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(en) Black Flag #222 - A Blast from the past...

From anarcho@geocities.com
Date Wed, 11 Dec 2002 02:48:31 -0500 (EST)


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With American Imperialism running rampant and war with Iraq looking
only a matter of time, we have taken the opportunity to reprint these
articles by Alexander Berkman from The Blast.
    Originally published in 1917, these articles indicate why
anarchists oppose capitalist wars and how little the rhetoric and
activity of the state at war has changed. As such, their message is as
relevant and as important as when they were written: No war but the
class war!
    A leading light in the anarchist movement for decades, Berkman was
imprisoned along with Emma Goldman for their anti-war activity.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
To The Youth Of America
By Alexander Berkman

        Tyranny must be opposed at the start.
        Autocracy, once secured in the saddle, is difficult to dislodge.
        If you believe that America is entering the war "to make
democracy
safe," then be a man and volunteer.
        But if you know anything at all, then you should know that the
cry
of democracy is a lie and a snare for the unthinking.  You should know
that a republic is not synonymous with democracy, and that America has
never been a real democracy, but that it is the vilest plutocracy on
the
face of the globe.
        If you can see, hear, feel, and think, you should know that King
Dollar rules the United States, and that the workers are robbed and
exploited in this country to the heart's content of the masters.
        If you are not deaf, dumb, and blind, then you know that the
American bourgeois democracy and capitalistic civilisation are the
worst
enemies of labour and progress, and that instead of protecting them,
you
should help to fight to destroy them.
        If you know this, you must also know that the workers of America
have no enemy in the toilers of other countries.  Indeed, the workers
of
Germany suffer as much from their exploiters and rulers as do the
masses
of America.
        You should know that the interests of Labour are identical in all
countries.  Their cause is international.
        Then why should they slaughter each other?
        The workers of Germany have been misled by their rulers into
donning the uniform and turning murders.
        So have the workers of France, of Italy, and England been misled.
        But why should you, men of America, allow yourselves to be
misled into murder or into being murdered?
        If your blood must be shed, let it be in defence of your own
interests, in the war of the workers against their despoilers, in the
cause of real liberty and independence.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
WAR DICTIONARY
By Alexander Berkman

ALLIES - The fairies of Democracy.
BARBARIANS - The other fellows.
CONGRESS - The valet of Woodrow the First.
CENSORSHIP - The rape of Free Speech.
CONSCRIPTION - Free men fighting against their will.
CIVILIZATION - In God We Trust.
DEMOCRACY - The voice of the Gallery Gods.
FREE SPEECH - Say what you please, but keep your mouth shut.
HUNS - Loyal patriots from Central Europe.
HUMANITY - Treason to government.
JUSTICE - Successful target shooting.
KAISER - A President's ambition.
LIBERTY BOND - A bone from a bonehead.
LIBERTY LOAN - The bread line of the Unborn.
LOYAL CITIZEN - Deaf, dumb, and blind.
MILITARISM - Christianity in action.
PATRIOTISM - Hating your neighbour.
REGISTRATION - Funeral march of Liberty.
SEDITION - The proof of Tyranny.
SLACKER - Jesus Christ.
TRENCHES - Digging your own grave.
UN-AMERICAN - Independent opinion.
UN-DEMOCRATIC - Ideals.
UNIFORM - Government strait-jacket.
VICTORY - Ten million dead.
WAR - The propaganda of Democracy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Which is the braver?  The man who falls in line with the great
majority or he that faces the wrath of millions for conscience sake?
        Do not confound us with the pacifists.  We believe in fighting.
Aye, we have been fighting all our lives - fighting injustice,
oppression, and tyranny.  Almost single handed at that.
        We are not pacifists.  But we want to know what we are fighting
for, and we refuse to fight for the enemies and the exploiters of
humanity.

Alexander Berkman



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