To Each Their Own

I have been an anarchist for an awful long time.  I believe that, to paraphrase Proudhon, whoever lays a hand on me to govern me is a usurper and tyrant, and I declare them my enemy. I favor the abolition of the state, completely and at the earliest possible opportunity.  This seems to me the basic, essential libertarian idea, founded on the belief that people are capable of living their lives and interacting with others uncoerced, unsupervised, unmanaged, unpoliced, unchaperoned—in other words, ungoverned. Continue reading

Our Demands as Individualist Anarchists

Note by John Zube

The following is merely the translation of a translation.  It was written in French by E Armand, published 1945 in l’Unique, and reprinted in LA FEUILLE, published by the Association Max Stirner du Quebec, CP 95, Stn Place D’Armes, Montreal.  The translation into German for publication in Lernziel Anarchie, No. 4, was done by CR. 
This German version is here roughly translated into English by John Zube, 30.12.1985.
  In the comment it is mentioned that Armand’s book (L’Initiation individualiste anarchiste 1923, 344 pp, ed de L’En Dehors) is out of print.  An improved and enlarged edition came out in Italian.

The individualist anarchists in the meaning of the UNIQUE (of Stirner’s The Ego and His Own) do advocate a “society without coercion.”  This implies the following demands, which are unqualified and without reservations.  It is self-evident that these demands are to be realized, completely or partly, as far as is possible.

Individualists of our kind recognize every society as a “Society without Coercion” in which the State and any other aggressive power is eliminated, in which there is no longer any domination of man over man or over a sphere of society (and vice versa) and in which an exploitation of man by man or of man through social institutions (and vice versa ) is impossible.

Thereupon the following demands arise:

1) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to decide for oneself in all respects.
  This means that every unit in society moves according to its own discretion, develops itself, gathers experiences in accordance with its own preferences, corresponding to its talents, reasoning and personal resolutions.
  In short, the individual is responsible only to himself (or to those to whom he has obliged himself) for all his actions.
  This freedom finds its limits where the equal freedom of others begins and the danger arises that others are harmed.

2) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to chose and practise one’s profession and to utter one’s opinion orally and in writing, publicly and privately.

3) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to join any association that has definite and predetermined purposes or any other association of any kind.

4) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to decide for oneself either for or against any expression of solidarity, for and against any contractual obligation of whatever kind and in whatever sphere of human activity and without regard to its aims and its duration.  Likewise, the right to freely decide upon withdrawal from a contractual situation, within the framework of clearly predetermined contractual conditions.  One precondition is that, in case a contract offer is declined or a contract is dissolved, the dissenters are not penalized or maligned.  But when a contract is dissolved then neither disadvantages nor any harm must arise for the partner that would be contrary to the form and contents of the contract.

5) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for producers and consumers and other partners to negotiate, whether alone or in groups.  Full and unrestricted right, regardless of the sphere of activities and their purpose, to select the persons and societies of one’s confidence and to authorize them, especially teachers, instructors, physicians, lawyers and arbitrators.

6) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to determine and change the value or price of any goods, their own products or consumer goods, of whatever kind, according to one’s own discretion.  Likewise untouchable is the right to negotiate in this respect, to use an arbitrator or to do without any determination of values.

7) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for every individual and every association or group to use any money that applies as a means of exchange to themselves, for their goods and service exchanges, to issue it themselves or to accept that issued by others, provided that this is always done by agreement and not under any monopolistic coercion.  The same applies to the so-called labour bonds and goods warrants and similar certificates, to bills, letters of credit etc, whether they are negotiable or not.  Consequently, there is a definite right to utilize any voluntarily recognized means of payment for all economic transactions, as long as it is not subjected to any legal tender.  With this is meant the unrestricted right to utilize any other kind of means of exchange, provided that an acceptor is found who decides for it without any coercion.

8) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for individuals and groups, to compete for any job or contract, provided that the applicants are not prevented from fully informing and improving themselves.
  Likewise untouchable are the rights to act creatively in accordance with one’s desires, to move and settle freely and to advertise one’s own cause or services.

9) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to exhibit and realize in any sphere of culture and economics one’s opinions or services. There is no other limitation upon this than the condition that nothing may be forced upon others.  They may freely decline whatever does not appeal to them.  Under this condition the unrestricted right to freedom of expression applies and the right to propagate and teach a theory and to undertake experiments and gather experiences, even when this applies to economic, philosophic, scientific, religious, educational, artistic or any other spheres of activity.

10) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to live from the returns of one’s own services or production, even alone, outside of any group or community or society itself, at one’s own risk.
  Likewise unrestricted is the right to seek to live together with a partner, in a family, in a patriarchal or matriarchal society, in free associations and communes, in close ideological association of whatever kind.

11) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to decide for oneself to join any association or league whose libertarian aims embrace any kind of human activity or search for knowledge.  This applies to associations for any economic, intellectual, ethical, emotional recreational or other purpose and, especially for all spheres of production, consumption, trade, communication, insurance against all possible risks, educational methods and systems, to the utilization of scientific discoveries and of naturally or artificially produced energies.

12) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to secede from any kind of association, but in accordance with the principles and clauses agreed upon when it was established.

13) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for any association, league, cooperative etc. to organize itself in a way that suits its members best.  This includes the right to order internal affairs at one’s own discretion, in accordance with an internal constitution that applies only to the voluntary members.

14) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to settle upon and utilize for oneself any non-inhabited and not claimed locality or real estate, provided that thereby the equal right of others is not infringed and no one else is exploited thereby.  
Under this condition the individual has an incontestable right to possess his means of production (tradesman’s tools, instruments, machines, land, minerals, etc).
  This requires also the freedom to dispose oneself over the returns from or product of one’s own labour—to the  extent that no domination over or exploitation of others is involved.
  Moreover, the individual shall be guaranteed the unrestricted right to exchange or dispose of his products upon the market or in any other way, regardless whether he does so for payment or under any other condition.
  Any association or community has the equal right to apply within their own organization the principles here explained or similar ones.

15) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for each individual and, likewise, for any member of an organized  society, to dispose freely over his personal property, ie, over the utilization rights and the returns that he receives in exchange for his personal labour services and which assure him his support, his accommodation  (and, especially for the individual, the means of production).

16) FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT to express affection for others and preference for anything, according to one’s own discretion, provided that neither any deception or any fraud is associated with this and, most importantly, no one is harmed, restricted or in any way reduced thereby.

FULL AND UNRESTRICTED RIGHT for every woman, whether alone or in partnership, to determine for herself her readiness to become a mother.
  A child shall remain only as long under supervision or custody until it has reached an age in which it can self-responsibly engage in contracts and associations.  This applies also to the guardianship for a child.  The mother possesses priority in this–which she may completely or partly transfer to another person or institution.

 FULL AND UNRE-STRICTED RIGHT for the child, boy or girl, to demand an alteration or complete change in its wardship condition.  The child may ask for an early declaration that it is of full legal age or for the clarification of any other problem.  In this case the child has the right to arbitration and the right to chose the arbitrator or at least one of the arbitrators.