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Albert Richard Parsons ( June 20, 1848 – November 11, 1887) was a pioneer American socialist and later anarchist newspaper editor, orator, and labor activist.
Statement to the Court (1886)
- The capitalistic system originated in the forcible seizure of natural opportunities and rights by a few, and then converting those things into special privileges which have since become vested rights, formally entrenched behind the bulwarks of statute law and government.
- Formerly the master selected the slave; today the slave selects his master, and he has got to find one or else he is carried down here to my friend, the gaoler.
- Jefferson Davis admitted in his statement that the leather thong dipped in salt brine, for the chattel slave, had been exchanged under the wage slave system for the lash of hunger, an empty stomach and the ragged back of the wage-slave.
- First and foremost it is our opinion, or the opinion of an Anarchist, that government is despotism, government is an organization of oppression, and law, statute law is its agent. Anarchy is anti-government, anti-rulers, anti-dictators, anti-bosses and [slave] drivers. Anarchy is the negation of force; the elimination of all authority in social affairs; it is the denial of the right of domination of one man over another. It is the diffusion of rights, of power, of duties, equally and freely among the people.
- Anarchy is a free society where there is no concentrated or centralized power, no State, no king, no emperor, no ruler, no president, no magistrate, no potentate of any character whatever. Law is the enslaving power of man.
- Anarchy is the natural law, instead of the man-made statute, and gives men leaders in the place of [slave] drivers and bosses.
- This ridiculous nonsense that human laws are sacred and that if they are not respected and continued we cannot prosper, is the stupidest and most criminal nightmare of the age. Statutes are the last and greatest curse of man, and when destroyed the world will be free. The statute book is a book of laws by which one class of people can safely trespass upon another. Without this book one person would never dare to trespass upon the rights of another. Every statute law is always used to oppose some natural law.
- Every great robbery that was ever perpetrated upon a people has been by virtue of and in the name of law. By this tool of thieves the great mass of the people who inhabit our planet have been robbed of their equal right to the use of the soil and of all other natural opportunities.
- Man's legal rights are everywhere in collision with man's natural rights; hence the deep-rooted and wide-spread unrest of modern civilization. The only sacred right of property is the natural right of the working man to the product, which is the creation of his labor. The legal right of the capitalist to rent and interest and profit is the absolute denial of the natural right of labor.
- This capitalistic system that we have to-day would not exist twenty-four hours if it were not held together by the bayonets and the clubs of the militia and police.