Maurice Imbard

Reflections on Anarchism

15th March 1931

Among the numerous social doctrines and ideas, anarchism is the one that that has the most trouble introducing itself—infiltrating, I might say—into say. It must be said that the easy assimilation of the mass of other ideas comes from the fact that those others take care to preserve customs, conventions and beliefs rather similar to those that contribute to the maintenance of the current social state—a most defective social state, as all will agree.

So no one will be surprised that anarchism can count numerous adversaries, for the ensemble of ideas that constitute the anarchist ideology contrast ironically with the erroneous and mystical ideas of our contemporaries. It is a question, in effect, of the edification of a clear and rational mentality, drawing the power of its reason to be from science, from the observation and deep study of the natural phenomena that appeal to our curiosity.

In a word, anarchism is the negation of all the productions of the imagination, birthed by ignorance and especially by the absence of intellectual culture.

It should come as no surprise that its logic provokes an uproar of imprecations, for that logic demands that all rid themselves of the bonds, the swaddling clothes that grip them, that all break the habits acquired through a superficial and even misbegotten education.

It is because of the conditions required that the number of anarchists increases more slowly than that of socialists and communists and because the study of anarchist philosophy, though very simple, appears quite complex, because its adaptation, its absorption is more difficult.

Many brains are not accustomed to contemplating the destruction and disappearance of the social and moral institutions that delimit their thought and lives. However, despite the laws of heredity, which wants us to be like our ancestors, and even in defiance of them, the natural law of adaptation will strengthen the anarchist idea, assisted more and more by the application of scientific knowledge and discoveries—or at least we are convinced of it.

Retrieved on 2020-06-11 from
Maurice Imbard, “Réflexions sur l’anarchisme,” l’en dehors 10 no. 202–203 (15 mars, 1931): 13. [Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]