Louisa Sarah Bevington, “Wanted: Order” (1893)

Yes! order. That is what we Anarchists are struggling to get in the place of the shameful “chaos and disorder” that we see around us.

The disorder in the World and the Misery of the Workers is caused by the system of Monopoly and Capitalism, and by the brutal working of the laws, made by Monopolists and Profitmongers to protect themselves and their dishonest gains.

It is to the interest of Monopolists and Capitalists to make you believe that Anarchists are “enemies of society”. They tell you that Anarchists want to turn the world “upside down.”

Workers! “The world is upside down already” and the Anarchists are people who are giving their whole lives and powers in trying to set it on its feet.

Anarchists are not enemies of society, but they are enemies of the Capitalist system of Competition and the Government by Mammon, which keeps society in wretched confusion, filling it with Crime, Fraud, and Cruelty, and making men the enemies of one ^another, instead of friends.

Under the present Mammon-based system of society, everything is in the wrong place, and goiis by contraries. Everything is out of proportion. Everything is put to false and fatal uses. There is waste everywhere; there is want everywhere.

All the natural resources of our rich and beautiful world are at the disposal of a few idle men. Workers are set to make shoddy clothes, to jerry-build houses and to manufacture and mix rubbish and poison in foods and drinks.

The starving and shivering poor must pay back their hard won earnings for these wretched mockeries, which their own hands have been forced to make only for the exploiters’ profit.

Is this “order”?

Language is used to defraud and deceive. The commercial advertiser, the politician, the priest, and even the labour-leaders use fair words for their own ends, either to make you buy some profit-making sham, or believe some profit-protecting lie.

If a man is rich, no matter by what means he has become so, he is flattered, allowed to live in idleness, and to dominate the lives of the workers. He is so far free; and law (which, mark you, knows nothing of justice) protects him in his idleness.

If a man is poor, there is one rigid condition on which alone society allows him the necessaries of life, he must become the wage-slave of some exploiter. He must give his time and powers of body and mind to producing something to present to a profitmonger. Then a pittance will be returned to him, and he must live on it how he can. The exploiter pockets his present; the slave pockets his hopelessness.

Not merit, not need, decided who shall be supplied with the world’s resources. Money, or credit the phantom of money, decided that. And law protects and upholds this arrangement, and perpetuates the human hell that it results in. . Is this order?

It is said that soldiers and police, armies and arsenals, torpedoes, dynamite, and the taxes that go to pay for all this brute force, are “necessary”. Necessary for what? “Why, to keep dis-order in the world!*’

Workers! citizens! the “order” which is kept by these brutal means is the order of a smart tomb, with a putrefying corpse inside it. Corruption is the order of the present day. Monopoly and Exploitation are two great, cruel Crimes. Society is heaped up, in its present hideous disorder, on these Crimes as its foundation.

All the anxious sorrows of the workers, all the depravity and degradation of those whose lot is yet lower in the social Chaos, are due to these two great cruel Crimes. All Governments came into existence, and remain in existence, to protect these two great Crimes to protect the Monopolist and to protect the Exploiter. (Aye, and to protect the priests and other menial hangers-on to the skirts of mammon ! )

All wars are fought to defend Monopoly to open markets for the profitmongers, to secure wage-slaves for the exploiter, to force the will of the strong upon the weak and of the rich upon the poor. How long?

Mammon governs Man; and until Mammon be destroyed, and the fiction of “Property” be abolished, none of us can help ourselves. Till then all must stifle the voice of honesty within the hearts, and compete for money in order to live. And all must compete for profit (that is, defraud and over reach other competitors) if life is to be free from anxiety, if leisure is to be enjoyed or the faculties allowed full development and exercise.

Mammon makes law; and law holds your necks under the yoke of this anomalous, homicidal system, where there is Private Property there must be Government. And where there is Government there cannot be Freedom or Justice.

“Law and Order” are jingled together in a phrase, by those whose turn it serves to pretend that they mean the same thing. We Anarchists declare to you — and it is a matter of social life and death that you heed us, — that where there is man made law there can be no order. It is to get Order that we are determined to abolish Law.

Law hinders Order. Law keeps food out of hungry stomachs; for it protects the stores of the exploiter, and punishes with penal servitude the starveling who would seize a loaf. Law keeps the rich, rich: and the poor, poor. Law keeps safe the gains of the sweater and the swindler. Law forbids Industry to till uncultivated lands, unless at the exploiter’s bidding; and takes from the worker the fruit of his tillage, should he be employed.

Workers, insist that all this shall be changed. Refuse to be governed. Resist the exploiter. We must get possession of the means of life. When everyone is fitly occupied and everyone’s needs fitly supplied, when men co-operate as friends having common ends in view, and when each is allowed the scope proper to his own individuality, then and not sooner will Order take the place of Chaos, and Society be worth the name.

We Anarchists do not desire to enrich ourselves. We do not want your money. We do not want to rule over you. We do not want praise, or pay, or privilege, or power. We want for you, for ourselves, for all, free access to the Means of life, We want Justice. We want Honesty. We want Human Brotherhood. We want ORDER.

LSB [Louisa Sarah Bevington], ‘Wanted: Order‘, in Commonweal, 1:2 NS, May 1893.