JESUS WAS AN ANARCHIST.
THE BEST THING ELBERT EVER WROTE. - Ernest Crosby.
BY ELBERT HUBBARD
L a b a d i e
JESUS WAS AN ANARCHIST
BY ELBERT HUBBARD
I AM AN ANARCHIST.
All good men are Anarchists.
All cultured, kindly men; all gentlemen; all just men are
Jesus was an Anarchist.
A monarchist is one who believes a monarch should govern.
A Plutocrat believes in the rule of the rich. A Democrat
holds that the majority should dictate. An Aristocrat
thinks only the wise should decide; while an Anarchist does
not believe in government at all.
Richard Croker is a Monarchist; Mark Hanna a
Plutocrat; Cleveland a Democrat; Cabot Lodge an
Aristocrat; William Penn, Henry D. Thoreau, Bronson
Alcoa and Walt Whitman were Anarchists.
An Anarchist is one who minds his own business. An
Anarchist does not believe in sending warships across wide
oceans to kill brown men, and lay waste rice fields, and
burn the homes of people fighting for liberty. An Anarchist
does not drive women with babes at their breasts and other
women with babes unborn, children and old men into the
jungle to be devoured by beasts or fever or fear, or die of
hunger, homeless, unhoused and undone.
Destruction, violence, ravages, murder, are
perpetuated by statute law. Without law there would
be no infernal machines, no war ships, no dynamite guns,
no flat-nosed bullets, no pointed cartridges, no bayonets,
no policeman's billies, no night sticks, no come-alongs,
no handcuffs, no strait-jackets, no dark cells, no gallows,
no prison walls to conceal the infamies therein inflicted. Without
law no little souls fresh from God would be branded
"illegitimate", indelibly, as soon as they reach Earth.
Without law there would be less liars, no lawyers,
fewer hypocrites, and no Devil's Island,
"The Cry of the Little Peoples goes up to God in vain,
For the world is given over to the cruel sons of Cain;
The hand that would bless us is weak,
and the hand that would break us is strong,
And the power of pity is nought but the power of a song.
The dreams that our fathers dreamed today are laughter and dust,
And nothing at all in the world is left for a man to trust.
Let us hope no more, nor dream, nor prophesy, nor pray,
For the iron world no less will crash on its iron way;
And nothing is left but to watch, with a helpless pitying eye,
The kind old aims for the world, and the kind old fashions die."
I do not go quite so far as that — I'm a pessimistic-
optimist, dearie, — I believe that brutality tends to defeat itself.
Prize fighters die young, gourmands get the gout, hate hurts
worse the man who nurses it, and all selfishness robs the mind of
its divine insight, and cheats the soul that would
know. Mind alone is eternal! He, watching over Israel,
slumbers not nor sleeps. My faith is great: out of the
transient darkness of the present the shadows will flee
away, and Day will yet dawn.
I am an Anarchist.
No man who believes in force and violence is an Anarchist.
The true Anarchist decries all influences save those of
love and reason. Ideas are his only arms.
Being an Anarchist I am also a Socialist. Socialism is
the antithesis of Anarchy. One is the North Pole of
Truth, the other the South. The Socialist believes in
working for the good of all, while Anarchy is pure
Individualism. I believe in every man working for the
good of self; and in working for the good of self, he works
for the good of all. To think, to see, to feel, to know;
to deal justly; to bear all patiently; to ad quietly; to
speak cheerfully; to moderate one's voice — these things
will bring you the highest good. They will bring you
the love of the best, and the esteem of that Sacred Few,
whose good opinion alone is worth cultivating. And
further than this, it is the hest way you can serve Society —
live your life. The wise way to benefit humanity is to
attend to your own affairs, and thus give other people an
opportunity to look after theirs.
If there is any better way to teach virtue than by practicing
it, I do not know it.
Would you make men better — set them an example.
The Millennium will never come until governments cease
from governing, and the meddler is at rest. Politicians are
men who volunteer the task of governing us, for a
consideration. The political boss is intent on living off
your labor. A man may seek an office in order to do
away with the rascal who now occupies it, but for the
most part office seekers are rank rogues. Shakespeare uses
the word politician five times, and each time it is synonymous
with knave. That is to say, a politician is one who
sacrifices truth and honor for policy. The highest motive
of his life is expediency — policy. In King Lear it is
the "scurvy politician," who thru tattered clothes be-
holds small vices, while robes and furred gowns, for him,
Europe is divided up between eight great governments,
and in time of peace over three million men are taken from
the ranks of industry and are under arms, not to protect
the people, but to protect one government from another.
Mankind is governed by the worst — the strongest example of
this is to be seen in American municipalities but it is true of
every government. We are governed by rogues who hold their
grip upon us by and thru statute law. Were it not for
law the people could protect themselves against
these thieves, but now we are powerless and are robbed
legally. One mild form of coercion these rogues resort
to is to call us unpatriotic when we speak the truth about
them. Not long ago they would have cut off our
heads. The world moves.
Government cannot be done away with instantaneously,
but progress will come, as it has in the past by
lessening the number of laws. We want less governing,
and the Ideal Government will arrive when there is no
government at all.
So long as governments set the example of killing their
enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill
theirs. So long as men are clubbed, robbed,
imprisoned, disgraced, hanged by the governing class, just
so long will the idea of violence and brutality be born in
the souls of men.
Governments imprison men, and then hound them when
they are released.
Hate springs eternal in the human breast.
And hate will never die so long as men are taken from useful
production on the specious plea of patriotism, and
bayonets gleam in God's pure sunshine.
And the worst part about making a soldier of a man is,
not that the soldier kills brown men or black men or
white men, but it is that the soldier loses his own soul.
I am an Anarchist.
I do not believe in bolts or bars or brutality. I make
my appeal to the Divinity in men, and they, in some
mysterious way, feeling this, do not fail me. I send
valuable books without question, on a postal card
request, to every part of the Earth where the mail can carry
them, and my confidence is never abused. The Roycroft
Shop is never locked, employees and visitors come and go at
pleasure, and nothing is molested. My library is for
anyone who cares to use it.
Out in the great world women occasionally walk off the dock in
the darkness, and then struggle for life in the deep waters.
Society jigs and ambles by, with a coil of rope, but
before throwing it demands of the drowning one a
certificate of character from her Pastor, or a letter of
recommendation from her Sunday School
Superintendent, or a testimonial from a School
Principal. Not being able to produce the document the
struggler is left to go down to her death in the darkness.
A so-called "bad woman" is usually one whose soul is
being rent in an awful travail of prayer to God that she may
get back upon solid footing and lead an honest life. Believing
this, the Roycroft principle is to never ask for such a
preposterous thing as a letter of recommendation from
anyone. We have a hundred helpers, and while it must
not be imagined by any means that we operate a
reform school or a charitable institution, I wish to say that I
distinctly and positively refuse to discriminate between "good"
and "bad" people. I will not condemn, nor for an
instant imagine that it is my duty to resolve myself into a
section of the Day of Judgement.
I fix my thought on the good that is in every soul and
make my appeal to that. And the plan is a wise one,
judged by results. It secures you loyal helpers, worthy
friends, gets the work done, aids digestion and tends to
sleep o'nights. And I say to you, that if you have never
known the love, loyalty and integrity of a proscribed
person, you have never known what love, loyalty and
I do not believe in governing by force, or threat, or any
other form of coercion. I would not arouse in the heart of
any of God's creatures a thought of fear, or discord, or
hate or revenge. I will influence men, if I can, but it shall
be only by aiding them to think for themselves; and so
mayhap, they, of their own accord choose the better
part — the ways that lead to life and light.