals or groups who claim, over other individuals or groups, the privilege of giving orders and enforcing their execution. They do this usually “in the name” of “ideals,” ideologies, religions or abstractions like those mentioned above.

Anarchism only aims at liberation from such domination. There are, however, people who (because of their own conceptual confusion or willingness to further this confusion) say, “Domination is legitimate when based on the consent of those ruled.” Judging by this principle, at least any domination not based on consent would be “illegitimate” — whatever one may understand by this elastic concept which compromises “moral” as well as “legal” condemnation. But we have seen above that guardianship and leadership which meet with the approval of those concerned, and which they themselves desire, have nothing in common with domination in the proper sense. They are completely different concepts. Mixing them up can only result in nonsense.


Whoever bends another’s will by aggressive force in order to establish or maintain a state of unequal freedom, is a practitioner of domination, regardless of whether this happens in his own name and interest, in that of a majority or another collective, or in the name of something allegedly “higher,” be it religion, ideology, customs, morals or whatever else. Through this guardianship and violation, he becomes guilty of infringing the equal freedom of all, no matter whether he acted for the purpose of oppression and exploitation or to promote the alleged welfare and interests of those that he coerced.

Imagine a person who shares the opinion, based on deep-rooted habits, that “one should” — even against the will of those concerned and sometimes by force — do whatever corresponds to their “own good” or is “reasonable” (as he imagines this good or reason to be, while the others have quite different opinions on what is good or reasonable for them). This person must also admit that others may dictate and prescribe to him what is strictly opposed to his own wishes and aims, based on exactly the same argument. So he must get it absolutely clear in his mind that he must respect the equal freedom of all others, even in his own interest.

It is therefore merely a fixed idea that social order is possible only through superior (that is to say, dominating) compulsion and force. In this, aggression and defence are confused. Aggressive force disturbs that order which alone can be enduring. True order is possible only in freedom, in the equal freedom of all, for this

Instead of mutual meddling in the business of others, based on the absurd concepts of unprovable claims, there is only one way of behaviour (which, although not absolutely without conflict, at least does not provoke lasting conflicts): the general prohibition of aggressive force. This is identical with the principle of equal freedom for all — and with non-domination. For in each particular case it can be determined, absolutely value-free and thus objectively, whether or not someone is claiming more freedom of action at the expense of others and against their will.

There are only two kinds of relationships between human beings: one entered into freely, and one coercively enforced. Only the latter violates the borders of equal freedom and disturbs order, whenever, against the will of the person concerned, his equal freedom is restricted, the same freedom as is claimed by the aggressor himself.

Respect for another’s will, and refusal to use force against him, admit of only two exceptions: (1) where this will is aggressively directed against the boundaries of the equal freedom of all and (2) where it is a case of incapacity for responsible action, as can happen with children and sick persons, especially the mentally disturbed.

Of course, one may not arbitrarily declare someone a minor or use an unfounded assumption of irresponsibility as an excuse for aggressive acts.

As for the rest, it is not so important always and absolutely to avoid any aggressive behaviour which may also occur by error or negligence. It is more important that the principle of equal freedom of all should be recognized and that reparations should be made when this principle is broken due to error or neglect. The reaction towards those unwilling to recognize this principle is simple: he who wishes to rely on aggressive force and the right of the sword cannot complain when he gets his just desserts according to his “right.”

Domination is an enduring state of aggressive force. It rests on primitive instincts reaching back to the beginnings of human civilization. With primitive peoples one often finds a predominant desire to use force against their fellow creatures and to dominate them. This happens most to achieve domination as an end in itself and often only secondly to gain economic advantages.

Hordes, clans, tribes and peoples live in continuous feuds. Ruling peoples and classes usually combined economic interests with their domination. But their main aspiration was directed towards a social organization that was most effective for political and judicial domination — not towards the economically most effective arrangement of the relations between the ruling and the serving people, the ruling class and the subjected class. The relationship between Spartans and Helotes may serve here as an example. Craving after power often predominated at the price of economic efficiency.

In prehistoric ages and in antiquity it was considered more important to dominate and destroy than to be economical, to produce and to save. This fact, too, must lead to a correction of the one-sided view of Marxism: economic conditions are more the superstructure of the conditions of domination than the reverse.

In particular persons the urge to dominate is strong even today. It is related to, the desire for power and prestige. Its counterpart is the little (or not at all) noticed urge of at least as many people for whom sacrifice and submission have become overwhelming needs. It is primarily they who are supporters of the belief that existing traditional or legal conditions are the only possible and correct ones.

Between these two opposite types stand those who are as unwilling to rule as they unwilling to be ruled. Their motto is: “I belong to nobody but myself and am my own master. I recognize neither a duty to subordinate myself to the will of another nor any kind of right to impose upon the will of another.”

Concerning the obsession with power and domination, Dr. Walter Borgius wrote in Radikaler Geist (Radical Spirit), Vol. 1, Berlin, 1930:

“He who remembers this or that teacher of his youth, and how he stood before the motionless class as a cane-wielding dictator on his rostrum; whoever experienced as a soldier the visible pleasure with which the sergeant tormented the recruits delivered over to him; whoever has been dependent on the bureaucracy and has had to suffer the chicanery of an almighty official and has observed with what blustering and arrogance (especially before the Weimar Republic) many a policeman regulated a crowd of people — that man knows what an intense and immediate pleasure it is for a true power-addict merely to exercise dominating power (even without economic advantage) in the rapturous knowledge: ‘I may give you orders, and all of you have to obey me!’ “Note, for instance, with what tenacity of purpose most people know how to create or find a position of power from which they may command. The one rules over his family. Unfortunately, most children under the pretence of a good education become victims of these inevitable impulses to dominate. “ ‘Good education’ often serves as a pretence to prove one’s power,” says the renowned psychoanalyst Dr. W. Stekel, quite correctly, in Das liebe IchThe Beloved Ego, Berlin, 1913, p. 17. He who can’t — for example, because his wife is even more domineering than he is — stands over subordinates in his office. Or he may join a club and then fight bitter as well as ridiculous battles as a chairman or treasurer, or against such people. If he succeeds in obtaining a minor position or a small honorary position somehow, even if only as a tramway conductor or ticket collector on the subway, he torments people. If there is no other opportunity he can at least exercise his greed for power on the waiter of his favourite restaurant, or he may get himself a dog. (It is quite probable that the first domestication of animals — which are not always useful — was not motivated by economic or rational considerations, but by the first stirrings of the power impulse). The pupil, then, who was mistreated by his teachers, mistreats his younger fellows in his turn, as is well known from boarding schools. Leopold von Wiese has described his experiences in military school quite impressively, as has, even more movingly, Major General Dr. Paul Freiherr von Schoenaich:

“... The peculiarity of this impulse is — as with most emotional factors — that its nature is ambivalent and bipolar. Thus it also has its opposite, an urge to submit, to obey, to humiliate oneself. Its physical-sexual basis, sadism, too, is always paired with an undercurrent masochism (and vice versa). Thus, even with expressly domineering and power-hungry persons, we find a parallel current — a tendency to submission and servility — as if the energy used in one direction called for compensation in the other direction.

“It happens quite often that the strict colonel whose frown makes even the higher officers tremble, is an obedient and henpecked husband, or alternatively, the home tyrant plays the role of submissive yes-man at the office.

“Psychologically, the essence of hierarchy lies in this two-facedness of the power urge: we know that wherever in social life an institution is based on the power urge, it always brings a submissive reaction with it. ‘Obedience shall be your distinction! Your commanding itself is obedience! To a good soldier, “you shall” sounds more agreeable than “I will.” And everything you like, you should do under orders,’ said Friedrich Nietzsche, who had a truly deep insight into the power urge. “Thus we find that the most intensive substrata of the impulse to dominate — the armed forces and the Roman Catholic Church — are based on the two-fold demand: whoever wants to exert power most ruthlessly must, at the same time, obey most humbly. This is the type of man that people nowadays mock as a ‘bicyclist’: he kicks downward while at the same time bowing deeply.

“This type of man — I call him ‘archidulic’ (worshipping rule) — is the type who is systematically cultivated by the State. He moves into all those professions which allow him to exercise these urges as a direct or indirect State official, in state service proper, mainly in the armed forces, the police and the bureaucracy, but also in schools, the national church, in certain areas of the judiciary, and in such institutions and establishments as assume a similar character because of their size and organization, like large transport enterprises, major banks or big industries.”

To the self-evident statements by Dr. Borgius, which an unprejudiced observer can and must confirm with numerous details from his own experience, one must merely add: nobody who is eager to dominate ever fails to support his aggressive actions by his alleged “rights,” in a process which psychology calls rationalization. He acquires a suitable ideology which serves as justification for himself and, especially, others. It always makes a great impression on those incapable of judgment when such a man, obsessed by the power mania and addicted to domination, calls himself “the first servant of the State,” like Frederick the Great did, and he may honestly feel himself to be such because he has successfully talked himself into the respective ideology. This was also the self-image of Hitler and Stalin (with whom Frederick, who showed several pleasant traits, should not be identified). The one felt called in the name of “destiny,” the other as executor of the “goal of world history”; both felt “legitimized” by their ideology as “agents” of a “higher” mission and lacked any sense of responsibility of their own. The same can be said for the henchmen of such bureaucratic murders: they merely carried out something which, in their opinion, their victims were too stupid to realize or incapable of realizing as “necessary.” By the autocrats in the chair of the Popes and by the Inquisitors, who humbled themselves in prayers before God and Saints, ideology was “rationalized” by asserting that those sent to the stake were only burnt in their own interest — in order to save their eternal souls and to keep them from further sins. When such people, obsessed by power madness, lived personally in a modest way because for them not the economic advantage of their power was important but only the satisfaction of the power urge itself, then they were considered idealists or even saints. (One admired, for example, that Hitler did not eat meat, did not smoke or drink, and even sacrificed his family life in order to “serve the people and the State”). Idealism of this kind, however, never made sacrifices for others but rather sacrificed others to a fixed idea. Hitler looked for and found greater satisfaction precisely in quenching his thirst for power in the halo of idealism than in material advantages (which were not too far behind, anyhow). So it was, in reality, not a question of sacrifices but of striving for self- development, an urge inherent in every living being, an urge to gain pleasure through satisfaction of one’s strongest impulses.

Those foolish sayings about “benevolent” and “ideal” rulers were originated by the opposite types, those addicted to submission, as well as by collaborators with and profiteers of the obsession with power.

The fixed idea of domination is rooted, indeed, in the impulse of the power urge and in its negative counterpart, but its nourishment and strength are always drawn from a suitable ideology.


The concept most people have of the State is as unclear and vague as their concept of God. For the majority today the State is, indeed, nothing other than the expression of God in material form.

In the past all church dogmas and claims were accepted without complaint as being self-evident. Likewise, no doubt was permitted concerning the divine right of kings and emperors. Similarly, the State, for the majority today, represents something of such necessity, even holiness, that criticism is directed only against the form of the State, not against its essence - that is, not against the institution itself.

When analyzing the naive as well as blind trust in the State, which is considered the epitome of omnipotence, justice and good will, and when listening to the continuously repeated cry of the many: “The government should do something! The government should help! This should be prohibited!” — one notes that modern mass-man expects a great deal more from the State than even from a loving God. His trust in the State is far more extensive than his confidence in God.

This is based on the following quite simple fact: those who speak of the State do not, usually, think of what the State actually is (of which they have, moreover, only a hazy notion). Neither do they think of the historical reality of the State. From its growth one could conclude its origin from Satan rather than from God. Instead, they always think only of what the State should be, according to the mostly very subjective wishes of those concerned. There are numerous more or less contradictory ideologies concerning the State, i.e. mental images of what the person concerned desires as an ideal social order, a sort of desired heavenly state. These are mostly rather foggy notions and usually do not take into consideration what the State actually can be and can do. A parliamentarian [Frédéric Bastiat] once commented on this problem: “Everybody wants to live at the expense of the State, and nobody thinks of the fact that the State lives at the expense of everyone.”

The State is a typical example of an institution which developed its ideological character out of its religiously-based origins. This is shown by the reliance of absolute monarchs on the “divine right of kings” and, likewise, by the claims of popes to supremacy over monarchs. The same applies to democracies with their claim to governmental power “deriving from the people,” once “people,” “nation” and “fatherland” succeeded the monarchs and the other feudal lords, who all claimed divine “rights.” These new concepts thus became gods and idols, demanding many millions of human sacrifices — infinitely more than the greatest idolatry of the barbarians, which only demanded an individual human occasionally. The “sovereignty” and “holiness” of the “people” (whoever doubts them is a traitor to his fatherland!) is nowadays far more uncontested than the holiness of religion once was. Today, “in the service of the people,” property, blood and life are continuously demanded as sacrifices, while only occasionally is such a demand still made in the name of religion. The “people” are here equated with the State, by means of a horse dealer’s trick performed by those who act as the executives of this abstraction. In this, the State claims “holiness” (inviolability) for itself. What, then, is the State really?

“The State is the guardian of the order established by God. The worldly task of a man is to preserve it” — was still the comment of the supreme court judge Fabian von Schlabrendorff, as late as 1972.

Tolstoy once said: “The most gruesome and dangerous superstition is the fatherland, the State.”

Even the Father of the Church, Augustine, described the State as a gang of robbers, and although the Roman Catholic Church has often made pacts with the State, it has never submitted to it.

It is well known that Nietzsche called the State the most cold-blooded of all monsters, but it is only little known that the former president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, in a speech made in 1956, declared it to be the most dangerous threat to mankind, not only in countries with a totalitarian State but also in countries with a formal democracy!

“A herd of blond beasts of prey,” said Nietzsche, “a race of conquerors and lords, trained for war and with superior organizational ability, lays its terrible claws on a population that may be far superior in numbers but is yet formless and indecisive. This is the beginning of the ‘State’ on earth.”

“The State, as distinct from the tribe,” said Lester Ward, “begins with the conquest of one race by another one.”

“Everywhere,” says Franz Oppenheimer, “a war-like barbaric tribe breaks through the borders of a less martial people, settles as its aristocracy and establishes its State.”

“Forces,” says Ratzenhofer, “founded the State.”

“The State,” says Gumplowicz, “is the result of conquest, the establishment of the victors as the dominating class over the defeated.”

“The State,” says Sumner, “is the result of force and is maintained by force.”

This is the judgment of sociologists and historians.

As a member of the German Parliament, Richard von Weizsaecker, remarked on this in Die Zeit (The Times) of October 27, 1972: “The State is not the only order and by no means total order. It is no consecrated super-ego and does not possess the power of final appeal. However, in all preliminary matters in this world, it has the task to serve man as a supportive power and to make self-realization and freedom, especially the freedom of the weak, possible.”

One can and must agree with his first two sentences. Freedom, however, can be nothing other than equal freedom for all (as we have already seen in the previous chapter). One cannot speak of freedom when the freedom of one man is larger than the freedom of others, at their expense and against their will. A condition of equal freedom for all is the only alternative to aggressive force. In order to achieve and maintain this condition, only a purely defensive organization is needed, one that only outlaws any aggressive force and strictly abstains from it. Such an organization does not need any supreme ruler, who would be a contradiction and antithesis to this.

Richard von Weizsaecker failed to recognize that the State does not at all wish to be a servant but rather a master. It claims for itself a privilege of aggressive force (which he calls “monopoly of force”) for the realization of all the ideologies and oppressive, as well as patronizing intentions, cherished by those manipulating the levers of the machinery of the State, or rather, of those who give them instructions. Usually they do not know what they are really doing — for their ideological blindness deprives them of a clear perspective.

Through its laws the State legitimizes numerous aggressive and violent acts. In other words, these acts overstep the borders of equal freedom for all and are applied against the will of those concerned. Its aggression — carried out for its own advantage and the advantage of particular groups, against other groups and also against all individuals — is called the “rule of law.” At the same time the State describes mere defence against such violent acts (i.e. the defence of the equal freedom of all) as “violence” and prosecutes it, supported by its monopoly of force.

The State never confines itself exclusively to the role of a servant of individuals, to the defence of the equal freedom of all. It does this only as a sideline in special cases which follow directly from the principle of the equal freedom of all (e.g. murder, manslaughter, bodily injury, rape, robbery, theft, extortion) and this, so to speak, only as a cover. For primarily, it establishes and maintains itself in a position of usurped over-lordship — through enlarging the liberties of some at the expense of the freedom of others and against their will and by limiting everybody’s freedom for its own advantage.

Since von Weizsaecker recognized quite correctly that the State is not the only form of social order, he should have informed himself about other forms, e.g. in the works of John Henry Mackay, who explains in Der Freiheitsucher (The Freedomseeker), Berlin, 1920:

“What is the State? — A number of people declare a piece of the earth’s surface — a certain area — including all that exists above and beneath to be their property and give it the name of a State.

“The inhabitants of this area are called ‘nation’ or ‘people’ and it surrounds them with its borders, making a ‘fatherland.’

“All people living within these borders, i.e. the citizens or subjects, are subordinated to whatever laws are, for the time being, applied in this State. Whoever does not respect these laws voluntarily, is compelled to do so through the use of force. Accordingly, the State is based on force.

“The State is not the only form of human association. There are others which can be summed up under the name ‘society.’

“Now, what is ‘society?’

“As its name already expresses, it is an ‘association,’ the union of a smaller or larger number of people for a certain purpose — basically nothing other than a club. Where two people come together, even if simply for a conversation, they form a society. The forms of these societies and associations are as different as their purposes can be.

“But what is the difference between State and society?

“It is this: that the latter is a free association while the former is not.

“A society includes those people who want to belong to it and who are accepted by it — wherever they come from. A State confines all people living within a certain area, even when they do not want to belong to it. It ‘accepts them’ even against their will. Indeed, it encloses all those people but it is not a society of ‘all’ the people.

“In the State a minority is always opposed to a majority: a society remains associated only as long as it wants to stay together.

“If in a society an individual or some members are opposed to it, both the individual and this minority are free — free at any time — to leave it, i.e. to discontinue their membership while staying wherever they live. The State, however, only allows withdrawal when its ‘subjects’ do not remain where they are, when they leave its area. They are left with only one choice, that of settling in another State and thus of submitting to another majority.

“By leaving, the individual dissolves the society for himself: the State, however, dissolves the individual in itself. When in a society the minority submits to the will of the majority they do so voluntarily: in the State they do so under compulsion because no other possibility is left open to them.

“The State is an association of some people against others. State and society are therefore not similar and equal but completely different concepts which exclude each other. To confound them means to confound and confuse the basis of human social life altogether. They are natural enemies and, consequently, they fight each other constantly. The victory of one means the fall of the other and vice versa.

“The State is the ultimate victor when it has so much absorbed society in itself that it becomes one with it or society one with the State, i.e. when the State has become the society of ‘all.’ Society is the victor when it ousts the State and takes its place. However, once the State is absorbed into society, it ceases to be a State and becomes a society like any other society.

“Thus Society is a free association — it knows only free and equal members. The State, however, is a forced association — it knows only dominators and dominated, unfree and unequal — subjects.

“The State stands above the individual. It is his master. The Society stands beneath the individual. It is his servant.

“The essence of the State is thus compulsion; the essence of society is freedom.

“To repeat once more: The one is a compulsory association, the other a free one.”

These statements by Mackay, which are only brief extracts from much more comprehensive statements, leave little to be desired in clarity. There are, however, minds which, because their ideas are confused — e.g. with regard to the contrary concepts of aggressive and defensive force — or because their notions are manipulated by State education and environment — are unable to understand even the simplest truths, when these do not fit in with their accustomed ways of thinking.

“It is impossible to do without force” is one of the objections. Of course, as already explained above, force is often unavoidable in defence against an aggressor, to repel his aggressive force. But does this mean that force applied by an aggressive power is “necessary”? Who would dare to confess openly a belief in this, the law of the big fist? We have already explained above the objective standard for differentiating between aggression and defence. The “State” in which the rule of law prevails, does indeed restrict the State’s aggressive power to certain forms. But it by no means removes its aggressiveness. This follows from the fact that it replaces genuine rights, stemming from free agreements, with frequently changing ones, which rest partly on unprovable ideological assertions and partly on the dictates of an alleged majority. But even when there is an actual majority, whenever its actions overstep the boundary of the equal freedom for all (against the will of those concerned) then this clearly remains a case of aggressive force, merely hiding behind the name of “rights.” A truly lawful State (“Rechtsstaat”) can only exist by establishing as the basic law the equal freedom of all, with all its consequences as the result of an agreement. However, this would then no longer be a State in the conventional sense, but a free society.

What is actually meant by the so-called “lawful State” (“Rechtsstaat”) is only realizable by non-domination. Those today imprisoned in the territorial cages of their various States can so far only dream of this.

The slogan “reasons of State” makes definitely clear that in a final analysis, even the law of the big fist is openly proclaimed whenever the interests of the State (i.e. what is considered such by the ruling “servants of the State”) are in conflict with its own lawful order.

Apart from that, the only claim upon “State territory” and the subjection of all those living in this area under the usurped “sovereignty of the law” (which speaks openly of “subjects”) is, without a doubt, a monopoly claim against the outside as well as against the inside. Any monopoly, however, which is maintained against the will of those concerned is an aggressive infringement of the equal freedom of all.

The State is a strange entity, relying on the ideology of “people,” “fatherland,” “nation” and “community,” and deriving its absolute claim to domination from these abstractions — behind which stand very specific State functionaries. This entity then attempts to make the individual believe that all this only happens for his own good, protection and advancement.

But by now not all people any longer believe in such phrases. They form their own judgment from their own observations, according to their own experience and based on their own thinking. As Lincoln once said: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.”


As history teaches, States attained their present-day borders almost without exception through rapacious conquest, that is, by aggressive force. Otherwise, they were established by means of revolutionary force, which so far, without exception, through aggressive means, has created conditions based on the rule of some over others and on unequal freedom for individuals and groups. Where States, in exceptional cases, were established by means of contracts, these were mostly dictated and compulsory. (Genuine contracts must, of course, be based on the free consent of both parties). Even in those rare cases in which a new State arose as a result of a free contract between two old States or between a State and representatives chosen and recognized by the old State for the new State, it was always a new State power which was created, with unequal freedom, with new privileges and monopolies, with rulers and subjects. For the essence of a State lies in aggressive force, externally as well as internally.

Probably only a few are aware that all States, the more or less democratic as well as the totalitarian, are organized according to the gangster principle (protection racket). They offer ‘protection’ for ‘fees’ that are one-sidedly set and forcefully collected, regardless of whether those concerned wish this ‘protection’ or not. Moreover, much more than this ‘protection’ is forced upon the victims.

Of the more than 250,000 million DM in taxes, for example, which were collected in 1976 in the German Federal Republic, more than 140,000 million DM — i.e. more than 56% — were paid as salary to the approximately 2.8 million public servants and employees in the public sector — all out of the pockets of those who did not receive their income from the State but had to work hard for it themselves in order to finance the civil servants of the State, in their often considerable pomp.

Besides, tax receipts amount only to approximately 80% of the total income of the State, which was estimated to be approximately 303,000 million DM for 1976. The greatest part of the remainder must also be paid by the citizens — under compulsion.

In addition, the State goes into debt at the expense of all citizens: debts on which interest must be paid and which must be amortized in the future by the citizens. In 1976 this amounted to 20,500 million DM due in interest alone.

By means of these debts the German Federal Republic reached a daily expenditure of 1000 million DM in the year 1976, for the total expenses of the Federation, the States and the municipalities amounted to over 360,000 million DM!

Moreover, 33% of wages and incomes is coercively collected as so-called social security contributions for pensions, health and unemployment insurance. These, together with the above-mentioned 35 %, already amount to considerably more than half the gross national product. We thus already have a more than 50 % communistic State economy!

This type of economy differs from that of totalitarian communism less through the private “liberties” it still allows the individual (these are also paper rights rather than real and practicable ones, even though they are still considerable compared with the sphere of freedom for individuals under totalitarianism). It differs especially through the fact that its system of “rights” creates and maintains certain privileges, monopolies and oligopolies by which private groups and individuals are privileged, both legally and actually, in relation to others and put in a position where they can gain high unearned incomes, i.e. by exploiting the labour of other working citizens.

In this case, the “Rechtsstaat” (State in which the rule of law prevails), which always points out the alleged equality of all before the law, acts as an oppressor not only in its own interest but also in the interest of individuals and groups favoured by it.

States monopolize for themselves a certain piece of the earth’s surface as well as the airspace above it and the coastal waters, and submit all those living within these limits to whatever “rightful order” has been dictated by a State. This order discriminates against aliens and submits citizens at best to the “legal” dictates of a majority that is always “represented” by a tiny minority — i.e. to domination by a small group. Behind the masks of the “common good,” “protection” and “social welfare” is hidden not only the plundering of individuals in a direct way by the State, but an indirect plundering which is just as mischievous: for the State establishes certain institutions and maintains them — institutions which engage in the continuous plunder of the broad masses in favour of a small class of parasites.

The most dangerous means of exploitation is, firstly, the oligopoly of land ownership which is protected by the State. (The State in its state-socialist form and as sole proprietor of land does not eliminate this monopoly, but rather crowns it). Secondly, there is the money monopoly of the State. Any privilege and monopoly or oligopoly that does not have the voluntary consent of all, means a restriction of the equal freedom of all — for the privileged person or the monopolist has, like the ruler, an excess of freedom at the expense of the equal freedom of all.

Property, as is well known, means the right to deal with a thing as one pleases. The so-called social obligation of property expressed in the Constitution of the German Federal Republic (an imposed “duty! Its use shall serve at the same time the public welfare”) is not only an ideological demand in itself but can be defined arbitrarily according to one’s ideology regarding both concepts’ “public” as well as “welfare.”

Not every property constitutes at the same time a monopoly. One must especially distinguish between property in goods which can be multiplied (even if not without limit) and property which, like land and natural resources, is available only in limited quantities. One must especially differentiate between property in the product of one’s labour (or in what was exchanged for the product of one’s own work) and property in what nature offers free to all, without labour, such as land and natural resources. In this, the basic substance offered by nature must, again, be distinguished from property which is acquired by improving land and by the mining and processing of natural resources.

Land — which is in limited supply and is becoming continuously more valuable as population increases (and also varies greatly according to the quality of soil, resources and especially location) — is one of the so-called natural monopoly goods.

As a source of food and raw materials, and the site for any production, land is an indispensable foundation for the existence of every human being, not different from air. One need only imagine air — similar to land today-being the property of a relatively small minority. Then the great majority would be subject to tributes, e.g. in such a way that each man would have to walk about with a measuring device in front of his nose and would have to pay for his air consumption! This idea is no more absurd than the contemporary “right” of land ownership.

Its essence lies in the fact that the proprietor of land may not only use a parcel of land for his personal cultivation or habitation but may also exclude others from utilizing an area far greater than he himself needs. It allows him to impose tributes upon them which they must continuously pay. These appear not only openly in rent and lease contracts, but are hidden in the prices of all goods and amount, fundamentally, to nothing other than a modern kind of slavery. This means, especially, that a great percentage of values created by others may be placed in his own pocket because they increased the value of his real estate. This is the reality of the alleged “equal” rights and duties of citizens.

The straightforward exploitation of certain people by others has, however, inescapable further consequences whereby this exploitation is enormously increased.

One need only imagine two men, each cultivating an equally large and valuable piece of land and requiring all their strength to do this. Apart from some exceptions, their incomes and property will be largely the same. If, however, one of them possesses an additional large tract of land as “property,” an area which he cannot cultivate by himself but which he can block against the equally justified claims of others, then, by means of this absurd “right,” he may extract so much rent and lease income from the non-owner (for whom the use of this land is vitally necessary) that his income will now soon exceed that of the other owner. Thus he can fast accumulate a rapidly growing capital out of this extorted unearned income and may then so much increase his own productivity through its investment that he will soon by-pass the other or even destroy him through competition.

The larger the land areas are whose use is blocked off by the scandalous as well as absurd property “rights” in land, and the greater the natural resources are, the more one may raise the price of produce and minerals merely by preventing the utilization of this land. As a monopolist or an oligopolist, one may thus exact an unearned income which increases one’s power more and more.

Since land is a possession which cannot be increased and always becomes increasingly rare in keeping with increased demand, present property “rights” in land — brought about and maintained by the State — allow a minority, among this an even smaller and especially favoured class, to pocket unearned income from their real estate, continuously, in the form of a so-called land rent, which represents one of the main sources of great differences in wealth. For what enriches some as an undeserved extra, must be taken from the product of the work of others. Thus some become richer and richer at the expense of those who, consequently, cannot get ahead.

The exclusion of most people from equal access to land, by means of the property of a few — this monopolizing of an indispensable foundation for life — leads to continuous exploitation affecting all prices. The consequences of this are recognized only by very few. It brings about enormous increases in value, due to the increased demand arising from the continuously growing number of people. This price increase is supported by a fraudulent currency policy, which has included an even greater demand for real estate. All this has led to a hundredfold increase and even more in the price of land. In Munich, for example, the increase from 1950 to 1970 was (on the average) 2,000%.

Simultaneously, due to increased land value, land rent increases proportionately. Moreover, this forms an essential part in the price of all products (N.B. of all products), not only of produce, and so must be paid by all consumers, and not by the tenants and leaseholders alone.

The exclusion of the great majority from free and equal access to land goes beyond this plundering and exploitation, since land is also one of the most important means of production. This leads directly to unemployment (which otherwise could not exist at all) as well as, through dependence upon land, to dependence upon other capital owners whose resources originally were almost entirely derived from land rent and from rent and lease incomes.

One should be clearly aware of the fact that the unequal distribution of wealth arose from land property and is still nourished by it even today, and that this has brought about what has been called capitalism.

With the development of technology and industry, the power and capital strength of the landed proprietors, especially of the large ones, grew still further. Besides owning the land as a means of production, which they had cultivated by dependent people on low wages, they could now also invest the capital goods produced. Thus the productivity of land was extraordinarily multiplied, the number of agricultural workers was reduced, and more and more people were closed off from the land. Moreover, due to vast capital superiority, completely new forms and possibilities of exploitation were opened up. The closure of land by the proprietors drove the property-less agricultural proletariat into the towns, where they provided cheap labour for the manufacturers whose capital was originally and almost exclusively derived from the land rent paid to the great landed proprietors.

Without property in land, capitalism, as we know it, would never have developed.

Even today, when the production of capital goods has reached immense importance on its own, besides land as the natural means of production, an essential and steadily increasing part of the inequality of wealth is due to land rent which, in the industrialized states, is now increasingly derived from urban real estate.

Professor Franz Oppenheimer has lent a totally new aspect to the land question, which is so underestimated by city dwellers — even though they especially suffer from the fact that this most important means of production is connected not only with the production of all produce and minerals but also with the provision of dwellings and industrial buildings, so influencing every consumption and every production. If free access for everyone to the most indispensable of all means of production had not been cut off, capitalism could not have arisen or persisted.

This was already pointed out by Marx in the final chapter of the first volume of his Capital. (Admittedly, he did not draw the right conclusions). There he reports the story of a noble Englishman, named Peel, who took several thousand working class people and an enormous quantity of capital goods to Australia in order to exploit an immense land property according to all the rules of the art of capitalism. But the workers had scarcely landed when they disappeared, took land outside of Peel’s property, and worked for themselves, while not one servant stayed behind to get water or make the bed for the poor lord. His whole capital was of no use to him.

“In the colonies, the wage-earner of today becomes an independent self- managing farmer or tradesman tomorrow. He disappears from the labour market, but not into the workhouse. Where every settler can turn a piece of land into his private property and capital possession, capitalism cannot arise.” (Thus said Marx, in the above-mentioned passage).

Thus it is not the private possession of means of production as such — which in the above case was of no use at all to the landowner — but rather the blocking of free access for everyone to the means of production which leads the majority into dependence on the few privileged monopolists and oligopolists and makes them subject to tributes through rent, interest and monopoly profits.

Rousseau clearly pointed out: “The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, declared that this land was now his and found people simple enough to believe him, was the founder of the modern State” (A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality). For who is it that “legalizes” and protects the oligopoly of land and enables the shameless exploitation of the great majority by a small minority? It is the State, whose role as a representative of the interests of a minority against the vital interests of a majority becomes quite obvious here.

The original robbery of every man by the State, by means of the State’s power, takes place even at his birth — with the exception of those who are granted a profitable privilege (landed property) at the expense of others. The individual is born helplessly into a so-called “rightful” order which has nothing in common with true rights (which would mean free agreements based on equal freedom for all) but, on the contrary, has established the privileged claim of a minority (based not on demonstrable genuine right) to an essential economic commodity and means of production. This, as a gift of nature, can equally be claimed for use by everybody, without exception. It will be elaborated in Chapter Seven how this claim, combined with assured equal access to land, can be realized for everyone. By these means, “public welfare” would be achieved, not in the fraudulent form practiced today, but in the only possible way. At the same time, the problem of land rent will be solved most appropriately.

Here one must first make clear that the State in no way guarantees true equality of rights for the individual. On the contrary, the worst abominations are cleverly hidden behind “equality before the law,” and some people, by means of privileges, monopolies, and oligopolies, are actually reduced to paying tribute to others. They are subjected to “rightful” as well as actual domination not only by functionaries of the State but by especially privileged groups of citizens.

These functions of subjection and exploitation by the State are veiled by means of the nationalization of schooling and the other spheres of influence of the State — in order to maintain not only widespread ignorance of its real nature and true main function but also in order to implant a completely wrong image of them in all as yet uncritical minds. Concerning this, see Dr. Walther Borgius (Die Schule — Ein Frevel an der Jugend — The School — A Crime against Youth, Berlin, 1930).

Dr. Borgius states here (and also proves through a wealth of material): “The school is a cunning instrument of the State for the imposition of domination. It was established, or rather usurped, from similar structures provided by dangerous competitors, such as churches, cities and private associations, in order to accustom all members of the State to obedience from childhood, to suggest to them the necessity of the State, to paralyze every idea of emancipation in its beginnings, to lead the development of their thinking into well-ordered paths, and to drill them to be humble subjects who can be easily ruled.”

This also explains why otherwise quite intelligent minds are simply blind to the most evident facts. Who of those, for instance, who of all their fatherland own only the soil in their flowerpots, know or have drawn the conclusion that even in the densely populated German Federal Republic approximately 4,000 square meters of land surface exist per head and that of these about 3,000 sq. m. are usable, while world-wide there are even 25,000 sq. m. per person, including even children and old people?

There are very few people who have the least notion that 1,500 sq. m. of land are already sufficient to provide the average food requirements of a person, and this with only eight weeks of labour distributed over a whole year! The remaining 44 weeks remain to cover the further needs of life.

Thus, if each family and each individual in the German Federal Republic had a completely equal claim to the use of land and its resources (which they could even extend world-wide, seeing that they would not have to limit themselves to the area of the German Federal Republic) everyone would have at his disposal far more land than would be sufficient, without having to disadvantage anybody thereby. The basic requirements for shelter and food (also clothing) would be covered, just as nature provides these needs for each free-living animal — and this in complete independence from any “employers,” guardians, rulers or “welfare workers.” In this way alone all forms of unemployment would become impossible and all idle babble about there being too few jobs and that these should, therefore, be “distributed,” would be revealed as foolish.

There is never any lack of opportunity for work, since people’s needs are unlimited and all human labour is never sufficient to satisfy them completely. All contemporary unemployment rests solidly on the fact that the persons concerned are prevented from working by aggressive force — and this, to a significant degree, indeed largely, by excluding them from equal use of the main means of production: land.

They are excluded by the State, which allegedly guarantees the equality and welfare of all — while it “legitimizes” for a minority, the gifts of nature by privileged claims which cannot be justified at all (since air cannot be “bought” either, in order to extract tribute from others). It does this by simply clothing its bare aggressive force in fraudulent “rights.” One should note here that those States which do not legitimize land privileges for individuals and groups, but act as sole landowners representing alleged collective interest, are no less aggressive and violent towards the individual and all people.

The above-sketched effects of this original robbery led to more and more pronounced differences between the poor and the rich, to enormous difference in wealth, to new possibilities of exploitation (which are protected by the State in the same way as the ownership of land), to unemployment, economic crises and the misery and oppression of many people. All this then serves as a pretext for the State to act as a refuge, protector, and welfare institution for those who were thus disadvantaged, and to justify an abundance of further oppressive interventions into the equal freedom of all, via its alleged indispensability. But only the elimination of the original robbery, for which the State is responsible, would prevent the development of such conditions!

It is thus fundamentally important to secure equal access to land and its use for everybody.

Even more fatal — and again for the benefit of a mere minority only — is the money monopoly usurped by the State.

Since an economy based on the division of labour cannot exist without a means of exchange — unless it is a command economy of rulers and subjects — this monopolization facilitates the continuous exaction of interest, which far exceeds the costs of production and administration of this means of exchange.

The interest or discount rate, arbitrarily set by the Central Bank, determines only the minimum rate which must be paid as interest by those holding loans. Since the Central Bank uses its monopoly, among other things, to place money not directly at the disposal of working men, but exclusively with banks (thus allowing an oligopoly), the discount rate is paid only by such banks, which in turn and on the average, charge at least double and often more than three-fold this amount for interest. Moreover, each debtor is also debited with various fees.

Besides, banking is so privileged by the State and so bound about by regulations that banks are entitled to create money, existing only in accounting ledgers, in limited but considerable amounts. For this money they may also extract interest which far exceeds the production and administration costs of a free means of exchange.

What sums are involved can be measured by the following fact: when financing new homes, the generous helpers who provide the means of exchange (i.e. the house-building credit) as a rule receive more money in interest than all the construction costs combined.

The builder must, therefore, pay the price of two, or sometimes even three, houses in order to own one. The difference, the value of one or two other houses, is pocketed by these generous helpers, partly as unearned income, partly as an excessive reward for a service which was screened against any risk. Consequently, up to 80% of housing rent consists of interest and land rent.

It should also be evident that a rise in the interest rate raises the land rent at the same time: thus interest has a far wider effect than rent.

A further consequence is that the price of all products includes up to 50% for interest and land rent.

In order to understand this, one has to remember that, due to technological advances an always growing share falls to the investment for plant improvement and a smaller and smaller share to human labour.

In most areas of the economy today a capital investment of DM 150,000 — or more, corresponds to one work place. This means: first of all, before anyone who is dependently employed may receive a ware or a salary [the average earnings in the German Federal Republic amount to approximately 1,870 DM gross or 1,350 DM net a month, in 1975], the interest claim for the capital investment per work place must be satisfied. Otherwise, the employee can neither be employed nor earn anything.

This interest must be paid by the entrepreneur to the creditor lending the money if the work is done with outside capital. This costs him approximately 9% (in times of relatively low interest rates). Alternatively, if he provides the capital himself, he must debit the average interest rate in his books. Otherwise, he would be better off to lend his capital to others and to pocket an unearned income for himself.

Consequently, for each 1,350 DM which the entrepreneur pays out as wages or salary, more than 1,100 DM (13,500 DM interest divided by 12) has to be paid as the share of interest in the proceeds from production.

This relationship becomes less favourable for the employee by the fact that an average rate means, at best, that at any given time, 50% lies above and 50% below it. In the latter case, gross income may vary around 1,600 DM and net income around 1,100 DM. Actually, however, the income distribution curve runs in such a way that a greater number of incomes are below average and opposed by a quite small number of high incomes. Consequently, approximately two-thirds lie below the officially calculated average.

Moreover, apart from rent, the price of the product contains monopoly profit for the entrepreneur also (besides his working income). It results from the fact that employees today, as a rule, neither own the required capital nor are they credit-worthy enough to be able to manage without the entrepreneur.

Without this situation there would be no land rent and no interest, or at least not as high interest as today. Then the workers could pocket for themselves (seeing that in the price of the raw materials there are also corresponding shares of land rent, interest, and monopoly gains) at least approximately double the amount of today’s actual average of 1,350 DM, or even without compulsory taxes and enforced social security deductions, far more than 3,000 DM per month.

It is evident that with such average incomes any governmental “social security policy” would be completely unnecessary.

One should realize that an employee gets paid only a small part of what he could have earned because, apart from interest, land rent and the monopoly profits of the entrepreneur, the State also takes a considerable share (22% for the minimum tax rate and 33% for the social security contributions — seeing that the entrepreneurs’ share is part of the working salary) for taxes and social security contributions. From the tattered remainder, when it is consumed, again about half the amount goes to those pocketing interest and land rents (since a corresponding share of these is part of every price). Thus it becomes quite clear what an immense pillage has been effected by the money monopoly created and maintained by the State, besides that brought about by the land oligopoly. The maintenance of this situation is the main function of the State.

Because not only the entire production but also nearly all consumption is thus loaded with the proportion of interest in all prices — these tributes running into the thousands of millions, and all flowing as unearned income to a minority of privileged people — there follow, as with land rent — some far-reaching consequences which make the rich richer and the poor more dependent on them.

The small earners of interest are not at all aware that, on an average, they have to pay double what they receive in interest in all prices paid by them. This follows from the difference between the interest paid by banks to depositors and the interest they charge to their debtors, who pass this burden on to all prices.

As the recipients of interest and land rents are unable to consume their unearned income, their capital power and monopoly position is continually strengthened, while those owing tribute to them are never in a position to accumulate corresponding capital.

This legalized plunder — which harms employees without independent means, after these, small savers and then, especially, pensioners, who are particularly hard hit — is, nevertheless, still not the worst effect of the State’s money monopoly. Its far worse consequence is that the interest economy thereby perpetuates itself and that at the same time the general standard of living is kept far below its possible level.

Since, for the use of its monopolized means of exchange, the State demands an interest rate which exceeds the cost of the production and administration of this currency, which amount only to a fraction of one per cent, the following effect occurs: when growing productivity creates so much real capital (the so-called means of production) that its growing supply begins to force the interest rate down, the offer of money (i.e. credit) is withdrawn for the time being, so stopping further production until the interest rate rises again. In the long run, it cannot fall below the discount rate of the Central Bank plus the common additional rate of the banks. Private creditors know this and act correspondingly. Thus, monopoly interest is an obstacle which effects and maintains that scarcity of capital by which interest is caused and “justified.”

A small minority thus becomes rich and richer, at increasing speed, without having to move one finger, while the great majority (and among them not only those who have to pay interest themselves but all employees and consumers) never achieve much wealth, and the production of means of production as well as of consumer products is kept far below its possible level.

The trade unions, influenced by Marx’ theory of surplus value, have recognized only a minor source of exploitation and not at all its main course. They see evil only in employers’ profits. In this, they overlook how large a share of what otherwise would appear as reward for labour is eaten up by interest and rent (plus direct confiscation by the powers of the State). Instead of fighting not only against the excessive profits of employers but also against interest (thereby lowering prices, which would also mean increased incomes), they often raise the prices by claims that are justified in themselves but which, in part, can only be fulfilled at the expense of interest. For the employer is under strong pressure to pay interest for outside capital or to close down his firm. In the relatively rare case where he works exclusively with his own capital, he would be foolish if he made it available free of interest as long as the interest economy continues, for he could live without work and worry if he closed his firm and invested his capital in others for interest.

Of course, interest cannot be abolished from one day to the next (though the monopoly of the Central Bank can be!), or reduced to what corresponds to the effective cost of the production and administration of the means of exchange. For interest results not merely from the monopolistic surcharge of the Central Bank upon these costs but, as mentioned, also from the fact that through the obstructive nature of interest (effected again, by the Central Bank) available real capital has hitherto remained far beneath the amount that would have been possible and necessary. As long as the demand for real capital remains greater than the supply a surcharge (interest) will follow. This interest, though, will fall with free competition in the issue of means of exchange while the backlog of real capital is overcome.

Recently, Professor F. A. Hayek, monetary expert and 1974 Nobel Laureate, also proposed to destroy the money monopoly of governments and central banks since they misuse it under political pressure. It should be left to the free choice of the citizens what type of money they want to use and in what currency they want to carry out transactions (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20th of January 1976).

Moreover, it must be noted that because of the deduction of interest from what would have been working income, employees can never buy with their wages all the products they have manufactured, while entrepreneurs and recipients of interest and land rents usually make higher profits than they can ever consume even through luxury purchases. This necessarily leads to reduced consumer demand and to sales difficulties which reduce production even further than the obstacle of interest does in any case.

The law of profitability dictates that not what is actually needed is produced, but only those things which provide the required interest besides the land rent (i.e. what is “profitable”). Any production that would not produce the usual interest and land rent, besides the other costs, is thus prevented. A large amount of possible production thus does not take place.

Each additional percentage of interest raises the profit margin and prevents more potential production. Similarly, each percentage of decreased interest lowers the profit margin and enables correspondingly increased production, which otherwise would have been impossible because, due to the higher interest rate, it would not have been profitable. The industrial economist Schmalenbach said correctly that, if the interest rate were zero, it would be profitable to cultivate citrus fruits in greenhouses at the North Pole.

The Central Bank, moreover, through so-called “monetary policy,” brings about alternately inflation and deflation. Then, by arbitrarily raising and lowering interest rates, it attempts to compensate for the mistakes made by these policies. How unsuccessful the central banks are in this is obvious when one considers worldwide inflation today. It is also manifest that the central banks are either incapable or unwilling to stabilize the value of currency — which could easily be achieved with a non-monopolistic means of exchange.

Naturally, inflation drives the interest rate still higher, since it makes it possible to pay off debts with depreciated money (a possibility very eagerly used by States themselves). At the same time, inflation robs savers of thousands of millions of Marks (especially the small savers who are unable to evade it by investment in real values). (Savers in the German Federal Republic have annually suffered losses of purchasing power amounting to 20 to 30 thousand million DM). At the same time, it plays into the hands of owners of large amounts of capital. For these receive, from the banks, the money of the small savers. They can invest it in lasting capital goods, while they can pay it back with depreciated money. Because of inflation it becomes still more difficult for small savers to attain any wealth worth talking about.

Then, when the Central bank once again changes over to a deflationary policy, numerous small and medium-sized firms go bankrupt and cease to be competitors for the large firms or are cheaply bought up by them.

In either case, a destruction of capital takes place for both small and moderate savers. Capital thus remains scarce, and the profit of the large owners of capital, as well as dependence upon them, is more secure than ever.

In full knowledge of these facts, almost all States are moving towards continuous inflation as they do not know or do not want to know any other means to achieving full employment — while full employment could be reached quite automatically by dropping all privileges and monopolies, especially those of the State as their originator and protector.

The absurdity of “unemployment” and the “creation of work” finds its final cause in the State alone. There is neither a lack of unfulfilled needs nor of people capable and willing to work to fulfill these needs. Instead, institutions created and defended by the State (especially the money monopoly and the land oligopoly) prevent those concerned from working and force them into an unworthy, dependent state of subjugation. People who “can” work are also in this subjugation as they are exposed to continuous robbery.

These conditions are not only in the interest of a privileged minority, about which Woodrow Wilson (who as President of the U.S. must have known) said: “The true lords of our government are the capitalists and industrialists of the United States, who are closely associated with each other.” Fritz Berg, President of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (Federal Association of German Industry), expressed the same idea as follows: “We businessmen can further the negotiations of our government or let them fail.”

Instead, and increasingly, special exploitation is due to “State servants” who have obtained for themselves an abundance of privileges over the “subjects of their legal sovereignty,” especially as their numbers have approximately doubled during the last 25 years and are increasing by approximately 3% a year. Really productive work, or at least work indirectly furthering the productivity of the economy, is done only on a small scale by these State servants. On the other hand, numerous activities undertaken by them aim at actually hindering productivity and maintain that mechanism for oppression and exploitation which is the main purpose of the State.

Staff expenditures for public services amounted to only 6,000 million DM in 1950. By 1974 they had already reached 109,000 million DM, while by 1975 they rose to no less than 134,600 million DM and by 1976 they claimed more than 56% of all taxes.

They are remarkable “servants,” too, insofar as the average income in the public service was more than 30% above the average income for the whole economy (that is above that of those for whose welfare these “servants” supposedly work). Besides this, there are other advantages for officials: e.g. automatic promotion, job security, pension schemes far superior to normal pensions, and numerous hidden fringe benefits.

Calculations using average figures always hide the fact that by so-called “structural changes” (up-grading of positions and the expansion of higher positions) the number of members in the upper levels was greatly increased, and out of all proportion. There are, relatively, more and more ministerial advisors and directors compared with fewer and fewer inspectors, secretaries, and office clerks. In salary negotiations, those with the smallest incomes (they are sometimes quite modest) are placed in the forefront in order to achieve percentage raises which proportionally increase the already excessive incomes — in particular branches of the public service and especially in its higher ranks. Parliamentary representatives sit pretty in this, as if in a self-service restaurant. Moreover, for a long time now, members of the public service among them have represented a secure majority.

Thus, under the fraudulent notion of “public welfare,” every year tens of thousands of millions of DM are pocketed by people, especially those in top positions, who are mainly responsible for the exploitation by “capitalists” which occurs under the protection and direct command of the State. At the same time, and in much more direct form, they operate their own additional exploitation, too. With a monthly income of approximately 10,000 DM and increasingly without risk, and also with a corresponding pension, this class of parasites is quite capable of evoking envy even from most capitalists and, above all — with very few exceptions — from entrepreneurs.


Public education today gives most people a completely false image of the State. The propaganda of special interest groups contributes to this false image. These groups use the State machinery for gaining advantage at the expense of others. “Wake up, fools of this State, you who are still forced to attend these schools!” said Fritz Rodewald, National President of the Association of Young Teachers and Educators in the German Trade Union for Education and Science.

In this depiction of the State, which makes it look harmless, its oppression and exploitation functions are never spoken of — although they are its main and historically provable functions. In this image, the State appears only in a benevolent light, as a protector or even as a helper. It is true that in the historical development of the State the functions of oppression and exploitation have often been intermingled, right from the beginning, with the protective and benevolent functions, though with a strong preponderance of exploitation and oppression.

Originally, usually as a result of war, the conquering State was forced upon the defeated. But gradually the conquering State also granted some rights to its subjects, partly to prevent them from revolting, partly to gain more willing helpers for new campaigns of conquest and plunder. Otherwise, individual in a dull and only half-felt awareness of their egos, associated voluntarily in semi-statist associations, to protect and secure themselves against invasion and looting by others. Then a warrior cast arose and gradually gained privileges proportionate to: a) the relief felt by peasants and artisans about being freed from the burden of military service and: b) the spread of the centralized organization of warfare.

As the States gained strength, it was principally in the interest of the central power not to let feudal lords become too strong. This led to a situation in which the broad masses were promised protection against individual arbitrary acts. Sometimes even positive services were offered in order to gain followers.

Today much fuss is made about the “social welfare” function of the State. However, a fundamental fact must be noted: the State is unproductive and can give only what it has previously taken. It even returns much less, for a huge bureaucracy lives on the takings, and it lives far better indeed than those “provided for.” Apart from this, the following facts should also be considered.

The State as an instrument of social justice is an illusion, quite apart from the fact that “justice” is a very elastic, ideological concept. An agreement about its contents, is therefore, impossible. Either government re-distribution of income through taxes and subsidies is justified by the fact that those from whom their income is taken have acquired it by wrong-doing, or it is not just towards them. In the first case, it would be more correct to remove the causes which allowed those people to obtain their income in an unjustified manner (as was outlined before). It should never happen that such causes are created and maintained by the State which make an exploitation possible in the first place, and which are then partly compensated for by “social measures.”

It is an illusion that the State forces the rich to support the poor with their excess wealth. Moreover, it is precisely the State that causes the growing gap between rich and poor, and this by means of its so-called “rightful order” which is, in reality, a coercive order. Prosperity in the industrial countries of the West is only very relative and is above all achieved by a higher degree of employment compared with the past, especially through the employment of women.

When comparing wages and salaries before World War II with the prices of that time, one notices that today’s real incomes have not essentially changed: prices have increased approximately to the same extent as wages and salaries. Capital incomes, however, have increased much more, which is not surprising, seeing the increasing role of capital in production and that capital continually increases by itself in today’s monopoly economy.

Whereas employees must pay their taxes in full since they are deducted directly from wages and salaries on pay day, for the self-employed the State has left numerous back doors open to save “taxes.” In many cases they are quite openly granted exemptions under the pretence of promoting investment. This, in practice, favours only a minority of the privileged people, as most people do not possess any considerable capital which they could invest.

“Thus this minority accumulates more and more wealth at the expense of the great majority.”

In the U.S. it was recently revealed that, for example, 112 persons with incomes in excess of $200,000 in 1970 paid no income tax at all for that year. The multi-millionaire Jean Paul Getty paid several thousands of dollars in income tax in spite of a yearly income of $100 million.

In particular, it is an illusion that the broad masses are granted anything by “social welfare” offered by the State, especially in medical and old age insurance. On the contrary: under the pretence of “social welfare,” several times as much is taken from them as is finally given back to them. The contributor is deceived as to the actual total of his burden by naming half of the social security contributions the “employer’s share,” whereas it is actually nothing other than a part of his wage or salary which would be paid to him if he were not subjected to these compulsory contributions.

Let us consider the average gross earnings of employees which amounted, in 1975, to 1,860 DM a month, according to the Federal Bureau for Statistics. Of this, 33%, i.e. 620 DM a month, goes for insurance (18% for pensions, 12% for health insurance, and 3% for unemployment insurance). This is a payment by the person cornered into some kind of compulsory savings account for emergencies. But in these emergencies he gets back only a small part of what he contributed himself. By no means does he receive any gift.

Six-hundred-and-twenty DM a month, or 7,400 DM a year amounts (even without any interest) in 40 to 50 working years to 297,600 to 372,000 DM. With interest considered “normal” — which is enforced by the money monopoly as the lowest limit and, of course, with the far higher interest rates of today, the amount would double every 20 to 25 years. That means that after the first 20 to 25 years, there are already 297,600 to 372,000 DM available, instead of 148,000 to 186,000 DM. After a further 20 to 25 years, 595,200 to 744,000 DM have already accumulated after the payments of the first 20 to 25 years. The payments of the second 20 to 25 years and their doubling add another 297,600 to 372,000 DM.

This proves clearly enough what fraud nowadays is committed through the alleged social welfare measures of the State and what blatant exploitation of the compulsorily insured is hidden by it. These people are actually expropriated by an amount often surpassing one million DM under the mask of “social welfare.” Whatever they get back in case of unemployment (for which, in the end, they also owe “thanks” to the State), sickness, and old age, is evidently only a small portion of those amounts, while considerable amounts remain for capital formation.

That this is not the case today, particularly with medical insurance, that, instead, contributions are increased again and again, is due to a huge bureaucracy that lives a parasitic life on thousands of millions of Marks and to the fact that this compulsory system seduces doctors as well as the insured to waste these immense funds. Respectable and responsible people are thus especially exploited by corrupt and unscrupulous ones.

This scandal is partly covered up by the slow and sometimes galloping inflation conducted by the State which, in combination with corresponding legislation, makes it impossible for private insurance companies to become effective competitors for the compulsory institutions. (Nevertheless, the private ones are marvelously efficient compared with the others, in spite of this handicap). For compulsory public insurance bodies can simply cover inflation losses by dipping into the treasury, that is to say, by a new plunder of those already expropriated by “social welfare.”

The above-mentioned amounts were calculated using today’s usual interest rate, with which the insurance companies also reckon when they invest their money. After the abolition of the State’s money monopoly, interest will finally disappear, i.e. be reduced to the costs of issuing and administering money, plus an adequate risk premium to cover the credit risk.

Then we should also expect a simultaneous increase in working incomes to at least double the present amounts. Prices will fall at the same time by the amounts of interest and land rent they contain. Most important of all, productivity will increase considerably.

Most people live under the false impression that their contributions paid for old age insurance during their working lives do actually accumulate in a growing fund out of which their pensions are paid when they retire. This, however, is definitely not the case, since the entire reserve fund — if one can speak of one at all — comprises little more than the amount for three months’ pensions. Everything else the person concerned has paid in during his lifetime is no longer there when his own pension claim falls due. It has been spent to cover the current pension claims of others that were due earlier. The doubtful “security” of his pension relies exclusively on the fact that the State hopes to be able, in the future also, to compel, by means of its power, the younger generations to cover these obligations which it has taken up at other people’s expense. When the income from current contributions in this highly unreliable system (for which a private person would promptly be imprisoned if he practiced it) is no longer sufficient to cover the current obligations because of a fall in the population or in the number of those employed, then the State simply increases the contributions and taxes at the cost of those who then happen to be taxpayers and contributors. This is called by the State a “community based on solidarity.” (A volunteer community is, of course, something quite different from this compulsory association). By means of it, the State itself (i.e. its “servants” and “parasites”) lives very well indeed.

The “social welfare” of the State is thus only a link in the chain of frauds committed by the State. It is the same as the “care” of the State for the individual in general.

The tutelage of the individual under the State during his whole life, from birth to death, compels him, initially, to attend school. This — as already proven (by the above-mentioned Dr. Walther Borgius in Die Schule — ein Frevel an der JugendThe SchoolA Crime against Youth, Berlin, 1930) and also by Dr. Gustav Grossman in Ferner Liefen — Also Ran, Munich, 1963, serves not the interest of the students, but primarily those of the State in raising obedient subjects. The ridiculously meager success of public education in relation to the time spent and the costs involved could be achieved much more effectively, with more rational teaching methods, in a quarter of the time or even less as has likewise been shown.

Afterwards, the thus prepared citizen enters — mostly after having been conscripted into military or substitute servitude — a working life that not only subjugates him as socially subordinate, even as a social slave (all under the pretext of “social welfare”) that not only exposes him to plunder by the monopolies and privileges created and maintained by the State, but also to continuous robbery by the State itself, under many different guises.

Armament expenditures in the German Federal Public alone every year require 540 DM per head for a family of four. That is, it requires 2,160 DM. Related to the average net income of an employee, i.e. 1,350 DM, this means that the provider of a family of four has to work for more than one-and-a-half months every year just for armaments.

The total burden of all federal, State, and local government taxes (without the public debts which the State also charges to all citizens!) runs to no less than 4,100 DM per head, i.e. 16,400 DM for a family of four. They are higher than what remains for the family to live on.

It should be noted that this is only a calculation in averages. The above-mentioned tax burden is partly contained in a correspondingly higher gross income. Otherwise, it is distributed either on incomes under higher tax progression or on taxes on capital incomes and properties and on value-added and consumer goods taxes. The importance of the latter is usually underestimated. With the taxes on capital incomes and property it must be taken into account that this kind of income was already a burden on earned incomes because of the monopolistic economy. In the end, these taxes are thus also a burden on incomes from work.

In the minimum case, i.e. when someone has only an average income (that is, is in a low tax bracket), the medical, pension and unemployment insurance contributions alone (correctly calculated with the so-called employer’s portion) take 33%, and income tax takes at least another 22% of the proper income, the gross income. Moreover, all expenses — apart from the taxes on consumption — are burdened with a value added tax — which averages 17 % according to official estimates. The minimum burden demanded by the State thus comprises approximately three quarters of the gross working income and becomes far larger in cases of higher tax progression.

Once again: every State, even in the so-called “free” Western countries, forces through these practices an essentially communist economy upon those in its sphere of power. (By the way, the People’s Republic of China claims only 40% of incomes as a State levy).

One must also take into account that gross income represents only the remainder, i.e. approximately 50%, of one’s earnings after interest and land rent (both caused by the intervention of the State) are deducted from the proper earnings of every individual. The State puts half the amount into the pockets of the privileged and the monopolists, and from the other half it takes, “for the welfare” of the State’s slaves, approximately three quarters, so that finally only approximately one-eighth of the proper earnings remain. In other words, for ten- and-a-half months every year, modern man works as a slave of the State and society, and of the small class of people privileged by the State. From the earnings of the other one-and-a-half months, he must pay his own and his family’s support for the whole year. Then the State gives him friendly encouragement to build up his property out of this meager remnant.

A selection of significant facts about the “sozialen Rechtsstaat” (“social lawful State”) was gathered by Charlotte Rothweiler in her booklet Ein Sozialer Rechtsstaat (A Lawful Social State), Frankfurt/M., 1971. But one would have to write a thick volume to give even a reasonable survey of the partly rapacious, partly fraudulent and partly quite absurd practices of the real persons who hide as representatives and “servants” behind the notion of the State. The State could also be defined, in very mild terms, as an organization with the legal and mutual practice of pocket-picking.

Indeed, because of “democracy” the modern State is not just a government structure with the single purpose of exploitation (although, as explained, this remains its main purpose). “Democracy” might be considered as one of the first steps towards non-domination, but it is also a machine whose levers are manipulated by numerous contesting interests. What results from this was demonstrated by the irrefutable figures stated above.

It was also mentioned that it is obviously absurd to plunder the masses by means of an expensive apparatus which gives unfair advantage to those having unearned incomes and then tries to reimburse the exploited with a fraction of the booty by means of a still more expensive apparatus. The “paternalistic State” does not truly care for its “children” out of fatherly love, unless one understands by “children” those to whom it has given privileges and monopolies.

For example, in the “social housing policy” rents were initially reduced by interest subsidies from the State (taken in taxes especially from those people who were to benefit from government housing). Then a situation arose in which the rents of the “social” housing projects were considerably higher than those of the freely financed ones. The subsidies of the State were mainly benefiting those who received the excessive interest and supported the maintenance of these excessively high interest rates.

The same happens with the so-called “Wohngeld” (rent subsidy). Apart from the controlling and dispensing bureaucracy, primarily those benefited who receive these rent subsidies in order to ensure them their full profit from land rent and interest (i.e. the landlords to whom the tenants must immediately forward the rent subsidy).

It is difficult not to write a satire on this.

Within the State there are already smart pupils of the State’s practice. Special interest groups, for example, realize their desires for higher subsidies, higher wages, or shorter working hours — regardless of those concerned. In this, even small groups may blackmail society by paralyzing vital services — the mail, the railway, airlines or key industries. In England, at one and the same time, the employees of the power stations demanded a 37% increase in wages, the garbage collectors 43%, Ford workers 50%, and agricultural workers 60%, regardless of the fact that the price increases thus caused must be borne by workers in weaker positions, pensioners, many self-employed people and numerous savers.

Pressure groups have assured for themselves influence upon legislation through lobbies, in a great variety of forms and in many entangled ways and bypasses, all for the ruthless realization of their own interest, regardless of the interests of others. Not only that, they have also put members of the government or the administration under “pressure” by means ranging from mild corruption to harsh extortion. Whatever is revealed of this is comparable only to the tip of an iceberg whose main mass remains invisible.

Such associations not only make themselves at home in government and administration, but by means of public corporations, also establish their own parallel governments withdrawn from all parliamentary control. This happens under harmless-sounding formulas such as “justice” and “welfare,” or even under noble terms, all legally established. Thus, for instance, institutions like Medical Associations and Insurance Doctors’ Associations become privileged by receiving a monopoly as public bodies, which not only ensures massive material advantages to certain interest groups, but has multiple negative effects for most of the population. A report in Der Spiegel (No. 11–14, 1972) entitled “Das Geschaeft mit der Krankheit” (The Sickness Business) provides much relevant material.

The EEC’s agricultural policy is one of the most expensive and at the same time most absurd forms of State subsidy. It has been calculated that each German farmer who gave up his farm and thus renounced the customary subsidies (which increase prices) could pocket at least 1,100 DM net a month without requiring a tax or price increase. Under the present subsidized economy, however, many farmers do not earn such an income in spite of hard work. Alternatively, a yearly sum of 5,000 to 6,000 DM could be paid to all farmers if the State gave up agricultural subsidies now practiced and granted all that money directly to the farmers.

Through so-called “economic policy” whole mountains of butter, pork and milk-powder are today artificially produced by means of subsidies, and further subsidies are declared necessary in order to level these mountains.

With equally free access to land for everybody and after the cessation of land rent and interest, there will be no “agricultural problem” at all, and any “economic policy” — which has always represented a rapacious intervention of the State in favour of the privileged — will cease.

The State actually encourages the economy to merge as much as possible (and above all creates the presuppositions for mergers) as, for example, with Ruhrkohle-AG — in order to help the subsequently unprofitable enterprises with thousands of millions of DM out of the pockets of the taxpayers. On the other hand, large enterprises and corporations, so variously favoured by the State, have often become so powerful in the market as to equal a State within a State and to make the State’s economic policy increasingly ineffective. For instance, associations of the steel industry manage autonomously to divide international markets among themselves, by agreements on delivery quotas. At home they put the market economy out of operation by increasing prices instead of reducing them when sales stagnate, as was done, e.g., in the car industry. While State measures to restrict credit hurt small and middle sized enterprises, they have no effect upon the “big ones,” as these party finance themselves by means of monopolistic prices and partly through foreign banks which are closed to others. The Department of Justice in the U.S. has recently started proceedings against the computer firm of IBM on the charge of “fixing prices at a rapacious level.”

There are IBM factories and offices in more than 100 countries worldwide and the stock capital alone of this one firm reaches 140,000 million DM, approximately the stock exchange value of all West German corporations together. With a turnover of 8,300 million dollars and with 1,100 million dollars as net profit in 1971, it could afford to spend 550 million dollars in 1972 on research and development, i.e. double the amount spent by Germany’s biggest computer producer’s (Siemens) total turnover in the computer sphere in 1971.

The huge firm grew, as a rule, through massive public support especially in the arms industry and then used their superior power to swallow up their competitors.

Incidentally, one must not conclude from the IBM example that German corporations are poor. Siemens, for instance, was able to invest in each of two successive years approximately 1,000 million DM and by such investments has bought or founded approximately 80 firms in Germany and in foreign countries during the last 20 years.

By means of cartels, price agreements, mutual shareholding and common subsidiaries, a mutual entanglement of the monopolists has arisen which makes a mockery of the allegedly free competition and free market economy. EEC Commissioner Albert Borschette, who is responsible in Brussels for questions regarding competition, came to the conclusion: “In the long run the concentration of industry forces us to consider a new social order.”

This must, however, happen very differently from the hitherto imagined manner in which the State was to become the only monopolist or was to operate as the controller and supervisor of the monopolists. No, the monopolies themselves must disappear or, where this is not possible, they must be rendered ineffective through appropriate measures (for which we have a proposal which is as simple as it is surprising). For there has been anti-trust legislation in the U.S.A. for more than 80 years, and this has not at all prevented the ongoing concentration of industry. John Kenneth Galbraith, once a Kennedy adviser, declared: “Anti-trust laws are a farce, as the industrial giants are immune to them.” And Volkmar Muthesius, always acting as a faithful guardian for the interest of great capital and especially of financial capital, in his eagerness to deny their economic as well as political power, went so far once as to tell the truth by mistake: “In economic life there is only such power as descends from the State, as is granted by it.” Exactly this has been explained here.


It is only too characteristic for the State that any crime, if only it comes within the law, becomes “legal” i.e. from the State’s perspective this crime becomes a tolerated and even praiseworthy act. For almost all acts which are prohibited by the criminal codes of particular States and are punished, the State says: “You must not do this, but I may!”

The State works as murderer and killer in the activities of its secret services, by capital punishment, and in war it even compels those within its power to commit murder themselves in case of war or to help in the murdering of others.

The State acts as a highway robber by charging custom duties and taxes at borders and within the country itself.

It acts as a robber when, by means of the tax office and foreclosures, it expropriates immense sums from the working incomes and the property of all within its sphere of power. It acts as a small thief as it does not dare to let the degree of its plundering become obvious, and thus spreads it over numerous special duties and taxes (which is described as “the science of public finance”) in such a way that to most people its total extent remains hidden. If they knew it, they would not put up with it any longer.

The relevant figures were mentioned previously and thus need not be repeated here.

Apart from this, in the collection of social security contributions as well as in withholding taxes, German firms have to do unpaid work for the State which costs them (according to statements of the taxpayers’ association) almost ten thousand million DM annually, which, added to the prices, must naturally be carried by all consumers.

Inflation, by which the State relieves itself of its own debts and “redistributes” wealth by taking money from the pockets of the poor and the poorest and placing it in those of the rich, is an especially clever form of thievery. The State never robs and steals only for its own purposes, but also for those who have built it up and established it in such an artful way.

The State acts as a swindler when, while prohibiting the falsification of weights and measures, as well as the forgery of its own money, it falsifies it by itself or allows the falsification of the most important measure, money, the means of exchange, after having first monopolized it and enforced its acceptance. The swindle consists then in constantly reducing its purchasing power.

Its banknotes are, basically, debt certificates of the Central Bank (whose acceptance is enforced). The Central Bank, however, does not pay interest on them, but on the contrary — based on its monopoly position — collects interest from its creditors. A private person making a similar demand would be imprisoned either as an extortionist or as a mental case. But a monopolist can allow himself everything, at least one who is legally protected. One should have learnt, though, under the Nazi regime, that laws can be criminal, too.

The State works as an extortionist by making numerous activities dependent upon its licence. Moreover, it oppresses and exploits people, and their clients and customers, by a multitude of regulations. Especially, it extorts the total support for all its servants. The State sings the praises of work and prohibits gambling, and then invites people to play lottery and soccer pools, while confiscating the lion’s share of the takings. The same is done with the profits from gambling casinos which are “licensed” by the State.

The State acts as a pimp by tolerating and indirectly furthering what it first calls vice and threatens with penalties, if only it brings in money. While it praises the “dignity” of human beings, it draws its money from the dirtiest sources, according to the principle: “Pecunia non olet.” (“Money does not stink.”)

The State prohibits slavery and serfdom. But the condition of minority, tutelage, holding on a leash, manipulation and subjection in which it puts all those within its sphere of power, differs very little from slavery and serfdom. In war, the State not only decides about the property but also about the life of the individual. Even during peace, an individual’s possessions and liberties are always, so to speak, only on lease from the State and may be diminished and restricted by it at any time.

The State engages in spying and maintains a considerable apparatus of spies and secret agents, in its own territories as well as in foreign countries. However it punishes spies investigating its own State secrets.

The State demands for itself the right of self-determination. But when some section of its population claims the same right for itself, then it shouts about “sedition” and “high treason” and moves against them with brute force.

Especially remarkable is the threat of punishment against foreigners for “high treason” against the German Federal Republic, even if this offence was committed abroad.

In one breath the State demands “the right of the people to utilize or apply the power of the State” and the “exclusion of any coercive and arbitrary domination.”

Whoever does not want to submit to the aggressive power of the State, i.e. its interference with the equal freedom of all, however, is threatened with punishment for “resistance against the power of the State.” For the essence of the State lies in its internal as well as external aggressiveness; this is the so-called “reason of State,” the law of the big fist. It lies in the maintenance of a system of domination, not only in favour of the State itself but also in favour of the individuals and groups privileged by it. The majority, however, is oppressed and exploited by monopolies, among which the land oligopoly and the money monopoly are only the most important. To this must be added oppression and exploitation by the State itself.

The State, however, also acts as a slanderer. Thus, during the German Empire, harmless social democrats were often officially called “anarchists” in order to discredit them. Today, too, by people who know better, a systematic slander campaign is conducted against the concepts of anarchy and anarchism. The true meaning of the concepts of

a) anarchy as non-domination, which is not only opposition to being dominated, but is also a voluntary renunciation of any desire to dominate others, and

b) anarchism, which fundamentally refuses to use any aggressive force and is thus the most decisive opponent to terrorism,

are sufficiently known from a literature extending over a hundred years. It is an especially infamous slander systematically and repeatedly to designate the Baader-Meinhof group (consisting of revolutionary Marxists who expressly disclaimed the “anarchistic” label) and their political friends, who aim at the opposite of anarchism, as “anarchists” only in order to discredit this concept by means of an unparalleled hate campaign.

When it has finally been understood that there is only one crime (in its various forms), namely, coercive intervention in the equal freedom of all, then one may perhaps designate the socially faulty organization of the State as the fundamental and main criminal and as a criminal syndicate.

Even today, though, because of its above-demonstrated double morality and the fact that gangsters have derived their basic principle (the protection racket) from the State, the State has moved dangerously close to such an organization.


Whoever considers the State necessary, believes aggressive force to be necessary too (without being aware of the consequences), and confuses an aggressive organization with a purely defensive one. It is a platitude that there are things that cannot be regulated by each individual himself but only in community with others. But for all such arrangements there are always two possibilities: on the one hand, aggressive force which forces an arbitrary solution on opponents; and on the other hand, a voluntary settlement which seeks a solution based on the equal freedom of all. The latter means, at the same time, the outlawing of aggressive force and the establishment of defensive organizations against it.

Most people mean such a defensive organization when referring to the State because they never seriously reflect upon its nature. For them the State has become self-evident as a customary phenomenon. They can hardly imagine its disappearance.

But trials of “witches,” torture, the Inquisition, and absolute monarchies once were such traditional phenomena, too, whose abolition could hardly be imagined.

That the State must at least be abolished as the creator and protector of monopolies and privileges has become an insight which urges itself more and more upon us, the more the fallacies, false premises, and assumptions of the past are corrected. Concerning the other functions of the State, outside of that main function, an increasing development towards independence, pluralism and “democratization” is undoubtedly aiming in the direction of a reduction of the dominating functions of the State (even when, in most instances, ineffective means are used).

People also mistakenly believe that agreed upon (i.e. genuine) rights are not possible without the guarantee of a superior and dominating force. In this case, international law offers an evident counter example, although not a model one. Above “sovereign” States there is no superior authority comparable to the State in its internal effects. Nevertheless, international law largely functions as contractual law. It works imperfectly because the “sovereignty” of the State is based on its ultimate principle, the law of the big fist. The sovereignty of the individual is of a quite different kind. It is based on the outlawry of the law of the big fist or the sword (i.e. of aggressive force) and rests, instead, on the common interest, in the equal freedom of all and in its defence.

A condition without domination and without the State is thus in no way one of arbitrariness or defencelessness. On the contrary, this condition, being opposed to any rule, is directed against any arbitrariness and aggression and thus considers non-aggressive and purely defensive, protective organizations as self-evidently necessary for the defence of this condition.

With the principle of equal freedom for all, something quite new opposes the dominating system so far based on religion or ideology, something based on the criteria of experienced reality. The new system relies exclusively on the criteria of experienced reality — which can be measured as in a balance. It follows as the inescapable choice between aggressive force on the one side and agreement on the other — which is in the long run possible only on the basis of equal freedom for all.

There are many people who proudly speak of “our State,” and they are by no means only those privileged by it. They cannot at all imagine an existence without the State and fear nothing more than “anarchy.” Why? — Because those who are interested in their own predominance fear non-domination as the end of their own hegemony and privilege. Thus they have falsified the concept of anarchy by equating it with chaos and arbitrariness. Anarchy, in its actual sense, however, means the very opposite of arbitrariness. It is an order based on the mutual freedom of all which is protected by a much more efficient defensively organized force than all previous Statist coercive systems could offer.

Anarchists — people who neither rule others nor want to be ruled by others — do not think at all of hindering the worshippers of the State from submitting themselves even to the most absurd measures of manipulation or exploitation and from “enjoying” all alleged or actual advantages which a “State,” i.e. an organization of domination, may offer. Only one thing will not be allowed for such a “State”: to subject others who are unwilling to its rule; to claim, for those willing and their State, an increased sphere of freedom at the expense of others, i.e. any monopolies; and to infringe the sphere of the equal freedom of all non-members either by itself or by any of its members. If these conditions are fulfilled then such a “State” is only State in name, and actually is a free protective and social community which one may enter freely, instead of being forced into it. One may also leave it again of one’s own free will — after giving due notice — or one may be excluded when violating accepted obligations. But this exclusion will not lead to discrimination

It is nothing but a fixed idea of the State-worshippers when they claim that it has to mind the business of more and more people without their being asked. This quite naturally ends in a conditions where all the affairs of all people are put into the hands of a few, i.e. it ends in domination instead of leadership.

One has to ask: is there any activity which can only be undertaken by the State as such, i.e. as an organization of domination and coercion, through its clerks, its officials, anything which society as such cannot do through its members? — The answer is simple: The rulers and leaders of the State, the government and the administration are not demi-gods or supermen. Nor is the State superhuman, but human throughout, an all too human institution. It practices no kind of activity which could not be done as well by others, individual men or associations of men.

If, however, the substitution of the State by free associations is possible, then there is no excuse or necessity for its present form (which, in any case, has already been found unsatisfactory by progressive people in all States!) or for its kind of coercion and aggressive intervention.

Or could the State prove that it could carry out its activities better and more advantageously than other, free associations could do? Then it should provide this proof, on an equal basis, in free competition, without claiming a monopoly for itself! If the State really care for the best for all individuals, if it had really good intentions and wanted to be merely a servant, as it asserts, then it would not need any coercion. It could leave it to the will of the individuals to associate voluntarily in it for common purposes or, alternatively, to live outside of the State’s “sovereignty.” Why doesn’t the State see its only task which may be fully approved in the establishment and protection of the same sphere of freedom for all?

For this purpose it would not have to become aggressive but could obtain sufficient voluntary members interested in this mutual protection!

But, instead of this, the State aggressively intervenes in the equal freedom of all, limits the liberties of some in favour of increased freedom for others, especially through monopolies and privileges. Moreover, it usurps privileges for itself over individuals, by acting as their master, whereas, according to theory, it should only be their tool and servant.

Whenever the State speaks of the common good, it never actually means the common good of all individuals but always merely the welfare of a section of this whole which it wants to further at the expense of the other sections.

The above sketches should at least make one thoughtful about the grossly one-sided and aggressive manner in which this patronization occurs.


Marx mocked himself, though did not realize to what extent, when he coined the expression of the “ghost” of Communism that was haunting Europe. Indeed, in the meantime, communism has gained enormously in actual power, merely through the belief in its effectiveness. It has even had offspring in Fascism and the Welfare State. But three years before his manifesto another manifesto had already appeared — although not designated as such — in which this Communism propagandized by Marx, as well as the ideology upon which it rests, was described as a “ghost.” Stirner opposed it with the incontestable reality of the “Unique One” (the individual).

Marx wanted to replace the phantom with a clear program and with what he supposed to be irrefutable and scientifically founded truths. Stirner, whose work Marx knew but completely misunderstood, applied an axe to the root of all ideologies by pointing out the difference between demonstrable reality and mere mental concepts and suppositions. These also exist, in more or less numerous heads — but in a manner other than external, objectively provable reality. These purely mental concepts and suppositions which exist only in minds, can indeed have a powerful effect upon external reality, but they attain this effect regardless of whether they are true or false, whether they are pure imagination, contrary to reality, erroneous assumptions and beliefs, or simply mad ideas. Indeed, these notions tend to be the more effective the more an individual is possessed by them. They achieve effect especially when they incite those possessed by them to use aggressive force. In his thorough analysis, Stirner showed that most of those ideas held to be incontestable truths, not only by his and Marx’s contemporaries but even today, are fixed ideas, i.e. ideas which have become inflexible and rigid. Either they cannot be proven to correspond to reality or it can be shown that a proof for their agreement with objective reality is impossible.

Stirner thus used the words “ghost” and “spook” for mental images and concepts which, according to normal logic and experience and particularly according to scientific principles, were and are completely untenable. Nevertheless, as fixed ideas, they control their originators, as well as all those, who believe in them — and by their effect upon all existing institutions they also control the totality of our living conditions, since they are expressed in almost all relations between human beings.

Although especially Marx, quite meritoriously and in some respects not without success, also endeavored to replace unfounded speculations with a sense of reality and scientific insight, he was so deeply caught in the basic modes of thinking of his day that in his starting point as well as in his aim he achieved merely variations of these modes rather than turnabouts in thinking. Nevertheless, we are obliged to him for some worthwhile thoughts. The path which he laid out towards his rather vaguely perceived goal, however, is derived from a whole sequence of weighty errors and fallacies and is, in its method, downright reactionary. This has exerted a disastrous influence on the development of socialism and has led it to a dead end.


Some of the predictions that followed from Marx’s presumably strict scientific observations have been unequivocally disproven by developments that have occurred in the meantime. The theory of pauperization, according to which the proletariat in a capitalistic society is continuously kept at subsistence level, is wrong. Although a changed Capitalism has not brought general affluence, it is quite obvious that in capitalistic countries a much higher standard of living has been achieved, especially for the mass of the workers, than under the State socialism of the peoples’ republics — in which the realization of the Communist paradise has not occurred even after thirty years and, in the Soviet Union, not even after sixty years.

Nor has the middle class disappeared anywhere in the capitalistic States. The pauperization of particular groups in the middle classes, which has been caused more by the policies of the State than by Capitalism, is balanced by the elevation of others. The giant corporations are almost spoiling a multitude of smaller suppliers. The earlier “proletariat” is rapidly moving into the position of the earlier middle classes and, predominantly, no longer considers itself a proletariat. Most have come to such an arrangement with capitalism that they have practically become its mainstay, as a part of the earlier proletariat always was.

Since the number of manual labourers is even continuously decreasing, as a result of the rationalization and automation of production, the prospects of a majority made up of proletarians is disappearing, and with it the main and central thesis of Marxist theory.

If, incidentally, the Marxist contention that there is an inevitable decimation of capitalists by each other had been true (“every capitalist kills many others,” he wrote), then Marx should have addressed himself also to the capitalists, not only to the proletarians, for the great majority of capitalists would have had the greatest interest in the elimination of a system that was so ruinous for them.

If the central point of Marx’s theory had been correct (i.e. that the collapse of capitalism conforms to economic laws and is inevitable), then no need could be seen for a dictatorship of the proletariat, seeing that he also predicted the complete proletarization of society. Against whom should the dictatorship be directed? Against the few remaining capitalists? Generally speaking if the laws of capital carry humanity surely and necessarily towards Communism (and the more capitalistic the society the more rapid its demise) why did Marx struggle against what he desired?

What Marx wrote about the reduction of working hours and the improvement of working conditions in a future communistic society has, curiously, been achieved in capitalistic society to a much greater extent than in the peoples’ republics.

The followers of Marx and the developers of his theory have frequently acquired a terminology which often hides a lack of precision, unclear thinking and empty word games. In these partly newly created concepts there is so much that is only approximate and that can be randomly interpreted that what is actually meant can be endlessly argued over and hopelessly misunderstood. There are not, especially at the centre of Stalinist philosophy, specific human beings, but rather, abstract concepts such as matter, spirit, nature, society and productive forces. Conclusions concerning reality are drawn from these ideas. Particularly collective concepts like “society” and the like are turned into omniscience and a deity in the manner of a new mysticism, while really, behind their alleged interests and commandments, always only very real persons and groups are hiding. Even in Marx himself, apart from inconsistent and even contradictory viewpoints (at first he held the idea of a dictatorship of a minority, then that of a revolution of a majority), there are ambiguous formulations to be found, and in particular, the most important of his basic concepts were either not defined by him at all or were defined differently in different places.

Thus there are, for example, no exact definitions in his writings of the concepts of “proletariat” and “class.” He contends, among other things, that the proletariat is the genuinely productive class, the one which sets in motion all the means of production. If this were true, then all scientists, engineers, technicians and inventors must be included in the proletariat. For it is indisputable that a single scientific discovery or a mechanical invention is able to increase production a hundred-fold, even a thousand-fold. Consequently, the intellectual achievement of an individual in increasing productivity may be greater than that of a thousand labourers.

Consequently, the reward for the originators of these achievements is usually in accordance with their way of life and self-appreciation, and this also holds in the peoples’ republics. To count such people among the proletariat, or to blame them for the lack of a proletarian class consciousness, would be in any case absurd. Consequently, Marx’s above contention is simply false.

The examples which Marx gives for class differences also compare things that are incomparable, e.g. the relationship between a baron and a serf was something quite different from that between a guild-citizen and a journeyman. Above all, it is quite untrue that all previous history consisted only of class struggles and that these struggles effected all historical changes. Genuine class struggles represent comparatively few exceptions among the multitude of wars of conquest and subjugation, plundering raids, race wars, religious wars and wars between nations. In all these wars and civil wars, the subjugated did not fight in a united front against their oppressors, but rather fought bravely at the side of their masters against other oppressed people who, for their part, helped their oppressors. These struggles have been much more effective in changing history than the so-called class wars. Other struggles, too, must be mentioned, e.g. those of central State authority against feudal lords, as well as those of lords (and later capitalists) among themselves.

Whenever what Marx meant by class struggle happened, it did not take place between distinct groups which differed through their possessions or positions in the process of production and who fought each other only because of this. Instead, they were always only small minorities attempting to protect themselves against disadvantage and subjugation. They were normally only supported by a small percentage of those for whose interests they fought — while the majority of the disadvantaged and subjugated remained passive or even fought on the other side.

Inversely, it was a similar tiny minority which became aggressive because of rapacity and thirst for power or greed for material possessions. They found followers and support in wider circles — who were differentially rewarded by them and who came predominantly from the group that was particularly subjugated, while the large majority of this last group remained silent and passive.

Then there was, as a rule, among the privileged, still a majority who did not have the express purpose of exploitation or subjugation. They considered the existing circumstances (which were not of their own making but into which they had simply been born) as God-given or the result of fate. They viewed their actions as in no way aggressive but, rather, as normal and reasonable, and thus sometimes acted benevolently towards the underprivileged. Within what Marx called classes, as he himself admitted, no uniformity can be discerned. These, rather, divided into groups or new classes which fought among themselves just as the alleged two classes did in the “terrible simplification” of Marxist tendentious representation.

On the other hand, feudal lords and today’s capitalists dealt with and deal with each other in no way differently than with their supposed opposites. On the other hand, although the employee possesses no means of production (we will see later that he certainly could possess them), as a saver he is a participant in the capitalistic interest economy. Union enterprises, with their assets amounting to thousands of millions, are also participants, even to a considerable degree. There are also rivalries between skilled and unskilled workers, between wage earners of different types and technical specialists, between rural and urban workers, and last but not least (in spite of all solemn affirmations of solidarity) between native born and foreign workers.

Class struggles presuppose class consciousness and the knowledge of the class struggle — on both sides. Any unprejudiced consideration of historical as well as present events, however, shows that actual events are determined incomparably less through “class consciousness” than through the most varied concepts (i.e. thought structures), e.g. through the consciousness of having to obey a divine, moral, or national command. Although Being is involved in determining consciousness, Being is incomparably more influenced by consciousness; especially since consciousness is indeed a component part of Being — although it exists only in minds and is something that impairs self interest.

A clear enough example is the following: German workers, better drilled in Marxism than any others in the world, plunged with patriotic fervor into the First World War, while their leaders voted for war loans. After the revolt of 1918, they let what they had gained be taken out of their hands by reactionaries. Only very little resistance was offered, and only by a small section of them.

And even more so, this same work force, organized into the “Reichsbanner” (Republican Association of Ex-Servicemen) and the “Rotfrontkaempferbund” (Red League of Frontline Soldiers), allowed Hitler to come to power without resistance and in spite of their “class consciousness,” and then quickly succumbed to the Pied Piper’s song of “national unity.” Most of them met again in the SA and the SS and soon afterwards marched obediently into the Second World War.

The conditions of production remained the same while all this happened. Not they determined how men acted, but rather the changing ideologies did, or even more so, the deeply rooted ideologies did.

This was also shown on the other side after a quarter of a century of Soviet domination: in spite of changed conditions of production, the new Marxist- Leninist class consciousness was too weak to resist strongly the onslaught of the German proletarians against the Russian proletarians. Then, without hesitation and successfully, Stalin reverted to the time-tested ideology of “the people” and “the Fatherland” and propagandized the “great patriotic war.” One can, therefore, assert with much authority that consciousness determines Being rather than the reverse. In Marx, the passionate propagandist constantly overcame the cool scientist and then falsified reality in self-deception. The reality was and is that there is not just one front between classes, nor just one class which desires to subjugate and exploit, while the other protects itself against this. Instead, domination, oppression and exploitation can exist only by means of the fact that the large majority of subjugated, oppressed and exploited people accept this condition passively or even preserve it through their active help in the suppression of clear-sighted members of their own class. Thus they put themselves on the side of the rulers, oppressors and exploiters against their own well-understood interests. This is due partly to the fact that they consciously value the security which is offered or at least promised by their rulers, more than they value freedom, and partly to their unconscious surrender to the captivity of a religious or ideological belief, or that, having grown up in such a belief, they cannot liberate themselves from it.

Certainly manipulation by the rulers is very often the cause of such an attitude. But one most not overlook the fact that not all is due to manipulation, that there is not only an urge to dominate but also an urge to submit, which accommodates the wishes of the rulers and is exploited by them.

Nor must one overlook that domination by no means always aims at subjugation and exploitation but often also at “happiness” (against the will of the people thus patronized). Sometimes domination is considered a purpose in itself and exploitation is only an incidental side effect, which is not always realized.

Finally, conditions have existed — and still persist today — in which what is generally described as “domination” is at least partly not domination proper but rather was and is voluntarily recognized leadership.

Consequently, “struggles” between “classes,” as Marx wanted them to be understood, are an exceptional phenomenon, and long periods of more or less peaceful co-operation between the classes are the rule. During these long periods, the classes, as previously mentioned, often campaign militarily against similarly co-operating classes in other peoples.

Although wage struggles can be class struggles, they usually are not — if they leave the genuine root of exploitation, land rent and interest, untouched. They are usually not distinguishable from the rivalries fought within the classes for higher incomes. Trade unions in the USA also conduct wage struggles without having a class consciousness. Incidentally, this also disproves the Marxist thesis of the supreme power of the conditions of production and their role in determining consciousness. In the U.S.A., as is well known, productivity is most highly developed and capitalistic contrasts are most marked. Nevertheless, this has not led to any change in consciousness in the Marxist sense there.

The Marxist theory of class struggle is thus not an unprejudiced scientific analysis of history, but rather pure propaganda unconcerned with opposing facts. If Marx had investigated the caste system in India, for example, he would have found out that this had, indeed, arisen out of military victories and subjugation, and is in no way forcefully kept but, rather, maintained through the passive submission and servility of the disadvantaged towards what is customary.

Often the master produces the servant when he subjugates him by means of aggressive force. But at least as often the servant produces the master — when he tolerates the master above him, although he could completely escape him. Indeed, the servile person often even searches for something, a person or an idea, to which he can and wants to submit.

The pecking order of chickens, and the hierarchy in e.g. ape groups and wolf packs, is not so very different from the common forms of relationships in the human world. Castes exist still unchanged in India today, many years after the legal abolition of castes. They are all the more respected, the lower those concerned stand in the caste hierarchy; and even below the lowest caste, i.e. among the pariahs, this system is voluntarily respected.

Such a condition can be described as oppression and domination only through conceptual confusion, since these concepts presuppose that an opposed will is forcefully bent. From this, one must clearly distinguish voluntary subordination, which approaches domination in its effects but is clearly a different type of subordination under persons or institutions. Sometimes, it rests upon some advantage seen in the relationship by the subordinate. Usually, though, the subordination rests upon a religious or ideological idea that has become fixed. They have allowed this idea to gain power over them. Thus, voluntarily, they have given themselves over into servitude towards certain ideas. The property relationships which are considerably, even decisively regulated by such voluntary submission, are thus the result and not the cause of what goes on in the people’s minds.

Certainly, Marx was correct and deserves credit for pointing out that thinking is also stimulated by changes in the conditions of production (though such stimuli for thinking always come from certain heads, for it is not things that act but human beings!). These stimuli to thought — like all things that are effected through changes in the environment — fortunately, although only gradually, move the thinking of the broad masses again (which had been ponderous and frozen into ideologies). But it would be an exaggeration and a disregard for apparent facts to think that the only source of stimuli to thought are changes in the conditions of production and that, in general, all consciousness, all social, legal and political institutions occur only as the superstructure of the conditions of production and, especially, of the property relationships that are caused by these.

It is an unprecedented absurdity to try to derive the new ideas that came into the world through Buddhism and Christianity from conditions of production. Whatever has occurred as a result of these ideas, they have very materially influenced world events.

It is equally absurd to want to interpret Greek philosophy, art, democracy and the republic of antiquity as having been determined by the conditions of production then prevailing in ancient Greece. Why then did completely different circumstances arise in ancient Rome, and quite different social, political and intellectual relationships, at exactly the same stage of production?

In England and Germany the conditions of production were quite similar; England, though, had already been a democracy for centuries, while Germany remained a monarchy. The first Marxist State began in hardly-industrialized Russia, the second in agrarian China while in the industrially most highly developed U.S.A. the influence of Marxism has remained quite insignificant.

Surely, it was a very human trait in Marx to put himself on the side of the disadvantaged and the exploited, instead of simply enjoying his life as a member of the privileged group into which he was born. This decision, however, had nothing to do with science. Marxism, in contradiction of its own theory, is not a conceptual system that arose from a sober analysis of reality or, as one might say, directly from the conditions of production. Instead, it is a conceptual construction coined by the personal peculiarities of its author. It used available religious and philosophical modes of thought with a particular feeling for propagandist efficacy, in order to proclaim a new doctrine of salvation draped as science. Since everyone gladly believes what he wishes, one cannot reproach Marx for either overlooking facts that opposed his theories or for interpreting them in such a way that they became halfway applicable, for he himself believed that the half-truth he discovered was the whole truth.

Later on not only Engels but Marx himself (although not through public recantation, but only an obscure passage) so limited the original assertion that it became practically ineffective. This, however, remained ignored, especially by the vulgar Marxism which drew its whole strength from the contention that a supposed law of natural development guaranteed irresistible victory.

Among all the arguments for a doctrine, the most effective is the belief that its victory is close and unstoppable. To this was added the belief in the “scientific” establishment of the doctrine, at a time when the old religious ideas were becoming more and more shaky and the natural sciences of the day presumed to have found a firm basis for the solution of all of the world’s mysteries (while the modern natural sciences have completely overthrown the knowledge of that time).

For Marx’s contemporaries, most of whom (like most people today) had no idea what presuppositions genuine science is based upon and how relative even the most carefully worked out results can be, the label “science” meant as much as the guaranty of a stamp for the genuine gold content of a bar of gold. They did not suspect that, actually, only ancient religious and philosophical ideas were being presented to them in new clothing — especially since the spreading success of Marxism seemed to confirm the validity of the doctrine. But, then, is the much greater and longer success of religious doctrines a valid proof of their validity?

Marx himself probably never realized that, with his doctrine of an alleged original communism, he was merely repeating the Christian doctrine of paradise. He assigned the role of original sin to Capitalism, and the proletariat, acting for all of mankind, was at the same time burdened with the role of suffering and salvation. Within this scheme, after judgment over the sinners by the dictatorship of the proletariat, the classless society remains as indistinct as the idea of the Christian Heaven.

But even more than in Christianity, Marx was entrapped in the philosophical modes of thought of his time, which still exert an influence today. He and also Engels were proud to have their intellectual roots in the philosophy of German Idealism and especially to have been influenced by Hegel. Hegel had proclaimed spirit to be absolute truth and had dreamed up a world spirit as a new concept of God which goes through world history in all forms of separation from itself, from renunciation to a return to itself to reconciliation; finally, it is to attain conscious unity with itself — compared to its previous unconscious one. This completely untenable word game had the very real purpose of justifying everything in existence as being “reasonable” and “necessary” and of draping a philosophical cloak, instead of a religious one which had become shabby, over all the triumphant authority of the time. Marx replaces the world spirit only with an abstraction of man and with his doctrine of “alienation.” In the notes of the young Marx there is a significant sentence: “Whoever is not more pleased by building the world out of his own means, being its creator, than to roam about endlessly in his own skin, is already condemned by the spirit.” His whole life long he dreamt of complete, total, “correct” men, i.e. of an ideal which real men must emulate, and a task which they had to fulfill. This fixed idea, i.e. an idea which has become petrified, is an ancient mode of thought which reappears in ever-new disguises, first as the will of the Gods, then as morality, as moral law, and finally as “scientific” insight into the “natural destiny” determined by the laws of nature. This is always given as the “reason” why a proclaimer has the “right” forcefully to curb all non-believers and opponents and to punish them. In short, it is always used as the justification of a claim for domination, for the “right,” indeed the mission, to extend one’s own freedom at the expense of the freedom of others.

Indeed, Marx saw through Hegel’s conceptual construction as a mere chimera, as a mere product of fantasy, for which there neither is nor could possibly be a trace of proof. But with all the more enthusiasm he went for his supposed discovery of a “law of nature” which he believed he had recognized in the actual development of historical events, whereby he declared material things to be the essential factor in the historical process of human and social development. In so doing, he believed that he had reversed Hegelian metaphysics and turned it upside down. But a reversed metaphysics still remains a metaphysics, i.e. any “Ought” exceeds the bounds of our knowledge of Being and is necessarily condemned to be equated with chimeras and products of the imagination, since it lacks an objective standard, even when in reality it is more than a fantasy. Marx did not notice that the derivation of an “Ought” from Being is a logical short circuit. He saw even less that he had stepped away from science to agitation, from investigation to influencing, from comprehension to propaganda.

His acceptance of the Hegelian dialectic had the most ominous consequences. This is a thought game that does not originate in reality but, rather, in mere thought. In nature nothing proceeds from a type different from itself, and a thing cannot transform itself into its opposite. Dialectical Materialism knows no such collection of facts — such a collection would have immediately unmasked Dialectical Materialism as being a half-truth. Instead, it derives its contentions by means of a sham logic from assumed abstract propositions. Premises are accepted whose validity would first of all have to be demonstrated. It is an arbitrary construct that is scientific neither in its methods nor in its findings.

Scholastic theology operated in a quite similar fashion. It started with unproven suppositions and arbitrary assumptions and, by means of exemplary acuity and strict logic, reached results such as how many choirs of angels there are, how they sit, and what kind of instruments they play, or what goes on in hell, and how hot hell could become. Kant called the dialectical method “a sophistic art to give one’s ignorance and even one’s intentional snares the veneer of truth since it does not teach us anything concerning the content of knowledge.”

Heraclitus’s perception that “everything flows,” i.e. is constantly changing, was perverted by Hegel to include the arbitrary contention that this change was, at the same time, a development or a progression. Against this, Oscar Kiss Maerth in Der Anfang war das Ende (The Beginning Was The End) Düsseldorf, 1971, offered grounds for the contention that man is in no way the “crown of creation” but, rather, an evolutionary mistake suffering from serious brain damage.

In any case, Marx took over Hegel’s idea and merely replaced the pantheistic world soul, the world spirit of Hegel, with a supposed law of development determined by the conditions of production.

It makes no difference whether one starts from the volition of a personal God or from the impersonal natural law of a development. In either case a goal is determined by something “higher”, and the present is justified as being inevitable. In either case the “task” is set for each individual to accommodate himself to this supposed development. In either case it is a question of theology and ideology, of theoretical constructs, as opposed to natural laws demonstrable through experiments. Moreover, the contrast between spirit and matter is only apparent. Matter that out of itself develops spirit, thought and consciousness, is no less mysterious to human comprehension than spirit which creates matter or transforms itself into it.

Against that, Stirner starts from the demonstrable reality of his own ego, and then, after rejecting all claims on his ego which are not provable by means of the criteria of experienced reality and would set him a goal and prescribe tasks for him, he establishes his relationship to other human beings — precisely because the existence of “higher” purposes is not provable — exclusively on the basis of free association with others, while declaring himself willing, on the basis of mutuality, to make no unfair demands against others. Thus, while Stirner keeps both feet on the ground of reality, Marx offers a theory that is basically not only ideological (and thus rooted in thought images) but even a theological doctrine of the sinful fall of man into self-alienation and of a “higher” fate presiding over him which will lead him to social justice. This is — as ideology — not traceable in experienced reality but is merely derived from the idea of an equalizing divine justice.

It is also indicative of the theological character of Marxist dogmatism that immediate attempts to realize Socialism in practice are declared useless since this depends upon certain stages in the development of production that are outside of the individual and which could not arise out of the reasoning and volition of man.

Socialism was not discovered by Marx, but arose long before him. It came into being not as ideology, not as the mental construct of a predestination for mankind, but rather as the result of an initially still inadequate analysis and critique of the conditions of domination under feudalism. It was a child of the Enlightenment and gave the first inkling of the individual’s feeling of self-esteem, of the individual who no longer wanted to remain under a thousand-fold obligations but merely wanted to be able to conduct his own life under free choice, together with others. The “bourgeois” revolutions of 1648, 1776, 1789 etc. had, of all the social differences caused by feudal institutions, only eradicated those of status; they allowed the closure of land and the land oligarchy to continue and replaced the old masters with a new one: “the sovereignty of the people.” In any case although freedom as such, the equal freedom of all, had not been achieved, at least particular liberties for the individual had. Compared to this, it was not a revolutionary but rather a reactionary development, a step backwards, when Marx overwhelmed the freedom loving, socialistic ideas of Saint Simon, Proudhon and their pupils with the movement unleashed by him. Marx recognized the enormous latent energy which lay in the dissatisfaction of the exploited masses of the whole world. In him a sympathy for the suffering masses was united with a distinct will to power which led him to deal quite unfairly with all those whom he perceived as competitors. He used this latent and accumulated energy for an imperialistic campaign that was more comprehensive than all national wars were. Much like the founder of a religion, he became the prophet of the new “scientific” ersatz religion, whose main article of faith is the predestined course of history which he put in place of the planning individual.

Ironically, he was successful precisely because the opposite happened to what he actually taught. For it was the faith of the masses that made history, a faith that had been awakened by him and which was especially supported by the faith of his disciples who managed to establish themselves as a dogmatic church that would suppress every “heretical” criticism.

The lack of precision often to be found in his thinking was, likewise, exemplified in the picture he painted of the superstructure of intellectual life on the foundation of the conditions of production. According to physical laws, a foundation cannot be changed without first removing the heavy overburden of the superstructure resting on it. A revolution in the mind — and this as the decisive impulse — must precede any change in property relationships, just as every change in the degree of productivity must first occur in a mind -for men are present before their tools and must first produce them.

Whatever thoughts are formed in the mind may correspond to reality just as well as they may be pure products of the imagination. Likewise, they might partly correspond to reality or might even stand in total opposition to it. Marxism was victorious, as far as it was victorious at all, neither through the inevitable suicide of Capitalism, which it had predicted, nor under the presuppositions which it had asserted, but always only through mobilizing a will for action by means of the unrealistic doctrine that there is a fated course of history guaranteeing victory. Exactly like the world religions Christianity and Islam, Marxism carried out its plans, wherever it could carry them out, by means of organized force. And just as we find in these religions an authoritarian caste of priests, there appears in Marxism an authoritarian party clique which watches over the holiness and inviolability of the articles of faith and declares the individual to be just a word, as all previous autocrats have always done.

Marx’s endeavor to implant “class consciousness” in those who have none becomes quite clear when he speaks of smallholders. He admits: “class is born only in the class struggle.” In other words, a struggle arises without a consciousness of its meaning and aim, not because of the “conditions of production” but rather because of the propaganda of a non-existing class consciousness, and the belief in a given destiny manipulates the contestants into it.

Marx considered and dealt with the proletarians not as independent individuals but, rather, as objects and minors and stated quite bluntly:

“... they are unable to assert their class interest in their own name, be it through a parliament or be it through a convention. They cannot represent themselves; they must be represented. Their representative must appear as master and authority over them, as an absolute ruling power which protects them from the other classes and provides them from above with sun and rain.” (Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte).

Fascism also argues in exactly the same manner, and so did many absolute monarchs (as well as priests). They also felt called by their “higher” insight and their historical task — with the difference only that it was one supposedly set “by divine grace” instead of by destiny.

Thus, as a program, the Communist Manifesto took over Absolutism’s complete code of aggressive force and even surpassed it by concentrating the supreme command over all means of production in the hands of the greatest and most violent monopolist. This monopolist (the State) forces himself upon society and devours its entire productive activity through an absolute monopoly over the public supply of goods, through an absolute monopoly over the demand for labour, and through a monopoly over production planning. This was the most sinister reaction and fateful falsification of the concept of Socialism, which had aimed at the elimination of all domination and exploitation through privileges and monopolies and at autonomous individuals and groups with equal rights.

The “bourgeoisie” had used the abstraction “the people” to break the power of feudalism and absolutism; they had equated “the people” with the still wider abstraction “the State,” behind which really only the bureaucracy stands, with government and parliament, while “the State” appears as an almost absolute master over every individual member of the people — far more extensive in its powers, indeed, than all the autocrats of earlier times were. It accomplishes this especially by means of hidden and usually unnoticed instruments of domination, such as the money monopoly and land oligopoly, which the State uses not only for its own interests but also for those of the privileged groups (power elites) that rule it. Marxism declared to the proletariat that it (Marxism) itself is “the State organized as the ruling class,” while it merely delivers all the power of the State to its leaders and puts the old yoke of domination, now further strengthened, into new hands. Not the proletariat but only some professional revolutionaries became the new ruling class. The proletariat is only one of those abstractions behind which specific persons always hide as “representatives”; for the whole of the proletariat can neither exercise the functions of the State nor personify it. It is always only a minority, or at best a majority, that can really “rule” over the remainder, but never can a group rule over itself.

Lenin, who by his actions simply disregarded the Marxist theory concerning the presuppositions for revolution, did, on the other hand, systematically extend Marx’s above-mentioned conviction that the proletariat was immature and that it was “necessary” to usurp mastery over it. He explained that revolutionary consciousness did not arise spontaneously within the working force but had to be introduced to it from the outside. He made his revolution with the help of a group of largely intellectual professional revolutionaries, i.e. with a disciplined organization which declared itself the party elite under a leadership similar to a General Staff. He placed himself in opposition to that Marxist doctrine according to which the leading role in history goes to the proletariat, due to a supposedly natural law of development. He did this with his thesis that the masses are in need of intellectual and political direction (and here the concept of domination was smuggled in to replace the concept of leadership) through the party organization. In this process, terror was accepted as an instrument of domination and the development towards Stalinism was already traced out.

As a matter of fact, at no time in its history has the proletariat ever taken over the role of the leading class. Not only its intellectual armor, but its organization as well, comes from intellectuals who were, overwhelmingly, members of other social groups. They suggested to the proletariat an ideology according to which they claimed absolute authority for themselves and brutally suppressed every other opinion: “The party, the party is always right.” The proletariat is not and never was a leading class but rather a led one. Moreover, since not only those of its leaders (mostly self-proclaimed) who followed their own desire for power and the satisfaction of their own personal ambition, but also those who had quite honest intentions, were often subject to disastrous errors, it is an appallingly duped class.

Many among their own ranks expressed warnings about these errors. Even Trotsky had reproached Lenin for replacing the proletariat with the party, and the party with its leaders. Simone Weil had recognized that Marxism falsely identified the liberation of the productive forces with human liberation.

Rosa Luxemburg had correctly observed that freedom always means freedom for those who think differently. Hundreds of thousands of communists who, in general, had remained quite doctrinaire but had taken offence at particular communist practices, were murdered, imprisoned, banished to concentration camps, or at least removed from their positions and reduced to silence, and this not only under Stalinism but also in the “Democratic Peoples’ Republics.” Almost the whole original leadership elite was “unmasked as traitors” or otherwise eliminated by their own comrades. Everything that once was fought against — such as church dogma and inquisition, brutal worldly tyranny and usurped authority, suppression of individuals and of whole peoples — all this returned in still more severe and comprehensive form under the old guise of benevolent intentions, indeed of “liberation,” and with the claim that acts of violence were “justified.”

The main errors of Marxism are clearly evident:

(1) A logical fallacy. If the reason for exploitation is that the means of production are in the monopolistic possession of a minority, then the only conclusion from this is certainly not that they should be transferred into the possession of the State, i.e. of a single monopolist. Instead, as an alternative, there would be the elimination of all monopolies and privileges. That is very evidently the more logical solution, for the evil lies precisely in monopoly as such, and not in the fact that a group of privileged persons draws benefit from monopolies.

(2) Closely connected with this is the confusion of socialization (which, as a special form of the elimination of monopoly, will be discussed in Chapter 7) with nationalization. That nationalization is not a remedy against capitalistic exploitation, was already seen by the People’s Commissar of Finance, Sokolnikoff, when he declared at the 14th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (quoted in Pravda on January 12th, 1926):

“Is it true that at the moment when railways, which under the Czars were State enterprises, come into the hands of the new government power, of the workers’ government, they thereby actually become socialistically organized economic enterprises? No ... Our foreign trade is managed in the form of a State capitalistic enterprise. Our inland trading societies are likewise State capitalistic enterprises. The State Bank is also a State capitalistic enterprise. Our money system is built on the assumption that within the Soviet economy ... a money system is established which is permeated with the principles of a capitalistic economy.”

While under Communism the “exploitation of men by men” is replaced by the exploitation of all by the State, one must not indulge in the illusion that what the State plunders in this way will later on equally benefit the individual. The considerable difference in wealth and income in the Peoples’ Republics, in which numerous hidden privileges provide advantages for members of the ruling classes (these privileges provide what can be obtained, under capitalism, only with a great deal of money) are evidence to the contrary.

In a State economy one must, moreover, take into consideration everything that is not produced, or produced only with faults, due to its bureaucracy: effects of this are then shown by the difference in workers’ standards of living in the Peoples’ Republics and in capitalistic countries, in spite of exploitation in the latter. By experience, so far, a State economy is not efficient and is characterized by shortages.

(3) In a preface to his Critique of Political Economy, Marx explains his “historical materialism”:

“The manner of production of the material life determines the social, political and intellectual process of life in general. It is not men’s consciousness which determines their Being, but, on the contrary, their social Being which determines their consciousness.” He extends this into a supposed natural law of unavoidable historical development which must end with the victory of Communism. However, in another place in his Theorien über den Mehrwert (Theories Concerning Surplus Value), he asserted almost the opposite: “Man himself is the basis of his material production, as of anything else that he performs ... In this regard, it can in fact be shown that all human functions and conditions, however and whenever they present themselves, influence material production and effect them more or less decisively.”

Engels, who in his treatise The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State had already characterized “the division of society based on sexual ties” as the ruling factor in the development of social life, completely abandoned the materialistic interpretation of history in two letters dated 1890 and 1894. In these he declared:

“The different components of the superstructure — political forms of the class struggle and its results — constitutions established after the battle has been won by the victorious class etc. — forms of law, and especially the impressions of all these real struggles in the minds of those involved — political, legal, philosophical theories — religious viewpoints and their further development into dogmatic systems — all of these also exercise an influence on the course of historical struggles and predominantly determine their form in many cases. It is an inter-relationship of all these factors.”

That is to say: no more foundations and superstructure!

Engels continued:

“We make our history ourselves ... Secondarily, history makes itself in such a way that the end result constantly emerges from the conflicts between many individual wills, of which each one, again, is made into what it is through a multitude of particular conditions of life. There are thus innumerable forces interwoven with each other, an unlimited group or parallelograms of forces from which a resultant — the historical event — emerges.” (Letter dated September 21, 1890, which, together with the second letter dated January 25, 1894, was published initially in the Sozialistischer Akademiker — Socialist Academic, Berlin, 1894).

Engels, in his second letter added:

“The political, legal, philosophical, religious, literary, artistic etc. development rests on economic development, but they often effect each other and also the economic basis. It is not true that the economic situation is the only cause, the only active factor, and that everything else is only the passive result. Instead, it is the mutual relationship that is decisive.”

This means the admission of the collapse of the materialistic interpretation of history, however much Engels, partly with sophistic arguments, attempted to rescue it. With this the central core of “scientific” Marxism collapses.

It was already unscientific to want to derive “laws” which supposedly determine the complete course of history from very short (in comparison with pre-history) periods of preserved, written history — which was, moreover, wrongly interpreted. This attempt was based on the completely false assumption that prehistoric and so-called primitive men, who didn’t really produce anything but rather lived on what nature offered them as hunters, fishermen and food-gatherers, either had the same social institutions or none whatsoever. Research has shown that the social, cultural, religious and even economic concepts, notions and institutions of so-called primitive people can really be equated, with regard to complexity and diversity, with the most modern of our technological civilization. Max Gluckman, the English professor of social anthropology, and likewise his colleague Raymond William Firth, emphasized that, for example, the organization that is required to keep 1,000 people together on a Pacific island was almost as complicated as the rules regulating life in a city like London. Even in societies which possessed no government, order and even justice were maintained through various social processes and customs. These customs and social institutions in individual societies were quite different from those in other societies which had, however, the same economic basis. (Institutionen in primitiven GesellschaftenInstitutions in Primitive Societies — lectures by various authors, Frankfurt/Main, 1967).

One observes how most people are certainly glad to accept material advantages but are only rarely prepared to make great sacrifices to achieve them, while the same people are ready even to throw away their lives for an idea (Lichtenberg correctly noted: “provided that the idea is not quite clear to them”). So one can hardly doubt that it was not material conditions but rather the notions in people’s heads (usually nebulous representations and, consequently, predominantly false notions among a few correct ones) and in particular those ideas which had become fixed which were the prime moving forces in world history.

The world-shaking effect of the Marxist theses — which in all their decisive points are untenable and at best half-truths — demonstrates most strongly the power of ideas (even unrealistic ones) in history.

The illusion of being the only person possessing the “truth,” and of being in league with the future, easily turns one into a fanatic who feels himself called to force the recognition of this “truth” upon others. Such people are much more dangerous than the mentally ill because they place all their logic in the service of their fixed idea. Especially when the fixed idea lies in an “ideal,” such as the Marxist notion of the final aim of history, those concerned not only have a good conscience for their aggression but also an almost religious commitment to a mission, one which enables them to attack others as a rabid dog would. The religious zealots of all times have shown just how infectious these missionary ideas can be, especially the Inquisition of the medieval Church, which burned heretics lovingly — in order to save their souls. Think too of the fanatics of “virtue” and “reason” in the French Revolution, as well as of the Cheka and the NKVD in the Russian Revolution, who reduced faithful communists (who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in contradiction to the party line of the day) to confessions and self-incriminations, making them “sacrifices” in the great cause. Last but not least, there was also the ideology of National Socialism, which, in its delusions concerning race, praised the “decency” of those who suppressed their humane sympathy in order to exterminate, as a “bitter necessity,” those whose existence they could not reconcile with their “ideal.” An idealism that has become a fixed idea — “a type of marching order” and “good will gone mad,” as someone recently said who recovered consciousness too late — is not only raging in the totalitarian regimes of the world but is also hovering constantly, ready to break out in excess, in the so-called democracies of the West — although usually in milder forms. It exists wherever someone has the governmental power of domination over other men in the name of something “higher,” a collective, the State or any customary institution.

(4) Marx failed to recognize the causal role of the great land holdings, which gave rise to the industrial bourgeoisie. The urban proletariat arose through land rent and the oligopoly of land, i.e. the social pressure upon the country which caused the flow of country people into the cities. It was the large landed properties in the cities as well as in the countryside that drove the numerous objects of exploitation to the bourgeoisie. Without large land ownership and the enclosure of land there are no masses of proletarians, as Marx himself had to admit in the example of a capitalist in Australia, mentioned above. He cursed the “idiocy of country life” — but is there a greater idiocy than that of the factory slaves in the cities?

(5) Marx, who always thought only about production and, moreover, was possessed by his unrealistic ideal of consumption according to need, neglected the investigation of the exchange of goods and services, and especially of the role of a monopolized means of exchange and so also of interest, which, along with land rent, constitutes the most important accumulator of capital. Thus also he overlooked the role of inflation and deflation (which are not natural phenomena but are brought about consciously) in the accumulation of capital on one hand and the expropriation of large groups on the other.

Without the devastating inflation of World War I and the deflation of 1931–32 in Germany neither National Socialism nor World War II would have happened. In spite of the destruction of the war and the burden upon the remaining capital through the “Lastenausgleich” (legislative equalization of burdens), the increase of real capital and capital concentration in general grew afterwards unusually fast and to an ever greater extent. This happened because the owners of real capital were quickly and abundantly supplied with the means of exchange, monopolized by the State, and were, furthermore, allowed to “finance themselves” through overly high prices. This occurred, naturally, at the expense of those dependent upon wages — who were allotted ridiculously small sums for their savings which were destroyed by the “currency reform.” Moreover, the owners of real capital were helped as much as possible by the State through tax exemptions and especially through large depreciation allowances. This strengthened their monopoly position and the opportunities for exploitation. Marx, however, stared, as if spellbound, exclusively at the private monopolists and completely overlooked the role played by the super-monopolistic State, the founder and protector of all privileges and monopolies, which makes private exploitation possible and also exploits in its own name. Wars conducted by the State for various motives have also always led to impoverishment on the one side and to war profiteering on the other side. An essential push towards capital concentration also always came from the armaments industry, which was particularly spoiled by the State.

(6) It is not economic exploitation but rather the contrast between the rulers and those ruled that causes the struggles which Marx called class struggles.

Economic exploitation is just one aspect. In these struggles, men who belong to the group of the masters or, at least, to those privileged by them, have again and again taken the side of the subjugated group and have, indeed, occupied leading positions, while the majority of those subjugated have remained inactive or even taken the side of the masters.

Economic exploitation is just one aim of domination, certainly its most frequent aim, but in no way its only one or even the decisive one for historical events. Domination too is by no means mostly supported by material means of power, especially economic ones, but, rather, primarily by psychological influences. Dogmas and certain ideas are so imprinted in men’s minds, (partly through external suggestion and partly through self-suggestion) that they no longer hold them as mere opinions, assumptions and hypotheses, but rather as self-evident ideas and even as untouchable holy truths that are placed under a taboo. Often the rulers or their helpers succumb to such fixed ideas themselves and then convey them, with the best of intentions, to those subjugated. More often, though, they use these only in order to make a numerical majority submissive in this way.

Often, however, a desire to be subordinated yields to the will for domination. Voluntarily submission, a character defect arising out of some inferiority complex, not out of fear of the master, but rather out of inner insecurity and unwillingness to accept responsibility, may cause a person to flee another’s authority.

Domination over men’s minds by means of fixed ideas has become such a purpose in itself, apart from economic exploitation, that frequently, rulers are satisfied with this power as such and hardly use it, or use it not at all for their personal material enrichment. At least they consider the material advantage of their dominion over men’s minds as only an unimportant side effect.

Monasticism’s strict self-discipline and willingness to make sacrifices — especially among the Jesuits — with poverty, chastity and obedience, or the official correctness of the old type of Prussian public servant or the pride of military officers, (especially among the communists) — all of these provide examples for this, as do also many revolutionaries.

(7) The most momentous error of Marxism is that it confuses cause and effect regarding domination and exploitation and consequently applies a false method of eliminating both evils.

That part of Capital which concerns so-called original accumulation shows how industrial capital arose and what forceful means and political authority created those prerequisites which initially made a capitalistic economy possible. He showed how the accumulation of capital arose not only through saving, industry and proficiency, but also through “conquest, subjugation, robbery and murder — in short through violence.”

When Marx outlined the production process, he should not have lost sight of the fact that the basis of this exposition was “capital in an embryonic condition, when it first develops, and thus secures its right to absorb a sufficient quantity of extra labour with the help of the power of the State, not merely through the power of economic relationships.” Apparently, he had forgotten his original insight due to the discovery which fascinated him, i.e. that once capital is established, it is also able to exploit by itself, without direct participation by the State. At the same time, he seems to have overlooked that such exploitation is possible only on the basis of its establishment by the State and of the continuous protection of this power by the State.

Land ownership on a large scale (and the enclosure of land that is connected with it) is rooted in the State. For it not only arose through conquest and force, but it cannot even exist without the protection of the law, the police and the military power of the State, whose main purpose is the maintenance of its supreme authority and its frontiers. Industrial capital arose partly out of the profits from large land holdings and partly out of further privileges and monopolies that were established and protected by the State, in particular and indirectly through the interest derived from the money monopoly. No type of capital can exist without the continuous legal and political protection of the State.

In particular, it cannot exercise an exploitation function without the State’s protection.

In a final analysis, the means of production become exploiting capital only through the privileges and protection granted by the State. It is first and foremost privilege — which produced slavery in antiquity, serfdom in the Middle Ages, and dependence upon wages in modern times — that turns the owners of the means of production into the owners of the means of exploitation.

Marx failed to realize that the core of capitalism does not lie in the process of production, or even in the fact that the means of production are private property — but rather, in this: that not everyone has access to the means of production — i.e. not everyone is in the privileged position of minorities. (A privileged majority would not be fundamentally different). With monopoly properties, especially so- called natural monopolies (in particular land), but also with all institutions that possess an extensive factual monopoly although no legal and total monopoly, the decisive point is that all should enjoy equal access to them. It is the blocking of this equal access to all monopoly properties and institutions and the creation and protection of privileges and monopolies through the political authority of the State, which turn the private possession of means of production into a monopoly property. Only through its monopolistic character does something become exploiting capital.

From this follows that the State is neither merely a reflex nor a superstructure, but the creator, shaper and guardian of capitalism — if one regards as characteristic for it the exploitation of the labour of others.

The conditions of production have so far been decisively determined by the State.

Thus, whoever wishes to abolish exploitative capitalism must, first of all, abolish what created it and continuously guarantees its exploitative character: the State. And we must abolish the whole State, which, by its very essence rests upon aggressive force, upon the violation of the principle of equal freedom for all. Those part functions of the State through which even today — although only to a very limited extent — the individual is protected against the arbitrariness and aggression of others, will not cease but will, rather, be carried out by voluntary and purely defensive associations. The aggressive and compulsory organization of the State is, by its nature, inappropriate for such protection.

Only through a total misunderstanding of the nature and main function of the State could Marx come to the idea that he could use the State as the means in order to arrive “in the land of freedom out of the land of necessity.”

Let it be noted here that a purely protective and defensive organization (even quite a few of these, all on a voluntary basis) is, naturally, quite necessary for and after the liquidation of the State — in order to escape domination by existing and possible future monopolies. But Marx did not even consider transforming the coercive State into such an organization. He did not think about transforming the State through genuine socialization into its opposite (i.e. Society), as John Henry Mackay defined it. He did not even give the slightest indication of how he envisioned socialistic economic management. Lenin lamented this at the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on March 27th, 1922: “Not once did it occur to Marx to write even a single word on this, and he died without leaving behind a single exact quotation or irrefutable reference. Therefore, we must pull ourselves out of this dilemma.” According to this statement, the revolution thus was carried out without any clear concept, but only with the aim of “seizing power.” When power had been gained, those who had aimed not only at power but at domination (and who had established themselves as an elite which held all others in tutelage) continued, indeed, to talk about socialism and communism (while, however, postponing the latter ever farther into the future) but did not know of anything better to do than replace private capitalism with State capitalism. Not socialistic but, rather, State monopolistic conditions of production were established. Not the working class took over the apparatus of production, but the bureaucracy and the party machine did: a new ruling class.

Because Marx neither understood the dependence of exploitation upon domination nor domination itself in its essence, but regarded it merely as an appendage of exploitation (whose true mechanism he failed to recognize), he came to the false conclusion that with the elimination of private property the domination of man over man, and exploitation in general, would be eliminated. In fact, those who appeared with the claim that they expressed the only correct doctrines and were thus authorized to treat all others as minors and to direct them according to their own discretion, were human beings, like everyone else, with all their mistakes. Indeed, with regard to the power urge which brought them into their positions, they represented a quite negative selection of humanity. How modest indeed, were the earlier autocrats with their claim to domination and their taxes (“tithe”), while the modern autocrats confiscate more than 50% and go up to 90%, not counting whatever is “redistributed” through land rent, interest and other privileges and monopolies.

Through the totalitarian State, domination became total for the first time: Not only was supply monopolized through the central direction of production and investment, as was the demand for labour by the only employer, the State, but consumers were also deprived of their free choice, as consumption priorities and prices were set by the State. Since newspapers, printing presses and publishing houses are owned by the State, and since, furthermore, the secret police and the Party itself watch for every deviation from the current doctrine, intellectual life is totally gagged and with it any criticism of those in power. Any correction of their errors and usurpations becomes impossible.

“Democratic control” of domination (n. b. of genuine or even totalitarian domination) cannot function because of the subordination urge of the many. This urge is further strengthened by the breaking-in of people by the State (e.g. in the schools) and by their manipulation (e.g. through the mass media) so that, instead of controls, acclamation results — with 99% “consent” at the polls.

Every unprejudiced examination of economies in which the State (also when it is called “society”) or the Party or the bureaucracy directs the economy, shows not only the consequences of continuous planning mistakes, unwieldiness, and failure, but also the total dependence of all those who are subject to official commands and must suffer their consequences. These commanders determine wages arbitrarily and also see to it that only their creatures or those acceptable to them are promoted to commanding positions. Lenin, shortly before his death in January 1924, called the typical Russian bureaucrat (i.e. the bureaucrat of the Soviet Union!) “basically a scoundrel and a violator.”

Besides, no particular villainy is involved: rather, it is part of human nature that domination — unequal freedom, i.e. freedom of the one at the expense of the others and against their will — will always be used to exploit and subjugate weaker people as well as to procure for oneself advantages of the most varied types. Even when private property is abolished, there are plenty of opportunities to secure privileges and special advantages for oneself: One privilege already is the function of domination, even when it rests upon the fiction that it is only carried out representatively “for everyone,” for their own good. Its essence, however, remains: the few give out orders, and the many must obey; certain people have more freedom than others at the expense and against the will of the others; and the power emanating from these few is aggressive, i.e. not merely a defence of the equal freedom of all!

The wrong track of State socialism turns the individual into a meek recipient of commands from the planning and administering bureaucracy, which demands absolute obedience, under the pretence of representing him, and against which there is not even that resistance possible which can still be applied against the private wielder of power. What occurs here is not a mere shifting of power from the individual to the State, but rather the creation of a completely new, unprecedented, and infinitely increased power and domination. This arises from an ideology, supports itself with unproven and unprovable assertions, and at its core and denuded of all its covers, is nothing other than the proclamation of aggressive force.

(8) The Marxist theory of value still passes today as genuinely scientific. It does indeed contain some truth, but even in genuine science there are errors and incomplete insights.

Because, in accordance with traditional modes of thought, Marx searched for an absolute value, he believed that he had found such a value in work that was socially necessary. However, this is only an abstraction and is completely useless as a practical standard of value. For measured with it, the pyramids, for instance, must have a surprising value.

This standard breaks down not only in the context of intellectual labour but also in agriculture — because of the law of diminishing returns which applies there.

“Value” for Marx exists only as something imagined, abstract, not concrete and really existing. It is, therefore, something ideological. “Value” results from “valuation,” i.e. estimation, and is shown concretely in the price alone, presuming that this has been influenced by no factors other than those of genuine free competition and that, therefore, all privileges and monopolies have been excluded.

So-called “surplus value” arises, according to Marx, only during the process of production. Up to that point he expressly characterizes worker and capital owner as being of equal rank and as persons equal before the law, and repeatedly asserts that the seller of labour power contracts with the buyer as a free person of equal legal status. The actual cause of exploitation lies, however, in the fact that previously there has already existed a situation, conditioned by the legal order of the State, which forced the worker to sell himself to the capitalist — for not the worker but the capitalist is in possession of the means of production, while the worker has no access to them. This is not a legal equality from birth, but rather a condition dictated by the aggressive force of the State, through its jurisdiction and police. For example, the State monopolizes the land for a small group of landed proprietors, while it closes access to the land for all others who cannot pay the price that results from the capitalized land rent — as far as land is for sale at all. It protects privileges and grants them to the owners of other means of production (both direct and indirect) and keeps those without privileges away from the means of production.

There is no free production today but only one limited by capital yields, which, in their turn, are determined by the money monopoly. This limitation not only brings about low wages but also limits the purchasing power of wage earners and, at the same time, restricts the production of real capital. The cause of all this is the State, which created these conditions and maintains them, one of the more significant being the tribute which everyone must pay who wants to work when he himself does not have the necessary capital at his disposal. Even when such capital is at his disposal through loans, he does not escape paying his tribute.

While Marx believed that he had discovered the true secret of capitalist exploitation in so-called “surplus value” and in the manner in which he described its origin, it is also evident that he only described half, or merely a third, of the truth here.

According to Marx, surplus value arises when the capitalist does not pay the worker the full value of his work product but, rather, appropriates a portion of if for himself. It was also asserted that the worker’s wage was reduced through this to the minimum necessary for the prolongation of his existence. Marx believed that the capitalist paid the worker only for the “socially necessary” working time needed for producing goods (which e.g. would require five hours) but then forced him to work beyond this time (e.g. for an extra five hours). The profit from this extra work was then pocketed by the capitalist. The worker was robbed of this surplus value by the entrepreneur.

There are several mistakes in the thinking of this description. First of all Marx here confuses the entrepreneur with the capitalist. While the entrepreneur is, as a rule, indeed also a capitalist (today he is often only an employed manager) his own capital usually comprises only a small part of the necessary business capital. To the extent that he must borrow this, he himself is obliged to pay tribute to other capitalists and is thus in no way an exploiter with this part of the proceeds of his product. The financial balance sheet for Neckermann for 1971 showed how this works: the expenditures for interest payments were 28 million DM, i.e. three times as high as the distributed dividend!

Secondly, Marx fails to recognize the role of the (genuine) entrepreneur and does not value in the least the initiative, willingness to take risks, and organizational performance upon whose results all participants very much depend. After changes in management, in the private sector as well as in municipal or nationalized enterprises, one often experiences a previously achieved “surplus value” suddenly changing into a continuous deficit.

Thirdly, there is also a difference between the technical production of a commodity and its distribution and sale. The latter are essentially dependent upon the ability of the entrepreneur concerned. (Those who play only the purely capitalist role of proprietor and let all the work be done by employees, especially by managers, are not considered here).

Fourthly and finally, Marx overvalues manual labour in the process of production. The final product is the result of the combined function of six factors: land, capital (in the narrower sense of buildings, machines, too, but also of money as business capital for the purchase of raw materials, for general business expenditures and the payment of the work force, long before the first income is received from the products of the business), manual labour, initiative in employing the previously mentioned factors, acceptance of the risk that is involved, and, finally, planning and organizational effort. Up to now, land (as land rent), capital (as interest) and the entrepreneur (as monopoly profit over and above his recompense for being an entrepreneur) have always claimed a considerable amount from the proceeds of the total product. It will be later explained how this portion of the product can be raised for the pure labour service itself. Here the hint may suffice that Marx’s surplus value embraces three different factors without his making distinctions.

These profits in no way go only into the pockets of the entrepreneur exclusively, or into the pockets of the large capitalists, but rather, as interest, they go partly (eventually) even into the pockets of the workers (who were supposedly robbed of the surplus value by the entrepreneurs) when the savings of the workers are deposited with banks and savings associations at about 4 per cent and then loaned by the banks as business capital to the enterprises concerned, at 8 percent and 9 per cent.

It also has a bearing on “surplus” value that the introduction of capital increases the productivity of manual labour considerably (without extra labour) and that capital is used up on the process and must be replaced from the proceeds of production (out of the “surplus value”). Today, moreover, much more than manual labourers, the intellectual and creative energies of science and technology are exploited, although scientists and technologists are really responsible for increase in the production of real capital.


The entrepreneur himself must pay the interest and land rent contained in the cost of his plant and raw materials, and especially the interest also for his operating capital, which he needs partly for the procurement of his plant and raw materials and partly for wages and salaries and various business expenses such as electricity, advertising etc. His own capital fulfills mostly only a small portion of his requirements. All of these costs must be covered by proceeds from the product; the necessary capital must be present and already invested before the product can be produced or any income can be achieved. The entrepreneur must even give priority to paying for the necessary outside capital, because otherwise he cannot produce at all and, in particular, he cannot pay for labour. Raw materials also — and for their procurement capital is necessary, too — do not become simply through “work” a marketable product that corresponds to a need.

To turn them into this, much more is necessary.

The capital investment necessary depends on the type of production and the degree of its automation. This investment is sometimes so high that in comparison with it the portion that manual labour forms in the final product is quite minor. There are enterprises where the costs of manual labour amount only to a fraction of one per cent. From this it follows that the so-called surplus value flows not only to the entrepreneur but also, according to the proportion of outside capital, into quite different channels. Moreover, one must realize that the effect of labour is quite varied according to the type and extent of the capital investment, so that the final product cannot be considered the exclusive result of the employment of manual labour. The investment of capital and the other essential factors of production must not be considered to have fallen gratis from heaven.

Even if there existed neither today’s land rent nor today’s interest nor the monopoly profits of entrepreneurs (i.e. even if the workers and employees of today had access to the necessary capital — after collecting it themselves through savings or by means of credit, and without the interest that is determined by the money monopoly), even then the workers could still not divide up the proceeds from the finished product among themselves. This is not possible because in the sales proceeds are also contained the cost of raw materials and other continuous costs. Even if these were set aside, there would still remain two further conditions that must be noticed and calculated in. Today’s employer must pay attention to them, and they must be heeded by the workers in a world where all privileges and monopolies have been eliminated and where those today dependent on wages have themselves become entrepreneurs through free access to all means of production:

Firstly, when capital is obtained by raising loans, it must be repaid, and this out of that portion of the product which was due to the investment of capital compared with the mere employment of labour. To this must be added a small charge, which is no longer interest but just a fee and is composed of the creditor’s costs and also a small profit for him as well as a credit risk premium, altogether approximately 1%, or at the most 2%.

But even when capital is raised through one’s own savings, it must still be paid back (even though into one’s own pocket) as so-called amortization out of the production proceeds, for invested capital is gradually used up and finally becomes almost or completely worthless.

Moreover, with today’s rapid technological development and in order always to remain ahead and competitive, additional capital must be constantly invested and amortized, also from the proceeds of production.

Secondly, anyone who invests capital for production incurs the risk of losing his investment completely or partly. Again, a small premium to insure against this risk has to be taken out of the proceeds of production and does not represent exploitation of the workers either, especially since they would have to include it once they themselves worked with capital.

Furthermore, when those previously dependent on wages gain access to the means of production after the abolition of the money monopoly and the land oligopoly (through a particular institution that must still be explained), and once they themselves, in place of today’s capital owners, receive the results of the extra productivity achieved by means of capital investment beyond the mere use of human labour, then they either must already have someone with the qualities of an entrepreneur or they must engage someone with such qualities (i.e. a manager), whose performance must be correspondingly rewarded. While there are already substantial differences between unskilled and skilled labour (also in their compensation), genuine entrepreneurial performance is one of the most complicated activities in existence. Not merely the random summation of human labour services but also their rational organization brings labour to its highest productivity. The rational investment of capital for this requires not only organizational ability but capabilities in numerous other areas. Above all, the finished product has no value until it is sold and until the sales proceeds have been collected. This, again, requires quite different abilities. A broad horizon and foresight must be on hand in order to recognize incipient favorable developments and to avoid dangers and difficulties. Every aspect of the genuine service of an entrepreneur is not only indispensable for well run management but also substantially influences business results and also the working incomes of all employees in an enterprise. An appropriately high entrepreneur salary (manager salary) has, therefore, nothing to do with the exploitation of the other employees in a concern but belongs under performance, i.e. payment for labour.

It was a crude mistake on Marx’s part to underestimate the genuine performance of an entrepreneur and to presume that mere possession of capital is always sufficient to derive unearned income from it. The cases of Borgward, Stinnes, Schlieker and Krupp have shown sufficiently that even the possession of an enormous quantity of means of production is no protection against slipping unexpectedly into bankruptcy or, at least, to the verge of it. These cases also prove that it is by no means only the small capitalists who are ruined by competition with larger ones. Rather, quite large concerns also go bankrupt or suffer losses which may even run into hundreds of millions of DM, as a look into the economic and financial section of the press shows almost daily. The risk factor in every capital investment is, therefore, considerable and cannot be completely eliminated, not even by great entrepreneurial qualities. This risk factor was also overlooked by Marx when he described things in such a manner that it appeared as if employing a worker meant nothing other than appropriating the unpaid labour of a fellow human being. It still remains to be seen whether after the abolition of monopolies and privileges all those today dependent upon wages will prefer to share, in free association, profits and losses, or whether they will prefer to remain regular wage earners and pass on the risk to others. The wage earner can also exploit the entrepreneur or the members of a voluntary co-operative that employs him — whenever business results show a loss instead of a profit. This then becomes a burden on the members of the association, while those who are merely employed in it, with a set wage, can laugh up their sleeves.

Marx also left unexamined the fact that different taxes — e.g. company tax and value added tax — do not burden the entrepreneur, but instead (as general running costs of a firm, in particular payroll tax) go at the expense of the labour yield of those dependent on wages.

The facts explained above are basically quite simple and can easily be surveyed. They show where the true sources of exploitation lie, contrary to the all too primitive Marxist theory of surplus value. They lie in the “legal” or, more correctly, the coercive order of the State, which says to one group: “You may deal with rural and city land as with goods that you have produced, since it is your property; you may exclude others from using the land, even the land which you personally cannot or do not want to use, or you may dictate the conditions of its use to others.” To the others this legal, or rather coercive, order says: “You must respect the prerogatives that I have bestowed upon others and pay tribute to them if you want to exist at all.” Without the authority of the State standing behind him, the landowner would not be in the position to realize his claim for land rent, which, when capitalized, turns into the price of the land. He could not confiscate more land than he himself is able to cultivate or actually cultivates and otherwise uses, while excluding others from it who could raise the same claim for this gift of nature.

The State’s authority proceeds similarly with the money monopoly and credit oligopoly, using various, harmless-sounding laws whose direct and indirect effect is that, to an ever greater extent, an enormous amount of capital is accumulated by a few, whose use or misuse of it and whose extortionist acquisition of it are protected. The others, however, at whose expense these have become rich, are, because of this, usually unable to accumulate enough capital to compete with them.

Land rent and interest are thus deductions from the possible return for labour which could be achieved without the privileges, monopolies and oligopolies which bring about these cuts. To this must be added that these reduced labour earnings must pay for land rent and interest again — in the prices of all products necessary for daily living.

To these one must also add other privileges, monopolies, and oligopolies having smaller but cumulative effects and, to an increasing extent, the direct and indirect robbery of all productive individuals by and for the State.

Moreover, there is often yet another special monopoly profit for the entrepreneur (in addition to the appropriate entrepreneur salary). It results from his ability to pocket a special profit by means of a special monopoly (e.g. in natural resources), or through cartel agreements, or by means of any special privileges granted by the State. This profit often arises only through the circumstance that the entrepreneur can place himself in possession of the necessary extensive means of production, even if only through credit, while the great majority remain dependent upon wages and are not regarded as “creditworthy.”

It is not the case, however, that on one side there are only the evil oppressors and exploiters while on the other side there are only the poor and helpless oppressed and exploited. For the latter are often themselves to blame for their condition, at least to a great extent. There is, for example, the not inconsiderable number of those who are nothing short of addicted to subordination, who, when they do not already have a master, search for one through various means, and who, born into the existing conditions of domination, feel quite comfortable within them and never feel the least impulse to escape. Then there is a second group, the largest, which has only a slight wish for more freedom and a change in circumstances and is rarely prepared to do anything in this direction and then only when carried along by others.

Only the third and smallest group is active. But since it lacks knowledge of the correct path to its goal and of the most efficient methods, it is often split in many ways and so only rarely successful. The second and third groups in numbers alone constitute a clear majority over the minority of oppressors and exploiters and could, without any use of force, use this majority at least where freedom of speech and press and majority decision-making offer opportunities for this approach. Yet in no way is this the only or even the most successful way. For the manner in which economic power can be used for subjugation can it also be used for liberation.

If Marxism were correct in asserting that exploitation arises only in the sphere of production and especially through the employer, then the exploited workers and employees could very easily bring an end to that by buying up, with their savings alone, the total stock capital e.g. of German industry, whose market value on the exchanges is estimated at 130,000 million DM, of which actually only 51% would need to be purchased. That would be more logical and also easier and faster to effect than any form of socialization by the State. The savings deposits in banks and savings associations amount at the moment to 390,000 million DM. Among these funds there is only little from a few self-employed persons, as these do not, as a rule, invest their liquid assets in this form.

According to 1973 figures, the average money assets in a worker’s family amount to 5,000 DM, in addition to approximately 10,000 DM in land assets. These figures have probably risen considerably in the meantime. All of that would be capital, and so means of production only if it were invested as such.

Even a worker without such capital assets can today receive loans of 5,000 DM and more — simply upon proof of employment — indeed he almost has them thrown at him by the banks, though, to be sure, at high interest rates. When one considers that with such loans he could redeem himself once and for all from exploitation (as condemned by Marxism) and that he would not need to sacrifice this investment at all but would receive the equivalent value to dispose of as he likes!

In a corporation with e.g. 100,000 employees these workers could either with their own savings or through individual loans, averaging 5,000 DM, gather together 500 million DM in cash! That is far more than an enterprise of that size normally has as its own capital and is thus quite sufficient for a takeover. Also, when an entrepreneur does not want to sell out — though today quite a few would like to — by means of an organized transfer of purchasing power to a competing enterprise, financed by an association of the workers concerned, this new or alternative firm could grow into a superior competitor and the workers of the original corporation could then gradually move over to this, their own enterprise. The trade unions with their assets of approximately 2,000 million DM could support them in this.

In all cases in which those previously dependent upon wages become the owners of enterprises, the employer’s monopoly profit (arising apart from the justified entrepreneur’s earnings) will flow into the pockets of the new owners. They can, moreover, claim the estimated risk premium (to the extent that it is not actually required) and also a portion of the amortization installments and of the depreciation allowance and the retained profits for new investments — as their own increase in assets. Previously, the risk premium and especially the new investments out of retained profits had increased the assets only of the entrepreneur and of the financiers. Moreover, the interest calculated on the internal capital will then accrue to the former wage earners, while the exploitation caused by the interest charges and land rent of external capital (and of all expenditures in which interest and land rent is contained in prices) remains, naturally, until the abolition of these two main monopolies.

Marx’s failure to understand with his theory of surplus value the main sources of exploitation, has resulted in the elimination of exploitation so far being attempted only in inappropriate ways and thus ineffectively. Since only entrepreneurs were regarded as exploiters, efforts thus for have been confined to taking from the entrepreneur, by means of wage struggles, what Marx called surplus value over what is, as we have seen, a very complicated structure. This wage struggle could, in practice, effect only the employer’s monopoly profit (which goes beyond the employer’s remuneration) but not the much greater impairment of the worker’s wage through interest and land rent. The employer cannot allow increases in wages at the expense of land rent and interest for external capital, and it would be unfair to demand that he should place his own capital freely at the disposal of his workers when he himself must pay land rent and interest for external capital. Confronted with such demands, he can only either shut down the enterprise or offer it for sale, e.g. to the employees (which should be the main aim of the trades unions). The third possibility, the shift of the wage increase onto prices, only leads to an endless spiral and accelerating inflation. This amounts to self-deception on the part of those dependent upon wages, who in this manner only bleed one another and not the entrepreneur and also depreciate their own savings and finally bring about unemployment.

As previously mentioned, an immediate increase in wages can be achieved neither at the expense of amortization through depreciation allowances, nor at the expense of necessary new investments from retained profits, nor at the expense of necessary risk premiums, because all three items would have to be calculated by the workers association of a workers’ co-operative in the same manner as an independent employer (and incidentally, also within nationalized industries). In this respect, whatever previously increased the silent assets of the owners of the enterprise now increases the assets of all those working in the firm, provided only that all employees, if they so desire, become owners of the firm and share in the profits as well as in the losses.

Thus workers must aim at full (not only half) co-determination and must also be prepared to assume the risks. For one must consider that even a comparatively small loss of private capital or business loss may suffice to lead to loss of liquidity or a loss of credit-worthiness — which can then bring about the loss of the whole capital. A shut-down concern, and machines that are idle have only a fraction of their previous value, as anyone can perceive, e.g. from the difference in the price of new and used goods, if one tries to sell something secondhand.

The entrepreneur’s monopoly profit on its own, however, is not always of great importance, especially when it is achieved under intense competition. This is illustrated by co-operative enterprises, such as consumer co-operatives, which offer neither higher salaries for its employees, nor lower prices for the consumers than competitive private firms offer. Where, then, is the “surplus value” in either case?

The trade unions are making a mistake when they fail to recognize the role of monopoly in interest and land rent and attempt to retrieve the thus extorted tribute from the entrepreneur alone. Such attempts must necessarily fail when applied to external capital and will shut down an enterprise even against the will of the entrepreneur. The same applies also, for the reasons mentioned above, to an employer’s own capital. Apart from the monopoly profit of the employer, which is not always present and is often not very substantial, wage increases can thus only be achieved at the expense of interest and land rent (as well as of other privileges and monopolies) and thus their elimination must be the primary aim, especially since both these factors also appreciably reduce the purchasing power of the wages that are paid out.

Whoever desires to achieve the greatest possible yield for his labour must make himself independent of the circumstance that he is forced to take jobs which are offered to him by “employers,” be they private firms or the State. He could do this through the rational use of capital that is no longer burdened by the land rent and interest (the latter at least no longer at today’s high rates). He must, therefore, become an entrepreneur himself, alone or in association with others, and the possibility of doing that must be made so easy and it must be so often used that today’s entrepreneur monopoly profit will also be eliminated through competition. Then the individual need no longer work under relentless coercion, as if no other choice were open to him. Then he will hire himself out at a set and appropriate wage only if he himself lacks entrepreneurial abilities and cannot engage a suitable manager either, or if he shies away from the risks of enterprise and prefers to have the security of a set remuneration.

Those who desire to achieve an economic system — even a moneyless one — that primarily aims to satisfy needs, should realize that, in a social order which has been freed from all privileges and monopolies, they will have numerous opportunities to realize this for themselves and for those who are likeminded. However, they would not have the chance to force dissenters to participate. Even then, individuals as well as groups could not, in the long run, demand more from others than they themselves were able to give in genuine equivalents. In production, all of the previously mentioned cost factors must be considered, in a moneyless economy as well as in a economy with non-monopolistic money.


A fateful error also lies in the assumption that Marx or Lenin would, in the end, have achieved a condition without domination, particularly seeing that this final aim remained completely nebulous in their concepts. Both strove, quite concretely, to achieve a dictatorship and a condition of domination that was compulsorily to train people in such a manner that finally and out of habit, in consequence of this manipulation, they would “voluntarily” see their “ideal” in communism. Afterwards, coercion and the State would be unnecessary. Communism, however, is already a Utopian ideal because its thesis is that everyone should produce according to his abilities and consume according to his needs is illusory, since needs always grow with their growing satisfaction, while limits are drawn for production by limited land surface compared with a growing population, and also by existing natural resources and other factors. Last, but not least, there are also psychological limits, since in such a system those who are capable and willing to serve will finally, and quite rightly, feel themselves exploited by the less capable and by those who are lazy. A communistic form of economy is indeed possible in volunteer groups that are easily recognizable and not too large, and consist of like-minded people. Universal communism, however, is possible only in a dictatorship which denies the individual the right to the product of his own labour and, as a typical ideology, assigns claims and “rights” for the product of the work of others.

Such a condition can only be realized through aggressive force and can only be maintained through continued acts of violence, i.e. it cannot be “inculcated,” not even in the long run. Those States preaching communism have so far, quite cunningly, renounced every attempt at realizing their Utopia and have, instead, created a State-capitalistic class society which they have falsely named “socialistic “ and “a transitional stage to communism.”

Anarchism, by comparison, does not strive to achieve a new society which will arise only in the far future by means of coercive re-education but, rather, one that is possible in the present and that does not require a dictatorship or the subjugation of others. Instead, it requires only the elimination of all privileges and monopolies (especially those of the arch monopolist, the State), as well as a few organizations based upon voluntarism for the guaranty and defence of the equal freedom of all (which, as previously mentioned, includes protection against murder, manslaughter, bodily injury, rape, robbery, theft, extortion, etc.).

All historical experience — and in particular the continuous struggle among the communistic dictators — contradicts the contention that one day the rulers will declare that they are superfluous and voluntarily renounce their power.

Even what was to follow the dictatorship and what was only hinted at by Marx and Lenin, is described by them, quite arbitrarily, as no longer a State — although it possesses all the essential characteristics of one. For command over the production of goods is already an over-all command over human life.

It is as much a fraud to present at State dictatorship as a means of achieving non-statehood as to provide the condition of supposed non-statehood with all the authoritarian elements of domination by the majority over the citizens and the assets of society and then simply to assert that this is not a State.

A modern Marxist, the Polish professor Adam Schaff , has let the cat out of the bag. In Marxismus und das menschliche Individuum (Marxism and the Human Individual), Vienna, 1965 and Hamburg, 1970, he has pronounced with all the clarity desired that the “true man” is no longer alienated from his “essence,” is only an ideal, i.e. has nothing to do with science. An ideal or illusion is, therefore, placed as the supposedly inevitable result of a development under the laws of nature.

Schaff then says: “It cannot be denied that the State exists in socialistic society. Not only do we not deny this, but we daily praise its power.” He justifies this with the threat posed by capitalistic powers, but then frankly admits: “The State as an apparatus of power appears not only as a power directed against the outside but also as a power directed against the interior.” He begins to stutter somewhat when he comes to speak about the consequences of this situation, which he calls “the period of so-called personality cults, and this in all socialistic countries.” Concerning this, he again admits honestly: “This question awaits a sociological analysis and as yet no Marxist has more than scratched its surface!”

He then continues: “Let us assume the best possible case, that this alienation is eliminated, together with the hostile environment and Classes within society. Then there still remains the problem of the alienation of the State, and this in a sphere which appeared innocuous to the founders of Marxism. It concerns the State as an administrative apparatus, i.e. as the machinery for the management of things. According to the view of classical Marxists, the State as an organ of force dies under Socialism, but it keeps its function as an administrator of things.

On this the founders of Marxism did not entertain any doubts, although, at that time while they were fighting the anarchists, they could not know the multitude of functions and the extent of the power which this State would one day have. The State has transformed itself from its function as an administrator into a giant machine which, through the progress of technology, increasingly embraces more of the totality, to an extent which could not have been envisioned a hundred years ago. It began with the function of planning the whole life of society and its development, passed through control over the whole of the nationalized economy and moved on in the direction of the institutions of science, culture, art, social security, health and so on and so forth. Even presuming a maximum democracy and the greatest approximation to the ideal type of free producers’ association about which the founders of Marxism spoke, under today’s conditions and for purely technical reasons, the need for central direction and administration of the different spheres of social life follows. The State thus remains an apparatus like a Moloch, a machine which must necessarily be a professional one, due to today’s specialization. The bureaucracy remains, despite all the democratic correctives which submit the State’s machinery to social control. It remains necessary under today’s conditions. One should not delude oneself that more can be achieved than to make this bureaucracy competent and reasonable. The state as an administrative apparatus will not die out. That is an illusion which the founders of Marxism in their maturity (especially Lenin) no longer shared.”

Thus an illusion of the still immature founders of Marxism is so far its proclaimed final aim, and the continuing propaganda for this supposedly so “humane” and “liberal” final aim is, therefore, a conscious swindle! For the total administration of all “things” is, naturally, identical with the total subjugation of all men by a “competent” bureaucracy which rejects even the humblest criticism as “incompetent” and either liquidates its critics or deports them to forced labour camps or isolates them in insane asylums.

The supposed “necessity” in no way results from technological progress but, rather, from the illusion that man has the task of developing his “true destiny” as a “social being,” through which he is subjected to domination by an abstraction and the interpreters of that abstraction. Every domination has the tendency to extend itself totally, and the “competence” of Marxist bureaucracy is only the “competence” of “enlightened Absolutism” driven to extremes, and absolutism which did everything for the “well-being” of incompetent and injudicious subjects.

To declare the State to be “necessary” means nothing less than declaring aggressive force to be necessary, the domination of one group over the others, a condition of unequal freedom in which the freedom of some is extended at the expense of the equal freedom of others and this against their will.

There is no real problem and no actually necessary (i.e. truly indispensable) task (outside of imagined, illusory or ideological ones) which could not be solved within the framework of the equal freedom of all, without aggressive force, through purely defensive organizations — as they are described in Chapters Seven and Eight.

Precisely the development of technology facilitates libertarian solutions to at least the same extent as it can promote the extension of existing domination. That technology itself, however, might make domination (and its incarnation, the State) necessary instead of freedom, is a fixed idea. Only those share it who, in order to eliminate the privileges and monopolies of a minority of private persons, do not strive for this logically, simply through the abolition of all privileges and monopolies, but who quite illogically and irrationally insist that this could only be done by transferring those privileges and monopolies to the State, thus turning the State into a super-privileged and super-monopolistic body.

As genuine society emerges as the result of non-aggressive actions and the voluntary association of individuals, the most varied planning of social life and its development will emerge quite by themselves. However Schaff meant by the “planning of the total social existence,”, its central control by State functionaries. A denationalized economy, without any privileges and monopolies, requires no “direction” other than by individual people acting economically or by voluntary associations, both under the general rule of the equal freedom of all. The institutions of science, culture and art were not originally created by the State; the State has merely increasingly taken possession of them. Health care and security are matters for those who are interested in such things. As was proven in the chapter concerning the State, its “social welfare” is either a deficient and incomplete restitution of what was previously stolen by the State itself or under its patronage, or it ensues on the basis of special enormous embezzlements under which those “who are cared for” receive back only part of what was previously forcefully taken from them. Private insurance companies can work more soundly and cheaply. The administration of traffic is the concern of those who participate in or are interested in transport. In all this, it should be noted, it is not private arbitrariness that is decisive but rather the principle of the exclusion of all aggressive force, guaranteed by suitable organizations. This is identical with the principle of equal freedom of all. Competence follows from free competition among these organizations, whose users will automatically sort out those who are incompetent.

Schaff emphasizes, once again, that according to the plan of Marxism, an extensive power apparatus ought to remain in existence, one which stands above the individual, i.e. as a pronounced dominator. The method of Marxism is full of trickery and rests upon arbitrary definitions by which it manages to deny the violent character of unequivocal acts of aggressive force. Schaff admits e.g. that the abolition of the social classes “is, of course, by definition, connected with the abolition of private property,” from which he concludes that the criticisms of Burnham and Djilas concerning the class character of the Peoples’ Republics are “stupidities.” And so not the analysis of reality, but, rather arbitrary appellations which contradict reality, are what Marxism rests upon.

Schaff then also admits that there are in communist society groups — he calls them groups and not classes! — which, regarding prestige and position in the social hierarchy, “constitute a certain division.” He continues: “among the different possible divisions and criteria (considering that the absolute equality of men is a fiction in every respect) that particular division stands in the foreground whose basis is the exercise of power even though only an administrative power (in the sense of the word explained above). If the State must remain in existence as such an extensive and complicated machinery for the administration of social life, then it is clear that there must also be a group or class of men who exercise this function of administration. The more extensive this apparatus becomes, because of technological requirements, the bigger becomes the class of administrators. The more complicated and the more strictly hierarchically ordered this apparatus becomes (likewise because of technical requirements) the larger is the part which hierarchy plays in the structure of this class.”

Schaff admits that the apparatus of “the administration of things” can become an apparatus “to rule over men.” He does not want to admit that this apparatus, which he himself called Moloch-like, already unambiguously holds sway over men, i.e. that it rules to a greater extent than any ruler in the age of Absolutism did, for then his entire ideology would collapse. Thus we have here an instance of “credo quia absurdum” (I believe because it is absurd) or schizophrenia masquerading as science, since he expressly admitted above that the apparatus and the functionaries standing behind it should stand over the individual.

After all, he declares that the full satisfaction of all human needs (postulated by Marx to be achieved under Communism) is, if not altogether a relic of Utopianism, at most an aim that can be achieved only in the far future. Until then “it is clear that men who give more to society should also receive more from it.” Without that, as he says, the alienation of a certain group in socialist society (annotation: that is to say, the new class which cannot exist because according to the ideology it must not) is made attractive.

And finally, Schaff says, “there is no doubt that even now, as before, there exists what Marx called alienation of work.” Concerning the Marxist dream of the “elimination of work” and its replacement by “free activity,” he says: “I believe that it is best to ascribe these ideas to the youthful imagination and naivety of their author!” Seeing this scornful de-ideologization of their idol, there is still some hope that the Marxists will also realize one day the full extent of the naivety of their premises, presuppositions and methods and, likewise, the frightening reality of the attempts to realize their theories.

It is unnecessary to go into the multitude of neo-Marxist corrections and re-interpretations which partly confirm the above critique. For they all have in common naive faith in the necessity of the State, complete failure to recognize its essence, and the essence of the alternative to it, and, finally, failure to recognize the actual sources of exploitation.


Even in the concept that equates democracy with the rule of the people, there is expressed that kind of unclear thinking which is associated with the diverse ideas circulating around this concept.

For since domination is a condition of unequal freedom in which the freedom of some is greater than that of others, at the expense and against the will of the latter, it is right away a completely nonsensical idea that a people as such could rule over themselves. That is why democracy in reality has always meant, at least so far, that by means of the idea of the “people” as a “higher” being — compared with the individual — it is possible to rule over all individuals. In doing so the representatives of the “people” create substantial gradations among the dominated individuals, through privileges and monopolies, which enable power groups to exercise domination, for their part, over other groups or individuals.

The people as such, i.e. the sum of its individual members, cannot rule — for the reason alone that they have neither a uniform will nor uniform thinking, and indeed no uniform and independent existence aside from or compared with the aggregate of the individual members in the people. It is merely an abstract general notion that exists exclusively in people’s thoughts. Its counterpart in reality is the aggregate of the highly diverse individual members of the people who are only somewhat similar by the virtue of the country, climate, race, language, culture and common historical events.

The “people” becomes an ideological swindle — and so in practice a concept coined by visionaries and power addicts — only when it is propagated as a mystically elevated, independent entity standing above the individual members of the people and having a claim to dominate them. Naturally, the people are vis à vis the individual just as little a “higher essence” as, for example, the aggregate of horses is vis-à-vis an individual horse. This representation of “the people” is a purely conceptual product of the brain which has no provable relationship to reality and is, moreover, quite illogical. Proof can be given neither for the existence of this “people” nor for its alleged will or “true interest.” All such allegations are nothing other than untenable assertions which have only one purpose: to justify the aggressive use of force which has actually taken place.

Attempts have indeed been made to give varied and rational arguments for what is practiced as “democracy.” However, these arguments partly contradict evident facts and partly they proceed from premises that are quite contestable. The concept of “democracy” is also affected by the conservatism of habits characteristic for the development of human thinking. There is no strict logic involved that could be at everyone’s disposal and would make flawless thinking possible. Rather, there is something like a primeval forest through which contemporary leaders of thought have carved narrow paths, which others have followed through contemplating these thoughts. The new results deviate every time only very little from what has already been achieved, just as far as a new path of thinking is cleared sideways or forwards.

Connected to this is probably attachment to accustomed institutions — even when they are long outdated.

Individuals attempted to free themselves from the inexplicable arbitrariness of a multitude of gods (i.e. from the domination of those who presented themselves as the spokesmen of these gods) and also from the unlimited autocracy of a personal and single God, by means of the concept of a God of love and justice, as if it were an enlightened heavenly monarchy. However, the thought of domination remained in these attempts.

It was similar with the human autocrats, the feudal lords, princes, kings and emperors. Here also individuals and groups among the subjugated wrestled some concessions from them and sought to extend their own freedom and to limit the autocrats’ sphere of domination. Alas, they merely replaced the decentralized domination of the feudal lords with the centralized domination of a monarch, and finally replaced this with the domination of an abstraction, the people, without realizing that this could only mean domination by its representatives, thus by a new oligarchy. Most of all, they did not realize that previous struggles were directed not so much against different forms of domination and different persons ruling at a time as against domination itself.

Moreover, until two hundred years ago, there was in the masses of the subjugated only very rarely a consciousness of personality which demanded the freedom of the person as an individual and not just as a generic type. Seldom was, there a concern for individual and not just collective freedom. There were, to be sure, in the American Revolution of 1776 and, less so, in the French Revolution of 1789, shy and inconsistent attempts to start with the individual and to deal with social institutions as the creations of individuals with equal rights, creations which would be subject to their control. However, conventional modes of thinking, which perceived domination as the traditional way, and the confusion of the aggregate of all individuals with the “people” (which was now proclaimed the new sovereign and, indeed, sovereign over the aggregate of all individuals), finally generated the mongrel “democracy,” whose foundation, aim and “genuine” content is still contested today.

In this, as a rule and theoretically, some “basic rights” are conceded to the individual as allegedly independent from their being granted by the State. However, these are in practice annulled by the representatives of the sovereign “people,” who are either self-proclaimed or were chosen in a highly questionable manner. They did this by extending the power of the State into ever new spheres and by finally making it total. Thus even in the “Western democracies,” they achieved many times the power of the worst autocrats of previous ages: a power over health and freedom, property and blood, life and death — always in the name of a “democracy” which established under its dominion a plethora of special conditions of domination over individuals and whole groups. Men have not yet rid themselves of domination as such. It is only the masters and the forms that have changed. Domination itself has remained.

That was partly to blame on the confused concept of freedom, which has degenerated into a mere phrase. Since a condition of freedom in social relationships is possible only under the equal freedom of all while no one has more freedom of action at the expense of others and against their will, this condition of freedom is identical with the absence of domination. The very name of “democracy” already contains the concept of domination and is, therefore, the negation of the equal freedom of all.

Responsible for the continuance of domination was, furthermore, the idea (which habit turned into a fixed idea) that, for the establishment and preservation of a condition of freedom and equal rights, it was necessary to have a dominating power set above the individual. In this, one confused, at the same time, power with dominating power and defensive power with aggressive power. To establish and maintain a condition of freedom, power is, indeed, necessary- but exclusively one kind of power: non-aggressive and purely defensive power, the power of those voluntarily united in appropriate organizations for the pursuit of their mutual interest in the maintenance of the equal freedom of all.

Among the ancient Greeks, who are considered the inventors of democracy, there was no talk at all about equal freedom or, at least, about equal rights for all. Even political rights were possessed by only a tiny minority of about 3% of the total population. Otherwise, the population consisted of un-free persons, slaves and those politically disfranchised. In later times, the last group gradually gained citizen rights, and a degree of co-determination.

The original democracy was, therefore, essentially an oligarchy, and everything so far counted as a democracy — with the (formal) exception of Switzerland — has remained an oligarchy, even where, in the end, all citizens of a particular country have achieved the same political rights.

That political rights are not all that matters has been shown by the fact that in the past slaves without political rights have not only received secure support from their masters but have often been turned into advisors and managers of estates, while even today members of politically sovereign masses can at any time fall into destitution and misery.

Much more important than equal political rights is equality of rights generally, e.g. access to land on an equal basis. The concept of the equal freedom of all is still more comprehensive than the concept of equal rights. For all individuals could have the equal right, e.g. according to the basic thesis of communism, of consumption according to their needs, of consuming the products of the work of others. As an equal democratic right is also considered the claim to the authority not only to take money forcefully out of the individual’s pockets “for the benefit of the community,” but also the claim to hold individuals in tutelage, in numerous ways, and occasionally even to order them to a hero’s death — assuming one has received a largely unlimited authority from the “sovereign people” or, indeed, the “mandate” for such an action.

While under the equal freedom of all, no one has a right to the product of the work of another, and no one has the right to give anyone an order (unless he has been conceded this right by the person concerned). While here there are no rights and responsibilities other than those which are voluntarily agreed upon, allegedly equal “democratic rights” “legitimize” aggressive actions against the will of those involved, institutionalize privileges and monopolies as well as oligopolies, and enshrine the unequal freedom of individuals. By unequal freedom of individuals is not meant the different sphere of action of individuals, determined e.g. by inherited abilities, acquired capabilities and accomplishments, but, exclusively, individual spheres of actions that are limited by aggressive force, where one has gained enlarged scope for free actions at the expense and against the will of another.

What is fundamentally meant by “democratization” and is more darkly felt than clearly perceived, is the real and genuine enjoyment of equal rights by all individuals, without privileges, monopolies, or domination of one or the other. It can be achieved through the consistent realization of the principle of the equal freedom of all. In theory as well as in reality, “Democracy” is a system of domination, which although one may prefer it to an autocratic and in particular to a totalitarian system, is just as inevitably doomed as those are. This is not because of some historical law or other sort of law effective in this direction, but simply because facts are stronger than ideologies, and in the face of these facts the inconsistencies and contradictions of “democracy” are untenable in the long run.

Democracy is ideological, not only because one of its “justifications” starts with the mystified concept of the “people,” which supposedly, as a “higher” being, not only stands above the totality of all individual members of a nation but also as an independent organism, as some kind of spirit of the people, hovers over past and future generations. More than that, however, it is self-evident that neither the actual existence of such a “people” nor the assertions and claims of its self-appointed representatives are provable. They are, therefore indistinguishable from pure phantoms of the imagination and are thus to be treated in the same way.

But even where, more rationally, the people is considered as the totality of its present members, a number of positive attributes are quite frequently assumed (i.e. invented) for it which are untenable when the matter is judged coolly. One need only take a look at history to find the following confirmed: Wherever the mass of a people has expressed an opinion or moved to action, they have shared and approved the most primitive and nonsensical prejudices and errors, and their actions have usually been characterized by abominable brutality and cruelty.

Even in 700 BC the prophet Isaiah described the mass man in Judea, whether rich or poor, elevated or lowly, as weak-willed, rascally, arrogant, rapacious, slovenly and without principles or scruples. Plato, in Greece, 400 years later, judged the mass of his contemporaries likewise. He even compared them to a herd of rapacious old animals. One can also read in the diaries of Marcus Aurelius what he, in Rome, about 500 years later, thought of his contemporaries. The darkness of the Middle Ages has become proverbial and the accomplishments of modern times in this respect can be studied in the examples set by WWI and WWII, as well as by subsequent wars and revolutions. An impressive selection of such references can be found in Urkräfte im Weltgeschehen (Primeval Forces in World Events), Parts 1 and 2, ed. by Ludwig Leher, Munich, 1968.

During the 18th century the Romantics, in particular Rousseau, with his unrealistic and arbitrary thought constructions (which did not prevent him from making also some statements coming close to reality) brought into circulation concepts which have lasted until today concerning the people’s “goodness” and “justice” (in comparison with their rulers, that is relatively, they often were good and just) and concerning the voice of the people as the voice of God.

Where was this goodness and justice towards Socrates, who was condemned by the people to drink a cup of hemlock? Where was it towards Jesus, who was condemned to crucifixion by the people, who preferred the murdered Barabbas to him? Was it not the people who demanded and committed the abominations of the French Revolution and who also bellowed and enthusiastic “Yes!” in answer to Goebbel’s question: “Do you want total war?”

Absolutism became complete only due to the mythology of the people. That the French Revolution eliminated absolutism is a falsification of history. In reality, the authority of the State was extended catastrophically, and all the liberties still remaining in the 17th and 18th centuries under absolutism were eliminated. While the individual was placed under continuously increased pressure from the State machinery and was deceived into believing that he himself was now the State, those who were sitting at the controls of this machinery hid themselves behind an anonymous absolutism. It was still possible to dethrone or kill an aggressive prince; but individual resistance to the people was all the less possible the more other individuals believed the new myth and wrongly interpreted every attempt aiming also at their liberation as an attack on themselves. Those who, supposedly, represented the “public” thus became unassailable and were considered from the start as always right towards the individual — especially since behind them was all the prestige and power of the government and, in addition, also the good faith of a manipulated majority. Modern mass media have made possible the unprecedented manufacture of public opinion and its manipulation. This has been supported by the State’s education towards obedience via the schools and military service, by the continuous expansion of the State’s “tasks,” making individuals increasingly more dependent upon what is called the State and what is described as the “representation” of the “public interest,” while, in fact, it is rather clumsily masked domination by a small group, an oligarchy, as happened, quite openly, at the inception of democracy.

Democrats do not notice that the Soviet system is also based, quite logically, upon the sovereignty of the people. The “genuine and true will of the people” is so ambiguous and varied, and every rule of the people is so much dependent upon functionaries who make the actual decisions, that democracy and people’s democracy are, fundamentally, only distinguishable from one another in the manner of manipulation by means of which the selection of the functionaries is made. In this, certainly, their ideology has a voice also. In both cases there is a great degree of manipulation. There are many types and divisions of domination. There is, however, only one freedom, the equal freedom of all, which is identical with the absence of domination.

The manipulation of the so-called will of the people was very strikingly parodied in the Quotidien de Paris in the middle of October 1976 (i.e. on the occasion of Mao’s succession), when the paper asked the question: Why do the Chinese masses remain so quiet during the current power struggles?
“Where, actually, is the Chinese people? What does it do? What does it think? What does it want? Where does it hide ...? For in China, as is well known, everything comes from the masses and everything returns to the masses. Thus, when the people these days did not appear on the political stage, the reason was simply that one had forgotten to inform it about its own demands, one had neglected to instruct it concerning its own wishes. That is, one had not even considered inviting the people to their own festival. The people were against Yu, Tsching, Tschao and the others, but one had not had enough time to tell them so. It was thus necessary to act even before the people understood that this was in accordance with its will. It is simply a question of method.”
In Western democracies only the forms and the methods of manipulation are different.

Karl Gordon-Wallach says in Politische Mythologie (Political Mythology) concerning the sovereignty of the people (his much more extensive reasoning should be read there):

“This fairy tale concept has precipitated the whole political confusion of our age. The nebulousness and impossibility of this political idea has caused the decline of Europe. Mythology has replaced clear political ideas.

“In the course of two centuries the mythology of the ‘sovereign people’ has become a world-wide religion. All the political adventures and all the political mortal sins of our century have arisen from the confusion which this unhealthy and impossible concept has caused.

“... The concept of the sovereignty of the people is constantly portrayed as something quite harmless and peaceful. Precisely in this manner of describing things lies the beginning of a mythology. There is nothing wilder, more dangerous and more unpredictable than the people coming to power. Every type of Jacobinism shows us this with sufficient vividness.

“Whoever equates the sovereignty of the people with the ideal direction of the State, approaches the reality of the direction of the State with completely false ideas.

“... Inherent in the concept of the sovereignty of the people is the idea that the people are, necessarily, always right because they are good and unspoiled; and because no one will harm himself, the decision of all is, therefore, always the best solution.

“... The theory of the sovereignty of the people encountered tremendous demand when an infallible means was found to neutralize the people’s right to rule. This means of sterilizing the will of the people is the political party.

“... The State’s dogma runs: the party system is the expression of political freedom and at the same time the guarantee for the rule of the people. — It is still one of the highest duties of the citizens to believe this nonsense.

“... The party system, as is demonstrated for us everywhere in the Western world, has absolutely nothing to do with the rule of the people but is the expression of a form of domination quite different from that of the people. The democratic party system is nothing other than an oligarchy, i.e. the rule of the few. The political parties are small spheres of domination by a few. But the fiction is maintained that these groups are nothing other than popular associations built and supported by the will of their members. In this they are supposed to be — as we have been assured -exact mirror images of the State ruled by the people.

“Certainly, the political parties are the exact likenesses of the parliamentary democratic State, namely, in the sense that the State is just as much ruled by a few individual people as the particular political associations are.

“In the parties as well as in the State, fate is directed by a few very influential men. These few make the decisions and direct the will of the people. For the people have, generally, only a very limited political inclination and passion. Financial sufficiency, a peaceful existence, and participation in the pleasures of life are their main concern.

“Thus the political parties constitute some kind of discipline for the politically shy masses and they signify a channeling of their only slightly conscious will into political directions.

“Decisive in the parties and in the State are those men who direct the weak conscious will of the people into the direction which they, the few, desire. The people are not angered by that. On the contrary: whoever does not fulfill this task of direction wears the people out. This can be observed in the following examples: in many places there are small doctrinaire democratic groups which want all their decisions made by the whole of the membership. But these parties are condemned to remain small, since they work ineffectively. Firstly, they fatigue their members, and secondly, their activities are sluggish because they lack a leading group imbued with a certain will to power and maintained in its position by quite specific group interests. The honest but rather useless efforts of these small political groups only serve to prove that the rule of the people is a beautiful illusion. There is no people that feels itself passionately responsible for public affairs and State matters.

“... When we are taught that the parties are the ‘high schools of democracy’ then we can quite understand this. For future ministers learn there how to manage the will of the people. In the parties they learn how things are made palatable for the people, how majorities can be obtained by surprise motions and other tricks, how ‘false resolutions’ of the party rank and file can be weakened, killed or otherwise saved.”

“The determination of the will of the people may also help one influential party group to supplant another or to topple undesired but powerful individual persons. Party friends and comrades-in-arms can in this way be given the cold shoulder or stabbed in the back. Such experience is indispensable for anyone who wants to get ahead in the people’s State.

“All of those experiences of party life can be splendidly applied in the higher echelons of the national democracy. There, too, a merciless struggle takes place between certain individuals as they wrestle for the most influential positions. This is the reality of the democratic leadership of the State.

“... The struggle for power is fought with severity and relentlessness, even though democratic screens are set up to hide this unpleasant spectacle from us.

“... Court intrigues have left the ante-chambers of princes in order to flourish anew in party offices and the corridors of parliaments. Thus an impressive swarm of flatterers and courtiers still circulates around the sovereigns of today. The party leaders are the democratic courtiers who attempt to obtain the favours of their sovereign through flattery — only with the difference that the prince of the modern age, that is, the people, has no chance of getting rid of the intriguers and flatterers. For the so-called sovereign of today is the whole people, all citizens — and so no one. How could everybody, who at the same time is nobody, interfere with the wasp’s nest of combinations, arrangements and insidious intrigues which occur all around in his name?

“Thus it happens that in reality the courtiers, flatterers and adventurers have every possibility in the democratic system of successfully playing their un-pleasant game. The anonymity of power and the exercise of power beckon un-political forces into the arena and deliver the power of the State over to them. That is the reason why in all parliamentary democracies economic forces finally shape political decisions... and not, as theory stipulates, the people. That is also the reason why the major economic forces in the world again and again stand up for parliamentary democracy. This form of the State offers them the greatest opportunity for indirect influence, which constantly and everywhere fortifies itself behind the ‘will of the people.’

“Next to the mythology of equality exists that of unification (elimination of the opposition). It is not a specialty of the totalitarian one-party-State. It also flourishes in the shadow of democratic anonymity and nameless wielders of power affect the parties and the public institutions. Between them these rule all the institutions of the country, not only the apparatus of the State, the army and financial matters but, also, public opinion and education. Everything lives in tenacious dependence from one another.

“In such a manner the truly free life of the mind is compressed into a disappearing narrow space. Also, the actually free spheres of life of the individual, where he can still decide his personal fate, according to his own discretion, are, likewise, becoming vanishingly small. The high cost of living, the permanent pressure exerted, consciously or unconsciously, upon all outsiders, the official social measures, obligations imposed by the State and an obtrusive way of life do constrain all the movements of life.

“The unbelievably wide and deep reaching effect which the mass media radio and television have, contribute their part to the suffocation of personal impulses. In the press, the large news and photographic services coordinate the ‘respectable’ press, and in the illustrated papers the greed for profit demolishes everything.

“Thus this musty Western climate arose in which everything must integrate and subordinate itself to the course of the ‘ process of production’. To expose oneself because of an opinion is considered unprofitable and this as approximately the same as stupid. Whoever offers any service without demanding for it, right away, a high fee, is considered ‘ an idealist’. He earns from the private sector as well as from the State only contempt, one that is flavoured by the suspicion that his attitudes might be undependable.”

In this same book the author, furthermore, calls public opinion:

“the opinion of the most powerful man in the country, who in power concentration such as parties, business and also scientific organizations, industrial associations etc., have the final word.

“To pronounce this fact means, however, wanting to shake forbidden fruits from the tree of political knowledge. Whoever wants to call these things by their true name, endangers himself in the liberal democracy, also.

“No one is supposed to find out how information and public opinion are handled in our epoch. Thus public opinion is employed merely as a mythological concept. No one is to touch it with a sacrilegious hand or to lift this veil of secrecy which is carefully spread over this myth.

“ ... In reality, public opinion is the expression of what the influential families and personalities of a country think about a particular matter.

“ ... The more effective the communication media are, the more strictly and ruthlessly are they made to serve this public opinion.

“... Whoever utters something that displeases the officials or those powerful in a country, will be relentlessly shot down.

“... In theory, the Swiss Radio has been transferred to a private concern for administration. But the people thus commissioned know exactly what is expected from them. A small press campaign is started from the right spot (by which the ‘anger of the people’ is organized), a few angry telephone calls from influential personages, a few winks of the eye and frowns, and the civil servants of this ‘ privately administered’ radio know that they must now immediately undertake ‘technical changes and cuts which are determined by scheduling’. Moreover, this or that man is ‘accidentally’ or ‘purely through oversight’ no longer invited to collaborate.

“ ... The mythology of public opinion is of the greatest importance in the Western countries because there the matter of opinion is quite free. Everyone can say what he wants, even on the radio ... provided, naturally, that he will be permitted at all to speak freely on the radio! One ca also say whatever one wants in the newspapers ... provided, naturally, that such a free statement of opinion will be printed! Or one can say whatever one wants to say in books, assuming that one can find a publisher or can permit oneself to finance it oneself and that the book is then also noticed and reviewed.

“The theoretical freedom of expression is, therefore, limited by a number of technical difficulties.”

“The gap which separates theory and practice of the free expression of opinions must not be so thoughtlessly pointed out. There are, after all, even in the Free West only infinitely few men who are not simply satisfied with the set opinion in political affairs and who are plagued with a bizarre zeal to verify if those things are actually true which have already been poured into a person in primary school.”

Even when one starts from the non-ideological concept of the people and understands by this the totality of all individual members of the people present today, it is still an ideological concept (i.e. an empty, unprovable assertion) that this “public’ or its majority is called to rule or has a “right” to rule, not only over all individual members of the people but, moreover, over all “foreigners” who are stating in the national territory concerned, for which the people concerned raised a monopolistic claim.

It is, indeed, contested that the aim is here domination and one asserts that this is eliminated through democracy and that all are equally free because all can participate in the same way at the polls. Through this “the representatives of the people” would be determined, who would then express and follow through the will of the people or of the whole or of the majority.

Actually, elections offer only one opportunity, namely to choose between different practitioners of domination. They offer no opportunity — not even through non-participation in elections — to remove oneself from the domination by others. For, although most of the voters are not conscious of this, the vote for the so-called “representatives” of the people means the surrender of the right to self-determination and an authorization for others, not only to interfere with the freedom of the voter concerned (which would still be quite acceptable), but also with the freedom of third parties. Thus it authorizes aggressive actions and, thereby, the voter and authorizer becomes himself aggressive.

Mind you, the democratic elections common today are not concerned with the commissioning of those who merely have the task to protect the equal freedom (and, thereby, the truly equal rights of all) against every attack but, on the contrary, are dealing with the authorization of aggressive interventions — not only with the freedom of those bestowing the authorization but, in particular, with the freedom of non-participating third parties.

While the first would represent organization without domination (on a voluntary basis, whose more precise description will follow later), the second case is concerned with the transfer of distinct functions of domination, not only over themselves but, also, over third parties. It is typical for the confusion in today’s thinking that some are of the opinion that this process would mean the abolition of domination, while others, confusing the defensive power for the maintenance of genuine order, with the aggressive power of domination for the establishment of subordination and superiority, do, quite naively, declare domination to be “necessary” in order to peacefully settle conflicts.

One cannot speak of equal rights and duties, which are sometimes considered as characteristic for democracy, where on one hand the rights are limited to being allowed to mark a cross every four years on a ballot, while the majority of those elected in such a manner claim for themselves the right to act, with the whole power of the State apparatus, not only against the wishes and interests of the majority among the voters but, also, against the wishes and interests of their own voters. (This is then classed as the pursuit of the “public interest”).

Moreover, these “representatives of the people” also claim for themselves the right to regulate the affairs of those members of the people, who did not vote at all, i.e., who neither gave them an authorization nor a commission and, lastly, even the affairs of all those in their realm of power, altogether, i.e., even of those, who neither desire their impertinent interference nor their “welfare benefits”. With what right? With that of aggressive force!

Only when something corresponds to the will and the interest of all individuals, is it proper to say that it is also in accordance with the will and the interest of the public. The “public welfare” is, however, usually only a fraudulent pretext by which the realization of the interests of individuals and groups at the expense of others is disguised. The “representatives of the people” are not at all in a position to act in accordance with the will and the interests of the public, even if they would want to do this. For the intentions and interests of individuals are altogether different, of a very great variety and, for the most part, opposed to each other. In democracies the “representatives of the people” are determined primarily to carry out the will and to support the interests of those parties and groups, which remain anonymously in the background, certain groups do also follow their particular interests even within the parties.

Already before the last election for the “Bundestag” (Federal Parliament of the German Federal Republic), it was already certain, for approximately 90% of the seats, who would be sent to parliament. For the parties and the associations had apportioned safe voting districts to “their” candidates and had assured the few insecure ones through election tickets. The voter could only decide in a few seats — more or less for one or the other party. And even in this he was so perfectly manipulated by the parties, associations and their functionaries, that the result was predictable far in advance.

Just how much the voters have been disfranchised is shown also by the constitutional provisions which state that the representatives are not bound by instructions and commissions. They can, therefore, simply break explicit promises upon which they were elected. They can even take their mandate over to an opposing party — an action which otherwise, under criminal law, would be prosecuted as breach of trust and fraud. This is defended by saying that the representatives should represent the whole of the people (which, in practice, is a sheer impossibility) and should only be subject to their conscience. The absolute monarchs, too, were only subject to their conscience and they asserted, likewise, that they had the welfare of the whole people in mind. But they did not have, not by far, the kind of power which today is wielded by the oligarchy of “the democratic representatives of the people” and, especially, of those people upon whom these “representatives” depend.

Moreover, hardly any of these “representatives of the people” dare make a truly thorough reform proposal — if his career is dear to him — or even speak the full and unadulterated truth. For then he will be attacked, not only by the men behind the scenes in the opposition party but also by those in his own party and by his party colleagues — since they are afraid of losing votes. The result is an opportunism that is as undignified as it is unscrupulous.

The wire-pullers of the established parties protect themselves against new competing parties not only through stipulations (in Western Germany) that a party must obtain 5 to 10% of the vote before it can represent the people, but also by a plethora of other impediments. Moreover, they have created many additional advantages for themselves. They are paid back a large portion of the costs of their election campaigns from tax funds. The election contributions and the new regulation on attendance money will soon make them completely independent of contributions by party members. The German television viewer now pays for campaign propaganda on TV with his quarterly television fees. The production costs of these television spots are also carried by the taxpayer, as campaign costs for the parties. Everything is thus enacted almost free of charge for the parties, and indeed, the larger they are, they more this is so.

One has all the less reason to speak of an equality of rights between the voters and their representatives (and their bureaucratic appendages) because the main function of the representatives is to reach into everyone’s pockets, at their own discretion, and to distribute what is taken, again at their own discretion, into other pockets (including their own). This occurs by means of a multitude of direct and indirect taxes, and the extent and nature of the latter taxes remains unknown to most people. It also occurs through an “economic” and “currency policy” which influences incomes, depreciates savings, endangers pensions, makes many workers unemployed, and drives self-employed people into bankruptcy. There are always those who are privileged and those who are disadvantaged — and this happens constantly under the fiction of the “will of the people” and the alleged “common good” (public welfare or public interest).

There is nothing objectionable in voters freely electing (presumed) representatives of their interests and conceding to them such extensive powers against themselves that they can be misused against their real interests also. For it is quite within the framework of what is to be understood by the equal freedom of all when someone voluntarily limits himself, his own freedom of action, in favour of someone else. The matter becomes absurd only when someone presumes to give others the authority to limit the freedom of third parties against their will, in his own interest or in that of the others, so holding in tutelage and coercing the third party.

This is clearly aggression, not only on the part of those elected, but on the part of the voters.

It should be noted that in a democracy the rule of the elected “representatives of the people” (or rather a majority of them) in no way ends when they leave parliament. For many of the legal provisions and institutions created by them during their legislative period continue to exist far into the future. The apparatus of the State, with its ruling bureaucracy, takes on a completely independent life of its own next to the “representatives of the people” and the “government” elected by them. For ministers leave, but the State secretaries, the ministerial bureaucracy and the civil servants remain. Indeed, those sitting at the controls of the apparatus have already largely seized control of the “representation of the people”: Over 40% of the representatives in the present German “Bundestag” (Federal Parliament) come from the civil service and, consequently, they have the opportunity to take very good care of their own special interests. The so-called separation of powers thereby becomes a farce.

The influence upon legislation and administration of those who are not elected becomes all the greater the more extensive the activity of the State becomes, i.e. the more presumptuous the “representation of the people” and “government” are in keeping individuals in tutelage. For seeing that most of the representatives and even of the ministers usually lack the expert knowledge required to evaluate correctly the ever more complicated situations created by them, the lobbies of professional and special-interest associations become involved usually behind the scenes, but often quite openly. Those who usually prevail are those with the stronger elbows.

Governments and parties are to a large extent dependent upon special interest groups, and the selection of their representatives, which is manipulated by a small clique, is usually even more of a comedy than that of the “representatives of the people.” The latter, to the extent that they do not fight bitterly among themselves for positions and ministerial portfolios, exercise “party discipline” and vote “yes” or “no,” mostly without knowing what they are doing, in accordance with whatever the “experts” of the bureaucracy and the committees, or the party leadership, recommend.

Private and national power positions, privileges and monopolies for individuals, groups and institutions -i.e. the so-called “democracy of pull and favours” — arise through countless laws under the influence of special interest groups. Once created, they develop a life of their own and are subject to no kind of parliamentary control. One reason for this is that the aims, particularities and effects of most of these laws are hardly fully known by those who decide over them and, much less so, by the general public. The enormous power of the “Bundesbank” (Federal Central Bank) can serve as an example. It conducts a “currency policy” independent of parliament and the government, by fixing the discount and bank loan rate and the minimum reserve requirement, by inflating the quantity of currency in circulation, and, lastly, by the floatation of securities. All of these actions have far-reaching and immediate effects upon everyone, and yet the “sovereign people” and, much more so, the individual are powerless against them. For the mass of the population, even the educated, do not possess the ability to comprehend and judge what occurs there, as is the case also with the majority of laws generally. For example, an increase of the currency in circulation and the raising of the minimum reserve requirement (i.e. contrary measures) often go hand in hand. However, both of these force the interest rate up, i.e. increase the unearned income which makes the main purpose of the money monopoly more than clear. Indeed, the great masses are kept in such ignorance about the most important facts of money (which are not so complicated that everyone could not understand them) that they do not even have any interest in wanting to form a reasoned judgment. To a great extent, they despise all “politics”. (According to opinion polls, only 15% have a genuine interest). It is only due to very extensive propaganda, in which all kinds of tricks have much more weight than factual arguments, that they let themselves be driven as voting cattle to the polls at certain intervals. This circumstance alone already reveals the absurdity of the often praised majority rule.

As mentioned above, there simply are no “peoples” at all, no “people” who are passionately interested in the concerns of the genuine totality (i.e. really of all individuals). Far less is there a people or a nation that feels itself responsible. Only the above-mentioned small percentage of individuals attempt, within and outside the parties, to direct, politically and otherwise, the desire of the masses, which are only feebly conscious and are determined more by feelings than by thinking.

It is also the view, not merely of the above-quoted Gordon-Wallach, that public opinion is only the opinion of the opinion-makers and that these are directed by the truly powerful, i.e. the economically powerful, in a country. They do not need to be censored, for they censor themselves. Martin Walser wrote on this (Die Zeit, 3.3.1972):

“They are dependent upon the functionaries of the owners of the means of production and dependent upon the functionaries of the public corporations. The functionaries are intellectuals in the service of the existing social order.... The higher placed the functionaries are, the more rigid and conservative they are in representing society’s interests. At the higher levels of the opinion industry there are salaries which have little to do with recompense at all and more to do with bribery. Mucius Scaevola put his hand into the fire. He would not have withstood the offer of a salary of 30,000 DM per month. The superintendent, the program director, the chief editor, the columnist, the economics editor, the political editor, they all have received or retained such posts because they have demonstrated that they regard restricted democracy as the right democracy. They do not characterize the social condition so far achieved with the term “restricted democracy,” but rather call it a “democracy based on freedom and law” etc. Thus they probably see only some minor blemishes here and there and perform their duty voluntarily. A pretty condition.”

One of the most powerful opinion shakers, Rudolf Augstein, has explicitly proclaimed that there must be domination as well as servitude (in Der Spiegel, 2.6.1975). Another, Henri Nannen, once very frankly and bluntly admitted (Stern, 13.2.1973): “that in our society injustice rules, that a few are powerful and many powerless, that the victims of recessions are still the workers rather than the entrepreneurs, that property makes one free and poverty unfree (sic) — who would want seriously to contest that? And who would want to contest that our laws serve to preserve the establishment, to protect the rulers from those ruled, property from the grasp of those without property, and the powerful from the insurrection of the powerless?” He holds that this is an advance over previous conditions, where power ruled through inheritance and possession. Here he is only partly correct, for does not power today rule even more comprehensively than before, through inherited and newly acquired possessions, despite “universal, free and secret suffrage?” And he thinks, quite correctly, that the present condition is more bearable than “the authoritarianism of functionaries who subscribe only to a political ideology. Whoever wants to force upon humanity a Utopian happiness by persecuting dissenters, prohibiting newspapers, limiting freedom of movement, building walls, and by locking up critics in asylums for the insane, should be resisted to the utmost.

Nannen, however, does not say how “democratization” ought to continue — only that every advance requires a hard struggle. He favours only “co-determination at the workplace” and does not see that this does not touch at all the exploitation through land rent and interest. And he does not see or does not want to see what is ideological, unrealistic and absurd in democracy.

Take, for example, the principle of majority decisions as a justification for domination. The application of this principle can be quite meaningful — in organizations whose voluntary members pursue a common aim and have the option to escape an infringement of their freedom through non-discriminatory withdrawal. However, as a principle for the exercise of domination, it is one of the most inane principles, for a monarch or a dictator can now and then be an intelligent and responsible man, but the majority, especially in party — democracies, is, as a rule, if not without intelligence, then at least without judgment, a hot-bed of corruption and of the irresponsibly mediocre. It partly provides a theatre of action for sly power addicts, and by its dead weight partly hinders those who have still remained honest in the general morass. As Goethe (as well as many others) said: “Nothing is more repulsive than the majority, for it embraces only a few strong pioneers, and otherwise comprises only scoundrels who accommodate themselves, weaklings who assimilate themselves, and the mass that merely follows without the least knowledge of what it wants.” Similarly, Schiller said: “Everyone, individually, is tolerably clever and sensible; but everyone as a body is an utter blockhead!”

Above all, the majority principle is a conspicuous contradiction of the ideological principle of the sacredness of the “will of the people” and the “common good,” which have already been shown to be nonsensical. For if a majority has the right to direct a minority according to its will, to force it and to rule it, then there can be no question of this corresponding to the common good or the will of the whole people. With all three of the loudly proclaimed main principles of democracy, we therefore have only blatant absurdities. In order to be consistent with the majority principle, one would have to grant it in civil life, too. Then two imbeciles must be granted greater rights than a single normal citizen or a genius. And as long as two do not receive under civil law a “right” against one, three against only two, etc., the majority principle in public law is at least a sign of schizophrenia, if not of brain damage.

It is also one of the contradictions between the ideology and the practice of democracy that in numerous cases the “representatives of the people” openly disregard the will of the majority of the members of the people, for example, by hindering or rejecting plebiscites (which are characteristically liked by totalitarian regimes, which gladly let their own will be confirmed by the manipulated masses, as the “will of the people”). Another example: They disregard the will of the people when opinion polls reveal that the majority is for the retention or the reintroduction of the death penalty. Thus such a disregard of the “will of the people” can be quite reasonable. For that the voice of the people is the voice of God is only true in so far as it is often as incomprehensible as the so- called “will of God” is said to be. However, one cannot declare the will of the majority to be sacred and nonsensical at the same time.

Moreover, it has become clear, through numerous opinion polls and individual interviews, that the ideas and judgments of about 90% of all people are extremely primitive and backward. This applies not only to the masses of the uneducated but, just as well, to the so-called educated, who, as for example Ortega y Gasset observed, judge outside of their special subjects like barbarians or primitive wild men. In other words, about 90% of all human beings, with regard to all problems going beyond their narrow point of view, are almost without judgment — even when they are intelligent. This applies also to the election of suitable representatives — where they are, again and again, taken in by skilful demagogues.

For that reason alone, conditions must be created in which people can affect only themselves through mistaken decisions, not third parties. The power of domination must therefore disappear!

It is also evident that elections are manipulated through the mass media, by private interest groups as well as by the parties, and especially, by the government. The alleged “will of the people” is first only suggested to some groups among the people who are not aware of this, while the great mass of the people have already delivered themselves up to every possible sort of suggestion and claim for leadership, in religions and ideologies, because of their own inclinations. In this, their own will is not only given up, largely unconsciously, but handed over to others, mostly to anonymous power groups.

Seeing that by now people remain quite unimpressed when a Mr. Miller makes claims that appear unfair — although he may assert that they also correspond to the wills of Mr. Baker and Mr. White — why should people respect the so-called “will of the people,” behind which stands only the confused and questionable will of a few million Millers, Bakers and Whites? When, as can be confidently presumed, for ten stupid people (or let us say, more politely, ten people incapable of judgment) there is at most one bright fellow, then democracy according to the majority principle means that all prejudices, all emotions, all untenable fancies and beliefs sit in judgment over the minority of reasonable people.

Certainly, leadership by these reasonable people is necessary, but this is quite different from domination, for it stands in strict opposition to it.

Opposed to a democracy resting upon the alleged “will of the people,” the “public interest,” and the majority principle (that is, an illusionary, ideological and quite frankly fraudulent democracy, which permits individuals only to exist dependently, as parts of a group), there is another, less ideological, although no less illogical, interpretation of it.

According to this interpretation, all individuals are supposed to have an equal share in the power required for the protection of the basic rights of the totality of all individuals. It is the thesis of Anarchism, too, that power, which must not be confused with domination (and a corresponding organization), is necessary for the protection not only of very humble basic rights but of the much more extensive equal freedom of all. However, outside of political power (even though closely linked with it) there are other very strong powers, privileges and monopolies. These are not only created by political power and have been made largely unassailable based on certain arbitrarily interpreted “basic rights” but also exert, on their own, an immense influence upon the functionaries of political power. Mere formal protection of the “basic rights” of those who are not privileged is of little use, since, simply because of the privileges and monopolies possessed by others, the dispossessed have little of what would make protection meaningful. Of what use, for example, is the right to express opinions freely when, in practice, only the editors of newspapers and journals (as well as their owners) and the program directors of radio and television stations (to the extent that their directors agree) have these rights? Behind most of the “basic rights” in the constitution of the German Federal Republic (which are, moreover, formulated in such a way that there is the widest scope for arbitrary interpretation), there stands, immediately, a limitation through existing and future laws — laws which are continuously produced as if on an assembly line. Even the “unassailable essence” of the basic rights is constantly interpreted with reference to higher interests, by institutions which not only enjoy equal rights with individuals but confront them as superior authorities — with all the power of the State behind them.

It is exactly the same with the elected representatives of the people. Here one must note that a sensible selection is only possible within parameters that are easy to survey, e.g. within smaller communities or neighbourhoods where everyone knows everybody. It is impossible in incomprehensibly vast States where completely unknown candidates are presented to the voters only via party lists and are successfully pushed upon them with the aid of all the tricks of modern mass psychology.

It is also incompatible with this more realistic view of democracy that the “representatives” are bound neither by the instructions given to them by the voters nor by the promises which they have made to the voters. The constitution of the German Federal Republic allows them to do this, due to an ideological concept of the people and the totality. Whenever they have genuine conflicts of conscience, they should be allowed to vacate their seats, but not to betray their voters, to practice political jobbery, and to secure personal advantages for themselves, e.g. by insisting on a guarantee from the other party on their continuance in office.

A characteristic contradiction to the theory of the “representation of the whole” lies also in the practice of all parliaments which disregards the principle of a proportional representation of all citizens. If, for example, all citizens are to be represented by 1,000 representatives and there is only a 70% turnout of voters in an election, then, consequently, only 700 representatives should be allowed to take up their seats — as being authorized by those 70%. Actually, the whole 1,000 seats are always distributed among the election winners, as if the 30% who did not vote (and had thus demonstrated their rejection of the “representatives” who had offered themselves) nevertheless wanted to be represented by them.

Here too must be mentioned the effort of established parties to prevent or at least obstruct the rise of new parties through the legal construction of the 5% or 10% hurdles. The votes of those electors, whose group does not achieve this percentage, come to nothing, although they give expression, indeed, to a portion of the “will of the people” and the “public,” who are thus on one hand disregarded and on the other hand elevated almost to divinity. Here, too, is revealed with complete clarity what stands behind the so-called “will of the people” i.e. the particular will of vested interests.

When “representatives of the people” is interpreted as representatives of the interests of particular groups (which they actually are, even though they attempt, again and again, to hide themselves behind the ideology of the “will of the people” and the “public interest”) then the application of the majority principle reveals itself as especially senseless, for it aims to provide advantages at the expense of the minority and to realize its own will. There is actually only one “justification” of the majority principle: When the majority and a minority struggle with each other, then the former will win because of its superior numbers, and because of this fact it does make sense when the minority subordinates itself right away. Since this is the meaning of the majority principle, one should honestly admit it and name this “right” of the majority simply the law of the big fist. Naturally, and on both sides, ideological notions obscure the actual situation with imaginary and (in many cases) unprovable “rights.” We will find a very simple standard for these outlined in the following chapter.

Another contradiction to the supposed enjoyment of equal rights by all in a democracy lies in the fact that the elected “representatives” do not have the legal position of normal representatives and of commissioned people who are dependent upon authorization. Instead, they exercise pronounced domination functions, even towards their electors. The voters in no way enjoy equal rights with them and are only in very rare cases conscious of the consequences which they have initiated. But even among the voters there can be no question of equal rights as long as the absurd condition persists that the delegation of authority from the individual to the “representatives of the people” means that they not only represent his interests — n.b. the voter’s own interests — but also represent the interests and regulate the affairs of third parties over their heads! Exactly this occurs in every democracy in accordance with the majority principle.

The conviction that one has a right to push everything that one believes to be good and correct for oneself upon others, if necessary by force, arises from the erroneous belief that inculcated or habitual subjective evaluations are really objectively valid value norms. With religions, people have as a rule understood that such a belief is simply mischief. Not so with ideologies, although these — because their theses are not provable — are just as much a matter of faith as religions are. The majority principle, like most of the other principles of democracy, is merely a “sacred cow.”

In a democracy there are only allotted, “permitted” and isolated individual liberties, not, however, true, full, and complete freedom, which is and can only be the equal freedom of all. In this freedom, the “law-giver” and the functionaries responsible for its observance stand under the same principle as all other individuals, and because of that are equal to them, not above them.

Democracy is a relationship of mutual dependence. Anarchy, the equal freedom of all, is a relationship of mutual independence. Kant said on this: “There can be nothing more appalling than that the actions of one man should fall under the will of another man. A man who is dependent is no longer a man; he is only the tool of another man.”

Democracy is the unsuccessful attempt to obscure the fact that the State uses aggressive force by making a “right” out of this (i.e. by attempting to feign such a right). For rights can only arise out of free agreements, and no one can maintain that all those subjugated to the State’s authority consent to this condition. The constitution of the German Federal Republic states with admirable frankness: “The State’s power comes from the people.” And that is it. The State is a forced association, in contrast to a free association. What is meant by power is thus not the defensive force against aggression but, rather, aggressive force against non-aggressive individuals and groups.

Does it make any difference for the people against whom this aggression is directed (disregarding completely the exploitation taking place) whether the aggression comes from a single autocrat or several, or from the people, or from anyone whatsoever?

It is quite as foolish to want to vote whether 2 times 2 ought to equal 5 or 4, as it is to want to establish by majority decision whether the freedom of some individuals should be extended at the expense of others (against their will), i.e. whether the freedom of the latter should be limited in favour of the former. Naturally, this is never formulated in such a manner. Instead, one speaks loftily of the “general welfare” which ought to be everyone’s concern, and in this the fact is cleverly hidden that it is always only a part of the whole that must pay (moreover, at different rates) or must serve in other ways, while the other part is the recipient or the beneficiary. The concept of “social justice,” which can be given almost any meaning, plays a very large part here, next to other ideological concepts, i.e. concepts that are outside experienced reality. For thousands of years, whenever it was not a simple case of openly aggressive force anyhow, people acted only in accordance with religious or ideological convictions, without placing a limit on these acts as is given in the equal freedom of all. For thousands of years, it was always only the belief of some group which stood against the beliefs of some other groups. People struggled bitterly about things which were not provable on either side and on which an agreement was impossible from the beginning. The result, naturally, could not be anything other than the mutually aggressive exercise of force.

To vote whether something that is believed in, i.e. is not provable, is either “correct” or even merely “better” than something else that is also believed in, is an absurdity. The enforcement of the result of such a vote against any minority, no matter how small this group may be, is nothing other than an attempt to disguise aggression, for there can be no reasonable justification for this.

In addition to the factual content of democracy, in addition to what it is, there are also, although usually confused, concepts on what it should be and could be, that is, dreams of something that exists not in reality but only in the imagination. These have condensed into clichés: pluralism, more democratization, and emancipation. What is “democratic” in these dreams is the elimination of any favouritism, any prerogatives of the one against the other, equality of opportunity, and freedom from traditional shackles.


The difference between what is practiced as so-called “democracy” and what is fundamentally meant and pursued when one speaks of “democratic conduct,” is best made clear by an example from everyday life.

In a “democracy” of the normal type, majorities make decisions which bind everybody. In this process, a few, who actually make decisions in the name of this majority, are themselves controlled by others. In this type of “democracy,” an abstraction — the “people” or the “totality” — rules over real individuals, whereas in a free market economy (what is presently considered as such has little to do with a genuine free market economy!) and in an “ideal” democracy, individuals make decisions which concern only themselves and those other individuals with whom they deal directly.

Whoever, for example, goes into a shop and buys a tin of vegetables, is only bound by his own decision when he chooses to buy a tin of brand X. He must then pay the required price. He does not have to buy a tin with the product of that particular firm.

When he buys it, however, he must pay for it. It is not important whether he pays immediately or whether the storekeeper gives him credit.

In the latter case both trust each other. The buyer does not know what is in the tin since he cannot see the contents. However, he trusts partly the label, partly his experience, partly firm X and partly the shopkeeper. When the shopkeeper gives the buyer credit, he does so because he trusts his impression (the label) of the buyer. He believes according to his experience and with his knowledge of human nature that he will get his money in the end. He may, though, be completely mistaken, although this will not happen very often. Also the buyer himself can be mistaken. The tin might contain something quite different from what he desired, or the contents might be spoiled. However, he will not be mistaken very often either, for once he has bought a tin from firm X which does not contain what he expected, next time he will be very reluctant to buy the same again.

The result of such buyer decisions (or voting, as it could be called) is noted by the shopkeeper at regular intervals. Thus he finds out that a few customers, like the above mentioned one, have voted for firm X. He will also find out that a few others have decided for brand Y and still others for brand Z. He must know this in order to place orders for the particular brands in exactly the quantities which he considers necessary in order to satisfy his customers’ wishes in the future.

What happens, then, in the different firms producing these foods? The consumers’ votes reach them, and their numbers differ for every firm.

Let us suppose that Brand X, which was chosen by the buyer in our example, is the most popular brand, receiving 100 votes, while each of the others received less than 100 votes. If the market economy were run like political “democracy” today, then this would mean that in future only brand X would be produced since the buyers had voted that this was the best. All other brands would have to disappear.

However, in the free market economy there is no process as in the political “democracy” of today. Even though brand X showed itself to be the most popular brand, the others were popular enough to encourage their manufacturers to continue their production. All the firms, therefore, for which sufficient buyers have voted will continue production. The vote of the buyers for brand X does not force all other buyers to buy brand X. The patrons of brand Y cannot hinder those who prefer brand X. Likewise, those who love brand X cannot hinder those who prefer brand Y.

This is genuine democracy. It is the process wherein truly the whole people (i.e. the totality of all individuals) votes and actually also determines what corresponds to their wishes. This process hinders and forces no one and provides best for maximum welfare, the greatest choice and the lowest prices for the largest number.

It is completely different where, as in the actual practice of political “democracy”, the alleged representatives of an alleged majority have the monopoly for decision-making. What actually stands behind the alleged majority, and whether and where it is meaningful to let a majority decide at all, is a subject by itself which we have touched upon before. Here only one result of such majority decisions is considered: when applied to decision-making in a market economy, it would mean that someone going into a shop in order to buy a tin of vegetables, of brand Y, would be told that brand X was the only brand available because a majority of people preferred this brand. Moreover, the person concerned would not be allowed to solve this problem for himself, for instance, by altogether refraining from purchasing tins of vegetables. Instead, he must purchase them. Moreover, he must buy brand X. Furthermore, he must also eat it. In any case, it is in this manner that political “democracy” is wielded in practice. There the so-called majority determines and enforces what all individuals must do, or refrain from doing — although not regarding a certain brand of tinned vegetables, but on principle, and in far more important matters, concerning the pursuit of happiness, existence, property, income, health and even the lives of all individuals.

Let us suppose, for example, that two men are campaigning for the office of president, say in the United States, where this office is the most powerful position. The first, let him be Mr. Ford, would represent brand X, while the other, Mr. Carter, would be brand Y. Let us assume that Mr. Carter receives more votes than Mr. Ford. Then those who voted for Ford do not receive what they voted for. They had wanted Ford to take care of their affairs, but instead they receive Carter and they are at the same time placed in tutelage.

Naturally, those who voted for Carter are delighted. They have received not only the desired man to direct their own affairs but also one who is empowered to direct the affairs of all others too.

And then there is still a third category: those who desired neither brand X nor brand Y but perhaps brand Z or some other brand. There may also be among these some who desired none of the various brands.

However, under the procedure of majority decision-making, everyone must now pay for brand Y, regardless of their personal wishes and convictions. And they are bound to use this brand Y, even if they would rather not.

Now we are able to see what has happened: With our kind of political “democracy,” we have removed ourselves from the principle of the decision by the people, i.e. the totality of all individuals. Instead, we now have domination by a monopoly. All minorities, regardless of their interests and desires, are forced to submit to this monopoly.

In a genuine democracy, those who voted for Ford would have him as the manager of their affairs, and those who voted for Carter would have him. Those, however, who voted for any other candidate would have their own candidate to regulate their living conditions, while those who did not want anyone to regulate their affairs for them would be permitted to have no one to regulate their affairs.

That would be just. Everyone would then have to pay only for what he himself voted for. If he refused to participate in this, he would not have the (actual or imaginary) advantages which he would have gained by participating. Perhaps he would later regret this, but this is his own affair. It is exactly like this as for those who refuse to buy tinned vegetables and might eventually suffer from hunger as a consequence.

One can almost hear the frightened outcry: “But this would mean that we would have many presidents, at least two. And how could we pursue a uniform policy in this case?”

The answer is that this would no longer be possible. But what is so terrible about that? The concept of representation is, necessarily, that of authorization, of business management. Someone is to act for you. Now, how can someone act for you when this someone has full authority for actions which are contrary to your own real interests?

The supposition that he represents you because others have elected him is a self-evident fraud. He can only represent you when you have elected him and even then only when he concentrates on representing your interests.

Under today’s false concept of “democracy,” men who are opposed to your own true interests receive power over you — through the actions of others. Such “democracy” means majority control over everything. The control of the majority over everything means a monopoly. And the result is always: the control of a monopoly in the hands of a minority.

The above example of the brands of tinned vegetables and the presidential election is partly in accordance with the ideas of and partly derived directly from an article that was printed by professor Andrew J. Galambos, Los Angeles, without indicating the author.

That all affairs, both private and public, can be regulated without the majority principle and without the exercise of aggressive force against others, is an initially surprising concept, seeing our ingrained habits, and its realization will appear improbable to many.


Nevertheless, important thinkers such as Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Herbert Spencer, have already, at least in principle, discussed these thoughts with their proclamation of the right to withdraw from the State. In 1860, the Belgian P. E. de Puydt also proposed an interesting concrete form for its realization, in an essay entitled “Panarchie” (Revue Trimestrielle, Brussels, July 1860).

He said here that even the wisest and best government of a State today can never have the full and free agreement of all its subjects. Because of this, the freedom of one would today mean the negation of the freedom of others, and vice versa. The one subjugates in the name of the “law,” while others rise up in the name of “freedom” (as they understand or misunderstand it) in order to become oppressors themselves as soon as they have come to power. The less clear their aims are, the more bitterly and passionately they struggle to obtain more freedom for themselves at the expense of the freedom of others.

In a manner of speaking, De Puydt proclaimed for everyone the State of his dreams, by offering, next to each other and at the same time, all forms of government which have supporters, including those people who wish no government and no State of any previous type. This is to be realized not merely in the form of withdrawal (de-naturalization, renunciation of citizenship, ignoring the State, individual secession etc.) from the State, which is, at least usually, already possible today, but by which the person concerned loses many rights without at the same time getting rid of the corresponding duties, and so is considerably limited in his freedom. Even emigration is of little use, since one is only forced into new borders again and confronted with a new monopoly claim, that of the other State, to exclusive rule within those borders.

What de Puydt proposes is, approximately, comparable to the right of withdrawal from a church and the present consequences of this right (at least in the advanced democracies). In the not so distant past subjects were required to change their religion at the same time as their princes did, and even today sometimes citizen rights are still connected with a religious denomination, or at least moral pressure is exercised to submit formally to a certain creed. (This is most distinct among the substitute religions of totalitarian socialism). Today, however, in most countries, religious tolerance is so advanced that the believers of different creeds live peacefully next to each other, even next to those who are without any religious faith, and the latter are, in practice, hardly at all disadvantaged. This is a condition which was lacking for example, in Prussia in the last century, although Frederick the Great of that country was considered particularly tolerant in religious matters.

De Puydt’s proposal first appears to be unrealizable, as was, in previous centuries, the present tolerant relationship among different denominations. It would permit exactly the same coexistence for the supporters of different world views and political creeds, without, as in the present democracies, (not to mention the totalitarian systems), a majority forcing its will upon minorities. The more one thinks about it, the more this proposal proves itself to be the ideal form of a democracy, and its final logical consequence appears, in any case, the consequence of what is meant by democracy, this so terribly misused concept.

De Puydt took as an illustration for his proposal the image of a house with differently furnished apartments: the first, for instance, Western democratic; the second monarchic-conservative; the third communistic; and the fourth completely different from these three. Once someone no longer feels comfortable in his present apartment (e.g. the monarchic one) because he would rather live in another, it would be absurd for him to want to tear down the whole house while the others are still quite satisfied with their apartments. It would be more reasonable if the person concerned were simply to move to another apartment which is more congenial to him and to leave the others undisturbed in their apartments.

For whoever wants to pull down the whole house immediately in order to replace it with another in accordance with his taste, to which the others must then adapt themselves, will naturally have all the others against him. If, on the other hand, someone wants to leave the others unmolested in their convictions and activities, provided that they are willing to apply the same principle towards him, then it is not necessary at all to split the territory of the State concerned into so many sections as there are forms of governments (or non-governments) so that, within the area concerned, each appropriate form rules monopolistically. Instead, the supporters of different political systems and forms of government can live in a united territory, in the same country (e.g. in the German Federal Republic), independent of each other and in accordance with their concepts, next door to each other and intermixed, as today the followers of different religious creeds do. Catholics and Protestants pay their taxes to the church to which they belong, and if a person does not belong to a denomination, he does not pay any church taxes.

In practice this is done as follows, according to De Puydt’s proposal: in every community a new office is established, an office for political membership, which will send out a questionnaire to all residents: What form of government do you want? The answers are noted in an appropriate register, and as the case may be, the person concerned is then the subject of a monarch, the citizen of a Western democratic republic, or, as a class-conscious proletarian, subject to the dictatorship of those who, according to him, represent his interests. This will last until he withdraws his declaration, with due respect to all necessary forms and periods of notice.

From then on he no longer has anything to do with the governments of the others, just as little as the citizens of one State today have nothing to do with the governments of other States. He obeys only those superiors whom he has chosen for himself in this manner, only those laws and regulations chosen and accepted by himself and like-minded people — as in a club. He is taxed as determined by the representative chosen by him and those who think like him. (In such a system of government, a majority principle can be quite sensible). Then each of these governments works only within its own sphere, independent of the others. They would work right next to each other, like today’s different church administrations, which are only concerned with their own faithful, or like the different State governments, which have their own independent spheres of activity within a federation.

Every individual will then have that State and that government which he desires for himself and will live in his political community as if next to it there were not a more or less large number of others, each with its separate taxpayers.

Certainly, there are dreamers and anti-social elements who do not feel comfortable under any of the previous forms of government. These people, however, can create for themselves whatever new form of government is more congenial to them, exactly like those people who, for example as conscious anarchists, do not want to have anything to do at all with any of the traditional forms of government. There will be minorities, too, which are too weak to collect the means necessary to maintain the form of society which they consider ideal. Then they can propagate their ideas as long as necessary in order to find a sufficient number of people. Alternatively, they could attach themselves to whatever form of government they consider to be the lesser evil. They might also remain completely apart if they are prepared to do without whatever the different government systems offer as actual or imagined advantages.

No one, therefore, will any longer be forced to pay for something or to do something that he regards as having no all-over advantage for himself. Moreover, praiseworthy competition will arise between different government systems attempting to attract as many taxpayers as possible from other systems by offering the best services in relation to the taxes charged by them. Then voters will no longer be tricked with broken promises — in any case, not for long. For they can simply terminate the agreement, and the corresponding government will become insolvent. This provides painful prospects especially for those paradises of the working class and for fascist government systems. In the long run they will not be able to find very many people who are satisfied with or willing to pay for what is offered to them by such regimes.

When there are disputes between the followers of different governments of this kind or between one government and the supporters of another, these will then be handled as they already are today between neighboring and friendly governments, according to international law. Where there are legal gaps, these can be closed by agreements, as has already been attempted with human rights declarations. Individual governments can also bind themselves federally, like the Swiss Cantons, or like the Convention for Human Rights of the United Nations, or like the International Court at The Hague, for the purpose of international legal regularization. The main point, though, is always that the free choice of the individual between the different government systems remains intact, even the choice of belonging to none of the known systems and of taking over none of the responsibilities imposed by them, except the fundamental responsibility of mutuality: not to want to impose on anyone any responsibilities which are not voluntarily accepted or accepted in accordance with agreed upon arbitration courts. This is tantamount to the principle of the equal freedom of all. There is no conflict that cannot be solved in the most reasonable manner with this principle.

No longer need the different parties strive, like today, for domination over each other, nor a majority (or even a minority only) for domination over all others, nor need one attempt to reconcile all under some uniform scheme. Instead, every group is to govern itself according to its own choice and at its own expense — in mutual non-domination!

De Puydt expresses it thus: Domination by priests for those who want it. Freedom should extend to the right to renounce even freedom itself, with the qualification that the right to give notice of withdrawal continues after such a renunciation.

Each government of this type can, therefore, form its own legal system, school system and, in particular, tax system. There are even today beginnings of such an arrangement in the individual States of the German Federal Republic.

Obviously, each can also have its own money, as e.g. the “Badische Notenbank” had within the German Empire at the beginning of this century. There is nothing to prevent the money of one such system of government, if it is kept stable, being accepted as a means of exchange by other governments also, if it proves itself to be the best. Health and transport services as well as the police forces of the different governments will be responsible only for their voluntary subjects, although they will work together with the authorities of other such governments, as occurs today between States. The difference is only that all this will occur within the same territory, in the same way as each of the churches deals only with its believers, who live and mix with one another within the same territory.

Especially internationally — where what has happened until now has always amounted to: “Get up so that I can sit down in your place!” — this system of mutual non-domination offers the only realistic possibility for solving otherwise insoluble problems — for example, between Israelis and Arabs, Germans and Poles, Protestant and Catholic Irish, Christian and Moslem, and white and black in Africa.

Free competition between these governments (perhaps we should call them “representative organizations”) will best guarantee progress, since peaceful competition between them compels them continuously to court supporters. Even individuals will then no longer be suppressed, and street fighting will become superfluous. As De Puydt says: Are you dissatisfied with your government? Then take another! That is to say: go to the office for political membership. Take your hat off in front of the department head and ask him to strike your name from the list upon which it appears and in due time (i.e. after a notice period of approximately three months) to transfer your name to the desired new list. The department chief will give you a certificate for this. You greet him once again, and your revolution is accomplished — without spilling anything other than a drop of ink.

Your transfer obliges no one else. There will be neither a triumphant majority nor a conquered minority. At the same time, no one is prevented from following your example.

De Puydt reminds us quite correctly:

“Do you remember the times when people shouted religious opinions more loudly than anyone ever shouted political arguments? When the divine creator became the Lord of Hosts, the avenging and pitiless God in whose name blood flowed in rivers? Men have always tried to take God’s affairs into their own hands, to make Him an accomplice of their own bloodthirsty passions: ‘Kill them all! God will recognize his own !’

“What has become of such implacable hatred? The progress of the human spirit has swept it away like the autumn wind the withered leaves. The religions in whose names were set up stakes and instruments of torture coexist peacefully today, next to each other, under the same laws, eating from the same budget. When each sect preaches only its own excellence, it achieves more than if it were to persist in condemning its rivals. Consider what has been realized in this obscure, unfathomable region of the conscience — what with the proselytism of some, the intolerance of others, and the fanaticism and ignorance of the masses. Particularly where there are divergent creeds, numerous sects exist on a footing of complete legal equality, and people in fact are more circumspect and careful of their moral purity and dignity than anywhere else. What has become possible under such difficult conditions must be all the more possible in the purely secular domain of politics, where all is so clear and where the final aim can be expressed in one phrase!

“All compulsion should cease. Every adult citizen should be and should remain free to select from among all possible governments the one that conforms to his will and satisfies his personal needs. Free not only on the day following some bloody revolution, but always and everywhere. Free to select, but not to force his choice on others. Then all disorder will cease, and all fruitless struggle will be avoided.”

All “diplomatic chess moves” and all effronteries, now camouflaged as “reasons of State” or “honor” or “national interest,” will also cease. All fraud in relation to the kind and quality of the machinery of the State will end. Those who are ruled will make comparisons, and the rulers must attempt to do their job better and cheaper than others do. The energy so far lost through friction and resistance will now work in peaceful competition, without such obstructions.

These are De Puydt’s views. There are, naturally, still a great many questions and objections that are not answered by him. They will, however, be answered here and in the chapter following the next. For today one still understands by the freedom of one person the negation of the freedom of others (i.e. the opposite of the equal freedom of all), and one is by no means clear on the far-reaching consequences of the equal freedom of all. Most of all, freedom is today understood as an ideology, as the mere product of thought, in no way different from other ideologies and, as mere thought, false just as easily as true. Lenin even called it a “bourgeois prejudice.” Real freedom, the equal freedom of all, which is the indispensable precondition for the frictionless functioning of de Puydt’s proposals, is however, not an ideology.


With a single sword stroke Alexander the Great cut the Gordian Knot and solved in a somewhat rough and stunning, but nevertheless effective and final way, a problem which had until then been considered insoluble. The problem which is actually the most important of all human problems could also be solved at one stroke — though in a less martial way. Even Napoleon I pleaded for this method, with a single sentence:

“There are only two powers in the world, the sword and ideas. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by ideas.”

However, since this problem has neither been recognized as the most important in practice, nor indeed as a problem at all, the simple solution by itself has not been correctly understood. Therefore a closer examination is necessary.

The most important practical problem for everyone is a generally recognized guideline (i.e. a standard) for relations between human beings. Why? Because all human institutions, especially States and all institutions inside and outside of States, intrude in many ways and deeply into the living conditions of every individual and into the relationships between all individuals and groups. Consequently, such a guideline is required if everything is to proceed peacefully.

All social conflicts, and nearly all private ones also, are rooted in the fact that until now a generally recognized guideline has been lacking: a criterion for behaviour among human beings. Indeed, people have not even looked for such a standard. Naturally, a condition where there are no conflicts at all cannot be attained, but it does make sense to reduce conflicts to a minimum and, wherever they are unavoidable, to settle them by peaceful means. This must be done, even if for no better reason than that the development of arms technology has made a forceful “solution” a deadly risk for both sides, internally as well as externally. Above all, it must be done because a forceful solution is not a true solution of conflicts, but only provokes a never-ending chain of force and counterforce.

Indeed, there has never been a shortage of offered guidelines and standards (religious, moral or ideological) and each of these has claimed to be generally applicable. This is the reason why no one has ever looked for really generally valid ones. But none of them has actually been able to achieve general recognition; none of them has been able to convince all the dissenters. For we have especially lacked a criterion by which we could judge which of those various standards offered is the “right one” or at least the one to be preferred above all others.

The results of this condition are the unceasing wars and oppressions in all parts of the world, even if the latter are not always carried out with brute force but, merely, with the threat of it. Another result is the widespread — and, unfortunately, all too well-founded — dissatisfaction with existing conditions: the latent danger of rebellion and war everywhere.

Characteristic for the whole previous history of mankind is the fact that, apart from the openly aggressive use of force, people have supported their claims against others or their own justification of existing institutions by a variety of religious, moral, ideological (i.e. not provable by criteria of our experienced reality) assertions, as if these were absolute and had a generally recognized validity, although the latter is not the case because of the disagreements and contradictions between them.

What is striking in this is an evidently schizophrenic attitude: Almost all people assume an attitude in a certain practice of daily life which is in sharp contrast to their opinions and behaviour in other aspects of their everyday behaviour — and this without consciousness of this contradiction.

Two examples may clarify this:

If at court one person asserts a right against another, then the burden of proof is said to lie on the first. He may even be actually right — but his claim will nevertheless be rejected if he is not able to deliver evidence for the actual existence of his claim. And to be reasonable, this cannot be otherwise. Even his assurance that by his most sacred conviction he could claim this asserted right does not release him from the burden of having to supply proof. Should he attempt to realize his alleged or real right by force, without such a proof, then he is treated as an aggressor. And every impartial third person must approve of this, even when he himself is convinced that the other one really has the alleged right.

Or this case: somebody holds someone else up on the street and demands his wallet, asserting that God had given him the right to it, or had imposed the corresponding duty upon the other. As “reason” he might also quote one or the other ideological “argument.” If the person concerned then tries to realize his “right” by aggressive force, then, as in the first case, all reasonable persons would agree that it is a question of nothing but aggressive force.

On the other hand, however, especially in the most important matters of life, dealing with things much more important than money, one evaluates and behaves quite differently. This is evidently schizophrenic behaviour of which we are so far not conscious. There are “rights” and “duties” claimed which are not based on any agreements and for whose real existence no proofs are offered or even attempted, indeed in cases where, as things stand, proof is altogether impossible.

Upon thus “founded” demands — in the name of the “State,” the “people,” the “nation,” “society,” “God” or “morality” — “rights” are claimed against the life, liberty, property of others, and countless interventions are made into other people’s way of life. And yet, curiously, one does not object to the fundamental madness of such actions but considers them quite normal. Then one either submits to the claim involved or one opposes it with a similarly unfounded and unprovable claim of one’s own, i.e. one based only on asserted and not on provable “rights.”

The result then, in every case, when soberly viewed, is nothing other than the use of force veiled by phrases.

Naturally, the person defeated resents his defeat and plots to improve his situation. Thus, there is constant fighting, underground or open, with changing allies, wasting energies and destroying values or hindering their creation. Particular encroachments aim at a great variety of spheres of life, dependent on the creeds and the moral and political or ideological convictions involved.

For an observer from another star, who has not grown, by education or habit, into this confusion of concepts and fixed ideas, all this must appear even more incomprehensible than those natives appear to the eyes of educated Europeans who will live on the level of the Stone Age in New Guinea, or in other jungles in South America. And yet, even in the most civilized parts of Europe, there are masses of people — not only the uneducated but often highly intelligent specialists — who, outside of their specialty and sometimes even within it, do not differ from the so-called savages of the jungle in their deepest and most important convictions. Ortega y Gasset already expressly referred to this. A wealth of material on this was also contributed by the already-mentioned authors Gustaf F. Steffen and Prof. James Harvey Robinson.

Finally, one has to realize that the mass of human convictions of the religious, moral, social and political kind — especially the most “sacred” ones and those most fanatically defended — have little to do with the precepts of reason or at least with careful consideration of the pros and cons, but are nothing other than habits, prejudices, suggestions and wishful dreams to which the persons concerned have never applied the probe of critical reasoning and examination.

What results from this and what is often described in beautiful words as serving order and security, the true faith and high ideals, is actually — as far as those claims are concerned that are raised against others and forcefully realized, and for whose actual justification no proof is offered or could be supplied at all — nothing other than — aggression.


When searching for criteria to measure the correctness of our own convictions, as well as those of others, we first encounter the difference between “is” and “ought,” i.e. what exists, and what — allegedly — shall be: as a religious, moral or other “commandment,” as a “right,” as a “duty” which is, supposedly, given in advance — without our approval — and allegedly must be respected by us.

Upon that which is, one can always agree relatively quickly, if one does not lose oneself in arbitrary speculation but confines oneself to provable facts.

These are, first of all, whatever is given in space and time and can be perceived with our senses, directly or indirectly (e.g. with technical aids like microscopes), that is to say, all visual, audible and touchable phenomena which, through appearance and logic, can be demonstrated as either real or unreal.

Besides this reality there may indeed exist still another “reality” which can be grasped neither by our senses nor by our intellect, one consisting of ideas, experiences and the transcendental, and this “reality” may even be the “true” and the “genuine” one. But in contrast to the former (experienced reality), these alleged other “realities” are, unfortunately, unprovable; they are basically not subject to any proof either for or against and, therefore, one can assert exactly the opposite concerning this second kind of “reality.” We shall soon see the tremendous practical importance of the clear distinction between the provable and the non-provable.

For that which, allegedly, ought to be, there is and can be no criterion at all, contrary to that which is (for which our criteria are the senses and logic). For it does not fall into the sphere of experienced reality but — as far as it is not just purely mental speculation, i.e. imagination — at most into the sphere of that other “reality” which is beyond any provability.

Those mental concepts which confront us with claims, which evaluate behaviour (dividing it into “good” and “bad”) and which insist that we ought to do or not do something (as “just” or “unjust”), find no support in experienced reality; for this has no attributes like “good” or “bad,” “just” or “unjust.” Wherever these are talked about, they are always subjective values (no matter how many others share them), nothing but designations that we give to things and persons, but not of objectively measurable characteristics which are part of the things or persons themselves.

Above all, one cannot derive “ought” out of a “being,” as has been tried, for example, with the “natural right” of the stronger — the big fishes eating the smaller ones. It is illogical to conclude from facts on the level of “being” as to circumstances on the totally different level of “ought,” on which there neither are nor can be any facts that can be ascertained and proven by our cognitive faculty. Furthermore, Prince Peter Kropotkin proved with numerous examples of mutual aid in the animal world and among men that this alleged “law of nature” of either eating or being eaten, is, at least, not without exceptions, and that as many facts speak for a completely opposite “law” of being. From neither law, however, can any conclusion be drawn on what ought to happen according to “natural law” or “divine will” or according to any other “superior commandment.”

Instead, all rules of “ought” which an individual submits to, rely on his personal evaluation and his own decision (even when he is not at all conscious of this). This applies regardless of whether he has established them himself or has accepted them from others. For even when he believes that he must accept them because something “higher” and superior to him demands it, it is, lastly, his creed or refusal, his will to believe or not to believe (which, of course, may be influenced by outside suggestions) that affects his decision. In any case, they are not provable facts, as in experienced reality, which must be respected by him (or others) whether he likes it or not.


All the philosophers striving for “truth,” i.e. for recognition of the final reality, for the “thing in itself,” which in the end led to replacing “truth” with “probability” at best, ended finally with the realization — which urges us to be modest — that man is under the compulsion to observe and think. He can only grasp a small section of a reality which goes far beyond what can be understood by human senses and human logic. His equipment to enlarge this horizon always reaches limits. We know that there are sounds which are not perceived by us but by different animals, and things which not we but various animals are able to see. Similar things happen with smell, taste and touch. Probably every knowledge that we have craftily acquired from total reality, by extending our senses through technical aids, is comparatively of no greater importance than that which e.g. an ant may perceive as a part of its reality by means of its senses and its instincts — while our human reality is absolutely sealed against it.

Imperfect and relative as our recognition of the reality of being is, however-it is the only firm support that we have and it enabled us at least to free ourselves largely from total dependence upon nature and to change the world in which we have to live, even if not always to our advantage.

While we thus possess criteria — even if only limited ones — for the recognition of the realities of being or, more correctly, for our experienced reality, we are totally without them for the recognition of the supposed commands of ought. And this is true regarding their actual existence, as well as for testing the authority and reliability of those who proclaim ought-rules as allegedly having been revealed to them, as well as for the real contents of their teachings as opposed to mere fancies and simple assertions.

For even the most fanatical conviction of the persons concerned regarding the “truth” of their statements can only impress those unable to judge. It cannot, however, serve as proof for people for whom only personal revelation would serve as proof. Even personal revelation would always have to be critically considered because psychology and psychopathology show us how large a role self-deception may play in this. Moreover, even personal revelations apply always only to us personally, and we can never use them as references for others.

The fundamental possibility, even the probability, of a transcendental true “reality” (which has to be put in quotation marks to distinguish it from experienced reality), one reaching far beyond our cognitive apparatus, i.e. our experienced reality, is thus not contested. There may be “revelations” and “inner experiences” which may not only be imagined (no matter how often they really are!) but give access to a comprehensive and, as one says, “ higher reality.”

There may even be a way which is open to everybody, to this reality — through meditation or other exercises — although, as a rule, such exercises end in self- suggestions.

In any case, one must clarify with sledgehammer methods: Whosoever forcefully realizes claims over others or assumes “rights” whose existence he cannot prove, regardless of how honest his conviction is, thereby proclaims the law of the jungle!

This is so far still a quite unusual thought. Indeed, its very opposite is practiced generally. It is considered highly meritorious and “moral” to live according to one’s “sacred belief,” no matter upon what it is based, and even without respect for any limits. Whatever “God,” the “people,” the “nation,” the “State” and “society” demand (i.e. whatever those demand who usually appoint themselves representatives of these abstractions and collective concepts or who feel themselves legitimized in a most questionable way as their mouth pieces), that is practiced — not only concerning one’s own person and without affecting others (against which nothing can be said) but especially against others, regardless of their reluctance. It is even said to be especially meritorious and moral, also faithful and patriotic, indicative of good citizenship or class-consciousness, to compel others to act accordingly, i.e. to lead them “on the right path,” to “make their duties clear” to them, to teach them the “proper view,” to do the “will of God.” The person concerned — according to the still prevailing opinion — has simply “the right” (to act in such a way) -one of those numerous “rights” not based on any contract but simply existing as “superior rights” in the opinions of the people concerned — without any need being seen to deliver a proof.

Whether such “rights” exist and whether they exist in reality and not as the mere concepts, images and wishes of those believing in them, is beyond all proof, whether pro or con. When today anyone forcefully realizes a claim which he cannot prove, against another person who resists this attempt, how is this behaviour called in the general practice of our daily lives? — An aggressive act representing only the law of the jungle!

Of course, it is not true that with each of those alleged “rights” and “duties” one openly and consciously affirms the law of the jungle in their realization. As a rule, those “rights” and “duties” are not even put forward in order consciously to veil the actually practiced law of the jungle. Instead, the law of the big fist, as such, is mostly rejected quite decisively and quite honestly by the persons concerned. For they believe, indeed, so firmly in the “rights” which have become a lifelong habit to them, that they do not doubt them at all. Here it has not become conscious or it has been driven out of their consciousness, that the forceful realization of an ostensible “right” without any proof for its actual existence is nothing other than the veiled law of the jungle!

Thus we have two rules of conduct side by side, in sharp contrast to each other, without this fact having been noticed so far:

On the one hand there is the practice of all civilized courts, which demand proof for asserted rights and duties, while without such proof the mere assertion is rejected and anyone who tries to realize by force an alleged right which he cannot prove is treated as a lunatic or violator. This point of view is, as a rule, shared by all reasonable persons.

On the other hand, there are claims based on religious, moral and ideological convictions which are totally unprovable by their very nature, as they do not rely on facts one may find in experienced reality but on beliefs which cannot be differentiated from mere fancies and illusions (even if they are not such at all). In support of such claims one usually points to a unanimous or majority agreement, but such an agreement upon something which may only be believed but cannot be proven, cannot, naturally, guarantee the correctness of the thing believed in. Often, an agreement is also limited to a certain region or time, while the opposite belief prevails in other countries and nations, or even in the same ones at different times. In many cases the same wide-spread belief is based purely on a habit which was either suggested by one’s surroundings in childhood or was imprinted by education. This applies all the more when religious and moral concepts as well as ideologies have already solidified into rigid public and social institutions which — as accustomed phenomena of experienced reality — are hardly questioned any longer, since one is no longer conscious of their origins in religious, moral and ideological creeds.

Thus today the most absurd claims are asserted and forcefully practiced against individuals, groups and whole peoples. All are due to religious, moral and ideological convictions, and the aggressors do not find it necessary to supply any proof for their alleged “right” or for the alleged “duties” of those others. But the victims of these attacks, too, even when they are vehemently defending themselves, do not, as a rule, grasp the idea of rejecting all the alleged claims of the aggressor by stating that there is no evidence for them. Instead, they only uphold their own alleged “rights” against them, which they, in their turn, have scooped up from the depth of their feelings or also from religious or ideological convictions and which are, therefore, as impossible to prove as those of the aggressors.

This absurd situation of a fight between fixed ideas on both sides — which, of course, can never end unless the rules are changed — has persisted through the whole history of mankind and represents an inexcusable waste of energy, especially seeing the crippling misery among two thirds of mankind and the numerous urgent and unsolved problems. And this occurs while the solution of nearly all problems in human relationships becomes very easy once one makes the simple distinction between provable matters (for only upon these can and must one agree) and upon unprovable matters, and once one makes the simple observation that forcefully realized claims, which are unprovable, are nothing other than a commitment to the law of the jungle — hidden behind a religious, moral or ideological veil, but nevertheless a law of the jungle.

Critics of cognition and sociologists have, indeed, long been unmasking particular religious, moral, and ideological convictions as untenable opinions, delusions and barbaric customs, but this has not hindered the continued flourishing of the remaining ones — as it did not affect their roots. Of course, the religious, moral and ideological convictions themselves need not be eradicated. This could only be a utopian attempt. But their limits must be realized as lying where interference begins from the sphere of personal freedom into the sphere of others, through aggressive actions. One has to draw the consequences from the fact that, without exception, all religiously, morally or ideologically founded claims are insofar illusory as proof for their justification is impossible. Thus their realization, that force is nothing more than the practice of jungle law.

Whatever exists only in minds, as an image of thought and fancy, as a concept of faith and desire, has a different kind of “existence” from what is conceivable and provable in the reality of experience — by our senses and our mental apparatus. We can, indeed, believe (i.e. we can imagine, fancy, wish, we can even be firmly convinced ourselves) that behind that which we believe in, behind our mental concepts (even though we know that we can also imagine and fancy non- existing things), there is a real existence — but alas, we have no proof at our disposal that is sufficient to convince others of this transcendental reality.

Even most theologians have finally recognized that there is a difference between faith and knowledge, that what can be known need not be believed in, and that what is merely believed in cannot be known, i.e. is unprovable. In the religious sphere one has thus already renounced the aggressive use of force to a great extent. Today’s ideological struggles have taken the place of the previous religious wars. With both, it is only a question of unprovable articles of faith, at least insofar as they are a mixture of facts with unprovable (i.e. ideological) assertions and claims.

It is with ideologies exactly as it once was, and to some extent still is, with religions: one is convinced that one knows and not only believes. Most people recognize in the ideologies of others their false conclusions and character as mere mental and imaginary concepts. But they fail to see this in their own ideologies. Nevertheless, the fate of all ideologies — as well as of all religions — is already settled in advance, to the extent that they, like the religions once, try to trespass beyond the limits of the equal freedom of all and claim total domination. However immortal they may always be as religions and ideologies, their power of domination has been shaken since Stirner, and it is a question of this claim for domination.

One could say to this what Anzengruber — a philosopher who delved deeply in his aphorisms -expressed as follows: “With much dead and already buried nonsense it is as with the legendary vampire: it still walks around, bothers people while they are asleep, and sucks their blood. There is only one end possible for this spook: when finally a brave man arrives to unearth the cadaver and push a stake through its heart.”

This stake is the recognition that all religiously, morally and ideologically based claims and demands against others have merely the characteristics of faiths and that their “justifications” are absolutely unprovable. And above all, the final conclusion from this recognition is that all violent attempts to realize unproven claims are nothing other than jungle law decisions.

As in Andersen’s wise tale of the emperor’s new clothes, there now is aggressive force, naked and bare before the unprejudiced eye, after the splendid veils have fallen with which mere imagination, suggestion and manipulation have dressed it.

We can now also answer Pilate’s old question: He was, of course, absolutely right in being skeptical towards all religiously, morally and ideologically based articles of faith. Their truth, i.e. the actual reality behind it, is even today, as in Pilate’s time, unprovable. But from this, nihilism in no way follows as a practical solution, and even less so does that kind of “legal positivism” which simply wants a ruling force to decide whatever ought to be “true” and “right,” since this is just nihilism in practice!

It must not be overlooked that precisely the statement of the illusionary character and the unprovability of all previous ought-rules is the statement of a fact in the sphere of our experienced reality and thus a truth in the sense of Pilate’s question, although only a relative truth, seeing the limitations of our cognitive abilities.

Max Weber already expressed this idea distinctly, but without drawing the necessary conclusions: “The recognition of what, why and whereupon one cannot agree is the recognition of a truth.”


In science it is often a new form of questioning that leads to an advance in understanding. As yet one has only asked: What is our destination? What should we do? — Such a question already began with the assumption of a “higher” destiny, a given “ought” in a commanding position above man. Therefore, the answer had to remain within the vicious circle of this arbitrary (because unprovable) assumption and thus could only be fanciful hypotheses derived from hypothetical conditions — faith instead of knowledge. What results, however, when one forcefully realizes demands against others that are based on faith instead of provable knowledge, we have already seen: aggressive force, the law of the jungle.

This hypocritical or credulous justification of aggressive force in the name of the loftiest ideals must finally come to an end! Where knowledge is available or obtainable, faith must give way to knowledge. For to base demands and claims against others on mere articles of faith must lead to insoluble conflicts. Such behaviour means at the same time a denied or at least an unconsciously practiced nihilism. For he who knows or must know that the “justification” for his actions is not valid, as it rests merely upon believed assumptions or on an assumed creed instead of upon provable knowledge, denies that there is such provable knowledge as a firm foundation for forming relationships from man to man.

It is a scientifically proven fact that all so-far asserted “divine,” “ethical,” “customary,” “moral,” “natural” and other “higher” commands and all ideological claims, cannot be proven to be objectively valid — as we have only criteria for that which is but not for that which allegedly “ought” to be. Of course, countless such commands were brought to bear, varying according to time and place, as long as they were faithfully accepted or backed up by force. Decisive is not that they “prevailed” in this way, but whether they had an existence independent of the faith placed in them and of their forceful realization. By the way, a major part of the “moral” commands respected in practice is not a “higher” command but a genuine right, namely, a silently contracted right resulting from concurring interests. In the absence of a standard for the objective existence of allegedly “higher” commands (behind which are always hiding subjective wishes, arbitrary claims, agitation and propaganda only), there are only men against men, at first without rights and duties (although, as already mentioned, being “without rights” does not mean that one should or could treat someone arbitrarily). This realization greatly simplifies the decision on practical behaviour.

A new form of questioning avoids those dead ends of thinking which result from confounding subjective values with absolute values and with those other values arising from the quite logical further development of mental concepts or articles of faith, if these have no “reality” other than that they arise in one mind or in several.

This new questioning sounds quite easy: You come to me with this or that claim or even with several at the same time — and here it does not matter whether you are alone or a member of a group claiming a “higher right.” I assume that you are quite honestly convinced of the “right” you assert against me. However, since I can respect only such rights and duties as derive from voluntarily concluded contracts (and are provable as such), and since it only leads to a confusion of concepts when one speaks apart from these also of “rights” and “duties” of another kind, please explain to me what you understand by them, how you want to prove that they exist, and, supposing that they do exist, where your authorization is for interpreting them properly? Especially the burden of proof is upon you. You have to demonstrate upon what authority you claim more freedom for you or your group than you want to grant me.

Since that is the decisive point, since there neither are nor can be any provable rights and duties other than those derived from voluntarily agreed upon contracts, there are only two ways of conduct possible towards other human beings: One can either try to come to an understanding with them through arrangements, or one may confront them with aggressive force, i.e. with the law of the jungle. A decision between these two options is inescapable.

If one decides in favour of understanding, one must, just as unavoidably, come to recognize the principle of the equal freedom of all. For, in the long run, nobody will be content with a situation in which other individuals or groups claim greater freedom for themselves against his will and at his expense. The condition of the equal freedom of all (the consequences will be explained in detail later) is, therefore, the only lasting social order that is possible.

What is meant by this condition includes on the one hand, all inequalities due to inborn abilities, acquired characteristics and personal achievements, but, on the other hand, includes also voluntary limitations upon one’s own freedom of action in favour of others. The equal freedom of all is identical with freedom from domination, i.e. with a taboo on aggressive force and the law of the jungle.

Wherever any infringement of the equal freedom of individuals or groups takes place against their will and in favour of others, we have therefore, aggression: an act of jungle law.

This leads, self-evidently, to counter-actions which are either limited to pure defence (i.e. defence of the limits of equal freedom) or may change into a counter- aggression. (Enforcing restitution for the damage done by the aggressor is, naturally, not to be considered an aggressive act by the person who was attacked.)

Here the advantage and necessity of a clarification of concepts becomes evident — as John Henry Mackay realized regarding the concepts of freedom and force. While by freedom one understood in most cases only “liberties” which, as a rule, were taken at the expense of the equal freedom of others, Mackay made clear that there is no state of freedom as long as someone has a greater degree of freedom at the expense of the equal freedom of anybody else and against that person’s will. Real freedom can, therefore, be nothing other than the equal freedom of all. And as aggression belongs to the essence of force (violence) it is concept-confusing nonsense when one calls the defence against violence (i.e. defensive actions that also use physical means) also “force” or “violence.” Aggression and defence must be clearly distinguished.

Compared with the previous difficulty of determining a case of aggression precisely, this now becomes quite simple. Aggression occurs whenever the limit of the equal freedom of all is crossed for the purpose of enlarging one person’s freedom (or that of a group) at the expense of the equal freedom of another without his consent.

No evasion is possible any longer, no fraudulent cover-up and no self-deception. Whoever uses aggressive force for his own purposes must know, from now on, that he does so, even if up to now he had been a master of veiling his aggressive force by means of alleged “rights” and “higher” commandments or was himself a victim of such deception. Any infringement of the equal freedom of all, however idealistically “established” or justified by something allegedly “higher” it may be, any attempt to provide oneself with and to maintain the privilege of a greater degree of freedom for oneself, at the expense of the freedom of others, every aggressive use of force for this purpose, has to be titled, from now on, without any veil or excuse, nothing other than aggressive force!

Instead of the previous numerous arbitrary criteria of subjective evaluations and imagined, or at least unprovable “rights,” there is only one, and this an objective criterion, one resulting from the choice between the law of the jungle, aggressive force, on one side, and respect for the limit of the equal freedom of all, on the other side.

It is not necessary to turn the latter into a new morality in the sense of ascribing to it the character of a “higher” commandment. The decision for the observance of the limit set by the equal freedom of all results from the clear and concurrent interest, even need, of the vast majority for objective criteria of conduct which alone can secure peace.

Both the tiny minority which dares openly to declare itself in favour of aggressive force and the law of the jungle and the large minority which has so far veiled the actually practiced law of the jungle, partly consciously, partly unconsciously, with rationalizing phrases, and which would now have to proclaim aggressive force and jungle law openly or renounce it — these two groups will no longer be able to harm the defensive league formed by the overwhelming majority. This league will have agreed, by tacit or expressed contract, upon mutual respect for the equal freedom of all (which is identical with the prohibition of aggressive force). (This, of course, does not exclude the defence of the equal freedom of all by defensive means).

The overwhelming majority, which is always unified in its desire for peace and non-aggression, has so far been confused, divided and thus unable to act, precisely because of the lack of an objective standard which has to be recognized by every sane human mind.

In the future, one need not have to relinquish subjective values and religious or ideological articles of faith. One will only have to remain conscious of the fact that it is a question of subjective values which are confronted by other equally subjective values, or a question of creeds (not provable knowledge) which are opposed by other creeds which have equal rights and are likewise unprovable. This conclusion is a provable fact from the sphere of experienced reality and thus has objective value.

Naturally, the conclusion from this fact (i.e. the decision either for or against the law of the jungle and aggressive force) is free for everyone.

Among those who decide against the latter and for the equal freedom of all, there can only very rarely happen arguments on its limits. For it can always be stated objectively and clearly, as if weighed on a set of scales, whether in a particular case someone’s freedom is greater than that of another and whether this excess is, at the same time, enjoyed at the expense of the other. Likewise, one can concretely determine in every particular case whether the limit of the equal freedom of all is infringed by aggressive force or whether the person concerned has given his approval.

Since the equal freedom of all is a standard in the sphere of “being” and not of “ought “ (that is, a standard of experienced reality), an objective decision is also possible in each concrete and particular case.

He who decides for aggressive force and the law of the jungle need not be morally reproached for this. He only has to bear the consequences resulting from defensive actions and claims for indemnification. The latter will include the costs of a preventive and defensive organization too. And in no way is any injustice done to anyone who proclaims the law of the jungle — so that he cannot complain if he is paid back in the same coin, it being the only one that he recognizes.

Here it also becomes clear how much more comprehensive and exact the concept of the equal freedom of all is — in comparison with that of “equal rights for all.” Among those who agree upon mutual respect for equal freedom, this is at the same time a true contractual right. It is, indeed, possible to formulate human rights on this basis by the concrete expression of particular conditions within the framework of the equal freedom of all. These human rights would then be valid as a contract offer for all who want to accept them, and, of course, they can and will be defended also against those who choose the law of the jungle for themselves.

“Rights,” however, which were not established by voluntary contracts but created as “oughts” from subjective values and wishful dreams, have always remained unclear, paradoxical and contradictory — a source of constant dispute making any agreement impossible.

Even where an “equal right” is demanded or conceded with respect to a certain thing or a certain action, as is done, for example, for individual citizens vis-à-vis the law, (in this context one may remember the above quoted remark by Anatole France) — the citizens have no equal right and no equal freedom compared with those who represent the ideology of Statism. (The State is, of course, primarily an organization of aggressive force, hiding, however, behind a cover-up ideology). Instead, apart from very limited particular rights, they are subjected to domination by the statists. The self-appointed representatives of other ideologies and abstractions, like e.g. that of “society,” demand the same subordination from others too. Among allegedly “equal rights” there appear again and again “superior” rights whose alleged precedence can be endlessly argued about because all this is just shadow boxing between figments of the imagination.

In the French Constitution of 1791, which started from “natural, inalienable and sacred human rights,” freedom was defined as “the ability to do anything that does not harm others.” This was still only a definition of little practical use, for whether something is good or harmful can be a matter of widely different opinions, since it depends upon subjective and very varied valuations. Above all, there are people who wish to tell others what is best for them, according to their opinion. But whether somebody, as an individual or as a member of a group, claims more freedom in a specific case than other individuals or groups do and this at their expense, e.g. by daring to demand a privilege of monopoly for himself, can be decided, mostly at first sight and, in any case, unmistakably.

The concept of the equal freedom of all may, at first, appear a little too abstract. It is identical with the renunciation of aggressive force over others (not with the renunciation of defence against such force!) and with the renunciation of domination over others (not with the renunciation of the compulsion to preserve the limit of the equal freedom of all!). It proves to be an unexpected solution to a problem that so far has seemed to be insoluble. Up to now the mutually contradicting concepts of right and “ought” doctrines (religious and ideological ones) have led to permanent confrontation and chaotic conditions in which, in the end, only the law of the jungle has remained victorious for a time. However, the law of the jungle has not been openly declared but, rather, shamefully hidden behind the veil of a “command” or “right.” By now it has become evident that all these “commands,” “rights” and other claims are unprovable in their allegedly obligatory character and can, thus, not be distinguished from pure fancies and mere subjective wishes.

At the same time, it has become obvious that this recognition means no deficiency or loss but, on the contrary, an acquisition — of the criteria which have long been sought in the completely wrong place (in the sphere of “ought,” instead of that of “being” or experienced reality — which must be respected by everybody).

What is meant here is not that the decision to respect the limit of the equal freedom of all is now a “command” or reason in the sense of formulating, as has previously been done, alleged “commands of reason” and that thus everyone must bow before this superior reason. This would merely be a justification of the kind that has so far been customary. No, one can confidently leave it to every individual’s own reason which of the two options he will choose for himself; either aggressive force and the law of the jungle, or the principle of the equal freedom of all. In both cases, there is a clear criterion for attributing the action concerned to either the one or the other of these two decisions, an objective standard that can no longer be disputed.

For it is always obvious whether someone in his relationship to other human beings can refer to a provable right or — insofar as there is no contractual regulation — shows himself willing to come to an agreement without claiming any privileges or monopolies, or, alternatively, whether he wants to call upon the law of the jungle and resort to aggressive force. Since, on the other hand, the prohibition of aggressive force and of jungle law and the decision in favour of understanding, do logically lead to the principle of the equal freedom of all, one can thus determine, in every particular case, whether a condition exists in which the equal freedom of all is guaranteed or whether someone has enlarged his own sphere of freedom at the expense of the freedom sphere of others and against their will, or whether he wants to do so.

Stated now in a single sentence: Since the unprovability of the existence of religious or ideological, i.e. of all asserted, rules of ought is a fact, and since the alternatives which follow inescapably from this — between the law of the jungle and understanding — lead in practice, with the overwhelming majority of all people (at least of the civilized ones) to a decision for the latter, and since this decision then leads logically to the recognition of the principle of the equal freedom of all, this means that this principle is the basis and, at the same time, the reliable standard which can count on general, nearly total recognition and will thus lead out of our previous chaos and senseless permanent fighting.

This is all the more true, since the principle of equal freedom of all does not require from any religious, ideological or other group of believers any renunciation of their convictions (which are unprovable regarding their correctness) but allows them their most extensive practice — up to the limit where such a practice would claim an increase of one’s freedom at the expense of others (and against their will). For they obtain for their own views and the practical application of their views the security and inviolability which result from the fact that all others also practice their views only up to the objective limit of the equal freedom of all and thus renounce aggressive intervention. Those few people openly following the law of the jungle scarcely matter at all here, since they are opposed by the unified interests of all others.

While so far positively benevolent and decent people have been split, due to the absence of a generally recognized standard, into numerous groups that have fought each other bitterly as well as senselessly, and while each person has tried, in good faith, to raise his own rule of ought (which is unprovable in its objective validity) to a generally recognized law, all detent people that are of good will can now — indeed must now — associate, in their own interest, for the mutual defence of the principle of the equal freedom of all. Corresponding organizations based on voluntarism will replace the previous States, which were based on compulsory membership and on unequal freedom.

The condition of equal freedom for all is synonymous with non-domination, and such a condition is described by the word “anarchy” in its proper sense. Goethe, too, said on this:

“Warum mir aber in neuester Welt

Anarchie gar so wohl gefaellt ?

Ein jeder lebt nach seinem Sinn

- das ist nun also auch mein Gewinn!

Ich lass einem jeden sein Bestreben,

um auch nach meinem Sinn zu leben.”

“Why, in the new world,

do I like anarchy so much?

Everybody lives according to his views.

— That is also to my advantage.

I leave everyone to his pursuits,

in order to live undisturbed myself.”

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Zahmen Xenien” 1827)

One should add here: In each case within the sphere of the equal freedom of all.


It would certainly be demanding too much to expect everybody, after reading the above or when hearing this presentation for the first time, immediately to see in this the “philosopher’s stone” or at least a statement that can fundamentally change his life and all our lives and all our circumstances.

One obstacle to this already lies in the inertia of our habitual way of thinking, which has not even seen any problem in this matter, far less what is probably the most important problem in the whole history of mankind and especially of our times. Accordingly, interest in a solution to this problem has so far been almost nil.

People have made a habit of establishing and justifying their actions without paying much attention to their fundamental and lasting validity.

Thus, when they encounter someone who makes an equally ambitious statement, they suspect at first that they are dealing with someone who craves admiration and who is vastly exaggerating his case or, at least, is subject to self-delusion — the same kind of self-delusion that has captivated all previous authors of ought rules and of ethical and moral systems, as well as of ideologies and religions.

By their own fascination they were seduced into assuming that all others — all those human beings who think and feel in such endless variations — must share their enthusiasm, whereas daily experience teaches that, even disregarding racial, climatic, and evolutionally conditioned cultural and civil differences in mentality, there are enormous differences in thinking, feeling and subjective values even within the most homogeneous ethnic groups.

Added to this there is also a psychological fact which hinders the acceptance of what was elaborated here.

The already-mentioned Prof. James Harvey Robinson elaborates roughly as follows:

We change our opinions many times without any resistance or great excitement, but when someone tells us that we are wrong we resent this accusation and harden our hearts. We are unspeakably superficial in the formation of our articles of faith, but we defend them passionately when someone attempts to take them away from us. It is obvious that not ideas as such are so precious to us, but rather our vanity, which is threatened. By our very natures, Robinson asserts, we are concerned with tenaciously defending whatever is our own, be it our personality, our family, our property or our views ... Only few people take the trouble to investigate the origins of those of our convictions which have become our favourites. Actually, by our natures, we have an aversion against doing so. We prefer to continue to hold as true whatever we are accustomed to. The aversion arising when the correctness of any of our convictions is questioned leads us to look for any kind of justification which would permit us to continue in our beliefs. The consequence is that our so-called reflections consist mostly in finding arguments to justify us in continuing to hold our previous beliefs.

Robinson elaborates further with his analogy of the Baptist Missionary. Such a person is gladly willing to understand that the Buddhist is a Buddhist not because his doctrines can withstand careful examination but because he was born into a Buddhist family in Tokyo. But it would be a betrayal of his faith if this missionary admitted that his own preference for certain teachings is due to the fact that his mother was a member of the Oak Ridge Baptist Church.... The “real” reasons for our convictions are kept secret by us as well as by others. As we grow up, we simply take over the ideas that are offered to us concerning religion, family life, property, business, fatherland and State. Without being conscious of it, we accept them from our surroundings. They are constantly whispered into our ears by the environment in which our life happens to take place. In addition, as Trotter has explained, these judgments have — as products of influence and not of contemplation — the character of absolute certainty, so that questioning them means the same for the believer as a dangerously exaggerated skepticism. Such behaviour will generally encounter scorn, disapproval or condemnation, depending upon the nature of the questioned articles of faith ... This immediately and faithful defence of our prejudiced opinions — this procedure of inventing “good” reasons in order to defend our habitual convictions — is known to the modern psychologists as “rationalization” — evidently only a new name for an older matter. Usually our “good” reasons are of no value at all for the promotion of honest enlightenment, as — no matter how solemnly they are advanced — they are, basically, just the result of personal preferences or prejudices and not the result of an honest attempt either to search for or to accept new knowledge. This is the first of Robinson’s arguments concerning received ideas.

Against the attempt here made (to base a principle for conduct between human beings, for the first time, not upon articles of faith and subjective values, but upon provable facts which must be recognized by everyone and offer, at the same time, an objective criterion for behaviour), the objection has first of all been raised that we have here just another axiom whose validity would also be contested.

Now, an axiom is defined as an incontestable principle that requires no proof, and those religious, moral, ideological articles of faith upon which conduct between human beings today predominantly rests, were usually upheld as if they were such axioms.

Just because of this, i.e. because of the obvious consequences of such conduct, which has led to endless bloodshed, destruction of enormous values, waste of time and energy, oppression and distress, as well as dissatisfaction with the existing world, one has had to look for provable, generally recognized facts as starting points for a new basic principle.

One such fact is the observation that civilized courts — for good reasons — dismiss all claims and demands for whose justification no evidence can be submitted. Consequently, they treat those as aggressors and violators who nevertheless try to realize such claims -no matter how convinced they may be of their presumed “right” or even whether they might possibly have a real right which however, happens not to be provable. That such a procedure is appropriate not only in so-called civil law cases but in all disputes in which unprovable demands and claims are raised, should not be subject to doubt among reasonable beings. From this follows, first of all, the identification of anyone as an aggressor who realizes an unprovable “right” by force.

The new way of thinking which Einstein declared to be necessary must, therefore, start with recognizing and identifying the person concerned as an adherent of aggressive force and of the law of the jungle.

A second provable fact is that for all demands and claims based on religious, moral or ideological articles of faith proof of their general validity is fundamentally impossible. For there are no criteria by which the existence or justification of an “ought” can be measured. There are only — limited — criteria of “being” in our experienced reality. And the actual validity — temporary and local — of religious, moral or ideological articles of faith either depends upon agreements (i.e. voluntary recognition) or was imposed by a dominating power. By this nothing is said against those beliefs in themselves, which are obviously necessary for mankind, seeing the limitations of Marx’s knowledge, but very much is said against demands and claims that rely on such beliefs and so exceed the limit of the equal freedom of all, against the will of the persons concerned.

Thus the two above-mentioned facts are not axioms but provable facts. And this applies also to the third observation: In the absence of any pre-given rules that are clearly provable as obligatory for behaviour between humans, there is only the inescapable choice between two possibilities: either one can attempt to force one’s own will, as far as possible, upon the other person and one decides, thereby, for aggressive force and the law of the jungle; or, alternatively, one decides against aggressive force and the law of the jungle and, thereby, fundamentally for an understanding — whether tacit or explicit — with all other persons.

Whoever chooses aggressive force and the law of the jungle can certainly not complain when those attacked defend the limits of the equal freedom of all against him. He could not even complain if they not only defended these limits but also proceeded offensively and aggressively against him — for this would be precisely the kind of behaviour that he himself considers to be right.

Those, however, who decide for agreement and against aggressive force and the law of the jungle, must reach with inescapable logic the principle and standard of the equal freedom of all. Since nobody will, in the long run, consent to a condition where, at his expense and against his will, another person claims a greater degree of freedom for himself, general agreement is only possible on the basis of the equal freedom of all.

To be sure, somebody may temporarily limit his own freedom, voluntarily, in favour of another person. But — as already mentioned — such a voluntary action does not affect the principle which is to serve as a criterion, especially where the persons concerned already agree on the mutual limitation of their freedom spheres.

The principle of the equal freedom of all is thus not an axiom but the result of a choice between two possibilities based on the three above-mentioned provable facts. The decision for equal freedom does not need to be praised to the heavens as a new “moral” (that is quite superfluous), nor does one have to damn the decision for the law of the jungle and aggressive force as “immoral.” (It is enough that all people concerned are treated according to their decision and according to the threat they pose, and this all the more consistently the more they rely on the sacred “conviction” of their “right”).

That the principle of the equal freedom of all is an objective standard has been denied with the argument that there are no “objective” standards at all, since every standard is created by human beings and is therefore basically subjective. Here we evidently have a mix-up between “objective” and “absolute.” Naturally, all human standards are not absolute but only relative. But this has nothing to do with their objectivity. In the same way it is natural that, in case of a dispute on the limit of equal freedom, both parties to the dispute will see the matter one-sidedly (i.e. from their subjective point of view) and thus need a neutral institution for an objective decision. That not even a neutral court could make an objective decision according to the principle of the equal freedom of all is an untenable assertion. When two people argue, for example, whether a piece of cloth measures more or less than one meter or exactly one meter, then the objective decision is delivered by a metric measure. And whenever a weight is contested, a functioning pair of scales can objectively decide the matter. When two contestants have an equal claim to certain goods, then their equal division is the objective solution, and if the neutral decision maker wants to proceed with extra care, he will say: “You divide — but the other chooses!”

The standard of the equal freedom of all — and this is its great advantage — functions like a sensitive pair of scales. In 99% of all cases it shows at a glance whether one of two contestants claims a greater degree of freedom for himself at the expense and against the will of the other, whether he claims, for instance, a privilege or monopoly, and whether he asserts: “I may do what you may not do!” For the remaining 1% of all cases, which perhaps need a closer examination, an objective decision is already possible in principle — because the decision here is not in the sphere of “ought” but of “being.” It is a question of whether the freedom of one person has been increased at the expense and against the will of the other — or not!

The standard of the equal freedom of all is thus actually an objective standard, and there is none that is superior or even comparable to it for relations between human beings. If, however, there were such a superior standard, then it would naturally be readily accepted. For what is discussed here is based as far as possible upon purely objective considerations and not at all upon personal ambitions. Thus it should not be misunderstood when this new foundation offered here, the principle and standard of the equal freedom of all (or rather the arguments for it), is called a Copernican turning-point. Up to now all standards of behaviour have rested on articles of faith whose compelling power is unprovable and whose endless number and variety completely preclude agreement on one of them. This has made the peaceful solution of problems impossible and justified aggressive force and the law of the jungle. But now there is offered, for the first time, a criterion to distinguish between aggression and defence, to reveal all previous cover-ups of aggressive force and the law of the jungle, and to compel their adherents openly to proclaim themselves as such.

Above all, however, the stated provable facts offer to those people who renounce aggressive force and the law of the jungle, a secure beginning for agreement between them and for common actions in accordance with a reliable standard.

This has never happened before during all of human history, and stupendous consequences will, indeed must, result from this.

This is all the more true since the conceptions presented here are so simple and evident that even an average mind may examine them and must confirm their consequences.

The time is ripe, indeed overripe, for these conceptions.

“The norms of moral law apply automatically. Their strong obligatory force rests on a pre-given order of values that must be accepted and upon ‘ought’ rules which govern humans living together. They apply regardless of whether those at whom they are directed with a demand for observance actually observe and recognize them or not.”

This dogmatic statement from the commanding heights of natural law means, in plain English, that the values and decisions laid down by the rulers are absolute “higher” values, and orders based on them have to be accepted without contradiction. That was a “conception” of the Federal German Supreme Court in its early days, while a later decision of the Federal Constitutional Court at least admitted:

“The mere existence of threatening penalties already influences the value concepts and behaviour of the population,” i.e. those allegedly absolute, higher values. And nowadays? — A member of the Federal Government (Hans Schueler: “Die Sittenwaechter der Nation” — “The Moral Guardians of the Nation” — Die Zeit, 28th February 1975) ironically designated that sentence of the Supreme Court as a mere curiosity that has become part of the history of law.

By contrast, the Catholic Church, which in its time has demonstrated a maximum of intolerance with the persecution of heretics and with the Inquisition, showed itself tolerant and progressive — after the Second Vatican Council. The German Conference of Bishops declared (Badische Zeitung, 24th September 1976): “It would be untenable to assert that the declaration of the Council on religious freedom contradicts the absolute and unchangeable truth of faith. These statements have nothing to do with a relativization of truth.” In other words: one may believe that what is believed in corresponds to the absolute truth and nevertheless respect the freedom of dissenters, in the same way as one wishes one’s own equal freedom to be respected by them.

Everybody is now called upon to see to it that this is applied not only in the sphere of religion but in all relations between human beings and to bring this about in his own interest.


It has been a long way, fraught with errors, from “liberties” to freedom. The “liberties” that were, again and again, confused with freedom, whether they were given or taken, were, at best, incomplete parts of freedom, of full and complete freedom, and were as a rule only crass contrasts with real freedom. For when such “liberties” were granted it was done by those who reserved for themselves a greater degree of freedom at the expense of the others, and they claimed this as their unquestionable privilege (based on some pre-given “right”). And when “liberties” were withdrawn, they were either only such incomplete parts of the freedom of the oppressed or they were even those “liberties” of the oppressors which amounted to the authority to limit the equal freedom of others, i.e. real freedom, the equal freedom of all.

Thus it was a milestone in the history of social science, one that has not yet been duly honoured, when John Henry Mackay made clear, for the first time, with all its consequences, that there is no real condition of freedom as long as anyone enjoys an excess of freedom at the expense and against the will of anybody else!

Herbert Spencer has also spoken of the equal freedom of all, though without drawing the necessary conclusions from it.

Karl-Hermann Flach declared (Die Zeit,10th November 1972) that liberalism means “freedom and dignity for the greatest possible number” (not for all!). He went on to say: “Freedom of the individual finds its limits in the freedom of other individuals, of neighbours. Freedom is thus incomplete without a high degree of equality, at least of equal starting opportunity. Beyond that, freedom means a certain measure of order, since anarchy in the end always establishes the right of the strongest.” The last sentence reverses the facts, since anarchy is precisely the very opposite to a condition in which the law of the jungle prevails.

Milton Friedman also praises the equal right to freedom as “important and fundamental, since human beings are all different and the one does something different with his freedom than the other and may thus contribute more to the general development of a society in which many people are living.” By this he means that “freedom” which the above-quoted Anatole France joked about, and Milton Friedman received the Nobel Prize for his advice to use the monetary monopoly for a permanent annual inflation of 5%.

The principle of the equal freedom of all begins with the individual human being (not with the abstraction of “man,” about which there are so many delusions) and with provable examples from experienced reality. These specific human beings are very different from each other, according to aptitudes and talents, abilities and performances. Whoever, like Flach, wants to balance the highly different physical and mental capacities which men bring with them from their birth (and which one must accept as facts) by measures which are directed against others as demands and “claims” (there is nothing to be said against voluntary services for the benefit of disadvantaged people), gives equality precedence over freedom (apart from the practical impossibility of realizing such an endeavour) and cannot argue for this other than ideologically, let alone justify it. Non-ideological equality at the starting point is given when people — as nature or “God” created them — are altered to develop without being artificially hindered in this, e.g. by any prerogatives, privileges, monopolies or oligopolies established or claimed by others, i.e. unhindered by domination, by forcefully restricted freedom.

The absolute freedom of action of each individual is limited firstly by his natural capacities and abilities, but also by the result of his accomplishments. (For the utilization of the latter, a market free from domination is the indispensable prerequisite and it does not exclude any other form of utilization.) Whoever performs better than another and therefore owns more money, for example, also has more freedom of action than the other. The principle of the equal freedom of all presupposes these natural differences between individuals and is based on them. It does not want to balance them out by any measure (unless through voluntary arrangements), since that would result in some equality and not in the equal freedom of all. Whoever, for example, has musical talent or is an artist, has more freedom in the absolute sense to arrange and enjoy his life than the non-musical man or non-artist has. But this, his extra freedom, just as with the man who is a better performer, does not occur at the expense of others! It does not restrict the equal freedom of others to use equal or similar gifts.

The concept of so-called “inner freedom” plays a part too. It is often praised as “true” freedom, existing in spite of the restrictions placed on external freedom. A person who suffers from inhibitions due to disturbance in his development, for example, is as restricted in his absolute ability to act as someone else who is obsessed by prejudices or fixed ideas and cannot free himself from them.

Quite independently of highly diverse “inner freedom” and of the natural capacities and abilities of individuals, which are also very different and not measurable in the absence of a standard, the principle of the equal freedom of all is confined to the exactly measurable external freedom of individuals in their relations with one another. For here, as we have seen, there can only be the choice between aggressive force and agreement — considering the absence of any provable pre-given “rights” and “duties” or other guidelines. The decision to come to an agreement is, in the long run, possible only on the basis of the equal freedom of all.

This means for everyone: not to be coerced by the will of another, be it that of an individual or a group, either to do or to neglect anything except one thing, namely to renounce for oneself and mutually any attempt to force one’s own will upon others aggressively. This means especially that the external freedom sphere of anyone is never smaller than that of anybody else (except when and as long as he voluntarily consents to this), and that there is no excess of freedom for some at the expense and against the will of others. It also means, among other things, the absence of any monopoly or oligopoly and of any precedence or privilege for an individual or a group. For this would be, for the person concerned, an excess of freedom at the expense of all others.

N.B. Not greater freedom of action by itself, but only the restriction or taking away of the equal freedom of another against his will, goes beyond the limit of the equal freedom of all and is an aggression against this person.

Thus if someone voluntarily limits his own freedom of action in favour of another person and grants him a privilege or monopoly towards himself, then we have no infringement of the equal freedom of all.

One must be aware that much of what is considered conventional morality or necessary laws results automatically from the principle of the equal freedom of all. The murderer and killer, for example, presumes a greater freedom of action for himself and at the expense of the victim whom he deprives of his life and thus limits the victim’s freedom of action in the most radical way. The robber, thief and swindler similarly act against the will and at the expense of the freedom of their victims by depriving them of their property. All these are clearly aggressive acts which offend the equal freedom of all and lead to indemnification claims.

Thus the equal freedom of all means: mutual freedom from aggressive intervention willed by another; self-determination within the framework of this mutuality; and the inviolability of the non-aggressive individual. Within a condition of the equal freedom of all, no one can give orders to anyone unless the one ordered about first authorizes the commander. Force is permissible only insofar as it serves as a defence against aggressive intervention. Laws as well as customs and habits which limit a person’s sphere of freedom against his will, in favour of excessive freedom for others, are nothing but aggressive force.

Since freedom means absence of aggressive force or of violence and since the dividing line between aggression and defence is drawn by the equal freedom of all, and since conflicts arise only by such invasions against the will of the person concerned, one may also establish the principle of the avoidance of aggressive force instead of that of equal freedom.

The equal freedom of all or the prohibition of aggressive force therefore means individual freedom from all institutionalized compulsion — with one exception: in order to uphold respect for the equal freedom of all others and, naturally, also for the observance of all obligations voluntarily undertaken towards others.

In any relationship with others one must not draw the wrong conclusion from the rather reasonable (but incomplete) principle: “Do not do unto others what you do not want done to yourself.” Some people conclude from this that we should do unto others what we would have them do unto us. “Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same as yours.”

Therefore, the equal freedom of all begins with the enormous variety among individuals according to talents, abilities, and performances in their thoughts, feelings, desires and wills. It rejects any schematizing and grants all these varieties the greatest possible opportunity for realization — up to the point where the individual or group would extend their own freedom sphere at the expense of others and, for this purpose, want to limit the equal sphere of freedom of the others. Only in this sense is freedom to be equal. Otherwise, it will be different in particulars. Especially any attempt by individuals or groups to obtain excessive freedom for themselves as the expense of others surreptitiously, by hiding their very personal claims behind the pretended ones of collectives and abstractions, or behind religious, moral and ideological articles of faith, will be exposed as veiled aggression. Sensible questioning of the provability of the claims raised will expose these attempts as aggressive force.

No group will then be conceded a prerogative towards any individual nor, conversely, will any individual be granted any prerogative towards any group. Either would amount to ideology. In this context, one must note the fact that all groupings are composed of specific individuals who differ considerably. There is no uniform thinking, no uniform will in a group as such — apart from the temporary appearances of mass madness and induced insanity, behind which, however, individuals are always hiding who clearly act as initiators.

Neither “God” nor “the State” nor “Society” make aggressive demands but, again and again, there are always merely individuals or whole groups of individuals who conceal themselves behind these notions and ascribe their own thinking and wants to them.

Everything that remains within the bounds of voluntary arrangements — like an authorization given to a surgeon to interfere with one’s physical inviolability or a promise to obey the commander of a voluntary militia — rests within the framework of the equal freedom of all, even when in the process — for a while and to some extent — the sphere of action of the authorized person is larger than that of the one giving his approval.

However, it should be clear that one may only limit one’s own freedom by a contract in favour of another person but never the freedom of another against his will. Consequently, State actions which violate the equal freedom of all are merely law of the jungle and aggressive force, labeled as “right” when they have the approval of a majority but not of the minority concerned — even if this minority consists only of one individual. One has indeed become so used to thinking differently on this matter or, better, one has been manipulated to become used to this notion — but that is no reason for retaining the predominant conceptual confusion. Orwell’s “1984” is close and the power of “Big Brother” relies precisely on confused concepts and on those concepts which have been turned into their opposites.

Everywhere that “equal freedom” is spoken of here, one must by no means think of it merely in the narrowest sense as freedom of movement and free play. Instead, as already mentioned, it is a question of freedom in every respect from any forceful intervention by the will of others that goes beyond the mutual balancing limit.

Not only a demand which aims to disadvantage the person concerned but even one that aims at his alleged interest, his protection and his welfare, without being requested by him or against his will (i.e. both types of demand), must be recognized as aggression even when this claim is backed up by the assertion that the person concerned is not able properly to realize his own interest. Such tutelage — particularly when it is based on the allegedly higher intelligence of the aggressor or upon his allegedly higher racial value, for example — remains an unprovable ideological demand and an offence against the equal freedom of all, since the attacked person could just as easily demand that the aggressor share the victim’s judgment on what is suitable for the victim.

With every specific claim that is raised by one man against another, one can at any time objectively determine whether it is based on a provable right which relies upon voluntary arrangements or upon an alleged “right” in whose existence he merely believes, but which he cannot prove and whose violent realization is thus aggression, whenever, in doing so, the limit of the equal freedom of all is infringed. In the same way, one can clearly determine, in every case, whether in a condition that exists (or is aimed at) one person possesses an excess of freedom of action, a monopoly or privilege, at the expense and against the will of another.


To illustrate, one may conceive the freedom spheres of individuals as spreading from everyone in concentric circles in such a way that they finally touch each other and, thereby, form a border. At the same time this clarifies the fact that the equal freedom of all is no absolute concept but a relative one: the more numerous individuals are the smaller does their space for free play relatively become. This can be observed particularly in the area of limited available natural resources.

If, for example, ten shipwrecked people were stranded on an uninhabited island of 500,000 square metres, then they could divide this among themselves (assuming the land to be of equal quality) into 50,000 square metres each for any use that did no harm to the environment or to other people. With 100 islanders, however, there would only be 5,000 square metres remaining for each person.

The equal freedom of all includes, in principle, the equal claim (not “right”) of every individual to the whole Earth — and not only to that section of the earth where he was born, which has become a State territory as a rule by conquest, annexation or murder. The Earth’s surface (including rivers, lakes and oceans) with its natural resources, as the primary and basic prerequisite for every human existence, and indispensable for food, shelter and a working place, is available only in limited quantity, and the quality of the land, as well as its site, also play an important part.

Property in land, and especially property that exceeds the possibilities for personal cultivation and use by the owner, was possible at most at a time when the civilized areas of the Earth were less densely populated and the population growth was much lower than today. But even then, when in large areas of the Earth there was still land that could be freely used and cultivated, it was nevertheless unreasonable for those who possessed land “property” in civilized districts and in preferred sites to an extent which went far beyond their chances to cultivate or otherwise use it personally, to demand that all other people, in order not to disturb them in their comfort, should leave them their oligopoly and pay them the corresponding tributes or, alternatively, leave the country.

Nowadays, when there is hardly any free land left anywhere in the world and, generally and fundamentally, every claim to a privilege, monopoly or oligopoly offends the principle of the equal freedom of all, and its defence constitutes an aggressive action aimed at the maintenance of unequal freedom, private (as well as nationalized) property in land has become as absurd, for example, as property in air.

This applies not only to such land property as goes beyond the possibilities of personal use and cultivation and which, therefore, by its exclusion and exploitation function, amounts to a monopoly good that extorts more and more income, and so also a growing superiority in capital, in capital concentration in market domination.

Land and natural resources are means of production and capital, but means of production and capital that are given by nature which need not — as with produced means of production — be worked for.

Thus everybody has an equal claim to use land, and no one has a privilege over it that can be substantiated.

Thus, if anybody prevents the use of this gift of nature or makes it dependent on the payment of any tribute (rent or charge) which means unearned income for him — and this based on an alleged property “right” that can be founded on nothing other than aggressive force and infringement of the equal freedom of all — then he is claiming a privilege that cannot be justified and is committing an aggressive act — even if some law “legalizes” it. And even a person who uses land only to a limited extent, for personal use, as a dwelling or working place, must understand that he cannot do this free of charge (for this would be a claim to a privilege). Instead, he must pay compensation to the totality of all others who might raise an equal claim to the piece of land concerned. Conversely, he himself, as part of this whole society, may share in what all others (wanting to use a piece of land) have to pay as compensation to the whole society.

“Property” in land means, among other things, that all who are born later are fundamentally disadvantaged, since, due to increasing demand, pieces of land become more and more expensive and “owners” are also less and less willing to sell. In any case, it means the “right” to exclude all others from the use of the piece of land concerned, although they are absolutely dependent upon such land, at least as a place to live and work, while they may raise exactly the same claim to its use as the “proprietor.”

“Property” in land means especially the “right” to extort tribute and unearned income from others, based upon a claimed but unjustifiable privilege.

The achievement of equal freedom for all in land and natural resources requires the equal access for everyone to land and everyone’s equal share in the use of this means of production, but at the same time excludes any privilege, monopoly and oligopoly of individuals, groups or institutions over land and its resources.

For this purpose today’s land “owners” need only be stripped of their privilege or oligopoly, but they need not be deprived of the value of their (genuine) possessions. They could continue to utilize them economically, within the new framework, with rights completely equal to those of all others.

This means, of course, no nationalization of land — which amounts only to the replacement of many oligopolists and privileged people by one single monopolist. Moreover, it is precisely the State that protects and maintains “property” in land, as well as other monopolies, oligopolies and privileges.

Here one must also be conscious of the fact that State functionaries by no means represent the interests of all citizens equally. Instead, they are primarily functionaries of domination over all subjects. Moreover, seeing that State functionaries are controlled by economic and political lobbies, outside of the State, they one-sidedly represent the interests of some against the interests of others, at the expense of others.

It is, rather, a question of “socialization” in the sense that access to land and its resources is opened up for everybody under equal conditions and that every individual member of “society” receives his share in the “natural monopoly good” land, within the framework of the equal freedom of all.

This could, for instance, happen in the following way (unless a still better solution were to be found). All urban and rural land could be leased to the highest bidder for a certain period (approximately one year for market gardens and rural land, and approximately five years for urban and industrial land).

The returns are to be equally distributed according to the number of people involved, regardless of whether they are men, women or children (including leaseholders). As far as possible, this should be carried out on a world-wide scale, thus compensating for different land values, as every human being can raise a claim on the whole Earth, within the framework of the equal freedom of all.

In order to prevent people from being disadvantaged in this lease procedure due to their different financial positions, and in order to assure unconditionally that everyone has access to land as a means of production, those people who merely want to utilize a small piece of land (up to approximately 1,500 square metres per head) to secure food and accommodation for themselves and their family without outside labour, should have priority in this leasing procedure, insofar as, first of all, they should compete only among themselves. Only afterwards, when their demand has been satisfied, are others who are interested in leases to be considered, especially those others with a bigger purse. Since those without property should be given a respite for the payment of their rent until the next harvest, and since the per-head share of everyone in the total rent income (due to the high land values of urban land) may lie far above the rent of those using minimum blocks of land, those requiring little land in practice receive the right to use it free of charge.

In this context, one must know also that 1,500 square metres are sufficient to cover the total food requirements for one person, with a quite minor labour of only eight weeks per year, spread over the seasons.

Now, once everyone can in this way be independent and can assure his food and accommodation requirements, while at the same time obtaining a small rent from the per-head share of the members of his family (to the extent that this exceeds the rent that he owes for his small block, a rent that will be correspondingly larger with those who do not claim agricultural land), then, by this alone, unemployment will become as good as impossible.

But many of today’s other problems would then also solve themselves. This solution to the land question would mean, especially, the most effective development aid which is possible, since through it individuals in the developing countries would benefit directly from equal access to land (from which most of them are excluded today), as well as from their equal share in the rent proceeds from the industrialized countries with high land values.

Moreover, there will be no more exploitation through the chance possession of natural resources and raw materials that constitute monopolies or oligopolies.

Rents would then gradually reach that amount which a piece of land yields in its function as a means of production and capital beyond a normal return for labour (i.e. what one today calls land rent). (An exception would be rents for certain, especially preferred pieces of land in whose increased rent value everyone would share anyhow). Nobody has an interest in offering more, apart from the exceptional cases hinted at. And competition will prevent a lower offer. Thus, seen from this aspect too, this is the “most just” solution.

“It is self-evident that increases in the value of the rented land, e.g. through soil-improvement or new buildings, are to be paid for by the succeeding lessee and that, conversely, the lessee is also liable for land damages caused by him.”

Only when in this way everyone learns to conceive of the whole Earth as his personal sphere of interest, without any privileges and with equal rights for all, will an effective protection of the environment become possible. For this, again, the equal freedom of all is the only useful standard. Here one will have to begin with the question: what would the consequences be if all people claimed that privilege to pollute and poison the environment which today is claimed by a minority (which is even protected and promoted by the State), with the assertion that the damage thus caused to the environment and to fellow human beings was still bearable and within reasonable limits.

Under a world-wide per-head distribution of total rent income, everyone would directly feel the effect of an increase in world population by a decrease of his share. This would also create a very effective counterbalance to population increase, which today often happens without consideration or sense of responsibility.

The share per person for everyone from the land rent (in the double sense) secures even a certain compensation for those naturally disadvantaged. Their physical defects, illnesses or lesser mental gifts cannot provide them with any “moral” claim for compensation which would be obligatory for others, but they do have a claim arising from the equal freedom of all. Moreover, as was already mentioned, the equal freedom of all is no final and absolute principle, but is relative and changes with environment and population. Its concrete development may change considerably in the course of time, with progressing knowledge of experienced reality and with progressing technology. The principle will remain the same, but its application will change. One could, for example, conceive of the world population shrinking to about half or less of what it is at present and being able then to achieve almost paradise-like conditions with developed technology and under conditions of non-domination.

Thus the above outlined proposal for a solution to the fundamentally important land question could certainly be very much improved, although not in its principle but in individual cases in the course of time and with changing circumstances.

The proposal does, at any rate, establish for individuals, who are legally incapacitated and in so many ways oppressed by the State, at least more or less those conditions under which free-living animals exist in nature. Nature offers them for free and in sufficient quantity all that is necessary for their existence. To claim land and natural resources as “property,” to buy and sell them, is possible only with the same “right” as one could also buy or sell air and sunlight, demanding as the “owner” of these gifts continuous tribute from others for the use of them.

In contrast to this, there is an inescapable alternative. Either one acquires such a “right” through aggressive force (which is also the case if one lets this “right” be “protected” by aggressive force), whereby one openly admits to being an adherent of the law of the jungle; or, alternatively, one has to come to an agreement with all other human beings about access to land and to the use of this gift of nature, and thus arrived at a genuinely rightful solution. This however, is only possible on a basis of strictly equal rights and when there are absolutely no privileges left.

It is only if one keeps in mind the fact that even in the densely populated German Federal Republic there are approximately 4,000 square metres per head (on a global scale there are even 25,000 sq. metres per head) and also that, according to “democratic” principles, each individual should have a claim to a corresponding portion of the land surface of his fatherland, that it becomes quite clear in what an impudent manner the great mass of the people have been robbed of this main basis of their existence and what a role the alleged protector and promoter, the State, plays in this robbery.

Of course, all land and natural resources presently owned by the State must be subjected to the new ruling by which every human being, without exception, is guaranteed access to a vital minimum of land and is also assured an equal share in the rental of the total surface of the Earth and of all natural resources. A more detailed explanation of the land question and a discussion of objections to the suggested solution may be found in K.H.Z. Solneman’s Diskussionsergebnisse (Results of a Discussion), Freiburg /Br., 1976.


The money monopoly and credit oligopoly have even greater consequences than the oligopoly of land property. Here the State monopolizes the issue of exchange media (money) by transferring it to a central note-issuing bank, which thus obtains the “right” to issue bank notes (which are, in reality, debt certificates!) as legal tender, and instead of paying interest, it demands interest payments for these. Moreover, this interest lies far above the cost of the production and administration of this means of exchange. Thus, we have here, in the first place, a typically monopolistic exploitation through exclusion of competition, and this directly emanates from the State. However, this has far-reaching results, which multiply the exploitation effect in favour of a minority of privileged people and oligopolists .

Furthermore, the State manipulates the business of banks, which can to a limited extent create so-called book money (out of nothing), for which they charge the monopoly interest of the central note-issuing bank besides their own interest charges. In this way — for example through the German Federal regulation that every new bank must have a minimum capital of 6 million DM — only a privileged circle can benefit from the advantages of this oligopoly.

While with the land oligopoly, unearned income, though exploitative, is still held within certain limits, due to competition between a relatively high number of oligopolists, and while it directly raises only the price of produce, living and working space, and natural resources, the effect of the money monopoly and credit oligopoly reaches much further, since to the price of all goods is added, as a rule, a far higher charge than that directly or indirectly due to land rent. The result is that, on the average, approximately 50% of the price of all goods flows into the pockets of monopolists and oligopolists as unearned income, while with rents included this often amounts to as much as 75% to 80%.

Since the price of land depends on its value as “capital” and since this value increases with each rise in the interest rate, the land-rent, too, is very considerably influenced by the level of the interest rate.

Even if there were an abundance of land offered, the land rent could not fall below the artificially maintained high monopoly interest rate.

One has to realize that monopoly interest is not identical with the discount or lombard rate of the central bank, but that it is at least double, if not three times, its rate. And this simply because the central bank does not issue the means of exchange, “money,” directly to any individual or any firm, but exclusively to the privileged banks. Due to this privilege, these banks can add to their already excessive discount and lombard rates not only their own costs and a moderate profit rate, but also an excessive profit, which reached record heights during the most recent recession. That is the kind of “freedom” which is represented by the present “rightful” order.

Compared with this, under real freedom, without domination, i.e. under the equal freedom of all, which does not know any monopolies, oligopolies, or privileges, means of exchange, which could also take forms other than the usual money of today, would be available very cheaply, i.e. for no more than 1% to 2%, including a premium for credit risks. (Consult on this also the Swiss example in K. H. Z. Solneman’s Drei Kernforderungen zur Vermoegensverteilung — Three Essential Demands for the Distribution of Wealth — Freiburg, Br., 1974.)

There already exist quite a number of concrete proposals how, after the abolition of the money monopoly (against which a true storm of anger will be raised once people begin to reflect upon its effects), the costs of money administration, “interest,” could be reduced to 1% to 2% (including the premium for credit risks) by means of money issues under free competition, e.g. by transport enterprises or shopping centres, though by banks, too, of course. At the same time, stable money can be established, i.e. a truly lasting currency — something that all note-issuing State banks have not achieved in spite of their (allegedly) greatest efforts.

Apart from that, everyone would be free to continue using the money issued by the previous exclusive note-issuing banks — as long as others were still willing to accept it. All central banks might attempt to continue working as before. They will only have to forego their monopoly and face free competition, and will not be able to compel acceptance of their currency as “legal tender” among those who do not want to belong to the corresponding legal and social community.

Financial specialists are already expecting great changes in payment methods. Cash (apart from small change) may become superfluous, as well as today’s cheque payments and bank transfers. In a computerized and cashless clearing system, an identity card resembling a credit card will be put into an automated machine in all pay offices. This machine will debit the customer’s accounts in favour of the seller’s and will, if the customer is short of funds, reject the identification card, as vending machines reject forged coins.

Even better than this procedure, and far superior to the present payment system, is a quite new and yet very simple payment and credit system that offers debtors and creditors hitherto unusual advantages — among them, outstandingly cheap credit, even under the present conditions. There are in the field of finance surprising solutions, which can rival the most astonishing achievements of technology and natural science.

It is most important that through the simple measure of repealing the money monopoly and the credit monopoly, the function of the extortionist monopoly interest rate should be abolished as a barrier, for again and again it stops productivity and production in general and keeps them far beneath technical possibilities and demand. In the same way, there will be an end to the continually repeated destruction of the capital of small savers through inflation. This has kept them in permanent dependence upon the monopolists and oligopolists and exposed them to exploitation by them. For without compulsory acceptance of a means of exchange falsified by inflation, and against free competition, their issuers could not exist. Furthermore, after the legal protection for such fraudulent acts is withdrawn, these issuers would naturally be criminally prosecuted in any social order based on non-domination.

Any child can grasp what the inevitable consequences are when, through the money monopoly and credit oligopoly (and also the land oligopoly), huge amounts of increased income are continually flowing into the pockets of a minority — after being withdrawn from a majority which thus becomes permanently dependent on that minority. All the unpleasant effects arise which one has called “capitalism” without being aware of its real essence: domination — in numerous forms — of some over others, instead of the equal freedom of all.


A more honest expression for “sovereign functions” is the monopoly of force which the State claims (i.e. has taken) by means of the law of the jungle. Who has set the State its alleged “functions” (tasks)? Certainly not the so-called elected representatives of the people. They are dependent upon their parties and the men behind them. There is already sufficient evidence available on the selection of these “representatives of the people” and their conduct even towards their own voters. The “State,” however, already existed long before the representatives and has confined their activities through its constitution and numerous laws to a relatively narrow field. The “State” is a largely anonymous power. Behind it, numerous political and economic powers hide. These oppose each other and agree only in their unconditional claim to rule. In twisted ways and behind the scenes, they control parliament as well as the State functionaries. The “peoples’ democracies” are more honest here when they declare: “The party controls the State.” But for what purpose does it command? Certainly not in the interest or even for the protection of the equal freedom of all who live within its sphere of power.

The Western democracies proceed from the assumption (which can be proven to be false) that the State protects the interests of its compulsory members equally. Yet it is quite plain that through numerous privileges, monopolies and oligopolies it represents, first and foremost, the interests of a minority against a majority and that its functionaries have developed into an exploiting class of its own, which hardly ranks behind the capitalist class in importance and methods. The “freedom” which the State promises to guarantee stands in blatant opposition to real freedom, the equal freedom of all, whose most dangerous and fundamental enemy is the State — all the more so since it understands how to convince the majority (through extensive manipulation) that any State activity is, without a doubt, useful and necessary.

Max Weber wrote (in Politik als Beruf — Politics as a Profession — Collected Political Writings):

“Violence is, naturally, not the normal or only means of the State — that is not claimed here. However, violence is characteristic of the State.... Today ... we must say: The State is that human community which, within a certain territory ... successfully claims for itself the monopoly for legitimate force. For what is characteristic today is that all other communities or individual persons are allowed the right to resort to physical force only insofar as the State permits them to do so. The State is considered the exclusive source of the right to use force ….”

There is no reasonable justification for the majority principle in a compulsory community either. A majority can neither claim any privilege over a minority nor reduce the sphere of freedom of any individuals, against their will, to less than the limits of the equal freedom of all — except by means of the law of the jungle, of aggressive force.

Just as the State establishes the oligopoly of landed proprietors over the equal rights claim to the use of the land not only of all the other citizens in a particular State but also of all human beings everywhere, so too it assumes super- proprietorship in “its State territory” and exercises domination over all people and all values existing there. State territories were established just as property in land was — as a rule by robbery, conquest and murder. The privileges which the States usurped in these territories, and the additional ones they grant to and “defend” for favoured individuals and groups, are aggressive acts, based on nothing other than the law of the jungle, even when they are labeled “right” by means of elaborate ideological “justifications.”

A fundamental solution to the land question according to the principle of the equal freedom of all (especially if it were connected with the abolition of the money monopoly and credit oligopoly) would make quite unnecessary most of what today is considered to be a State function. There would no longer be any rivalries between “State territories,” or borders to be defended, as soon as every human being, without exception, has guaranteed the same claim to the use of the Earth. Likewise, there would no longer be any “economic policy” with import quotas, tariffs, dumping and subsidies which are taken by force out of other people’s pockets. There would be no more unemployment or emergencies caused by men where there would not be sufficient voluntary helpers, who already come forward today in cases of natural misfortunes.

With the abolition of all privileges, monopolies and oligopolies (those favouring the State itself, as well as those granted by the State in favour of the privileged), the State must quit its role of master and become a servant. It must e.g. limit itself to a strictly non-aggressive and purely defensive role. It may only offer its services in free competition with other (voluntary) associations, when it is called upon. It may no longer, like a gangster, press any not requested “protection” or “care” upon the people, especially not for a one-sidedly fixed and forcefully collected “fee.”


The State will have to abandon its monopoly claim on aggressive force (as every other adherent of the law of the jungle will have to do in the future) and will have to dissolve itself, or rather, be dissolved into those organizations on a strictly voluntary basis, which was sketched by de Puydt.

De Puydt has already tacitly assumed that each of these autonomous protective and social communities (“Autonome Rechts und Sozialgemeinschaften”) would voluntarily, in its constitution, so to speak, renounce the use of aggressive force, internally as well as externally, i.e. not infringe the equal freedom of all. With this, the common framework is provided for a genuine (since it rests on voluntary agreement) and rightful order to replace hitherto existing State law. Moreover, mutual interest is born in a common defence against any aggressors, whether they are individuals, groups or States of the previous type, against any adherent of the law of the jungle and aggressive violator.

What De Puydt overlooked, or at least did not clearly describe, is the fact that the necessary precondition for such an order is the equal freedom of all towards land and its resources, as well as the abolition of all other privileges, monopolies and oligopolies — both in the relationship of the autonomous protective and social communities as such among themselves (in contrast to the previous conduct of States against each other) and in the relationship of the members of one such autonomous protective and social community towards the members of all others — and also towards those who do not want to be members of any of them. This means that in spite of the considerable legal differences which would apply only to the relations of the members of one particular autonomous protective and social community among themselves, all disputes with outsiders could be regulated according to the uniform principle of the equal freedom of all.

In spite of — or, rather, because of — this principle (since the voluntary self- restriction of a person’s own freedom really remains within its framework), the legal situation within particular autonomous protective and social communities will be extremely varied. Unlike States, these communities are not territorially separated from each other. The members of each of them are associated only through voluntarily accepted legal and social responsibilities — which are, naturally, accompanied by corresponding rights — while they live and work either dispersed or next to each other, as the members of various religious communities do nowadays.

As already mentioned, this settlement offers “to everyone the State of his dreams.” There will be autonomous protective and social communities which will place an emperor at their head, others a king, and again others a president. Without infringing the principle of the equal freedom of all, they will formulate their laws correspondingly. No one but their own voluntary members will have to pay for this.

The members of an autonomous protective and social community could even elect a dictator for themselves (but not for anyone else), for their freedom also includes the freedom to become voluntary slaves. Naturally, they could also withdraw from this condition by leaving after a prearranged notice period.

Catholics could adapt their autonomous protective and social community to their church law and to any decision by the Pope. For instance, they could “punish” among themselves not only abortion but also any contraception. (Generally, sinners could not avoid any agreed upon “punishments” if their “crime” fell into the period before their withdrawal became effective.) Apart from this, they could practice the Christian concept of “love they neighbour “ not only towards themselves, but also towards outsiders, as long as these did not expressly object to it.

Communists could then run enterprises collectively according to the principle “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” They could do this with land and enterprises of every kind that were collectively leased by individual members of their autonomous protective and social community or by groups within it. They could also combine their per head shares in the total returns from lease rents for any collective use.

Without detriment to such differences among the autonomous protective and social communities, their task then lies primarily in the prevention of aggression against the equal freedom of all, as represented for instance by murder, manslaughter, assault, robbery, theft, fraud, rape etc. In this, autonomous protective and social communities — through competition — will proceed more sensibly than States, which, in their prosecutions, neglect the interests of the victims and, for example, not only do not provide for indemnification but even make it impossible by paying for labour done during imprisonment for less than its actual values.

Autonomous protective and social communities could undertake, for their own members, the supervision and control of the lease of land and the distribution of the returns from these leases, while non-members could unite in a special association for this purpose.

The establishment of principles of “right”, similar to today’s civil rights and those in commercial law, is yet another task for autonomous protective and social communities, for cases in which arrangements between contracting parties are incomplete.

Other functions are the protection of contracts and jurisdiction among members, as well as arbitration in cases where one of their members gets into a conflict with a member of another autonomous protective and social community. In this case, the other person is, of course, represented by his protective community in an arbitration court.

In these cases, an international court, comprising representatives from the particular autonomous protective and social communities, can then form a reconciliation court and court of last appeal, in order gradually to solve problems arising from vastly different legal systems. Such problems can only be rare exceptions when in all these autonomous protective and social communities the principle of the equal freedom of all is applied. Where this is not the case, the community concerned has to be dealt with by the other communities in the same way as an individual aggressor would be.

As long as there are still States of the present type left, or as long as the danger still persists that some autonomous protective and social community will reapply principles like the domination and protection racket of today’s States, we must expect that, in the constitutions of at least some of the better communities, a part will be played by a militia or a professional army for purely defensive purposes.

Internally, i.e. not only among the members of a particular protective community but also for their protection against open aggression by individual members of other protective communities, a police force will, of course, be necessary. However, unlike today, this police force will have to limit itself strictly to defence when subduing attacks against the limit of the equal freedom of all. Consequently, this police force can hardly ever come into conflict with the police of that protective community to which the aggressor belongs. If this should nevertheless happen, an independent arbitration court must decide on the rights and wrongs of the matter. It lies in the essence of the principle of the equal freedom of all that neither an individual nor a group (i.e. no particular protective community) may arbitrarily and one-sidedly pass judgment on the case as long as one opposing party contradicts. The arbitration court solution is the alternative to a resort to aggressive force. The constitutions of all autonomous protective and social communities will also oblige their individual members to recognize arbitration decisions.

The international arbitration court can and will play a very important part in the protection of the environment. An intelligent solution to world-wide environmental problems will generally be possible only when they are dealt with in accordance with the equal freedom of all. States make only empty promises in this respect, since they do not represent the interests of all individuals but only of their favoured groups, in addition to their own power interests and financial interests.

Finally, measures of social protection and care are among the tasks of the autonomous protective and social communities, depending on whether the members want to cover their costs by levying taxes or prefer to realize this protection by means of private insurance arrangements. Both methods may exist side by side.

They could range, for example, from full coverage for hospital and medical expenses and pensions of the most varied types (both paid for by contributions, though perhaps including financing from tax funds) to the communist system in which the members of the autonomous protective and social community concerned would produce according to their capabilities for one common account which is to be used by each member according to his needs.

The individual autonomous protective and social communities will be in lively competition with each other, according to the taxes they demand from their members and the advantages they offer them. There will be some in which the members have further claims against the community, perhaps because they prefer to insure themselves against emergencies and thus prefer communities with lower taxes. There will be others desiring comprehensive “care” in the form of a Welfare State, and these people will then have to pay correspondingly higher taxes or contributions. Whether the taxes or contributions are low or high, in relation to the services offered, is, of course, relative.

Whoever is not satisfied with the entitlements and performances of the autonomous protective and social community that he has joined, will just change over to another one. Since each community will endeavor to win over as many members as possible, as taxpayers, he will have a sufficient choice. And nobody will any longer be forced to remain constantly under the tutelage of others — which always easily leads to mismanagement and corruption.

Autonomous protective and social communities will also solve, in the simplest way, the problems of previously oppressed minorities, since they will grant them full equality within the framework of the equal freedom of all and so the form of organization which they want.


Basically, there is only one human right upon which all can and will agree (with the exception of aggressive violators and of open adherents of the law of the big fist): the equal freedom of all.

And this equal freedom of all, as a genuine right, based on mutuality and agreement and not on one-sided dictation, must also be recognized and realized quite clearly, as a claim of every individual, without exception, who does not exclude himself from this claim by proclaiming the law of the big fist. Thus this human right has little in common with previous declarations of human rights, which were proclaimed as not binding, or were “granted” by States which limit the rights granted in the first sentence by the second one or which expressed them so vaguely that they could be arbitrarily interpreted and which, above all, do not offer an individual any possibility of suing for “human rights” before a court.

From previously formulated “human rights” those must also be excluded which, in their consequences, represent an offence against the equal freedom of all or at least could be understood as such. This does not exclude the possibility that they might nevertheless be accepted into the constitutions of some autonomous protective and social communities, since the voluntary limitation of one’s own freedom is possible at all times.

Of course, one may compose a catalogue of all those particular liberties which represent a special aspect of the equal freedom of all and which, summed up, result in it. This catalogue would constantly need to be supplemented, since the principle must be applied in ever new situations due to changes in technology and environment. It must include, especially, the following particular liberties as basic rights.

Here one should mention beforehand that if one or the other of the particular liberties is excluded in some of the autonomous protective and social communities, either by their constitution or by internal laws, then this applies, of course, only to the equal freedom of all. This principle draws a borderline only against the forceful subjugation of one’s own will by another and does not exclude the voluntary limitation of one’s own freedom in favour of others. In this way, for instance, internal obligations for members of an autonomous protective and social community may also be determined by majority decisions. However, nothing may prevent the minority which does not agree with such a referendum decision from withdrawing from the community, after due notice while retaining all previously acquired rights against the community concerned. The most important of the particular liberties are as follows.

In the first place, freedom of thought and freedom to express thoughts in words, in writing and in pictures. It finds its limit, e.g. where, by wrongful accusations, it harms the reputation and penetrates the sphere of equal freedom of others, or where it appeals for aggressive restrictions on the equal freedom of all.

Complete intellectual independence pre-supposes also economic independence. As the English historian Belloc put it: “The control over the production of goods is control over human life altogether.” Yet even without the total control as desired by State socialism and State communism, and without the nearly total control exercised by the capitalistic economy of monopolies and corporations — the smallest economic privilege, monopoly or oligopoly granted to an individual, a group or an institution, limits the equal freedom of all. Thus all privileges, monopolies and oligopolies must be abolished, especially those creating unearned income by enslaving the workers. For freedom in one’s work is the basis for economic independence. Free and equal access to land as a factor of production is as important here as access to capital as a factor of production. The latter is already largely assured by the freedom to exchange the products of one’s work, without which freedom in one’s work is valueless. Apart from the abolition of the money monopoly, this means freedom of credit and also the liberation of trade from all barriers, creating unlimited free competition which has so far never existed (which does not exclude the internal restriction of competition within some autonomous protective and social communities).

Further important particular liberties are: freedom to associate for any non-aggressive purpose (i.e. one respecting the equal freedom of all) and also freedom to dissolve voluntarily entered obligations, whereby, of course, contractual stipulations, e.g. withdrawal periods, are to be observed. Further, freedom to learn and teach in forms determined only by supply and demand; freedom of faith and conscience, to believe or not believe; freedom of love in all its forms; freedom of physical and health care, as well as of nourishment and clothing; freedom also to neglect one’s body. To the freedom of choosing for oneself the medical doctor or healer one trusts, belongs the freedom to exercise the healing profession — and any other! — a right of everyone who feels called to do so and is capable of doing so. Naturally, in case of culpable harm done to a patient, the healer concerned is liable to pay damages as a certified doctor is today in such a case. Also freedom for art and science must finally be re-established without limitations. Nowadays this freedom in most cases exists only on paper, while it is restricted by regulations for admittance, practice, taxation and “promotion.”

Even the denial of only one of these particular liberties, no matter for what reason, means the fundamental denial of all others! For, whenever and with whatever reasoning and “right” of guardianship is demanded and realized, a “right” to excessive freedom to determine and act at the expense of the corresponding limited freedom of other people to decide and act — then, with the same or similar “justification”, one could realize the “right” to use aggressive force in every other respect also. For such “rights” — like all those not based on voluntarily concluded contracts — cannot be proven to exist in fact and are thus nothing other than disguises for brute force.

The most popular among such “reasoning” are: protection and care of a person who allegedly does not recognize his “true interests.” Of course, it does often happen that one is mistaken in what one considers useful and suitable for oneself. But the “protector” and “caretaker” may err at least as often. So when a person does not want to listen to good advice, he will be taught by experience. However, if someone presumes (even though one cannot at all identify with the quite different circumstances of life, the experiences and the thinking and feelings of other people) to be able to judge better than another what is suitable for him and denies him his judgment and self-determination, leading him forcefully “upon the right path” instead of merely giving non-obligatory advice, then that someone is an aggressor, even if he is acting with “the best intentions.” He himself would certainly strongly protest if someone were to doubt his capacity for judgment and forced him to do something contrary to his understanding and his will. It is obvious that here the equal freedom of all is trespassed against. Apart from that, when someone is forced “in his own best interest” by someone else, then the first usually denies that the other has the ability to judge. Thus one person merely stands against another, and it is quite manifest who interferes in the sphere of the other.

But due to manipulation, one has become so used to the whole phraseology of “rights” and “duties” which allegedly are “superior,” and so used generally to numerous “higher spheres,” as well as to aggression especially by the State (in their time, the claims of the princes “by divine right” were hardly doubted either), that today not even striking cases of such aggression are noticed by most people, even when their negative effects are manifest. This is especially the case when these seem also to have a positive aspect, although closer examination would prove this to be an error or at least that it is by far outweighed by the negative aspects. Everywhere that the State — allegedly in everybody’s interest — makes activities (for example, those of teachers doctors, and healers) dependent upon its examinations and its regulations, it exercises a tutelage that is as impermissible as it is superfluous.

Nothing could be said against the State merely certifying a certain quality (as will be done also by autonomous protective and social communities) if it did not hinder the activities of persons who were not examined for this purpose. If someone cannot present such a certificate, which could also be acquired from other sources, then his clients will realize that they are risking something by accepting his services.

The effect of State tutelage, for instance in health matters, is shown by the fantastic expenditure of thousands of millions (which, moreover, are forcefully taken out of the pockets of the persons “cared for”) in relation to partly scandalous conditions in hospitals and other health insurance services.

As already explained in the chapter on the State (Chapter 2), the State, with its compulsory schooling, does not at all promote the interests of the children, as it pretends to do, but primarily its own interests — by forming obedient subjects and by teaching them things which are, above all, useful to itself, as Dr. Walther Borgius has shown in his description of the historical development of schooling (Die Schule — ein Frevel an der JugendThe School — A Crime against Youth! — Berlin, 1930). Not even the few licensed private schools (which are, however, subject by State regulations to the general curriculum) break the State monopoly that must be removed from this field. For since they have to bear the cost themselves, while the cost of public schools is taken from general tax revenues, parents who send their children to private schools have to pay twice for schooling, and only a few are able to do this. On the other hand, the ingenious Japanese Obara has given an example how free schools — with a disproportionately higher learning success — can finance themselves. Dr. Gustav Grossmann too (for instance in Ferner Liefen — Others also Ran — Munich, 1963), as well as other writers, proved that pupils are often seriously harmed by the public school system, while with modern learning methods they could learn more in half or even only a quarter of the presently usual period (the record lies in one ninth, i.e. in one instead of in nine years). Thus, State schools mean an enormous waste of time and money, while their results are revealed by the educational misery in the German Federal Republic today.

The hint at the costs involved in the two above-mentioned examples also answers the fear that the majority of autonomous protective and social communities, which would replace the State, would bring about still higher costs than the State does. Apart from the fact that e.g. the German Federal Republic provides ten State governments and State parliaments besides the federal government and the federal parliament, competition between autonomous protective and social communities and, above all, the right to secede of the merely voluntary and no longer compulsory members, will assure that they must compete with each other in the interests of a rationalized and money-saving administration, so that in the long run only those will be successful which provide the best services at the lowest prices. In this way one will also avoid that cancerous growth of the bureaucracy which happens according to Parkinson’s Law and which only serves the power and special interests of the State itself and of its functionaries but not the interests of all those coercively embraced and regimented by it.


The abolition of all legal monopolies and oligopolies is not by itself sufficient to establish the equal freedom of all, at least not as long as the enormous differences in property exist which arose through the previous privileges and monopolies. Thus it needs to be supplemented by a measure which on the one hand will eliminate all actual monopolies and oligopolies, and on the other will make it possible for all people without a fortune to invest their labour power rationally and competitively, i.e. based on corresponding capital. At the same time, the development of new monopolies must be prevented. For besides “natural” monopoly goods (as represented by land itself and especially by natural resources, like coal, oil, natural gas, minerals, etc.) and apart from the privileges and monopolies created by the State through legislation, there are still enterprises which — mostly by exploiting the existing system of privileges and monopolies — have grown to a size that dominates the market, as do especially large corporations, trusts and giant enterprises. Such market super-powers can largely eliminate weaker competitors, exploit the purchaser through excessive prices, and ensure themselves of a monopoly rent — by means of which the enterprises become more and more powerful. Also, for example, railways, power stations and telephone networks have a certain monopoly character by their particular nature, as well as by being already firmly established, which also impedes competition. Even in a social order without domination, the rise of a market super-power, due to especially favourable circumstances or by the characteristics of the enterprise concerned is not impossible.

Judging by past experience, there is no anti-trust legislation, no “socialization” and no “co-determination” as previously conceived that is effective against the “natural monopolies” created by natural resources and against those which gradually arise due to the size of enterprises or to their characteristics.

Under the present co-determination system, instead of the “capitalists” (or beside them) the employees’ of the monopoly enterprises concerned can make use of their positional strength to ensure for themselves monopoly incomes at the expense of all others — through excessive wages. It already happens today that particular trade unions (e.g. in essential industries, but also in small groups of specialists, like air controllers, power plant workers or garbage men), while engaged in the quite justified endeavor of increasing their working incomes, do not do so at the expense of interest, land rent and the actual, not only alleged, monopoly profits of entrepreneurs. Instead, they secure income advantages for themselves by means of the power of their organization or their key positions, regardless of the working people in other employment, and this at the expense of those other workers and of all consumers, since the wage increases do not affect interest and land rent or the profit of enterprises but simply increase prices.

Now, there exists a means hardly discussed so far, a means that is as simple as it is effective, for avoiding the dangers spreading from such monopoly enterprises and achieving at the same time another, equally important goal: free access to the means of production for every person willing to work.

How this can happen for land in what is probably the optimum way, has already been outlined. But for rational land cultivation and use, capital is required too. Under today’s conditions, this is refused to those who possess nothing but their capacity to work and is available to others only against high interest. This applies all the more to industrial, professional, commercial and crafts activities, and to nearly all other kinds of activities, too.

Marx quite correctly realized that he who owns nothing but his working strength depends on the person who possesses the means of production and thus may be exploited by him. But since he overlooked the role of the State as a creator and defender of privileges and monopolies (by which it became possible in the first place to keep persons willing to work from getting access to the means of production and which made their dependence on these proprietors possible), he wanted to turn the goat into a gardener and the State into a super-monopolist. He overlooked the possibility which was much closer at hand: of removing the State itself together with all the privileges and monopolies established and maintained by it. Nor did he see the possibility of rendering natural monopolies harmless, and harmless too the monopolistic or market-dominating character of some enterprises due to their size or special features. A new kind of enterprise and industrial organization for this purpose was proposed in principle by Theodor Hertzka in his work Freiland (Freeland), Dresden and Leipzig, 1889.

According to this principle, all enterprises with a monopoly character — and beyond them as many others as possible — are to be transformed into the property of “open workers’ associations” (open cooperatives), which constitute something between a private and a public enterprise. How this transformation may take place with compensation to the previous owners, in some cases even with their continuing cooperation and profit-sharing, will be discussed in detail in the chapter following the next.

It is characteristic of these “open” enterprises that, in principle, they must remain open to every person willing to work in them. Exempted from this are only people absolutely unsuited for the work concerned. Thus such “open” enterprises must accept all people wishing to be employed by them, if necessary by correspondingly shortening the working time, regardless of whether the members already employed agree or not.

By this the following is achieved, among other things: when a monopoly gain is obtained in such an enterprise the above-average labour earnings attract new workers until the wages have settled down around the average level. Then a further influx will cease automatically, since nobody is interested in working in a place where he earns less than he could, on the average, in other enterprises. As large a number of such enterprises as possible would, moreover, besides providing free access to land for everyone, be an additional guarantee to make unemployment impossible in future. It is an absolutely insane condition that today there are many millions unemployed in many countries, who have to be supported by others, while they are prevented from creating values by their own work, which would increase the total production of goods and would maintain them and relieve the others of the burden of supporting them. Furthermore, they would create more income for the others by exerting a demand with their own income and thus making additional sales possible for the others.

Hertzka mentions certain pre-requisites for the functioning of this system of open productive co-operatives. Among them one must mention the openness of all business proceedings, including the publishing of gross earnings, expenditures, net gains, purchases and sales, labour services, and the use of net profits. According to the type of these data, they should be published between once a year and once a week (e.g. for labour investments and labour gains). Then individuals could easily inform themselves where the investment of their labour would be most profitable for them.

Hertzka suggested the following “model constitution” for such an Open Productive Association (OPA):

  1. Everyone may freely join any OPA, no matter whether or not he is at the same time a member of another OPA. Likewise, anyone can leave any association at any time (naturally, only after observing the usual term of notice). The management decides about the employment of the co-operators.

  2. Every member has a claim to a portion of the net gain of the OPA that corresponds to his labour service.

  3. The work performance of each member is calculated according to his working hours, with the stipulation that older members are granted an additional amount for each additional year they have been members of the group, compared with those who joined later. Likewise, an additional amount for qualified work can be stipulated by free contracts.

  4. The work performance of the managers or directors is to be equated, by means of individually concluded free contracts, with a certain number of daily working hours.

  5. The total earnings of the association are calculated at the end of each production year and are then distributed, after the capital repayments have been deducted. (Hertzka still speaks of an approximately 30% deduction for the “community.” From these funds old-age and social service pensions are to be covered, but also interest-free loans are to be granted by a central bank to the OPAs. Naturally, autonomous productive and social communities could levy such social and tax contributions from their voluntary members. However, such variations have nothing in common with the principle elaborated here). In the meantime, the members receive advances amounting to ‘x’ percent of the net earnings of the preceding year for every hour of work done or credited.

  6. In case of the dissolution or liquidation of the association, the members are responsible for debts in proportion to their share in the profits. This liability applies also to new members. The liability of a member for already-contracted debts does not expire when the member leaves the association. This liability for debts has its counterpart in the claim of the liable member against the remaining property in case of liquidation.

  7. The highest organ of the association is the general assembly, in which every member (who need not be an actual co-worker) exercises the same active and passive right to vote. The general assembly makes its decisions with a simple majority of votes. For constitutional changes and liquidation of the enterprise, a 75% majority vote is required.

  8. The general assembly exercises its right either directly as such or through its chosen functionaries, who remain responsible to it.

  9. The business of the association is conducted by a board of directors, who are elected by the general assembly and whose authority is revocable at any time. The subordinate functionaries of the managing board are appointed by the directors. However, the income of these functionaries — measured in working hours — is decided by the general assembly, upon proposals by the directorate.

  10. The general assembly annually elects an internal auditor, who has to check the books as well as the conduct of the managing directors and has to report on this periodically.

The preceding principles need commentary, especially the seeming paradox in point one. There the entry into any association depends on an individual’s free will, but his employment within the association is made dependent on the judgment of the board of directors, which would thus decide in what way and whether the offered labour power is really to be used. The reason for this is quite understandable. No unauthorized and incapable person should disturb either other people’s work or the organizational connections which are to be regulated by the directors. However, the board of directors may only judge the ability of those reporting for work. It may not be guided by considerations on whether the association really needs new people. Instead, it must employ any able person in a manner corresponding to his abilities, and this by a uniform reduction of working time — regardless of whether the previous collaborators desire this or not.

The right of everyone to join any such association (regardless of the work that he does in it) offers a guarantee that the decisions of the board of directors will really be made in this sense. For even if no one in any association could work without the approval of the management, everyone registered as a member can vote in the general assembly, and the managing directors are elected by the general assembly and are replaceable by it at any time. The exercise of the disciplinary power granted to them is thus subject not only to the continuous control of the actual workers of an association but to public opinion. Thus they will certainly not commit an intentional injustice as long as they want to keep their positions. When there are differences of opinion on the abilities of candidates, then tests, and, if necessary, arbitration courts, will decide.

Conversely, this right of co-determination can hardly be abused (by means of artificial majorities) to force the management to employ unsuitable intruders. For their employment would reduce the profitability of the enterprise, and an excess of co-operators would reduce the profit share of each individual member, that of those newly joined also, so that every co-operator is interested in avoiding this. It would be more likely that a desire for a monopoly gain would induce the current staff to collaborate with the directors in blocking new admissions. But this negative effect is not to be feared since it is limited by the right of everyone to join as a member and vote in the general assemblies.

Transformation into OPA’s is, however, necessary not only for all present monopoly enterprises and all those which in future grow into a monopoly or achieve market domination. Instead, the establishment of such OP As must be effected to the greatest possible extent, in order to assure the equal freedom of all in one of its most important preconditions. It must become possible, on principle and for everyone, not only in respect of land, to take up, alone or in association with others, an independent occupation, i.e. one not dependent on wages, and this fully supplied with all necessary means of production for such an activity. The chapter after the next will show the ways leading to such a goal.


The concept of anarchism has become for many people a “ghost” like that of communism in Marx’s time. Newspapers and journals write the most foolish and contradictory things about it, and radio and television are no better in this. And as a rule, the same happens in books, even by writers and lecturers on anarchy and anarchism from whom one might have expected some detailed knowledge.

Not only ignorance, conceptual confusion and gross negligence are expressed there, but quite often conscious falsification occurs. This happens, for instance, when the designation “anarchistic” is used for persons, views and deeds which are actually completely incompatible with genuine anarchism, even when the very opposite of anarchism is involved.

At the time of the legislation against socialists in the German Empire, harmless social democrats were called anarchists and terrorists by the bureaucracy in order to agitate and prejudice the masses against them. For the same purpose, the Baader-Meinhof gang and similar advocates of chaos are today quite systematically called “anarchists,” even though the persons calling them that know very well that these people are revolutionary Marxists aiming at the opposite of anarchism and that they, too, have protested against being called anarchists.

Anarchy, literally and with regard to its content, means non-domination (no-government). It is quite understandable from their point of view that those striving for or practicing domination should equate a condition of non-domination with disorder or even chaos, because, in this way, they try to justify their own domination. However, this is nothing but propaganda. For there has never been any period in human history, not even in its earliest beginnings and in pre-history, where a condition of genuine anarchy existed. This results from the fact that anarchism presumes a certain maturity of civilization, of insight and of experience, which have existed to a sufficient degree only since approximately the beginning of the 19th century.

Thus, the assertion that anarchism is identical with disorder, or even with chaos, is totally unfounded — due to lack of experience. However, more than enough experience has been had with its opposite, domination, which has almost always gone hand in hand with exploitation. Against this, people have rebelled again and again, in all ages, since it has always brought disorder into social relationships and has created chaotic conditions by wars and civil wars.

In contrast, freedom (real freedom, the equal freedom of all) is identical with non-domination. It is not the daughter, but the mother of order (as Proudhon said). Disorder is always the consequence of dispute, and dispute arises unavoidably whenever someone attempts to dominate, i.e. to oppress another person. The equal freedom of all excludes, right from the beginning, the majority of those unbridgeable contrasts which, up to now, have been the cause of disagreements and quarrels, and it would reduce these to the exceptional cases where someone still dares openly to take the side of aggressive force and of the law of the jungle. All those occasions for quarrels would be eliminated where claims upon others rest on unprovable assertions — and this includes almost all of the ideological claims made so far.

The condition of non-domination, of anarchism, of the equal freedom of all, also offers everyone the greatest possible extension of freedom for his own aspirations, and by this fact alone the differences that remain possible are already very limited.

Professor Ulrich Klug (presently Senator of Justice in Hamburg) is one of the praise-worthy exceptions who — instead of stating nonsense on anarchism and anarchy or even maligning these concepts — describe them factually. During a conference of lawyers in Cologne in 1966, he remarked that it would be at least theoretically conceivable for nobody to dominate. The value-free concept of anarchy primarily meant only this. The generally associated concept of a primary evil, of chaotic disorder, was a “smoke-screen concealing hard power positions by mystical theories.” In particular, the notion of chaotic anarchy was a contradiction in itself. If nobody ruled, nobody was subjected to anyone else. The side-by-side existence of non-subordinated people presupposed order. Thus, if anarchy meant order, it could also become a concept of law, since law is only a special form of order. Indeed, examples showed that this was possible.

Professor Klug first of all mentioned the example of the order of international law. Since domination, in the sense of the possibility of setting norms and enforcing their observance, could not exist towards a sovereign State — otherwise there would be no sovereignty — this order was almost a model for an orderly anarchy.

It meant an equality of all, the model of the round table around which all sit as equal partners. Road traffic regulations (“neither more horse power nor anything else can grant privileges”) and modern marriage law (with its principle of the equal rights of marriage partners — “nobody is subjected, nobody dominates”) were further examples.

Lastly, even the most essential requirements of a constitutional society, such as freedom, equality, control of violence, and lawfulness, were the goals towards which anarchism was striving. Therefore, wherever domination was aspired to which would endanger the anarchistic order of equal rights, the lawfulness of the State was in danger and so-called dissatisfaction with the establishment was quite justified.


The standard of whether someone is really an anarchist or not lies in whether he renounces domination over others or not, i.e. whether he voluntarily and on principle respects the limit of the equal freedom of all (with all its consequences), abstains from aggressive violation of this limit, and is prepared to offer indemnification in case of unintentional or negligent offences against it.

He who merely does not want to be dominated himself is far from being an anarchist, since that is also the wish of most non-anarchists and especially of those craving for domination. The genuine anarchist therefore, on principle, places the freedom of others before his personal freedom, by equating his own freedom with theirs. Doesn’t this really constitute a model for what is called “democratic behaviour”? This is a badly chosen expression, but it is at least heading in the direction of what one means by it.

Domination, i.e. the claim to determine the conduct of others, against their will, in such a way that one’s own freedom is increased at the expense of the freedom of others, does not always arise only from conscious personal arbitrariness. Far more often, it takes the form of a claim for domination based on one’s obsession with an idea or concept. The person concerned is himself so dominated by it that he never doubts its reality or whether all others recognize it. This becomes especially hideous when the “ideal” is one intended to make mankind happy and when the person concerned, asserting his good intentions and his better insight, compared with the alleged ignorance or foolishness of the others, becomes aggressive against the others. However, whether aggressive force is practiced for the purpose of oppression or to make people happy, it always amounts to the same. There is always one person intending to hold others in tutelage, and who wants to determine, against the will of others, what they should do, and who thus claims an excessive freedom for himself at the expense of the others.

However, any compulsion is admissible only insofar as it defends the limit of the equal freedom of all. By exceeding this limit, it becomes aggression.

Even a person without inner freedom, obsessed by an idea or concept and hindered in his development or inhibited by his character, can be a true anarchist. For anarchism does not require an “ideal person” but only human beings, as they are. The equal freedom of all is a purely external relationship of mutual nonaggression, and solidarity (though it may be desired and though it does lie in everyone’s interest) does not represent a “conditio sine qua non.”

It was already mentioned that the anarchist must also be prepared to respect neutral arbitration courts in all disputes and to submit to their judgment, even when it runs against him, i.e. that he must not make himself a judge in his own case. It is self-evident that such arbitration courts have to decide according to the principle of equal freedom which, like a set of scales, offers a clear standard for any concrete situation.


What distinguishes anarchism from all other systems of social order, and even guarantees it a unique precedence over the others, is that — contrary to all religiously or ideologically founded systems — it is based in experienced reality. It does not state: Things ought to be this way (since “God” or a “revelation” or “my conscience” or a “moral” or “nature” or a “development law” or “justice” determined it this way). Significantly, even followers of the same principle — not to speak of people with different principles — do not agree about its consequences, nor can they ever agree. Instead, anarchism says: Things are this way (and in such a way as can be proved by means of our cognitive abilities). For there are just two options for conduct between which one has to decide: between the law of the jungle (whereby one intends only to succeed oneself, at the expense of others, rejecting any agreement) and the will to come to an understanding with one’s fellow beings, because one rejects the law of the jungle. This understanding can last only when based on the equal freedom of all. For any solution giving excessive freedom to some at the expense of the equal freedom of others must lead ever and again to the rebellion of the disadvantaged and so inevitably to fighting. The far-reaching consequences of the principle of the equal freedom of all has been explained in the previous chapter.

Whoever decides for the law of the jungle is served “rightly” and has no cause to complain when he is dealt with by the same means, i.e. by the “right” that he has recognized and chosen for himself.

Whoever chooses agreement, however, finds a firm basis for it in the provable fact that our experienced reality does not offer a criterion for how the relations between the individuals and groups ought to be regulated. Thus, by nature, the individual confronts other individuals and groups right-less and duty-less until he himself, with the others and by arrangement, establishes rights and duties which, logically, can exist only within the framework of the equal freedom of all.

All “knowledge” that goes beyond our experienced reality is thus metaphysical and unprovable by its nature. It cannot be proven whether it is indeed knowledge of real characteristics and not merely of mental concepts and images and so unprovable, or whether perhaps the very opposite of whatever is asserted is “true” or not. But the practice of all civilized courts shows how claims based on unproven assertions have to be dealt with.

That those actions are aggressive which, based on unprovable “ought”’ rules, interfere forcefully in the freedom of others (i.e. by increasing one person’s sphere of freedom against the will and at the expense of others) has to be explained to today’s average comprehension as clearly as it was impossible to explain, for instance, during the Stone Age.

For this reason there could be no genuine anarchy during the Stone Age and even for a long time afterwards, e.g. in the Middle Ages. One of the reasons for this was possibly geographical. In the absence of close contact between groups or hordes there may have been few opportunities for mutual influence and, therefore, there may have been no attempts to dominate, not even within isolated groups.

Any true anarchy always presupposes the conscious will not to dominate others and increase one’s own freedom at the expense of others.

Even in the Middle Ages, anarchy was not conceivable because then, almost without exception, one still regarded facts accepted as faith as known facts — just as in primeval times, when one did not know how to differentiate between the facts of experienced reality and mere concepts and fancied images, and ascribed as much real character to the latter as to the former. This condition of a primitive state of consciousness prevails even today in most people. Thus sledgehammer methods are necessary, even when dealing with highly educated people, who generally can differentiate in a critical way but are often stuck to their special fixed ideas, whose character as deeply rooted prejudices, mere beliefs or purely mental concepts, is not consciously recognized.

This sometimes leads to really grotesque utterances. Thus F. K. Fromme, who believes parliamentary democracy to be unsurpassable, lamented (according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16th December 1976) that the Weimar Republic “did not succeed in awakening the conviction in its subjects that this rule was legitimate. It was — at most — recognized as barely ‘legal’ ... very few parties during the Weimar period strove for an identity between the form of domination and the subjects of domination.” The subjects are thus expected to sanction domination themselves, even to approve their own submission to it as “legitimate.” The tiger, striving to identify with the lamb by eating it, is presented as a model!

All previous systems of social order rest on an untenable basis, without exception. They have to settle with the facts presented in the sixth chapter (“The New First Principle... “) and will have to pay heed to them in future. Then it will be realized that so far this has been consistently done only from the anarchist side.

There is yet another fundamental difference between anarchism and all other systems of social order: While all others, without exception, place their system in place of all others, and thus intend to dislodge them, anarchism does not have this intention. Instead, within the framework of the equal freedom of all, it allows any world view, any other system of social order, any unrestricted opportunity to develop — without a corresponding autonomous protective and social community, i.e. without attempting to bring all into a unified scheme. The principle of the equal freedom of all, which is to be respected here, is not a particular theme (among many others) but the necessary precondition for this variety. One may recollect here the Goethe saying which has already been quoted. Also, one needs only to replace certain terms used by Kant (who, by the way, also stated: “Anarchy is freedom without violence!”) in order to agree with him and to achieve what he meant in essence when he stated:

“Right is thus the essence of the conditions under which the arbitrariness of the one can be brought to agree with the arbitrariness of the other according to the general law of freedom.” Just replace “right” in this state with “anarchy” or “the equal freedom of all.”


In the present conceptual confusion and chaos of thought on social relationships, the starting point is decisive. For anarchism the starting point is the individual — the specific individual — in his endless variety from other individuals. The reality of this starting point is incontestable according to the criteria of experienced reality. Thus, what is meant is not the abstraction of “man,” to whom one could easily attribute alleged needs and requirements which at least a greater number of specific individuals do not have at all.

All theses attempting to persuade the individual that “actually” he does not have an independent existence of his own, that he is rather part of an “organism,” or merely the member of a “greater whole” and subject to its laws — indeed that he altogether exists only in his fancy and that “true reality” lies in ideas — all these theses are never advanced by the alleged “superior beings” themselves, but always only by some of the very “negligible” individuals. Such an individual, however, can deliver proof neither for the actual existence of those “superior beings” merely asserted by him, nor, if one assumes their existence, proof of his authority to speak for those beings and to interpret their will correctly.

According to Berdjajeff (De l’esclavage et de la liberté de l’homme, Paris 1963), society is “not an organism but a co-operation.”

This concept corresponds to the term “association” (league or federation) which Proudhon used.

“From this point of view, society is no longer a collective in which each member is only an industrious prisoner, but a community of free and responsible persons whose independence is to be as large as possible,” remarked Jean Marie Muller (GewaltlosWithout Violence, Lucerne-Munich, 1971) on this subject.

Often, quite crude logical errors and conceptual confusions play a part here too. For instance, one sometimes uses the concept of “people” as if it applied to experienced reality (but only insofar as it comprises all individual members of the people concerned, without suggesting inborn “rights” and “duties” towards this totality), while, with the skill of a cardsharp, one then equates a quite different concept of “people” with this. The alleged representatives of this substituted “people” want to determine which individual members of this “people” (and if the occasion arises, all individuals!) have to sacrifice themselves for the alleged interest of this “people.” People in this concept means not all specific individuals but the ideological abstraction of a metaphysical idol.

The same — often unconscious — substitution, due to a lack of ability to make logical distinctions and also due to bad habits, occurs with other concepts, too. For instance, with that of the proletariat. The “liberated working class” is by no means the sum of finally liberated individual workers, but a scourge and a falsification dreamed up by those who (although they are mostly not workers but intellectuals) presume to determine by themselves and dictatorially what corresponds to the “class interest,” what “right consciousness” contains, and what has to be eliminated from it. The total subordination and total dependence of those “liberated” — more total than occurred under an absolute rule — is not substantially mitigated either by some material improvements, since these are as nothing compared with those (withheld from them by a wardship based partly on an imperfect and partly on a completely false theory) which can only be offered by the equal freedom of all. But this very freedom is denied them by those concept-jugglers in the name of a religious dogma, allegedly the only one which can make people happy. The most grotesque distortion, however, lies in the pretence that this religious dogma is the result of objective science.

Remember, attempts to advance beyond our experienced reality into possibly existing (even though unprovable) “superior realities” will not come to an end under anarchy. Thus, neither religious nor ideological ideas will cease. There will be no end to faith. On the contrary: all religions and ideologies will now find a permanently secured backing in the principle of the equal freedom of all and will, within its limits, also enjoy the free exercise of their creeds.

But the delusion will end that one’s own “sacred beliefs,” unprovable assertions, give one a “right” to subject all others to one’s own opinion, to push into their freedom sphere and to enlarge one’s own freedom at their expense.

In anarchy there is a parting of the ways, or to be more exact, this decision is already made by each individual, even before a general condition of anarchy, of non-domination, occurs. There will be ones who declare themselves for the right of the jungle but now will have to make do without the previous covers of “superior norms” and “higher things” in general, like, e.g. “class interest.” For what today is common knowledge to only a tiny minority of sociologists and theorists of cognition, and of anarchists who have partly built upon these insights and partly lived in accordance with them in a purely instinctive way, will (once the breakthrough of this basically simple recognition is achieved) soon become quite clear even to any child. Then everyone will have a reliable, concrete criterion of behaviour for any situation.

Those striving for agreement will have to defend themselves against the adherents of the law of the jungle. Since a lasting condition of agreement is not possible in any other way than on a foundation without privileges and with equal rights (i.e. on the basis of the equal freedom of all), it is also essential and unavoidable that the overwhelming majority should become conscious anarchists in the end. For those people declaring themselves openly for aggressive force probably form only a small minority under today’s conditions and thus can be quickly dealt with if, in spite of warnings, they continue to act as disturbers of the peace.

Of course, there will always be interference with the freedom of others, some impulsive, some due to folly, some even undertaken in good faith. There will be border-line cases in which a conscious violation of the principle occurs — for instance, in order to prevent someone from committing suicide — with the intention of preserving the well-understood interest (from the viewpoint of the judging person!) of someone who is, apparently and temporarily, not clear on this. If such offenders against the principle are prepared to acknowledge their violation and, if necessary, to pay indemnification, even when they acted with “the best intentions” (for no matter how good an intention, even it cannot justify aggressive intervention into the freedom sphere of another), then they are, nevertheless, consistent anarchists.

Only if one proceeds from the specific individual, as a provable reality, will one avoid the dangers which result from collective concepts through substituting for reality an ideology or, perhaps, a personified abstraction, i.e. a thought game which finds no support in experienced reality. This substitution occurred with Marx also. To be sure, he claimed to proceed from real, specific human beings, but then he defined them as the “product of social conditions,” i.e. as a bloodless abstraction without individual characteristics. Moreover, he even made himself a judge of the specific individual’s “wrong consciousness,” setting him the “ideal,” in his opinion, of the “right” man as a goal. Then he wanted dictatorially to enforce the fulfillment of this goal since he believed himself (like any other prophet) to be enlightened and infallible. But in doing so, he only followed faithfully the trail of German idealist philosophy, for the “materialism” of his concept of history lies only in the name, since a purposeful “law of development” means nothing other than a divine will — or Hegel’s “world spirit” in a new disguise.

Quite apart from Marx’s at best defective substantiation of this alleged law of development (for which he has only chosen those facts which fitted his theory and neglected any opposing ones), any assignment of “goals” limiting the self- determination and will of the individual, as well as the equal freedom of all, goes beyond the framework of experienced reality, i.e. beyond what can be scientifically comprehended, and so belongs in the category of ideologies (which are unprovable as to their true character) and of mere propaganda for a subjective ideal.

In contrast, the anarchist holds the scientifically established, unshakable and realistic point of view that any alien will intent upon bending one’s own will by referring to a “goal” (as a human being, a member of a nation, a citizen, a class comrade or anything else) or by referring to any divine, ethical, moral, natural or other law while thereby exceeding the limit of the equal freedom of all, simply exercises aggressive force which tries to hide behind untenable “justifications.” As long as an individual’s own will and actions move within the borders drawn by the fact that he is not alone in the world but lives together with others who claim a freedom sphere and freedom of action equal to his own, his actions must remain free from alien forceful intervention (even if his actions appear to others to be “objectively” unreasonable and dangerous to himself). This naturally applies especially where such an intervention takes place in order to adapt him to the ideal imagined by the aggressor or to a concept which the aggressor has of alleged “rights and duties,” i.e. those not based on voluntary agreements.

Concretely expressed: the anarchist rejects, on principle, not only the State as a compulsory organization and the main aggressor, but also any compulsory organization which wants to establish itself within or without the State as its successor, especially any dictatorship — a foreign one as well as one in one’s own country.

Thus communities, communes or any other such groupings have no right to restrict the equal freedom of all in any way except with the consent of those concerned. Compulsory insurances and compulsory corporations of any kind must end, in the same way as all privileges, monopolies, and oligopolies.

Yet not only those laws which contradict the equal freedom of all must be removed, but also all customs and habits which do the same, and often more severely than any law. Likewise, in families any remnants of domination, any handicapping of women or of children, must disappear.

Of course, not all laws aim to restrict the equal freedom of all. Indeed, some particular ones, at least according to their intentions, aim at its protection, even though often inappropriately. Laws with this tendency could well remain in force by being subscribed to by the autonomous protective and social communities which replace the State.

Here lies one of the most senseless misunderstandings of anarchism: The abolition of the State is to take place precisely because of its criminal aggressiveness, for anarchism is directed against any aggressive force. But this abolition does not at all mean that, at the same time, also those limitations on criminal acts (like, for instance, murder, manslaughter, bodily injury, rape, robbery, theft, fraud, etc.) have to be dropped which have been achieved up to now as part of the functions of the State. (Most are mistaken in seeing this as its main function). Anarchy or non-domination does not mean a renunciation of the organized defence of life, freedom and rightful property, but has exactly this organized defence — on a voluntary basis — as a self-evident precondition.

In other words: the existing States would be at once acceptable to anarchists if they were to remove from their constitutions and practices all privileges, monopolies and oligopolies and accepted the equal freedom of all as their basic law.

The anarchistic principle of the equal freedom of all applies not only to institutions but, without exception, to all relationships, even the most private ones between human beings. It condemns, for instance, in the same way, the molestation and impairment of the health of others by excessive noise by poisoning of the air, by pollution of the water and by contamination of the land, and it fosters corresponding measures for the protection of the environment.

The starting point is always the specific individual, with his individual characteristics. No “goal,” no “duty” (with the exception of a self-chosen one) and no “ideal” stands above him — not even the “ideal” of freedom, even if the equal freedom of all is understood by this. For this freedom is not an “ideal” in the usually accepted sense, but a compromise, resulting from agreement on the only possible basis which can endure, since in this way nobody is favoured or disadvantaged. This compromise follows on the one hand from the mutual rejection of the law of the jungle and of aggressive force, and on the other hand from the recognition that, due to the absence of proof for the existence of “superior” commands or inborn “rights” or “duties,” this compromise is the only alternative to the law of the jungle.

All attempts to create “general happiness” or the “greatest possible happiness for the greatest possible number” have resulted only in pretentiousness and have at the same time demonstrated that it is impossible for someone to determine what makes or should make other people happy. Anarchism begins with the fact that neither the concepts that individuals have of happiness, nor their feelings, wishes and wills can be reduced to a common denominator. Consequently, with respect for the total diversity between all individual human beings (whose absolute uniqueness was rightly stressed by Stirner and has also been confirmed by modern anthropology), the decisive point can only be to assure each individual as large a freedom of sphere as possible, one in accordance with his will, his, feelings, and his wishes, no matter how misguided he may appear to be to others. The only limitation is the equal freedom sphere of all others. Thus, no one may claim for himself an excess at the expense of others. This means at the same time that no one may use force against others, except in defence against aggressive acts from their side.

Only this mutual non-intervention in the sovereignty of all individuals leads to a genuine sovereignty of the “people” (of that “people” consisting of the sum of all individual members, according to the criteria of experienced reality and in the non-ideological sense). Conversely, the ideological falsification of the concept “people” (with a short-circuit in logic) places an actual sovereign above the alleged sovereign. The actual sovereign, a dictator, is the State bureaucracy and public institutions (which arose from the will only of a part of the actual people, who were, moreover, manipulated). If the people were actually sovereign, then there would be neither a government nor governed any longer, at least not in today’s sense. Only voluntary members of autonomous protective and social communities or non-members of such communities would remain.

Any abstraction of the concept of freedom leads to confusion, while the equal freedom of all is highly concrete, for it can be determined in each particular case whether the freedom of action claimed by one is greater than that of another and is against his will and at his expense. There are people who assert that they can only be “really free” when all are free, meaning by this that all others must obtain inner freedom like them, and even liberate themselves from any self-chosen dependency. This is a Utopian — although quite understandable — wish, but one that leads to the dangerous intention of wanting to “liberate” even those who do not want to be “liberated” (made happy) at all because, for instance, security may seem more desirable to them than freedom. The equal freedom of all also includes the freedom to be a slave, or at least to remain in voluntary dependence upon others.

It is also a falsification of the concept of freedom in social relations when, for instance, “true freedom” is seen in freeing people from material cares, which amounts to unrestricted consumption, i.e. the ideal of communism. This means, in practice, the exploitation of the capable by the incapable, of the industrious by the lazy, and the strong by the weak. In any case, total control of the means of production and thus decisive control over the most important manifestations of human life are usurped by superior authorities, whether they call themselves “the State” or something else.

In all these cases of falsified freedom concept, so-called “freedom” is turned into an ideology, rising as a “goal” above individuals and requiring them to adapt to it. But anarchy rejects any domination including also that of such a “freedom.”

“Nothing is more wonderful than the man who breaks his chains and strikes his oppressors with them,” says John Henry Mackay in his Abrechnung (Final Account), Berlin, 1932. There he also states:

“What do you know of freedom? — As good as nothing. You have still to learn its most simple basic concepts.
There is no absolute freedom.
There is only an equal freedom of all.
The equal freedom of all limits your freedom. As soon as you come in touch with others — it is no longer absolute (as it would be if you were alone).
You cannot exist by yourself.
You need others.
See to it that they need you, too. Otherwise you are finished. What do we expect, what do we still hope for, after we have rejected what alone can still save us?
You thoughtless and sluggish fellow, you let yourself be dragged along by the time in which you live and through your life -one day, freedom will teach you and compel you to stand on your own two feet.
‘What, freedom compels?’
‘Yes, indeed. It will confront you with the necessity of attending to your own affairs, instead of entrusting them to others.’

“Even someone who acts merely defensively against aggression thereby ‘compels’ the aggressor to abstain from this act. Concept clarity and precision of terms distinguish anarchism from other systems of social order, also.”

Anarchism must begin with the specific individual and place him in the centre of its system of references, because every collective which asserts “rights” over the individual which the individual did not concede to it appears with an unprovable claim for domination. One must also take into consideration the fact that a collective as such cannot “appear” by itself. Instead, again and again, there are only individuals who claim to act in the name of the collective and as its representatives. However, to recognize their legitimacy would mean nothing other than recognizing the domination of individuals over other individuals.


Above all, the individual must be economically independent — every individual. Thus he must also be able to possess a means of production by himself if he prefers this to collaboration with others. Equal access to land for everyone, the elimination of all privileges and monopolies and “open productive associations” will see to it that the private ownership of the means of production can no longer be abused as is done at present.

This emphasis upon the individual means neither his isolation nor lack of solidarity. But the latter must be voluntary and not enforced. As for the rest, social reciprocity (mutuality) is necessary in the self-interest of the individual.

Marxism sees the real evil in economic exploitation by private capitalists. But it misconstrues the historical role of the State, which not only institutionalized this exploitation but — as its main task — also defends it constantly and even has added another exploitation too, that by the apparatus of State for itself. Marxism equates nationalization of the means of production with the abolition of classes (which were never exactly defined by Marx) and expects from this the automatic disappearance of the State. This is a theory which is self-contradictory and has been clearly proven wrong by the peoples’ democracies with their new class divisions and their totalitarian State system. Marxism’s primitive theory of surplus value has especially contributed to its wrong conclusions. It explains only one factor of exploitation and this only within the sphere of production. It has overlooked the much more important role of interest and land rent and also exploitation in other economic and social spheres, as for example in commerce.

In contrast to this, anarchism proves that economic exploitation, political oppression and mental subjugation are only different outward manifestations with the same origin — a condition of domination. With the abolition of all domination, not only economic exploitation will cease but also political and mental suppression. To achieve this, no dictatorship is needed, but merely a defensive organization against new attempts at aggression.

Anarchism is the only social system which does not aim at oppression, since mere defence against aggression, i.e. against attempts to oppress, cannot be rightly called oppression. It struggles to achieve a situation in which even the previous dominators and profiteers will enjoy the benefits of the equal freedom of all in the new social order. But it is not tolerant towards intolerance.

For, naturally, anarchism does not rely upon the enlightened self-restraint of the previous oppressors and beneficiaries of monopoly capitalism and of those defending the concept of domination for other motives, especially does not believe in the self-restraint of those believing in ideologies, or addicted to guardianship and to enforced felicity. To protect the individual, who is often weak in the face of assaults by drunks, rowdies and psychopaths and also from any aggression (like, for instance, one-sided breach of contract), a non-aggressive and purely defensive “police” and system of arbitration courts are necessary. These will be among the most important institutions of autonomous protective and social communities.

In most such communities, as long as States of the present kind still exist, a militia will be considered necessary for defence against those addicted to power.

The present States have to disappear entirely, since their existence is not only directed against their own “State members” (nationals) but against everybody in the whole world. With their monopoly claim to a certain piece of the Earth’s surface, they restrict the equal claim of everyone to the whole Earth. They also discriminate against “aliens” within their territories and commit aggressions which have effects beyond their frontiers through numerous measures such as custom duties, dumping prices, and export subsidies financed with stolen money.

Seen merely from the outside, these autonomous protective and social communities will differ from States only in the following points, which are, however, decisive.

  1. They do not have any territorial monopoly, i.e. no “sovereignty” in the present sense, within a separate section of the Earth’s surface. Their members can live dispersed all over the world, like members of a church or a private association.

  2. There is no compulsory membership in these autonomous protective and social communities. Instead, membership is voluntary, similar to that in a private insurance company. Notice periods of approximately six months or a year can be agreed upon.

  3. As a basic law of all such autonomous protective and social communities, the equal freedom of all must be applied, especially externally towards non-members. Internally, i.e. for relations among their own members only, constitutions can place restrictions upon the freedom of action of individual members — whose general approval has been given by their voluntary enrolment. But such restrictions can also be legislated according to the majority principle — if a particular constitution provides for this. Those dissenting could be granted a special claim to be exempted from the law concerned — and this quite apart from their fundamental right to secede individually, after due notice has been given. The voluntary limitation of the equal freedom of all for oneself does not contradict this principle. Only the restriction of the equal freedom of all against their will and at their expense does this.

While the settlement of differences among members of the same autonomous protective and social community is, whenever necessary, arranged in accordance with its special rules, it would be advisable to establish in the constitutions of all autonomous protective and social communities that, in the interest of objectivity, none of their members may settle his disputes with the members of other autonomous protective and social communities by force, but must have them settled by an arbitration court consisting of representatives of the autonomous protective and social communities concerned, under a neutral chairman.

For world-wide relationships, a supreme arbitration and appeals court can also be arranged to replace the present UN, whose faults result from being established on the “principle of sovereignty,” i.e. on the law of the big fist of today’s States.

Anarchy will thus abolish only imposed laws, but not those which members of autonomous protective and social communities have given themselves for internal application only and to which they submit voluntarily.

However, anarchy or non-domination does not mean that one may now determine quite arbitrarily and one-sidedly which of one’s claims upon commissions and omissions by others these people must tolerate. For anarchism precisely opposes such arbitrariness directed against individuals and groups as has been practiced up to now, especially by States. In all cases where there is no voluntary consent by those concerned and no arrangement exists, every claim and every action must remain within the framework of the equal freedom of all. This offers an exact measure. Both contestants, in order not to put themselves in the wrong, must be prepared from the outset to accept a neutral arbitration court no matter how firmly convinced they are in the evident justice of their claim.

Under the condition of anarchy, in the absence of domination, there is thus true justice, based upon contracts of the most varied kinds. Arbitration courts with executive powers will see to the observance of these contracts, since every one-sided breach of a contract constitutes an infringement of the basic principle by claiming excessive freedom of action for one at the expense and against the will of others. If two people dispute an object or behaviour for which there is no contractual arrangement between them, then the principle of the equal freedom of all offers, in all cases, a criterion for the decision by a neutral arbitration court. Should one of the parties concerned not belong to any autonomous protective and social community, or, on principle, deny the equal freedom of all by claiming a privilege for himself, or should he admit to being an adherent of the law of the jungle, then he will get into conflict with the whole autonomous protective and social community of which his opponent is a member and will not get support from anyone. It is thus merely a question of expediency and power how he will be treated. If he does not agree to a peaceful settlement by a neutral arbitration court, then one can limit oneself at first to a strictly defensive reaction against his aggression and leave the door open for final agreement with him. This should be the rule. However, this defensive reaction will generally also include forceful recovery of damages and of the defence costs caused by the aggression. Should the troublemaker repeat his aggression or continue openly to insist upon the law of the jungle, then the defenders of the equal freedom of all can also reverse the spear and regard the law of the jungle as a contract offer of the aggressor and make use of it against him — and this with all suitable means, which may go as far as the destruction of an aggressor who is not open to reasoning.

Thus it is pure nonsense to assert that in anarchy everyone has absolute unlimited freedom to do what he pleases, or alternatively, to assert that anarchy lacks rightful order or is identical with lawlessness. Even more nonsensical is the assertion that for lack of a protective organization or of any organization at all, the strong could at any time fall upon the weak. For only compulsory organizations are to disappear, those to which one has to belong nowadays against one’s will, organizations which practice aggressive force. Anarchism is the most confirmed opponent of aggressive force and thus, on principle, also of terrorism.

In a condition without domination, there will be no lack of organizations or institutions considered useful and necessary by a number of participants — as long as they are prepared to pay the costs themselves and do not impose them upon others against their will.

Then there will be far more freedom of action for all, i.e. opportunities to live according to one’s special wishes, than is the case today even in the most advanced democracy. For in his own special autonomous protective and social community, no one will any longer be subjected to the manifold obstructions, compromises and restrictions which are today forced upon us, in the compulsory organization State, by those who think differently from us.


Anarchism is not a movement which aims only at the liberation of the proletariat, nor does it see its only or even its main task in deliverance from exploitation.

For under present conditions, not only the worker, dependent upon wages, is subjected to exploitation, since the rule of monopolies and privileges (and the exploitation resulting from these) extend — even though to a different degree — to all consumers, i.e. to all professions, all people. Even monopolists and privileged persons of one kind are in their turn subject to monopolists and privileged people of other types — whereby one need only to remember the main monopolist, the State. The abolition of economic exploitation is certainly a very important task, but not at all the decisive one — because it is just one of the consequences of domination. Although exploitation is far more varied and comprehensive than the Marxist delusion has realized, the actual extent of what is taken from the working people in so-called surplus value, interest and land rent is relatively unimportant — compared with the disproportionately greater quantity of goods which cannot be produced at all, even though the preconditions are given, in the form of working power and technology, particularly because of the barrier function of monopoly interest, but also because of other effects of the domination system. This is a loss which affects not only the exploited but the exploiters themselves, although they are unaware of its extent and effects.

In many countries, millions of unemployed people are thus condemned to inactivity, existing industrial capacities can only be partly utilized and the creation of new products and services, in itself quite possible, remains unrealized even though an enormous quantity of unsatisfied demand, already among those condemned to unemployment against their will, could ensure their full employment.

The general low standard of living in the State socialist countries (which, more correctly, should be called State capitalistic countries) also proves that not only a more equal distribution of the available means of production and consumption is the decisive point. For the command economy — with its continuous planning mistakes, its shortages of supplies, and its low productivity — cannot even compete with monopoly capitalism, in spite of the latter’s already mentioned handicaps, and, of course, could not compete at all with an economy liberated from all obstructions under anarchy.

Above all, Marxism mixes up cause and effect by considering political as well as mental domination as a consequence and mere superstructure of economic exploitation, while in reality, the contrary is true and domination is the precondition and cause of economic exploitation. Believers in peoples’ “democracies” are of the mistaken opinion that by this “democracy” the “rule of man over man” is eliminated. In fact, domination is only taken over by the State, i.e. by the party which commands the State functionaries. But do not the functionaries of the State, and party members standing above them, practice domination also, and aren’t they people as well?

Even where the income differential of such functionaries is not so large and evident as between the top and the average earners in capitalistic countries, they do, nevertheless, enjoy so many hidden privileges, and in the hands of those dominating in the peoples’ democracies there is also such an enormous amount of power and prestige, that this means more for most people than the amount of their income. Above all, there is an immense difference between the freedom of the one group and the freedom of the others — and at the expense of the latter. Anarchists hold that this condition, maintained only by aggressive force, has to be eliminated, as well as any other domination altogether.

Anarchists are socialists, since they reject not only economic exploitation, but also any other oppression, not only oppression exercised against themselves, but especially oppression or exploitation exercised by themselves against others. Their principle, not to want to dominate anyone (which precedes their refusal to become dominated themselves) and not to want to practice any aggression against the limit of the equal freedom of all, is a social one, (i.e. one that applies with regard to their fellow human beings and society) and at the same time rational (since it is based on indisputable facts and is non-ideological). But they are socialists free of dogmas and are prepared at all times to revise their point of view if any errors can be demonstrated.

The concept of socialism has been wrongly usurped and monopolized by the State socialists, who have at the same time raised untenable ideological assertions. But even long before Marx there were socialist thinkers without State-socialist blinkers — although they were not always free of ideology either. However, there can also be anarchists, of course, who start from an ideology. Whoever, for example, considers the principle of the equal freedom of all as a divine order or as identical with “the moral law in itself,” one which would speak equally and unmistakably to everyone, can be an exemplary anarchist in his practical behaviour. But then he renounces the strongest argument with which he can lead dissenting people to recognize that, once one penetrates all errors, finally there can be no enduring solution to the problem of social order other than the anarchistic one.

Benjamin R. Tucker, a representative of classical anarchism, in his treatise about State Socialism and Anarchism: How Far They Agree and Wherein They Differ, written in 1886, quoted the Frenchman Ernest Lesigne:

“There are two Socialisms.

One is communistic, the other solidaritarian.

One is dictatorial, the other libertarian.

One is metaphysical, the other positive.

One is dogmatic, the other scientific.

One is emotional, the other reflective.

One is destructive, the other constructive.

Both are in pursuit of the greatest possible welfare for all.

One aims to establish happiness for all, the other to enable each to be happy in his own way.

The first regards the State as a society sui generis, of an especial essence, the product of a sort of divine right outside of and above all society, with special rights and able to exact special obedience; the second considers the State as an association like any other, generally managed worse than others.

The first proclaims the sovereignty of the State; the second recognizes no sort of sovereign.

One wishes all monopolies to be held by the State; the other wishes the abolition of all monopolies.

One wishes the governed class to become the governing class; the other wishes the disappearance of classes.

Both declare that the existing state of things cannot last.

The first considers revolution as the indispensable agent of evolution.
The second teaches that repression alone turns evolution into revolution.

The first has faith in a cataclysm.
The second knows that social progress will result from the free play of individual efforts.

Both understand that we are entering upon a new historic phase.

One wishes that there should be none but proletaires.
The other wishes that there should be no more proletaires.

The first wishes to take everything from everybody.
The second wishes to leave each in possession of its own.

The one wishes to expropriate everybody.
The other wishes everybody to be a proprietor.

The first says: ‘Do as the government wishes.’
The other says: ‘Do as you wish yourself.’

The former threatens with despotism.
The latter promises liberty.

The former makes the citizen the subject of the State.
The latter makes the State the employee of the citizen.

One proclaims that labour pains will be necessary to the birth of the new world.
The other’ declares that real progress will not cause suffering to any one.

The first has confidence in social war.
The other believes only in the works of peace.

One aspires to command, to regulate, to legislate.
The other wishes to attain the minimum of command, of regulation, of legislation.

One would be followed by the most atrocious of reactions.
The other opens unlimited horizons to progress.

The first will fail; the other will succeed.

Both desire equality.

One by lowering heads that are too high.
The other by raising heads that are too low.

One sees equality under a common yoke.
The other will secure equality in complete liberty.

One is intolerant, the other tolerant.

One frightens, the other reassures.

The first wishes to instruct everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to instruct himself.

The first wishes to support everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to support himself.

One says:

‘The land to the State.
‘The mine to the State.
‘The tool to the State.
‘The product to the State

The other says:

‘The land to the cultivator.
‘The mine to the miner.
‘The tool to the labourer.
‘The product to the producer.

There are only these two Socialisms.

One is the infancy of Socialism; the other is its manhood.

One is already the past; the other is the future.

One will give place to the other.

Today each of us must choose for one or the other of these two Socialisms, or else confess that he is not a Socialist.”

Some of the above theses and antitheses could be formulated more precisely, but they should be understandable in connection with what was said before. It would be worth considering whether one should abstain from the usual classification which places anarchism on the utmost left, since it keeps itself equally far away from right and left ideologies and really represents, between prophets on the right and prophets on the left, “the world’s child in the middle.” This is all the more so, since, as explained, any rejection of jungle law must consequently result in anarchism, especially genuine democracy with the emancipation claim of the individual and with pluralism.

Fascism — a half-brother of Communism which also grew up on the soil of the class struggle — has, to a large extent, goals and methods in common with communism: aggressive force as a means, a dogma which does not tolerate doubts, a de-facto domination by a few who (regardless of the natural inequality among human beings and the infinite variety of their feelings and wants) intend to regulate and command everything in all spheres, while naming, with Lenin, that respect for the equal freedom sphere of others, which constitutes the essence of anarchism, a mere “bourgeois prejudice.” These are adherents of the law of the jungle — even though not always conscious ones. They are believers in unprovable “truths.”


Lincoln once asked: “How many legs has a sheep if you call its tail a leg?” — When one of those who never die out answered: “Five,” Lincoln smiled and replied: “It does not matter what you call a thing — even arbitrarily against common sense — it only matters what and how it really is.”

What anarchism really is, as here presented and correctly named, differs very much from those labels for behaviour and persons in which the designations anarchism, anarchy and anarchists have been used quite arbitrarily and totally incorrectly.

There are mainly two crude misunderstandings and prejudices which have hitherto marked the concepts of anarchy and anarchism. Firstly, there is the opinion that anarchists and terrorists and nihilists trying to realize their aims by means of dagger and dynamite — above all by assassination and in any case, by “force.” According to the second opinion, they are utopians, insofar as they are striving for an “ideal condition” which is irreconcilable with human nature — and this after dissolving all social and organizational ties, so that anarchy must lead to chaos and an endless fight of all against all.

In order to expose the untenability of the first prejudice, it should already be sufficient to compare the number of assassinations committed by those who called themselves anarchists or, however falsely, were called anarchists, with the number of assassinations committed for quite different motives by defenders of the most diverse forms of domination. The first can be counted on one’s fingers, while, for instance, in 1970 in the United States alone there were approximately 5,000 assassinations and bomb attacks, and numerous others in many other countries of the world — for instance in Israel and Ireland — all for religious, nationalistic, racial or other causes. In all the latter cases the aim was always to impose an ideology, to subjugate dissenters and to erect an arbitrary domination.

What has such behaviour to do with real anarchism, which has made non- aggression its principle, even by its refusal to rule over others or to interfere with the equal freedom of others?

Actually, no single assassination has ever been committed by an anarchist. All genuine anarchists have always rejected aggressive force on principle, and especially terrorist activities, as inexpedient and harmful to their aims.

In the few cases (mostly in the 19th century) in which assassins called themselves “anarchists,” they were partly pathological muddleheads or ideologically confused people with no idea of real anarchism, and striving for the fame of a Herostratus, and partly fanatics whose real aim was a communism strictly opposed to anarchism.

Of course, as already mentioned, there will be an opportunity for adherents of a communist economic system to practice it within the framework of the equal freedom of all, i.e. on a strictly voluntary basis and without any privileges over other groups or individuals. These people can then be genuine anarchists, whose economic system is simply one of the possible forms of non-domination. There are, however, other followers of this economic system who are libertarian communists (i.e. they reject State communism) but who call themselves anarchists and consider the communist, or at least collectivist economic system a precondition of anarchism. Therefore, they oppose everything that was explained here as the fundamental essence and consequence of non-domination. According to them, the individual has no equal rights but rates only second behind the collective under various appellations — whether “community,” “commune,” or “council system” — raises an exclusive claim to dispose over all means of production, land and even capital goods, and denies the individual exclusive disposal rights over the means of production as well as over the product of his own work. This strict communist line, with its principle of production according to ability and of consumption according to need, thus claims a “right” to the products of the labour of others, even against their will, while the collectivist section of “libertarianism” wants to take the performance principle into consideration, nevertheless, arrives at best at the democratic majority principle. Both, indeed, honestly wish to abolish most of what today is imposed by the State, but in this decisive aspect (i.e. the economic freedom of the individual, within the equal freedom of all), they remain stuck in governmental thinking, for their collective cannot mask that it is to be something superior to the individual, even something with a monopoly claim. Add to this the fact that such a collective can neither think nor act in a uniform way. Thus it leads either to liberal democracy with the majority principle, or to self-appointed functionaries who manipulate the great number of those who are always inclined to be “led” in the name of an imagined collective.

They are often lovable people and mostly idealistic dreamers, but not anarchists, even though one may hope that one day they will become anarchists. In a society without domination, and perhaps even before that, they will have the opportunity to demonstrate the alleged advantages of their system within voluntary groups in such a way that others may voluntarily join. But they must not hinder anybody

a) from disposing over means of production — even as an individual (with the exception of those which give him a monopoly or market-dominating influence),

b) in his equal-rights access to land, independent of majority resolutions, and

c) from consuming the products of his work at his discretion or from exchanging them with other individuals.

Those sporadic assassins and terrorists whose “propaganda by action” has done such infinite harm to the case of genuine anarchism, also came from the ranks of revolutionary “libertarians” who incorrectly call themselves anarchists.

Since all violent acts receive special and extensive publicity, the fateful consequence has been that in the press, on radio and television, and in books also, all actions and utterances of libertarian revolutionaries of this brand are generally ascribed to anarchism.

One should not be surprised that State communists miss no opportunity to condemn or ridicule their sharpest critics and counterparts, the anarchists. Of course, they are careful not to mention the concepts and theses of genuine anarchism, and instead, describe matters as if only so-called “communist anarchism” existed and as if this were all there were to anarchism. For it is easy to “disprove” communist anarchism from the State communist point of view.

However, it is striking and suggests uniform stage direction when all the mass media, together with all Stat authorities named, for instance, the Baader-Meinhof gang and its followers as “anarchists” — although the people concerned expressly rejected this designation and always called themselves “Rote Armee Fraktion “ (Red Army Group), while the anarchists’ flag is black — as is well known. Moreover, they always declared that they aimed at armed insurrection to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat in the sense of Marxist ideology, while anarchists, on principle, are non-aggressive and reject any dictatorship.

The past president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (in West Germany), Dr. Guenther Nollau, allowed himself even the impudent falsification of calling the murderers of the two Kennedys “anarchists,” although the first’s relation to communism and the second’s nationalistic motivation were evident. He did the same regarding the ringleaders of the spectacular breakout of prisoners from San Rafael, U.S.A. in August 1970, which cost four lives. Here the killers were connected, although only loosely, with Angela Davis, and their radical motivation in combination with communist tendencies was also clear. Finally, the same happened with the Italian publisher Feltrinelli, although he had compiled a Marxist archive which was only a little behind that of the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, and although his relations with Guevara and Castro were known too.

All such actions quite obviously serve the purpose of creating prejudices against and inciting the great mass of people against anarchism — because its realistic and enlightening efforts are feared.

The distorted image of the anarchists also includes the image of the lost dreamers not know what he wants, and this image is diligently spread in public.

Then one needs only substitute for genuine anarchism the views of libertarian communism, which run under the same name, or throw both together, and one can already observe “contradictions” or an unrealistically “optimistic view of human nature,” as Walter Theimer’s dictionary of politics asserts. And then a Mr. James Joll comes along pretending to provide some kind of vindication of the honour of anarchism, for one can read on the cover of the German issue (Die AnarchistenThe Anarchists, Berlin, 1966 and London, 1964):

“Associated with the concept of anarchism in general consciousness is the figure of a terrorist who, in a dark raincoat, with his hat pulled over his eyes, has just lit the fuse of a bomb. This type — as well as the corresponding theory of the merciless use of violence — has indeed played a role, but it represents only one aspect of the anarchist movement, or perhaps only a borderline case. Ignorance is also demonstrated by the wider spread against all, at chaos.... Anarchists believe in the good in human beings and their perfectibility.”

But later, in the final chapter, he writes that the experiences of the last 150 years seem to illustrate, again and again, that contradictions and absurdities from which anarchist theory suffers and how difficult, if not altogether impossible, it is to put into practice. There are, indeed, contradictions and absurdities in libertarian communism, which is not anarchism at all, though Joll has almost exclusively confined himself to it, while genuine anarchists get almost no say at all in his writings. It is also correct that libertarian communism has an all too optimistic concept of human nature and is, therefore, much more difficult to practice than State communism with its compulsory system. But all this has nothing at all to do with genuine anarchism.

Joll also asserts the absurdity that all fundamental theses of anarchism argue against the development of large industry, against mass production and mass consumption ... and he claims that man in the new society will live quite simply and modestly and will gladly and voluntarily renounce the technological achievements of the industrial age. It is into such hair-raising idiocy that Joll falsifies even the theses of the libertarian communists, who have always stressed that with technological development a much shorter working time will be required to achieve a multiple of today’s production goods. But genuine anarchism even more expects increased technical development and growth in production, limited only by requirements of environmental protection, through the abolition of the principle of domination and of all privileges and monopolies. It has nothing against large industries — if their present monopoly and market-dominating character is eliminated by Open Productive Associations.

Joll draws not only a false but even a falsified picture of anarchism by mentioning its true representatives, Godwin and Proudhon, only in passing, while dealing extensively with the concepts of the libertarian communists and giving the impression that this is the real anarchism. To say that the theories of libertarian communism suffer from logical flaws and false premises is, of course, quite easy, and genuine anarchism says exactly the same. Joll, however, contrived to impute to this anarchism (pleonastically called “individualist anarchism” by its adherents in order to distinguish it as much as possible from the concept of anarchism abused by the libertarian communists) a tendency to be altogether anti-social! — But what is more social than not oppressing, not wanting to dominate others, respecting their equal freedom, and abolishing every exploitation?

Joll keeps completely silent on the literature of anarchism (especially rich in the English language) by authors like Stephen Pearl Andrews, Arsene Alexandre, Henry Appleton, John Badcock Jr., Hugo Bilgram, Edmund Burke, Charles A. Dana, Sigmund Englaender, C. T. Fowler, William Gilmour, William B. Greene, J. K. Ingalls, Auberon Herbert, John F. Kelly, S. E. Parker, Henry Seymour, F. D. Tandy, Lysander Spooner, Albert Tarn, James L. Walker, Josiah Warren, Victor Yarros. He especially omits the classical representatives of anarchism, like Benjamin R. Tucker and John Henry Mackay — and E. Armand, too. Stirner, whom he regards as a thinker who is neither important nor interesting, is mentioned only once with a short quotation out of context. Even his assertion that anarchists believe in the good in man has only the aim of discrediting him as a starry-eyed Utopian.

Anarchists believe neither in inborn nor in gradually to be acquired “goodness,” and not in a special measure of reason in the average man either. However, they do believe quite realistically in the effect of a truncheon, defensively wielded by the autonomous protective and social communities, rapping severely on the knuckles of those who reach beyond the limit of the equal freedom of all in order to steal for themselves an excessive amount of freedom at the expense of others.

It is also absurd when Joll attributes to anarchists the abolition of all social and organizational relationships. Only those based on aggressive force are to disappear — but none of those which correspond to any interest or need. It is only anarchism that gives concrete contents to Kant’s formalistic categorical imperative.

By social behaviour Joll obviously understands only good deeds financed by money taken forcefully out of the pockets of others. But among all the grounds for the alleged necessity of the State, one of the most sentimental, and at the same time least thought out, is that of care for the weak and helpless. To this, anarchists say point-blank that the individual has no more a right to such care from “society” than society has a duty towards him — unless such rights and duties have been established by agreements, i.e. voluntarily granted or assumed. To foster such arguments will be one of the most important tasks of the autonomous protective and social communities. Since the general standard of living will rise considerably under anarchy, while enormous expenditures for arms and other expenses which only serve to secure domination will cease, there will be much more money available than today for general welfare purposes, and this from the autonomous protective and social communities to which everyone will belong in his own well-understood interest, as well as from the already extensive network of voluntary welfare organizations.

Since anarchism, contrary to communism, does not consider religion merely an “opium of the people,” it will prescribe, for instance, no limit to the voluntary practice of Christian love towards one’s neighbour, and instead will welcome it. Apart from that, as John Henry Mackay pointed out, an anarchist society will no more tolerate undeserved distress — quite apart from religious or ideological motives — than a neat person will tolerate spots on his clothing — i.e. for aesthetic reasons.


The concept of terrorism is, right from the start, opposed to the fundamental anarchist principle. Whoever on his own — and not merely compulsorily — renounces any intention to dominate others or to over-extend his own freedom at the expense of others is already on principle no terrorist — even if he defends himself with physical means against others who want to expand their freedom sphere forcefully and at his expense.

But such a defence must always strike only the actual aggressor. It must neither strike nor endanger any outsider. In dictatorships, which make any efforts at enlightenment by the spoken or written word, as well as any evolutionary development, practically impossible, even assassination attempts against leading representatives would fall under the concept of defence, provided only that any harm to innocent persons were avoided. (Nevertheless, even in dictatorship the expediency of such defence has to be thoroughly considered.) This action would merely correspond to the “democratic right to resist,” but it respects the inviolability of the individual’s freedom far more than the latter.

To be sure, in the Western democracies also, the State as such, as a compulsory association with a claim to a monopoly use of force, is clearly aggressive — since it denies the equal freedom of all in relations between itself and individuals, as well as between individuals and groups. Real (i.e. consistent) anarchists nevertheless reject defence with physical means (although this would, of course, be justified in itself) in the democratic State as well as in relations between individuals, and they also reject any general revolutionary movement. Their reasons for this are very complex.

1. Individual action is senseless, seeing that the minor success (at best) which can be achieved will not outweigh the risk to the life or freedom of an anarchist. Besides, there is the difficulty of determining the real aggressor and of hitting only him. Is it the minor official who “within the law” does “his duty” with the best conscience — because the actual aggressive act is hidden behind the democratic veil of the alleged equality of all before the law and so does not appear to him to be aggressive at all? Or is it the responsible minister who refers to his parliamentary authorization and feels responsible only towards it? Or are the parliamentary representatives the aggressors, those who maintain that they act only on behalf of the voters, of the majority among these? Such a majority does, undoubtedly, grant carte blanche without realizing what it does and without consciousness of injustice or of aggression. Of course, the absence of this consciousness cannot free any of those named from liability for actual aggressive acts — but against whom shall an individual defender direct himself? Shall he destroy that tiny wheel in a gigantic machine with which he accidentally has to deal? Or shall he throw a bomb into any assembly of human beings, trusting that it will hurt only those majority voters? Remember that minority voters, once their representatives come to rule, will not treat him any less aggressively, perhaps even more so, while the bomb might hurt precisely those who did not vote at all — because they shared his opinion.

In any case, he will have the — quite understandable — indignation of an overwhelming majority against himself and will hopelessly discredit his aims instead of furthering them.

Precisely all that counts most, the abolition of the land oligopoly and of the monopoly of the means of exchange, as well as the transformation of enterprises that dominate the market into Open Productive Associations and the transformation of the State into autonomous protective and social communities — all this cannot be promoted by individual actions which attempt to counter aggression by physical means.

It cannot be achieved either through the confiscation of landed property (an act directed only against individuals or some groups) or through bank robbery. Here activists, especially those employing the latter method, should keep in mind the works of Bertold Brecht, who basically shared their opinion:

“What is the plunder of a bank compared with the opening of a bank?”

Of course, they should interpret these words quite differently than Brecht did.

Individual acts of physical force against the institutionalized aggression of democratic States are thus rejected by consistent anarchists as inappropriate and as a liability to the anarchist movement. However, this does not mean a renunciation of resistance by more suitable means.

2. An armed mass rising in order to change the States into non-aggressive autonomous protective and social communities must fail from the outset because the pre-requisite is missing: a mass of convinced and consistent anarchists. Even if one objects that relatively small, but determined minorities have organized successful revolutions in special situations before this, it must be borne in mind that is always the question of giving a new command centre to an elaborate machinery for domination, the old apparatus continuing to operate on principle. What counts, however, is precisely the replacement, without exception, of this principle of compulsion, of privileges and monopolies, by non-aggressive organizations established on the principle of voluntarism. This presupposes more champions of these organizations, more people who are well informed on the principle of equal freedom of all and its application.

Armed revolutionary organizations would probably be smashed even in their early beginnings by the far superior police and military power of the State. In the modern States, an armed revolution is, at least as a rule, possible only from the top down and not the other way around, as has been shown by experience. And even this is possible for the most part only in the so-called developing countries, where an insufficient education level among most of the population offers rather unfavourable conditions for social order without domination. In democratic, industrial States, the generals are mostly not trained in thinking and acting on their own responsibility and, least of all, in a non-aggressive way.

3. What is missing is a revolutionary situation which would make it possible for a small minority to sweep along a dissatisfied mass towards revolutionary and, at the same time, sensible actions. In the peoples’ democracies the first small circles of critics are already being prosecuted by an omnipresent secret police, not to speak of attempts to organize which could not obtain arms either. There, only a military insurrection is possible — but questionable in its chance for success, since it encounters insufficient resonance among a population unaccustomed to thinking and acting with self-responsibility and drilled, moreover, in the dominant ideology. It would immediately be slandered as reactionary, as being directed against the “accomplishments” of the system — especially if it were short of champions for the new organization.

In the capitalist States of the West, “wealth” is only relative and the income increases of those depending on wages prove upon closer examination to be mostly illusion if prices are taken into account. Nevertheless, the trade unions have successfully fought for a few things.

Political counter-pressure from the oppressed has compelled the State no longer to stand one-sidedly and openly on the side of the proprietors. And finally, even the great capitalists have partly realized that the efforts of early capitalism to limit those depending on wages to the minimum pay permitting them to continue to exist only, hindered sales and the expansion of production, since there was a shortage of purchasers.

But if the purchasing power of the broad masses were increased and one succeeded at the same time in avoiding or limiting unemployment — as is done today by admittedly dangerous means — then not only would the profits of entrepreneurs boom correspondingly, but also returns from interest and land rent would increase enormously, so the people depending on wages would be chained up all the more securely, especially since so far they have been unaware of the fateful role of interest and land rent.

The “proletariat” in the Western countries today is in a position similar to that of the bourgeoisie after the French Revolution and during early capitalism. These citizens were largely satisfied after their victory over feudalism and were, on the whole, no longer revolutionary. And the partly-satiated “proletariat” of today is no longer a real proletariat either, but has largely ‘bourgeois’ thoughts and feelings. But this does not prevent its most active groups from continuing to fight for the full product of labour (as the bourgeoisie did against the remnants of feudalism). Unfortunately, they do this with inappropriate means and methods.

But the form of this kind of fighting has changed, a fact which the ideologists and doctrinaires among the young intelligentsia have not understood. Thus they are greatly surprised not to find a sympathetic response to their revolution — any phrases among the masses of those depending on wages, and they meet only rejection and ridicule, or are even beaten up. And this reaction is all the more common among the true bourgeois, who want to have their “law and order.” For the most of them freedom is merely a secondary or even a tertiary value; they prefer security, since they have no idea of the consequences of a lack of freedom.

Thus, for an armed revolution there is no revolutionary situation in the Western countries, especially since the governments have learned in the meantime how to cope with economic crises, largely effectively, through measured inflation and other State interventions.

Moreover, the example of the communist countries acts as a deterrent, since the result is a standard of living far below that which has been achieved in the capitalistic countries, in spite of the continued exploitation by interest, land rent and other monopolies. And this backwardness has come about in spite of enormous sacrifices in blood and endless suffering, which often hit even the most enraged followers of the ideology. To this must be added the fettered conditions caused by the hopeless exposure to an authoritarian regime. Even though the “freedom” of the West is in many respects only questionable and superficial, it is nevertheless decidedly more extensive and more fruitful in its material effects than most of the “achievements” in the communist system. Thus it is understandable that a much larger number than those prepared to revolt would be inclined to defend today’s capitalism, even with arms, against a communist insurrection, especially since they would have the police and army on their side. An anarchist armed insurrection would meet with the same opposition too, at least as long as a strong minority has not yet corrected today’s distorted image of “anarchism” and as long as at least such a minority has not yet accepted real anarchism as corresponding to its interests and ideal concepts.

4. Above all, any overthrow by force or even sudden destruction of the State apparatus would not solve those problems which face anarchism after the aggressive force of the State is eliminated. Even the acceptance of a forceful overthrow into its platform and the propaganda for this, would unnecessarily arouse millions of opponents who would fight desperately for their existence.

What would happen, for instance, with the army — millions strong — of public servants who rely on their pension claims, seeing that anarchism demands that contracts are kept? What would happen especially with the millions of descendents of officials, women and children? What with war victims? And what about the much larger number of pensioners from the compulsory social insurances who had to pay high contributions while the system depends upon continuously levied and increased compulsory contributions and compulsory taxes in order to fulfill its current liabilities?

Here a reasonable solution can be achieved only by a carefully planned liquidation of the State which would extend over a long period — up to 30 years — with a gradual expiration of the responsibilities taken up by it, without replacing the old aggressions by new ones. Depending upon how much property the State concerned possesses (in the German Federal Republic this is especially extensive), this transition period, i.e. the liquidation period, could be shortened. It must begin with the abolition of the land oligopoly and money monopoly.

However, what is right for officials and pensioners, must also be fair for proprietors. They could be indemnified by means of value-preserved annuities stretching over approximately 30–50 years, securities which could be guaranteed by the trust administration of public property, which, at the beginning of 1973, amounted to approximately 1,360 thousand million DM, while the total value of private real estate amounted to only 900 thousand million DM (land, houses and apartments included). In States without as much public property, the purchase installments would, to some extent, be taken from the lease rent for land before it is evenly distributed to all individuals.

The socialization of all monopoly enterprises, oligopolies and firms dominating the market, by means of Open Productive Associations, must follow immediately (i.e. also at the beginning of the liquidation period for the State) and can be carried out within its framework too. The indemnification of previous owners by members of these Open Productive Associations is simple: Since the new associates received no free gift but have either to make use of their own savings or to take up loans (to purchase these enterprises), the general redemption of their debt certificates used in their take-over of the capital of enterprises (which are, it should be noted, flourishing monopoly and market dominating enterprises) will be no burden for them. They will gain the corresponding real values continuously and automatically in the form of share certificates. Earlier redemption will be possible when and to the extent that banks offer cheaper credit — after the abolition of the money monopoly.

Those working in enterprises without a monopoly will then have the option either to become independent land users, alone or in association with others, or to join and Open Productive Association. Should they chose neither, they will find reference points for their wage claims either in the average earnings of independent land users or in those of members of Open Productive Associations. However, no-risk incomes in form of wages must move below the average incomes of those others, because the others have also accepted the enterprise risk.

But even in non-monopolistic enterprises wages will rise so high that quite a few employers will offer to transform their firms into Open Productive Associations in order to work within them as managers with only a limited risk. Whenever an employer is opposed to such a transformation, while his employees desire it, there is still the possibility to open up a competing new enterprise with the aid of cheaper bank credit, and the employees could then move as a body into their own new enterprise. Its establishment could serve as security for the bank credit, together with the labour power guarantee of those concerned and perhaps with the solidarity support of colleagues.

“Dependence upon wages,” as well as unemployment, will then finally come to an end. It will then only be a question of initiative and readiness to accept risks whether someone obtains a high income as a member of an O.P.A. or works for a fixed payment, leaving the initiative, risk and higher income to others. Thus, compulsion to work for a wage will come to an end, as well as dependence upon the owners of means of production.

Means of production, with the exception of land, can indeed be produced according to demand (within the limits set by existing raw materials and existing but still to be opened up energy sources) when, after the abolition of the money monopoly, exchange becomes unhindered and the cheapest credit becomes possible.

Thus, anarchism envisions expropriation without reparation, neither for land nor for any other productive capital, least of all for the funds of consumers and for savings. Excessive accumulations of wealth will dissolve automatically, once they are no longer able to increase by themselves without work. The above sketched solution even remains within the framework of the so-called “social obligation” of property in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany and is there expressly stated as a possibility.

Within the framework of the equal freedom of all, and in the absence of all privileges and monopolies, property acquired by work and contract (also by gift and inheritance) is one of the most important assurances of individual freedom. Neither the State nor the local government, neither self-appointed representatives of society nor those elected according to the majority principle, neither syndicates nor “councils” have a “right” to interfere with such property — as long as by its use the equal freedom of all is not infringed, as happens, for instance, with the pollution of the environment.

To the extent that today’s productive capital has been acquired through monopolistic exploitation (which is definitely not the general case, and where this did happen, the capital cannot, in most cases, be separated from that property whose acquisition is justified even according to anarchistic principles), it will not escape quite scot-free in the projected solution. First of all, the land owners and proprietors of monopoly and market-dominating enterprises will only be able to dispose of the value of their enterprises in long-term installments.

Thus they will not lose this value, but only their privilege or monopoly. The interest rate will rapidly fall with the general interest rate and will probably not be higher than 3% even at the beginning. But then with their incomes and their wealth, they are still subject to the State’s tax claims during the period of liquidation. Their income, at 3% interest and 2–3% amortization, would amount to 5–6% a year. Here a progressive taxation would merely be some compensation for those monopoly advantages which the State so far provided for them. But within the autonomous protective and social communities there will be no reason for taxing incomes, all of which will then be only working incomes, in any way other than at an equal flat rate. Due to their voluntary membership, everyone can select the autonomous protective and social community which works most rationally and thus most cheaply. A commission of representatives from the various autonomous protective and social communities will act as trustees to supervise the liquidation of the State.


But what can be done before one may proceed with the liquidation of the State?

First, enlightenment must be spread on what freedom means in a social context, what it can and what it cannot be, what aggressive force is and what defence against such force means, what the difference is between the compulsory organization of the State and the voluntary organizations of a free society. Last but not least (but rather primarily) what can and must serve as a starting point (sound premise) for an agreement, what is incontestable since it is provable.

These are basically quite simple explanations of concepts and statements which even an average mind can well comprehend. It is not so very difficult to prove as illusory (woven from unprovable assertions) the gorgeous drapes in which aggressive force parades before us, and thus to expose brutal force in all its nakedness. Movements towards “democratization,” especially for emancipation and pluralism, also aim in the same direction as anarchism, which is only the last consequence of genuine and not merely formal democracy and Protestantism, but without the dogmatism of the latter.

It must be made clear what economic exploitation is, and what it rests on. There is still lamentable ignorance on this, which leads to coarse misconceptions and wrong evaluations of the situation and of the measures to be taken. The effect of all privileges and monopolies (from those established or at least promoted and maintained by the State, up to that super-monopoly of the coercive regulation of all social relationships which denies the equal freedom of all and is claimed by the State for itself) can be explained even to a child.

Some essential points of view on this are discussed in K. H. Z. Solneman’s Diskussionsergebnisse (Results of Discussions) in Lernziel Anarchie (Aim of Education: Anarchy), No. 2, Freiburg /Br., 1976.

Such enlightenment of opponents or of so-far disinterested persons is much more effective than arming oneself against them. While the latter act leads to a fear-inspired reaction, enlightenment changes opponents into friends and helpers. Thus, anarchism must be based on completely new strategy and tactics. All other political and social movements are altogether incapable of practicing these — since they begin with articles of faith, dogmas and ideologies whose obligatory character cannot be proven. One either believes or does not believe in them. Anarchism, on the other hand, is based on quite simple, verifiable and incontestable statements and conclusions which in the long run must win, irresistibly, even against all deep-rooted prejudices, in the same way as truth finally triumphs over lies, even though it can be suppressed temporarily.

All efforts at enlightenment, even with the most convincing arguments, are, however, wasted as long as the distorted image of anarchism, which is spread at enormous expense, provokes emotional reactions and confirms prejudices, whose defeat must be the first main task.

For this purpose a decisive affirmation of non-violence is necessary. It is not sufficient to point out the contrast between aggressive force and defence against aggressive force. Moreover, defence against aggressive force must not be confused with “violence” (force), even when it uses physical means or arms in a defensive act. Instead, consistently as well as decisively, one must renounce any defence (no matter how justified it is by itself) that uses weapons, and not only weapons, but even any physical means of power at all.

This applies in the first place only to Western democracies but not to dictatorships, although even in the latter it could and should be a wise strategy, no matter how hard, to persist in non-violence even in defence — out of the realization that non-violence is in the long run more effective than any defence with physical means, no matter how justified the latter defence is, even if it asks for no less serious sacrifices than forceful defence. It is the most effective defence especially against an opponent who is far superior in power.

Whoever finds it difficult to understand this, must at least admit that even justified physical defence against aggressive force makes sense only where at least a strong minority approves of it. However, would it still be necessary then?

The decisive affirmation of non-violence can and should at the same time be accompanied with the proclamation that the defence against aggressive force is quite justified but that — for well considered reasons — physical defence is renounced, at least for the time being.

There already exists a comprehensive literature on the still largely unknown effects and possibilities of nonviolence, one with which anarchism can identify, although not without some critical objections.

The — at least temporary -renunciation of physical force and arms even for defence (the renunciation of aggressive force applies without qualification) does not mean, of course, a renunciation of resistance against aggression altogether. Step-by-step passive resistance means not passivity but resistance and has to go hand in hand with a emancipation from the State. Such emancipation also means the gradual establishment of autonomous protective and social communities apart from the State.

Whoever is of the opinion that the indemnification proposed here for the proprietors of land and market-dominating enterprises is too generous or altogether out of place, should first thoroughly ponder the consequences of expropriation without reparation, something that its adherents generally do not do. Someone, for example, who has bought a piece of land with savings from honest work, has already had to pay the capitalized land rent in the purchase price of the previous proprietor. The latter would thus not be affected at all by the expropriation, while it would be highly unfair towards the present proprietor if not only the oligopoly but also the value of his possession were taken from him.

A solution that is “just” from every angle cannot be obtained at all, since there is no unequivocal standard for “justice.”

Even when it is almost certain that the person concerned had drawn considerable advantage from privileges, monopolies and oligopolies, his property is nevertheless due not only to such advantages but also contains, at least as a rule, the result of his own performance, which is entitled to its reward. To separate these exactly might be as good as impossible. Thus, whoever cares more about restitution for the wrongs of the past than about attaining sensible conditions and true rights for the future as soon as possible, should pursue this aim separately and not connect it with the fundamental task of the abolition of all privileges, monopolies and oligopolies. This abolition demands a uniform and rapidly realizable solution and not prolonged examination of every particular case.

The proposed regulation strives then, not for “justice” but for practicability, and can also be justified as a matter of pure calculation. If one assumes a 5% profitability of the means of production concerned (i.e. the unearned income from it), then this means that within twenty years (i.e. within the proposed settlement by a generous compromise) the full value of these means of production would accrue and the new beneficiaries would thereby also be liberated from other forms of exploitation.

Would it, therefore, be reasonable to provoke unnecessary resistance to the new settlement when resistance could be avoided with relative ease through reparations? After all, every year in which the present condition continues means a corresponding loss for the persons concerned, who would then also, quite probably, be still in the same situation as today in 20 years’ time.

And is a fight worthwhile, with all its destruction, sacrifice and risk, when there are other, more promising and cheaper ways to reach one’s goal?

In order to prevent the beneficiaries of present conditions from malevolently delaying the new settlement, one should give them a time limit, starting at a still- to-be-determined moment. For each year of delay, the reparation for the people concerned would then be reduced by 5%, and after the time limit has expired, any appropriate means of defence could be used against them.

From fines accumulating from obstinate people, fines justified by the continuing harm done to all people, indemnifications could then be paid to those who had to make sacrifices in the struggle for the new settlement or who were disadvantaged.

The proposed solution to the land question is especially effective for propaganda purposes (once it is correspondingly formulated), seeing that it secures access to land for everybody while offering an equal distribution of the proceeds from lease rents. All previous attempts to solve this problem (ranging from confiscation via taxes on land value increase, to the provision of cheap building land for a favoured few) suffer from obvious defects.

Likewise, the proposal for Open Productive Associations possesses so far unused appeal, especially since, in combination with the settlement of the land question, it would abolish unemployment forever.

Both could really be proclaimed in such a way that they would fit into the party platform of nearly any of the existing parties.

For the primary purpose is to realize these proposals without falsification. It does not matter by whom they are realized or for what reasons.

They can also be realized within the existing State constitutions.

The same applies to the abolition of the money monopoly. Certainly, its effects are so manifold and far-reaching that they cannot always be explained sufficiently to the average man. But the normal consequences of any monopoly are evident, and thus all monopolies have to be eliminated or rendered ineffective. It is not sufficient merely to “proceed” against their “abuse” (which is hard to prove in most cases).

Limited benefit could also be derived from an anarchist “party” and its participation in election campaigns, which are not to be rejected on principle, for such participation offers propagandists possibilities (otherwise unused) for the publication of the anarchist program as an alternative.

Moreover, since due to permanent and comprehensive aggression by the State the opportunities to resist it are quite limited, one should also use the possibility at least to limit aggression by the State by gaining votes, if not to abolish it altogether in this way. This could well be accompanied by a continuous protest against the majority principle within a compulsory community and against the State principle altogether.

Anarchist deputies, while strictly bound to the instructions given them by their voters, should collaborate only with measures to reduce privileges and monopolies and the monopolistic character of the State itself and should abstain from all activities which would amount to “co-rule.”

These deputies, who could at the same time also represent the autonomous protective and social communities formed apart from the State, could, finally, supervise, or even administer themselves, the procedure for the liquidation of the State.

Of course, the above-mentioned option is only one of the possibilities for emancipation from the State, an anarchist “party” would by no means have to confined itself to gathering votes and to working towards a liquidation of the State by parliament. Instead, its main task would be to do what all parties have so far failed to do, and what should result in the rapid growth of that new party: offer immediate concrete advantages and not only promises, of what will happen after political power is gained. In this respect much more can already be done today than is generally considered possible.


It is of fundamental importance but at the same time especially difficult under present circumstances, to protect youth from the stupefying influence of the State-directed schools which drill them into obedient State subjects.

Since school costs are covered by compulsorily levied State taxes, only a relatively insignificant number of parents are financially able to afford the additional costs for private schools. Therefore, the “democratic” and self-evident right has to be realized of having all corresponding tax amounts refunded, thus making the financing of genuinely free schools possible. The States also intervene in a quite intolerable way with the curriculum planning of the small number of already existing private schools, thus eliminating the greatest advantage of such schools, of running their teaching programs in a fraction of the time required by State schools. Even a teacher certified by the State who wants to instruct his children by himself in order to prepare them for the so-called “external examinations,” even if he is a pedagogic genius, is held in tutelage by bureaucrats regarding the arrangement of his curriculum, i.e. by the same people whose self-admitted failure has become evident in today’s “educational catastrophe.” This tutelage has to disappear, and only performance should be tested. Then even a small number of pupils who, in a fraction of the usual school period, have acquired a more comprehensive general knowledge within free schools, operating rationally according to the newest findings, would completely revolutionize the present school system. The ingenious Japanese Obara, already mentioned, has supplied striking proofs for this.

Moreover, pupils themselves could contribute to the cost of their education through the time saved by rational teaching methods naturally adapted to their capabilities. Here the solution proposed for the land question could be of great help.

Finally, education costs, already much reduced by time savings, could be contractually pre-financed in such a way that the pupil could repay them in installments after he entered his profession. This would be a way for poverty- stricken gifted pupils to acquire any knowledge they considered necessary for themselves. But here again the State intervenes to the disadvantage of those it cares for, by declaring younger people to be minors and incapable of accepting contractual responsibilities.

Much simpler and immediately productive is the emancipation from the State in quite another field, namely that of law. Far too little use is made of the possibilities for arbitration that already exist today, at a time when civil proceedings before formal courts often last for years and are correspondingly expensive. By comparison, arbitration courts manned by experienced lawyers could decide much more rapidly, cheaply, objectively and correctly, at least in the field of civil and commercial law. For this purpose, and in every particular case, the contracting parties could agree (because of the advantages of this system) to recognize the decision of such a court. Alternatively, as members of an autonomous protective and social community, they could already have obliged themselves to recognize the arbitration avenues provided by it.

The Italian lawyer Internoscia has drafted a code of civil law in three languages — Italian, French and English — which represents, in particularly clear and precise formulations, an extract from the civil legislation of the most important European States.

This work, for example, could be a basic reference work for reconciliation procedures by one or more or even all autonomous protective and social communities — and this for all cases in which the private arrangements of the contracting partners show gaps which must be filled. Otherwise, the contracting partners could, of course, agree to use any appropriate paragraphs of any State laws, with the provision that these must not contradict the principle of the equal freedom of all.

Even particular acts regulated by penal law could be settled by arbitration courts, provided the principle of punishment is replaced by that of restitution. When the State is liquidated, a high percentage of all penal clauses will be repealed because they contradict the principle of the equal freedom of all.

However, a special offence follows from just this principle, though it is an act that so far has been often considered even praiseworthy: aggression committed out of “idealism,” in the service of a fixed religious or ideological idea. Here, the strength of the offender’s convictions must no longer be considered mitigating, but especially reprehensible. For the induced insanity which is today almost cherished and fostered cannot be eradicated except by seizing the evil by its roots and making examples of any act of ideologically based aggression.

Seeing the unfair competition conducted today by the State against private pension funds and health insurance companies — by its inflationary policies, its compulsory contributions, and by eventually making State pensions more attractive through subsidies from tax funds — the unraveling of compulsory social insurance arrangements will be among the most important measures in the liquidation of the State. In this context, one must insist that every compulsory member is paid upon demand the contributions deducted from his wages and also those nominally paid by the employer on his behalf less any benefits he may have received. This claim, mind you, is to be realized against the State, which fostered the public social insurance bodies and forced them to spend these contributions while fending the compulsory contributors off with the empty promise that it would continue to fulfill their claims by continuing compulsory collections from the pockets of others.

The most urgent task, however, is the abolition of the money monopoly. Even during its existence, some decisive steps can be taken in this direction. A new and quite simple institution, we may call it “the progressive bank,” makes it possible for a person to withdraw gradually from the effects of the money monopoly. At the same time, this new institution (which becomes possible with the participation of even a relatively small number) can become the most effective and, in its further, automatic development, almost irresistible lever to lift the whole system of privileges and monopolies out of its hinges.

By a simple measure, this “progressive bank” will make any payment more advantageous (for the payer as well as for the payee) than any previous cash, coequal or bank-transfer transaction, without exception. For this reason alone it will attract a rapidly increasing circle of customers. But it offers in addition, an astonishing new credit system, which again is very simple and, in rapidly increasing volume, can offer credits which are reduced down to 3% and can become still cheaper later on. Even in the field of finance, there are unexpected solutions which can compete with the most surprising achievements in natural science and technology.

However, freedom will not be granted but must be fought for. Initiative and every individual’s own purposeful activity are required, not merely a wait-and-see attitude in the hope that others will do one’s job.

Here too one must also mention the establishment of Open Productive Associations, which should be immediately tackled. For “dependence on wages” cannot be eliminated merely by transforming monopolies, oligopolies and market-dominating enterprises into such associations. Beyond these, a considerable number of other O.P.A.‘s has to be established so that everyone who does not freely decide to work only for a fixed wage has the opportunity to enter such an “open” association as a worker without having to make a capital contribution in advance.

Indeed, this aim can be supported during the liquidation of the State by means of guarantees based on the liquidated assets. But even today, before the beginning of this liquidation, i.e. here and now, one can begin to establish O.P.A.‘s on a voluntary basis.

Firstly, one can collaborate with those employers who even today are ready to transfer their productive capital wholly or partly to their employees, although mostly in an imperfect way. (By the way, this only replaces one master by a group of people and does not eliminate the monopoly character which some enterprises have. In particular, it cannot ensure really free competition and full utilization of labour and its full proceeds without a tribute to land, rent and capital interest). Such employers could be appropriate initiators of O.P.A.‘s and would continue to act as their managers.

On the other hand, the initiative can also be taken by an association of workers and clerks in an enterprise or by outsiders, either for the purpose of taking over that enterprise or by the foundation of a completely new enterprise.

These associations need only look for suitable organizers and leading specialists (if they do not already have enough such people among the own members). Of course, these will have to be paid accordingly, but that regulates itself under free competition. Special knowledge in the type of enterprise concerned is only needed by these leading members.

For the normal workers and employees, who then become co-owners, it will be sufficient to know the average hourly earnings in an enterprise and how these compare with the usual local earnings per hour, whether in the form of a wage or of a profit share.

All this information can be easily derived from statistical surveys, which, as mentioned above when explaining Hertzka’s proposals, are an essential component of his open system. The banks which have granted credit will see to it, in their own interest as well as that of the members of an O.P.A., that all accounts and operating procedures are clarified, so that current conditions and future developments can be estimated with a large degree of certainty.

Until the interest rate for credit has been reduced to 1–2% (after the abolition of the money monopoly and with subsequent competition between banks), such O.P.A.‘s will depend on the cheap credit made possible by the above-mentioned “progressive bank.” They will also depend on it for guarantees to allow them to take over existing enterprises or for equipping with the necessary means of production those enterprises still to be established, to the extent that the members of the new O.P.A.‘s have not enough savings of their own for this purpose. Here one may recall how high the average savings of workers and employees are nowadays; without a doubt, personal credit would be at their disposal.

Of course, guarantees by the State must first be considered, and then by those entrusted with its liquidation, since O.P.A.‘s offer a much more sensible settlement than e.g. nationalization, and should therefore prove to have a strong attraction.

The trade unions could also provide guarantees, since more could be obtained by furthering such O.P.A.‘s than by the usual struggle for wages, which by the way would also benefit from this transformation. For when all who want to do so will have the option to become free from the dependency on wages and to secure for themselves the full return from their labour (and this not under the highly unequal conditions of today, of competition against superior capital power, but under truly equal starting positions for all), then those, too, who prefer a fixed wage to profit-and-risk-sharing in a co-operative will be in a quite different negotiating position vis-à-vis their employers than they are today.

The risk for the banks providing credit and for those who may stand as guarantors will be all the more reduced the larger the number associated in such an O.P.A. For this reason, these O.P.A.‘s will be preferred to individual entrepreneurs. Any losses will be kept within narrow limits in such enterprises. Firstly, they are less burdened with high fixed costs for land. Secondly, even if its co-owners should leave the enterprise (taking only their valuable labour power with them, which they may use at any time otherwise, in any of many O.PA.‘s ), the means of production acquired by credit, and serving as security until creditors and guarantors are satisfied, naturally remain with the enterprise as its means of production. Thirdly, at the first sign that losses might occur, many members would leave the enterprise (thereby stopping at least further losses), since the self-interest of all members induces them not to let their own liabilities become too high.

Of course, with the exit of some or even all members, their liability for any credit taken up so far and any property taken over is not extinguished.

But this liability — contrary to nowadays — has its solid counterpart in the full labour earnings of those concerned and the work opportunity available at any time elsewhere, as well as in everyone’s claim to his share in the total returns from the lease of land.

There is still another aspect of the emancipation from the State which will help to make this emancipation more understandable for those who cannot really imagine living without a State. For much as every anarchist wishes that non-domination should be generally realized, i.e. that any kind of open and hidden domination should disappear, it would be unrealistic and even against the principle of anarchy if one wanted to free, absolutely, even those people from something or other who, due to ignorance or apathy, did not want to get rid of it at all. There are, indeed, people who have a tendency to subordinate themselves, who want to be at least advised and led by others, if not “mastered” (as the somewhat careless expression puts it, for when the person concerned agrees to a reduction of his freedom, there is naturally no master over him). However, one must distinguish here cases where there was corresponding training and suggestion from earliest childhood on and through compulsory schooling — another aggressive act which supports the State and exploits the child’s lack of critical ability in order to bring it grossly under its influence, as was formerly done by the Church.

Accordingly, anarchists strive first and foremost not to abolish the State by itself but to liberate from State intervention all those who do not want to be dominated.

This means, for instance, supporting the right of everyone to leave (ignore, secede or withdraw from) the State as one may leave a religious community, without being placed under discriminating laws against aliens or being expelled. Self-evidently, their already acquired claims, e.g. social insurance claims, should either continue or be refunded.

This would mean full freedom for the persons concerned (primarily of course through tax exemption) from all claims which the State makes against its citizens (with the exception of those resting on the principle of the equal freedom of all): The State has to treat them as if they lived outside of its sphere of influence, i.e. in a different country, although they would enjoy full freedom of movement within its territory.

It is evident, of course, that the people concerned would then no longer have any claim to the free public services of the State they withdrew from. If they wanted them, they would have to be prepared to pay for them.

The land question could be provisionally regulated in such a way that the State would place land at the disposal of the secessionists corresponding to their number in relation to the total population and territory of the State. These pieces of land need not be adjacent to each other but should be equivalent (regarding quality and site) to the land of the remaining State citizens. This land — as well as that already belonging to the secessionists (the latter taking into account the per-head claim) — will then become extraterritorial, like all institutions of the secessionists, who as a rule will combine into autonomous protective and social communities (one or several of them) in order to protect their interests. An approximate model for this is given by the members of the corps diplomatiques who are, for instance, not subject to the jurisdiction of the State in which they reside. Disputes between State members and secessionists should be decided by an arbitration court composed of representatives from the autonomous protective and social community to which the secessionist now belongs and also from the State concerned — under neutral chairmanship.

Of course, no citizen must be prevented from using extraterritorial installations created by the secessionists, like, for example, banks which issue their own means of exchange and provide cheap credit. (Otherwise this could result in an unjustified boycott).

The solution that has been outlined here can only be a transitional one. For on the one hand, the secessionists claim such liberties not only from the State from which they seceded but from all States in the world. And on the other hand, the secessionists would be further exploited by State taxes, especially by custom duties and sales taxes, which are expressed in the prices of all goods and services in that State — unless the State offered a refund, which would be difficult to calculate.

Thirdly, the continuance of monopoly and market-dominating enterprises would mean continued exploitation for the secessionists.

Secession from the State would be of relatively little use for proletarians who only own their own working power, as long as there is not a corresponding number of Open Productive Associations which would assure them access to means of production at any time, i.e. as long as their disadvantages caused by the status quo (that is, by the State) are not eliminated.

Moreover, the secessionists would still be exposed to the effects of all State adventures, like wars and economic warfare.

Therefore, the right to withdraw from the State, as proclaimed by Fichte, Spencer and De Puydt, is insufficient as long as it does not include so many renunciations of State “sovereignty” (i.e. aggression “justified” by this sovereignty against all those living within its realm of power) that the secessionists then come to possess full sovereignty as individuals.

N.B. This sovereignty must not be understood in the aggressive sense which the State has given to this concept, but must remain subordinate to the principle of the equal freedom of all.

Finally, there are two embarrassing questions for those who have difficulty in leaving accustomed paths of thinking and thus might even misunderstand the consequences following from withdrawal from the State as unacceptable privileges for the secessionists.

We are demanding no privileges, neither over you nor over “your” State (which we do not want to take away from you). We only want to be left alone and undisturbed. If you are of the opinion that the State is necessary and useful, then you must consider our renunciation of any claims upon its services as a renunciation of advantages — and not the other way around. Isn’t this the case?

The second question: What is the foundation of your claim and your State’s claim (which you have correspondingly authorized by your election behaviour) to limit our freedom sphere by a multitude of privileges, monopolies, and oligopolies to the advantage only of the State and of its favoured individuals and groups? What is the foundation of its claim to have more “rights” than we have?


First of all, anarchists have the following statements to make to the defenders of the so-called existing “order” who wish “no experiments,” and especially to the defenders of “their” State.

We want nothing from you, except that you should leave us alone and interfere no longer in our affairs. Consequently we require that you recognize our equal-rights claim to the whole world, which we concede to you too, just as we do the right to air for breathing.

But you want something from us. As a matter of fact, you have quite a number of demands which we consider to be unfair and which you have so far realized with aggressive force. In this, you have not always been aware of your aggression; you have so far raised your claims partly in good faith because you believed in their “justification,” and partly out of pure habit, with the not very ingenious “argument” that this is just how “it ought to be.” Only a few theologians, moral philosophers, political scientists and sociologists have also tried to advance reasons. However, these “reasons” amounted only to embarrassing contradictions.

To the extent that these “reasons” are theological and that those concerned refer to “revelations” or to their inner convictions, we will oppose to them the many other “revelations” and inner convictions, especially our revelation and inner conviction that everything that contradicts the equal freedom of all comes from the devil and has to be sent back to hell. Moreover, it is our conviction that this principle results, as an inevitable alternative to the law of the jungle, from a will to reach an agreement — and, as we have demonstrated, we are not lacking in this good will.

As far as your “reasons” are ideological (i.e. by their very nature, unprovable assertions and demands), we deny (a) that those higher authorities to which you refer exist at all in any form other than fixed ideas, figments of the imagination, and abstractions in your heads, and (b) that (should these higher authorities really exist, which we are willing to concede as a possibility) you have been authorized by them as their interpreters and that your interpretation correctly represents the will of these higher authorities.

To you as well as the theologians (including all preachers of morality and teachers of ethics), the following applies: You have the burden of proof for your claims and demands against us. You are schizophrenic and contradictory in your thinking and actions — if you consider it “just” that before a court any unproven claims can be rejected out of hand (no matter how real they may be) but want to force upon us the recognition of your unprovable claims.

We do not intend to deprive anyone of you of your property without indemnification. We are not at all against property as such, but only against monopoly property. Our proposals to end its privileges are as much in your interests as in ours. Make better proposals, if you are able to do so — we will gladly consider them! In any case, according to our proposals, no one will any longer have a privileged claim to nature’s gift of land and natural resources and everyone will have an equal share in its yield.

From his birth, everybody will receive a certain, though modest amount to secure his existence. Nature offers this to any of its creatures. He will receive it free of charge and quite independent of his services and earnings from these. Also, there will be neither unemployment nor exploitation of tenants, lease holders, or wage earners.

And now, for once, take a look at the world around you and you will finally understand how serious your situation is. During the last 30 years it has continuously and rapidly deteriorated. Only barely 20% of humanity can still enjoy the questionable so-called liberties of the Western democracies. It is becoming more and more evident that even these democracies cannot solve the problem of unemployment and numerous other problems of internal discord with their old methods. And on the outside there threatens not only the Soviet Union, with its continuously increasing sphere of influence and its rapidly expanding military superiority, but also many of those countries which were until now exploited and oppressed by you. They have learnt from your bad example, and so are now preparing, with energy and raw materials, to cut off your life line, or at least to put you under severe pressure.

This is your last chance! — You cannot complain about the monopolies and privileges of others as long as you want to maintain your own privileges. You cannot practice a double moral standard by wanting to restrict the freedom sphere of others in your favour and then complain when others attempt to enlarge theirs at your expense. There remains only an EitherOr. After conceptual confusions have been revealed and false foundations have been exposed, you must either openly declare yourself followers of the law of the jungle and of aggressive force, or, alternatively, strive — with all the consequences — for the only basis upon which (in mutuality, which Proudhon called the formula for justice) agreement is possible in the long run: the equal freedom of all.

This freedom is even in the interest of those who will now have to abandon their unjustified privileges, monopolies and oligopolies. For they will not only retain the value of their present possessions but will also save them from certain loss in the near future. For nobody should deceive himself: even if State communism and its allies do not militarily overpower us, the evolution towards State socialism is inevitable at least in all of Europe, provided present conditions continue. (Kissinger predicted this would already happen in the next ten years).

It will be a kind of State socialism different only in degree, but not in principle, from communism. One may perhaps still be allowed to criticize what happens, from some far corner and without getting any response, but one will not have the least influence on what happens.

By way of contrast, transformation of the present condition into one of non-domination, which can be achieved rapidly as well as painlessly, would create circumstances offering the greatest protection against the communist menace, not only by depriving it of any grounds for criticism but also because its repercussions upon circumstances under State communism would be as certain as they would be far-reaching. There such a revolution can no longer happen without an impulse from abroad. Here it is still possible, but certainly not for long.

With all this one has to remember that the aim is to abolish the mischief of privileged action spheres at the expense of the restricted freedom of others (i.e. to abolish aggressive trespassing over the border of the equal freedom of all) — and so to eliminate any kind of exploitation and oppression too. The aim is not at all to reverse the situation by oppressing or exploiting anyone, not even the previous exploiters and oppressors. The principle of the equal freedom of all applies to them in the same way as to everyone.

And who could dare to justify or defend unequal freedom and aggression?


To the liberals and social reformers, the anarchists have the following statement to make.

Original liberalism was right insofar as it defended the principle of competition (which well agrees, by the way, with the elimination of competition on a voluntary basis as long as there is no attempt to establish an oligopoly or market domination) and rejected State intervention.

It overlooked the fact, however, that competition has so far never been truly free but enchained by numerous privileges and monopolies. “Free competition” between a weakling and a man of superior strength evidently works in favour of the latter.

The original “night-watchman State” was already an evil as such, not only because it primarily protected privileges and monopolies but also because, like organized crime, it forced its services, unasked for, upon others and one-sidedly determined its reward. Then it became the most dangerous aggressor, by developing into a super-monopolist and an alleged “welfare State” which wants to make people “happy” even against their will by means of general tutelage and aggressive force.

Liberals and social reformers have to decide today either for or against aggressive force. It makes no sense to attempt to patch up its flagrant defects. If liberals want to practice seriously what their name indicates, then they must not only defend “ Freiheitlichkeit “ (limited liberty or “law and order”) whatever they mean by this, or some limited “liberties,” but must defend the freedom, which is whole and undivided and cannot be anything other than the equal freedom of all.

To doubt or deny any one of the particular liberties which in sum make up this freedom, means to doubt and deny this freedom. Even if someone merely declares that aggressive force and unequal freedom against the will of those concerned is “necessary” in only one respect, he opens gate and door to any aggression, any infringement of the equal freedom of all. This has to be stated especially for those who claim a more or less reluctant monopoly for the special panacea they believe in or who want to utilize the State for its realization, especially’ ‘free economists” of the Silvo Gesell type and “Ergocrats.”

It is, for example, characteristic of a “yes, but...” type of liberalism that the FDP (the Liberal Party in West Germany) actually defends the right of free choice — but only between military service and alternative service. Thus it considers service to the State an indubitable “basic duty towards the community.” Here they try to transfer not only the emotional value of the “community concept,” whose proper core is voluntarism, to the opposite concept of a compulsory association, but twaddle about one of those allegedly “given duties,” which were invented by people addicted to domination or obsessed with fixed ideas in order to justify their aggressions towards others. These addicts and obsessed people benefit from the fact that many of those manipulated by education and continuous propaganda have become accustomed to believe in such or similar “duties.”

Anarchists recognize only voluntarily undertaken duties, and they have voluntarily undertaken the obligation to respect the equal freedom of any other person, in the same way as they want to see their own freedom respected. All imposed “duties” are violation of the equal freedom of all and are thus aggressive force!

Whoever advocates “social reforms” and means by this reforms other than those leading in the direction of the equal freedom of all and the complete abolition of all privileges and monopolies, including the monopoly character of the State, is aware neither of the real cause of existing evils nor of effective ways to remove them. He should, therefore, finally come to terms with the observations and proposals of the anarchists.


Lenin complained in 1922 that Marx did not write a single word on how he had conceived socialist economic management. From this, one can conclude that Lenin carried out his own revolution without any detailed plan, and only with the aim of conquering the power of the State. Thus it is high time to ask some questions of all Marxists, whether communists or State socialists.

Do you at least now have a quite concrete and uniform idea on what life under communism or even only under socialism will be like? Or do you confine yourself just to striving for positions in the State or the Party, from which you could then dictate in accordance with your personal ideas, and oppress all those who think differently?

Really, why haven’t you introduced communism yet, to demonstrate its advantages, seeing that in so many countries you have for one (if not two) generations already had the whole power of the State and all the means of production at your disposal?

And do you really consider the principles of the Communist Manifesto to be so attractive that you can win friends and not merely subjects with them?

You really have — as your manifesto called it -turned the proletariat into the ruling class (n.b. ruling class), equating, however, the proletariat with your party in this, and you have taken all capital from the bourgeoisie by means of “despotic interference” with property and have centralized all means of production in the hands of the State. Your softer gradualist State-socialist comrades have, in a legal way, either in preparation or as a final step, already transferred into State property only a part of the means of production, but on the other hand they have made almost all of life’s activities dependent upon licences and intervention by the State, and this by a multitude of laws whose total effects are almost incomprehensible.

This has happened, to a large extent, under the influence of State socialist ideas even in the “capitalist” States.

Your showpiece — “Centralization of credit in the hands of the State by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly,” which Marx, quite correctly, recommended as the most effective means of preparing for communism — already exists in all States, including “capitalist” ones which are, therefore, sitting quite unawares on a time bomb.

The anarchists, on the other hand, see — and they can prove this as a fact — the most devastating of all monopolies is a monopoly of money and credit. According to them, it is the most terrible means of exploiting and oppressing people. Consequently, they make the abolition of this monopoly one of their main aims.

The Communist Manifesto names, as its first measure, the expropriation of landed property and the use of land rent for State expenditures, whereas the anarchists do not intend any “despotic interventions” and want to pass on to each individual, without exception, the land rent collected (i.e. the money from the lease of land which is then freely accessible for everybody, to every individual, equally and without exception). This would not happen if the land rent were used by the State. Then everyone would be placed under tutelage — quite unnecessarily.

We largely agree with your criticism of “monopoly capitalism,” but not with your means of overcoming it. Please, do at lest explain to us what would remain of this monopoly capitalism once we eliminated the land oligopoly in the way proposed and transformed all monopoly enterprises, as well as those which dominate the market, into Open Productive Associations, and once we abolished all other remaining monopolies and privileges. How and by what could anyone then still be exploited and oppressed? — especially seeing that the main oppressor and main monopolist, the State, would then have disappeared! The people delivered from capitalistic domination would combine against its return in their own interest, in autonomous protective and social communities. Or what objections do you have against these?

We would like to hear all this, because up to now — if at all — you have only dealt with distorted images of an alleged “anarchism” whose “refutation” was easy but which had nothing in common with real anarchism.

Above all, consider this: Discounting the liquidation period for the State the transition to a condition of non-domination does not need as long a period as you believe necessary for the transition from a socialist to a communist society. It can, in principle, be carried out from one day to the next, especially where the State power itself promotes it. And, immediately afterwards, the first voluntary groups could begin with the formation of communistic societies.

Of course, this must be preceded by a revolution in the minds: confused concepts must be disentangled, and one must begin with facts instead of proceeding from ideologies.

Then there is no need for a progressive tax, as demanded by the Communist Manifesto, although the members of autonomous protective and socialist communities would be free to approve such a tax for themselves. In a society without domination, in which incomes rely on work and no longer originate from monopolies and privileges, a progressive tax is without any justification.

The same applies to the abolition of inheritance. Within communist groups which intend to produce according to ability and to consume according to need, this would be useless anyhow. But a communist economy presupposes a high degree of responsibility and true common spirit among participants — which neither is naturally given to all human beings nor can it be taught (nor does it function where it is enforced). In a society freed of oppression, exploitation and domination there must therefore, be property in the form of one’s own products and in the form of those of others exchanged for one’s own. If one may deal with it as one pleases and even give it away, then there is no reason why one should not leave it to one’s relatives or other people after death. The transformation into Open Productive Associations will see to it that no monopoly or market-dominating enterprise can result from this.

The Communist Manifesto also suggests the confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. In a society without domination, however, only those would have a reason to emigrate who want to dominate others. Even these people should be held responsible with their property only insofar as one can prove that they have caused concrete damage. Whoever merely wants to be dominated himself, can achieve this by joining a corresponding autonomous protective and social community ... as long as it pleases him.

The demand for “centralization of transport in the hands of the State” should be dropped, since State enterprises cannot operate more cheaply than private ones, if they do not first steal the funds necessary for this. Where transport enterprises already are public or take the form of monopoly or market dominating enterprises, they must be transformed into Open Productive Associations subject to everyone’s control and also to cooperative participation.

There is no need for a “common plan” from an authoritarian central office to “increase national enterprises, means of production, and cultivation, and to improve land.” Once all restrictions upon production fall which today reduce it to a small percentage of what is possible, once workers finally receive the full return for their labour (including all that can be produced with the best means of production), and once no State can any longer forcefully take away the lion’s share of this — then various productive enterprises will produce, in their own interest and with enthusiasm, whatever promises to be salable according to turnover statistics and according to effective demand (the latter then also being unrestricted). Naturally, within communistic groups (of volunteers) any planning is up to them. In the centralized “planned” economy, however, due to unavoidable planning mistakes, goods for which there is no demand are produced, while other things that are urgently needed remain in short supply. This happens because the “planners” are far away from the production as well as the sales front and do not know their requirements at all and have to judge instead according to schedules. To this must be added that they have no personal interest in the results and no real responsibility. Essential planning on the other hand, takes place in individual enterprises, as the most important continuous task of entrepreneurs or managers. It adapts itself to reality and to rapidly changing situations. It is all the more careful since any fault in planning is soon painfully felt by those concerned through the results. Here, also, anarchists open the way for reason and increased productivity.

“Equal, compulsory work for everyone; the establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture”: These terms correctly show reality in the “workers’ paradise,” where some people have to command and the others have to obey, and where proletarians lose even those modest liberties which monopoly capitalism has left them, while their standard of living sinks far below that of working people under monopoly capitalism. And who exerts force in this context? The new class of self-appointed alleged caretakers of the interests of the proletariat, i.e. an abstraction, but not one embracing all individual proletarians, who in practice have no say and are only objects of total manipulation.

Anarchists, in contrast to this, offer the individual workman a free choice among the most suitable jobs in the Open Productive Associations, with the maximum earnings possible in accordance with the best technological developments. They also assure that everyone can work independently with those who want to work for a fixed wage and will obtain the best possible money. For this, they can renounce any compulsion.

The “combination of agriculture and industry, striving for the gradual elimination of the contrast between city and country” sounds quite acceptable — if one did not know what is meant: namely, collectivization which turns free personalities into totally dependent people. They are worse off than serfs were under the most wicked feudal masters. At least they could flee from one master to a more lenient one, while here dependency leaves no way out.

In the Communist Manifesto’s “public and free education for all children,” communism’s likeness to fascism, which one loves to deny, is again expressed without restraint, since this means that children are totally withdrawn from their parents’ influence and drilled, from the earliest age in the dominating ideology, in order to become watchers and informers against their own parents. The “free-of-charge” aspect is only a deception, since the State can only take the necessary funds out of the pockets of working people. Anarchists, however, leave it up to parents, and above all, to the children themselves, as soon as they are able to make decisions, which learning system they want to choose — within or without an autonomous protective and social community. When there is no compulsory authority but merely authority based on achievement and inspiring example, competition sees to it that the best performance leads to success — not loyalty, fanaticism and servility to whatever class rules in the name of a dogma, stifles all criticism of its actions, and manipulates its elections — since its secret police eliminates even the beginnings of any opposition and an immense propaganda machinery hinders free decision-making.

From such a dictatorship and such State totalitarianism the Communist Manifesto expects the “disappearance of class distinction.” It thus confuses economic distinctions (i.e. income differentials) with political distinctions (i.e. power differentials) simply by overlooking the distinction between rulers and ruled which constitutes the actual difference between classes. And then the Communist Manifesto becomes completely nebulous and confused in viewing the future. It simply asserts that public power (i.e. the State) will lose its political character and that, by means of the nationalization of the means of production (which leads to the total domination of the individual) the proletariat will end its own domination as a class. Apart from the fact that “the proletariat” cannot rule itself, neither as an abstraction nor as the real total of all individual proletarians, and that, in practice, only its self-appointed or (with the grossest manipulation) elected functionaries exercise this rule (domination) in the name of the proletariat and also over it, one can only reply to the above: Credo quia absurdum (I believe in it because it is absurd).

Thus, first of all, communist society is a State in its most characteristic, comprehensive, and severe form (a dictatorship); and then, all at once, it is no longer a State or dictatorship at all but pure joy and happiness, as in the Christian paradise — and without a revolution abolishing the new class of functionaries. One obviously expects them to eliminate themselves and their own domination as well.

How ill-founded this hope is has been shown in more than half a century of communist practice in the Soviet Union and in more than a quarter of a century in other “peoples’ democracies.” The dominating functionaries have indeed largely “eliminated” themselves, and those still surviving accuse each other of deviationism from the true faith and of treason against the proletariat, and then arm themselves to the teeth not only against the “class enemy” but — in their own way of expressing things — against the ruling proletariat (representatively, through its local functionaries) in other countries.

Like a gift from heaven — according to the communist doctrine — the State will suddenly be replaced by an “association, in which the free development of each individual is the condition for the free development of all.” But is this possible in any way other than by realizing the principle of the equal freedom of all?

While the Communist Manifesto remains completely silent about the concrete details of this condition, the anarchists offer a realistic image with every detail. They show the points in which the future will differ from the present. They do not begin with abstractions either — those screens behind which specific persons always want to hide their selfish intentions — but, instead, with the specific mortal individual. This individual shall no longer bow before any allegedly “superior” laws and “ought” rules, nor subordinate himself to domination by any group, but shall share all of life’s goods with any other individual with whom he has fully equal rights and under full respect for his equal freedom. In this wish, the anarchists also agree with everyone who rejects the law of the jungle and chooses understanding with others. But the decision for this inevitably leads to the principle of the equal freedom of all.

The communists have no reasonable argument against social order without domination, since within its framework it can include a communist economic system also (as explained above) and since, with the elimination of all privileges and monopolies, it also eliminates any exploitation. Moreover — avoiding any deviations or even wrong paths — it leads to the final goal which is recognized but only dreamed of by the communists.

Thus, with what argument do the State-communists want to force all anarchists under the yoke of their concepts?


So far only real anarchism has been discussed, the one anarchism bearing this name correctly, since it has consistently chosen non-domination (i.e. the equal freedom of all individuals) as its goal as well as the path leading to it.

It should be superfluous to mention — but, unfortunately, is not — that it has nothing to do with terrorists, aggressive violators, or advocates of chaos. Besides such types, who are called “anarchists” only in conscious falsification, there are also certain types whom one might call unhappy lovers of anarchism. They greatly value being called anarchists and give themselves the name, though at least some of their statements and actions are in serious contradiction to anarchism. About them one could say: Heaven preserve anarchism from such friends. Against its enemies it can help itself.

This is not directed against so-called communist anarchism or anarchistic communism, since among its followers there are now, fortunately, a growing number of consistent anarchists who want to realize their communist economic system only on a strictly voluntary basis and do not intend in any way to hinder the followers of individualist economic relationships.

Unfortunately, there are also a considerable number of people among them who, on a human (social) level are often very sympathetic types, with a strong feeling for community, but who, partly with questionable philosophical arguments and partly because they disregard Shaw’s warning (“Do not do unto others, as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same”), want to make impossible any individualistic use of means of production, since they want to confiscate all of them and transform them into collectivist property. They consider the collective or even the communist economic system to be the “only true” form of anarchism, and so prove that they are not consistent anarchists, even though, apart from this, they represent some anarchistic claims.

Anarchism is not confined, either, to the rejection of compulsory association in the State. It rejects any grouping which claims, as such, a privilege over any individuals and for itself an excessive freedom of action with a corresponding restriction of the liberty of others. Captives of today’s way of thinking, many of them are not even conscious of being defenders of the State principle of aggressive force — by making claims which they are accustomed to consider self- evident, although they really are nothing of the sort.

This is often made worse by the absence of established knowledge. When criticising existing conditions, often quite one-sided Marxist thoughts are accepted. Then the causes of economic exploitation are sought in the wrong place, while the drawing of distinctions, that open up quite important new insights and new avenues is felt to be “not radical enough” and irreconcilable with one’s own prejudices.

When, moreover, their own point of view is seen unshakably and fanatically as “the only true way,” when any discussion with people who think otherwise is refused, and when their attitude towards dissenters is at best limited to hostile silence, then the people concerned already demonstrate how far they are from the tolerant spirit and basic principles of anarchism.

Moreover, they speak a lot about solidarity and require it from others. But when they are asked to prove their faith in a general voluntary solidarity of all immediately, by putting all their present income into a common pot, together with like-minded people, in order to distribute this amount either per head or according to “need,” then they advance the most varied excuses, which altogether avoid the core of the matter.

It was a historical disaster that in Europe (in the United States things were different from the beginning) it was not the first true anarchists who met with the greatest response, but rather those who in a usually quite thoughtless way, represented what they called anarchism. Naturally, the opponents of anarchism immediately attacked these pronouncements, and all the mistakes, contradictions and confusion in their thoughts were ascribed to anarchism as such, in order to discredit it thoroughly.

One has to judge e.g. Bakunin and Kropotkin within the political, social, and economic conditions prevailing in their times in order to understand how they could envision a way out of them only through armed insurrection and “expropriation” — not in favour of the State but against it. But their ideas were so carelessly thought out and so over-optimistic regarding the concrete effects and form of the new order, that the State communists found it easy to demonstrate the illusory aspects in their teachings.

The historical merit of the ingenious Bakunin — a firebrand as well as a muddlehead — is to have recognized and fought Marx’s error concerning the State. This remains incontestable. But his remark: “The delight in destruction is at the same time a creative joy!” and especially a number of concrete proposals in this direction, have done endless harm to real anarchism, and their effects can be felt even today. This is not even to speak of his irresponsible “Catechism for Revolution,” which one afterwards tried to ascribe to Nechaev but which was, at least temporarily, approved by Bakunin. In it such a marked ideological and anti-anarchistic obsession is shown that it can possibly be excused only with Bakunin’s own confession: “A basic evil in my nature has always been a love for the fantastic and the unusual, for unprecedented adventures, and for undertakings which open up a limitless horizon and whose end nobody can predict.” Quite sympathetic as a human being and meritorious in many respects he was (at least since he only preached the senseless but never practiced it), but he was never a representative of “classical” anarchism.

One could perhaps consider Kropotkin as such. He is venerable as a scholar as well as a human being, and he left behind significant works of moral philosophy as well as of natural science, containing a wealth of truly anarchistic thought. However, they are disturbed by his one-sided partiality for communist ways of thinking, his lack of economic knowledge, and the dependency of his insights on the living conditions of his own times. If one were to proclaim him a classical representative of anarchism, one would risk creating a one-sided image of anarchistic goals and methods among those whose “conversion” is desired. More people would be frightened away than would be attracted, at least under today’s conditions.

Therefore, our demarcation should be correctly understood not as a rejection of Bakunin and Kropotkin, who still deserve respect and even admiration for the positive aspects of their pioneering performance. Instead, we merely wish to discriminate against whatever in their teachings has been overtaken by subsequent developments or was in error, mostly pardonable and well-intended error.

We also consider it inexpedient, as well as objectively unfounded, to present as proof for the practicability of anarchism the short interlude in Spain which was improvised in the resistant against Franco’s coup by groups standing close to anarchism but composed mainly of syndicalists who called themselves anarchists. Under the circumstances conditioned by war, no consistent anarchism could develop at all, and the improvisation so much mixed truly anarchistic aspects with non or even anti-anarchistic ones that this period does not offer a suitable model but rather re-enforces existing prejudices and misunderstandings.

We are glad about any and even about part-agreement with consistent anarchism and consider even our most determined opponents not as enemies but as people who are probably only subject to misunderstanding or are insufficiently enlightened. On the other hand, we do not consider ourselves guardians of the “holy grail” — of what we represent as consistent anarchism. For its scientific-critical attitude makes it quite self-evident that we are always prepared to let others show us where we may have been mistaken, though, please, we want to be proven wrong if we are wrong. All of our publications contain a corresponding appeal.

This tolerant as well as conciliatory attitude can, in our opinion, be very well combined with that tenacity with which we oppose any confusion of concepts. Merely part-agreement with consistent anarchism does not suffice to turn those concerned into its representatives. One does not regard those as vegetarians, either, who eat meat only occasionally, e.g. on Sundays, but only those who eat none consistently. As little as the agreement of an anarchist with a communist or a fascist on the fact that 2 times 2 makes 4 turns their thoughts into anarchistic ones, as little can some anarchistic or anarchistic-sounding ideas make an anarchist out of someone who, apart from these, upholds convictions or commits deeds which are decisively anti-anarchistic.

Distinction from this latter type is absolutely necessary for the successful propaganda of consistent anarchism.

11. The Indispensable Precondition for Peace

Even the tiger in the wilderness lives mainly on vegetables, i.e. on the stomach contents of its vegetarian animal victims. But it is none the less wholly a tiger according to its nature, i.e. it cannot give up aggression and killing as a beast of prey. So it is too with the State. By its nature, it leans towards domination and aggression, internally as well as externally. Its ultimate argument is force. Even though external aggression today seems to be largely restrained through fear of nuclear weapons, this means a “peace” which may be broken at a moment’s notice by any fool or unteachable ideologist. Moreover, the super-powers have created their smaller war scenes, as e.g. was the case for a time in Vietnam and as is happening still in the Near East and Africa, where they are industrially rehearsing for the first and final performance of World War III.

The mad arms expenditure all over the world would suffice, if reasonably used, to cover all material pent-up demand, especially in developing countries, within a short time.

Some people consider world-government to be the best guarantee of peace. But this is an illusion originating from a misunderstanding of the essential nature of the State. Even within the individual States, their principle proves to be not a peace-promoting but rather a war-mongering one. Their principle consists in putting the management of all the affairs of human beings into the hands of a few and in aggressively forcing this management upon all their opponents. The aggressiveness of this action does not lose its character by being practiced in the name of an alleged majority. On a world-wide scale there are still greater differences in character, temper, custom, habit, ideology, religion and race. Therefore, any attempt to unify thoughts and actions world-wide must fail. Consequently, such attempts would at best lead to civil wars instead of the national wars we have had so far. A new conflict would be added to those already existing.

What is, after all, the aim of national as well as civil wars? Nothing other than:

  1. to subject opponents forcefully to one’s own interpretations,

  2. to maintain privileges and prerogatives, monopolies and oligopolies,

  3. to establish or maintain a condition of unequal freedom, and

  4. the principle: “Get up! — so that I can sit down in your place!”

Everyone wants to rule (note the revealing component “Gier”- greed — in the German word for ruling: “regieren” — “govern”), not only to live according to his own concepts and wishes, but also to be able to compel all others to live as he does, without bothering about their totally different concepts and wishes.

This does not always happen because of greed for power but often merely due to the naive identification of one’s own wishes, interests and concepts with those of all others. One even thinks one is doing them a good turn when one forces them to accept these notions. This is done out of the equally naive habit which induces most people to forget that the articles of their own faith are not provable knowledge by which one can convince others but mere assumptions and hypotheses that are advanced, while the others swear by quite different assumptions and hypotheses. Seeing the enormous variety of views, general agreement upon a single one is impossible.

Thus the only chance to avoid dangerous conflicts as far as possible, lies in compromise: in respecting the other with all his differences, and not only to the extent that he is of no interest to us, but even when we cannot understand his actions and thinking, or even despise them, in order to negotiate, mutually, his readiness to tolerate us. The limit must always be where the one demands privileges over the other and tries to inflate his own sphere of freedom at the expense of the other. But the standard for this limit of the equal freedom of all has finally been found and can be applied quite precisely.

Nowadays most people have been captivated by the fixed idea (i.e. an idea that has become so habitual that its falseness no longer strikes us) that within a territory there can be only one government with a monopoly claim which determines the affairs of the whole population in a uniform way. Why should there not exist, e.g. in Ireland, Israel, Rhodesia or any State for that matter, two (or more) governments of autonomous protective and social communities whose authority embraces only those among the population who want to belong to these communities voluntarily? This would be similar to the present arrangement between religious communities. Then every one of these autonomous protective and social communities would have the State of its dreams, without opposition, and could live according to its wishes without being hindered in this by others. As soon as they have fully realized the advantages of the principle of the equal freedom of all, its consequences will be no problem either. Of course, none of the various autonomous protective and social communities must claim prerogatives or privileges against the others, any more than individual members may raise such claims against others (without the others’ approval). What conclusions have to be drawn in order to abolish all prerogatives, privileges and monopolies, especially regarding land and money, has been explained by the anarchists. Upon this basis, and only upon this basis, an agreement between different points of view is surprisingly simple.

Anybody can understand that Israelis do not want to be dominated by Arabs, as little as Arabs want to be ruled by Israelis, Catholics by Protestants and vice versa, Communists by dissidents, etc. Once this principle of mutual independence and nonintervention, of the equal freedom of all, is clearly understood, then an agreement upon the consequences becomes easy: No privileges any more for some over others — and thus peace!

There is only one possible way to avoid warlike conflicts permanently: the realization of the principle of the equal freedom of all, of the strict abolition of privileges — world-wide.

This means, among other things, the elimination of all conflicts resulting from the territorially separated States with their monopoly claims to natural resources which happen to lie within their frontiers, and their discriminating economic policies against “foreigners.” It means the abolition of all monopolistic and aggressive organizations, as represented to the highest degree by the States. Without such organizations, national wars as well as civil wars are inconceivable. There will then be only one world, in which the Earth no longer belongs to the States but to the real totality of all individuals, with every individual, without exception, having an equal claim to use it.

The peace movement therefore has to change its way of thinking and can base itself for the first time on a clear and uniform program within the whole world.

There is also offered for the first time, in place of numerous earlier criteria which are mutually irreconcilable, an indubitable and objective standard for the whole world.

Of course, there is nothing to be said against a world organization whose principle and purpose is the realization and defence of the principle of the equal freedom of all, a world organization which arises from the free association of individuals or of autonomous protective and social communities which also make this principle their basic law. Such an organization could, at the same time, also make those “international” arrangements which correspond to the requirements of a world-wide protection of the environment and which are today already partly agreed upon internationally. But such an organization would be something fundamentally different from what is conceived nowadays under a world government, following the examples of previous State governments. Quite contrary to the endeavors of the State, its main effort should be directed to the strict observance of the limit of the equal freedom of all, individually, while at the same time the equal freedom of all groups will also be guaranteed.

With the abolition of internal aggression, aggression against the outside also automatically ceases! As soon as the principle of the equal freedom of all is realized in the individual States, then there will no longer be any States in today’s sense left, and with their rivalries all conditions for warlike clashes will also disappear.

It must become clear to all that religions and ideologies (regardless of their validity within the limits of the equal freedom of all) can never form the basis for relations between individuals, groups and entire peoples but are, if they are used as such, nothing but camouflage for aggressive force. Only when the simple truth (which as such is exactly provable) has been recognized that there is only the inescapable choice between aggressive force and understanding (whereby the latter is possible only on the basis of the equal freedom of all) can there be lasting peace between the peoples of the world, too.

Peace aspirations without respect for the principle of the equal freedom of all must remain illusory — for the same reasons as make peaceful conditions among individuals impossible without the realization of this principle.

This insight offers for the first time in human history an unshakable basis for peace, a perception upon which all human beings of all races and nations, of all religions and world views, can really agree. It is fundamental for all peace actions.

Peace activists of the world, unite!