Talk:Anarchy (book)

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I included in the external links section what appear to be two very different versions of Anarchy. The discrepancy could be partially explained by differences in translation from the original Italian, but one of the versions is substantially longer than the other, so this explanation seems inadequate. Someone, perhaps, could figure this out and then continue developing the article once that is out of the way. Here is some additional text I was considering:

Malatesta's first task is to address the meaning of the word "anarchy" itself, as it is commonly used (or misused, according to Malatesta) in society at large:
Anarchy is a word that comes from the Greek, and signifies, strictly speaking, "without government": the state of a people without any constituted authority.
Before such an organization had begun to be considered possible and desirable by a whole class of thinkers, so as to be taken as the aim of a movement (which has now become one of the most important factors in modern social warfare), the word "anarchy" was used universally in the sense of disorder and confusion, and it is still adopted in that sense by the ignorant and by adversaries interested in distorting the truth.
We shall not enter into philological discussions, for the question is not philological but historical. The common interpretation of the word does not misconceive its true etymological signification, but is derived from it, owing to the prejudice that government must be a necessity of the organization of social life, and that consequently a society without government must be given up to disorder, and oscillate between the unbridled dominion of some and the blind vengeance of others.
He goes on to express the anarchist view that government, i.e. the state, is the true source of violence and chaos in society, and that when this view is accepted, "anarchy" takes on a wholly new meaning:
When this opinion is changed, and the public are convinced that government is not necessary, but extremely harmful, the word "anarchy," precisely because it signifies "without government," will become equal to saying "natural order, harmony of needs and interests of all, complete liberty with complete solidarity."
Similarly to the Marxist viewpoint, Malatesta sees the state primarily as an instrument of class oppression:
In all times and in all places, whatever may be the name of that the government takes, whatever has been its origin, or its organization, its essential function is always that of oppressing and exploiting the masses, and of defending the oppressors and exploiters.
Compare with Marx's labeling of the state as "the executive committee of the bourgeoisie."
Malatesta's final conclusion is that government is not only oppressive but above all unnecessary (and should therefore be abolished):
It is hard to understand how anyone can believe that public services indispensable to social life can be better secured by order of a government than through the workers themselves who by their own choice or by agreement with others carry them out under the immediate control of all those interested.
Alexander Berkman also took up the task of explaining and advocating for anarchist communism in his book, ABC of Anarchism, which bears Malatesta's influence.

Spleeman 07:03, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)