Robert E. Sagehorn’s Lost Introduction to Enrico Arrigoni’s “Freedom: My Dream”


1946-Today, Enrico Arrigoni, Libertarian Microfiche, Western World Review / Friday, August 17th, 2018
Robert E. Sagehorn was the publisher of Western World Review (1965) and ran Western World Press. An active libertarian publisher over many decades, he was virtually “unknown on the internet”. It seems his work was marginal enough and his death too soon to have made much of an impact on history. I first began researching him because he was the publisher of a 1982 edition of The Ego and His Own, but then realized that he had his own journal and had even contributed to Sidney Parker’s journal.

Enrico Arrigoni (1898-1988) was a Milanese anarchist, laborer, and social critic; after immigrating to the U.S. ca. 1925 he began contributing to Italian-American journals under the pseudonym “Frank Brand.” Arrigoni remained active well into old age, publishing work as late as the 1980s.  As of this writing, FREEDOM: My Dream is currently in print from Little Black Cart.

This from the (planned introduction to) the autobiography of an anarchist, titled “FREEDOM: My Dream”, being published by Western World Press in a limited manuscript edition, mainly for the author’s distribution; a few are available for $10.00 postpaid, and comments are invited towards a revised and typeset edition in 1986.

The author does not wish any such introduction or praise, so it is being circulated to announce the book, and the importance given to it here, and hopefully those who stand for freedom will see the significance of it, and come to terms with a fundamental fact (and force) that all on the Right reject, even as they are unable to cope with it. That terror and force do not sustain the Communist Empire, no system can survive on that alone; it is the Leftist usurpation and perversion of the promise of Modernism, the hope and the possibility of a better world and better life that sustains it, that supplies it with True Believers ready to rationalize away the present errors, ready to suffer all things including if need be death in the hope that out of this horror and degradation will be born the New World Order; the hope and redemption of all humanity.

Take that away from them, and their Empire would collapse of its own internal contradictions.

PUBLISHER’S INTRODUCTION

Western World Press is not an anarchist press and this is plainly the autobiography of an anarchist, and if an explanation is required it is that this is a book that all who stand for freedom, or even think they do, should read, As an aid to sorting out the polemics as to what has gone wrong and what can be and should be done to set things straight.

Modernism liberated us from the old and repressive orders and gave us freedom and the potential for a better life, yet in the name of that liberation and better life the new and secular and classless Statisms oppose and degrade in a manner all too similar and often even far worse than the old orders; their efficiency enhanced by Modern technology. Now how did we get from there to here and how do these tyrannies maintain themselves, and in the name of the people, with so little popular support and such widespread aversion to their oppressive and parasitic ways? Do we who stand for freedom confront the absolute power of the “System”-or the factionalism and the blindness and human folly of the opposition? I am one of those who have arrived at the latter view, and am now convinced that although the System or the Establishment of course fosters and sustains this, it is in no sense their creation.

If you must reduce it to a single factor then call it human folly, which the oppressors did not invent, though they cynically and enthusiastically exploit it. And it is not just the ignorant masses who get so used; the intellectuals and academics are the greater fools in this regard eagerly shaping facts and circumstances to fit their ideological perspectives.

One of the (many) ironies of this long and losing struggle, which has been well described as the road back to the new and technological serfdom, is that former Leftists have taken control of it. Yes: the Conservative Citadels – those proud bastions that stand for the best of our Christian and Western heritage, were long since programmed, and remain so, by former Marxist-Leninist Dialecticians, including even 33rd Degree Trotskytes. Which, dear readers, is not proof of subversion, or if it is the subversion started far back and runs deep indeed. And do not ask how the subversives accomplished this, ask rather how the best of the West lost out to the scientific-materialistic dialectical forensics of former Marxists, and no matter how you slice it that is what happened.

From the Preface to the (1963, Gateway Edition) of James Burnham’s “The Machiavellians” – written in the early 40’s after his break with the communist Left, and “. . . the long re-education I had to undertake after seven Trotskyist years . Having come to know something of the gigantic ideology of Bolshevism, I knew I was not going to be able to settle for the pigmy ideologies of Liberalism, social democracy, refurbished laissez-faire, or the inverted, cut-rate Bolshevism called ‘fascism.’ Through the Machiavellians I began to understand more thoroughly what I had long felt; that only by renouncing all ideology can we begin to see the world and man.”

Now a quote from this book, page 71: “For me now, after the tragic experiment of communism in power since the Russian revolution, the extreme communist left is the extreme reactionary right, because from the anarchist point of view every totalitarianism is fascism pure and clear; even if some anarchists in love with left phraseology would not agree with me.”

Somewhere around here and within these limits you can begin to sort it out, and begin to understand the Modern dilemma, and opportunity. We have broken with the past. we have made this Modern miracle of progress; which includes a Pandora’s Box of problems, most of which should be opportunities. For instance, surplus production and surplus wealth, which today are factors in unemployment and fantastically destructive wars, So check it out, from the time Modernism disrupted the old Order, accomplished some of the practical possibilities of change, and obviously even better is possible-, until we have this mystique of progress via change, where any disruption of the status quo, no matter how harmful in the short run, is justified in the name of long run progress. While all the “reactionaries” – scarce any of whom would go back to pre-Modernism, want to stabilize wherever they are and with the progress to date, undisturbed.

All of which is now obvious to anyone w ho can get beyond ideology and factionalism, and for those unaware of it, all you need is some careful and systematic study and you can see it clearly enough – see beyond the intellectual snares and ideological polemics of Left and Right and Communist and Capitalist. Where if you are on the “Right” and in the “Free World” you believe capitalism is the free enterprise system in action; when the truth is and by simple definition – this is but a form of fascism. And here communism equals socialism equals folly and ruin. While the truth is that socialism and the oppression they have in the name of same in the Communist Slave States are not one and the same, and contrary to the tiresome litany of our advocates of free enterprise (which they think we have but if we did the corporations would not have their monopoly position that now approaches total ownership) socialistic economic enterprises, relationships of other than employer-employee, have succeeded, and have had a productive efficiency second to none. The evidence is there and from more than one situation or point in time, and the West’s free market Guru s should know of it and include it in their freedom litany. or else perhaps call themselves the Church of Laissez-Faire.

Further, the anarchists made’ their “anarchism” work. in Spain and other places, where they went at it right and where allowed. And that is a fact, but believe a fiction it you prefer. However .if you examine their successful factories and farms and other enterprises, entire areas under anarchist control and doing very well indeed, you are left wondering: what is this anarchism” For anarchism in practice and working well is very like a free republic, with a free economy but of course with a hit of management, direction, and control. The essentials are covered by the author; and the problems and benefits and limits are very like those of any free society. For instance ,Roger Williams and his followers left the confines of a New England theocracy to establish the free society of Rhode Island, and soon enough had the same benefits and problems; likewise with the many communes of the 19th Century, and all those before and since.

You have the problem of all the human parasites who are eager to live off the free and fraternal community but reluctant to give anything in return. And always the factions that will seize control and exploit and oppress any way they can. You must have a set of common codes and rules governing society and all contractual relationships – laws where there is archy in anarchy they are reluctant to impose, hut they must have rules, at least a few, that are universal. But do not be too critical, instead try to understand. The author treats quite frankly with all this, so consider what was accomplished, and the broad popular support for the anarchists.

In America — throughout the “Free World” — we have had a half century of anti-Communism, and unrestrained (or scarce restrained) Communist advancement and encroachment. And set against that the self-appointed and often self-annointed anti-commie factions and their leaders, and all the while the masses and most of the middle class have been and remain only too eager to he rid of this pestilence. Does it leave you wondering? Well it really should. The leadership of and the precepts of the opposition to the Modern style of tyranny is obviously derelict: unequal to the task, and blindly sustains what it opposes, and will remain so as long as it accepts and sustains the dialectical riddle of Left and Right, as good and evil, as the idea-ologists have created and juxtaposed them, to our great harm and ultimate ruin.

Sort out all of this confusion, see just why we are losing this great struggle for the world, and it is that; and see the possibilities for an effective Popular Front. And if you are on the Right and you automatically reject that term as Leftist jargon, well you automatically reject common sense. And if you are on the Left and reject the benefits of Liberty and Property because of the exploitation that has gone on in the name of same, you are in the same category.

But enough of explanations and introduction; the point is this. Whether you are an archist or an an-archist, Christian or Athiest, Left or Right, there are essentials here that you need to understand, if you would understand this dilemma. You need to understand the forces that fuel the revolutionary effort, and re-fuel it with each new generation, forces and values that are not wrong (or evil) because the communist Left has misused them.

Once you understand the basics you will see that it is not a question of why aren’t we winning but rather no wonder we are losing. So, whoever you are and wherever you stand, you should read this autobiography of a 20th Century Rebel, or Crusader for Freedom: an education, an entertaining story, and a guide to the perplexed.

Robert E. Sagehorn, Editor & Publisher
Western World Press 1985