Giovanni Baldelli

Anarchist theorist

Giovanni Baldelli (22 May 1914–1986) was an anarchist theorist.

Each living being is an end in itself; ... nothing gives a being the right to make another a mere instrument of his purposes.

Quotes edit

Social Anarchism (1971) edit

Originally published by Transaction Publishers in 1971. Published by Routledge in 2017
  • Anarchism is the purity of rebellion. A pig who struggles wildly and rends the air with his cries while he is held to be slaughtered, and a baby who kicks and screams when, wanting warmth and his mother's breast, he is made to wait in the cold—these are two samples of natural rebellion. Natural rebellion always inspires either deep sympathy and identification with the rebelling creature, or a stiffening of the heart and an activation of aggressive-defensive mechanisms to silence an accusing truth. This truth is that each living being is an end in itself; that nothing gives a being the right to make another a mere instrument of his purposes.
    • p. 1
  • For the anarchist, rebellion is not only a statement of will but a statement of rightness and truth.
    • p. 2
  • Chiefly responsible for the bad name of anarchism are the supporters of political power, but anarchists too have contributed by being vague and perfunctory concerning the social side of their doctrine and by frequently espousing the cause of rebellion without insisting on its social illumination. Antisocial impulses and practices may only too easily find in anarchism a pseudo-rational justification. For these reasons the adjective "social" is a useful addition to the word "anarchism"—in order to be truly anarchist one has to be social.
    • p. 6
  • It is fashionable to present hate and contempt for humanity as the exasperation and despair of compassion, but in that case rebellion should be against existence itself. When a man who is horrified by the basic evil of the world and his own existence, and who sees no God to rebel against, takes revenge on his fellow beings, he is a coward and a hypocrite. Perhaps the ugly, sordid, and horrifying things of which there is no end have always been produced by hypocritical and cowardly rebellion against existence, but that is not the rebellion of the social anarchist.
    • p. 7
  • Rebellion presupposes the existence of oppression and, on the psychological plane, deification of rebellion creates an affective compact with oppression.
    • p. 7
  • He who needs something to rebel against is less of a social anarchist than he who seeks to create something against which there is no need to rebel. There may be no end to the ugly, sordid, and horrifying things against which an honest man cannot help but revolt, but there are also things that are beautiful, joyful, and pure. If it were wrong to attend to the latter while the former still thrive, then a hopeless perpetual struggle would become the only meaning of life.
    • p. 7
  • It is time to apply to the mystique of revolution the same critical intelligence that has been applied to the mystique of war.
    • p. 8
  • Although many laws perpetuate advantages gained by antecendent violence and apply unequally to rich and poor, and although most are outwardly prohibitive and therefore negative, they rest on the positive basis of the will of most men to live peacefully together.
    • p. 14

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