Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dorothy Day, on Anarchism

“The word anarchist is deliberately and repeatedly used in order to awaken our readers to the necessity of combating the ‘all-encroaching state,’ as our Bishops have termed it, and to shock serious students into looking into the possibility of another society, an order made up of associations, guilds, unions, communes, parishes, voluntary associations of men [sic], on regional vs. national lines, where there is a possibility of liberty and responsibility for all men.”

Dorothy Day, Catholic Worker, December 1949, cited in Mark and Louise Zwick, The Catholic Worker Movement: Intellectual And Spiritual Origins (New York: Paulist, 2005).

"... we are distressed to say that the type of people we have attracted to this idea has often been the anarchistic type in the wrong sense, those who submit to no authority, talk of property as community property when it concerns someone else and as private property when it concerns them and their families; who want to live as members of a religious order and yet as a family; to be priest and judge, and not a worker; to indoctrinate rather than to toil by the sweat of their brows; to live off the earnings of others, in a system which they excoriate. We do not deny that the family needs subsidy in this present social order. And there are many single ones in the Catholic Worker movement who are working at honorable jobs, who could be helping more the family men who are finding it almost impossible to make ends meet.

Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker February 1948.

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