Alexander Berkman Quotes | Quotes by Alexander Berkman

1The cure for evil and disorder is more liberty, not suppression.

2War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder.

3Anarchy: It is NOT bombs, disorder or chaos. It is NOT robbery and murder. It is NOT a war of each against all. It is NOT a return to barbarism or to the wild state of man. Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.

4Anarchism means voluntary co-operation instead of forced participation. It means harmony and order in place of interference and disorder.

5What is this thing we call government? Is it anything but organized violence? The law orders you to obey, and if you don't obey, it will compel you by force - all governments, all law and authority finally rest on force and violence, on punishment or fear of punishment.

6Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you just as the highwayman鈥檚 gun. You must live 鈥?You can鈥檛 work for yourself 鈥?The factories, machinery, and tools belong to the employing class, so you must hire yourself out to that class in order to work and live. Whatever you work at, whoever your employer may be, it always comes to the same: you must workfor him. You can鈥檛 help yourself. You are compelled.

7It is the system, rather than individuals, that is the source of pollution and degradation. My prison-house environment is but another manifestation of the Midas-hand, whose cursed touch turns everything to the brutal service of Mammon.

8The man who can face vilification and disgrace, who can stand up against the popular current, even against his friends and his country when he know he is right, who can defy those in authority over him, who can take punishment and prison and remain steadfast-that is a man of courage. The fellow whom you taunt as a 'slacker' because he refuses to turn murderer-he needs courage. But do you need much courage just to obey orders, to do as you are told and to fall in line with thousands of others to the tune of general approval and the Star Spangled Banner?

9When the highwayman holds his gun to your head, you turn your valuables over to him. You 'consent' alright, but you do so because you cannot help yourself, because you are compelled by his gun. Are you not compelled to work for an employer? Your need compels you, just as the highwayman's gun.

10Socialism, like Christianity destroyed itself to gain power

Alexander Berkman Quotes

11If you can see, hear, feel, and think, you should know that King Dollar rules the United States, and that the workers are robbed and exploited in this country to the heart's content of the masters.If you are not deaf, dumb, and blind, then you know that the American bourgeois democracy and capitalistic civilization are the worst enemies of labor and progress, and that instead of protecting them, you should help to fight to destroy them.

12Inhumanity is the keynote of stupidity in power.

13In short, Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally the benefits of an ordered and sensible life.

14Certainly the worker has nothing to lose by a change from government and capitalism to a condition of no government, of anarchy.

15War paralyzes your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood.

16War paralyzes your courage and deadens the spirit of true manhood. It degrades and stupefies with the sense that you are not responsible, that 'tis not yours to think and reason why, but to do and die,' like the hundred thousand others doomed like yourself. War means blind obedience, unthinking stupidity, brutish callousness, wanton destruction, and irresponsible murder.

17Man's inhumanity to man is not the last word. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep.

18...existence has become an unreasoning, wild dance around the golden calf, a mad worship of God Mammon. In that dance and in that worship man has sacrificed all his finer qualities of the heart and soul 鈥?kindness and justice, honor and manhood, compassion and sympathy with his fellowman.