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Probably no agitation has ever attained the magnitude, either in the number of its recruits or the area of its influence, which has been attained by Modern Socialism, and at the same time been so little understood and so misunderstood, not only by the hostile and the indifferent, but by the friendly, and even by the great mass of its adherents themselves. This unfortunate and highly dangerous state of things is due partly to the fact that the human relationships which this movement—if anything so chaotic can be called a movement—aims to transform, involve no special class or classes, but literally all mankind; partly to the fact that these relationships are infinitely more varied and complex in their nature than those

with which any special reform has ever been called upon to

  1. In the summer of 1886, shortly after the bomb-throwing at Chicago, the author of this volume received an invitation from the editor of the North American Review to furnish him a paper on Anarchism. In response the above article was sent him. A few days later the author received a letter announcing the acceptance of his paper, the editor volunteering the declaration that it was the ablest article that he had received during his editorship of the Review. The next number of the Review bore the announcement, on the second page of its cover, that the article (giving its title and the name of the author) would appear at an early date. Month after month went by, and the article did not appear. Repeated letters of inquiry failed to bring any explanation. Finally, after nearly a year had elapsed, the author wrote to the editor that he had prepared the article, not to be pigeon-holed, but to be printed, and that he wished the matter to be acted upon immediately. In reply he received his manuscript and a check for seventy-five dollars. Thereupon he made a few slight changes in the article and delivered it on several occasions as a lecture, after which it was printed in Liberty of March 10, 1888.