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 2,945 texts, with 10,565,566 words or 65,901,754 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
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.)
The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936 Preface These essays are less an analysis of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-39 than an evocation of the greatest proletarian and peasant revolution to occur over the past two centuries. Although they contain a general overview and evaluation of the Anarchist and Anarchosyndicalist movements (the two should be clearly distinguished) in the three-year struggle at the end of the 1930s, they are not intended to be a full account of those complex events. It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Revolution was the farthest-reaching movement that the Left ever produced, for reasons the essays that follow will make clear. The Spanish proletariat and peasantry, led largely by Anarchist militants whose names will never be known to us, strained the limits of what we in the 1930s called "proletarian socialism" and went appreciably beyond them. Far more than the leaders of the Anarchosyndicalist National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist ...
They Who Marry Do Ill (A lecture presenting the negative side of the question, whose positive was argued under the heading "They who marry do well," by Dr. Henrietta P. Westbrook; both lectures delivered before the Radical Liberal League, Philadelphia, April 28, 1907.) LET ME make myself understood on two points, now, so that when discussion arises later, words may not be wasted in considering things not in question: First -How shall we measure doing well or doing ill; Second -What I mean by marriage. So much as I have been able to put together the pieces of the universe in my small head, there... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Published Essays and Pamphlets An Unexpected Dash Through Spainby Emma Goldman[Published in The Road to Freedom (New York)] [Part I, Vol. 5, no. 8, April, 1929] SITTING tucked away in quiet St. Tropez, at work on my autobiography, I was as far from the thought of a trip to Spain as if I had been living in Tokio, Shanghai or Kamchatka. I did plan a rest away from my book during the Christmas holidays. One needs a break, even in the most ideal love life, and the process of reliving and writing one's past is anything but ideal. Au contraire, as we say in France! It is very painful, with much of the bitter and nothing of the sweet that love represents. Writing strenuously for five months entitled me to a rest; even my en... (From : University of Berkeley.)
From: G.P. Maximoff, Syndicalists in the Russian Revolution The Author GREGORI PETROVICH MAXIMOFF was born on November 10, 1893, in the Russian village of Mitushino, province of Smolensk. After studying for the priesthood, he realized this was not his vocation and went to St. Petersburg, where he graduated as an agronomist at the Agricultural Academy in 1915. He joined the revolutionary movement, while a student, was an active propagandist and, after the 1917 revolution, joined the Red Army. When the Bolsheviks used the Army for police work and for disarming the workers, he refused to obey orders and was sentenced to death. The solidarity of the steelworkers' union saved his life. He edited the Anarcho-Syndicalist papers Golos ... (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.
"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
(1869 - 1940) ~ Russian-American Mother of Anarcho-Communism : She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. She represents the idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. (From : Hippolyte Havel Bio.)
• "Patriotism is inexorable and, like all insatiable monsters, demands all or nothing. It does not admit that a soldier is also a human being, who has a right to his own feelings and opinions, his own inclinations and ideas." (From : Patriotism, A Menace to Liberty," by Emma Goldman,....)
• "...slavery of any kind, compulsion under any form, must break down, and from which freedom, full and unlimited freedom, for all and from all must come." (From : "Anarchy Defended By Anarchists," by Emma Goldman ....)
• "The individual educator imbued with honesty of purpose, the artist or writer of original ideas, the independent scientist or explorer, the non-compromising pioneers of social changes are daily pushed to the wall by men whose learning and creative ability have become decrepit with age." (From : "Minorities Versus Majorities," by Emma Goldman.)
(1811 - 1886) ~ Radical, American Preacher and Utopian Socialist : In 1847, Noyes moved his community to Oneida, New York. The community followed Noyes's teachings and managed economically through agriculture and industry. Their most controversial practice was that of complex marriage, where no two individuals where exclusively attached to one another. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "As a man who has passed through a series of passional excitements, is never the same being afterwards, so we insist that these socialistic paroxysms have changed the heart of the nation ; and that a yeanling toward social reconstruction has become a part of the continuous, permanent, inner experience of the Anlerican people." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
• "The only laudable object anyone can have in rehearsing and studying the histories of the socialistic failures, is that of learning fronl them practical lessons for guidance in present and future experiments." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
• "...we do not see how Socialism on a large scale is going to be propagated. Exceptional Associations may be formed here and there by careful selection and special good fortune; but how general society is to be resolved into Communities, without some such transformation of existing organizations, we do not pretend to foresee." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "Only by recognizing the land as just such an article of common possession as the sun and air will you be able, without bias and justly, to establish the ownership of land among all men, according to any of the existing projects or according to some new project composed or chosen by you in common." (From : "To the Working People," by Leo Tolstoy, Yasnaya P....)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
• "If, in former times, Governments were necessary to defend their people from other people's attacks, now, on the contrary, Governments artificially disturb the peace that exists between the nations, and provoke enmity among them." (From : "Patriotism and Government," by Leo Tolstoy, May 1....)
(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.)
• "...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.)
• "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.)
(1888 - 1927) ~ Italian Anarchist Activist and Martyr of the State : After they returned the two became more active in the anarchist community. Vanzetti began reading about industrial society and revolt and both began distributing anarchist and revolutionary literature. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "Nameless, in the crowd of nameless ones, I have merely caught and reflected a little of the light from that dynamic thought or ideal which is drawing humanity towards better destinies." (From : "The Story of a Proletarian Life," by Bartolomeo V....)
• "That was a sad year. What toiler does not remember it? The poor slept outdoors and rummaged the garbage barrels to find a cabbage leaf or a rotten potato. For three months I searched New York, its length and its breadth, without finding work." (From : "The Story of a Proletarian Life," by Bartolomeo V....)
• "Judge Webster Thayer, the same man who later presided at the murder trial imposed the sentence. There was not a vibration of sympathy in his tone when he did so. I wondered as I listened to him, why he hated me so. Is not a judge supposed to be impartial? But now I think I know - I must have looked like a strange animal to him, being a plain worker, an alien, and a radical to boot. And why was it that all my witnesses, simple people who were anxious to tell the simple truth, were laughed at and disregarded? No credence was given their words because they, too, were merely aliens...." (From : "The Story of a Proletarian Life," by Bartolomeo V....)