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<HTML>
<HEAD>

<TITLE>G.1 Are individualist anarchists anti-capitalist? </TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<p>

<H1>G.1 Are individualist anarchists anti-capitalist? </h1>
<p>
Yes, for two reasons. 
<p>
Firstly, the Individualist Anarchists opposed profits, interest 
and rent as forms of exploitation (they termed these non-labour 
incomes <i><b>"usury"</i></b>). To use the words of Ezra Heywood, the 
Individualist Anarchists thought <i>"Interest is theft, Rent Robbery, 
and Profit Only Another Name for Plunder."</i> [quoted by Martin Blatt, 
<b>Benjamin R. Tucker and the Champions of Liberty</b>, Coughlin, Hamilton 
and Sullivan (eds.), p. 29] Their vision of the good society was 
one in which <i>"the usurer, the receiver of interest, rent and profit"</i> 
would not exist and labour would <i>"secure its natural wage, its entire 
product."</i> [Benjamin Tucker, <b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 82 
and p. 85] As communist-anarchist Alexander Berkman noted, <i>"[i]f 
labour owned the wealth it produced, there would be no capitalism."</i> 
[<b>What is Communist Anarchism?</b>, p. 37] Thus the Individualist 
Anarchists, like the social anarchists, opposed the exploitation 
of labour and desired to see the end of capitalism by ensuring that 
labour would own what it produced.
<p>
Secondly, the individualist anarchists desired a society in which 
there would no longer be capitalists and workers, only workers. The 
worker would receive the full product of his/her labour, so ending 
the exploitation of labour by capital. In Tucker's words, a free
society would see <i>"each man reaping the fruits of his labour and
no man able to live in idleness on an income from capital"</i> and 
so society would <i>"become a great hive of Anarchistic workers, 
prosperous and free individuals"</i> combining <i>"to carry on their 
production and distribution on the cost principle."</i> [<b>The 
Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 276] Moreover, such an aim logically 
implies a society based upon artisan, not wage, labour and workers 
would, therefore, not be separated from the ownership and control of 
the means of production they used and so sell the product of their 
labour, not the labour power itself. 
<p>
For these two, interrelated, reasons, the Individualist Anarchists 
are clearly anti-capitalist. While an Individualist Anarchy would be 
a market system, it would not be a capitalist one. As Tucker argued,
the anarchists realised <i>"the fact that one class of men are dependent 
for their living upon the sale of their labour, while another class 
of men are relieved of the necessity of labour by being legally 
privileged to sell something that is not labour. . . . And to such 
a state of things I am as much opposed as any one. But the minute 
you remove privilege. . . every man will be a labourer exchanging 
with fellow-labourers . . . What Anarchistic-Socialism aims to 
abolish is usury . . . it wants to deprive capital of its reward."</i> 
[Benjamin Tucker, <b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 404]  As noted above, the 
term <i>"usury,"</i> for Tucker, was a synonym for <i>"the exploitation of 
labour"</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>, p. 396] and included capitalist profits as well 
as interest, rent, and royalties. Little wonder Tucker translated 
Proudhon's <b>What is Property?</b> and subscribed to its conclusion 
that <i>"property is robbery"</i> (or theft).
<p>
Such opposition to exploitation of labour was a common thread in 
Individualist Anarchist thought, as it was in the social anarchist 
movement. Moreover, as in the writings of Proudhon, Bakunin and 
Kropotkin opposition to wage slavery was also a common thread within 
the individualist anarchist tradition -- indeed, given its regular 
appearance, we can say it is almost a <b>defining</b> aspect of the tradition 
(and, as we argue in the <a href="secG2.html">next section</a>, it has to be for Individualist 
Anarchism to be logically consistent). For example, taking Josiah 
Warren (the "father" of individualist anarchism) we find that <i>"[t]o men 
like [him] . . . chattel slavery was merely one side of a brutal situation, 
and although sympathetic with its opponents, refused to take part in the 
struggle [against slavery] unless it was extended to a wholesale attack 
on what they termed 'wage slavery' in the states where Negro slavery no 
longer existed."</i> [James J. Martin, <b>Men Against the State</b>, p. 81] Such 
a view, we may add, was commonplace in radical working class journals 
and movements of the time. Thus we find George Henry Evans (who heavily
influence Individualist Anarchists like Warren and Ingalls with the
ideas of land reform based on <i>"occupancy and use"</i>) writing:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"I was formally, like yourself, sir, a very warm advocate of the
abolition of (black) slavery. This was before I saw that there was
white slavery. Since I saw this, I have materially changed my views
as to the means of abolishing Negro slavery. I now see clearly, I
think, that to give the landless black the privilege of changing
masters now possessed by the landless white, would hardly be a
benefit to him in exchange for his surety of support in sickness
and old age, although he is in a favourable climate."</i> [quoted
by Kenneth R. Gegg, Jr., <b>Benjamin R. Tucker and the Champions 
of Liberty</b>, Coughlin, Hamilton and Sullivan (eds.), p. 113]
</blockquote><p>
Similarly, William Greene (whose pamphlet <b>Mutual Banking</b> had a great
impact on Tucker) pronounced that <i>"[t]here is no device of the political
economists so infernal as the one which ranks labour as a commodity, 
varying in value according to supply and demand."</i> [<b>Mutual Banking</b>  
quoted by Martin, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 130] In the same work he also noted
that <i>"[t]o speak of labour as merchandise is treason; for such speech
denies the true dignity of man. . . Where labour is merchandise in
fact . . . there man is merchandise also, whether in England or South
Carolina."</i> [quoted by Rudolf Rocker, <b>Pioneers of American Freedom</b>,
p. 112] Here we see a similar opposition to the commodification of 
labour (and so labourers) within capitalism that also marks social 
anarchist thought (as Rocker notes, Greene <i>"rejected . . . the
designation of labour as a <b>commodity.</b>"</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, pp. 111-2]). 
Moreover, we discover Greene had a <i>"strong sympathy for the 
<b>principle of association.</b> In fact, the theory of Mutualism is 
nothing less that co-operative labour based on the cost principle."</i> 
[Rudolf Rocker, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 109] Martin also indicates Greene's 
support for co-operation and associative labour:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Coming at a time when the labour and consumer groups were 
experimenting with 'associated workshops' and 'protective union 
stores,' Greene suggested that the mutual bank be incorporated 
into the movement, forming what he called 'complementary units of 
production, consumption, and exchange . . . the triple formula of 
practical mutualism.'"</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, pp. 134-5]
</blockquote><p>
This support for producers' associations alongside mutual banks is
identical to Proudhon's ideas -- which is unsurprising as Greene was
a declared follower of the French anarchist's ideas.
<p>
Looking at Lysander Spooner, we discover a similar opposition to
wage labour. Spooner argued that it was state restrictions on credit
and money (the <i>"money monopoly"</i> based on banks requiring specie to
operate) as the reason why people sell themselves to others on the
labour market. As he put it, <i>"a monopoly of money . . . .put[s] it
wholly out of the power of the great body of wealth-producers to
hire the capital needed for their industries; and thus compel them
. . . -- by the alternative of starvation -- to sell their labour
to the monopolists of money . . . [who] plunder all the producing
classes in the prices of their labour."</i> [<b>A Letter to Grover 
Cleveland</b>, p. 20] Spooner was well aware that it was capitalists
who ran the state (<i>"the employers of wage labour . . . are also the
monopolists of money."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 48]). In his ideal society,
the <i>"amount of money capable of being furnished . . . is so great
that every man, woman, and child. . . could get it, and go 
into business for himself, or herself -- either singly, or in 
partnerships -- and be under no necessity to act as a servant,
or sell his or her labour to others. All the great establishments,
of every kind, now in the hands of a few proprietors, but employing
a great number of wage labourers, would be broken up; for few, or
no persons, who could hire capital, and do business for themselves,
would consent to labour for wages for another."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 41]
In other words, a society without wage labour and, instead, based
upon peasant, artisan and associated/co-operative labour (as in
Proudhon's vision). In other words, a <b>non</b>-capitalist society or,
more positively, a (libertarian) socialist one as the workers' own 
and control the means of production they use.
<p>
The individualist anarchists opposed capitalism (like social anarchists) 
because they saw that profit, rent and interest were all forms of 
exploitation. They thought that liberty meant that the worker was 
entitled to <i>"all the fruits of his own labour"</i> (Spooner) and recognised 
that working for a boss makes this impossible as a portion is diverted 
into the employer's pockets. [Martin, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 172] Like social
anarchists they opposed usury, to have to pay purely for access/use
for a resource (a <i>"slice of their daily labour us taken from them [the
workers] for the privilege of <b>using</b> these factories"</i> [Alexander
Berkman, <b>What is Communist Anarchism?</b>, p. 6]).
<p>
This opposition to profits, rent and interest as forms of exploitation, 
wage labour as a form of slavery and property as a form of theft clearly 
makes individualist anarchism anti-capitalist and a form of (libertarian) 
socialism. In addition, it also indicates well the common ground between 
the two threads of anarchism, in particular their common position to 
capitalism. The social anarchist Rudolf Rocker indicates well this 
common position when he argues:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"it is difficult to reconcile personal freedom with the existing economic
system. Without doubt the present inequality of economic interests and
the ruling class conflicts in society are a continual danger to the
freedom of the individual. . . One cannot be free either politically or
personally so long as one is in economic servitude of another and cannot
escape from this condition. This was recognised by men like Godwin, Warren,
Proudhon, Bakunin, [and women like Goldman and de Cleyre, we must add!] 
and many others who subsequently reached the conviction that the domination
of man over man will not disappear until there is an end of the exploitation
of man by man."</i> [<b>Nationalism and Culture</b>, p. 167]
</blockquote><p>
In addition to this opposition to capitalist usury, the individualist 
anarchists also expressed opposition to capitalist ideas on property 
(particularly property in land). J.K. Ingalls, for example, considered 
that to reduce land to the status of a commodity was an act of <i>"usurpation."</i> 
Indeed, <i>"the private domination of the land"</i> originated in <i>"usurpation only, 
whether of the camp, the court or the market. Whenever such a domination 
excludes or deprives a single human being of his equal opportunity, it 
is a violation, not only of the public right, and of the social duty, but 
of the very principle of law and morals upon which property itself is 
based. . ."</i> [<b>Social Wealth</b>, quoted by Martin, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 148f] 
<p>
These ideas are identical to Proudhon's and Ingalls continues in this
Proudhonian <i>"occupancy and use"</i> vein when he argues that possession 
<i>"remains <b>possession</b>, and can never become <b>property</b>, in the sense of
absolute dominion, except by positive statue [i.e. state action]. Labour
can only claim <b>occupancy</b>, and can lay no claim to more than the 
usufruct."</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>, p. 149] In other words, capitalist property was 
created by <i>"forceful and fraudulent taking"</i> of land, which <i>"could
give no justification to the system"</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>] (as we argued in 
<a href="secB3.html#secb34">section 
B.3.4</a>) and was protected by the state. And like Warren and Greene 
he opposed wage labour, and <i>"considered the only 'intelligent' strike 
[by workers as] one which would be directed against wage work 
altogether."</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>, p. 153]
<p>
Therefore we see that the individualist anarchists, like social 
anarchists, opposed capitalist exploitation, wage slavery and 
property rights. Instead of capitalism, they maintained that 
workers should own what they produced or its equivalent (rather 
than what they were paid in wages). Such a position necessarily 
implies that they should own and control the means of production
they use, thus ensuring the <i>"abolition of the proletariat"</i> (to 
use Proudhon's term) and so the end of capitalism as society would 
no longer be divided into two classes, those who worked and those 
who owned. In an individualist anarchy, <i>"there should be no more 
proletaires"</i> as <i>"everybody"</i> would be <i>"proprietor."</i> This would result 
in <i>"The land to the cultivator. The mine to the miner. The tool to 
the labourer. The product to the producer."</i> [Ernest Lesigne quoted 
approvingly by Tucker at the end of his essay <i>"State Socialism and 
Anarchism"</i> in <b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 17, p. 18] Ernest Lesigne 
considered <i>"co-operative production"</i> as <i>"a solution to the great 
problem of social economy, -- the delivery of products to the 
consumer at cost"</i> and as a means of producers to <i>"receive the value 
of your product, of your effort, without having to deal with a mass 
of hucksters and exploiters."</i> [<b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 123] 
As Charles A. Dana put it (in a work published by Tucker and described 
by him as <i>"a really intelligent, forceful, and sympathetic exposition 
of mutual banking"</i>), <i>"[b]y introducing mutualism into exchanges and 
credit we introduce it everywhere, and labour will assume a new aspect 
and become truly democratic."</i> [<b>Proudhon and His <i>"Bank of the People"</i></b>, 
p. 45] In other words, a classless socialist society of self-employed 
workers without exploitation and oppression. 
<p>
As Wm. Gary Kline correctly summarises:
<blockquote><p>
<i>"Their proposals were designed to establish true equality of 
opportunity . . . and they expected this to result in a society
without great wealth or poverty. In the absence of monopolistic 
factors which would distort competition, they expected a
society of largely self-employed workmen with no significant
disparity of wealth between any of them since all would be
required to live at their own expense and not at the expense 
of exploited fellow human beings."</i> [<b>The Individualist
Anarchists: A Critique of Liberalism</b>, pp. 103-4]
<p></blockquote>
Thus Individualist anarchy would <i>"[m]ake capital free by organising 
credit on a mutual plan, and then these vacant lands will come into 
use . . . operatives will be able to buy axes and rakes and hoes, and 
then they will be independent of their employers, and then the labour 
problem will be solved."</i> This would result in the <i>"emancipation of the 
workingman from his present slavery to capital."</i> [Tucker, <b>Instead of a 
Book</b>, p. 321 and p. 323]
<p>
Moreover, like the social anarchists, the Individualist Anarchists were
aware that the state was not some neutral machine or one that exploited
society purely for its own ends. They were aware that it was a vehicle of
<b>class rule,</b> namely the rule of the capitalist class over the working
class. As noted above, Spooner thought that that <i>"holders of this monopoly
[the money monopoly] now rule and rob this nation; and the government, in
all its branches, is simply their tool"</i> and that <i>"the employers of wage 
labour . . . are also the monopolists of money."</i> [Spooner, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 42
and p. 48] Tucker recognised that <i>"capital had so manipulated legislation"</i>
that they gained an advantage on the capitalist market which allowed them
to exploit labour. [<b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, pp. 82-3] He was
quite clear that the state was a <b>capitalist</b> state, with <i>"Capitalists
hav[ing] placed and kept on the statute books all sorts of prohibitions
and taxes"</i> to ensure a "free market" skewed in favour of themselves.
[quoted by Don Werkheiser, <b>Benjamin R. Tucker and the Champions of 
Liberty</b>, Coughlin, Hamilton and Sullivan (eds.), p. 218] A.H. Simpson
argued that the Individualist Anarchist <i>"knows very well that the present 
State . . . is simply the tool of the property-owning class."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>,
p. 92] Thus both wings of the anarchist movement were united in their
opposition to capitalist exploitation and their common recognition that
the state was a tool of the capitalist class used to allow them to exploit
the working class.
<p>
In addition, as a means of social change, the individualists suggested 
that activists start <i>"inducing the people to steadily refuse the payment 
of rents and taxes."</i> [<b>Instead of a Book</b> pp. 299-300] This non-payment of
rent included rented accommodation as <i>"tenants would not be forced to pay
[landlords] rent, nor would [landlords] be allowed to seize their [the
tenants] property."</i> [<b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 162] These are 
hardly statements with which capitalists would agree. Tucker, as noted, 
also opposed interest, considering it usury (exploitation and a <i>"crime"</i>) 
pure and simple and one of the means by which workers were denied the full 
fruits of their labour. Indeed, he looked forward to the day when <i>"any
person who charges more than cost for any product [will] . . . be regarded 
very much as we now regard a pickpocket."</i> This <i>"attitude of hostility to 
usury, in any form"</i> hardly fits into the capitalist mentality or belief
system. [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 155] Similarly, Ezra Heywood considered 
profit-taking <i>"an injustice which ranked second only to legalising
titles to absolute ownership of land or raw-materials."</i> [James J. Martin,
<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 111] Opposition to profits, rent or interest is hardly
capitalistic -- indeed, the reverse.
<p>
As regards equality, we discover that the Individualist Anarchist's saw
their ideas as resulting in more equality. Thus we find Tucker arguing
that that the <i>"happiness possible in any society that does not improve 
upon the present in the matter of distribution of wealth, can hardly be 
described as beatific."</i> He was clearly opposed to <i>"the inequitable
distribution of wealth"</i> under capitalism and equally clearly saw his
proposals as a means of reducing it substantially. [<i>"Why I am an
Anarchist"</i>, p. 135, contained in <b>Man!</b>, M. Graham (ed.), pp. 132-6] 
John Beverley Robinson agreed:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"When privilege is abolished, and the worker retains all that he
produces, then will come the powerful trend toward equality of
material reward for labour that will produce substantial financial
and social equality, instead of the mere political equality that
now exists."</i> [<b>Patterns of Anarchy</b>, pp. 278-9]
</blockquote><p>
As did Lysander Spooner, who argued that under his system <i>"fortunes
could hardly be represented by a wheel; for it would present on
such height, no such depth, no such irregularity of motion as
now. It should rather be represented by an extended surface, varied
somewhat by inequalities, but still exhibiting a general level,
affording a safe position for all, and creating no necessity, for
either force or fraud, on the part of anyone to secure his standing."</i>
Thus Individualist anarchism would create a condition <i>"neither of
poverty, nor riches; but of moderate competency -- such as will
neither enervate him by luxury, nor disable him by destitution;
but which will at once give him and opportunity to labour, (both
mentally and physically) and stimulate him by offering him all
the fruits of his labours."</i> [quoted by Stephan L. Newman, <b>Liberalism 
at Wit's End</b>, p. 72 and p. 73] 
<p>
Hence, like social anarchists, the Individualist Anarchists saw
their ideas as a means towards equality. By eliminating exploitation,
inequality would soon decrease as wealth would no longer accumulate
in the hands of the few (the owners). Rather, it would flow back 
into the hands of those who produced it (i.e. the workers). Until
this occurred, society would see <i>"[o]n one side a dependent 
class of wage-workers and on the other a privileged class of 
wealth-monopolisers, each become more and more distinct from the
other as capitalism advances."</i> This has <i>"resulted in a grouping
and consolidation of wealth which grows apace by attracting all
property, no matter by whom produced, into the hands of the
privileged, and hence property becomes a social power, an
economic force destructive of rights, a fertile source of 
injustice, a means of enslaving the dispossessed."</i> [William
Ballie, <b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 121]
<p>
Tucker, like other individualist anarchists, also supported labour 
unions, and although he opposed violence during strikes, he recognised 
that it was caused by frustration due to an unjust system. Indeed, like 
social anarchists, he considered <i>"the labourer in these days [as] a 
soldier. . . His employer is . . . a member of an opposing army. The 
whole industrial and commercial world is in a state of internecine war, 
in which the proletaires are massed on one side and the proprietors on 
the other."</i> [<b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 460] The cause of strikes rested 
in the fact that <i>"before. . . strikers violated the equal liberty of 
others, their own right to equality of liberty had been wantonly and 
continuously violated"</i> by the capitalists using the state, for the 
<i>"capitalists . . . in denying [a free market] to [the workers] are 
guilty of criminal invasion."</i> [<b>Ibid.</b>, p. 454] He agreed with Ezra
Heywood when he <i>"scoffed at supporters of the status quo, who saw no
evidence of the tyranny on the part of capital, and who brought up
the matter of free contract with reference to labourers. This 
argument was no longer valid. Capital controlled land, machinery,
steam power, waterfalls, ships, railways, and above all, money and
public opinion, and was in a position to wait out recalcitrancy at
its leisure."</i> [James J. Martin, <b>Men Against the State</b>, p. 107] 
Likewise, Tucker advocated and supported many other forms of 
non-violent direct action such as boycotts and rent strikes, 
seeing them as important means of radicalising the working class 
and creating an anarchist society. However, like social anarchists
the Individualist Anarchists did not consider labour struggle as an
end in itself -- they considered reforms (and discussion of a <i>"fair 
wage"</i> and <i>"harmony between capital and labour"</i>) as essentially 
<i>"conservative"</i> and would be satisfied with no less than <i>"the abolition 
of the monopoly privileges of capital and interest-taking, and the 
return to labour of the full value of its production."</i> [Victor Yarros,
quoted by James J. Martin, <b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 206f]
<p>
However, while Tucker believed in direct action, he opposed the "forceful"
expropriation of social capital by the working class, instead favouring
the creation of a mutualist system to replace capitalist companies with
co-operative ones. Tucker was therefore fundamentally a <b>reformist,</b>
thinking that anarchy would evolve from capitalism as mutual banks spread
across society, increasing the bargaining power of labour. This idea of
reforming capitalism over time (and, by implication, tolerating boss's
control during that time) was primarily due to the influence of Herbert
Spencer and not Max Stirner. Little wonder that Peter Kropotkin termed
Tucker's doctrine <i>"no force"</i> and considered such a reformist position 
to be similar to Spencer's and so little more than <i>"an excuse for 
supporting landlord and capitalist domination."</i> [<b>Act For Yourselves</b>, 
p. 98]
<p>
Be that as it may, it is clear that both social and Individualist 
Anarchists share much in common, including an opposition to capitalism.
In other words, Individualist Anarchism is, indeed, opposed to capitalism.
As Carole Pateman points out, <i>"[t]here has always been a strong radical
individualist tradition in the USA. Its adherents have been divided
between those who drew anarchist, egalitarian conclusions, and those
who reduced political life to the capitalist economy writ large, to
a series of exchanges between unequally situated individuals."</i> [<b>The
Problem of Political Obligation</b>, p. 205] As can be seen, what
right-libertarians do is to confuse these two traditions. The 
Individualist Anarchists may have been in favour of free exchange
but between equally situated individuals. Only given a context of
equality can free exchange benefit both parties equally and not 
generate growing inequalities which benefit the stronger of the
parties involved which, in turn, skews the bargaining position of 
those involved in favour of the stronger (also see 
<a href="secF3.html">section F.3</a>).
<p>
<a name="secg11"><h2>G.1.1 Why is the social context important in evaluating Individualist
	Anarchism?</h2>
<p>
When reading the work of people like Tucker and Warren, we must 
remember the social context of their ideas, namely the transformation 
of America from a pre-capitalist to a capitalist society (see Eunice 
Minette Schuster, <b>Native American Anarchism</b>, pp. 135-137). The 
individualist anarchists viewed with horror the rise of capitalism 
and its imposition on an unsuspecting American population, supported
and encouraged by state action (in the form of protection of private 
property in land, restricting money issuing to state approved banks 
using specie, government orders supporting capitalist industry, 
tariffs and so on). 
<p>
The non-capitalist nature of the early USA can be seen from the 
early dominance of self-employment (artisan production). At the 
beginning of the 19th century, around 80% of the occupied population 
were self-employed. The great majority of Americans during this
time were farmers working their own land, primarily for their own
needs. Most of the rest were self-employed artisans, merchants,
traders, and professionals. Other classes -- employees/wage workers 
and employers/capitalists in the North, slaves and planters in the 
South -- were relatively small. The great majority of Americans
were independent and free from anybody's command. They controlled
they owned and controlled their means of production. Thus early
America was, essentially, a pre-capitalist society. However, by 
1880, the year before Tucker started <b>Liberty</b>, the number of 
self-employed had fallen to approximately 33% of the working 
population. Now it is less than 10% [Samuel Bowles and Herbert
Gintis, <b>Schooling in Capitalist America</b>, p. 59]. It is <b>only</b> 
in this context that we can understand  individualist anarchism, 
namely as a revolt against the destruction of working-class 
independence and the growth of wage-labour, accompanied by the 
growth of two opposing classes, capitalists and proletarians.
<p>
Given the commonplace awareness in the population of artisan 
production and its advantages, it is hardly surprising that 
the individualists supported "free market" solutions to social 
problems. For, given the era, this solution implied workers' 
control and the selling of the product of labour, not the labourer 
him/herself. As Tucker argues, individualist anarchism desires 
<i>"[n]ot to abolish wages, but to make <b>every</b> man dependent upon 
wages and to secure every man his <b>whole</b> wages"</i> [<b>Instead of a 
Book</b>, p. 404] and this, logically, can only occur under workers
control (i.e. when the tool belonged to the worker, etc. -- see 
<a href="secG2.html">section G.2</a>). 
<p>
Indeed, the Individualist Anarchists were part of a wider movement
seeking to stop the transformation of America. As Bowles and Ginitis
note, this <i>"process has been far from placid. Rather, it has involved
extended struggles with sections of U.S. labour trying to counter
and temper the effects of their reduction to the status of wage 
labour."</i> They continue by noting that <i>"with the rise of entrepreneurial 
capital, groups of formerly independent workers were increasingly drawn 
into the wage-labour system. Working people's organisations advocated 
alternatives to this system; land reform, thought to allow all to 
become an independent producer, was a common demand. Worker 
co-operatives were a widespread and influential part of the labour 
movement as early as the 1840s . . . but failed because sufficient 
capital could not be raised. . ."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 59 and p. 62] It 
is no coincidence that the issues raised by the Individualist
Anarchists (land reform via <i>"occupancy-and-use"</i>, increasing the
supply of money via mutual banks and so on) reflect these 
alternatives raised by working class people and their organisations.
Little wonder Tucker argued that:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Make capital free by organising credit on a mutual plan, and 
then these vacant lands will come into use . . . operatives will 
be able to buy axes and rakes and hoes, and then they will be
independent of their employers, and then the labour problem will
solved."</i> [<b>Instead of a Book</b>, p. 321]
</blockquote><p>
Thus the Individualist Anarchists reflect the aspirations of
working people facing the transformation of an society from a
pre-capitalist state into a capitalist one. As Morgan Edwards
notes:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"The greatest part [of <b>Liberty</b>'s readers] proves to be of the
professional/intellectual class: the remainder includes independent
manufacturers and merchants, artisans and skilled workers . . .
The anarchists' hard-core supporters were the socio-economic
equivalents of Jefferson's yeoman-farmers and craftsworkers:
a freeholder-artisan-independent merchant class allied with
freethinking professionals and intellectuals. These groups
-- in Europe as well as in America -- had socio-economic
independence, and through their desire to maintain and improve
their relatively free positions, had also the incentive to oppose
the growing encroachments of the capitalist State."</i> [<b>Benjamin R. 
Tucker and the Champions of Liberty</b>, Coughlin, Hamilton and 
Sullivan (eds.), p. 85]
</blockquote><p>
This transformation of society by the rise of capitalism explains 
the development of <b>both</b> schools of anarchism, social and 
individualist. <i>"American anarchism,"</i> Frank H. Brooks argues, 
<i>"like its European counterpart, is best seen as a nineteenth 
century development, an ideology that, like socialism generally, 
responded to the growth of industrial capitalism, republican 
government, and nationalism. Although this is clearest in the 
more collectivistic anarchist theories and movements of the 
late nineteenth century (Bakunin, Kropotkin, Malatesta, communist 
anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism), it also helps to explain anarchists 
of early- to midcentury such as Proudhon, Stirner and, in America, 
Warren. For all of these theorists, a primary concern was the 
'labour problem' -- the increasing dependence and immiseration 
of manual workers in industrialising economies."</i> [<b>The Individualist 
Anarchists</b>, p. 4]
<p>
Changing social conditions also explains why Individualist 
Anarchism must be considered socialistic. As Murray Bookchin
notes:
<blockquote><p>
<i>"Th[e] growing shift from artisanal to an industrial economy gave
rise to a gradual but major shift in socialism itself. For the
artisan, socialism meant producers' co-operatives composed of
men who worked together in small shared collectivist associations,
although for master craftsmen it meant mutual aid societies that
acknowledged their autonomy as private producers. For the industrial 
proletarian, by contrast, socialism came to mean the formation of 
a mass organisation that gave factory workers the collective power 
to expropriate a plant that no single worker could properly own. 
These distinctions led to two different interpretations of the
'social question' . . . The more progressive craftsmen of the
nineteenth century had tried to form networks of co-operatives,
based on individually or collectively owned shops, and a market
knitted together by a moral agreement to sell commodities 
according to a 'just price' or the amount of labour that was
necessary to produce them. Presumable such small-scale ownership
and shared moral precepts would abolish exploitation and greedy
profit-taking. The class-conscious proletarian . . . thought
in terms of the complete socialisation of the means of production,
including land, and even of abolishing the market <b>as such</b>,
distributing goods according to needs rather than labour . . .
They advocated <b>public</b> ownership of the means of production, 
whether by the state or by the working class organised in trade 
unions."</i> [<b>The Third Revolution</b>, vol. 2, p. 262]
</blockquote><p>
So, in this evolution of socialism we can place the various
brands of anarchism. Individualist anarchism is clearly a form 
of artisanal socialism (which reflects its American roots) while 
communist anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism are forms of industrial 
(or proletarian) socialism (which reflects its roots in Europe). 
Proudhon's mutualism bridges these extremes, advocating as it does 
artisan socialism for small-scale industry and agriculture and 
co-operative associations for large-scale industry (which reflects
the state of the French economy in the 1840s to 1860s). Hence
Individualist Anarchist support for <i>"the cost principle"</i> (or 
<i>"cost the limit of price"</i>) and artisanal production (<i>"The land 
to the cultivator. The mine to the miner. The tool to the labourer. 
The product to the producer"</i>), complemented by <i>"the principle of 
association"</i> and mutual banking.
<p>
In other words, there have been many schools of socialism, all 
influenced by the changing society around them. In the words
of Proudhon <i>"[m]odern Socialism was not founded as a sect or 
church; it has seen a number of different schools."</i> [<b>Selected 
Writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon</b>, p. 177] As Frank H. Brooks 
notes, <i>"before Marxists monopolised the term, socialism, was a broad 
concept, as indeed Marx's critique of the 'unscientific' varieties 
of socialism in the <b>Communist Manifesto</b> indicated. Thus, when 
Tucker claimed that the individualist anarchism advocated in the 
pages of <b>Liberty</b> was socialist, he was not engaged in obfuscation 
or rhetorical bravado."</i> [<b>The Individualist Anarchists</b>, p. 75]
Looking at the society in which their ideas developed (rather than
a-historically projecting modern ideas backward) we can see the
socialist core of Individualist Anarchism. It was, in other words,
an un-Marxian form of socialism (as was communist-anarchism).
<p>
Thus, to look at the Individualist Anarchists from the perspective 
of "modern socialism" (say, communist-anarchism or Marxism) means 
to miss the point. The social conditions which produced Individualist 
Anarchism were substantially different from those existing today
and what was a possible solution to the <i>"social problem"</i> <b>then</b> may
not be one suitable <b>now</b> (and, indeed, point to a different kind
of socialism than that which developed later). Moreover, Europe in 
the 1870s was distinctly different than America (although, of
course, the USA <b>was</b> catching up). For example, there was still
vast tracks of unclaimed land (once the Native Americans had been
removed, of course) available to workers (which explains the 
various acts the US state to control land access -- see 
<a href="secF8.html#secf85">section
F.8.5</a>). In the towns and cities, artisan production <i>"remained
important . . . into the 1880s"</i> [David Montgomery, <b>The Fall of
the House of Labour</b>, p. 52] Until the 1880s, the possibility of
self-employment was a real one for many workers, a possibility
being hindered by state action (for example, by forcing people
to buy land via Homestead Acts, restricting banking to those
with specie, and so on). Little wonder that Individualist Anarchism
was considered a real solution to the problems generated by the
creation of capitalism in the USA and that, by the 1880s, 
Communist Anarchist (and later anarcho-syndicalism) became
the dominant forms of anarchism. By the 1880s, the transformation 
of America was nearing completion and self-employment was no longer 
a real solution for the majority of workers. 
<p>
As Peter Sabatini points out:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"The chronology of anarchism within the United States corresponds 
to what transpired in Europe and other locations. An organised 
anarchist movement imbued with a revolutionary collectivist, then 
communist, orientation came to fruition in the late 1870s. At that 
time, Chicago was a primary centre of anarchist activity within the
USA, due in part to its large immigrant population. . .
<p>
The Proudhonist anarchy that Tucker represented was largely superseded
in Europe by revolutionary collectivism and anarcho-communism. The same
changeover occurred in the US, although mainly among subgroups of working
class immigrants who were settling in urban areas. For these recent
immigrants caught up in tenuous circumstances within the vortex of
emerging corporate capitalism, a revolutionary anarchy had greater
relevancy than go slow mutualism."</i> [<b>Libertarianism: Bogus Anarchy</b>]
</blockquote><p>
Murray Bookchin argues that the development of communist-anarchism 
<i>"made it possible for anarchists to adapt themselves to the new
working class, the industrial proletariat, . . . This adaptation
was all the more necessary because capitalism was now transforming
not only European [and American] society but the very nature of
the European [and American] labour movement itself."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, 
p. 259] With the changing social conditions in the US, the anarchist
movement changed to. Hence the rise of communist-anarchism in 
addition to the more native individualist tradition and the 
change in Individualist Anarchism itself:
<p><blockquote>
<i>"Green emphasised more strongly the <b>principle of association</b>
than did Josiah Warren and more so than Spooner had done. Here
too Proudhon's influence asserts itself. . . In principle there 
is essentially no difference between Warren and Proudhon. The 
difference between them arises from a dissimilarity of their 
respective environments. Proudhon lived in a country where the 
sub-division of labour made co-operation in social production 
essential, while Warren had to deal with predominantly small 
individual producers. For this reason Proudhon emphasised
the <b>principle of association</b> far more than Warren and his
followers did, although Warren was by no means opposed to
this view."</i> [Rudolf Rocker, <b>Pioneers of American Freedom</b>, 
p. 108]

</blockquote><p>
This social context is essential for understanding the thought of 
people like Greene, Spooner and Tucker. For example, as Stephen L. 
Newman points out, Spooner <i>"argues that every man ought to be his 
own employer, and he envisions a world of yeoman farmers and 
independent entrepreneurs."</i> [<b>Liberalism at Wit's End</b>, p. 72] This 
sort of society was in the process of being destroyed when Spooner 
was writing. However, the Individualist Anarchists did not think this 
transformation was unstoppable and proposed, like other sections of 
US labour, various solutions to problems society faced. Moreover,
they adjusted their own ideas to changing social circumstances
as well, as can be seen by Greene's support for co-operatives
(<i>"the principle of association"</i>) as the only means of ending
exploitation of labour by capital.
<p>
Therefore Rocker was correct when he argued that Individualist 
Anarchism was <i>"above all . . . rooted in the peculiar social 
conditions of America which differed fundamentally from those 
of Europe."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>, p. 155] As these conditions changed,
the viability of Individualist Anarchism's solution to the
social problem decreased. Individualist Anarchism, argues
Morgan Edwards, <i>"appears to have dwindled into political
insignificance largely because of the erosion of its
political-economic base, rather than from a simple failure
of strategy. With the impetus of the Civil War, capitalism
and the State had too great a head start on the centralisation
of economic and political life for the anarchists to catch 
up. This centralisation reduced the independence of the 
intellectual/professional and merchant artisan group that
were the mainstay of the <b>Liberty</b> circle."</i> [<b>Op. Cit.</b>,
pp. 85-6]
<p>
By not taking into account these conditions, the ideas of the 
likes of Tucker and Spooner will be distorted beyond recognition. 
Similarly, by ignoring the changing nature of socialism in the 
face of a changing society and economy, the obvious socialistic 
aspects of their ideas will be lost. Ultimately, to analyse the 
Individualist Anarchists in an a-historic manner means to distort 
their ideas and ideals. Moreover, to apply those ideas in a 
non-artisan economy without the intention of radically transforming 
the socio-economic nature of that society towards one based on
artisan production one would mean to create a society distinctly 
different than one they envisioned (see <a href="secG3.html">
section G.3</a>).
<p>

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