Life Of An Anarchist [Unduh pdf] - Alexander Berkman

Ebook Title          : Life Of An Anarchist
Ebook Thickness  : 362 Page
Language : English

I take the paper from her hands. In growing excitement I read the vivid account of the tremendous struggle, the Homestead strike, or, more correctly, the lock- out. The report details the conspiracy on the part of the Carnegie Company to crush the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers; the selection, for the purpose, of Henry Clay Frick, whose attitude toward labor is implacably hostile; his secret military preparations while designedly prolonging the peace negotiations with the Amalgamated; the fortification of the Homestead steel works; the erection of a high board fence, capped by barbed wire and provided with loopholes for sharpshooters; the hiring of an army of Pinkerton thugs; the attempt to smuggle them, in the dead of night, into Homestead; and, finally, the terrible carnage.

I glance at the Girl. Her face is averted, but the droop of her head speaks of suffering. I hold out my hand to her, and we stand in mute sorrow at the graves of our martyred comrades .... I have a vision of Stenka Razin, as I had seen him pictured in my youth, and at his side hang the bodies of the men buried beneath my feet. Why are they dead? I wonder. Why should I live ? And a great desire to lie down with them is upon me. 1 clutch the iron post, to keep from falling. Steps sound behind me, and I turn to see a girl hastening toward us. She is radiant with young womanhood; her presence breathes life and the j oy of it. Her bosom heaves with panting; her face struggles with a solemn look.

We are in the market. A double row of open stalls, no more than a dozen in all, dilapidated and forlorn-looking, almost barren of wares. A handful of large grained, coarse salt, some loaves of black bread thickly dotted with yellow specks of straw, a little loose tobacco-that is all the stock on hand. Almost no money is passing in payment. The few customers are trading by exchange: about ten pounds of bread for a pound of salt, a few pipefuls of tobacco for an onion. At the counters stand oldish men and women, a few girls among them. I see no young men. These, like most of the able-bodied men and women, I am informed, had stealthily left the town long ago, for fear of more pogroms. They went on foot, some to Kiev, others to Kharkov, in the hope of finding safety and a liveli hood in the larger city. Most of them never reached their destination. Food was scarce-they had gone without provisions, and most of them died on the way from exposure and starvation.

There is organisation that is painful because it is ill, and organisation that is joyous because it means health and strength. An organisation is ill or evil when it neglects or suppresses any ot Its organs or members. In the healthy organism all parts are equally valuable and none is discriminated against. The organisation built on compulsion, which coerces and forces, is bad and unhealthy. The libertarian organisation, formed voluntarily <'Ind in which every member is free and equal, is a sound body and can work well. Such an organisation is a free union of equal parts. It is the kind of organisation the anarchists believe in. Such must be the organisation of the workers if labour is to have a healthy body, one that can operate effectively.

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