Inside the MAC:

An Andrade letter to Symes appeared in The Radical after Symes refused it, claiming that during a last attempt to debate the issues in October 1887, he, Symes, had:

studiously avoided discussion of the subject before us [either fearing to commit yourself, or else feeling ignorant of it] and tried to draw me off…treating this most serious of all problems…of human relations…as though you were the clown in the pantomime.[175]

Speaking on Queen’s Wharf, a popular, Sunday soap-boxing venue, David Andrade began denouncing Symes as a greedy, self-seeking despot. He asserted that Symes had ‘tried to have the Melbourne Anarchists murdered as they were in Chicago’.[176] Symes, often at the same venue, argued that the anarchic section of the ASA was trying to ‘burst up’ the ASA in order to use the funds to buy dynamite. Sinnott, Symes’ sympathetic biographer, later used some of Upham’s words to justify the first claim but failed to substantiate the second. Upham had said in November 1887 that:

Secularism has outlived its usefulness. Our hope…[lies] in Anarchy which is based on rebellion against authority.[177]

The early propagandists of the MAC were unlikely dynamitards. They were all being influenced by Proudhon through the so-called ‘native American’ tendency set out in Tucker’s Liberty and Harman’s Lucifer. Honesty’s first editorial set out the paper’s aims and methods:

…And it will show how this evil institution [the State] can be peacefully and successfully eliminated … and how society can pursue a course of orderly prosperity without any Utopian reconstruction ….

Its first issues serialised Proudhon’s ‘Idea of a Revolution’ beginning with: ‘Reader, calm yourself: I am no agent of discord, no fire-brand of sedition.’ His revolution, of course, was to be ‘in human ideas’ which was also the substance of a Gregory paper to the Club in July 1887, ‘An Anarchist Bomb’. In January 1887, David Andrade spoke to the Club on the Chicago trials and sponsored a resolution to the Illinois State Governor deploring the results. The February 1888 editorial and a feature article strongly attacked the execution of four of ‘humanity’s truest friends’.[178]

Benjamin Tucker has been credited with having provided the first explicitly anarchist material to England[179] where the connection with the MAC and for the early years of the Sydney Australian Socialist League was not William Morris as Kenafick has suggested[180] and as O’Farrell[181] and Mansfield[182] have assumed, but Henry Seymour, secretary of the National Secular Society at Tunbridge Wells where he kept a Science Library.[183] Seymour’s path to anarchism through secularism brought him into conflict with Charles Bradlaugh, English Free Thought patriarch and MP, who, by September 1884, preferred to see the negative image of anti-authoritarianism.[184] Seymour published Bakunin’s God and the State, in 1883, the year Tucker completed its translation into English.[185] Tucker was erudite and open-handed but by 1892 he had settled on Proudhon as ‘the chief authority of our system’[186] and had set himself to translate Proudhon’s entire output. He produced engravings for sale at 50c of Proudhon and Bakunin, that of Proudhon being the only illustration in the first twelve issues of Honesty, the MAC newsletter.[187]

Tucker’s paper had been available in English secular reading rooms from 1881 and Seymour’s The Anarchist had followed the Bostonian in most predilections from its beginning in May 1885. The ‘English Anarchist Circle’ formed around his paper and produced the 1885 election manifesto which Andrade read out at the second Club meeting on 16 May 1886.[188] At that meeting, the first publicly advertised, Upham as chairperson read the Prospectus, then Elisee Reclus’ Futility o£ Voting. Andrade read an article ‘Might and Right’ from Liberty and J. McMillan read from Edmund Burke’s ‘The Inherent Evils of All State Governments’. In its first issue in April 1887, Honesty advertised books by Bakunin (‘Founder of Nihilism and apostle of anarchism’), Proudhon, Spencer and Tchernychewsky’s What is to Be Done? [189] Auberon Herbert, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Reclus also had titles mentioned. In 1888 when the paper was advertising Liberty, Lucifer, Freedom (London), The Anarchist, and Le Revolte (Paris), Tucker assessed that Melbourne was taking in excess of one-eighth of his ‘book and pamphlet patronage’.[190] This implies 1887 was a year of increased activity as only ‘a small quantity’ had been imported by the end of 1886.[191]

Tucker had synthesised those anti-government arguments which emphasised economics as both the realm of the chief impediments to liberty and liberty’s ‘first application’ if it was to be effective.[192] The four monopolies of land, credit, tariffs and of patent and copyrights were ‘productive of all the evils of society’. Abolition of compulsory taxation and of the four monopolies formed the two main themes of Tucker’s writing and that of his contributors over three decades.[193] However the composition and the priorities of this body of contributors changed as Tucker’s did.

Tucker’s emphases on individual liberty, economics and voluntary contracts also made up David Andrade’s intellectual core. He early on wrote that whereas he might differ with Tucker about capital and profit, he was ‘at one’ with the Bostonian on laws and government. As Tucker did, Andrade referred to his philosophy as individualism which is reflected in the Manifesto, below, and for a time both also saw their philosophy as ‘socialist’.[194] Tucker regarded the MAC, Australian anarchism and David Andrade as virtually synonymous. In advertising Honesty in Liberty Tucker wrote:

It is a sufficient description of Honesty’s principles to say that they are substantially the same as those championed by Liberty in America.[195]

Truth Seeker, a New York rationalist magazine said of Honesty’s writers that they were converts to the extreme individualistic views of Michael Bakunin and Herbert Spencer: ‘They are hot-headedly wrong like our loved friend Tucker but they are able’.[196] Among Honesty’s other earliest contributors, Donovan espoused natural rights, while moving through a minimal Statism to Tucker-Andrade anarchism,[197] and Brookhouse advocated enlightened self-interest. When Tucker flirted with the strongly individualist notions of German philosopher Max Stirner, Andrade and Upham followed him which meant that for a time they all defended the use of dynamite. For at least three years from 1881 Tucker had published indiscriminate admiration for those ‘who do not assent’[198] to oppression, in particular the Russian nihilists, and had justified their use of dynamite as self-defence. The Haymarket events forced a clarification. Now it was communism which was closest to violent rebellion:

The Chicago Communists have chosen the violent course and the result is to be fore­seen. Their predicament is due to a resort to methods that Liberty emphatically disapproves.[199]

He defended them against ‘the State’ since he believed them innocent. He defended the rights of Johann Most, who was being demonised as ‘the Voice of Terror’, and who Tucker described as ‘a quack’. But when Russian emigre to the US, Alexander Berkman, attempted to shoot steelworks manager Frick in 1892 Tucker wrote that ‘violence is the power of darkness’.[200] Just three weeks before the Haymarket explosion, in lecturing the others on the correctness of Herbert Spencer’s anti-State arguments David Andrade had argued that this English philosopher did not go far enough:

Social liberty can only be realised by granting individual liberty. And if it cannot be got by peaceable means, through the obstruction of physical force, physical force must be employed to secure it. Dynamite is one of the best friends of toiling humanity.[201]

He told the ASA:

Anarchy comes along and says to the stupid voters: ‘Wake up! … You have got a State tape-worm inside of you, and you are feeding that instead: take an emetic in the form of a healthy mental revolution; if it doesn’t act after a time, try a stronger dose – mix a little dynamite with it. … our political system is Christian to the core: it stinks of humility and slavery. But the new Terrorism overturns all that. Tyrannicide becomes a virtue and slavery a crime.[202]

Ironically, it was Andrade’s communist-anarchist opponents’ use two and a half years later of a more moderate form of this argument, after he had long abandoned it, which split the Club for the second time, this time irrevocably. Only the ‘Yankee’ Fred Upham openly expressed support for dynamite within the MAC prior to the explosion.[203] Very little is known about him. He delivered the first lecture on ‘Anarchism’ to the ASA in October 1885,[204] and was on hand to organise the Club’s first formal meeting in the ASA rooms on 1 May 1886.[205] With the brothers Andrade and three others, one of whom was recorded as ‘Miss Wigraf’, he there welcomed the Club’s Prospectus. It makes no mention of dynamite or any other form of violence: