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 10,891,227 words or 67,594,633 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.
"...'higher powers' exist only through my exalting them and abasing myself." -- Max Stirner
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 with the end of civil war the Communists would lighten the burdens, abolish war-time restrictions, i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The pastor of a Congregational church writes to us: "I find in your issue of this mouth you say in your article on Reason-Worship: 'Christian theology and pessimist philosophy are agreed in condemning the nature of man as essentially evil.' As a regular reader of your paper, I was sorry to find such a mistake. This may be some people's impression of the teaching of theology, or it may actually be taught by some ignorant preachers. It is not the doctrine of theology, but on the contrary has been specially condemned, and I believe never revived. Theology teaches that sin is in the will but not in the essential nature of man. These views are distinct. Man is created in the image of God: this is the teaching of the Bible and of theology. The emphasis laid upon the fact of sin has led you astray." Is not the will part of the essential nature of men? If the will is depraved (however th... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
The man is starving, but he may not pluck so much as a turnip to save his life. The wind cuts to the marrow of his bones, but out in the open he must he if he cannot purchase shelter. This is the lot of the modern proletariat reduced to destitution. It is the condition thousands of unemployed and penniless continually must face. This very day, in every " civilized" country, thousands will have gone without a meal. This very night thousands will shiver on park benches, or huddle themselves into a fitful sleep within some friendly doorway. A life no decent-minded man would wish his dog to lead. Even here we do not touch bottom. Not only must the man starve to-day; he must go on starving. This night he is shelterless, and for weeks and months he may have no roof to cover him. He may not say, "I will go to work and raise for myself the food without which I cannot live." He may not lay hands on the materials scattered all around him and build the modest cab... (From : Google Books.)
This work appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of Benedict Read, Executor & Trustee, Herbert Read Estate and Trust William Godwin [Herbert Read MS from University of Victoria] In the history of English poetry, no name is more secure than that of Shelley: he ranks with the greatest -- with Spenser, Shakespear, Milton and Wordsworth, and the years only add to the depth of our appreciation of his genius. But Shelley's name is indisociably linked with another name -- the name of a man to whom he owed not only his philosopy of life, but even his personal happiness, for he ran away with the philosopher's daughter. This philosopher was William Godwin, and in his day no man was more famous. His fame rested on one book, though he wrote many others, and this book, Political Justice, was not only what we would now call a "best-seller", but, if we take account of the effect it had, a political event of the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 external master, a legislator outside of him whom he commands, while these laws are not outside of us; they are inherent in us; they constitute our being, our whole being, physically, intellectually, and morally; we live, we breath... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)
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.
"...the fewer goods or possessions of this kind any people enjoy, the fewer quarrels are likely to arise among them, and the less necessity will there be for a settled police or regular authority to protect and defend them from foreign enemies, or from each other." -- David Hume
(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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)
(1901 - 1980) ~ FAI Labor Unionist and Anti-Fascist Militant During the Spanish Civil War : ...a native of Catalonia and member of the Catalan Regional Committee of the C.N.T. or National Labor Federation, where he was a close associate of Buenaventura Durruti. He led a group in battle against the military uprising of July 1936 in Barcelona, occupying the women's prison and releasing all its prisoners. (From : Blood of Spain Bio.)
• "Without this demonstration that we can build Libertarian Socialism, the future will continue to belong to the sort of politics that came out of the French Revolution -- with many political parties to begin with, and just one at the end." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "If these syndicates are of an anarchist orientation and their militants have been formed by an anarchist moral then, to presuppose that they'll act the same as if they were Marxist, for example, is as good as saying that anarchism and Marxism are fundamentally the same ideology, being as they produce the same fruit. I don't accept such simplifications." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "We had no use for anything connected to the past, a past which had in some ways sunk already, but which would still make inexhaustible attempts to reassert itself. All revolutions carry with them a counter revolution. A Revolution is a forward murch from ac ertain point, whereas counter revolution is a return to that point, or in some cases to a point that is further back." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
(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.)
(1844 - 1912) ~ French Socialist, IWMA Radical, and Leader of the Possibilist Movement : Paul Brousse was then a young doctor, full of mental activity, uproarious, sharp, lively, ready to develop any idea with a geometrical logic to its utmost consequences; powerful in his criticisms of the state and state organization... (From : Memoirs of a Revolutionist.)
• "The Commune is the vehicle of the Revolution." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
• "Make the Revolution or die." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
• "I'm demanding the complete, definitive, absolute emancipation of all workers." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
(1904 - 1988) ~ French Theorist of Anarcho-Communism, Anti-Fascism, and Anti-Colonialism : ...as Guerin grew older, his politics moved increasingly leftward, leading him later in life to espouse a hybrid of anarchism and marxism. Arguably, his most important book from this period of his life is Anarchism: From Theory to Practice... (From : Faatz Bio.)
• "Because anarchism is constructive, anarchist theory emphatically rejects the charge of utopianism. It uses the historical method in an attempt to prove that the society of the future is not an anarchist invention, but the actual product of the hidden effects of past events." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "In general, the bureaucracy of the totalitarian State is unsympathetic to the claims of self-management to autonomy." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)
• "The anarchist regards the State as the most deadly of the preconceptions which have blinded men through the ages." (From : "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice," by Daniel Gu....)