— Katherine Anne Porter American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist 1890 - 1980
The Never-Ending Wrong (1977)
Kontext: Anarchy had been a word of fear in many countries for a long time, nowhere more so than in this one; nothing in that time, not even the word "Communism," struck such terror, anger, and hatred into the popular mind; and nobody seemed to understand exactly what Anarchy as a political idea meant any more than they understood Communism, which has muddied the waters to the point that it sometimes calls itself Socialism, at other times Democracy, or even in its present condition, the Republic. Fascism, Nazism, new names for very ancient evil forms of government — tyranny and dictatorship — came into fashion almost at the same time with Communism; at least the aims of those two were clear enough; at least their leaders made no attempt to deceive anyone as to their intentions. But Anarchy had been here all the nineteenth century, with its sinister offspring Nihilism, and it is a simple truth that the human mind can face better the most oppressive government, the most rigid restrictions, than the awful prospect of a lawless, frontierless world. Freedom is a dangerous intoxicant and very few people can tolerate it in any quantity; it brings out the old raiding, oppressing, murderous instincts; the rage for revenge, for power, the lust for bloodshed. The longing for freedom takes the form of crushing the enemy — there is always the enemy! — into the earth; and where and who is the enemy if there is no visible establishment to attack, to destroy with blood and fire? Remember all that oratory when freedom is threatened again. Freedom, remember, is not the same as liberty.