And what of the glowing beyond that is so bright that those who grind the faces of the poor say it is a dream? It is no dream, it is the real, stripped of brain-distortions materialized into thrones and scaffolds, miters and guns. It is nature acting on her own interior laws as in all her other associations. It is a return to first principles; for were not the land, the water, the light, all free before governments took shape and form? In this free state we will again forget to think of these things as “property.” It is real, for we, as a race, are growing up to it. The idea of less restriction and more liberty, and a confiding trust that nature is equal to her work, is permeating all modern thought. […]
[…] We judge from experience that man is a gregarious animal, and instinctively affiliates with his kind—co-operates, unites in groups, works to better advantage combined with his fellow men than when alone. This would point to the formation of co-operative communities, of which our present trades-unions are embryonic patterns.
Written somewhere between 1905 and 1910 (after the first thwarted uprising in Russia, amidst the many libertarian pushes and reactionary crackdowns), this pamphlet is prescient in some ways, but speaks to its time in others. In some parts we might criticize the suggestion of enlightenment progress – that demon of modernity – that man grows past the institutions that shackle him. We could question that sort of ‘glowing future destination’ that validates all that came before it – but I think that Parson’s herself might be aware of this tension, because she matches that transcendental progressivism with a notion of ‘return to true’. That we seek to strip away the distortions so that;
“It is nature acting on her own interior laws as in all her other associations.”
From my understanding, and linking this in with Bookchin’s work – this isn’t to suggest that ‘natural systems’ [sic] aren’t complicated and conflicting systems themselves – but perhaps that without the massive skewed distortions of capital and authority we could finally get to really inhabit those systems: to feel and to see what needs to be done, in order to respond creatively rather than through the filter of labor/debt/wealth.