Revolt Library : Revolutionary Materials from the Past
Welcome to RevoltLib! Here you will find an archive of materials from the past that once helped people to abolish the state, fight capitalism, end sexism, demolish imperialism, and eliminate all forms of social domination. Information is power -- arm yourself!
This archive contains 3,189 texts, with 10,890,787 words or 67,590,501 characters.
A collection of historic materials detailing Anarchism, Libertarianism, and Anti-Authoritarianism. By understanding more about the past, we can better apply the principles we discover today.
"It has cost mankind much time and blood to secure what little it has gained so far from kings, czars and governments." -- Emma Goldman
This work is part of the International Institute for Social History collection and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Thoughts Occasioned By The Perusal Of Dr. Parr's Spital Sermon, Preached At Christ Church, April 15, 1800: Being A Reply to the Attacks of Dr. Parr, Mr. Mackintosh, the Author of an Essay On Population, and Others. by William Godwin LONDON: Printed by Taylor and Wilks, Chancery-Lane; and sold by G.G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row. 1801. I HAVE now continued for some years a silent, not an inattentive, spectator of the flood of ribaldry, invective and intolerance which has been poured out against me and my writings. The work which has principally afforded a topic for the exercise of this malignity has been the Inquiry Concerning Political Justice. This book made its appearance in February 1793; its reception with the public was fav... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...what seems to be elementary and fundamental for all Socialists (Anarchists, or others) is that it is necessary to keep outside every kind of compromise with the Governments and the governing classes, so as to be able to profit by any opportunity that may present itself, and, in any case, to be able to restart and continue our revolutionary preparations and propaganda."
• "...'France,' or 'Germany,' and of other political and national agglomerations—results of historical struggles—as of homogenous ethnographic units, each having its proper interests, aspirations, and mission, in opposition to the interests, aspirations and a mission of rival units. This may be true relatively, so long as the oppressed, and chiefly the workers, have no self-consciousness, fail to recognize the injustice of their oppressors. There is, then, the dominating class only that counts; and this class, owing to its desire to conserve and to enlarge its power, even its prejudices and its own ideas, may find it convenient to excite racial ambitions and hatred, and send its nation, its flock, against 'foreign' countries, with a view to releasing them from their present oppressors, and submitting them to its own political economical domination."
• "...the oppressed are always in a state of legitimate self-defense, and have always the right to attack the oppressors."
Seaborn. So here you find me up before the sun, though you have fled from your City of Destruction northwards on the night-bat's wings. Your penny-a-liner calls it the Flying Scotsman: but 1, the modern version of the magic carpet, with the seamy side up. Oh for electric balloons, or the wings of the morning ! But come, let us hasten to plunge into the sea, and to meet the rising sun with worship. See, Ben Gaoth is lifting his cloud-cap to greet his father. Citizen. But I'm shivering. No foot-pans, and this late October! Sea. What would you I Foot-pans and profits don't rhyme. The London and North-Western joint-stockers know better than that. Their guide to Parnassus is Jevons' I Political Economy Primer'-q. v. But come, no irreligion, pay homage promptly to sea and sun, and I'll warrant your heat. The sunny waves will wash the city-soil out of you, and charm... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
(From a Swedish Correspondent.) In an examination into the spread of Socialism in Scandinavia, Denmark must be considered first. This little, but politically active, country has special claims upon our attention, in view of the battle which is being fought with very unequal weapons between the two Socialist parties at present to be found there. In Denmark, Socialism is as little free from schisms as in other countries. There it has reached the stage at which its speakers and writers declare for Reform or for Revolutionary Socialism. The leaders of the reform section, the now notorious "Central Committee" of the Social Democratic labor party, take their stand on the authoritarian Socialism of Marx, and prove themselves believers in despotism a la Marx. The revolutionary party, on the contrary, seem determined to combat authority and bureaucracy, whether in old forms or new. And the less tenable the old Socialism, with its admixture of Marxist State... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
• "...for us and all anarchists, the abolition of political power is not possible without the simultaneous destruction of economic privilege."
• "ONE: Destruction of all concentrations of political power is the first duty of oppressed people. TWO: Any organization of an allegedly provisional revolutionary political power to achieve this destruction cannot be other than one trick more, and would be as dangerous to the people as are all present governments. THREE: In refusing every compromise for the achievement of the revolution, workers of the world must establish solidarity in revolutionary action outside the framework of bourgeois politicians."
• "Social reorganization is something we must all think about right now, and as the old is destroyed we shall have a more human and just society as well as one more receptive to future advances. The alternative is that 'the leaders' will think about these problems, and we shall have a new government, which will do exactly as all previous governments have done, in making the people pay for the scant and poor services they render, by taking away their freedom and allowing them to be oppressed by every kind of parasite and exploiter."
About the people and individuals of the past who have made up revolutions, whether they were active revolutionaries or brilliant theoreticians. If we know how they lived in the past, we might know what's possible to do today.
"...in the State, the pleasure of commanding takes the place of the love which the chief cannot have for the peoples under him." -- Jean Jacques Rousseau
(1844 - 1916) ~ Leader of the Anarchist Section of the First International : He later became one of the leading members of the Jura Federation, the Anarchist wing, of the First International. He met Bakunin in 1869, and adopted much of his anarcho-collectivist ideas. Both Guillaume and Bakunin were expelled from the International at the Hague Congress in 1872. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The revolution cannot be confined to a single country: it is obliged under pain of annihilation to spread, if not to the whole world, at least to a considerable number of civilized countries." (From : "Ideas on Social Organization," by James Guillaume....)
• "There will probably be very little brigandage and robbery in a society where each lives in full freedom to enjoy the fruits of his labor and where almost all his needs will be abundantly fulfilled. Material well-being, as well as the intellectual and moral progress which are the products of a truly humane education, available to all, will almost eliminate crimes due to perversion, brutality, and other infirmities." (From : "Ideas on Social Organization," by James Guillaume....)
• "The truth cannot be decided by vote; it verifies and imposes itself by the mighty power of its own evidence." (From : "Ideas on Social Organization," by James Guillaume....)
(1853 - 1932) ~ Italian, Anarchist Intellectual, Anti-Capitalist, and Anti-Fascist : There have almost certainly been better anarchist writers, more skilled anarchist organizers, anarchists who have sacrificed more for their beliefs. Perhaps though, Malatesta is celebrated because he combined all of these so well, exemplifying thought expressed in deed... (From : Cunningham Bio.)
• "If it is true that the law of Nature is Harmony, I suggest one would be entitled to ask why Nature has waited for anarchists to be born, and goes on waiting for them to triumph, in order to destroy the terrible and destructive conflicts from which mankind has already suffered. Would one not be closer to the truth in saying that anarchy is the struggle, in human society, against the disharmonies of Nature?" (From : "Peter Kropotkin - Recollections and Criticisms of....)
• "...the oppressed are always in a state of legitimate self-defense, and have always the right to attack the oppressors." (From : "Anarchists Have Forgotten Their Principles," by E....)
• "And tomorrow, in the revolution, we must play an active part in the necessary physical struggle, seeking to make it as radical as possible, in order to destroy all the repressive forces of the government and to induce the people to take possession of the land, homes, transport, factories, mines, and of all existing goods, and organize themselves so that there is a just distribution immediately of food products." (From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Errico Malatesta.)
(1870 - 1936) ~ Globe-Trotting Anarchist, Journalist, and Exposer of Bolshevik Tyranny : He was a well-known anarchist leader in the United States and life-long friend of Emma Goldman, a young Russian immigrant whom he met on her first day in New York City. The two became lovers and moved in together, remaining close friends for the rest of Berkman's life. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "But when the industries will again begin to function more or less systematically, [Soviet] Russia will face a very difficult and complex labor situation. Labor organizations, trade unions, do not exist in Russia, so far as the legitimate activities of such bodies are concerned. The Bolsheviki abolished them long ago. With developing production and capitalism, governmental as well as private, Russia will see the rise of a new proletariat whose interests must naturally come into conflict with those of the employing class. A bitter struggle is imminent. A struggle of a twofold nature: against the private capitalist, and against the State as an employer of labor." (From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The R....)
• "The state has no soul, no principles. It has but one aim -- to secure power and hold it, at any cost." (From : "The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman, 1....)
• "But the 'triumph' of the Bolsheviki over Kronstadt held within itself the defeat of Bolshevism. It exposes the true character of the Communist dictatorship. The Communists proved themselves willing to sacrifice Communism, to make almost any compromise with international capitalism, yet refused the just demands of their own people -- demands that voiced the October slogans of the Bolsheviki themselves: Soviets elected by direct and secret ballot, according to the Constitution of the R.S.F.S.R.; and freedom of speech and press for the revolutionary parties." (From : "The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman, 1....)
(1854 - 1929) ~ British-American Anarchist and Magonista Editor : William C. Owen was a British-born Anarchist who was active in California with Ricardo Flores Magón.
William Charles Owen (1854–1929) was a British–American anarchist best known for his activism during the Mexican Revolution and English-language translations of Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
(1866 - 1912) ~ American Anarchist, Feminist, and Freethinker, With Roots in Individualism and Collectivism : Yet the ascetic also had the soul of a poet. In her poetry and even in her prose, Voltairine eloquently expressed a passionate love of music, of nature, and of Beauty. (From : The Storm!.)
• "...Life cries to live, and Property denies its freedom to live; and Life will not submit." (From : Direct Action.)
• "There is not upon the face of the earth today a government so utterly and shamelessly corrupt as that of the United States of America. There are others more cruel, more tyrannical, more devastating; there is none so utterly venal." (From : Anarchism and American Traditions.)
• "...the doctrine of free-will has raised up fanatics and persecutors, who, assuming that men may be good under all conditions if they merely wish to be so, have sought to persuade other men's wills with threats, fines, imprisonments, torture, the spike, the wheel, the ax, the fagot, in order to make them good and save them against their obdurate will." (From : The Dominant Idea.)