Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism
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 9,374 texts, with 45,098,341 words or 282,184,146 characters.
1890 ~ The Collapse of Counter-Revolutionary Socialism, by Peter Kropotkin
At this moment we are witnessing an interesting event. It is the collapse, in theory and practice, of the counterrevolutionary current which, under the name of social democracy, had ruled the roost in the european socialist movement for more than a quarter of a century. In 1871 the French proletariat – until then the incubator of revolutionary socialism – underwent a terrible defeat. Without France the International could not exist and collapsed: its Latin federations, supported by some French revolutionaries, were barely enough to prevent triumphant reaction from reaching its final frontier: a Restoration in France, the total crushing of the proletarian. Germany, until then recalcitrant to the teachings of French and English socialism, then became an incubator of socialism. After the war its bourgeoisie launched itself with youthful enthusiasm into large industry. Strengthened by the experience of England and France, buoyed up by a widely... (From : Marxists.org.)
Writings, by Mikhail BakuninWhosoever mentions the State, implies force, oppression, exploitation, injustice — all these brought together as a system are the main condition of present-day society. The State has never had, and never can have, a morality. Its only morality and justice is its own interest, its existence, and its omnipotence at any price; and before its interest, all interest of Humanity must stand in the background. The State is the negation of Humanity. It is this in two ways: the opposite of human freedom and human justice (internally), as well as the forcible disruption of the common solidarity of mankind (externally). The Universal State, repeatedly attempted, has always proved an impossibility, so that, as long as the State exists, State will exist — and since every State regards itself as absolute, and proclaims the adoration of its power as the highest law, to which all other laws must be subordinated, it therefore follows that as long as State exist wars c...
1872 ~ To the Brothers of the Alliance in Spain : (Manuscript: Lucarno, Switzerland, June 12-13, 1872), by Mikhail Bakunin
Brothers, I am an old and close friend, I can say the brother of Christophe [Giuseppe Fanelli?], the friend and brother whom many among you certainly have not forgotten. With him, I was one of the first founders of the Alliance. And it is by this double title that I address myself to you, Brothers of the Alliance. Some unfortunate dissensions produced by struggles of pride between brothers who seem to have sacrificed our great purpose, the triumph of the universal, social revolution, to that of their vanity and their personal ambitions, have had as last result the dissolution of the Alliance in Madrid. I set myself up as the judge of no one, but in the name of our principles as well as in that of all our brothers, I must say that those who have contributed to that dissolution, those who have divulged the secret of the Alliance, a secret that we have all promised on our honor to protect, are very culpable…. To betray t... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
1871 ~ The Principle of the State : [manuscript, 1871, Locarno, Switzerland], by Mikhail Bakunin
At base, conquest is not only the origin, it is also the crowning aim of all States, great or small, powerful or weak, despotic or liberal, monarchic, aristocratic, democratic, and even socialist, supposing that the ideal of the German socialists, that of a great communist State, is ever realized. That it has been the point of departure for all States, ancient and modern, can be doubted by no one, since each page of universal history proves it sufficiently. No one contests any longer that the large current States have conquest for their more or less confessed aim. But the middling States and even the small ones, we are told, think only of defending themselves and it would be absurd on their part to dream of conquest. Mock as much as you want, but nonetheless it is their dream, as it is the dream of the smallest peasant proprietor to increase to the detriment of his neighbor, to increase, to enlarge, to conquer always and at any price. It is a fatal ten... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
1910 ~ The Social Revolution, by Mikhail Bakunin
This work, like all the writings, themselves not very numerous, that I have published thus far, is born of events. It is the natural continuation of my “Letters to a Frenchman” (September 1870), in which I had the simple, sad honor of foreseeing and predicting the horrible misfortunes that today strike France, and, with it, the whole civilized world; misfortunes for which there has been and now still remains only one single remedy: The Social Revolution. [one paragraph omitted] The task I have imposed on myself is not easy, I know, and I could be accused of presumption, if I bore in this work the slightest personal ambition. But, I can assure the reader, that is not the case. I am not a scholar, nor a philosopher, nor even a writer by trade. I have written very little in my life and I have only ever done so, so to speak, when my life depended on it, and only when a passionate conviction forced me to conquer my instinctive avers... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Is the child to be considered as an individuality, or as an object to be molded according to the whims and fancies of those about it? This seems to me to be the most important question to be answered by parents and educators. And whether the child is to grow from within, whether all that craves expression will be permitted to come forth toward the light of day; or whether it is to be kneaded like dough through external forces, depends upon the proper answer to this vital question. The longing of the best and noblest of our times makes for the strongest individualities. Every sensitive being abhors the idea of being treated as a mere machine or as a mere parrot of conventionality and respectability, the human being craves recognition of his kind. It must be borne in mind that it is through the channel of the child that the development of the mature man must go, and that the present ideas of the educating or training of the latter in the school... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Anarchism, Marxism and the Future of the Left: Interviews and Essays 1993–1998 by Murray Bookchin AK Press, Edinburgh and San Francisco, 1999 As Murray Bookchin’s latest testament to himself as one of the great thinkers of the 20th Century, this book could be more accurately entitled ‘Anachronism, Marxism and the Suture of what’s Left’. It is also his latest apoplectic rejoinder to the plentiful and vociferous critics who are apparently trying to secure our illustrious author an early grave. The Great Debate is one of a number of things that make this book incredibly hard going. At every turn, potentially serious theoretical analysis of the role of technology, the apparent demise and possible future of the Left and the current state of anarchism as a revolutionary social force is undermined by petty swipes at and less petty c... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Extinction Rebellion has managed to organize an impressive number of people into a civil disobedience movement. They have managed to shut down and occupy significant parts of London including numerous major road junctions over the past week. They have many admirable principles such as “breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation” and “creating a world that is fit for generations to come”. However, is civil disobedience really the best method for getting action to be taken on climate change? The aim of Extinction Rebellion’s civil disobedience campaign is to attempt to cause enough disruption so that the State meets their demands to bring back order – as appearing to have order and control is important for the State. It is quite possible that the State will partially concede to a couple of the demands of extinction rebellion – however what isn’t going to happen is a significant system change. Thi... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
(6 July 1899) Originally published: Leipziger Volkszeitung, 6 July 1899. German Version: Rosa Luxemburg, Eine taktische Frage, Gesammelte Werke, Vol. 1.1, S. 483–486. French Version: Une question de tactique. Translation from French: Adam Buick. Markup: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive. The entry of Millerand into the Waldeck-Rousseau cabinet merits study from the point of view of tactics and principles by foreign as well as French socialists. The active participation of socialists in a bourgeois government is, in any event, a phenomenon that goes beyond the framework of the usual activity of socialism. Is it a question of a form of activity that is as justified and opportune for the proletariat as, for instance, activity in parliament or a municipal council, or is it, on the contrary, a break wi... (From : Marxists.org.)
On October 12 Dr. Merlino opened the meeting by reading a paper on "The Organization of Labor." He dwelt upon the necessity of revising the whole system of the production of the necessaries of life, and pointed out that if this was done by a government it would be an artificial organization of labor, whereas in a period of the development of society a free-handed policy was a necessity. Of course the usual objection would be made to this opinion. It would be asked, How without a central government can the workmen organize themselves? What would be their guides? He replied, reason and interest. People would begin to use their reason and to trust in it more than they do at the present day. It was necessary that people should know something of hygiene and medicine to preserve their health, and the better people were informed on these matters the more healthy they were likely to be. In the same way people would acquire the necessary knowledge to organize their labor. Every ind... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
"...our efforts must in the first instance be directed to making the revolution and in such a way that it is in the direction of anarchy. We have to provoke the revolution with all the means at our disposal and act in it as anarchists, by opposing the constitution of any authoritarian regime and putting into operation as much as we can of our program. Anarchists will have to take advantage of the increased freedom that we would have won. We will have to be morally and technically prepared to realize within the limits of our numbers, those forms of social life and cooperation which they consider best and most suitable for paving the way for the future."
"None can judge with certainty who is right and who is wrong, who is nearest the truth, or which is the best way to achieve the greatest good for each and everyone. Freedom coupled with experience, is the only way of discovering the truth and what is best; and there can be no freedom if there is a denial of the freedom to err."
This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and consists of excerpts from From Urbanization to Cities (1987; London: Cassell, 1995), with revisions. Libertarian Municipalism: The New Municipal Agenda by Murray Bookchin Any agenda that tries to restore and amplify the classical meaning of politics and citizenship must clearly indicate what they are not, if only because of the con...
There is a considerable amount of confusion, even among Socialists, as to the real meaning of words that run off the end of our tongues every time we speak of the revolutionary movement. Take, for instance, the words Socialist, Communist, Collectivist, Social Democrat, Anarchist, and collect the opinions of the first half dozen men you meet as to what they understand by them, and you will hear as many interpretations as replies. Yet amid this seeming confusion it is quite possible t...
A great statesman, a great soldier, a great scientist have favored the world in the course of the last month with their opinions upon the prospects and conditions of our society ; and it is hard to decide whether Bismarck, Moltke, or Huxley bears off the palm for brutal frankness. Sincerity, however, is much. It is well that men on the topmost rung of the social ladder should shout their observations upon our civilization to the listening crowd below. Let us listen to what they tell...
[SECOND NOTICE.] Are Prisons Necessary? is the title of the concluding chapter of Kropotkin's account of his prison experiences. "Unhappily, hitherto," he goes on to remark, "our penal institutions have been nothing but a compromise between the old ideas of revenge, of punishment of the 'bad will' and 'sin,' and the modern ideas of 'deterring from crime,' both softened to a very slight extent by some notions of philanthropy." But is it not time that we fully recogn...
While Putin tries to change the subject from insurrection to war (perhaps in fear that the contagion of unrest will spread inside Russian borders), we believe it is especially important for anarchists and others with a stake in social movements to learn from the revolution in Ukraine. Specifically, we want to study how nationalist and fascist elements were able to take the initiative, and how to minimize the likelihood of this occurring elsewhere in the future. To that purpos...