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 10,891,046 words or 67,592,462 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.
"'But,' it is usually asked, 'What will there be instead of Governments?' There will be nothing. Something that has long been useless, and therefore superfluous and bad, will be abolished. An organ that, being unnecessary, has become harmful, will be abolished." -- Leo Tolstoy
The use of the strike as an offensive and defensive weapon against Capitalism has been illustrated during the past few weeks by noteworthy revolts of workers in Leeds and London. In the former city -the men have gained what they desired; in the latter they have supplied the capitalist newspapers with some sensational news by which to catch the pence of the multitude, whilst they have practically lost their, cause and allowed a number of the most energetic among them to lose their employment. The reason of this difference of fortune which has befallen the gas workers of Leeds and the postmen and policemen of London is not far to seek. In the Yorkshire town the men were determined and united. Following up the tactics of the Irish peasants when, evicted from the tenancy of a farm, they made it quite clear to the blacklegs that it would be a very risky thing for anyone to take their Jobs away from them, and, being backed up by the public opinion of the district and by the pra... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Kropotkin, P. . "Finland: a Rising Nationality". The Nineteenth Century. March, pp. 527-46. Finland: A Rising Nationality. By Peter Kropotkin National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background those questions of national independence which seemed to constitute the very essence of the history of Europe during the first half of our century. Faith in national programs, formerly so fi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 The Circulation of Capital, Not Capital Itself, Gives Birth to Progress Thus it is with interest on capital, legitimate when a loan was a service rendered by citizen to citizen, but which ceases to be so when society has acquired the power to organize credit gratuitously for everybody. This interest, I say, is contradictory in its nature, in that, on the one hand, the service rendered by the lender is entitled to remuneration, and that, on the other, all wages suppose either a production or a sacrifice, which is not the case with a loan. The revolution which is effected in the legitimacy of lending originates there. That is how Socialism states the question; that, therefore, is the ground on which the defenders of the old regime must take their stand. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Life be good to you. Whether we shall ever meet again, who know? I am losing hope, together with many other things I have been losing since December. But still I cling to the straws of possibilities. If I could at least hear from yourself as to how things stand, and whether he near or even the distant future may be looked forward to with any expectation. But in any event, and whatever may be hidden in the lap of the Gods for me, should even no line ever reach you from me again, you need but re-read my notes from Ellis Island, or to recollect their contents in case the notes do not exist any more, and to feel that they express my feelings now just as they did then. That is sufficient to say, and I know you will understand, even if you can reach me with no reply. My thoughts fly to you across the seas and the mountains, and all the love of my heart. &n... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
II. THE history of the great revolution, when properly understood, is the most striking illustration of what we Anarchists maintain, namely, that even during a revolutionary period, even with assemblies elected under the pressure of the revolted masses, the parliamentary representatives of the nation, far from promoting the accomplishment of the revolution, were like heavy shot attached to its feet. If the French-peasants had expected their liberation from the feudal yoke from the National Convention, the Assembly, or the Legislative Assembly, or even the Convention, would have come out of the revolution under nearly the same burden as before. And if France had expected from her legislators the abolition of court rule, court rule would have been maintained almost in full. Throughout the four years that the revolution lasted, it was entirely the work of the masses, acting under their own proper impulse against the orders received... (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.
"If you let a single ray of light through the shutter, it will go on diffusing itself without limit till it enlighten the world; but the shadow that was never so wide at first, as rapidly contracts till it comes to naught." -- Henry David Thoreau
(1864 - 1943) ~ Anarchist Professor and Theorist in Hitler's Germany : Even in the stifling atmosphere of the Kaiser's Germany, however, Karl Diehl stood up to look at the ideology behind the movement, to dispell the untruths spread by the government, and to bring the theories of this important portion of man's political philosophy to the world of academia. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The common justice and the opposing interests of different people can be dealt with better between equal citizens than under laws and regulation sent down from the government." (From : "The Theory of Anarchism," by Karl Diehl.)
• "Anarchism is the system of extreme political and economic liberty. It is the teaching, that a harmonious society can only be produced through complete freedom. This theory is in direct opposition to Socialism and social democracy, both of which place a very rigid obligation upon each individual and require a much stricter compulsory organization than does the existing arrangement." (From : "The Theory of Anarchism," by Karl Diehl.)
• "Through the establishment of the monetary system, the working men are given a heavy burden to carry. As long as money is the only medium of exchange, every craftsman, who is dependent upon the yield of his work to survive, must wait until he finds someone who has the sufficient money to pay for his goods." (From : "The Theory of Anarchism," by Karl Diehl.)
(1928 - ) ~ Popluar Modern American Anarchist Author, Linguist, Scientist, and Historian : Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist.... Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The importance of 'controlling the public mind' has been recognized with increasing clarity as popular struggles succeeded in extending the modalities of democracy, thus giving rise to what liberal elites call 'the crisis of democracy' as when normally passive and apathetic populations become organized and seek to enter the political arena to pursue their interests and demands, threatening stability and order. As Bernays explained the problem, with 'universal suffrage and universal schooling... at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people. For the masses promised to become king.'" (From : "Profit Over People," by Noam Chomsky, pages 53-54....)
• "Labor and environmental issues, which 'barely featured at the start,' are becoming harder to suppress. It is becoming more difficult to ignore the paranoids and flat-earthers who 'want high standards written in for how foreign investors treat workers and protect the environment,' and 'their fervent attacks, spread via a network of Internet web sites, have left negotiators unsure how to proceed.' One possibility would be to pay attention to what the public wants. But that option is not mentioned: it is excluded in principle, since it would undermine the whole point of the enterprise." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, pages 151-1....)
• "The decisions reached by the directors of GE affect the general society substiantially, but citizens play no role in them, as a matter of principle." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 132, c....)
(1842 - 1921) ~ Russian Father of Anarcho-Communism : As anarchism's most important philosophers he was in great demand as a writer and contributed to the journals edited by Benjamin Tucker (Liberty), Albert Parsons (Alarm) and Johann Most (Freiheit). Tucker praised Kropotkin's publication as "the most scholarly anarchist journal in existence." (From : Spartacus Educational Bio.)
• "Which side will you take? For the law and against justice, or for justice and against the law?" (From : "An Appeal to the Young," by Peter Kropotkin, 1880.)
• "...outside of anarchism there is no such thing as revolution." (From : "Revolutionary Government," by Peter Kropotkin, 18....)
• "The fatherland does not exist.... What fatherland can the international banker and the rag-picker have in common?" (From : "The Conquest of Bread," by Peter Kropotkin, 1906.)
(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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)
(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 ....)