In his mind, the prospect of German rule was much worse than supporting a State so he thought it was important to defend the nation and support the alliance between England, France and Russia.
In response a fellow named Errico Malatesta spoke on behalf of other anarchists and pointed out that:
“An Allied victory would simply mean the domination of Europe by England and Russia, which was little better than German domination.”
Malatesta and others thought Kropotkin was letting his prejudices take precedence over principles. In another article, Malatesta wrote:
“For us, national rivalries and hatreds are among the best means the masters have for perpetuating the slavery of the workers, and we must oppose them with all our strength.”
Carl uses this to make a point about ends and means which you can read more about in the article.
What I’d like to address here is how government promotes “rivalries and hatreds” even within a nation, even when there is no outright nation-state war at stake.
The political process itself promotes “war” between the people of a nation. Political parties work to create and identify “enemies,” which leads to the idea that we are “fighting” and “at war” with our neighbors. Political parties have to create an enemy in the form of a group of people so that another group of people will be energized enough to go to “war” in the form of political activism and voting against the enemy.
Government itself benefits by this promotion of prejudice.
Even people who think of themselves as free from prejudice can end up being susceptible. It even happens in factions within parties. Pay just slight attention and you can hear the prejudice in language every day as people talk politics.
This is sometimes the hardest part about moving outside the government box. If a person always strongly identified with a political party, it’s difficult to suddenly consider someone who comes from “the other side” as a friend now and not “the enemy.”
This may be one benefit of Voluntaryism. Voluntaryism does not promote a prejudice against any group of people. Yes, there is an inherent prejudice against aggressors but that is an action any person can do, not an existential state. So since Voluntaryists have figured out that politics is not the answer, we can’t fall for the prejudices political parties try to promote in order to gain votes.
This means we can focus on what we all have in common instead of what we don’t. We can interact voluntarily, and even if we do harbor irrational prejudices against certain groups of people, those prejudices can’t be fanned by those who want to control others through government force.
And that’s what’s really important.