“The Violent Hypocrites” by Joseph Labadie

All of this talk and legislation against the use of force and violence as means of changing sociological conditions is hypocrisy on the part of exploiters. Force and violence are at the bottom of exploitation. Government itself is force and violence. Tell me, some of you governmentalists who are so averse to the use of force and violence, not only here in American but the world over, how did you become possessed of the land on which the native races earned their living? How did England get to be ruler of India, Egypt, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and so much of the world elsewhere if not by force and violence? How did the U.S. become possessed of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines; indeed, how did these super-Americans–the spoilators, become the owners of the land and nearly every thing else in this country? How did the robbers, the pirates, land sharks, brigands, freebooters, buccaneers–governmentalists, every one–the world over get possession of the world, if not by force and violence?…

Say, Mr. Burglar, Mr. Exploiter, Mr. Profiteer–all of you capitalistic buccaneers–get out while the getting is good. It’ll soon be daylight, and you can’t put that out. The sun is painting the eastern sky an illuminating red and flooding the western horizon. They who have been asleep are yawning. They are about ready to get up out of a long and troubled sleep. If you don’t get out soon you may be put out, and there is no guarantee that they will be overly gentle in doing the job. Safety first, you know?

We who don’t like to have the place all mussed up want the job done orderly, gently–all of us gentle anarchists do–as this will save breaking up the furniture, shooting up the windows, covering the rugs with smudge and smutch; and, also, we have some regard of our own composure, dignity, and flesh and bones. We are not insured against rough-house stuff, and so we want to preserve what we’ve got and prevent you from taking any more than you have. If you’re a real high-class bandit you’ll recognize the fact that the jig is up, make the best of a bad situation and smilingly back out and scoot around the corner before the boys get you…

The war opened the lid and they looked in. This was fatal to governments and their favorites. What they saw was convincing that war is a governmental trades; that invasion, conquest, spoilation are inseparable from government; that peoples rarely ever make war; that the desire for more rulership is the prime cause of war, and that rulership is not beneficial to the masses, but the means by which they bcome the tools of a class as wealth producers for that class…

The World War surely uncovered a great prodigality of wrong in the world, and may also have gleamed to the world’s people that the rulership of man over man is a false doctrine that leads only to enmity, discord, and all that is eternally pernicious.

Rulership is inevitably anti-social. To love one’s master is sanely unthinkable. Only brutes do that, and those who have been brutalized. And even that which appears as love of a master is simply fear. Those who preach fear of God get further and further away from the carpenter of Nazareth. No sane person can love a fear-inspiring God…

He who wields physical power over his fellows is sure, sooner or later, to use it badly. It is given to but few to have the wisdom of not abusing this power. This is the truth which those who seek the powers of government fail to realize. They see the disaster that comes from the possession of this power in the hands of others and mislead themselves into the belief that they are made of sterner stuff and will resist the temptation to become despotic. Vain belief. I wouldn’t trust Jesus himself with political power over me. He who believes himself holier than others is ready for a good awakening.