As discussed in “The Symbols of Anarchy” in An Anarchist FAQ [AK Press, 2008] anarchists at first used the red flag as their symbol of choice, with the Black Flag slowly replacing it over a period of many decades from the 1880s. Both flags, however, had their roots in working class struggle and protest, both were anti-capitalist symbols raised by working class people in revolt against exploitation and oppression.
Editor of The Voice of the People, and senior editor of The People.
The Voice of the People, October 29, 1849
Translator: Shawn Wilbur
Editor: Iain McKay
QUESTION. What is Socialism?
ANSWER. It is the doctrine of universal conciliation.
Translator: Shawn Wilbur
The true character of the revolution that was accomplished at Paris commence has been outlined in so marked a fashion that you, even the minds most unfamiliar with political theories, can now perceive it clearly.
The revolution of Paris is federalist.
Translator: Jonathan Mayo Crane
In the depths of Louisiana, whither I have been driven by the vicissitudes of my exile, I have read in a United States paper, “La Revue de l’Ouest,” a fragment of correspondence between you, P. J. Proudhon, and a Madam Hericourt.
Some words of Madam Hericourt, cited in that paper, cause me to fear the feminine antagonist may not have the strength — polemically speaking — to cope with her brutal masculine adversary.
Statism and Anarchy is the first complete English translation of the last work by the Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin. Given his influence, it is surprising that this 1873 work was his only book and even this is technically incomplete (referring as it does to a second part which was never written). It aimed to influence Russian populism and the “to the people” movement although most of it is an account of European history in the 19th century.
Proudhon’s work is a classic for many reasons. Not only did it put a name to a tendency within socialism (“I am an Anarchist”) and raise a battle-cry against inequality (“Property is Theft!”), it also sketched a new, free, society: anarchy.
or, The Philosophy of Poverty
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon made his name with his first Memoir on property, 1840’s “What is Property?” After two more Memoirs in 1841 and 1842, his next major work was 1846’s “System of Economic Contradictions” in which he first used “mutualism” to describe his libertarian socialism (inspired by the workers in Lyons where he stayed in 1843).
When society has turned from within to without, all relations are overturned. Yesterday we were walking with our heads downwards; today we hold them erect, without any interruption to our life. Without losing our personality, we change our existence. Such is the nineteenth century Revolution.
The fundamental, decisive idea of this Revolution is it not this: NO MORE AUTHORITY, neither in the Church, nor in the State, nor in land, nor in money?
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