Sacco and Vanzetti and Stirner

1845-1945, Events, Max Stirner, Trevor Blake / Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Nicola Sacco (1891 – 1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888 – 1927) were anarchists born in Italy. They were accused of committing murder during an armed robbery of a shoe store in Massachusetts. Found guilty, they were put to death in the electric chair.

While in prison, Sacco and Vanzetti received support from around the world. This support included author John Beffel and Libertarian Book Club founder Valerio Isca. Their execution was discussed by the MacKay Society decades later.

Max Stirner, author of The Ego and His Own, is mentioned in this letter from The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti (Frankfurter and Jackson, ed.) (New York: Penguin Books 1928). Original spelling retained.

Trevor Blake


Winter, 1923. Charlestown Prison


In my opinion the umane afflictions caused by umane faults are due, not so much for lack of morals sense, but to use wrong application of it. The sentiment of justice too can become a source of injustice when wrong.

The crusaids for example, were possible by the explotation of religious sentiment and love of freedom proper to individuals and collectivities. Most of the umble tools of the “Inquisition” believed to be fair with their victims because by thus torturing the bodies they will safe the souls of them.

Still today the umble justify punishment as necessary to check crimes. Indeed some so-called educated confess such belief, but not in good faith. This subject seem to be endless and tempt me to write something about it.

Your idea of the government is the one of every good people believing in it. I am for free towns administered directly by their citozins.

After reading many critics of government, the writings of Spencer, Stirner, Kropotkin, Reclu, Bovio and others, I wish very much to read the critics of the state made by the ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman philosopher. But after much reflection I tend to believe that the critics of the ancient must not differ much from those of the modern.

Last evening I read a chapter of the Psychology [by William James]. I perceive at once to deal with a really great one. He speak with simplicity as Reclu and others did. I will learn a good deal from this lecture. I feel the fever of knowledge in me.

Mr. A. Brisbane always trouble me. Several months ago I read in a book of physical culture, that to sit down is an unhealthy habit and that the more one stand the better he feel. I like to feel well and consequently I took the advice. But today Mr. A. Brisbane tell me that the more we lay down the better it is. So I do not know now what I have to do for my good health. Till now I used to read on my feet, more often leaning like an elephant against the wall; from now I will maibe sit down. Of course, the best way to prevent diseases and troubles to a man is kill him while he feel well.

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