I’m not usually one to post inspirational quotes; this isn’t fucking Tumblr after all. This is a quote which eloquently words something which I have struggled with wording.
But the evil of pinning faith to indirect action is far greater than any such minor results. The main evil is that it destroys initiative, quenches the individual rebellious spirit, teaches people to rely on someone else to do for them what they should do for themselves; finally renders organic the anomalous idea that by massing supineness together until a majority is acquired, then through the peculiar magic of that majority, this supineness is to be transformed into energy. That is, people who have lost the habit of striking for themselves as individuals, who have submitted to every injustice while waiting for the majority to grow, are going to become metamorphosed into human high-explosives by a mere process of packing!
The quote comes from “Direct Action” by Voltairine de Cleyre, an anarchist, theorist and feminist from the late 19th/early 20th century. It’s well worth reading the entire piece, there’s a really entertaining bit where she talks about strikes (“now, everybody knows that a strike of any size means violence…”), which shows just how disempowered our unions have become. She also wrote some marvellous tirades against marriage, such as “Sex Slavery“, which you should all go and read right now.
Now for your regularly scheduled somewhat angry ranting.