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what is your favorite anarchist quotation?

+8 votes
at least this week?
this is mine (for today, anyway):

If politics, socialism, christianity, humanism, logic, coherence, right, duty, just and unjust, good and evil, truth and justice, are already boring, vacuous, and slumbering things, phantoms that have grown dim and vanished in the anthropocentric sun of the unique negator; parodies of a dying civilization that inspires nausea, repugnance, and contempt in us; Art teaches us the great love of Life. We have the need to love it “up to the annihilation of being”. Sorrow and Anguish are the pure fountain of pulsating Beauty for Art. It is in the sulfurous chasms of Sorrow that Art lays its luminous roots in order to be able to fling the verdant happiness of its branches high among the mysterious conflicts of the winds, in the dance of Sun and Light where dreams, hope, and Beauty are founded on a tragic song of happiness and Greatness.
from Novatore ("in the circle of life")
asked Sep 23, 2012 by dot (52,800 points)

16 Answers

+6 votes
Not sure I can pull out one favorite anarchist quote right now, but I can narrow it down to my favorite Novatore quote:

"Oh, good people, listen to me again since I am so revolutionary that I barely even recognize myself! And do you know why I am a revolutionary who can barely be recognized? For a reason so simple that it is great in its simplicity. Here it is: because I am a revolutionary guided only by the vast and uncontrollable impulse of MY expansion of will and potential.
There is no phantom guiding me, but rather there I am, walking. There is no chimerical dream of a perfect society of universal human redemption, but rather there is the absolute need for my potential affirmation before other potentialities."

My favorite non-anarchist quote of the year:
"What is the seal of attained freedom? To no longer be ashamed in front of oneself." - F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science
answered Sep 23, 2012 by Katherine diFiore (5,200 points)
edited Sep 29, 2012 by Katherine diFiore
+5 votes
"The destroyers of the death reality are struggling against the mythical reign of capitalist illusion, a reign which although it aspires to eternity rolls in the dust of the contingent.  Joy emerges from the play of destructive action, from the recognition of the profound tragedy that this implies and an awareness of the strength of enthusiasm that is capable of slaying the cobwebs of death.  It is not a question of opposing horror with horror, tragedy with tragedy, death with death.  It is a confrontation between joy and horror, joy and tragedy, joy and death."

Alfredo Bonanno "Armed Joy"
answered Sep 24, 2012 by jingles (2,260 points)
–1 vote
When they put on that badge and strap that gun to their waist you suddenly stop being a person with feelings, dreams, and a future. You cease to be a son, daughter, mother, or father. You are not a human being. You’re just part of the job. Do the police really know how much harm they are doing? Sometimes they don’t, sometimes they do, but most of the time they simply do not care. That is the reason people fear the police. We voice our anger peacefully, show our dissent in the streets without violence, yet they show up prepared for a fight. - Ramone Grey "The World That Could Grow A Man"
answered Sep 27, 2012 by RageMovement (110 points)
Interesting that in a discussion of anarchist quotations, you choose one that is not about anarchists or anarchism at all, but rather focuses on one enemy. Why is this your favorite anarchist quote?
Anarchism at its heart is anti-authoritarian. The police serve as the enforcing tools of coercion from an authoritarian government. The quote focuses more on a specific part of anarchist principles. There's probably better quotes to use, to be honest, but this was written by a late anarchist and always stuck out to me.
I'd say it goes beyond the police. We're all in on it. Nazi Germany couldn't have happened without Nazi soldiers, concentration camp guards, police and Hitler. But it also couldn't have happened without Nazi farmers, factory workers, teachers, street sweepers, etc. If you're part of a violent and immoral system, you're responsible. Your own wage slavery is keeping alive the system that enforces it.
–9 votes
"Property is Theft!" is nice and pithy.

But I'm liking this lately:

"The creation of true socialism isn’t a matter of political parties or violent revolution. Socialism is what’s quietly emerging as the forces of the free market — i.e., of peaceful cooperation — destroy capitalism."
- Kevin Carson
answered Sep 28, 2012 by ForkFreedom (220 points)
+4 votes
"Obedience is death. Each instant in which man submits to an outside will is an instant taken away from his own life."

Alexandra-David Neel
"Pour la vie"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_David-N%C3%A9el

"Our individualism is not an individualism of the graveyard, an individualism of sadness and of shadow, an individualism of pain and suffering. Our individualism is a creator of happiness, in us and outside of us. We want to find happiness wherever it is possible, thanks to our potential as seekers, discoverers, realizers."

Emile Armand
"Anarchist Individualism and Amorous Comradeship"
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/emile-armand-anarchist-individualism-and-amorous-comradeship
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile_Armand

"Modern Communists are more individualistic than Stirner. To them, not merely religion, morality, family and State are spooks, but property also is no more than a spook, in whose name the individual is enslaved — and how enslaved! The individuality is nowadays held in far stronger bondage by property, than by the combined power of State, religion and morality.

Modern Communists do not say that the individual should do this or that in the name of Society. They say: “The liberty and Eigenheit of the individual demand that economic conditions — production and distribution of the means of existence — should be organized thus and thus for his sake.” Hence follows that organization in the obedience or despotism. The prime condition is that the individual should not be forced to humiliate and lower himself for the sake of property and subsistence. Communism thus creates a basis for the liberty and Eigenheit of the individual. I am a Communist because I am an Individualist. "


Max Baginski
"Stirner: The Ego and His Own"
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/max-baginski-stirner-the-ego-and-his-own
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Baginski

"The present forms of greed lose out, in the end, because they turn out to be not greedy enough...The repression of egoism, contrary to the dictates of every one of the so-called “Communists” (in opposition to Marx and Engels), from Lenin right down to Mao, can never be the basis of communist society...The original self-expansion of egoism was identically the demise of the primitive community. But its further self-expansion will resolve itself into a community once again. It is only when greed itself at last (or rather, once again) beckons in the direction of community that that direction will be taken. Here the ancient Christian truth that no earthly force can withstand human greed rejoins us on our side of the barricades."

For Ourselves
"The Right To Be Greedy: Theses On The Practical Necessity Of Demanding Everything"
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/for-ourselves-the-right-to-be-greedy-theses-on-the-practical-necessity-of-demanding-everything
answered Sep 29, 2012 by iconoclast (3,250 points)
edited Sep 29, 2012 by iconoclast

Raoul Vaneigem has said similar things:
 

For others to interest me I must first find in myself the energy for such an interest. What binds me to others must grow out of what binds me to the most exuberant and demanding part of my will to live - not the other way round. It is always myself that I am looking for in other people; my enrichment, my realisation. Let everyone understand this and 'each for himself' taken to its ultimate conclusion will be transformed into 'all for each'.

+3 votes
"Everything sacred is a tie, a fetter."
-- Max Stirner

And this one, which isn't as crisp as the first, but speaks to the same issue more specifically...

"Where socialists go wrong...is in their assumption that the individual can only be free--i.e. self-governing, self-owning--when his interests are combined with those of all other individuals. They believe in the collectivization of interests. But I am not free if my interests are inseparable from yours. My freedom lies in my opportunity to differ, in dis-unity, dis-connection, dis-sent. I am freest when interests are individualized, when I can be sole sovereign over my person and can dispose of the things I produce, or the services I can offer, as I see fit.

"Anarchism lies in the direction of the individualization of interests, economic or any other, not their socialization.

"Socialism is a religion of society--it is the sacrifice of the individual to the Collective.

"Anarchy is the philosophy of the individual--it is the affirmation of individuality, the proud denial of legitimacy to any institution, group or idea that claims authority over the ego."
--S.E. Parker
answered Jan 20, 2013 by MrThisBody (1,650 points)
edited Jan 20, 2013 by MrThisBody
+3 votes
I don't have only one favorite quotation, so I feel like I could give quotations that both define myself and my conception of anarchy.

Also maybe it would be a bit different from the rest as most of the quotations are from individualist anarchists.

I like this one very much, and also the science-fiction novel it comes from.

“We have nothing but our freedom. We have nothing to give you but your own freedom. We have no law but the single principle of mutual aid between individuals. We have no government but the single principle of free association. We have no states, no nations, no presidents, no premiers, no chiefs, no generals, no bosses, no bankers, no landlords, no wages, no charity, no police, no soldiers, no wars. Nor do we have much else. We are sharers, not owners. We are not prosperous. None of us is rich. None of us is powerful. If it is Anarres you want, if it is the future you seek, then I tell you that you must come to it with empty hands. You must come to it alone, and naked, as the child comes into the world, into his future, without any past, without any property, wholly dependent on other people for his life. You cannot take what you have not given, and you must give yourself. You cannot buy the Revolution. You cannot make the Revolution. You can only be the Revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, in "The Dispossessed"

These two quotes by Bakunin :

"I am now convinced that the time for grand theoretical discourses, written or spoken, is over. During the last nine years more than enough ideas for the salvation of the world have been developed in the International (if the world can be saved by ideas) and I defy anyone to come up with a new one.

This is the time not for ideas but for action, for deeds."

in the "Letter to the Comrades of the Jura Federation" 1873.

and this one :

"Who wants to spread the revolution must be frankly revolutionary himself. To rise up [...] , we must have the Devil in the flesh; otherwise we only make speeches that abort, we only produce sterile noise, not acts."

in "The knuto-Germanic Empire".

And finally, this one by phil K Dick, not intrisincally anarchist, but kind of blew my mind when I was a youngster. It's in the text "The human and the android" (1972), that I firmly recomend you, by the way :

"The totalitarian society envisioned by George Orwell in 1984 should have arrived by now. The electronic gadgets are here. The government is here, ready to do what Orwell anticipated. So the power exists, the motive, and the electronic hardware. But these mean nothing, because, progressively more and more so, no one is listening. The new youth that I see is too stupid to read, too restless and bored to watch, too preoccupied to remember. The collective voice of the authorities is wasted on him; he rebels. But rebels not out of theoretical, ideological considerations, only out of what might be called pure selfishness. Plus a careless lack of regard for the dread consequences the authorities promise him if he fails to obey. He cannot be bribed because what he wants he can build, steal, or in some curious, intricate way acquire for himself. He cannot be intimidated because on the streets and in his home he has seen and participated in so much violence that it fails to cow him. He merely gets out of its way when it threatens, or, if he can't escape, he fights back. When the locked police van comes to carry him off to the concentration camp the guards will discover that while loading the van they have failed to note that another equally hopeless juvenile has slashed the tires. The van is out of commision. And while the tires are being replaced, the other youth siphons out all the gas from the gas tank for his souped-up Chevrolet Impala and has sped off long ago.

The absolutely horrible technological society -- that was our dream, our vision of the future. We could foresee nothing equipped with enough power, guile, or whatever, to impede the coming of that dreadful, nightmare society. It never occured to us that the delinquent kids might abort it out of the sheer perverse malice of their little individual souls, God bless them. "

Text can be found here : http://bigpicture.typepad.com/writing/2005/07/the_android_and.html
answered Feb 23, 2015 by okapy (2,120 points)
the pkd quotation is fantastic. more hopeful than i would ever guess from him.
so sweet! (lol)
Infact, I think PKD was a total "paranoid" guru-wanabe SFX author (who  was clearly abusing of "psychotropic recreational products"), more than an anarchist or even a real "protester" (even being one is not to be considered mutually exclusive with being a drug-user regarded as "mentally ill"). But a lot of the topics adressed in his works are really "anarcho-compatible" to me, and kind of subversive in the criticism he have made. ;-)
+4 votes
I generally dislike quotations out of context, but, ok, I'll give this a shot. One of my current favorites:

"Obedience is the mother of command. Like a degenerate she has many children and gives her affection to the worst of them." -Renzo Ferrari

I like this quote because the vast majority of people who take any interest in combating authority in any degree tend to look at the situation as consisting primarily of a top-down, pyramidal structure where a few are wrenching the proverbial genitalia of the masses with iron gauntlets. While this view has proved time and again a method for impassioned rhetoric and the spark of revolution and shallow rebellion, it hasn't undermined the basic structure since the 'masses'' have internalized the logic and morality of 'the few.' They hold up the few and re-create the very pyramid they presumably hate.

This quote reminds me, anyway, that my struggle may be likened more to a _tropical_ struggle, a fluctuating interplay between 'internality' and 'externality' rather than simply a 'rising up' from the bottom or a 'knocking down' of a cruel capstone. In this, I feel, there may be a rebellion at the edges (seasonal turnings if you wish), as well as the possibility of (roughly more) fluid, horizonal relations, that clearing-in-the-forest,* rather than a vertical fight for toward a reified notion of 'society,' 'ecology,' or even 'anarchy,' as some seemingly understand the term.

*http://anarchy101.org/9455/is-anarchism-inherently-moralistic#c9459
answered Feb 23, 2015 by AmorFati (7,520 points)
edited Feb 23, 2015 by AmorFati
+9 votes
i like this one today...


“I am not against playfully imagining possible decivilized worlds. But for such imaginings to be truly playful and to have experimental potential, they cannot be models worked out from abstracted conceptions of either past or future societies. In fact, in my opinion, it is best to leave the concept of “society” itself behind, and rather think in terms of perpetually changing, interweaving relationships between unique, desiring individuals. That said, we can only play and experiment now, where our desire for the apparently “impossible” meets the reality that surrounds us."

― Wolfi Landstreicher
answered Feb 23, 2015 by bornagainanarchist (9,080 points)
+2 votes
Being an anarchist isn't really about getting rid of governments or corporations but more about examining then redefining the relationships people form which make these types of hierarchies possible.
-Anonymous
answered Mar 12, 2015 by Folcrin (190 points)
edited Mar 12, 2015 by Folcrin
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