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 10,857,019 words or 67,393,148 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.
"As to parliamentary rule, and representative government altogether... It is becoming evident that it is merely stupid to elect a few men, and to entrust them with the task of making laws on all possible subjects, of which subject most of them are utterly ignorant." -- Peter Kropotkin
A Confession by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy Distributed by the Tolstoy Library OnLine First distributed in Russia in 1882, first published in 1884. I I was baptized and brought up in the Orthodox Christian faith. I was taught it in childhood and throughout my boyhood and youth. But when I abandoned the second course of the university at the age of eighteen I no longer believed any of the things I had been taught. Judging by certain memories, I never seriously believed them, but had merely relied on what I was taught and on what was professed by the grown-up people around me, and that reliance was very unstable. I remember that before I was eleven a grammar school pupil, Vladimir Milyutin (long since dead), visited us one Sunday and announced as the latest novelty a discovery made at his school. This discovery was that there is no God and that all we are taught about Him...
IN MEMORY OF CHICAGO. SINCE the death of those Chicago comrades of ours whose names are engraved on the hearts of all those who struggle for freedom, two years have passed away, during which the Anarchist cause has advanced by leaps and bounds. In America itself it does not appear to us Europeans that great progress has been made, because there have been no stirring events such as have happened on this side of the Atlantic, but those who know the workers of the United States best know that the new ideas are ever gaining fresh adherents. and that with the increasing tyranny of capitalist rule has grown up in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of the most intelligent of American workmen a determination to be free. The men who will lea... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
These letters, addressed to Frederic Bastiat, an economist, originally appeared in a debate published in The Voice of the People, in 1849. Interest and Principal Arguments Drawn from the Operations of the Bank of France It is not true--and the facts just cited prove beyond a doubt that it is not--that the decrease of interest is proportional to the increase of capital. Between the price of merchandise and interest of capital there is not the least analogy; the laws governing their fluctuations are not the same; and all your dinning of the last six weeks in relation to capital and interest has been utterly devoid of sense. The universal custom of banks and the common sense of the people give you the lie on all these points in a ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
From my copy of Alexander Berkman's The Kronstadt Rebellion, Berlin: Der Sindikalist, 1922. Russian Revolution Series The Kronstadt Rebellion By Alexander Berkman Fifteen Cents 1922 I. LABOR DISTURBANCES IN PETROGRAD It was early in 1921. Long years of war, revolution, and civil struggle had bled Russia to exhaustion and brought her people to the brink of despair. But at last civil war was at an end: the numerous fronts were liquidated, and Wrangel -- the last hope of Entente intervention and Russian counter-revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to the mitigation of the severe Bolshevik régime. It was expected that wit... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
THE CHICAGO TRIAL. We are requested to publish the following notice:--" 'A concise history of the great trial of the Chicago Anarchists,' compiled by Dyer D. Lum, containing 200 pages, printed in large, clear type. Price 25 cents. A printed copy of the celebrated speeches of the eight condemned men entitled, 'The Accused the Accusers, being the the famous Speeches of the eight Chicago Anarchists in Court,' comprising 200 pages of large clear print. Price lb cents. Workingmen and others who have read the prejudiced and perverted accounts of this great capitalistic trial as given in the corrupt capitalistic press, now have an opportunity to learn the facts as taken from the official record of the trial, as well a... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
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.
"You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year." -- Mark Twain
(1756 - 1836) ~ Respected Anarchist Philosopher and Sociologist of the Enlightenment Era : His most famous work, An Inquiry concerning Political Justice, appeared in 1793, inspired to some extent by the political turbulence and fundamental restructuring of governmental institutions underway in France. Godwin's belief is that governments are fundamentally inimical to the integrity of the human beings living under their strictures... (From : University of Pennsylvania Bio.)
• "Courts are so encumbered and hedged in with ceremony, that the members of them are always prone to imagine that the form is more essential and indispensable, than the substance." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)
• "Anarchy and darkness will be the original appearance. But light shall spring out of the noon of night; harmony and order shall succeed the chaos." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)
• "Fickleness and instability, your lordship will please to observe, are of the very essence of a real statesman." (From : "Instructions to a Statesman," by William Godwin.)
(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....)
• "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....)
• "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....)
(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.)
• "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.)
• "The press is mistaken. There are certain corpses that walk again, and certain voices that won't be stifled. And the void is filled with terrible enigmas." (From : "Ravachol," by by Octave Henri Marie Mirbeau.)
• "...each turn of the government machinery grinds the tumbling, gasping flesh of the poor..." (From : "Ravachol," by by Octave Henri Marie Mirbeau.)
(1884 - 1966) ~ American, Radical Publisher : Alexander "Alex" Trachtenberg was an American publisher of radical political books and pamphlets, founder and manager of International Publishers of New York. (From : Wikipedia.)
Alexander "Alex" Trachtenberg was a longtime activist in the Socialist Party of America and later in the Communist Party USA. For more than eight decades, his International Publishers was a part of the publishing arm of the American communist movement. He served as a member of the CPUSA's Central Control Committee. During the period of McCarthyism in America, Trachtenberg was twice subject to prosecution and convicted under the Smith Act; the convictions were overturned, the first by recanting of a government witness and the second by a US Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 1958. (From : Wikipedia.)
(1924 - 2010) ~ British Anarchist Writer and Social Historian : ...lived with the title of Britain's most famous anarchist for nearly half a century, bemused by this ambivalent sobriquet. In Anarchy in Action (1973), he set out his belief that an anarchist society was not an end goal. (From : Guardian Obituary.)
• "...the bombs you are worried about are not the bombs which cartoonists attribute to the anarchists, but the bombs which governments have perfected, at your expense." (From : "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization," by Colin ....)
• "The anarchists, who have always distinguished between the state and society, adhere to the social principle, which can be seen where-ever men link themselves in an association based on a common need or a common interest." (From : "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization," by Colin ....)
• "It is, after all, the principle of authority which ensures that people will work for someone else for the greater part of their lives, not because they enjoy it or have any control over their work, but because they see it as their only means of livelihood." (From : "Anarchism as a Theory of Organization," by Colin ....)