the beginnings of corruption may be already observed if we note the contempt for the masses

cut from Errico Malatesta’s collected pamphlets:

“Certainly, there are comrades, who, though they stand at the very head of the syndicalist movement, remain sincere and enthusiastic Anarchists. Just so are there labor organizations inspired by Anarchist thoughts. But bringing forth the thousands of cases in which there men and these organizations act in contradiction to the Anarchist principles, in every day practice, would be too easy criticism. A pitiful necessity, we admit! One cannot act purely as an Anarchist when one is compelled to bargain with employers and the authorities; one cannot make the masses do things for themselves when the masses refuse to do them and request, nay, insist on having leaders. But why confuse Anarchism with what is not Anarchism; and why assume, as Anarchists, responsibility for compromises made necessary by the very fact that the mass is not anarchistic even if it has written an Anarchist program into the constitution of its organization?”

“Anarchists should oppose the narrow trade-union spirit and all pretexts to monopolize the organizations and the work. They should prevent the members of the unions from becoming mere tools in the hands of politicians for electoral or otherwise authoritarian ends; they should preach and practice direct action, decentralization, autonomy, free initiative; they should endeavor to make the members of the unions directly take part in the life of the organizations without the need of leaders and permanent functionaries.”

“The Anarchist idea is no more secured from corruption than the Liberal idea has proved to be, yet the beginnings of corruption may be already observed if we note the contempt for the masses which is exhibited by certain Anarchists, their intolerance, and their desire to spread terror around them.

Anarchists! let us save Anarchy! Our doctrine is a doctrine of love. We cannot, and we ought not to be either avengers, nor dispensers of justice. Our task, our ambition, our ideal is to be deliverers.”