Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism

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Total Anarchist Works : 762

Want to know about Anarchism as a theory and a movement throughout history and up to the present? Then you've found the right place.

Whether it is Collectivist Anarchism or Individualist Anarchism, Mutualist Anarchism or Communist Anarchism, every type is given its bit of room for expression here.

This archive contains 3,088 texts, with 10,682,122 words or 66,223,748 characters.

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1897 ~ Why I Am an Anarchist, by Voltairine De Cleyre
It was suggested to me by those who were the means of securing me this opportunity of addressing you, that probably the most easy and natural way for me to explain Anarchism would be for me to give the reasons why I myself am an Anarchist. I am not sure that they were altogether right in the matter, because in giving the reasons why I am an Anarchist, I may perhaps infuse too much of my own personality into the subject, giving reasons sufficient unto myself, but which cool reflection might convince me were not particularly striking as reasons why other people should be Anarchists, which is, after all, the object of public speaking on this question. Nevertheless, I have been guided by their judgment, thinking they are perhaps right in this, that one is apt to put much more feeling and freedom into personal reasons than in pure generalizations. The question “Why I am an Anarchist” I could very summarily answer with “because I cann... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1893 ~ Some Nihilists I Have Met, by Voltairine De Cleyre
An introduction by Robert P. Helms, Philadelphia, May 2013 Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) has drawn plenty of well-deserved attention in recent years by historians of anarchism, of feminism, sex radicalism, and atheism. My research for a book on the early anarchists of Philadelphia has caused me to understand ever more clearly why, during her life, she was considered an intellectual of very high stature, why she was respected by social reformers of many varieties for her body-and-soul dedication to helping and educating the poor, and why she was loved or even revered by fellow anarchists. I spotted a magazine review in the Brooklyn Eagle of Sept. 26, 1893 (p. 4). The October issue of the short-lived Worthington's Illustrated Monthly Magazine was described in summary form, and mid-way through, it read, "'Some Nihilists I have Met' is an interesting paper by Voltairine de Cleyre, who exhibits a specimen of that s... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1907 ~ McKinley's Assassination from the Anarchist Standpoint, by Voltairine De Cleyre
Six years have passed since William McKinley met his doom at Buffalo and the return stroke of justice took the life of his slayer, Leon Czolgosz. The wild rage that stormed through the brains of the people, following that revolver shot, turning them into temporary madmen, incapable of seeing, hearing, or thinking correctly, has spent itself. Figures are beginning to appear in their true relative proportions, and there is some likelihood that sane words will be sanely listened to. Instead of the wild and savage threats, “Brand the Anarchists with hot iron,” “Boil in oil,” “Hang to the first lamp-post,” “Scourge and shackle,” “Deport to a desert island,” which were the stock phrases during the first few weeks following the tragedy, and were but the froth of the upheaved primitive barbarity of civilized men, torn loose and raging like an unreasoning beast, we now hear an occasional serious inquiry: “But what h... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1893 ~ A Glance at Communism, by Voltairine De Cleyre
“Cast thy bread upon the waters, Find it after many days.” Two years ago, in a little uptown parlor, the home of a Philadelphia weaver, a group of inquirers after truth were wont to assemble bi-weekly for the discussion of “Communism vs. Individualism.” There were generally present some fifteen Communists and five or six Individualists. Let it be here admitted that while all were earnestly seeking truth, each side was pretty thoroughly convinced that the other was searching in the wrong direction, and as near as I am able to ascertain we are all of the same opinion still. However, in the course of a year some crumbs of the bread floated into sight in the shape of a dialogue presenting the substance of those discussions, which appeared in the TWENTIETH CENTURY. Many more days again passed, and now a new fragment, in the shape of a criticism of the dialogue by M. Zametkin in the “People” of Jul... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

1907 ~ Events Are the True Schoolmasters, by Voltairine De Cleyre
I count it as one of the best fortunes of my life that in my early days as an anarchist it was my privilege to know Dyer D. Lum. These thirteen years he is in his grave, and yet whenever editors and contributors of anarchist journals fall to denouncing the actions of the unwise, the ebullitions of the mass, I hear his voice, as yesterday, saying in his short, brusque way: “Events are the true schoolmasters.” There was in his day, as there is now, a certain percentage of propagandists who think that they possess the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (a perhaps enviable condition of mind, but certainly an intolerant one). They appear to think that by the application of certain abstract principles they have been able to chalk-line the course of progress, and that if it be strictly adhered to an unquestionable triumph of these principles lies straight ahead. They are essentially reasonable, cool persons, somewhat over-impressed with t... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

Blasts from the Past

1916
• "Peace ought to be imposed by bringing about the Revolution, or at least by threatening to do so. To the present time, the strength or the skill is wanting. Well! There is only one remedy: to do better in future. More than ever we must avoid compromise; deepen the chasm between capitalists and wage slaves, between rulers and ruled; preach expropriation of private property and the destruction of States as the only means of guaranteeing fraternity between the peoples and Justice and Liberty for all; and we must prepare to accomplish these things."
• "...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."
• "To-day, as ever, let this be our slogan: Down with Capitalists and Governments, all Capitalists and Governments! Long live the peoples, all the peoples!"

1893
WHEN Professor Huxley introduced, twenty-three years ago, the name and the subject of Physiography, his intentions were certainly excellent. Natural sciences were almost entirely excluded at that time from the schools. The teaching of geography stood very low: political geography, so-called, was a mere collection of names, and an entirely subordinate subject; and physical geography was a collection of information, too abstract, too incoherent, too wide, and too superficial at the same time, to be of any use in education. Under the name of Physiography natural sciences were, so to say, smuggled into the schools. And by showing how the study of Nature may be approached, and methods of scientific observation may be rendered familiar by examining things close at hand, Professor Huxley has undoubtedly rendered an immense service to this country. He has brought about a far-reaching reform. However, the very form which Physiography assumed in his well-known textbook... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From Daniel Guerin's _Anarchism_ (Monthly Review Press) (reprinted with permission): During the revolutionary days that brought Kerensky's bourgeois republic to an end, the anarchists were in the forefront of the military struggle, especially in the Dvinsk regiment commanded by old libertarians like Grachoff and Fedotoff. This force dislodged the counter-revolutionary "cadets." Aided by his detachment, the anarchist Gelezniakov disbanded the Constituent Assembly: the Bolsheviks only ratified the accomplished fact. Many partizan detachments were formed or led by anarchists... and fouch unremittingly against the white armies between 1918 and 1920. Scarcely a major city was without an anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist group, spreading a relatively large amount of printed matter--papers, periodicals, leaflets, pamphlets, and books. There were two weeklies in Petrograd and a daily in Moscow, each appearing in 25,000 copies. Anarchist sympathizers increased a... (From : Spunk.org.)

1887
A hush pervades the atmosphere. The light is strange and garish. The distance between various objects contradicts our habitual impressions; things seem startlingly near, startlingly definite. Birds appear to have vanished from the earth; beasts stand as if turned to stone, or move with a scared langour. If the faintest breeze rustles the leaves, the eerie sharpness of the sound sends a chill through our blood. Every noise assumes a mysterious significance; the mere shutting of a door makes us start and shiver. Our work drags heavily along; our hands seem made of lead, our brains of wool. Like a pall the inky cloud with its yellowish glare hangs overhead and stifles all our energy, until the tension becomes unbearable and our jaded nerves quiver in anticipation of the crash which we almost long for in our dread. Yet, perhaps, that crash may after all be indefinitely delayed. The threatening cloud, may be, vanishes silently into space. The atmosphere clears. Commo... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

1888
(By a non-Anarchist correspondent.) The above written title is that of an essay by Mr. Karl Pearson, to whose opinions on Socialism some reference was made in the October number of Freedom. The essay has for some time past been familiar to us in pamphlet form, and is re-issued in Mr. Pearson's recently published volume of contributions to 'The Ethic of Freethought.' Now that it is thus surrounded and buttressed by complementary dissertations, it is perhaps not unfair to give utterance to a dissatisfaction which will have been felt by a good many Socialists at the manner in which the promise of the title hap been fulfilled. and to attempt some indication of what it is that is required for its fulfillment. "Not from fear of hell," writes Mr. Pearson, "not from hope of heaven, from no love of a tortured man-god but solely for the sake of the society of which I am a member, and the welfare of which is my welfare-for the sake o... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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