Political Science

At the Cafe: Conversations on Anarchism by Errico Malatesta

By Errico Malatesta

Whereas Malatesta was once hiding from the police he usually went to a restaurant in Ancona, Italy. He had shaved off his ordinary beard yet he used to be nonetheless taking a hazard. specifically as this wasn't an anarchist cafe, yet had numerous clients together with the neighborhood policeman. The conversations he had during this café turned the root for the dialogues that make up this booklet. For the 1st time in English, Malatesta, in his ordinary common-sense and matter-of-fact sort, units out and severely analyses the arguments for and opposed to anarchism. Translated by means of Paul Nursey-Bray, this can be a vintage defence of anarchism that anticipates the increase of nationalism, fascism and communism.

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A M B R O G I O : In the meantime? You will need a police G l O R G I 0 : What is th is morality that is superior to the will of men? Who prescribed it? From whence does it derive? force, a mag istrature, a penal code, some gaolers, etc . . G l O R G I 0 : And therefore, you would say, the reconstitu­ Morals change according to the times, the countries, the tion of a government, the return to the state of oppression classes, the circumstances. They express what people at under which we live today.

There work according to their inclinations and their capacities? If are pleasant and laborious jobs, healthy and unhealthy there were jobs that no one wanted to do, they would all do jobs. Naturally each person will choose the better jobs - them i n turn, and everyone would search for the means to who would do the others, that are often the most necessary? And then there is the great division between intellectual and manual labour. Don't you thi n k that everyone would l ike to be doctors, Imerati, poets, and that no one would wish to cultivate the land, make shoes etc.

Because th is is a spur to progress; and I think that, eve n if we could, i t would be an absurd waste of energy to produce . bli ndly to provide for a l l possible needs, rather than calcu- . members of the horde. Perhaps it is possible in a relig ious society, or a monastic order, that seeks the suppression of human passion, and prides itself on the i ncorporation of the individual into the religiOUS commun ity and clai m s obedi­ enCe to be a prime duty. But in a modern society, in which there i s a great flowering of civilization produced by the free activity of individuals, with the need for independence and liberty that torments and e n n obles modern man, comm u n i s m is not an impossible drea m, it i s a return t o barbarism.

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