Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Political Rights

Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the in-grown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution. One compels respect from others when he knows how to defend his dignity as a human being. This is not only true in private life; it has always been the same in political life as well.

The peoples owe all the political rights and privileges which we enjoy today in greater or lesser measure, not to the good will of their governments, but to their own strength.

-- Rudolf Rocker (25 March 1873 - 19 September 1958) anarcho-syndicalist writer, historian, social activist, "Anarcho-Syndicalism" (1938)

No comments: