Anarchy explained to children, Chapter I

“Anarchy explained to children” is a 1931 brochure by José Antonio Emmanuel, a Spanish teacher and anarchist, follower of the Catalan anarchist and educator Francesc Ferrer i Guardia and the Swiss pedagogue and education reformer Pestalozzi. Emmanuel was responsible for establishing the International Anarchist Library in Barcelona in the thirties of the past century.

“Anarchy explained to children” is a fifteen page publication shedding light on what Anarchy means and how to achieve it. It finishes with a list of postulates explaining how to make Anarchy effective:

1. Help 2. Support 3. Reproduce what is good 4. Work 5. Study 6. Love 7. Protect 8. Cultivate 9. Have no slaves 10. Toil

This publication has become known to Flockzine via radical leftist blog from Spain Loquesomos.

You can find the Spanish original here.

Below we are starting an English translation from the Spanish text, chapter I:


Jose Antonio Emanuel, 1931

Dedicated to the children of the Spanish Proletariat

“… Weak and small, children are, for this very reason, sacred…”

Eliseo Reclus Science 


This leaflet is written to answer the question which some comrades have addressed to us: How shall I educate my children? This is a question we had been waiting for and will answer abiding what Reason and Science dictate to us.

Dedicated to the children of the Spanish proletariat, we are hoping that these pages, written in modesty, will give a truly innovative direction in the education of our youth.

We address the parents and the teachers so that they, at home and at the school, pass the sane doctrines of an education where all fanatism is banished with an aspiration to liberate childhood from the nefarious oppression it is being subjected to.

For one reason or or another, education has remained stagnant in a morass of serfdom from which it should come out redeemed.

Hope the following few pages would be a stimulus for all.

From the editorial group




Anarchy, dear children, is the doctrine which does not conform to the organisational model which has been imposed on humanity, from the times Society as such had begun to be constructed. It attempts to give an essence to life which is based on the holly principles of universal love and solidarity amongst all humankind.

Its mission is to put an end to the inequality prevailing amongst human beings which divides them into poor and rich, into exploiters and exploited, into slaves and masters. Life should be what it has got to be: a free expression of abilities, spontaneity of actions, an ultimate freedom demolishing the causes inhibiting that society, based on the biggest freedom and the most absolute independence.

Amongst the causes which Anarchy aims to destroy as it considers them harmful and detrimental for the development of the free individual and the collective, I can point out the following, so that you never forget that upon overcoming them we can work for the good of all.

MILITARISM is the armed force which the ones who have attained power over life are using so that they can impose their injustices and solidify their evils. This force does not step back even in the face of crime; it arms the ones cooperating to it and throws them against the others, who, like you, like your parents and your siblings, have turned toil into a virtue. When we rebel against this mode of acting, when we stand up against the injustice committed against us, they fall upon us. Not content with just wanting to destroy us, they create wars, divide humanity and so crimes pile up along the path we are walking.

Anarchy opposes Peace to this brutal force. An anarchist does not want war, an anarchist opposes to war, yearns peace, because it is the fundamental point of our saviour doctrine. It considers all human beings; it does not want borders which separate us, but hearts which unite in one single love: the true and absolute emancipation of all human beings. The arms of anarchism are the book, the work, the word. With these it fights the organised military force and with these it will triumph over the butchers and the eaters of humankind. With the book, with our work, with the word it calls upon all, making them see that the force of the ideas stands against the brutal force and the triumph of the former is beyond doubt.

CLERICALISM is the farce which the usurpers of life have surrounded themselves with, so that they can demonstrate that their impositions, tyrannies, their oppressions are right and good for a “god” they forged so that they can dress their acts as goodness. With this “god” they address the heart of the faithful, and surrounding them with splendour and luxury futile in the temples they  have erected, they direct orations and prayers so that they make everybody believe they are the directors of life, they are in charge of life, and that the people would fall into sin if not following this god, the representatives of this god, the tyrannical orders of this god. More than anything, it will take advantage of you, dear children, so that they can terrorise you with the fabulous tortures of a hell and the pleasures of a paradise which you need to earn subordinating those who represent this god in this world. The ones who do not follow, the ones who divide themselves in disgust and the ones who rebel, those they call “enemies” and in front of the power of their god, the omnipotence of their god, they create the demon which tempts the man, the woman, which tempts you, condemning you to eternal pain and fire.

To secure themselves, to fasten their dominion of the world and over all humankind, they call militarism to their help which in turn has organised life into armies ready to make the divine principle triumph. Anarchy opposes this suffocating powers, the absolute power, this terrifying power. It opposes it with a study of Science. Science is the ordered knowledge of life, it discovers the laws which move the worlds and the society; science reveals that all attributed to god, the innate in god is false and wrong; that just one law exists; one law which topples the divine law, which destroys divine omnipotence: the natural law of human progress. Thanks to this progress it is easy to come to understanding life in all its purity; that life is not the house of god, nor its temple; that the human beings do not have divine origin, but we have come into the world thanks to waves of continuous evolutive transformations of the animal organism until it has come to our species; understanding that the end of the world is not a subject to the providential wishes of a god; understanding that science concentrates its objectives in a rational way and in accordance to the laws of nature.

Anarchy destroys religions because they are absolute, despotic, cruel and bloodthirsty. And it wants to save you, dear children, from them, so that you will rebel against the fear of being condemned, the fear of being punished, the pleasure of being given a prize. The punishment and the prize can only exist in a bourgeois society created by the religious and the military. There is only one reward: the duty of Life fulfilled, to be useful to the others and to help create a new society where no hatred, no rancors, no classes, no vanities and no tyrannies exist.

CAPITALISM is the society organised around brutal egoism and it is antihumane, designed to wield absolute power over the part of humanity which produces and works, taking advantage of the communal effort to create wealth and privileges without which it could not subsist. It erects a certain power to sustain itself, makes the states, divides humanity into nations, its tentacles nailed into the earth to suck out the money which in turn monopolises and distributes inequality; penetrates everywhere, from the workshop and the factory to the absolute hoarding of all lives and vocations, it dictates the laws and imposes them so it consolidates itself and makes itself more robust. An absolute master of all existence, capitalism does not spare its tools to denature work, to attribute the production to itself, to regulate life on the basis of usurpation and violence. Owner and master of the social body, it has “clericalism” as its aid in its nefarious plans and relies on “militarism” to sustain and support itself. Capitalism wants its law to be complied with and obeyed by all: for it, capitalism relies on hired assassins and scribes. It calls this its mandate. This it calls power.

But anarchy, dear children, rises against this way to conceive life and rebels against this way to organise existence. Anarchy aspires to suppress all the causes which have put humanity into an opium lethargy. It does not want states that, for the very fact of their existence, bring within them irritant inequalities and bloody injustices. Anarchy opposes the free exchange of products (barter t.n.) to money; to the work remunerative only to the privileged, anarchy suggests that the necessities of everyone are covered in accordance with the necessities of all. It has the law of love against the law of oppression. To egoism, it opposes the thesis that the earth belongs to the ones who work it.

This is Anarchy, dear children. This, and much more which I can not explain in this few pages, but time will teach you and life will make you discover.

Anarchy wants you to investigate the origins of all these inequalities, the reasons for all these injustices; it wants you to be capable to understand that the life you live, a reflection of the bitter life of your parents, is not meant to be like this, neither can it be like this. Life is beauty; life is justice; life is peace and wellbeing.

Anarchy puts you onto the path to achieve this. Then, as the weakest and the most innocent in this misfortunate collective, you need to know to rebel against the ones oppressing and imprisoning you. You are not alone. There are people who fight to take you out of the bitterness which surrounds you, from the thorns which bruise your skin, from the poisons which infiltrate into your pure and sacred hearts.

These people will not offer you temples, nor will they make you adore divinities, neither will they put fear into your souls, nor will they corrupt your conscience, depraving you with fraud and deceit.

Open your eyes, look around you. The time of sane happiness, of joy and peace will come for you.

Anarchy makes that this time, this happiness, this joy, this peace which you do not yet have, come quicker.



To be continued…