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From: Freiheit, July 25, 1885 Action as Propaganda by Johann Most We have said a hundred times or more that when modern revolutionaries carry out actions, what is important is not solely these actions themselves but also the propagandistic effect they are able to achieve. Hence, we preach not only action in and for itself, but also action as propaganda. It is a phenomenally simple matter, yet over and over again we meet people, even people close to the center of our party, who either do not, or do not wish, to understand. We have recently had a clear enough illustration of this over the Lieske affair... So our question is this: what is the purpose of the anarchists' threats -- an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth -- if they are not follow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. ἄν, and αρχος, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published in Mother Earth on Nov. 5, 1907 in London by Int. Instituut Soc. Geschlodenis Amsterdam I HAVE often wondered why, with millions of people taking part in progressive and labor movements of all kinds, comparatively few accept Anarchism fully as we do. What is better known than the exploitation of labor by capital, the oppression of the individual by the State, to the student the least interested in social matters and to the practical observer of everyday life? Again, if Anarchist propaganda has not yet touched every remote place in all countries, there are numerous localities where it has been carried on for a generation and more, and even there it does not affect more than a certain proportion of the people. As long as I believed ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Biography of an Anarchist
Errico Malatesta The Biography of an Anarchist A Condensed Sketch of Malatesta from the book written by by Max Nettlau Published by the Jewish Anarchist Federation New York City. 1924 Introduction The short sketch of Malatesta's life is based on the exhaustive study of Max Nettlau, published in Italian translation by "Il Martello" in New York under the title Vita e Pensieri di Errico Malatesta, and in German translation issued at Berlin by the publishers of the "Syndicalist." Max Nettlau, the profound scholar of the Anarchist movement, biographer of Michael Bakunin and author of Bibliographie de l'Anarchie, lives in Vienna, and like so many intellectuals in Europe, in distressing economic condition. May I express here the hope that he will ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

TRANSLATORS' PREFACE Kropotkin's "Ethics: Origin and Development," is, in a sense, a continuation of his well-known work, "Mutual Aid as a Factor of Evolution." The basic ideas of the two books are closely connected, almost inseparable, in fact: -- the origin and progress of human relations in society. Only, in the "Ethics" Kropotkin approaches his theme through a study of the ideology of these relations. The Russian writer removes ethics from the sphere of the speculative and metaphysical, and brings human conduct and ethical teaching back to its natural environment: the ethical practices of men in their everyday concerns -- from the time of primitive societies to our modern highly organized States. Thus conceived, ethics becomes a subject of universal interest; under the kindly eyes and able pen of the great Russian scholar, a subject of special and academic study becomes closely linked to whatever is significant in the life and...


Mr. Mencken gives the impression of an able mind so harried and irritated by the philistinism of American life that it has not been able to attain its full power. These more carefully worked-over critical essays are, on the whole, less interesting and provocative than the irresponsible comment he gives us in his magazine. How is it that so robust a hater of uplift and puritanism becomes so fanatical a crusader himself? One is forced to call Mr. Mencken a moralist, for with him appraisement has constantly to stop while he tilts against philistine critics and outrageous puritans. In order to show how good a writer is, he must first show how deplorably fatuous, malicious or ignorant are all those who dislike him. Such a proof is undoubtedly th... (From : fair-use.org.)


Speaking of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualility in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The book I have had the privilege of translating is, undoubtedly, one of the most remarkable studies of the social and psychological condition of the modern world which has appeared in Europe for many years, and its influence is sure to be lasting and far reaching. Tolstoy's genius is beyond dispute. The verdict of the civilized world has pronounced him as perhaps the greatest novelist of our generation. But the philosophical and religious works of his later years have met with a somewhat indifferent reception. They have been much talked about, simply because they were his work, but, as Tolstoy himself complains, they have never been seriously discussed. I hardly think that he will have to repeat the complaint in regard to the present volume. One may disagree with his views, but no one can seriously deny the originality, boldness, and depth of the social conception which he develops with such powerful logic. The novelist has shown in this book the religious fervor a...


Dear Steffen, You ask my opinion about the war. I have expressed it on several occasions in France, and the present events, unfortunately, only reinforced it. I consider that the duty of everyone who cherishes the idea of human progress altogether, and especially those that were inscribed by the European proletarians on the banner of the International Workingmen's Association, is to do everything in one's power, according to one's capacities, to crush down the invasion of the Germans into Western Europe. The cause of this war was not Russia's attitude toward the Austrian ultimatum, as the German government, true to Bismarck's traditions, has tried to represent it. As early as July 19 it was known among the West European continental statesme... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Living My Life by Emma Goldman Volume one New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1931. Chapter 33 While my meetings were being suppressed in Chicago, Sasha was subjected to similar persecution in the East. His lectures were stopped in a number of cities in Massachusetts, and the Union Square demonstrations of the unemployed at which he presided were forcibly dispersed by the police. I was worried about Sasha and wired him to let me know whether it was necessary for me to return to New York. The next morning I read in the newspapers that a bomb had exploded at Union Square, and that Alexander Berkman was arrested in connection with it. I forgot our disagreements. Sasha was in trouble, and I not at his side to help and comfort him! I resolved to leave for New York immediately, but before I could carry out my decision, a telegram came from Sasha, telling me that th...

MY FURTHER DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA By Emma Goldman, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company; 1924 CHAPTER I ODESSA AT THE numerous stations between Kiev and Odessa we frequently had to wait for days before we managed to make connections with trains going south. We employed our leisure in visiting the small towns and villages, and formed many acquaintances. The markets were especially of interest to us. In the Kiev province by far the greater part of the population is Jewish. They had suffered many pogroms and were now living in constant terror of their repetition. But the will to live is indestructible, particularly in the Jew; otherwise centuries of persecution and slaughter would long since have destroyed the race. Its peculiar perseverance was manifest everywhere: the Jews continued to trade as if nothing had happened. The news that Americans were in town would quickly gather about us crowds of people anxi...


Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence. From sickness of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published Essays and Pamphlets Samuel Gompers by Emma Goldman [Published in The Road to Freedom (New York), Vol. 1, March 1925.] The numerous tributes paid to the late President of the American Federation of Labor, emphasized his great leadership. "Gompers was a leader of men," they said. One would have expected that the disaster brought upon the world by leadership would have proven that to be a leader of men is far from a virtue. Rather is it a vise for which those who are being led are usually made to pay very heavily. The last fifteen years are replete with examples of what the leaders of men have done to the peoples of the world. The Lenins, Clemenceaus, the Lloyd Georges and Wilson, have all posed as great leaders. Yet they have broug... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

THE FRENCH DRAMA MAETERLINCK To those who are conversant with the works of Maeterlinck it may seem rather far-fetched to discuss him from the point of view of revolutionary and social significance. Above all, MaEterlinck is the portrayer of the remote, the poet of symbols; therefore it may seem out of place to bring him down to earth, to simplify him, or to interpret his revolutionary spirit. To some extent these objections have considerable weight; but on the other hand, if one keeps in mind that only those who go to the remote are capable of understanding the obvious, one will readily see how very significant Maeterlinck is as a revolutionizing factor. Besides, we have Maeterlinck's own conception of the significance of the revolutionary spirit In a very masterly article called "The Social Revolution," he discusses the objection on the part of the conservative section of society to the introduction of revolutionary methods. He says that they would l...


I. To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even contempt. If ... (From : fair-use.org.)

A Critical Essay on ShakespeareThe drama of "Lear" begins with a scene giving the conversation between two courtiers, Kent and Gloucester. Kent, pointing to a young man present, asks Gloucester whether that is not his son. Gloucester says that he has often blushed to acknowledge the young man as his son, but has now ceased doing so. Kent says he "can not conceive him." Then Gloucester in the presence of this son of his says: "The fellow's mother could, and grew round-wombed, and had a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed." "I have another, a legitimate son," continues Gloucester, "but although this one came into the world before he was sent for, his mother was fair and there was good sport at his making, and therefore I acknowledge this one also." Such is the introduction. Not to mention the coarseness of these words of Gloucester, they are, farther, out of place in the mouth of a person intended to represent a noble character. One can not agree with the opinion of some critics that thes...


Our reformers have suddenly made a great discovery--the white slave traffic. The papers are full of these "unheard-of conditions," and lawmakers are already planning a new set of laws to check the horror. It is significant that whenever the public mind is to be diverted from a great social wrong, a crusade is inaugurated against indecency, gambling, saloons, etc. And what is the result of such crusades? Gambling is increasing, saloons are doing a lively business through back entrances, prostitution is at its height, and the system of pimps and cadets is but aggravated. How is it that an institution, known almost to every child, should have been discovered so suddenly? How is it that this evil, known to all sociologists, should now be made s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Chapter 2. The Fatal Descent To see what has since become of the Russian Revolution, to understand the real role of Bolshevism, and discern the reasons which — again in human history — transformed a magnificent and victorious popular revolt into a lamentable failure, it is necessary, clearly and ahead of anything else, to comprehend fully two truths, which, unfortunately, are still not yet widely enough known, and the misunderstanding of which deprives the majority of those interested of a true comprehension. Here is the first truth: There is an explicit and irreconcilable contradiction, an opposition between the true Revolution, which, on the one hand, tends to expand — and could expand in an unlimited way to conquer definitively — and on the other hand, the theory and practice of authoritarianism and statism. There is an explicit, irreconcilable contradiction, a struggle between the very essence of S...

Part I. Kronstadt Chapter 1. Geographical Notes Kronstadt is a fortress, or rather, a fortified city, built two centuries ago on the Island of Kotlin, 30 kilometers west of St. Petersburg (now Leningrad) at the lower end of the Gulf of Finland. It defends the approaches from the Baltic Sea to the former capital, and is also the principal base of the Russian Baltic Fleet. The Gulf of Finland is frozen in winter, and communication between Kronstadt and Leningrad is carried on, for five months of the year (from November to April), over a snow road on top of the thick ice of the Gulf. Kotlin Island — a narrow, elongated piece of land with very irregular contours — is 12 kilometers long. Its greatest width is from 2 to 3 kilometers. Its coasts are inaccessible and well fortified. The eastern part of the island, which faces Leningrad, contains the city of Kronstadt, the port and the docks, and occupies about a third of the total area. T...


I. Time brings a better adjustment to the war. There had been so many times when, to those who had energetically resisted its coming, it seemed the last intolerable outrage. In one’s wilder moments one expected revolt against the impressment of unwilling men and the suppression of unorthodox opinion. One conceived the war as breaking down through a kind of intellectual sabotage diffused through the country. But as one talks to people outside the cities and away from ruling currents of opinion, one finds the prevailing apathy shot everywhere with acquiescence. The war is a bad business, which somehow got fastened on us. They won’t want to go, but they’ve got to go. One decides that nothing generally obstructive is going to ... (From : fair-use.org.)


To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War II brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even co... (From : bopsecrets.org.)


We boast of the age of advancement, of science, and progress. Is it not strange, then, that we still believe in fetish worship? True, our fetishes have different form and substance, yet in their power over the human mind they are still as disastrous as were those of old. Our modern fetish is universal suffrage. Those who have not yet achieved that goal fight bloody revolutions to obtain it, and those who have enjoyed its reign bring heavy sacrifice to the altar of this omnipotent deity. Woe to the heretic who dare question that divinity! Woman, even more than man, is a fetish worshiper, and though her idols may change, she is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus woman has b... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Governments do not let me come to my value, and continue to exist only through my valuelessness: they are forever intent of getting benefits from me, that is exploiting me, turning me to account, using me up, even the use they get from me consists only in my supplying a proletariat; they want me to be “their creature”. Pauperism can only be removed when I as ego realize value from myself, when I give my own self value. I must rise in revolt to rise in the world. What I produce, flour, linen, or iron and coal, which I toilsomely win from the earth, etc, is my work that I want to realize value from. But then I may long complain that I am not paid for my work according to its value: the payer will not listen to me, and the governme... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)

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