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 3,592 texts, with 12,638,292 words or 78,655,513 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
To people living in States founded upon violence, it seems that the abolition of the power of Government will necessarily involve the greatest of disasters. But the assertion that the degree of safety and welfare which men enjoy is ensured by State power is altogether an arbitrary one. We know those disasters and such welfare as exist among people living under State organization, but we do not know the position in which people would be were they to get clear of the State. If one takes into consideration the life of those small communities which happen to have lived and are living outside great States, such communities, whilst profiting from all the advantages of social organization, yet being free from State coercion, do not experience one-hundredth part of the disasters which are undergone by people who obey State authority. The people of the ruling classes for whom the State organization is advantageous speak most about the impossibility of... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
SOCIETY AND ECOLOGY The problems which many people face today in "defining" themselves, in knowing "who they are"--problems that feed a vast psychotherapy industry--are by no means personal ones. These problems exist not only for private individuals; they exist for modern society as a whole. Socially, we live in desperate uncertainty about how people relate to each other. We suffer not only as individuals from alienation and confusion over our identities and goals; our entire society, conceived as a single entity, seems unclear about its own nature and sense of direction. If earlier societies tried to foster a belief in the virtues of cooperation and caring, thereby giving an ethical meaning to social life, modern society fosters a belief in the virtues of competition and egotism, thereby divesting human association of all meaning--except, perhaps, as an instrument for gain and mindless consumption. We tend to believe that men and women of earlier times were gu... (From : Spunk.org.)
AN ACCOUNT OF THE SEMINARY That will be opened On Monday the Fourth Day of AUGUST, At EPSOM in SURREY, For the INSTRUCTION of TWELVE PUPILS IN The GREEK, LATIN, FRENCH, and ENGLISH Languages. LONDON: Printed for T.CADELL, in the Strand. M.DCC.LXXXIII. Of whom information respecting other particulars may be received. AN ACCOUNT OF THE SEMINARY, &c. THE two principal objects of human power are government and education. They have accordingly engrossed a very large share in the disquisitions of the speculative in all ages. The subject of the former indeed is man, already endowed with his greatest force of body, and arrived at the exercise of his intellectual powers: the subject of the latter is man, as yet shut up in the feebleness of childhood, and the imbecility of inexperience. Civil society is great and unlimited in its extent; t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Front W. C. to J. B. DEAR JACK,-You're about right; I do not see how you're going to got rid of landlords and employers of labor. First of all, if they weren't there how should we got any work to do or any wages for it I And second, they are there and wont clear off for our pleasure. Why they are rich by law; a lot of thorn are swindlers and such, but they've kept the right side of the law somehow, and I'd have the law made a bit plainer and tighter so that the scoundrels should not be able to play tricks. As far as I see, its less stealing not more stealing we want, and yet as far as I can make out your Communism, you would have stealing allowed. Why every one would be grabbing everything from every one else if there was no law against stealing. If a law was passed to make us all equal to-day we should be unequal to-morrow. And for my part I can't see the unfairness of that. You said in your first letter that if every one had a fair chance of a choice of wor... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
A Response to Kuno Fischers The Modern Sophists A prolific painter, working in his studio, was called to lunch by his wife. He answered: Wait just a moment; I only have twelve life-size apostles, a Christ and a Madonna to paint. Such is the way of the philosophical reactionary Kuno Fischer I chose this phrase, because one must not appear in the drawing room of philosophy without the tailcoat of a philosophical phrase he deals with the difficult titans work of modern criticism, which had to storm the philosophical heaven, the last heaven under the heavens, in broad brushstrokes. He depicts one after the other. It is a joy to see. Strauss, Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer, Stirner, the Greek sophists, the Jesuits, the sophists of romanticism, all get depicted using the same stencil. The good man goes after sophists the way that our Lichtfreunde and German Ca... (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.
"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
The "Clichy affair" refers to a French trial that took place in August 1891. The trial resulted from the shooting, arrest, and beating by police of three anarchists, at a confrontation in Clichy on May 1, 1891, which was the first French, and international, celebration of International Workers' Day. Two of the three anarchists arrested were convicted and given harsh sentences. About thirty demonstrators improvised a parade, with a red flag in front, from Levallois-Perret to Clichy. A little before three o'clock, after the flag was furled, and the demonstrators were dispersing, PoliceCommissioner Labussiere ordered the flag be confiscated. This is the incident which initiated the affair. Shots were exchanged and police officers were slightly injured. Three anarchists were immediately arrested, including Louis Leveille, himself wounded by a bullet. As soon as they arrived at the police station, they each suffered a violent beating. This caused a sensation among the anarchists. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
(1893 - 1968) ~ Anarchist Poet and Art Historian : He was the chief interpreter of modern art movements in Great Britain for much of the 20th century and his influence reached into many fields. He is best described as a philosophic anarchist. (From : William Leedem Bio.)
• "What is our measure of progress? ... it is only in the degree that the slave is emancipated and the personality differentiated that we can speak of progress... Progress is measured by richness and intensity of experience --- by a wider and deeper apprehension of the significance and scope of human existence." (From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, Fi....)
• "...anarchism... for what is 'without ruler,' the literal meaning of the word, is not necessarily 'without order,' the meaning often loosely ascribed to it." (From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, Fi....)
• "The tendency of modern socialism is to establish a vast system of statutory law against which there no longer exists a plea in equity. The object of anarchism, on the other hand, is to extend the principle of equity until it altogether supersedes statutory law." (From : "The Philosophy of Anarchism," by Herbert Read, Fi....)
(1886 - 1937) ~ Russian, Anarchist Revolutionary and Makhnovist Partisan : In prison he met Makhno. Both Makhno and Arshinov were released in 1917 and Arshinov joined Makhno in the Ukraine when the Makhnovite Insurrectionary Army took control. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "For the masses sense the futility of contradictory notions and avoid them instinctively; in spite of this, in a revolutionary period, they act and live in a libertarian fashion." (From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade ....)
• "Libertarian communism cannot linger in the impasse of the past; it must go beyond it, in combating and surmounting its faults." (From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade ....)
• "The question for anarchists of all countries is the following: can our movement content itself with subsisting on the base of old forms of organization, of local groups having no organic link between them, and each acting on their side according to its particular ideology and particular practice?" (From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade ....)
(1829 - 1893) ~ American Anarchist, Abolitionist, and Feminist : Ezra Heywood was born in 1829. He was an anarchist, slavery abolitionist, and feminist. He developed an individual anarchist philosophy that was fundamental in printing the Free Love magazine, The Word. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "This savagery of materialism, the scent of blood rousing ferocious instincts, obtrudes the age of the brute into the age of man. Democratic freedom has not yet cuts its wisdom teeth..." (From : "The War Method of Peace," by Ezra Heywood, 1863.)
• "Government is only a scaffolding to build man; a temporary convenience, to secure order and justice, to vanish as we ascend into unison with ideas; the garment society wears to be refitted for larger life, or left behind for the next arrival in the cradle. The elements of growth and original sovereignty forever inhere in the people, and no government can be perpetual, any more than a coat can be perpetual." (From : "The War Method of Peace," by Ezra Heywood, 1863.)
• "As yet, barbarism inspires the methods, and is the leading star of civilization. We have not ascended to the realm of ideas..." (From : "The War Method of Peace," by Ezra Heywood, 1863.)
(1886 - 1918) ~ American Anarchist and Early Activist in the Disabled Movement : Randolph Bourne, who was to die in the flu epidemic shortly after the Armistice, cried out alone against the betrayal of the values of civilization by his fellow writers. (From : Ogilby Commentary.)
• "It is States that make wars and not nations, and the very thought and almost necessity of war is bound up with the ideal of the State." (From : War is the Health of the State.)
• "...war can be called almost an upper-class sport.War is the Health of the State" (From : War is the Health of the State.)
• "If the State's chief function is war, then it is chiefly concerned with coordinating and developing the powers and techniques which make for destruction." (From : War is the Health of the State.)