Notes and Sources



The notorious remark 'All property is theft' comes from P-J Proudhon's 1840 book What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of right and government. Proudhon did not in fact mean that no one should own any private property at all and his statement was probably made to give the bourgeoisie a fright.



Beards and bombs: The Idea and The Deed: there were intellectuals such as Prince Peter Kropotkin (author of Mutual Aid  and The Conquest of Bread  which are still in print) and activists who seized upon these ideas. The thinkers rarely approved of the violent approach.


Six heads of state were assassinated by Anarchists in the twenty years before 1914; President Carnot of France in 1894; Premier Canovas of Spain in 1897; Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1898; King Humbert of Italy in 1900; President McKinley of the United States in 1901; and another Premier ofSpain, Canalejas, in 1912. None of them could qualify as a tyrant.


Denial of existence of society: this is the view of Murray Rothbard in his book For A New Liberty (1978).


Green movement: from the introduction to Green Politics by Spretnak and Capra;


'The new society would move away from quantitative to qualitative values and goals; away from the impersonal towards the personal and interpersonal; and away from the earning and spending of money towards the meeting of real human needs'.







Emma Goldman (1869-1940)  was a quite remarkable person. She was a Jewish immigrant to the US from Russia who apart from her publishing and activism caused a scandal by horsewhipping the deformed Anarchist orator Johann Most just as he was about to give a speech. From George Woodcock's Anarchism:


'Emma Goldman with her emotional oratory, her enormous courage, and her generous advocacy of unpopular causes, really belongs in a frame larger than the Anarchist movement alone can give her, for, Russian though she was by birth, she represented in a very broad sense the best traditions of American radicalism. She faced many a hostile crowd for the sake of free speech, she went to prison for her advocacy of birth control, and she helped to introduce Ibsen and his contemporaries to the American public'.


WTO and copyright: the new agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property means that every WTO member country has to have a copyright law, even countries such as India which previously had none.


Michael Jordan: the original of this example was published by Robert Nozick in 1974 using Wilt Chamberlain.


From each according to his ability…..’ comes from Marx’s Critique of the Gotha programme, p325.


Marx wisely wrote very little about Utopian ideals. Here is one example: ‘..while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming fisherman, herdsman, or critic.’ (from The German Ideology)



Stephen Peplow

Handout for the July 2002 meeting of HKPC’s Kowloon Branch