George Walford: Underground Activity

The State normally takes care to act within the limits set by what the general body of the people are willing to accept. But occasionally it gets out of line, trying to do something that large numbers will not tolerate, or to refuse something they demand; when that happens the outcome shows that final power lies with the people rather than the State.

Early in World War II there was a struggle to get the Tube stations opened to the public as air-raid shelters. The authorities refusing to give way the people simply took over, buying tickets but not traveling; settling down for the night with their bundles and baskets of food. On the night of 27 September, 1940, there were estimated to be 180,000 on the platforms. [1] That number was only a tiny part of the population even of London, but it was enough to carry the decision. The State cannot stand against the big numbers.

[1] Observer 24 June 90.

Continue reading Angles on Anarchism by George Walford (1991):
Class Politics; an Exhausted Myth | Anarchy Renamed | Why So Few? | Gnostics as Anarchists of Old | The Two-Sided Anarchist | The Higher the Fewer | The Anarchist Police Force | Even Worse | In the Beginning | The Competitive Co-operators | I. Q. Against Anarchism | Anarchism in Series | Friendly Reason | Anarchist Research | Are They Not Anarchists? | The Trouble With Success | Of Governments and Gardens | The Poll Tax Lesson | Healthy Freedoms | The Conventional Artist | Underground Activity | The Cretan Egoist.