Title: Education as Revolution
Author: Wu Zhihui
Date: September 1908
Source: From Robert Graham (Ed.), Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas; Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300 CE to 1939). libcom.org

THE GOAL OF POLITICAL REVOLUTION is the struggle for rights. It equates public morality with national sovereignty. Therefore, when political revolution occurs, it easily turns into mob action by the revolutionary party. At first, they grab power from the monarchs. Then they fight against and indiscriminately slaughter and coerce each other. The only thing they dare not openly transgress is the motherland and national sovereignty.

... Those who advocate political revolution use rights as a catalyst to arouse emotions. In this case, rights are opposed to public morality. Here, revolution and education are viewed as two separate things. So bad effects are inevitable. The call for constitutionalism in political revolution is especially contemptible ... even if they captured political power, the coercive imperial house would remain in existence ...

Anarchist revolution is totally different. Anarchists aim at arousing public morality, are concerned with the mutual interaction between the individual and the society, and are willing to abnegate all personal rights in order to pursue collective happiness. This actually emphasizes education, not revolution. When education is popularized, everyone abandons old habits and starts a new life. Revolution, thus, is just a certain effect of this transformation. In terms of these effects, there is nothing wrong with a revolutionary advocacy that seeks before the revolution to institute a revolutionary education that paves the way for revolution.

So the anarchists’ revolution is not political revolution; it is education ... education is revolution. Daily education is daily revolution. The smaller effects of education are small changes in social customs. This is called the small revolution ... When the effect of education is to suddenly transform old customs in the entire society, this is called the grand revolution ... There is actually no completion to the true revolution. Truth and justice progress everyday. So long as education does not stop, neither does revolution ...

Anarchist education consists of the morality included in truth and public morality, such as philanthropy, liberty and freedom, etc., and the knowledge included in truth and public morality, such as the experimental sciences. Besides these, there is no education.

Some injudicious people think education and revolution are separate. Their revolution aims at arousing emotions for rebellion. The education they have in mind is the one carried out by the pedagogues in schools where inferior methods and slave education prevail. To cultivate public morality, they advocate the reform of consciousness. However, the more they cultivate, the more they stray away. Thus, the cultivation of public morality finally fails, and the ephemeral revolution ends up with unthinking rebellion. This is because they never recognize that education is revolution, and revolution the revelation of public morality. Only progressive anarchist-educationalists have a full view of public morality as revolution.