After three months in jail, Andrews came to trial prepared to defend himself but found lesser charges, ‘of scandalysing and vilifying’ Darley had been added, and while the jury found him not guilty on the major indictments, it found him guilty of the lesser, and back he went to jail for nine months of which he served five. Out of jail by July, he spent some time in Sydney before returning to Melbourne, the Socialist[700] saying he intended to produce a paper. A meeting with White and Fleming ostensibly of the Melbourne Anarchist Club in October 1895 [701] decided him that this forum was no longer useful.

No paper eventuated but Andrews wrote leaflets and a poem ‘Invicta Spes’, which Bernard O’Dowd has described as a masterpiece. This was written for the Bulletin, and for the Buenos Aires Communist Anarchist journal he corresponded with someone in Adelaide about forming a group. In January 1896 he produced, with the help of ‘Rivuleth’, the first of two issues of the substantial magazine Reason. ‘Teufelsweldt’, an epic poem, was completed and published the same year. Speaking on the Yarra Bank and elsewhere begun after his return in November 1893 from a visit to the UK to see his ailing father, Fleming spoke up to four times a month on behalf of the Single Tax, up to April, 1896. His union activities continued and he was partly responsible for the Executive and Co-operative Committee of the Victorian One Big Union (VOBU) recommending in June 1895 that the VOBU adopt the principles of Village Settlement and Co-operations. Not a lot was achieved in these areas.[702] Yet he persisted, working with John White, by himself or with committees of moderates. The full stories of Andrew’s continued work up to 1903 when he died of tuberculosis and of Fleming up to 1950 when he died of old age are summaries elsewhere.

Pugilist and push leader ‘Griffo’ had left Sydney in 1894 (coincidentally, on the same steamship that RL Stevenson departed Sydney for the last time) and in New York City he became Lightweight Boxing Champion of the World. He was the star of Young Griffo vs. Battling Charles Barnett, a film made on the roof of Madison Square Garden, May 4, 1895, the first motion picture in the world to be screened before a paying audience. It premiered at 153 Broadway in New York City on May 20, 1895, more than seven months before the Lumière brothers showed their film at the Grand Cafe on the Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, on December 18 – the event usually said to be the first movie-by-ticket screening in the world. Griffo’s brilliant career ended suddenly in 1895 when he was convicted of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy. He spent the rest of his life drinking himself to death.[703]

        ‘Tommy’ Dodd appears to have settled on directly-related LEL work, leaving the ASB amicably in 1895. His reported involvement with Reid, up until Justice appeared in 1894, and his reported support for Harry Foran’s Anti-Humbug League were perhaps attempts at disinformation. He was Secretary of the ill-fated Daily Post venture which saw Holman and Sam Smith jailed. Nairn’s biography made excuses for Holman but cannot sidestep the break-up with the foxy Hughes:

…The most ambitious, and disastrous, project was the Daily Post which ran from January to April 1895. In November Holman was charged, with other directors, with conspiracy to defraud a creditor. Mercurial optimism and enthusiasm and lack of business experience, rather than dishonesty, had produced the crisis, but a miscarriage of justice saw him sentenced to two years in March 1896 … Holman claimed later that Watson and Hughes did not help him.

Late in 1895, alongside a lengthy report on the Haymarket injustices, the Brisbane Worker spelled out the evidence against Dieckmann, an under­cover agent used by Tozer against unionists. Sir Thomas Mcllwraith, senior government member and chief beneficiary of the Queensland National Bank reconstruction while Treasurer, had denied in 1893 that the Colonial Secretary or police would ever approve the use of spies. In December 1895, the Worker exposed the Queensland government’s falsification of the Police Commissioner’s 1894 Report to justify the Peace Preservation Legislation and thus the alarmist reports circulated by government members.[704]

In 1896 one of the McNamara daughters married Lawson and another married Lang and lived with the McNamaras for a time. Bertha was a leading member of the Social Democratic Federation of Australasia and of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales. In 1894 she had published three pamphlets: Commercialism and Distribution of the Nineteenth Century, Forgery and Workingmen’s Homes. In 1897 she campaigned vigorously for imprisoned labour-movement activists in Spain. Using the bookshop as a command centre, she organized protest meetings in the Domain, collected money for the prisoners’ families and wrote angry letters to the press. During the South African War she and William faced hostile crowds to voice their opposition. Always speaking with a pronounced German accent she was a founder of the Labor Women’s Central Organizing Committee and was a frequent delegate to State Labor Party conferences. After William died in 1906 Bertha conducted the bookshop on her own and published further pamphlets.




Intrinsic to anarchism since Proudhon has been the non­violent response of developing self-help techniques and situations which redress the power imbalance by putting the less-powerful more in control of their own lives, and less influenced by the more- powerful. Though self-help was the ‘great Victorian virtue’ 1 it was, in practice, a very qualified self-help which was envisaged by mainstream society. It was a self-help that was not intended to change ‘the natural order’, but in fact was part of the ‘cultural lobotomy’ experienced specifically by the British ‘lower orders’ from about 1835 whereby a vast array of cultural missionaries, voluntary and professional, induced the less-powerful to police themselves and to adopt values of thrift, security and respectability. It required as complement the protective, authoritative and paternalistic ‘heroic agent of order’ to soothe anxieties of the bourgeoisie in a secular

and fragmenting world.2 An example was Sherlock Holmes, another was General Gordon.             These figures embodied ideas of the superiority of white, anglo-saxon males who conformed to, espoused and protected the prevailing hierarchy. Revolutionists shared with their militant opponents a diminished view of the individual’s importance and an exaggerated belief in collisions of competing, heroic forces to decide moral contests. Whether in duels, in David and Goliath combat or in that of huge, massed armies, this belief extended and underlined the ‘habit of authority’ and the prevailing masculine

‘habit of authority’ and the prevailing masculine view of itself. The small, conspiratorial group allowed some women into the struggle at a time when science was making an individual rebel much more powerful, but only when the movement to centralisation and mass culture had already rendered such rebels ultimately powerless.

Put another way, individual or small group violence as arbiter of social power imbalance leaves the source of the imbalance intact.

Anarchism, however, as the logical result of theories of self-help, had its counterpart heroic-figure, the lone assassin, not as an agent of order, but as a herald of change, just as the relevant movement for change was faltering and leaving ‘direct actionists’ isolated, increasing their frustration. Most individual assassins have been portrayed as, and probably were, poor examples of actualised self-hood or autonomy, but were at least struggling against the pressures to passivity, as were the other heroic agents, their function of passivity-making in others notwithstanding. This frustrated striking out against the inhibiting of aspirations is not part of these aspirations, is not anarchism. Indeed it is the reverse: it is the reactionary expression of the failure to achieve anarchism.

Inevitably, realising one’s own previously unknown power leads one, in a hierarchical situation, to defiance of authority and thus the problem returns, in the form of the tension between the maintenance of one’s self-hood and the consequences of being defiant. The need for organisation to achieve large-group violence or social change by mass pressure is an extension of this dilemma of the self- managing individual in a cohesive group. But again the large-scale violence itself tells us nothing about the philosophy, self-management. In general, anarchists have spelled out the belief that the opposite case to the one usually associated with them applies:

Revolution in its original liberal and radical significance is revolution towards, rather than against centralisation.

Even were it true that the movement as a whole had adopted the violent strategy it would yet be the case that the process of anarchist vilification is part of that larger process used against attempts to change the established order, namely blaming the victim. Most clearly violence demands attention as part of this conundrum: the State encompasses violence and threatens its use ‘legitimately’, ‘the people’ for whom and by whom the State allegedly operates, have access to it, but any recourse to it is ‘illegitimate’, or must be mediated by professionals and applied in an institutionalised way. This happens, in what are called ‘civil’ disputes against some of those people who comprise supposedly the State’s legitimating base. In the case under consideration we see that both violence and anarchists were defined out of the ‘community’ and thus out of rational consideration. The anarchists have been labelled criminals, deviants or foreigners, thus the objects of their attention, the conformists, can be protected by State violence against those it stigmatises as violent. Both State or outsider violence is thus regarded as aberrant in a normally peaceful situation which ‘the outsiders’ are trying to disrupt. In these so-called tests of strength, even talk of self-defence or use of ambiguous euphemisms like ‘vigorous responses’ by strikers or agitators was sufficient to damn, in some people’s eyes, the whole cause. There is a need to consider the dynamic of a triad of elements: anarchism – violence – information, wherein lies the more profound reason for firstly, the anarchist-State socialist split, secondly, the suppression of anarchists by governments of various ideological persuasions and thirdly, for the stigma itself.

Anarchism demands a personal response to authority and authority figures. It is therefore a threatening philosophy for both anarchists and those confronted with dissidence. Violence is a common response to threatening situations, including repression, and itself demands personal responses. However violence does not advance self-management, though it may provide space in which movement towards autonomy can occur. Self-management requires knowledge, that is, access to and ability with information. As the antithesis of self-management, the State requires violence, for enforcement, and information control, especially if it is to appear benign, neutral, even a puppet of the electorate. As it developed historically, the State moved to secure this dual control. Its monopoly of violence assumed new forms and specific techniques were developed for surveillance, collation, and control of what others were saying and hearing, up to the control of its (the State’s) own history, and control of the definitions of key concepts. Whatever the State ideology, the controls are the same though mediated differently.

The industrialised nation state is not the first hierarchically organised social structure in history – populations have been oppressed and conditioned for submission for millenia. It stands to reason therefore that any urge to decentralise decision making would run up against the residual authoritarianisms or tendencies to think of power relationships in existing, hierarchical ways among even the people most concerned to develop non-hierarchical forms. Where commentators have misread social phenomena most often is in determining which cultural features are the residues of repression, or on a more pessimistic interpretation, the areas of successful, perhaps expanding, repression.

When we consider the non-violent methods of containment and acknowledge that the establishment newspapers whether reactionary or liberal were instrumental in defining what was legitimate and therefore respectable for the bulk of the decision making group, we can understand the importance to the outcome of the struggle of the capacity to impose a definition of radicalism, in particular of anarchism and to restrict the influence of dissident information. The Australian Star’s editorial of 20 February 1894 included:

[The] nature of the crime [selling Hard Cash] when properly understood is heinous in the extreme … it is a crime against humanity, against liberty, against all the high journalistic privileges or rights which have been so hardly won and should be zealously guarded.

The custodians of the status quo worked hard at controlling the flow of information as part of the overall methodology of political surveillance of the population, and were prepared to wear the opprobrium of a few knowledgeable questions in parliament in order to stem Andrews’s activities or that of a handful of malcontents such as the Justice crowd. More important blows for conservatism went generally unnoticed. Legislation went through the Victorian (June) and the New South Wales parliaments (July) in mid-1890, to stop-up leaks in the State’s own information system – this was the Official Secrets Bill.

Two years before, in the Imperial Parliament, an Act of the same name had been introduced to ‘prevent the disclosure of Documents and Information by means either of Spies or of breaches of Official Trust’. Amendments passed the following year in the House of Lords removed all mention of ‘spies’ while retaining the two categories of ‘crimes’. The Lords also spelt out the applicability of this Act to all of Her Majesty’s possessions (and any government departments therein) unless similar legislation was passed in such possessions.

The local legislation then was designed to foster the image of independence while following exactly the format of the British model. In this legislation the surface impression is protection of information about explicitly military positions, for example, forts, from falling into the hands of foreign powers. But a closer look reveals the comprehensive nature of an attempt to stifle discussion, in the press particularly, of the wider implications of a standing militia, and to bind the hands, and thus presumably the minds, of public servants.

While defining the ‘crimes’ very carefully and setting penalties, none of the Australian legislation makes any mention of a counter-intelligence force, or Special Branch to enforce it. This was because such a group was already in operation, a group not yet specialised enough to make any distinction in its work between financial fraud, larrikinism, political agitation or external threat. This was, as I have already argued, the State’s second line of defence the ‘ordinary’ police force, and particularly the Detective Branch or CIB which operated as a ‘secret service’ because its members wore ‘plain clothes’.

Getting further away from the primacy of wealth and physical violence as the power-making devices, along the path to some extent laid down by twentieth century renovators of the radical tradition, in particular of Marxism, it becomes clear that at some point one’s view of the nature of revolutionary change alters. It is my contention that in accepting forms of power other than those two, for example, cultural hegemony and/or gender role-conditioning, and in attempting to analyse them, the need appears to not merely renovate class analysis but to extend it and replace it with what can only be called a power analysis. Such an analysis moves away from both economic relations as the prime determinant of social structure and of violence or physical force as the means by which social relations are held in place or altered, by acknowledging the historical role of individuals and the dynamic of the relations between individuals.

Thus, the power of individuals collected together in ‘classes’ to change their situation is not altered in power analysis. What is changed is the recognition that until individuals have themselves enhanced their own personal power and become initiators, they remain order-takers and incapable of revolutionary change. They can only change their masters. In order to produce a free society it is precisely the individual, defined more than just economically, who has to change, specifically in evaluation of his/her power to be free, that is, to be self-managing. This personal power cannot be left to chance and it cannot be enhanced at the level of collectivities as large and as vague as ‘classes’. The organisation of this change process must be directed to the individual level. Anarchism is the political philosophy which has consistently pushed in this direction.

[it] was anarchism, unique among the social philosophies, that most sought to integrate individual behaviour into a framework of general social relations.

Appearing to digress for a moment: it may be tempting in a psycho-social context to see the violence of the individual thug, assassin, revolutionist or soldier as a result of generalised masculine fear of women and emotional openness for which violence could be seen as an easier substitution. Often heard are arguments about inherent  male violence and inherent female nurturance, yet it is very strange for men, the dominant gender, to brutalise the ‘weaker’. One could expect continual intimidation of a group that the oppressor ‘knew’ was weaker, or its use in dangerous tasks, as with laboratory animals, but sustained brutality against women makes little sense unless one adds a tension dependent on male fear. Male need is insufficient explanation for the tension, again as with laboratory animals. However even greater violence than that done by individual men against women is done by the more-powerful people, mainly men, against the least-powerful, men and women, most obviously by the State against civilian populations, sometimes its own, sometimes militarised to ‘legitimate’ the killing and maiming.

It is necessary to incorporate the radical-feminist view of maleness with the anarchist anti-authority view to produce the notion that absence or loss of self-hood in hierarchical situations can produce violence by way of fear or frustration, either or both also producing the controlled emotions and suppression of spontaneity and creative impulses which are the signs of a lack of self-hood, even in the most powerful. Thus men and male politics have more victims available, supposedly physically weaker, certainly the more vulnerable women, whereas women only have babies and small children. It is not just the case that male culture correlates with incidents of violence more than female, but that hierarchical culture, predominantly topped and maintained by men, correlates with violence more than non-hierarchical culture, and this hierarchical culture is more controlled, sterile and fear-driven.

Personalising one’s politics when speaking of voluntary contracts in the 1880s required radical adjustments to one’s views of sex, marriage and women’s role. Because these were areas of great personal fearfulness and guilt, even the most progressive found it difficult going.  END