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 4,889 texts, with 25,036,751 words or 155,252,850 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 Association for Ontological Anarchy gathers in conclave, black turbans & shimmering robes, sprawled on shirazi carpets sipping bitter coffee, smoking long chibouk & sibsi. Question: What’s our position on all these recent defections & desertions from anarchism (esp. in California-Land): condemn or condone? Purge them or hail them as advance-guard? Gnostic elite... or traitors? Actually, we have a lot of sympathy for the deserters & their various critiques of anarchism. Like Sinbad & the Horrible Old Man, anarchism staggers around with the corpse of a Martyr magically stuck to its shoulders — haunted by the legacy of failure & revolutionary masochism — stagnant backwater of lost history. Between tragic Past & impossible Future, anarchism seems to lack a Present — as if afraid to ask itself, here & now, what are my true desires? — & what can I... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
I was asked to write on decentralism in history, and I find myself looking into shadows where small lights shine as fireflies do, endure a little, vanish, and then reappear like Auden’s messages of the just. The history of decentralism has to be written largely in negative, in winters and twilights as well as springs and dawns, for it is a history which, like that of libertarian beliefs in general, is not observed in progressive terms. It is not the history of a movement, an evolution. It is the history of something that, like grass, has been with us from the human beginning, something that may go to earth, like bulbs in winter, and yet be there always, in the dark soil of human society, to break forth in unexpected places and at undisciplined times. Paleolithic man, food-gatherer and hunter, was a decentralist by necessity, because the earth did not provide enough wild food to allow crowding, and in modern remotenesses that were too wild or unproduct... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Natural Law. Lysander Spooner Part First. Chapter 1. The Science of Justice. Section I. The science of mine and thine — the science of justice — is the science of all human rights; of all a man's rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person. It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace; since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other. These conditions are simply these: viz., first, that each man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do; as, for example, that he shall pay his debts, that he shall r... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
An Ideology of Inequality
Three weeks after our article More of the State You’ve Got, the UK government has accepted, as in Italy and elsewhere, that containment and the still to be widely available use of testing kits along the lines of World Health Organization advice is a better strategy to allow health services to cope. But so much was already known globally earlier in this century with similar coronaviruses MERS and SARS. These outbreaks required global collaboration to stop their spread between people and to protect healthcare workers. As the death rate in UK has been doubling every 3–4 days and the number of confirmed cases is doubling every 6 days at the time of writing, massive field hospitals are being built in exhibition halls with basic respiratory critical care and retired workers are being asked to come back to work. NHS workers are under intense pressure and are at risk of infection. Social care is a time-bomb with little safety provisions routinely available for c... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
From Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, P.A. Kropotkin, edited and translated by Martin A. Miller. The letter appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the editor and translator. Dmitrov, 4 March, 1920 Esteemed Vladimir Ilich, Several employees of the postal-telegraph department have come to me with the request that I bring to your attention information about their truly desperate situation. As this problem concerns not only the commissariat of mail and telegraphs alone, but the general condition of everyday life in Russia, I hasten to fulfill their request. You know, of course, that to live in the Dmitrov district on the salary received by these employees is absolutely impossible. It is impossible even to buy a bushel of potatoes with this [salary]; I know this from personal experience. In exchange they ask for soap and salt, of which there is none. Since [the price] of flour has... (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.
"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
(1854 - 1939) ~ American Father of Individualist Anarchism : An individualist Anarchist, Tucker (1854Ð1939) was a person of intellect rather than of action, focusing on the development of his ideas and on the publication of books and journals, especially the journal Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The evil to which this [tariff] monopoly gives rise might more properly be called misusury than usury, because it compels labor to pay, not exactly for the use of capital, but rather for the misuse of capital." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "It has ever been the tendency of power to add to itself, to enlarge its sphere, to encroach beyond the limits set for it..." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "Even in so delicate a matter as that of the relations of the sexes the Anarchists do not shrink from the application of their principle. They acknowledge and defend the right of any man and woman, or any men and women, to love each other for as long or as short a time as they can, will, or may. To them legal marriage and legal divorce are equal absurdities." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
(1882 - 1945) ~ Bolshevik-Aligned Leader of the Russian Nabat Anarchists : March of 1920 saw him taken to Moscow, where he would remain prisoner until October, when he and many other anarchists were released by virtue of a treaty between the Soviet Union and Makhno's army. Voline then returned to Kharkov, resuming his old activities... (From : Rudolph Rocker Bio.)
• "Socialism, so mighty in Germany, Austria and Italy, has proved powerless. 'Communism', itself very strong, especially in Germany, has proved powerless. The trade unions have proved powerless. How are we to account for this?" (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)
• "Yet there is consolation to be had. The masses learn through all too palpable first hand experience. And the experience is there." (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)
• "As we know, there it was an authoritarian state communism (Bolshevism) that scored a stunning and rather easy victory in the events of 1917. Now, these days, nearly seventeen years on from that victory, not only is communism proving powerless to resist fascism abroad, but, where the regime within the USSR itself is concerned, the latter is more and more often being described more and more deliberately as 'red fascism'." (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)
17th Century, British Leveller and Protestant Reformer
Gerrard Winstanley (19 October 1609 – 10 September 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer, political philosopher, and activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was the leader and one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levelers or Diggers for their beliefs, and for their actions. The group occupied public lands that had been privatized by enclosures and dug them over, pulling down hedges and filling in ditches, to plant crops. True Levelers was the name they used to describe themselves, whereas the term Diggers was coined by contemporaries. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
Essayist Alain Pengam comments that between 1880 and 1890 the perspective of a revolution was thought to be closed. Anarcho-communists had anti-organizational tendencies, opposed political and trade union struggles (such as the eight-hour day) as being overly reformist, and in some cases favored acts of terrorism. Finding themselves increasingly isolated, they opted to join the workers' movements after 1890. (From : Wikipedia.org.)