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Introduction by Noam Chomsky

"Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State
Noam Chomsky, 1970

Transcribed by rael@ll.mit.edu (Bill Lear)

A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better."[1] There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Guérin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist th...


From the upcoming "No Gods, No Masters" edited by Daniel Guerin, to be published by AK Press the summer of 1997 Anarchists Behind Bars (Summer 1921) by Gaston Leval   Once I discovered that there were so many of our comrades in prison, I arranged, together with the French syndicalist delegates to make overtures to Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar for the Interior, implicitly obedient to Lenin. Being wary of me, my fellow delegates chose Joaquin Maurin to speak on behalf of the CNT delegation. Maurin reported back on their first audience. At the sight of the list of the prisoners whose release was being sought, Dzerzhinsky blanched, then went red with fury, arguing that these men were counterrevolutionaries in ca... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Anarchy and Organization appears in Anarchy Archives with the premission of the author.The essay originally was written in reply to an attack by Huey Newton on anarchist forms of organization. ANARCHY AND ORGANIZATION A Letter To The Left   Reprinted from NEW LEFT NOTES January 15, 1969 by permission of the author There is a hoary myth that anarchists do not believe in organization to promote revolutionary activity. This myth was raised from its resting place by Marcuse in a L'Express interview some months ago and reiterated again by Huey Newton in his "In Defense of Self-Defense," which New Left Notes decided to reprint in the recent National Convention issue. To... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Foreward On May 26, 1958 at midnight, Chiu Tsai-kang, a steel worker of the Shanghai No. 3 Steel Works, was burned by molten steel. The affected area extended over 89 per cent of his body, 20 per cent being third degree burns with the muscles and bones involved. According to Western medical authorities, a patient with such severe burns would be likely to die. But due to the affectionate' concern of the Communist Party, to the great efforts made by the medical staff and to the widespread support of society at large, Chiu Tsai-kang is still alive. After being treated for more than five months his wounds are now completely healed and covered by grafted skin. On November 23 he was transferred to the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Peking... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. The Bolshevik Dictatorship At Work       It must be left to the future historian to determine whether the Bolshevik repression of the bourgeoisie, with which they started, their rule, was not merely a means towards the ulterior purpose of suppressing all the other non-Bolshevik elements. For the Russian bourgeoisie was not really dangerous to the Revolution. As is well known, it was an insignificant minority, unorganized, without definite solidaric interests and entirely powerless. The revolutionary elements, on the contrary, were a real obstacle to th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The text is from my copy of Alexander Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925. Page numbers are in the source code.

CHAPTER XVIII

THE BRITISH LABOR MISSION

      May, 1920.---New life has come to Petrograd with the arrival of the British Mission; many meetings, banquets, and festivities are taking place in its honor. I believe the Communists are inclined to exaggerate the importance of the visit and its probable results. Some even think the coming of the Englishmen augurs the political recognition of Russia in the near future. Soviet newspapers and Communist speeches have created the impression that the Mission represents the sentiment of the whole British proletariat, and that the latter is about to come to the aid of Russia.

      I heard the subject discussed by a group of workers and soldiers at the meeting in the Lab...


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and New Politics. The Communist Manifesto: Insights and Problems Murray Bookchin [from New Politics, vol. 6, no. 4 (new series), whole no. 24, Winter 1998] Murray Bookchin is the author of numerous books on left social theory and history. His most recent work is The Third Revolution, a three-volume history of popular movements in the revolutionary era, Volumes 1 and 2 of which have recently been published by Cassell.       IT IS POLITICALLY RESTORATIVE TO LOOK WITH A FRESH EYE at The Manifesto of the Communist Party (to use its original title), written before Marxism was overlaid by reformist,... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 1939 Defend the Civil Rights of Communists! Source: The Communist, Vol. XVIII, No.12, December 1939Publisher: Workers Library Publishers, New York, NYTranscription/Markup: Brian ReidPublic Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source. HUNGRY for huge war profits, the barons of Wall Street are speeding to involve the American people in the imperialist war raging in Europe. The blackout of civil liberties is part of Wall Street’s war drive. Capitalist reaction is intent upon depriving the Communists of their civil rights as th... (From : Marxists.org.)

Chapter XVII

Auto Destruction; At the Old Bailey;
Witness of the Persecution; Fun and Games at the Gulag;
The Most Distressful Country; After the Storm;
Irish Association; The Murrays

Auto Destruction

International Socialists, later styling themselves the Socialist Workers Party (or in Trotskyist terms, "State Caps") often finished up writing books about the Left in which their superficial student involvement was less than serviceable. One named David Widgery, later a doctor and a bitter Marxist sectarian, not to be confused with his relative Lord Chief Justice Widgery until the SWP should take power on Tibb's Eve, and dying too soon for that anyway, referred to me in his book as an "ex-boxer and auto-destructive artist". It wasn't until afterwards I found he didn't know his Meltzers from his Metzgers (possibly not even his brewers from his butchers) and was mixing me up with a tiny German in CND, Gustav Metzger, who onc...


IN MEMORY OF THE KRONSTADT REVOLT Nestor Makhno   March 7th is a harrowing date for the toilers of the so-called "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" who participated in one capacity or another in the events that occurred on that date in Kronstadt. The commemoration of that date is equally painful for the toilers of all countries, for it brings back the memory of what the free workers and sailors of Kronstadt demanded of their Red executioner, the "Russian Communist Party," and its tool, the "Soviet" government, busy doing the Russian revolution to death. Kronstadt insisted of these statist hangmen that they hand back everything that belonged to the toilers of town and country, given that it was they who had carried out the revo... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

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