Peter Kropotkin

On Order

We are often reproached for accepting as a label this word 'anarchy' which frightens many people so much. 'Your ideas are excellent', we are told, 'but you must admit that the name of your party is an unfortunate choice. Anarchy in common language is synonymous with disorder and chaos; the word brings to mind the idea of interests clashing, of individuals struggling, which cannot lead to the establishment of harmony'.

Let us begin by pointing out that a party devoted to action, a party representing a new tendancy, seldom has the opportunity of choosing a name for itself. It was not the 'Beggars' of Brabant who made up their name, which later came to be popular. But, beginning as a nickname - and a well-chosen one - it was taken up by the party, accepted generally, and soon became its proud title. It will also be seen that this word summed up a whole idea.