Ethics: Origin and Development — Chapter 7 : Development of Moral Teachings in the Modern Era

By Peter Kropotkin (1924)

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Revolt Library Anarchism Ethics: Origin and Development Chapter 7

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(1842 - 1921)

Russian Father of Anarcho-Communism

: As anarchism's most important philosophers he was in great demand as a writer and contributed to the journals edited by Benjamin Tucker (Liberty), Albert Parsons (Alarm) and Johann Most (Freiheit). Tucker praised Kropotkin's publication as "the most scholarly anarchist journal in existence." (From: Spartacus Educational Bio.)
• "...outside of anarchism there is no such thing as revolution." (From: "Revolutionary Government," by Peter Kropotkin, 18....)
• "Which side will you take? For the law and against justice, or for justice and against the law?" (From: "An Appeal to the Young," by Peter Kropotkin, 1880.)
• "...let us remember that if exasperation often drives men to revolt, it is always hope, the hope of victory, which makes revolutions." (From: "The Spirit of Revolution," by Peter Kropotkin, fi....)

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Chapter 7

 Photo by Inhabitat, CC BY-NC-ND License

Photo by Inhabitat,
CC BY-NC-ND License

The same two currents in ethics which manifested themselves in Ancient Greece, continued to exist among the thinkers of later times up to the middle of the eighteenth century. A majority of philosophers and thinkers still sought the explanation of the origin of morality in something supernatural, revealed to man from above. The ideas of Plato, developed and strengthened by the Christian Church constituted, and still make up the essence of such teachings, save that they are considerably narrowed. Plato, as well as Socrates, considered the knowledge of good as the real motive force of all morality. But Plato did not present this knowledge as something acquired from without. At the base of Plato's teaching, and especially of the teaching of the Stoics, was the idea that the moral sense, which manifests itself in man, even if in imperfect form, is a part of some fundamental principle of the universe. If this element were not present in nature it would not manifest itself in man.

Thus there was a certain kinship between the philosophy of Ancient Greece and modern science, but the Christian Church and the teachings inspired by it spared no effort to eradicate this idea from our Weltanschauung. It is true, Christianity brought into ethics, or, more correctly, strengthened in it the ideal of self-sacrifice for the good of our fellow-men; and by embodying this ideal in the person of a man-Christ, Christianity, like Buddhism, gave man a lofty moral lesson. But the followers of this teaching, and especially the Church, soon began to preach that the virtues of those who attempt to realize this ideal of life, are not at all of human origin. "The world is steeped in evil," they said, in contrast to the thinkers of Ancient Greece. Expressing the pessimistic spirit of their time, the leaders of the Christian Church asserted that man is so immoral a creature, and the world is so much subjected to the evil power, that the Creator of the world had to send his son to the earth in order to show men the road to goodness, and "redeem the world" from evil through his sufferings and his death.

This teaching, as we have seen became so firmly established that more than fifteen centuries elapsed before, amid the new forms of life that sprang into existence in Europe, voices began to be raised asserting that the germs of morality are contained in Nature itself. They have been already mentioned in the preceding chapter. But even in our time such voices are silenced by those who continue to assert with great self-confidence, but contrary to patent facts, that nature can give us only lessons of evil. They hold that the function of reason in moral questions should be the evaluation of that which gives us the greatest satisfaction under the given social system, and, therefore, that when the moral element manifests itself in man, it has a supernatural origin.

Nevertheless, the new current in ethics, which saw the sources of the moral conceptions of man in man himself and in Nature encompassing him, steadily gained in momentum in the last three hundred years, despite all the obstacles put in its path by Church and State. And this movement put more and more emphasis on the assertion that all our moral conceptions have developed in a perfectly natural way out of the feeling of sociality inherent in man and in most animals.

We will now proceed to analyze these new teachings and we shall see how they have had to maintain a constant struggle against the opposed teaching, which forever assumes new, and at times skillfully disguised, forms. But since the natural-scientific interpretation of morality has been following somewhat different paths in England and in France, we will examine this development separately in each of these countries. We will begin with England, where Bacon was the originator of the new movement; after him Hobbes became for a long time its prominent representative.

We have seen that the Greek philosophers, in spite of the differences in their various schools, all recognized that the moral conceptions of man are something that evolves from his natural tendencies, and that these conceptions are applied to life through man's own efforts in proportion as the rational understanding of sociality develops. We have also seen how Bacon and his contemporary, Hugo Grotius, quite definitely derived the moral principle from the social instinct. Thus the idea of the Stoics, who asserted that the moral element in man is something inherent in his nature, was revived in the new natural-scientific philosophy.

Hobbes, however, took a diametrically opposite stand. His views were undoubtedly influenced by the ideas of his French friend, Gassendi. 1 But his contemptuous attitude toward man, whom he considered a wicked animal, knowing no restraint to his passions, was, doubtlessly, formulated in England during the turbulent years of the Revolution which began in 1639 and which culminated in the overthrow and execution of the king in 1649. Already at that time Hobbes regarded the revolutionists with hatred, and he was forced to flee to France, where he wrote his first work, "De Cive" (Of the State). 2

Owing to the complete absence at that time of knowledge about the life of the primitive savage, Hobbes pictured to himself the life of primitive man as a state of "war of all men, against all men" 3 from which men emerged only after they united into a society and concluded for that purpose a "social covenant." 4 Therefore Hobbes begins his work on the State with the assertion that man is not at all the "social animal," born with the habits of sociality, about which Aristotle spoke; on the contrary, men are as wolves to one another --"homo homini lupus."

If men seek companionship it is not by virtue of inborn sociality, but for the sake of the benefits they expect from others, or through fear of one another. (Chaps. I and 11).

"For if by nature one man should love another (that is) as man, there could no reason be returned why every man should not equally love every man, or why he should rather frequent those whose society affords him honor or profit." [II, 2.] When men meet "for pleasure and recreation of mind, every man is wont to please himself most with those things which stir up laughter, whence he may by comparison of another man's defects and infirmities, pass the more current in his own opinion." [II, 2.] "All society therefore is either for gain or for glory, (i.e.,) not so much for love of our fellows, as for love of ourselves." And he concludes this paragraph with the following words: "We must therefore resolve that the original of all great, and lasting societies, consisted not in the mutual good will men had towards each other, but in the mutual fear they had of each other." [I, 2.]

The entire ethical system of Hobbes is based on this superficial representation of human nature. He held these conceptions as fundamental, and he reaffirmed them in his later notes to the text, the notes being apparently called forth by various objections raised to his definitions and conclusions. 5

Group settlements of some animals and of savages, according to Hobbes, are not yet a state. The very mental make-up of man prevents him from combining into societies. It is due to this innate bent that men are enemies to one another, and even the sociality manifested by man is not his natural quality but has been engrafted on him by his upbringing. By nature every man considers himself the equal of every other, as long as his upbringing does not eradicate in him this idea, and he holds himself justified in doing evil unto others and in appropriating their property. Hence the state of continuous war of each against everyone. Man emerges from this state only when he becomes subject to others who are stronger or more cunning, or when a group of men, realizing the dangers of the mutual struggle, enters into an agreement and founds a society. 6

The utter falsity of Hobbes's conception of primitive man has become fully apparent, -- now that we have studied the life of the primitive savage as well as the life of the greater number of animals living on the still sparsely populated continents. We can now see clearly that sociality constitutes so powerful a weapon in the struggle against the hostile forces of nature and against other animals, that it was developed by many herd animals long before the appearance of man-like creatures on the earth. Therefore, to develop sociality, man had no need of either the "social covenant" or the "Leviathan-state."

It is clear that Hobbes again used his conception of the bases of human society for the derivation of the "laws of nature," on which he founded his idea of a social system. And since he was an ultra-conservative, with a mild tinge of popular sympathy (he stood for the monarchy and for the Pretender at the time of Cromwell's republic), he accordingly represented as the basis of the state the feudal aspirations of his party, on one side, and a few generally acceptable, commonplaces on the other.

For those who are in any degree acquainted with the life of animals and of savages, Hobbes's views are obviously erroneous. Such ideas were possible in the middle of the seventeenth century, when so little was known of the life of the savage peoples, but it is difficult to understand how such views have survived to the present time in the face of the explanations and the discoveries of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It may be still possible to account for Rousseau's adherence to similar views of the origin of human society, but it is utterly incomprehensible how the same ideas came to be shared by the modem naturalistic Huxley, whom I had to remind, when he began to develop ideas worthy of Hobbes, that the appearance of societies on the earth preceded the appearance of man.

Hobbes's error can be explained only by the fact that he wrote at a time when it was necessary to counteract the conception -- widespread in those days -- of the idyllic "primitive state" of man. His conception was connected with the legend of Paradise and of the fall of man, and it was adhered to by the Catholic Church as well as by the newly established Protestant Churches, which, even more firmly than the Catholics, considered redemption a fundamental dogma.

Under such circumstances, a writer who categorically denied the "primitive state" and who derived the moral conceptions of the primitive man-beast from the consideration that peaceful cohabitation is more advantageous than continual warfare, -- such a writer was assured of success. Either the "social covenant" or subjugation by a conqueror who limits by force the unbridled license of individuals, -- such was, according to Hobbes, the first stage in the development of morality and of law. Then Reason proceeded to limit the natural rights of the individuals in their own interest, and thus were developed in time all the "moral" virtues: compassion, honesty, gratitude, etc.

Moral conceptions, according to Hobbes, come about in many different ways, depending on time and place; and therefore moral rules contain nothing general, nothing absolute. 7 Moreover, they are to be observed only in cases where there is reciprocity, and Reason should be the sole guide in all decisions. But it is unreasonable to observe moral rules with respect to those who do not reciprocate. In general it is net safe to rely upon social reason for the establishment of morality. This object calls for a governing power which creates social morality under fear of punishment, and to this power of an individual or of a group of men everyone should render unconditioned obedience. In the State, as in Nature, -- might is right. The natural state of man is war of all men against all men. The State protects life and property of its subjects at the price of their absolute obedience. The will of the State is the supreme law. The submission to the power of the omnipotent "Leviathan-State" is the basis of sociality. This is the only way to attain the peaceful co-habitation, which our moral laws and regulations aim to establish. As regards the hereditary instinct of sociality -- it is of no importance, for it is insufficiently developed in primitive man and cannot become the source of moral principles. Reason, likewise, is of no consequence in developing the rules of social life: man has no inherent conception of justice; and human reason, like a true opportunist, establishes rules of social life in accordance with the requirements of the time. He who is victorious -- is right, for his victory proves that he foresaw the requirements of his contemporaries. This was the way in which Hobbes interpreted morality; and this is how it is regarded by the vast majority of the ruling classes quite up to the present time.

On the other hand, the fact treat Hobbes in his interpretation of morality definitely renounced religion and metaphysics, attracted many followers to his side. At the time when the struggle between the Catholic Church and the Protestants was raging in England with a ferocity bordering on frenzy, and when the liberation of personality and of thought had become an urgent necessity, the teaching that put on a rational basis so important a question as morality was especially valuable. Generally speaking, the liberation of ethics and philosophy from religion was a great step forward, and Hobbes's works exerted a considerable influence in this direction. Besides, Hobbes, following Epicurus, maintained that although the individual is always guided by personal interests, man nevertheless comes to the conclusion that his interests lie in the direction of the greatest possible development of sociality and of peaceful mutual relations. Thus it followed, that although moral conceptions originate in personal egoism, they nevertheless become the basis for an extension of better mutual relations and of sociality.

Owing to the causes already noted, the teaching of Hobbes met with a considerable and lasting success in England. But many were not satisfied by it, and soon several serious opponents came out against it; among them John Milton, the famous English poet of that time, a staunch republican and the advocate of freedom of conscience and of the press, and James Harrington, who in 1656 issued his Utopian "Oceanea" where, in opposition to Hobbes, he glorified the democratic republic. But the principal criticism of Hobbes's ethical teaching came from a group of scientists connected with Cambridge University. This group was equally hostile to Cromwell's republican puritanism and to the natural-scientific trend of Hobbes's teachings. However, though these opponents of Hobbes did not share the narrow views then prevailing among English theologians, their philosophy, nevertheless, could under no circumstances reconcile itself either with rationalism in general or with Hobbes's views in particular, in which they saw a direct menace to all restraining moral force. It is impossible, held Cudworth, to derive our feeling of the obligatory nature of some of our moral judgments from considerations of personal gain. And what is more he maintained, morality is not a creation of men: its roots lie in the very nature of things, which even the divine will is incapable of changing: moral principles are as absolute as mathematical truths. Man discovers the properties of a triangle, but he does not create them: they are inherent in the changeless properties of things. Moral principles would remain true even if the present world should perish.

We find, accordingly, in these ideas of Cudworth, an approach to a conception of the equal importance of all men and the equality of rights of all men, which begins to manifest itself clearly in modern rationalistic ethics. But Cudworth was primarily a theologian, and for him philosophy remained empty of content without the inspiring power of religion and of the fear inculcated by it.

A much closer approach to modern ethical tendencies was effected by another representative of the Cambridge school, Richard Cumberland (1632-1718). In his work, "Philosophical Treatise on the Laws of Nature," 8 published in Latin in 1671, he states his views in the following words: "The good of society is the supreme moral law. All that leads to it is moral."

Man reaches this conclusion because all of nature impels him in that direction. Sociality is a quality inseparable from human nature -- an inevitable consequence of man's organization and condition. As to the views of Hobbes, who attempted to prove the opposite, they are fallacious, because sociality must have existed from the very first origins of man.

It is true that Cumberland did not have at his disposal the proofs of this idea now in our hands, since extended voyages and the life of explorers among savages have given us an understanding of the mode of life among primitive peoples. Cumberland, accordingly, supported his divination only by general reasonings drawn from the structure of the world and of man, and his relation to other living beings endowed with reason. To this extent, he wrote, (evidently as a concession to the demands of his time) is the moral element a manifestation of the Divine Will; but it does not at all follow that it is arbitrary or changeable.

Thus, Cumberland's surmises as to the origin of the moral conceptions of man from the development of the sense of sociality were correct. Unfortunately, Cumberland did not trace any further the development of this sense. He merely pointed out that the feeling of general benevolence which evolves from the sense of sociality, strengthened and developed by reason, results in so much good for every rational being that man, without any interference on the part of divine authority, will consider moral rules obligatory for himself. Of course, in following the urge of sociality, man, strives at the same time for his personal happiness: but under the influence of sociality his very striving for personal happiness leads to the common good. Therefore, obedience to the sense of sociality becomes in itself the source of joy and satisfaction, since it leads to a higher aim.

Cumberland stopped at this point. He did not attempt to explain how and why, starting from the instinct of sociality, man was able to develop his moral ideals to their present level and breadth, neither did he consider the conception of justice, leading to equity and the further conclusions based on this idea.

This was done on the one hand by John Locke and his followers, who attempted to base morality on utility, and on the other hand by Shaftesbury and his followers, who saw the source of morality in the inherent instincts and feelings. But before examining these systems we must dwell on the ethics of Spinoza, which exercised tremendous influence on the further development of ethical teachings.

Spinoza's ethics has a point in common with that of Hobbes, in denying the extra-natural origin of morality. At the same time it radically differs from it in its fundamental conceptions. For Spinoza, God is -- Nature itself. "Besides God there is no substance, nor can any he conceived." 9

Corporeal substance cannot be divided from divine substance, for God is the efficient cause of all things, but He acts from the laws of His own nature only. It is wrong to imagine that He can bring it about that those things that are in His power should not be. It would be equally wrong to assert that intellect of the highest order and "freedom of will" both pertain to the nature of God. (I,17.) In Nature there is nothing contingent, but all things are determined from the necessity of the divine nature to exist and act in a certain manner. (I, 29.) In short, that which men call God is Nature itself, misunderstood by man. The will is only a certain mode of thought, like the intellect, and therefore no volition can exist or be determined to action unless it be determined by another cause, and this again by another, and so on ad infinitum. (1, 32.) From this it follows that "things could have been produced by God in no other manner and in no other order than that in which they have been produced." (1, 33.) The power which the common people ascribe to God is not only a human power (which shows that they look upon God as man, or as being like a man), but it also involves weakness. (II, 3.) In general, the causes that lead men to ascribe various events of their life to supreme power, are very well analyzed by Spinoza in Part I, prop 36. 10

Spinoza was, consequently, a follower of Descartes, 11 whose views on Nature he further developed; and in his denial of the divine origin of morality he approached Hobbes. But with his daring development of his scientific views and with his complete freedom from Christian mysticism, Spinoza understood man and nature too well to follow Hobbes in ethics. And he certainly could not conceive morality as something based on coercion exerted by the State. He showed, on the contrary, that without any influence of the feeling of fear of, a Supreme Being or of government, human reason will freely and inevitably come to the moral attitude toward others, and that in doing this man finds supreme happiness, because such are the demands of his freely and logically thinking reason.

Spinoza thus created a truly ethical teaching, permeated with deep moral feeling. Such was also his personal life.

The mental process by way of which Spinoza arrived at his conclusions may be stated as follows: "The will and the intellect are one and the same. Both are but the individual volitions and ideas. Falsehood consists in the privation of knowledge which is involved by inadequate knowledge of things or by inadequate and confused ideas" (II, 35); wrong acts spring from the same source. Generally speaking, "In every human mind some ideas are adequate and others are mutilated and confused." In the first case idea is followed by action, while in the second case our mind suffers. Moreover, "the mind is subject to passions in proportion to the number of inadequate ideas which it has."(III, 1.)

According to Spinoza "the mind and the body are one and the same thing, conceived at one time under the attribute of thought, and at another under that of extension." (III, 2.) Spinoza proves this proposition at length, refuting the current view which asserts that "this or that action of the body springs from the mind which has command over the body." When men say this, they simply confess that they are ignorant of the real cause of their actions. (III, 2.) Decisions of the mind "arise in the mind by the same necessity as the ideas of things actually existing." (III, 2.) Moreover, "if anything increases and helps our body's power of action, the idea of that thing increases and helps our mind's power of thought." (III, II.) Joy, merriment, cheerfulness lead our mind to greater perfection, while sorrow has the opposite effect. (III, II.) In short, body and mind are inseparable from each other.

"Love is nothing but joy accompanied with the idea of an external cause, and hatred is nothing but sorrow with the accompanying idea of an external cause. (III, 13.) This explains to us the nature of hope, fear, confidence, despair, gladness ("joy arising from the image of a past thing whose issues we have doubted") and remorse ("the sorrow which is opposed to gladness"). (III, 18.)

From these definitions Spinoza derived all the fundamental principles of morality. Thus, for example, "we endeavor to affirm everything, both concerning ourselves and concerning the beloved object, which we imagine will affect us or the object with joy, and we endeavor to deny the contrary things. 12 And since the "mind's desire or power of thought is equal to and simultaneous with the body's desire and power of action, we endeavor to bring into existence everything which we imagine conduces to joy," -- ours, as well as the joy of those we love. From these fundamental propositions Spinoza derives the highest type of morality.

There is nothing in nature, wrote Spinoza, that is obligatory: there is only the necessary. "Knowledge of good or evil is nothing but an affect of joy or sorrow in so far as we are conscious of it." "We call a thing good or evil as it helps or hinders the preservation of our being, and as it increases or diminishes, helps or restrains, our power of action. (IV, 8.) But "no affect can be restrained by the true knowledge of good and evil in so far as it is true, but only in so far as it is considered an affect," i.e., when it becomes a desire of action. In the latter case "it will restrain any other affect, provided that the latter be the weaker of the two." (IV, 14.)

It can be easily imagined what hatred Spinoza provoked in the theological camp by these assertions. Spinoza denied the theoiogists' idea of antinomy, by virtue of which God is the bearer of the eternal truth, whereas the world created by Him is its negation. 13

Spinoza built his ethics on the eudemonistic basis, i. e., on man's striving for happiness. Man, he taught, like all other creatures, strives for greatest happiness, and from this striving his reason derives moral rules of life: in doing this, however, man is not free, for he can do only that which is the necessary outcome of his nature.

There is no doubt that Spinoza was above all aiming to free our morality from the tyranny of the feelings incalculated by religion, and wished to prove that our passions and desires (affects) do not depend on our good or evil intentions. He aimed to represent the moral life of man as being completely governed by his reason, the power of which increases with the development of knowledge. Spinoza devotes to this subject many pages in the fourth part of his "Ethics," where he speaks "Of human bondage." The entire fifth part treats "of the power of the intellect, or of human liberty." In all this capital treatise Spinoza in every way urges man to action, proving that we attain the full gratification of our "ego" only when we actively, and not passively react to our surroundings. Unfortunately, he failed to consider the fact that the ability to decide what is just and what is unjust is one of the expressions of the fundamental anode of our thinking, without which thinking is impossible.

Spinoza's ethics is thoroughly scientific. It knows no metaphysical subtleties, nor revelations from above. Its conclusions are derived from the knowledge of man and of nature in general. But what does it see in nature? What does nature teach our reason, to which decision in moral questions belongs? In what direction does it lead us? It teaches, wrote Spinoza, not to be content with commiseration, not to look from afar at the joys and the sorrows of men, but to be active. But in what direction should this activity manifest itself? This question, unfortunately, Spinoza left unanswered. He wrote during the second half of the seventeenth century, and his "Ethics" first appeared in a posthumous edition in 1676. At that time two revolutions had already taken place: the Reformation, and the English Revolution. Both these revolutions went further than a mere struggle against theology and the Church. They both had a deeply social character, and human equality was the principal watchword of these popular movements. But these deeply significant phenomena found no response in Spinoza.

"Spinoza," as Jodl very justly remarks, "had looked deeper than anyone else into ethics. The moral, as he sees it, is at one and the same time the divine and the human, egoism and self-sacrifice, reason and affect (i. e., desire), freedom and necessity. At the same time, adds Jodl, in purposely building his ethics on egoism, Spinoza completely ignored the social propensities of man. Of course, he recognized the desires produced by social life and the fact that they are bound to overcome purely egoistic desires, but social union appeared to him as something of secondary importance, and he put the self-sufficiency of a personality perfect in itself, above the idea of work in common and of sociality. 14 Possibly, this defect may be explained by the fact that in the seventeenth century, when massacres in the name of the "true faith" were raging, the most urgent aim of ethics was to separate morality from any admixture of Christian virtues, and having done this, Spinoza, it may be, hesitated to bring upon himself still heavier thunder of reproof by a defense of social justice, i. e., by a defense of the communistic ideas advanced at that time by the new religious movements. It was, above all, necessary to reestablish the rights of personal, independent, autonomous reason. Therefore, in basing morality on the principle of greatest happiness, which it affords without any reward in the form of "multiplying of herds" or "beatitude in heaven," it was necessary to break completely with theological ethics, without falling into "utilitarianism" or into the ethics of Hobbes and his followers. Whatever the case may be, the omission in Spinoza's ethics pointed out by Jodl, was an essential omission.

The inductive philosophy of Francis Bacon, the bold generalizations of Descartes, who aimed to reveal the natural life of the entire Universe, Spinoza's ethics, which explained the moral element in man without invoking any mysterious forces, and Grotius' attempt to explain the development of sociality, again without any interference on the part of a supernatural lawgiver, -- all these teachings prepared the ground for a new philosophy, and it actually found its prominent representative in the English thinker Locke.

Locke did not write a special treatise on morality. But in his work, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding," 15 he so deeply analyzed the foundations of our knowledge, that his analysis became for a whole generation the basis of a new philosophy. In discussing in another book 16 the practical application of his research to politics and to life in general, he voiced so many weighty thoughts on the origin of the moral conceptions that his views left their stamp on everything that was written on morality during the eighteenth century. The very fact that Locke was not a founder of a new theory with strictly defined views, partly accounts for his influence. In giving his interpretation of human thought, of the so-called freedom of will, and of morality in general, he assumed a very tolerant attitude toward other teachings, trying to show in each one of them the element of truth, even if it was incorrectly expressed.

Locke, like Spinoza, was primarily a follower of Descartes in his interpretation of our knowledge, i.e., of our thinking processes and of the ways by which man arrives at his conclusions. Like Descartes, he rejected metaphysics and stood on a strictly scientific basis. But Locke disagrees with Descartes on the subject of tile existence in man of innate ideas, in which Descartes and other predecessors of Locke saw the source of the moral conceptions of man. Locke asserted that there are no innate ideas either in morality or in reason in general. "Where is that practical truth," he asked, "that is universally received without doubt or questions as it must be if innate? Justice, and keeping of contracts, is that which most men seem to agree in. This is a principle which is thought to extend itself to the dens of thieves, and the confederacies of the greatest villains....I grant that outlaws themselves do this one among another; but it is without receiving these as the innate laws of nature. They practice them as rules of convenience within their own communities....justice and truth are the common ties of society; and therefore even outlaws and robbers must keep faith and rules of equity among themselves, or else they cannot hold together. But will anyone say, that those that live by fraud or rapine have innate principles of truth and justice which they allow and assent to?" 17 And to those who would point out the usual divergence between thoughts and actions in men, Locke answers, not quite satisfactorily, that the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts. And since the principles of justice and morality are denied by many, and, though recognized by others, are not applied to life, "it is very strange and unreasonable to suppose innate practical principles, that terminate only in contemplation." (Ibid. 3.)

A modern reader, familiar with the theory of evolution, will probably notice that Locke's reasoning is superficial. Of course he was justified in denying the existence in man of inherent ideas or conclusions, including the moral, and he was justified in saying that in morality as well as in everything else man arrives at his conclusions through experience. But if he had known the laws of heredity, as we know them now, or even if he had simply given thought to the matter, he would hardly have denied that a social creature like man, or like other herd animals, could and as bound to evolve through heredity not only a tendency to herd-life but also to equity and justice. 18

Nevertheless, in his time, i.e., in the seventeenth century, Locke's crusade against the "innate" moral conceptions was an important step forward, because this negation freed philosophy from subjection to the teachings of the Church about the fall of man and the lost Paradise.

After this introduction, which Locke needed to prove that moral conceptions cannot he regarded as inspired from above, he passed to the principal subject of his treatise: to the proof of the origin of our ideas and conclusions from observation-from experience. And in this field his research was so exhaustive that it was later accepted by all the principal thinkers of the eighteenth century, and up to our own time it is still adhered to by the positivists. Locke was very definitely proving that all our ideas (conceptions, thoughts) originate either directly from our sensations, received through our senses, or from the perception of our sensations. All material for the thinking process is supplied by experience, and mind contains nothing that was not previously experienced by sensations.

"This great source of most of the ideas we have, depending wholly upon our senses, and derived by them to the understanding, I call sensation," wrote Locke (Book II, ch. 1, 3). But, of course, he did not deny that there are certain ways of thinking, inherent to our reason and that permit it to discover truths. Such are, for example, the identity and the difference of two things, discerned by reason, their equality or inequality; their adjacency in time and space, or their remoteness from each other; such is also the idea of cause and effect.

There are, according to Locke, two principal divisions in out simple ideas which we derive from sensations, and from our perceptions of sensations. Some are connected with pleasure, others with pain, some with joy, others with sorrow, and there is hardly a sensation or a perception of sensation which does not belong to the one or the other division' (Book II, ch. XX, 1.) "Things, then, are good or evil only in reference to pleasure or pain. That we call good, which is apt to cause or increase pleasure, or diminish pain in us." (&167; 2.) The sensations produce in us the corresponding desires and passions, the nature of which we learn by observing them. In general, man seeks that which gives him pleasure, and avoids all that leads to suffering. (&167; 3.) Furthermore, Locke pointed out that pleasure and pain may be not only physical but also mental, and thus he laid the foundation of the teaching which in the nineteenth century was brilliantly developed by John Stuart Mill, under the name of Utilitarianism.

Moreover, in observing the alterations in our simple ideas, (under the influence of broadening experience), we arrive at the conception of our power, i.e., our ability to act in one way or another; and from these observations springs the conception of the "free will." 19 (Book II, ch. XXI, 1-2.) "We find in ourselves," says Locke, "a power to begin or forbear, continue or end several actions of our minds, and motions of our bodies, barely by a thought or preference of the mind ordering, or, as it were, commanding the doing or not doing such or such a particular action," (&167; 5.) From the consideration of the extent of the power of the mind over the actions of man, arises the idea of free will. (&167; 7.) But, in fact, the question "Is our will free?" is incorrectly formulated. It would be more proper to ask "is man free in his actions?" And the answer to this question would be that man can, of course, act as he wills. But is he free to will? (&167; 22.) To this question, of course, Locke gives a negative answer, because man's will is determined by a whole series of preceding influences.

Further, in discussing how the mind determines the will, Locke pointed out that the anticipation of suffering, or even of mere uneasiness, influences our will more than the anticipation of the greatest joys in the life to come. In general, Locke so thoroughly discussed the relations of our mind to our actions that in this field he may be considered the progenitor of all subsequent philosophy.

However, it must be noted that although Locke's influence was felt mainly in the skeptical philosophy of the eighteenth century, its influence is apparent too in the conciliatory attitude of philosophy to religion, which later found expression in Kant and in German philosophy of the first half of the nineteenth century.

In freeing moral philosophy from the yoke of the Church, Locke at the same time put morality under the protection of the three types of law: the divine law, the civil law, and the law of opinion or reputation. (Book II, ch. XXVIII, &167; 7.) Thus he did not sever connection with the Church morality, based on the promise of bliss in the life to come. He only diminished the importance of this promise.

" In conclusion, in the last part of the same essay Locke devoted a few chapters to the development of the idea which occurs frequently in writings on ethics, namely, -- that moral truths, when they are freed from complications and are reduced to fundamental conceptions, can be proved in precisely the same manner as mathematical truths. "Moral knowledge is as capable of real certainty as mathematics," wrote Locke, "our moral ideas, as well as mathematical, being archetypes themselves, and so adequate and complete ideas, all the agreement or disagreement which we shall find in them will produce real knowledge, as well as in mathematical figures." (Book IV, ch. iv, &167; 7.) All this part, and especially the section, "Morality capable of demonstration," (ch. III, &167; 18) are extremely interesting. They show clearly that Locke approached very closely the recognition of justice as the basis of moral conceptions. But when he attempted to define justice, he quite needlessly limited this conception, reducing it to the conception of property: "Where there is no property there is no injustice, is a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid." (Book IV, ch. III, &167; 18.) And thus he deprived the conception of justice and equity of that prime importance, which, as we shall see in a later part of this work, it has in the development of moral ideas.

Locke's philosophy exerted a far-reaching influence upon the subsequent development of philosophy. Written in simple language, without the barbaric terminology of the German philosophers, it did not envelop its fundamental principles in the cloud of metaphysical phraseology which at times prevents the writer himself from forming a clear idea of what he aims to express. Locke clearly stated the fundamentals of the naturalistic, scientific interpretation of the Universe in the important field of morality. Therefore, all subsequent philosophy, from Kantian metaphysics to English "utilitarianism," to the "positivism" of Auguste Comte, and even up to modem "materialism" -- consciously or unconsciously harks back to Locke and Descartes. This will be seen later, when we come to consider the philosophy of the Encyclopædists, and then the philosophy of the nineteenth century. And now let us examine what was the contribution of the English followers of Locke.

Among those who wrote on the resemblance of the moral rules to the mathematical, in the sense that both may be accurately derived from a few fundamental premises, was Samuel Clarke, a pupil of Descartes and Newton. In his "Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion" 20 he ascribes to that idea very great importance, so much more that he vigorously asserted the independence of the moral principles from the will of the Supreme Being, and also that man assumes morality as obligatory regardless of all considerations as to the consequences of immoral acts. It might be expected, therefore, that Clarke would elaborate Bacon's idea of the hereditary nature of the moral instincts and would show how they develop. Recognizing the existence side by side with them of the anti-social instincts, frequently attractive to man, Clarke might have considered the role played by reason in choosing between the two, and he might have shown the gradually accumulating influence of the social instincts. He failed to do this, however. The time was not yet ripe for the theory of evolution, and although it was the last thing to be expected from an adversary of Locke, Clarke, like Locke, turned to divine revelation. Moreover, Clarke, like Locke and his followers, the utilitarians, resorted to the considerations of utility, whereby he still further weakened that part of his teaching in which he derives moral, conceptions from hereditary instincts. As a result, his influence on ethical philosophy was much weaker than it might have been if he had limited himself to the thorough elaboration of the first part of his doctrine.

Much more complete was the moral philosophy of Shaftesbury. Of all those who wrote in the seventeenth century after Bacon, Shaftesbury came closer than any other to the idea of the great founder of inductive thinking. Shaftesbury expressed himself on the subject of the origin of moral conceptions in a much more daring and definite form than his predecessors, although he was, of course, compelled to cover his fundamental thoughts by concessions to religious teachings, for it was impossible at that time to make headway without concessions.

Shaftesbury first of all endeavored to prove that the moral sense is not a derivative sense, but is inherent in human nature. It is by no means the outcome of our evaluation of the useful or harmful consequences of our actions; and "this primary and spontaneous character of our moral sense proves that morality is based -- on emotions and propensities the source of which lies in the nature of man, and which he can judge only secondarily, i. e., after they manifest themselves. In judging the manifestations of his feelings and instincts man calls them moral or immoral."

Thus the establishment of the bases of morality calls for reason; for understanding of what is right and what is wrong, in order to enable us to render correct judgments, so that "nothing horrid or unnatural, nothing unexemplary, nothing destructive of that natural affection by which the species or society is upheld, may on any account, or through any principle or notion of honor or religion, be at any time affected or prosecuted as a good and proper object of esteem ." 21

Shaftesbury ascribed no importance to religion in the strengthening of moral conceptions. A man who turned moral under the influence of religion, he wrote, possesses "no more of rectitude, piety, and sanctity, than there is meekness or gentleness in a tiger strongly chained." 22 In general, Shaftesbury was quite outspoken discussion of religion and atheism.

Shaftesbury explained the origin of the moral conceptions exclusively by the inborn social instinct, controlled by reason. From them developed the conceptions of "Equity and Right," and their development was influenced by the following consideration: "To deserve the name of good or virtuous, a creature must have all his inclinations and affections, his dispositions of mind and temper, suitable and agreeing with the good of his kind, or of that system in which he is included, and of which he constitutes a part." 23

Moreover, Shaftesbury proved that the social interests and the interests of the individual not only coincide, but are actually in-separable. Love of life and desire of life, when carried to the extreme, are not at all in the interests of the individual; they become a hindrance to his happiness. 24 We also find in Shaftesbury the beginnings of the utilitarianist evaluation of pleasures, later developed by John Stuart Mill and other utilitarians, in the passage where he speaks of the preferability of the mental pleasures to the sensual. 25 And in his discourse, "The Moralists," published for the first time in 1709, where he defended his theories expounded in "An Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit," he ridiculed "the state of nature" in which, according to Hobbes's surmise, all men were enemies of one another. 26

It is remarkable that Shaftesbury, in refuting Hobbes's assertion that "man is a wolf to man," was the first to point out the existence of mutual aid among animals. "The learned," wrote Shaftesbury, "love to talk of this imaginary state of Nature"...but "to say in disparagement of man "that he is to man a wolf" appears somewhat absurd, when one considers that wolves are to wolves very kind and loving creatures. The sexes strictly join in the care and nurture of the young, and this union is continued still between them. They howl to one another to bring company, whether to hunt, or invade their prey, or assemble on the discovery of a good carcass. Even the swinish kinds want not common affection, and run in herds to the assistance of their distressed fellows." 27

Thus the words uttered by Bacon, Hugo Grotius, and Spinoza ("mutuam juventum," i. e., mutual aid) were apparently not lost, and through Shaftesbury they became incorporated into the system of Ethics. And now, -- from serious observations of our best zoologists, especially in the sparsely populated parts of America, and also from serious studies of the life of primitive tribes, conducted in the nineteenth century, -- we know how right Shaftesbury was. Unfortunately, to this day there are many desk "naturalists" and "ethnologists," who keep on repeating the preposterous assertion of Hobbes.

Shaftesbury's views were so daring for his time, and in many points they approached so closely the conclusions of modern thinkers, that a few more words must be said about his teaching. Shaftesbury divided human tendencies into social, egoistical, and those that are, essentially, not "inherent", Such, he wrote, are hatred, malice, passions. Morality is nothing but the proper relation between the social and the egoistic tendencies ("affections"). In general, Shaftesbury insisted on the independence of morality from religion, and from speculative motives, for its primary source lies not in reasoning about our actions, but in the very nature of man, in the sympathies which he developed in the course of the ages. Moreover, morality is independent also with regard to its purposes, for man is guided not by the ostensible utility of this or that way of acting, but by the feeling of inner harmony within himself, i.e., by the feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction after the act.

Thus Shaftesbury (as was already pointed out by Wundt) boldly proclaimed the independent origin of the moral sense. And he also understood how a moral code was inevitably developed from this primary source. Moreover, he categorically denied the origin of moral conceptions from the utilitarian considerations of the usefulness or harmfulness of a given way of acting. All the moral rules of religions and laws are the derivative, secondary forms, the primary basis of which is constituted by the hereditary moral instincts.

In this point the naturalistic moral philosophy of Shaftesbury completely diverges from the naturalistic philosophy of the French thinkers of the eighteenth century, including the Encyclopædists, who preferred to adhere in moral questions to the viewpoint of Epicurus and his followers. It is interesting to note that this divergence was already noticeable in the founders of the new philosophical movement in England and in France, i.e., in Bacon, who at once took the scientific, naturalistic standpoint, and in Descartes, who had not yet quite clearly defined his position.

At any rate, Shaftesbury's point of view was assumed also by Darwin (in his second fundamental work, "The Descent of Man"). And the same point of view must inevitably be adopted by every psychologist who is free from preconceived notions. We see in Shaftesbury, too, a predecessor of Guyau, in the ideas which the latter developed in his book, "Morality Without Obligation or Sanction." The same conclusions are reached by modern Natural Science; so that after having studied mutual aid among animals and primitive savages, I was able to say that it would be easier for man to revert to walking on all fours, than to renounce his moral instincts, for these instincts had been developing in the animal world long before the appearance of man on the earth. 28

Hutcheson, a pupil of Shaftesbury, more emphatically than any of his contemporaries, came out in favor of the inherent moral feeling. Shaftesbury did not explain sufficiently why disinterested striving for the good of others takes the upper hand of the manifestations of personal egoism, -- and by this omission he left the road open for religion. Hutcheson, although he was much more believing and much more respectful toward religion than Shaftesbury, demonstrated more emphatically than any other thinker of his time the independent nature of our moral judgments.

In his works, "Philosophiae moralis institutio compendiaria" 29 and "System of moral philosophy," Hutcheson attempted to prove that we are not at all guided by considerations of the utility of the benevolent acts and of the harmfulness of the non-benevolent, but that we feel mental satisfaction after an act directed toward the good of others and that we call such an act moral" before indulging in any speculations as to the utility or the harmfulness of our act. We feel mental dissatisfaction as the result of non-benevolent acts, just as we are pleased by harmony in the proportions of a building or in music, and are displeased by absence of harmony in architecture or in music. Reason, per se, would not be able to urge us to an act leading to the common good, if we had no natural bent to act in that manner. Therefore Hutcheson ascribes to reason a fairly modest, perhaps too modest a place. Reason, he held, only puts in order our sensations and impressions, and it plays only an educative part: it enables us to experience those highest delights which are of greatest importance for our happiness. Through reason, we know the Universal order and the ruling Spirit, but from reason also result those diversities in the interpretation of moral and immoral which lead peoples in different stages of development to establish most varied moral, and sometimes most immoral rules and customs. Shameful deeds committed at various times, originated in erroneous mental judgments, while moral sense, left to itself, was incapable of supplying a moral decision in a difficult case. [Book I, ch. V, &167; 7.]

However, it would be more correct to say, we may remark, that the moral feeling was always against these disgraceful deeds, and that at times separate individuals rebelled against them, but did not have on their side the necessary power to stamp them out. It should be also remembered to what extent religions are to be blamed for many moral disgraces. Denying the rights of reason in the development of morality, religions constantly urged upon men obsequiousness toward the rulers, and hatred of those following other religions, culminating in the brutalities of the Inquisition and the annihilation of entire cities due to religious disputes.

It is true Hutcheson saw the principal value of religion in the infinitely high qualities which we ascribe to God, -- he saw, in fact, that by creating social worship it gratified the social needs of man. There is no doubt that religion, like any other social institution, aids the creation of an ideal. But as various writers on morality have pointed out, the principal part in social morality is played not so much by ideals, as by the daily habits of social life. Thus the Christian and the Buddhistic saints unquestionably serve as models and to a certain extent as stimuli to moral life, but we must not forget that the majority of people have a standing excuse for not imitating them in their lives: "Well, we are not saints." As regards the social influence of religion, other social institutions and the daily routine of life prove to be much stronger than the teachings of religion. The communistic mode of life of many primitive peoples maintains in them the feeling and the habits of solidarity much better than does the Christian religion. In the course of my conversations with the "savages" during my travels in Siberia and Manchuria, it used to be very difficult for me to explain how it was that in our Christian societies people frequently die from hunger, while side by side with them other people are living in affluence. To a Tungus, an Aleut, and to many others, such a situation is utterly incomprehensible: they are heathen, but they are men of a tribal mode of life.

Hutcheson's chief merit was in his endeavor to explain why disinterested propensities may, and do, get the upper hand of the narrowly personal aspirations. He explains this fact by the presence in us of the feeling of inner approval, which always makes its appearance when the social feeling attains preponderance over the self-directed aspirations. He thus freed ethics from the necessity of giving preeminence either to religion, or to considerations of the utility to the individual of a given act. His teaching, however, had a substantial defect: like his predecessors he made no distinction between that which morality holds obligatory, and that which it considers merely desirable, so that as a result he failed to notice that in all moral teachings and conceptions the obligatory element is based on the recognition of equity by feeling and by reason.

This defect, however, as we shall see later, is common also to the majority of modern thinkers.

I shall not consider in detail the teaching of the German contemporary of Shaftesbury and Hutcheson -- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz, -- though there is a great deal of instructive matter in his critique of both Spinoza and Locke, and in his attempt to combine theology with philosophy and to reconcile the currents of thought that found expression in Catholicism and in various Protestant teachings, as well as in Scotch and English ethics. As is known, Leibnitz, simultaneously with Newton, introduced into mathematics a new and a very fruitful method of the investigation of phenomena through the study of infinitesimal changes. He also proposed a theory of the structure of matter similar to the modern atomic theory. But neither his all-embracing intellect, nor his brilliant exposition helped him to reconcile philosophical pantheism with the Christian faith, or to reconcile ethics based on the study of the fundamental properties of human nature, with the Christian ethics based on faith in a life after death.

But though Leibnitz failed in his attempt, he nevertheless aided the development of ethics by pointing out the importance of the instinct inherent in all men -- socially -- for the growth of the fundamental moral conceptions in man. He showed, too, the significance of the development of will in building the ideals, and also the moral character of the individual. Not enough attention had been paid to these factors.

There is no doubt that Leibnitz, in his mental make-up and his philosophy, could not part with the theological Christian ethics or with the thought that faith in life-after-death strengthens the moral powers of man. But at times he so closely approached the atheism of Bayle and Shaftesbury that he undoubtedly strengthened the influence of their doctrines. On the other hand, his very vacillation between the religious and the non-religious morality inevitably led to the thought that there is, in the very essence of morality, something besides the instincts, the passions, and the feelings; that in its judgments of the moral" and immoral" phenomena, our reason is guided not only by the considerations of personal or social utility, as was asserted by the school of the intellectualists -- the followers of Epicurus; that there is in our reason something more general, more generally recognized. Leibnitz himself did not reach the conclusion that the supreme principle involved in reason is the conception of justice, but he prepared the way for it. On the other hand, he so beautifully expressed the need of a lofty mode of thought and of acts full of what is called self-sacrifice; he pictured so well the role of the ideal in the development of morality, that he prepared thereby the ground for an important modern differentiation in our moral conceptions. He led to the separation of that which must serve as the indisputable basis of all of social life, i.e., justice, from that which man frequently gives to others in excess of ordinary justice, namely, -- readiness for self-sacrifice. 30


1Gassendi's moral teachings will be discussed in the next chapter.

2As is known, the English revolution began in 1639. Hobbes's first work, De Cive [Elementa philosophica de cive], appeared first in Paris in the Latin language in 1648; just five years later it appeared in England in the English language. Hobbes's second work, Leviathan, appeared in English in 1652, three years after the execution of the king. [The English translation of De Cive, -- Philosophical Rudiments concerning Government and Society -- was published in London, in 1651; hence, three years after the original Latin.] -- Trans. Note.

3[Philosophical Rudiments, etc. (London 1651), chap I, &167; 15, --with modernized spelling.] --Trans. Note.

4[Idem, chap. II, chiefly &167; 11.]

5Thus in the note to the paragraph cited above Hobbes wrote: "It is true indeed that to Men...solitude is an enemy; for infants have need of others to help them to live, and those of riper years to help them to live well, whereefore I deny not that men (nature compelling) desire to come together. But civil societies are not mere meetings, but bonds to the making whereof faith and compacts are necessary." If an objection is raised that if men were such as Hobbes describes them, they would avoid each other, -- to this Hobbes replies that such is really the case, for "they who go to sleep shut their doors, those who travel carry their swords with them," etc. 6"The cause of mutual fear consists partly in the natural equality of men, partly in their mutual will of hurting." And since it is an easy matter "even for the weakest man to kill the strongest" and since "they are equal who can do equal things one against the other,"..."all men therefore among themselves are by nature equal; the inequality we now discern, hath it spring from the Civil Law." (1, 3) Until then "by right of nature" everyone is himself the supreme judge of the means that he is to employ for his self-preservation. (1, 8, 9.) "By right of nature all men have equal rights to all things." (1, 10.) But since this condition would lead to constant warfare, men entered into a social covenant establishing peace, and "by right of nature" all are bound to observe this covenant.

7Moral philosophy, according to Hobbes, is nothing but the science of what is good and what is evil, in the mutual relations of men and in human society. "Good and Evil are names given to things to signify the inclination, or aversion of them by whom they were given. But the inclinations of men are diverse, according to their diverse constitutions, customs, opinions"; accordingly, men differ also in their interpretation of good and evil. [(Philosophical Rudiments, 111, 31). Page 55. London, 1651]. -- Trans. Note.

8De legibus naturae disquisitio philosophica, London, 1672.

9/Ethics, part 1, proposition 15. W. Hale White's translation, fourth edition, Oxford University Press, 1910. For brevity, in further references the part will be indicated by Roman figures and the proposition by Arabic, thus: (I, 15).

10 [Kropotkin refers here to the Appendix to Part 1, which follows Proposition 36.] -- Trans. Note.

11Descartes's teachings will be discussed in the next chapter.

12 Spinoza used the word "thing" both for inanimate objects and for living beings.

13The assertion that man is not free and can do only what is the outcome of his nature, in connection with the similar assertion about God, is found in several passages of Spinoza's Ethics. Thus, in the preface to the Fourth Part, "Of Human Bondage, or Of the Strength of the Affects," he wrote: that eternal and infinite Being whom we call God or Nature acts by the same necessity by which He exists."

14Friedrich Jodl, Geschichte der Ethik als philosophischer Wissenschaft, Stuttgart and Berlin, 1912.

15An Essay Concerning Human Understanding appeared in 1690, two years after the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in England. [All quotations are from Locke's Philosophical Works, 2 vols., Bohn's Standard Library, London, 1854.] -- Trans. Note.

16Two Treatises of Government, 1689. An Epistle on Tolerance, 1690. The Reasonableness of Christianity, etc. [1697.]

17 An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book I, ch. iii, 2. [All further references are to the same essay. Books I-II are in vol. 1, and books III-IV in vol. 11 of the Bohn edition.] -- Trans. Note. 18Locke wrote: But should that most unshaken rule of morality and foundation of all social virtue "that one should do as he would be done unto," be proposed to one who never heard of it before, might he not without any absurdity ask a reason why?" (Bk. I, ch, iii, &167; 4.) To this a Christian would reply: Because God, who has the power of eternal life and death, requires it of us." But if a Hobbesist is asked why, he will answer: Because the public requires it, and the "Leviathan" will punish you if you do not"' (&167; 5) "Virtue (is) generally approved, not because innate, but because profitable" (167; 6), The great principle of morality, to do as one would be done to, is more recommended than practiced." (167; 7.) Locke, therefore, completely followed Hobbes on this point, failing to notice that habits are inherited and evolve into instincts, and that the instincts, i.e., that which was then known as appetites," are to a great extent hereditary. In his struggle against the doctrine of innate ideas, he failed to notice heredity, though its significance was already understood by Bacon, and partly by Spinoza.

19 [Locke uses the term "liberty" for the modern conception of "free will."] -- Trans. Note.

20 [London, 1708] -- Trans. Note.

21 Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, etc., by Anthony. Earl of Shaftesbury, 2 vols., Grant Richards, London, 1900. [The passage quoted is from Vol. 1, Treatise IV, An Inquiry Concerning Virtue or Merit, Book I, Part II, Section III, p. 255.] -- Trans. Note.

22Ibid., Book I, Part III, Section III, p. 267; see also Book II, Part II, Section 1.] -- Trans. Note.

23Ibid., Book II, Part I, Section I, p. 280.

24Ibid., Book II, Part II, Section II p. 318. 25Ibid., Conclusion, p. 337. [See also Book II, Part II, Section I, p. 296.] 26 The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody, being a recital of certain Conversations on Natural and Moral Subjects. [In Vol. II of the Characteristics]:

That it was their natural state to live thus separately can never without absurdity be allowed. For sooner may you divest the creature of any other feeling or affection than that towards society and his likenesses." (Part II. Section IV, p. 80.) Further on he says, If, on the other hand, their constitution be as ours....if they have memory, and senses, and affections..."tis evident they can no more by their goodwill abstain from society than they can possibly preserve themselves without it." (Part II, Section IV, p. 82 ) Moreover, Shaftesbury pointed to the weakness of human children, and their need for protection and better food. Must not this [the human family, household] have grown soon into a tribe? and this tribe into a nation? Or though it remained a tribe only, was not this still a society for mutual defense and common interest?" Society, therefore, must be a natural state to man, and out of society and community he never did, nor ever can subsist." (Part II, Section IV, p. 83.) This thought, as we shall see, was later reiterated by Hume. 27Ibid., pp. 83-84. 28[See Appendix, page 339, below.] --Trans. Note.

29[Glasgow, 1742; Rotterdam, 1745. The System of Moral Philosophy, appeared in London, 1755; 2 vols.] -- Trans. Note.

30 The principal Philosophical works of Leibnitz are: Essais de theodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberti de l'homme, et l'origine du mal, 1710; Nou-veaux essais Sur 1'entendement humain (a refutation of Locke, written in 1704, appeared only in 1760); Systeme nouvea, de 1a nature et de la communication des substances. [The first work appeared in Amsterdam; the second, in Amsterdam and Leipzig, 1760 and 1765, (English translation by A. G. Langley, N. Y., 1896; and see John Dewey's critical exposition of the work in G. S. Morris, German Philos. Classics, Chicago, 1882); the Système nouveau is dated 1695, --see Leibnitz, (Euvres philosophiques, Ed. Janet, 1866, vol. 2, pp. 526 ff.] --Trans. Note.

From : Anarchy Archives

(1842 - 1921)

Russian Father of Anarcho-Communism

: As anarchism's most important philosophers he was in great demand as a writer and contributed to the journals edited by Benjamin Tucker (Liberty), Albert Parsons (Alarm) and Johann Most (Freiheit). Tucker praised Kropotkin's publication as "the most scholarly anarchist journal in existence." (From: Spartacus Educational Bio.)
• "ANARCHISM, the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being." (From: "Anarchism," by Peter Kropotkin, from the Encyclop....)
• "...outside of anarchism there is no such thing as revolution." (From: "Revolutionary Government," by Peter Kropotkin, 18....)
• "The communes of the next revolution will proclaim and establish their independence by direct socialist revolutionary action, abolishing private property. When the revolutionary situation ripens, which may happen any day, and governments are swept away by the people, when the middle-class camp, which only exists by state protection, is thus thrown into disorder, the insurgent people will not wait until some new government decrees, in its marvelous wisdom, a few economic reforms." (From: "The Commune of Paris," by Peter Kropotkin, Freedo....)


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