Not All Anarchists Are Violent
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Regarding the Aug. 13 Metro article “For D.C. anarchists, chaos as protest”:
I suppose protests and violence make better copy than ideas, which is why anarchists appear in The Post only when they cause some measure of havoc. Readers might be surprised to learn that most anarchists have opposed violence. Two of history’s most famous anarchists, Leo Tolstoy and Mohandas Gandhi, were pacifists. William Godwin, the first person to espouse anarchism, taught that it must come about peacefully, through the moral improvement of all classes, capitalist and worker alike. Josiah Warren, America’s first anarchist, abhorred violence and thus opposed both slavery and the Civil War. The United States’ most famous anarchist, Benjamin Tucker, repeatedly condemned violence no matter its source, governments or other anarchists. Another American anarchist, Ammon Hennacy, so opposed violence that he suffered incarceration as a conscientious objector, and he worked as a day laborer in the 1940s and 1950s to prevent the U.S. government from withholding taxes from his wages to pay for war.
Anarchism has had its apostles of violence, as have Republicans, Democrats, monarchists and socialists. But in the main, anarchism has espoused and practiced peace.
from the washington post...