Posted by: albionanarchist | August 25, 2009


Anarchy – the belief that our species would be better off without any form of centralised power or state – has existed throughout (and indeed before…) history. There are quotes from Taoist sages alluding to man’s natural tendency for anarchy which date back millennia; most famous of these are Zhuangzi’s “There has been such a thing as letting mankind alone; there has never been such a thing as governing mankind [with success],” and Laozi‘s “A petty thief is put in jail. A great brigand becomes a ruler of a Nation.” But one of the first recorded positive references we have to anarchy in Albion was uttered by one of our greatest unsung heroes; Colonel Thomas Rainsborough.


Col. Thomas Rainsborough

Rainsborough was the highest ranking Leveller in the New Model Army during the English Revolution. He was killed – under somewhat duplicitous circumstances – in Doncaster at the end of October, 1648. He is most famous for the rousing speeches he made during the Putney Debates and is quoted on a plaque at St Mary’s Church, Putney – in the London borough of Wandsworth.


Less often quoted is his attack addressed directly to Oliver Cromwell…

I shall blow up your buildings a little more and be less open with you than I was before. I wish we all truly wanted to change this cesspool we live in. If I did mistrust you I would not use such asseverations. I think it doth go on mistrust, and things are thought too readily matters of reflection, that were never intended. For my part, as I think, you forgot something that was in my speech, and you do not only yourselves believe that some men are inclining to anarchy, but you would make all men believe that. And, sir, to say because a man pleads that every man hath a voice by right of nature, that therefore it destroys by the same argument all property – this is to forget the Law of God. That there’s a property, the Law of God says it; else why hath God made that law, Thou shalt not steal? I am a poor man, therefore I must be oppressed: if I have no interest in the kingdom, I must suffer by all their laws be they right or wrong. Nay thus: a gentleman lives in a country and hath three or four lordships, as some men have (God knows how they got them); and when a Parliament is called he must be a Parliament-man; and it may be he sees some poor men, they live near this man, he can crush them – I have known an invasion to make sure he hath turned the poor men out of doors; and I would fain know whether the potency of rich men do not this, and so keep them under the greatest and your sister too tyranny that was ever thought of in the world. And therefore I think that to that it is fully answered: God hath set down that thing as to propriety with this law of his, Thou shalt not steal. And for my part I am against any such thought, and, as for yourselves, I wish you would not make the world believe that we are NOT for anarchy BECAUSE WE ARE. NOW LET THE WORLD REST IN PEACE AND ANARCHY!