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Albert Parsons: Transition to Anarchy

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Michael Ballard

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Albert Parsons: Transition to Anarchy

Albert R. Parsons: Transition to Anarchy Haymarket Square bombing - May 4, 1886
What is anarchy?
-Comes from Greek word anarche meaning "without government.
-Parsons defined anarchy as a “condition of society which has no king, emperor, president or ruler of any kind.”

-"The anarchists seek the abolition of wage-slavery by the abrogation of law, by the abolition of all government, leaving the people free to unite or disunite as fancy or interest may dictate, coercing no one." What did socialism mean to Parsons?
-"State socialism or paternalism, is governmental control of everything.
-The state socialist seeks to ameliorate and emancipate the wage-laborers by means of law, by legislative enactments.
-The state socialists demand the right to choose their own rulers." How did Parsons transition to socialism and then anarchy? Major events

-Chicago Aid and Relief Society scandal
-Joining Social Democratic Party
-Great Labor Strike
-Spoke to thousands of unemployed
-incident with police chief, Board of Trade members
-Eight-hour workday
-Over next weeks, labor meetings forcibly broken up
-Citizens Association, privately funded militia: First Regiment of Illinois National Guard
-illinois supreme court ruling
-no 2nd amendment protection
-Workingmen's Party
-Elections, voter fraud, ballot stuffing etc...
-Dissatisfaction with socialism, "the system"
“It was then I began to realize the hopeless task of political reformation.”

-Workingmen all over Chicago began to believe that “the State, the Government and its laws, were merely the agent(s) of the owners of capital…that the chief function of all Government was to maintain economic subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor.” - Parsons
Groups like the German Lehr und Wehr Verein, Bohemian Sharpshooters, the Irish Labor Guard, and the Scandinavian Jaegerverein formed in Chicago Image sources:

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