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 3,533 texts, with 12,361,435 words or 76,894,839 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.
"...'higher powers' exist only through my exalting them and abasing myself." -- Max Stirner
Your heart is filled with pity and sadness by the spectacle of the miseries that overwhelm humanity, by the perplexities and vicissitudes that torment it. Mine is as well. What, then, are you doing about it, Mademoiselle? Like all those who believe in the necessity and the fatedness of the institutions that rule us, you don’t think of questioning whether or not this collection of evils under the weight of which humans groan can be imputed to these same institutions. And without reflecting you doubtless address yourself to those who combat them, who condemn them and work to substitute other social arrangements, and you call on them to renounce the evil work they are accomplishing. I am, Mademoiselle, one of these evil workers, and in my propaganda work I responded to you, giving the reasons that I have the pretension of considering decisive. I said: God is error, and I no longer believe... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Address to the Jury in U.S. v. Emma Goldman and Alexander BerkmanEmma Goldman, 1917 Gentlemen of the Jury: As in the case of my codefendant, Alexander Berkman, this is also the first time in my life I have ever addressed a jury. I once had occasion to speak to three judges. On the day after our arrest it was given out by the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney's office that the "big fish" of the No Conscription activities had been caught, and that there would be no more trouble-makers and disturbers to interfere with the highly democratic effort of the Government to conscript its young manhood for the European slaughter. What a pity that the faithful servants of the Government, personified in the U.S. Marshal and the District Attorney, should have used such a weak and flimsy net for their big catch. The moment the anglers pulled their heavily laden net ashore, it broke, and all the labor was so much wasted energy. The methods... (From : WikiSource.)
When this number of Freedom appears, we shall be on the eve of anniversary which every worker, every lover of liberty, ought to engrave in fiery letters on his heart. On November 11, 1887, five Anarchists who bad been the most devoted champions of the workers' emancipation were put to death at Chicago, merely to give satisfaction to the capital-owners and labor-robbers of America, who loudly cried for their blood, hoping that that blood would extinguish the revolt of the labour slaves. On that day Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fischer were strangled on the scaffold by order of the middle class judges of Chicago. Lingg who was condemned to the same fate, deprived the bloodhounds of the pleasure of seeing his corpse, too, on the scaffold, and exploded in his mouth a small tube filled with explosive matter: while Schwab and Fielden were sent to endure one for 15 years and one for life, the horrid treatment of the American jails. (From : AnarchyArchives.)
and the Anarchist Trial
There has been no event in recent years which has shown the advance made in class-conscious labor organizations more distinctly than the class trial just ended in Boise, Idaho, and its comparison with the trial of the Anarchists at Chicago in 1886. The Anarchist trial was a class trial—relentless, vindictive, savage and bloody. By that prosecution the capitalists sought to break the great strike for the eight-hour day which was being successfully inaugurated in Chicago, this city being the storm-center of that great movement; and they also intended, by the savage manner in which they conducted the trial of these men, to frighten the working class back to their long hours of toil and low wages from which they were attempting to emerge. The capitalistic class imagined they could carry out their hellish plot by putting to an ignominious death the most progressive leaders among the working class of that day. In executing their bloody deed of judicial mur... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The anti-military spirit which is developing among the masses of Europe will tell the governments of the Earth that the workers have no trouble that needs to be settled by cruel war; and if the rulers have trouble, they can settle them by fighting it out among themselves. The working class wants to enjoy the fruits of their toil, the short time they journey this Earth. But we are told that kind of talk is unpatriotic, that every man ought to be willing to fight for his country. What country belongs to the wage class? (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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
(1873 - 1958) ~ German Father of Anarcho-Syndicalism : Rocker was born in Mainz, Germany, son of a workingman who died when the boy was five years of age. It was an uncle who introduced him to the German SociaI Democratic movement, but he was soon disappointed by the rigidities of German socialism. (From : Irving Horowitz Bio.)
• "For the Anarchist, freedom is not an abstract philosophical concept, but the vital concrete possibility for every human being to bring to full development all capacities and talents with which nature has endowed him..." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "...power always tries to keep things as they are, safely anchored to stereotypes. That has been the reason for all revolutions in history. Power operates only destructively, bent always on forcing every manifestation of social life into the straitjacket of its rules. Its intellectual expression is dead dogma, its physical form brute force." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "...our present economic system, leading to a mighty accumulation of social wealth in the hands of privileged minorities and to a constant repression of the great masses of the people..." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
(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.)
• "Or will the workers at last learn the great lesson Of the Russian Revolution that every government, whatever its fine name and nice promises is by its inherent nature, as a government, destructive of the very purposes of the social revolution? It is the mission of government to govern, to subject, to strenghten and perpetuate itself. It is high time the workers learn that only their own organized, creative efforts, free from Political and State interference, can make their age-long struggle for emancipation a lasting success." (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....)
(1839 - 1893) ~ Anarchist Writer for the Black International : His career as a participant in the labor movement grew out of his reflections on the Pittsburgh riots during the 1877 railroad strike, but before Haymarket had swung over to the extreme left position of the anarchists and mutualists, impressed with the possibilities of cooperation in economics. (From : James Martin Bio.)
• "The renaissance of mind from scholastic tyranny; the revolt of Luther and his followers against mental dictation; the temporary compromise in religious toleration; the insurrection against kingcraft leading in its triumph to the toleration of political opinions; -- have now logically led to an insurrection against economic subjection to the privileges usurped and hotly defended by capital in its alliance with labor..." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Force, however used, can teach no economic truth, yet events flowing from it often awaken consciousness of what equity demands." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Let us beware the militant assumption that man exists for the State, and trust to theoretical brakes to check the momentum of a body moving with increasing velocity. The social aggregate is not something over and above the units which constitute it." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
(1870 - 1919) ~ German Social Anarchist, Pacifist, and Leader of the Bavarian Soviet Republic : He dies "In a prison courtyard an officer stepped up and struck him across the face, the signal for a savage massacre. Set upon by the troops, Landauer was beaten with trutcheons and rifle butts, kicked, stomped and trampled upon. 'Kill me, then!' he exclaimed, 'to think that you are human beings!" At that he was shot to death. (From : Anarchist Portraits, Arvich.)
• "Leaving allegories aside, what we need is the following: associations of humankind in affairs that concern the interests of humankind; associations of a particular people in affairs that concern the interests of a particular people; associations of particular social groups in affairs that concern particular social groups; associations of two people in affairs that concern the interests of two people; individualization in affairs that concern the interests of the individual." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "Anarchism is the goal that we pursue: the absence of domination and of the state; the freedom of the individual. Socialism is the means by which we want to reach and secure this freedom: solidarity, sharing, and cooperative labor." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
• "True cooperative labor and true community can only exist where individuals are free, and free individuals can only exist where our needs are met by brotherly solidarity." (From : "Anarchism -- Socialism," by Gustav Landauer.)
(1905 - 1994) ~ Anarchist Leader of the FAI during the Spanish Civil War : Montseny served as one of the FAI's prominent activists and in November of 1936, she became the first woman in Spanish history to serve as the Minister of Health. One of her most controversial accomplishments in this position was the legalization of abortion... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "We need no messiah and no sterile conception of a god menacing us with hell and purgatory. Love, as the basis of life will bind us together." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "That is why a fascist victory is impossible. Because it must not be forgotten that this is not only a civil war-a social war is also being waged. It is the war of the common people against the rich, against the militarists, against the politicians-all of whom were responsible for the misery and poverty of the proletariat." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "...triumph over fascism alone is worth the sacrifice of our lives." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)