the dark for the solution. It has been imposed upon us by history, simultaneously with the problem; it has been and is being stated boldly in all European countries, and it sums up the economic and intellectual development of our century. It is Expropriation; it is Anarchy.
If social wealth remains in the hands of the few who possess it to-day; if the workshop, the dockyard, and the factory remain the property of the employer; if the railways, the means of transportation, continue in the hands of the companies and the individuals who have monopolized them; if the houses of the cities as well as the country-seats of the lords remain in possession of their actual proprietors, instead of being placed, from the beginning of the revolution, at the gratuitous disposition of all laborers; if all accumulated treasure, whether in the banks or in the houses of the wealthy, does not immediately go back to the collectivity—since all have contributed to produce it; if the insurgent people do not take possession of all the goods and provisions amassed in the great cities and do not organize to put them within the reach of all who need them; if the land, finally, remains the property of the bankers and usurers,—to whom it belongs to-day, in fact, if not in law,—and if the great tracts of real estate are not taken away from the great proprietors, to be put within the reach of all who wish to labor on the soil; if, further, there is established a governing class to dictate to a governed class,—the insurrection will not be a revolution, and everything will have to be begun over again.…
Expropriation,—that, then, is the watchword which is imposed upon the next revolution, under penalty of failing in its historic mission. The complete expropriation of all who have the means of exploiting human beings. The return to common ownership by the nation of all that can serve in the hands of any one for the exploitation of others.
This extract covers all the doctrines of the Chicago men, does it not? That it covers common property and distribution according to needs no one can question. That it covers the denial of the right of individual production and exchange is equally clear. Kropotkine says, it is true, that he would allow the individual access to the land; but as he proposes to strip him of capital entirely, and as he declares a few pages further on that without capital agriculture is impossible, it follows that such access is an empty privilege not at all equivalent to the liberty of individual production. But one point remains,—that of the method of expropriation by force; and if any one still feels any doubt of Kropotkine's belief in that, let me remove it by one more quotation:
We must see clearly in private property what it really is, a conscious or unconscious robbery of the substance of all, and seize it joyfully for the common benefit when the hour of revendication shall strike. In all former revolutions, when it was a question of replacing a king of the elder branch by a king of the younger branch or of substituting lawyers for lawyers in the "best of republics," proprietors succeeded proprietors and the social regime had not to change. Accordingly the placards, "Death to robbers!" which were placed at the entrance of every palace were in perfect harmony with the current morality, and many a poor devil caught touching a coin of the king, or perhaps even the bread of the baker, was shot an example of the justice administered by the people.