Anarchism Does Not Belong to the Socialists
Anarchism does not belong to the socialists. Anarchism is as old as Lao-Tzu & Christ. There a many anarchist schools of thought, my favorite being individualist anarchism. The following is an adaptation from Anselm Bellegarrigue's 1850's Anarchist Manifesto.
The sacrifice of the individual and their property has always been justified as a virtuous act for the preservation of society, the collective, and the State. This justification, this dogma, upheld by philosophy and politics, has served as a basis for power.
It has never been true, it will never be true. it cannot be true, that there is on earth an interest to which I owe the sacrifice. On earth there are only individuals; I am an individual; my interest is equal to that of any other; I owe nothing to the collective, because I am part of the collective . I owe nothing to the government, for the government gives me nothing,—in fact, has nothing to give me except that which it takes from me.
Do I, then, deny collective interest? Certainly not. Society is the inevitable consequence of the aggregation of individuals; collective interest is an unavoidable deduction from the aggregation of private interests. Collective interests can be complete only so far as private interest remains intact; if collective interest is defined as the interest of all, the moment the interest of a single individual in society is injured, collective interest is no longer the interest of all, and consequently has ceased to exist.
If the community needs to run a road through my field, it may compensate me. Here it is my interest that governs; individual right weighs over collective right. I have the same interest that the community has in having a road, but not in sacrifice to myself. So it is the communities' interest to indemnify me; which moves my interest to yield. Such is the collective interest that springs from the nature of things.
But when you close my establishment, forbid me to work, restrict my speech, prohibit me from being a lawyer or a doctor by virtue of my private studies and my clientèle, order me not to sell this and not to buy that,—when, in short, you call collective interest that which you invoke in order to prevent me from earning my living in the open day, I declare that I do not understand you.
Let us leave this frightful and outrageous fiction, and let us say that the only way to protect the collective interest is to protect private interest.