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~ Bakunin to Nechayev on the role of secret revolutionary societies, by Mikhail Bakunin, 1870
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 1860s. 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 show he had quite different views to Nechayev on this question. "To begin with, my views are different in that they do not acknowledge the usefulness, or even the possibility,... (From :

by Luigi Galleani, 1906
Recollect a dusty August afternoon. The oppressive and suffocating atmosphere lay heavy upon the immobile lake, scintillating as an immense sheet of polished steel. It lay heavy over the exhausted vines of the hill, invading even the penumbra of the vast study where opposite each other, we worked on some given statistics relative to the Republic of Guatemala. Moreover, as every day, he had reproached me that afternoon for having begun to work: “You need air, light, sunshine, a great deal of sunshine, much activity,” he said to me, “and the close air of the room is not at all good for you. Go away to Clarens; you will start again tomorrow morning; the work you have done this forenoon will suffice me.” But I did not like this. True, I had just returned from an incarceration in the most somber prisons of France and I could only have benefited by the healing powers of air and sunshine, but what should I have done at Clarens, idling away eight or nine... (From :

by Mikhail Bakunin, 1869
As far as learning was concerned, Marx was, and still is incomparably more advanced than I. I knew nothing at that time of political economy, I had not yet rid myself of my metaphysical aberrations, and my socialism was only instinctive. Although younger than I, he was already an atheist, a conscious materialist, and an informed socialist. It was precisely at this time that he was elaborating the foundations of his system as it stands today. We saw each other often. I greatly respected him for his learning and for his passionate devotion- thought it was always mingled with vanity- to the cause of the proletariat. I eagerly sought his conversation, which was always instructive and witty when it was not inspired by petty hate, which alas! was only too often the case. There was never any frank intimacy between us- our temperaments did not permit it. He called me a sentimental idealist, and he was right; I called him vain, perfidious, and cunning, and I also was right. (From :

by Murray Bookchin, 1990
Murray Bookchin's "Recovering Evolution: A Reply to Eckersley and Fox", Environmental Ethics, vol. 12, Fall, 1990 appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. Recovering Evolution: A Reply to Eckersley and Fox by Murray Bookchin Robyn Eckersley claims erroneously that I believe humanity is currently equipped to take over the "helm" of natural evolution. In addition, she provides a misleading treatment of my discussion of the relationship of first nature (biological evolution) and second nature (social evolution). I argue that her positivistic methodology is inappropriate in dealing with my processual approach and that her Manichean contrast between biocentrism and anthropocentrism virtually excludes any human intervention in the natural world. With regard to Warwick Fox's treatment of my... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

by Noam Chomsky, 1995
Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism & Hope for the Future Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle. RBR: First off, Noam, for quite a time now you've been an advocate for the anarchist idea. Many people are familiar with the introduction you wrote in 1970 to Daniel Guerin's Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, but more recently, for instance in the film Manufacturing Dissent, you took the opportunity to highlight again the potential of anarchism and the anarchist idea. What is it that attracts you to anarchism? CHOMSKY: I was attracted to... (From :

by Mikhail Bakunin, 1870
Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying. The workers necessarily strive after a fundamental transformation of society, the result of which must be the abolition of classes, equally in economic as in political respects: after a system of society in which all men will enter the world under special conditions, will be able to unfold and develop themselves, work and enjoy the good things of life. These are the demands of justice. But how can we from the abyss of ignorance, of misery and slavery, in which the workers on the land and in the cities are sunk, arrive at that paradise, the realization of justice and manhood? For this the workers have one means: the Association of Councils. Through the Association they brace themselves up, they mutually improve each other and, through their own efforts, make an end of that dangerous ignorance which is the main support of their s... (From :

by Voline, 1934
I’ve just been reading an extract from a letter from our valiant comrade A[lfonso] Petrini who is in the USSR, under banishment. There I came upon the following lines: “(...) They’re locking us all up, one by one. Real revolutionaries may not enjoy freedom in Russia. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech have been wiped out, so there is no difference between Stalin and Mussolini.” I have deliberately emboldened the last phrase, for it is spot on. However, for the accuracy of this short phrase and all its ghastly realism to be appreciated, it is essential that we have a deep and clear-cut grasp of fascism: deeper and more clear cut than is generally the case in leftist circles. On the basis of such a grasp, the reader will understand Petrini’s statement not as some sort of a catch-phrase but as the precise expression of a very sad fact. Twelve...

by Lucy Parsons, 1911
I have been here in New York City for the last three months, selling the famous speeches of the Chicago martyrs. Here humanity is piled up in heaps, stored away in layers; forty families in a single tenement that should only suffice for a fourth that number. In these Eastern cities, tens of thousands of children are born annually who will never know the beauties of nature. From the tenement they will have for playing space the hard, dirty, unhealthy, stone sidewalks and pavements, then a few years in school, where the training will be as inadequate to the development of a strong, self-asserting individuality as were the previous conditions to the upbuilding of a strong, physical body; then comes the last step, the factory, the slave pen. From there some will graduate to prisons, some to the hangman, and some become prostitutes, offering upon the streets, for a price, the remnant of a depleted body. This is the goal toward which the long procession of the wo... (From :

by George Woodcock, 1969
I was asked to write on decentralism in history, and I find myself looking into shadows where small lights shine as fireflies do, endure a little, vanish, and then reappear like Auden’s messages of the just. The history of decentralism has to be written largely in negative, in winters and twilights as well as springs and dawns, for it is a history which, like that of libertarian beliefs in general, is not observed in progressive terms. It is not the history of a movement, an evolution. It is the history of something that, like grass, has been with us from the human beginning, something that may go to earth, like bulbs in winter, and yet be there always, in the dark soil of human society, to break forth in unexpected places and at undisciplined times. Paleolithic man, food-gatherer and hunter, was a decentralist by necessity, because the earth did not provide enough wild food to allow crowding, and in modern remotenesses that were too wild or unproduct... (From :

by William Godwin, 1797
William Godwin, The Enquirer. Reflections On Education, Manners, And Literature. In A Series Of Essays. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797. The Enquirer. Part I. Essay I. Of Awakening the Mind The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness. Happiness to the individual in the first place. If individuals were universally happy, the species would be happy. Man is a social being. In society the interests of individuals are interwisted with each other, and cannot be separated. Men should be taught to assist each other. The first object should be to train a man to be happy; the second to train him to be useful, that is, to be virtuous. There is a further reason for this. Virtue is essential to individual happiness. There is no transport equal to that of the performance of virtue. All other happiness, which is not connec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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