“Anarchy” (Americanized Encyclopædia Britannica, 1890)

ANARCHY is that system of voluntary socialism—sometimes called individualism or mutualism—whose battle-cry is “Down with the State.” Its earliest exponent in America was Josiah Warren. He was an associate of Robert Dale Owen, at New Harmony, Ind., where in 1825 a Communistic society started under the most favorable auspices. But it was not until the failure of his experiment that Mr. Warren worked out his new principle of “cost the limit of price.” Mr. Warren maintains that labor expended forms the only equitable element in the cost of an article, and insists that all natural elements, such as land, should be free to all, and that interest on money could be abolished by issuing labor notes based on labor performed. His ideas are treated by Stephen Pearl Andrews in his work Science of Society. Proudhon, the French economist, arrived at the same conclusions about the same time; the only difference between Warren and Proudhon is in the application of some of the details. Anarchists are divided into two schools, namely, the Communist and Philosophic Anarchists. The former lays down the principle “to each according to his needs;” the latter “to each according to his deeds,” thus it will be seen that the philosophic anarchist believes in reward in proportion to merit, hence regards the institution of private property, maintained in the absence of force or fraud, as an essential condition of Individual Sovereignty and social progress. Johann Most, editor of Die Frieheit (German), represents the Communistic element, while Ben R. Tucker, of Boston, editor and publisher of Liberty, is perhaps the most zealous exponent of the philosophical school. Victor Yarros, John F. Kelly, Miss Dr. Gertrude B. Kelley, J. Wm. Lloyd and Hugh O. Pentecost are representatives of the same school. Their economic demands consist of free land, free banking (through mutual organizations of credit) and free trade. The general assumption in the public mind that all anarchists are in favor of applying physical force in furtherance of their ideas, is entirely erroneous.


Source: “United States of America: The Labor Movement,” Americanized Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. X (Chicago: Belford-Clark Co., 1890): 6038-39