Best 31 of Rudolf Rocker quotes - MyQuotes

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Rudolf Rocker
By Anonym 18 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced upon parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. Just as the employers always try to nullify every concession they had made to labor as soon as opportunity offered, as soon as any signs of weakness were observable in the workers’ organizations, so governments also are always inclined to restrict or to abrogate completely rights and freedoms that have been achieved if they imagine that the people will put up no resistance. Even in those countries where such things as freedom of the press, right of assembly, right of combination, and the like have long existed, governments are constantly trying to restrict those rights or to reinterpret them by juridical hair-splitting. Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Power operates only destructively, bent always on forcing every manifestation of life into the straitjacket of its laws. Its intellectual form of expression is dead dogma, its physical form brute force.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Modem Socialism developed when profound observers of social life came to see more and more clearly that political constitutions and changes in the form of government could never get to the bottom of that great problem that we call "the social question." Its supporters recognized that a social equalizing of human beings, despite the loveliest of theoretical assumptions, is not possible so long as people are separated into classes on the basis of their owning or not owning property, classes whose mere existence excludes in advance any thought of a genuine community. And so there developed the recognition that only by elimination of economic monopolies and common ownership of the means of production, in a word, by a complete transformation of all economic conditions and social institutions associated with them, does a condition of social justice become thinkable, a status in which society shall become a genuine community, and human labour shall no longer serve the ends of exploitation, but shall serve to assure abundance to everyone.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

We have come more and more under the dominance of mechanics and sacrificed living humanity to the dead rhythm of the machine without most of us even being conscious of the monstrosity of the procedure. Hence we frequently deal with such matters with indifference and in cold blood as if we handled dead things and not the destinies of men.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

So long as millions of human beings in every country has to sell their labour-power to a small minority of owners, and to sink into the most wretched misery if they could find no buyers, the so called “equality before the law” remains a pious fraud, since the laws are made by those who find themselves in possession of the social wealth. But in the same way there can also be no talk of a “right over one's own person,” for that right ends when one is compelled to submit to the economic dictation of another if he does not want to starve.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

The peoples owe all political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength. One need only study the history of the past three hundred years to understand by what relentless struggles every right has had to be wrested inch by inch from the despots.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Anarchism is a definite intellectual current in the life of our times, whose adherents advocate the abolition of economic monopolies and of all political and social coercive institutions within society. In place of the present capitalistic economic order Anarchists would have a free association of all productive forces based upon co-operative labour, which would have as its sole purpose the satisfying of the necessary requirements of every member of society, and would no longer have in view the special interest of privileged minorities within the social union.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Meanwhile, two other great currents in political thought, had a decisive significance on the development of socialist ideas: Liberalism, which had powerfully stimulated advanced minds in the Anglo-Saxon countries, Holland and Spain in particular, and Democracy in the sense. to which Rousseau gave expression in his Social Contract, and which found its most influential representatives in the leaders of French Jacobinism. While Liberalism in its social theories started off from the individual and wished to limit the state's activities to a minimum, Democracy took its stand on an abstract collective concept, Rousseau's general will, which it sought to fix in the national state. Liberalism and Democracy were pre-eminently political concepts, and since most of the original adherents of both did scarcely consider the economic conditions of society, the further development of these conditions could not be practically reconciled with the original principles of Democracy, and still less with those of Liberalism. Democracy with its motto of equality of all citizens before the law, and Liberalism with its right of man over his own person, both were wrecked on the realities of capitalist economy. As long as millions of human beings in every country have to sell their labour to a small minority of owners, and sink into the most wretched misery if they can find no buyers, the so-called equality before the law remains merely a pious fraud, since the laws are made by those who find themselves in possession of the social wealth. But in the same way there can be no talk of a right over one's own person, for that right ends when one is compelled to submit to the economic dictation of another if one does not want to starve.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Modern Anarcho-Syndicalism is a direct continuation of those social aspirations which took shape in the bosom of the First International and which were best understood and most strongly held by the libertarian wing of the great workers' alliance.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Every type of political power presupposes some particular form of human slavery, for the maintenance of which it is called into being. Just as outwardly, that is, in relation to other states the state has to create certain artificial antagonisms in order to justify its existence, so also internally the cleavage of society into castes, ranks and classes is an essential condition of its continuance. The development of the Bolshevist bureaucracy in Russia under the alleged dictatorship of the proletariat (which has never been anything but the dictatorship of a small clique over the proletariat and the whole Russian people) is merely a new instance of an old historical experience which has repeated itself countless times. This new ruling class, which to-day is rapidly growing into a new aristocracy, is set apart from the great masses of the Russian peasants and workers just as clearly as are the privileged castes and classes in other countries from the mass of the people. And this situation becomes still more unbearable when a despotic state denies to the lower classes the right to complain of existing conditions, so that any protest is made at the risk of their lives. But even a far greater degree of economic equality than that which exists in Russia would be no guarantee against political and social oppression. Economic equality alone is not social liberation. It is precisely this which all the schools of authoritarian Socialism have never understood. In the prison, in the cloister, or in the barracks one finds a fairly high degree of economic equality, as all the inmates are provided with the same dwelling, the same food, the same uniform, and the same tasks. The ancient Inca state in Peru and the Jesuit state in Paraguay had brought equal economic provision for every inhabitant to a fixed system, but in spite of this the vilest despotism prevailed there, and the human being was merely the automaton of a higher will on whose decisions he had not the slightest influence. It was not without reason that Proudhon saw in a "Socialism" without freedom the worst form of slavery. The urge for social justice can only develop properly and be effective when it grows out of man's sense of freedom and responsibility, and is based upon it. In other words, Socialism will be free or it will not be at all. In its recognition of this fact lies the genuine and profound justification of Anarchism.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Every culture, if its natural development is not too much affected by political restrictions, experiences a perpetual renewal of the formative urge, and out of that comes an ever growing diversity of creative activity. Every successful piece of work stirs the desire for greater perfection and deeper inspiration; each new form becomes the herald of new possibilities of development.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

The nation which can only be saved by one man and wants to be saved that way deserves a whipping!

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Our whole evolution has reached a stage where nearly every man is either ruler or ruled; sometimes he is both. By this the attitude of dependence has been greatly strengthened, for a truly free man does not like to play the part of either the ruler or the ruled. He is, above all, concerned with making his inner values and personal powers effective in a way as to permit him to use his own judgment in all affairs and to be independent in action.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

The ever-growing power of a soulless political bureaucracy which supervises and safeguards the life of man from the cradle to the grave is putting ever-greater obstacles in the way of co-operation among human beings.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

In Russia the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat has not led to Socialism, but to the domination of a new bureaucracy over the proletariat and the whole people.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

People forgot that industry is not an end in itself, but should be only a means to insure to man his material subsistence and to make accessible to him the blessings of a higher intellectual culture. Where industry is everything and man is nothing begins the realm of a ruthless economic despotism whose workings are no less disastrous than those of any political despotism.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace... One compels respect from others when he knows how to defend his dignity as a human being... The people owe all the political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Culture is not created by command. It creates itself, arising spontaneously from the necessities of men and their social cooperative activity. No ruler could ever command men to fashion the first tools, first use fire, invent the telescope and the steam engine, or compose the Iliad. Cultural values do not arise by direction of higher authorities. They cannot be compelled by dictates nor called into life by the resolution of legislative assemblies.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

For the machine, because of the way it is built, can work only in a given direction, no matter who pulls its levers.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Power always acts destructively, for its possessors are ever striving to lace all phenomena of social life into a corset of their laws to give them a definite shape. Its mental expression is dead dogma; its physical manifestation of life, brute force. This lack of intelligence in its endeavours leaves its imprint likewise on the persons of its representatives, gradually making them mentally inferior and brutal, even though they were originally excellently endowed. Nothing dulls the mind and soul of man as does the eternal monotony of routine, and power is essentially routine.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Power operates only destructively, bent always on forcing every manifestation of life into the straitjacket of its laws. Its intellectual form of expression is dead dogma, its physical form brute force. And this unintelligence of its objectives sets its stamp on its supporters also and renders them stupid and brutal, even when they were originally endowed with the best of talents. One who is constantly striving to force everything into a mechanical order at last becomes a machine himself and loses all human feeling.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Anarchism is no patent solution for all human problems, no Utopia of a perfect social order, as it has often been called, since on principle it rejects all absolute schemes and concepts. It does not believe in any absolute truth, or in definite final goals for human development, but in an unlimited perfectibility of social arrangements and human conditions which are always straining after higher forms of expression, and to which for this reason one can assign no definite terminus nor set any fixed goal.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

The will to power which always emanates from individuals or from small minorities in society is in fact a most important driving force in history. The extent of its influence has up to now been regarded far too little, although it has frequently been the determining factor in the shaping of the whole of economic and social life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

I am an Anarchist not because I believe Anarchism is the final goal, but because there is no such thing as a final goal.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Anarchism recognizes only the relative significance of ideas, institutions, and social forms. It is, therefore, not a fixed, self-enclosed social system, but rather a definite trend in the historic development of mankind, which, in contrast with the intellectual guardianship of all clerical and governmental institutions, strives for the free unhindered unfolding of all the individual and social forces in life. Even freedom is only a relative, not an absolute concept, since it tends constantly to become broader and to affect wider circles in more manifold ways. For the Anarchist, freedom is not an abstract philosophical concept, but the vital concrete possibility for every human being to bring to full development all the powers, capacities, and talents with which nature has endowed him, and tum them to social account. The less this natural development of man is influenced by ecclesiastical or political guardianship, the more efficient and harmonious will human personality become, the more will it become the measure of the intellectual culture of the society in which it has grown.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Freedom is the very essence of life, the impelling force in all intellectual and social development, the creator of every new outlook for the future of mankind. The liberation of man from economic exploitation and from intellectual and political oppression, which finds its finest expression in the world-philosophy of Anarchism, is the first prerequisite for the evolution of a higher social culture and a new humanity.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

For the anarchist, freedom is not an abstract philosophical concept, but the vital concrete possibility of every human being to bring to full development all the powers, capacities and talents with which nature has endowed them, and turn them to social account.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Theoretically it is, indeed, asserted that the relation between employer and employee is based upon a contract for the accomplishment of a definite purpose. The purpose in this case is social production. But a contract has meaning only when both parties participate equally in the purpose. In reality, however, the worker has today no voice in determining production, for this is given over completely to the employer. The consequence is that the worker is debased by doing a thousand things which constantly serve only to injure the whole community for the advantage of the employer.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Rudolf Rocker

Asceticism in most cases is either the result of a sordid imagination or of passion diverted from its natural course, and experience has shown that when the protection of public morals is entrusted to its votaries, the consequences are usually appalling.