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 3,177 texts, with 10,844,800 words or 67,594,800 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.
"...there is no revolution without the masses..." -- Mikhail Bakunin
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. AMERICA AND THE SOVIETS. A great deal is being written now in the Soviet Press about the new American law against convict or forced labor. The United States has recently passed a statute according to which no goods can enter the country that are the product of unfree, forced or convict labor. The new law went into effect in January and there is much discussion in Russia, as well as in the United States, as to what effect the new legislation will [have] on Russian industrial conditions and on its foreign trade.  ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone predicted would become aide-de-camp to the Emperor Nicholas I. and have a brilliant career, left the service, broke off his engagement to a beautiful maid of honor, a favorite of the Empress’s, gave his small estate to his sister, and retired to a monastery to become a monk. This event appeared extraordinary and inexplicable to those who did not know his inner motives, but for Prince Stepan Kasatsky himself it all occurred so naturally that he could not imagine how he could have acted otherwise... (From : Gutenberg.org.)
What is authority? Is it the inevitable power of the natural laws which manifest themselves in the necessary linking and succession of phenomena in the physical and social worlds? Indeed, against these laws revolt is not only forbidden - it is even impossible. We may misunderstand them or not know them at all, but we cannot disobey them; because they constitute the basis and the fundamental conditions of our existence; they envelop us, penetrate us, regulate all our movements. thoughts and acts; even when we believe that we disobey them, we only show their omnipotence. Yes, we are absolutely the slaves of these laws. But in such slavery there is no humiliation, or, rather, it is not slavery at all. For slavery supposes an ex... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
MONEY. (By an Individualist Anarchist.) THE two primary purposes for which the State exists are these: (1) the maintenance of legal property, from which arises an monopolies of land and means of labor; (2) the manufacture of the so-called legal currency, or medium of exchange; and practically speaking Anarchists attack these two monster evils. The State has arisen out of and still embodies the principle of Mutual Distrust, and it can only be abolished by replacing this principle by that of Mutual Confidence. Doubtless there is a tendency towards a growth of this latter principle, and hence the hope of the Anarchist. People who are not accustomed to question the present order of things, treat as perfectly chimerical or ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Text from The Blast, Vol. 2, #5, 6/1/1917 REGISTRATION By Alexander Berkman Registration is the first step of conscription. The war shouters and their prostitute press, bet on snaring you into the army, tell you that registration has nothing to do with conscription. They lie. Without registration, conscription is impossible. Conscription is the abdication of your rights as a citizen. Conscription is the cemetery where every vestige of your liberty is to be buried. Registration is its undertaker. No man with red blood in his veins can be forced to fight against his will. But you cannot successfully oppose conscription if you approve of, or submit to, registration. Every beginning is hard. But if the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.
"The whole left-wing ideology, scientific and Utopian, was evolved by people who had no immediate prospect of attaining power. It was, therefore, an extremist ideology, utterly contemptuous of kings, governments, laws, prisons, police forces, armies, flags, frontiers, patriotism, religion, conventional morality, and, in fact, the whole existing scheme of things." -- George Orwell
(1918 - 1949) ~ Anarchist Author, Journalist, and Popularizer of Modern Psychology : In April 1945 she was one of the four editors of War Commentary who were tried for incitement to disaffection, but she was acquited on a legal technicality (a wife cannot conspire with her husband), and when her three comerades were imprisioned she took on the main responsibility for maintaining the paper into the postwar period. (From : Freedom Press.)
• "For when oppression lies upon brethren by brethren, that is no Commonwealth’s government, but the kingly government still; and the mystery of iniquity hath taken that peace-maker’s name to be a cloak to hide his covetousness, pride, and oppression under." (From : "Utopias of the English Revolution," by Marie Loui....)
• "Towards 1648 a movement sprang up, of the “true levelers” or “Diggers,” which went beyond the demands of even the most extreme of the Levelers. They saw that nothing, short of direct action, would give back to the peasants the lands they had lost, and eventually they even challenged the right of a few to private property in the land." (From : "Utopias of the English Revolution," by Marie Loui....)
• "Thomas More, and most Utopian writers after him, had abolished private property because they feared its corrupting influence and saw in it the greatest danger to the unity of the state." (From : "Utopias of the English Revolution," by Marie Loui....)
(1848 - 1917) ~ Anarchist Novelist, Playwright, Journalist, and Pamphleteer from France : By 1890 his political commitments were clearer: he showed a clear preference for the anarchist left, and became friends with Jean Grave and Camille Pissarro. He wrote at length on Impressionism, believing it to be the beginning of a cultural revolution in France. (From : Sharif Gemie Bio.)
• "The patience of the downtrodden and the dispossessed has lasted long enough. They want to live, they want to enjoy, they want their share of all the happiness and sunshine." (From : "Ravachol," by by Octave Henri Marie Mirbeau.)
• "Capitalism is insatiable, and the wage system compounds the evils of ancient slavery. The shops are packed full of clothing, and there are those who go about completely naked; the indifferent rich are puking up food, while others perish from hunger in their doorways. No cry is heeded: whenever a single, louder complaint penetrates the din of sad murmurs, the Lebels is loaded and the troops are mobilized." (From : "Ravachol," by by Octave Henri Marie Mirbeau.)
• "I am horrified by the bloodshed, the ruins, and the death; I love life, and all life is sacred to me. This is why I'm going to ask for the anarchist ideal which no form of government can create: love, beauty, and peace between men. Ravachol [the Anarchist bombthrower] doesn't frighten me. He is as transient as the terror he inspires. He is the thunder clap that is followed by the glory of the sun and the calm sky." (From : "Ravachol," by by Octave Henri Marie Mirbeau.)
(1904 - 1988) ~ French Theorist of Anarcho-Communism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Colonialism : ...as Guerin grew older, his politics moved increasingly leftward, leading him later in life to espouse a hybrid of anarchism and marxism. Arguably, his most important book from this period of his life is Anarchism: From Theory to Practice... (From : Faatz Bio.)
• "Because anarchism is constructive, anarchist theory emphatically rejects the charge of utopianism. It uses the historical method in an attempt to prove that the society of the future is not an anarchist invention, but the actual product of the hidden effects of past events." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "The anarchist regards the State as the most deadly of the preconceptions which have blinded men through the ages." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "In general, the bureaucracy of the totalitarian State is unsympathetic to the claims of self-management to autonomy." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
(1814 - 1876) ~ Father of Anarcho-Collectivism : The originality of his ideas, the imagery and vehemence of his eloquence, his untiring zeal in propagandism, helped too by the natural majesty of his person and by a powerful vitality, gave Bakunin access to all the socialistic revolutionary groups, and his efforts left deep traces everywhere... (From : The Torch of Anarchy.)
• "Individual liberty - not privileged liberty but human liberty, and the real potential of individuals - will only be able to enjoy full expansion in a regime of complete equality. When there exists an equality of origins for all men on this earth then, and only then ... will one be able to say, with more reason than one can today, that every individual is a self-made man." (From : "Essay from Egalite August 14, 1869," by Mikhail B....)
• "What is permitted to the State is forbidden to the individual. Such is the maxim of all governments." (From : "The Immorality of the State," by Mikhail Bakunin.)
• "The principle of political or State morality is very simple. The State, being the supreme objective, everything that is favorable to the development of its power is good; all that is contrary to it, even if it were the most humane thing in the world, is bad. This morality is called Patriotism." (From : "Marxism, Freedom, and the State," Translated and ....)
(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.)
• "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....)
• "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....)
• "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....)