TO COMPLEMENT AND COMPLETE MY EARLIER WORK "THE ANARCHISTS" I now present "THE FREEDOMSEEKER" and propose to call these two books collectively my "BOOKS OF FREEDOM".
This present work sums up the labours of many years and is no more a work of art, and should not be judged as such, than the other was a "novel". Whereas the other was presented in the wide form of the portrait of a culture, this one is in the narrower frame of a single life and its development towards Freedom. Once again I discuss the consequences of the demand for recognition of the Sovereignty of the Individual, confronting all attempts at his subjugation and suppression, and confronting his greatest and most dangerous enemy: the State.
THE LABOURS OF MANY YEARS. It proved necessary to place the picture of the psychological development of an individual of our time towards Freedom beside the painting of a culture at the end of the last century, with the fullness of its images and the over-fullness of its happenings coloured by the struggle of the masses for power and Freedom. That is, it proved necessary to narrow the wide frame, in order to lend depth to this picture of a philosophy, that of individualist anarchism, thus giving it a final shape so that here, too, the "persistent remains of dissatisfaction became the seed of a new work".
Books like this are not written, but evolve and take their time. Interrupted time after time over many years because of another conflict which it would be premature to discuss here; each time begun again; rejected in its original form, only with difficulty growing into the new-found one, but never given up; what the young man started so impetuously, the aging one completed hesitantly and through many obstacles. It has now arrived, not too early and not too late but, as it seems to me, just at the right time — a time when the Social Question no longer knocks on doors seeking entrance with timid or forceful words but batters down, with ruthless fists, all those which are not opened to it.
The new task which I set myself and to which I dedicated my modest independence was: to prove how essential is Freedom and that every form of power-politics is a cloud-cuckooland; to demonstrate the nature of Freedom; to show what Force is, no matter what it calls itself, as well as the only way in which it can successfully be fought against and conquered.