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Anarchy is the first striving after liberty
By: Henry R Hinckley
Anarchy is the first striving after liberty. The natural condition of man is slavery. He is never found alone, like the wolf, he is a gregarious animal. And among such the rule of the strong prevails.
When the strongest male has made his position the others obey his absolute will until a stronger shall overthrow him. There are always rebels, however, who either keep aloof and independent or skulk with the herd and watch for a chance to better their condition, by turning the present order. This has always been and probably always will be, millennium on the millennium. It is one of the conditions of progress. The natural indolence and shiftlessness of man is such that he will adapt himself to almost any form of despotism. But the anarchist keeps him stirred up. One can bear well-known and certain misery, but the fear of what may happen is too much for our nerves. We must either fly from it or brace up and prepare to meet it. Either way leads to activity change and in the long run to progress. There seems to be running all through human history a conflict between those who have something and want to keep it and those who have not and want to oust the other fellow from his possessions. This feeling finds its expression in two ways which are akin and harken from the same egg. The one called anarchy that seeks to destroy the existing social order in hopes of getting something good out of its mires. The other called socialism professes to wish only to reorganize society on a better plan which will leave the socialist at the top instead of the middle or the bottom of the heap. Of the two as a matter of principle, I prefer the anarchist. He is more outspoken and there is less suspicion of bogus philanthropy about him. But the trouble is that as soon the anarchist has attained his purpose and commenced his war dance on the summit of the social ruin, he will find that his position is so enjoyable that a reorganization will be necessary to continue him in possession and for this previous training has left him unfitted.
The socialist on the other hand whose benevolent object is to reform society so that he can be general manager, is likely to find such obstacles in the conservation of the well to do classes that will loose all patience and join with the anarchist in the work of general destruction. These two classes will always constitute a minority in the body politic. For the commonwealth, whether it be a republic like the United States or a despotism like Russia, represents the will of the majority. They may make trouble and cause alarm, they will set people thinking; and out of all their vagaries some good practical suggestions may arise. Some utterly futile ones may be tried and demonstrated to be impracticable. Anything is better than orthodoxy whether in church or state. Disintegration and reintegration is the law of organic life. All we have to do as members of society in relation to the disturbing elements of anarchy and socialism is to watch them so that they do not make too much headway in stirring up the unthinking mob. A large and powerful middle class is the best balance wheel to the state. Where there are only classes and masses there will always be violent revolutionary movements. But where the great mass belongs to the well to do class it will be difficult for the disturbers of the peace to get any considerable momentum. The anarchists and socialists are a useful although uncomfortable bases to the political state. There will always be abuses. But where anarchists and socialists abound there is less likelihood of crystallizing into permanence. If the abuses are real and so great as to be unbearable the majority will gravitate to the side of the complainants and a modification or correction will ensue. All civil society is the resultant of the struggle between anarchy and socialism. These two apparently discordant elements are necessary to make the commonwealth a living organism.
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