Revolt Library : Revolutionary Materials from the Past
Welcome to RevoltLib! Here you will find an archive of materials from the past that once helped people to abolish the state, fight capitalism, end sexism, demolish imperialism, and eliminate all forms of social domination. Information is power -- arm yourself!
This archive contains 3,592 texts, with 12,638,292 words or 78,655,513 characters.
A collection of historic materials detailing Anarchism, Libertarianism, and Anti-Authoritarianism. By understanding more about the past, we can better apply the principles we discover today.
"'But,' it is usually asked, 'What will there be instead of Governments?' There will be nothing. Something that has long been useless, and therefore superfluous and bad, will be abolished. An organ that, being unnecessary, has become harmful, will be abolished." -- Leo Tolstoy
Free Political Institutions Their Nature, Essence, and Maintenance An Abridgment and Rearrangement of Lysander Spooner's "Trial by jury" EDITED BY VICTOR YARROS LONDON C. W. DANIEL, LTD. 3, Amen Corner, E.C. 1912 CHAPTER 1: LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT AND MAJORITY RULE The theory of free government is that it is formed by the voluntary contract of the people individually with each other. This is the theory (although it is not, as it ought to be, the fact) in all the governments in the United States, as also in the government of England. The theory assumes that each man who is a party to the government, and contributes to its support, has individually and freely consented to it. Otherwise the government would have no right to tax him for its support, for taxation without consent is robbery. This theory, then, necessarily supposes that th...
The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936Preface These essays are less an analysis of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-39 than an evocation of the greatest proletarian and peasant revolution to occur over the past two centuries. Although they contain a general overview and evaluation of the Anarchist and Anarchosyndicalist movements (the two should be clearly distinguished) in the three-year struggle at the end of the 1930s, they are not intended to be a full account of those complex events. It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Revolution was the farthest-reaching movement that the Left ever produced, for reasons the essays that follow will make clear. The Spanish proletariat and peasantry, led largely by Anarchist militants whose names will never be known to us, strained the limits of what we in the 1930s called "proletarian socialism" and went appreciably beyond them. Far more than the leaders of the Anarchosyndicalist National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist...
Translated from the French of JEHAN LE VAGRE. IV. -THE PUBLIC SERVICES. THOSE who advocate a system of division of products in the future society argue that on the morrow of the Revolution there will not be enough to meet the unlimited wants of all. We believe this to be a mistake. Even to-day, when waste is everywhere to be seen, and when through the sordid calculations of shameless speculators uncultivated land abounds, production so much exceeds consumption that the unemployed are ever increasing their numbers. What then will it be in a society where no one will have any reason for monopolizing because everyone will be sure of having his wants satisfied everyday; in a society where every arm will be productive, where all those who compose the army, the bureaucracy, as well as that innumerable crowd of domestic servants, having no other work to do to-day but to satisfy the caprices of our exploiters, where, in short, all those who to-day con... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
In olden times, men of science, and especially those who have done most to forward the growth of natural philosophy, did not despise manual work and handicraft. Galileo made his telescopes with his own hands. Newton learned in his boyhood the art of managing tools; he exercised his young mind in contriving most ingenious machines, and when he began his researches in optics he was able himself to grind the lenses for his instruments and himself to make the well known telescope which, for its time, was a fine piece of workmanship. Leibnitz was fond of inventing machines: windmills and carriages to be moved without horses preoccupied his mind as much as mathematical and philosophical speculations. Linnaeus became a botanist while helping his father -- a practical gardener -- in his daily work. In short, with our great geniuses handicraft was no obstacle to abstract researches -- it rather favored them. On the other band, if the workers of old found but few... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Great Strike So the coal strike has ended in a victory for the strikers. So will that bigger strike to come, the strike that will be even more general than this, the strike that will bear upon its banners," The mines for the miners." Such pluck and calm resolution and broad social feeling as these strikers have shown only needs a wider aim to become the finest sort of revolutionary energy. Just fancy, you comfortable people who have never gone short of a meal, what it means to be so convinced of the righteousness of your cause as to risk a strike, when you know you can expect no help from your Union for three weeks and then less than seven shillings all told; and yet to be so public-spirited as to be willing to give up your own chance of higher wages altogether if only the masters will lower prices for the general consumer and no; merely take advantage of the good times to fill their own pockets. Fabian comrades, don't you see some glimmer of a moral solutio... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
About the people and individuals of the past who have made up revolutions, whether they were active revolutionaries or brilliant theoreticians. If we know how they lived in the past, we might know what's possible to do today.
"EPOPS: They speak of benefits so great it is impossible either to describe or conceive them; all shall be yours, all that we see here, there, above and below us; this they vouch for. CHORUS: Are they mad? EPOPS: They are the sanest people in the world." -- Aristophanes
(1853 - 1932) ~ Italian, Anarchist Intellectual, Anti-Capitalist, and Anti-Fascist : There have almost certainly been better anarchist writers, more skilled anarchist organizers, anarchists who have sacrificed more for their beliefs. Perhaps though, Malatesta is celebrated because he combined all of these so well, exemplifying thought expressed in deed... (From : Cunningham Bio.)
• "...all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence." (From : "Further Thoughts on the Question of Crime," by Er....)
• "And tomorrow, in the revolution, we must play an active part in the necessary physical struggle, seeking to make it as radical as possible, in order to destroy all the repressive forces of the government and to induce the people to take possession of the land, homes, transport, factories, mines, and of all existing goods, and organize themselves so that there is a just distribution immediately of food products." (From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Errico Malatesta.)
• "We want to make the revolution as soon as possible, taking advantage of all the opportunities that may arise." (From : "Revolution in Practice," by Errico Malatesta, fro....)
(1806 - 1856) ~ Father of Egoism : Max Stirner? The philosophizing petit bourgeois to whom Karl Marx had given the brush-off? The anarchist, egoist, nihilist, the crude precursor of Nietzsche? Yes, he. (From : Bernd Laska Bio.)
• "If men reach the point of losing respect for property, every one will have property, as all slaves become free men as soon as they no longer respect the master as master." (From : "The Ego and Its Own," by Max Stirner, 1845, publi....)
• "When I had exalted myself to be the owner of the world, egoism had won its first complete victory, had vanquished the world, had become worldless, and put the acquisitions of a long age under lock and key." (From : "The Ego and Its Own," by Max Stirner, 1845, publi....)
• "Alienness is a criterion of the 'sacred.' In everything sacred there lies something 'uncanny,' strange, such as we are not quite familiar and at home in." (From : "The Ego and Its Own," by Max Stirner, 1845, publi....)
(1812 - 1886) ~ American Individualist Anarchist, Abolitionist, and Labor Union Activist : He moved to New York, where he became interested in linguistics, and later equitable commerce. He established a utopian community in New York City called Unity Home, and it was during this time that he began to formulate his philosophy of universology. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "Under the old order of things, government interfered to determine the trade or occupation of the Individual, to settle his religious faith, to regulate his locomotion, to prescribe his hours of relaxation and retiremeut, the length of his beard, the cut of his apparel, his relative rank, the mode of his social intercourse, and so on continuously, until government was in fact every thing, and the Individual nothing." (From : "The True Constitution Of Government In The Sovere....)
• "Government still deals with criminals by the old-fashioned process of punishment, but both science and philanthropy concur in pronouncing that the grand remedial agency for crime is prevention, and not cure." (From : "The True Constitution Of Government In The Sovere....)
• "The whole of that legislation which establishes or tolerates that form of human bondage which is called slavery is at this moment undergoing the most determined and vigorous onset of public opinion which any false and tyrannical institution of Government was ever called upon to endure. The full and final abolition of slavery can not but be regarded, by every reflecting mind, as prospectively certain." (From : "The True Constitution Of Government In The Sovere....)
(1816 - 1898) ~ American Anarchist, Individualist, Inventor, and Land Reformer : Joshua King Ingalls (July 16, 1816 – 1898), born in Swansea, Massachusetts, was an inventor, and land reformer who influenced contemporary individualist anarchists despite never self-identifying as one. He was an associate of Benjamin Tucker and the "Boston anarchists." (From : Wikipedia.)
He believed that government protection of idle land was the foundational source of all limitations on individual liberty. This was in disagreement with Tucker who, while also opposing protection of idle land, believed that government protection of the "banking monopoly" was the greatest evil. (From : Wikipedia.)
(1808 - 1887) ~ Individualist Anarchist and Unitarian Christian Abolitionist : The greatest natural rights thinker of the 19th century was the American lawyer and maverick individualist Lysander Spooner. He responded to the tumultuous events of his era, including the Panic of 1837 and the Civil War, with pamphlets about natural rights, slavery, money, trial by jury and other timely subjects. (From : Jim Powell Bio.)
• "Again, the doctrine that the minority ought to submit to the will of the majority proceeds, not upon the principle that government is formed by voluntary association and for an agreed purpose on the part of all who contribute to its support, but upon the presumption that all government must be practically a state of war and plunder between opposing parties..." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)
• "The doctrine that the majority have a right to rule proceeds upon the principle that minorities have no right in the government; for certainly the minority cannot be said to have any rights in a government so long as the majority alone determine what their rights shall be." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)
• "There is no particle of truth in the notion that the majority have a right to rule, or exercise arbitrary power over, the minority simply because the former are more numerous than the latter. Two men have no more natural right to rule one than one has to rule two." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)