Browsing Charlotte Wilson By Tag : individual initiative

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Section III Anarchist Morality by Peter Kropotkin We have seen that men's actions (their deliberate and conscious actions, for we will speak afterwards of unconscious habits) all have the same origin. Those that are called virtuous and those that are designated as vicious, great devotions and petty knaveries, acts that attract and acts that repel, all spring from a common source. All are performed in answer to some need of the individual's nature. all have for their end the quest of pleasure, the desire to avoid pain. We have seen this in the last section, which is but a very succinct summary of a mass of facts that might be brought forward in support of this view. It is easy to understand how this explanation makes those still imbued with religious principles cry out. It leaves no room for the supernatural. It throws over the idea of an immortal soul. If man only acts in obedience to the needs of his nature, if h...


[From a Speech delivered by James Blackwell at the Central Democratic Club, November 6, 1889.] It is a very common error on the part of a large section of the public to confound Socialism with a particular method proposed for its realization. With these people any trifling Act of Parliament which proposes to protect the worker against the rapacity of the Capitalist or the Landlord is termed Socialistic, and a condition of society in which the State--meaning Parliament and the Government--will control and direct industry in the interest of the workers, is looked upon by them as the goal of Socialist ambition. Socialists themselves, however, know very well that Socialism is something quite apart from any particular plan of action; that it is ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


We had a rough and ready sort of meeting on April 12, for the opener mistook the date and did not appear, and the notices were sent too late to Justice and the 'Weal. So Comrade Kropotkin opened the debate with some general remarks on voluntary association. A common objection, he said, to Communist-Anarchism is that men are not yet good enough to organize themselves on a basis of perfect freedom, or to behave like social beings without government control. But in truth, authority in itself has a depressing influence, corrupting even good men, and already more of our social life is founded on voluntary association than we at all realize. If it is true that among the workers to-day there are many men who are as ready as any bourgeois to compet... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


I. The word Revolution is upon all lips and one feels its first vibrations. And, as always, at the approach of great commotions and great changes, all who are dissatisfied with the actual regime -- how small may be their discontent -- hasten to adopt the title of revolutionaries, hitherto so dangerous, now so simple. They do not cling to the actual regime; they are ready to try a new one; that suffices for them. This affluence, to the ranks of the revolutionaries, of a mass of malcontents of all shades, creates the force of revolutions and renders them inevitable. A simple conspiracy in the palace, or of Parliament, more or less supported by what is called public opinion suffices to change the men in power, and sometimes the form of governm... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

This text is from my copy of Kropotkin, P. "The State: Its Historic Role," London: Freedom Press, 1946. Section II Most philosophers of the eighteenth century had very elementary ideas on the origin of societies. According to them, in the beginning Mankind lived in small isolated families, and perpetual warfare between them was the normal state of affairs. But, one day, realizing at last the disadvantages of their endless struggles, men decided to socialize. A social contract was concluded among the scattered families who willingly submitted themselves to an authority which - need I say? - became the starting-point as well as the initiator of all progress. And does one need to add, since we have been told as much at school, that our present governments have so far remained in their noble role as the salt of the earth, the pacifiers and civilizers of the human race? This idea dominated the eig...

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