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 3,177 texts, with 10,844,800 words or 67,594,800 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism

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

This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of IISH. The Policy of The International. [The Policy was published in Egalite In 1869. It was translated by K. L. from a German version, in 1911, and was published in the Herald of Revolt, for October of that year under the title of "The Issue." It is now republished under its original title.-ED.]       "Up to now we believed," says a reactionary paper, "that the political and religious opinions of a man depended upon the fact of his being a member of the International or not."       At first sight, one might think that this paper was correct in its altered opinion. For the International does not ask any new m... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Libertarian Municipalism: An Overviewby Murray Bookchin Perhaps the greatest single failing of movements for social reconstruction -- I refer particularly to the Left, to radical ecology groups, and to organizations that profess to speak for the oppressed -- is their lack of a politics that will carry people beyond the limits established by the status quo. Politics today means duels between top-down bureaucratic parties for electoral office, that offer vacuous programs for "social justice" to attract a nondescript "electorate." Once in office, their programs usually turn into a bouquet of "compromises " In this respect, many Green parties in Europe have been only marginally different from conventional parliamentary parties. Nor ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Bakunin to Nechayev on the role of secret revolutionary societies
Bakunin to Nechayev on the role of secret revolutionary societies June 2, 1870 This text is from Spunk press, the original source is the June 2, 1870 letter to Nechayev (published in pamphlet form under the title Bakunin on Violence by the Anarchist Switchboard, NYC--the original is in the Herzen archives). Nechayev was a young Russian revolutionary who had a close relationship with Bakunin for a while in Switzerland in the late 1860's. There is some speculation that they may have been lovers. In any case Nechayev was the author of the 'Catechism of the Revolutionary', an authoritarian manual for the formation of secret societies. Some have suggested Bakunin was also involved in drafting this but as the quotes below... (From : flag.blackened.net.)

The Worker and the Government Governments do not let me come to my value, and continue to exist only through my valuelessness: they are forever intent of getting benefits from me, that is exploiting me, turning me to account, using me up, even the use they get from me consists only in my supplying a proletariat; they want me to be “their creature”. Pauperism can only be removed when I as ego realize value from myself, when I give my own self value. I must rise in revolt to rise in the world. What I produce, flour, linen, or iron and coal, which I toilsomely win from the earth, etc, is my work that I want to realize value from. But then I may long complain that I am not paid for my work according to its value: the... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)

The Justice of the Peace by Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) Translated from the French by Robert Helms "La Justice de Paix" first appeared in La France on July 24, 1885, and was later anthologized in Lettres de ma Chaumiere, dedicated to Guy de Maupassant. The Justice of the Peace occupied a ground floor hearing room in the village's town hall that looked out onto the square. The stark, til (From : Mid-Atlantic Infoshop.)

People : Persons and Individuals Involved with the Revolution

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 mature person perceives the fruitlessness of rigid, external methodologies; Remembering this, he keeps his attitude unstructured at all times and thus is always free to pursue the Integral Way." -- Lao Tzu

(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.)
• "...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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)

(1869 - 1948) ~ Socialist Activist who Fought for Indian Independence and Pacifism : A complex man with a controversial legacy, Mohandas Gandhi remains one of the pioneers of civil disobedience as a political weapon and a giant in 20th century anti-colonialism. (From : Center for a Stateless Society.)
• "Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of nonresistance to evil. He would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in self-suffering. He admits of no exception to whittle down this great and divine law of love. He applies it to all the problems that trouble mankind." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "...the shape of reproduction on that sacred soil of gun factories and the hateful industrialism which has reduced the people of Europe to a state of slavery, and all but stifled among them the best instincts which are the heritage of the human family." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "The ideally nonviolent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least." (From : Gandhi's Wisdom Box (1942), edited by Dewan Ram Pa....)

(1853 - 1932) ~ Italian, Anarchist Intellectual, Anti-Capitalist, and Anti-Fascist : There have almost certainly been better anarchist writers, more skilled anarchist organizers, anarchists who have sacrificed more for their beliefs. Perhaps though, Malatesta is celebrated because he combined all of these so well, exemplifying thought expressed in deed... (From : Cunningham Bio.)
• "...the State is incapable of good. In the field of international as well as of individual relations it can only combat aggression by making itself the aggressor; it can only hinder crime by organizing and committing still greater crime." (From : "Pro-Government Anarchists," by Errico Malatesta, ....)
• "Our task then is to make, and to help others make, the revolution by taking advantage of every opportunity and all available forces: advancing the revolution as much as possible in its constructive as well as destructive role, and always remaining opposed to the formation of any government, either ignoring it or combating it to the limits of our capacities." (From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Errico Malatesta.)
• "We want to make the revolution as soon as possible, taking advantage of all the opportunities that may arise." (From : "Revolution in Practice," by Errico Malatesta, fro....)

(1809 - 1865) ~ Father of Anarcho-Mutualism : ...he turned his talents instead to the printer's trade, a profession which gave birth to many anarchists, but the first to call himself an anarchist was Proudhon. By mid-century, Proudhon was the leading left intellectual in France or for that matter, all of Europe, far surpassing Marx's notoriety or Bakunin's. Proudhon... (From : Dana Ward Bio.)
• "Revolutions are the successive manifestation of justice in human history. — It is for this reason that all revolutions have their origins in a previous revolution." (From : "Toast to the Revolution," by Pierre-Joseph Proudh....)
• "What is your flag? Association! And your motto? Equality before fortune! Where are you taking us? To Brotherhood!" (From : "Toast to the Revolution," by Pierre-Joseph Proudh....)
• "The revolution, in that epoch, without abandoning its first given, took another name, which was already celebrated. It called itself philosophy." (From : "Toast to the Revolution," by Pierre-Joseph Proudh....)

(1920 - 1996) ~ British Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT-FAI Sympathizer during the Spanish Civil War : A lifelong trade unionist he fought Mosley's blackshirts; actively supported the Spanish revolution's anarchist communes and militias and the German anti-Nazi resistance and was a key player in the second world war Cairo mutiny. (From : AInfos.ca Bio.)
• "Nobody is fit to rule anybody else. It is not alleged that Mankind is perfect, or that merely through his/her natural goodness (or lack of same) he/she should (or should not) be permitted to rule. Rule as such causes abuse." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If Government is the maintenance of privilege and exploitation and inefficiency of distribution, then Anarchy is order." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If we accept the principle of a socialized society, and abolish hereditary privilege and dominant classes, the State becomes unnecessary. If the State is retained, unnecessary Government becomes tyranny since the governing body has no other way to maintain its hold." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)

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