Community

 


 

[1897]  Piotr Kropotkin,  The State [L'Etat - Son role historique], Freedom Press, London, 1987

-  "Under the name of guilds, friendships, brotherhood, etc. associations abounded for mutual defence, to avenge affronts suffered by some members of the union and to express solidarity, to replace the 'eye for an eye' vengeance by compensation, followed by the acceptance of the aggressor in the brotherhood; for the exercise of trades, for aid in case of illness, for defence of the territory; to prevent encroachments of nascent authority." (pp. 19-20)

 

[1911]  Gustav Landauer, For Socialism, Telos Press, St. Louis, 1978

-  "Where there is no spirit and no inner compulsion, there is external force, regimentation, the state.
Where spirit is, there is society. Where unspirit is, there is the state. The state is the surrogate for spirit." (p. 42)

-  "The state with its boundaries and the nations with their conflicts are substitutes for a non-existent spirit of the people and of community. The idea of state is an artificial imitation of spirit, a false illusion, it couples purposes that have nothing to do with one another, that have no roots in the soil such as the beautiful interests of a common language and customs, the interests of economic life, with a certain territory." "The state is never established inside the individual. It has never become an individual quality, never been voluntary. It resides rather in the centralism of command and discipline instead of in the center that rules the world of spirit : that is the hearthbeat and free, independent thinking in the living body of the person. Once long ago there were communities, tribal groups, guilds, brotherhoods, corporations, societies, and they were all stratified into a society. Today there is force, the letter of the law, and the state." (p. 43)

 

 [1953]  Robert A. Nisbet,  Community & Power, (formerly : The Quest for Community), Oxford University Press, New York, 1962

-  "Community thrives on self-help (and also a little disorder), either corporate or individual, and everything that removes a group from the performance of or involvement in its own government can hardly help but weaken the sense of community." (p. xv)

 

[1958]  Wilhelm Röpke,  A Humane Economy. The social framework of the free market, Oswald Wolff, London, 1960

-  "Individual responsibility and independence in proper balance with the community, neighborly spirit, and true civic sense - all of these presuppose that the communities in which we live do not exceed the human scale. They are possibly only on the small or medium scale." (p. 7)
-  "The small circles ... are giving way before mass and concentration, before the amorphous conglomeration of people in huge cities and industrial centers, before rootlessness and mass organizations, before the anonymous bureaucracy of giant concerns and, eventually, of government itself, which holds this crumbling society together through the coercive machinery of the welfare state, the police, and the tax screw." (p. 7)

 

[1976]  Leopold Kohr,  The Over-developed Nations, Christopher Davies, Swansea, Wales, 1976

-  "... the only way to protect the members of an overgrown community from the implications of a life in common and its rationalization in the form of a collectivist philosophy is not the preaching of an anti-collectivist philosophy but the destruction of the condition of which collectivism is nothing but a natural concomitant - excessive social size." (p. 59)

 

[1996]  Matt Ridley,  The Origins of Virtue, Softback Preview, England, 1997

-  "If we are to recover social harmony and virtue, if we are to build back into society the virtues that made it work for us, it is vital that we reduce the power and scope of the state. That does not mean a vicious war of all against all. It means devolution: devolution of power over people's lives to parishes, computer networks, clubs, teams, self-help groups, small business - everything small and local. It means a massive disassembling of the public bureaucracy." (p. 264)