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Anarchist views on Work & Education


"Anarchists are seldom found in the diminishing world of career employment in formal industry and bureaucracy.  They tend to find their niche in the informal or small-scale economy.  This is not surprising, since industrial psychologists frequently report that satisfaction in work is directly related to the 'span of autonomy' it offers, meaning the amount of the working day or week in which the workers are free to make their own decisions.  In this post-industrial world of work, the only serious study of the small businessman finds him to be not a Thatcherite hero, but a creative rebel against the compulsion to be either an employer or an employee."  - Colin Ward


"... many small businessmen are closer to a kind of drop-out. They disliked the whole modern capitalist ethic, and especially being employed by others; instead they preferred to feel the satisfaction of providing a 'service' and 'doing a good job'.  Quite often it was a mere chance that allowed them to find their present vocation.  Moreover, they will not provide the basis for our next industrial revolution, because they don't want to expand: that would imply employing people and losing the personal relationships they like to have with a small number of workers" - Paul Thompson


" ... anarchist aspirations are close to the dreams of vast numbers of citizens who feel entrapped by the culture of employment."  - Colin Ward


" ... modern education not only corrupts the heart of our youth, by the rigid slavery to which it condemns them, it also undermines their reason, by the unintelligible jargon with which they are overwhelmed in the first instance, and the little attention that is given to accommodating their pursuits to their capacities in the second ... there is not in the world a truer object of pity than a child terrified at every glance, and watching with anxious uncertainty the caprices of a pedagogue" - William Godwin


"The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness"


" Children, it is said, are free from the cares of the world.  Are they without their cares? Of all cares, those that bring with them the greatest consolation are the cares of independence.  There is no more certain source of exultation than the consciousness that I am of some importance in the world. A child usually feels that he is a nobody.  Parents, in their abundance of providence, take good care to administer to them this bitter recollection.  How suddenly does a child rise to an enviable degree of happiness, who feels that he has the honour to be trusted and consulted by his superiors?"