The Shortest History of Capitalism and Government

Hello, two fellow radicals who follow this blog! It’s been a little while. I’ve been busy. To ease myself back into blogging, I bring you this excellent quote by Malatesta from his 1911 piece “Capitalists and Thieves” (of course from the excellent anthology The Method of Freedom, edited by Davide Turcato, p. 350):

“The landlords, the capitalists have stolen from the people, by violence or by fraud, the land and all the means of production, and in consequence of this initial theft they are enabled, day by day, to take away from the workers the products of labour. But they were happy thieves, for they became strong: they made laws in order that they might justify their situation, and they have organised a whole system of repression to defend themselves against the claims of the workers as well as against those who would like to replace them by doing as they did themselves. And to-day their theft is called property, commerce, industry, etc., the name of ‘thief’ being reserved, in common language, for those who would like to follow the example of the capitalists, but, because they arrived too late and in adverse circumstances, cannot do it without putting themselves in conflict with the law.”

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