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Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested--rulers, lawyers, clerics--have carefully enwound her. She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. But the inveterate enemies of thought--the government, the lawgiver, and the priest--soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs. Then, profiting by the servility of thought and of character, which they themselves have so effectually cultivated; profiting, too,...


(Originally published in the Contemporary Review, and then reprinted as a pamphlet by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1884) An Anarchist on Anarchy by Elisée Reclus “It is a pity that such men as Elisée Reclus cannot be promptly shot.” – Providence Press To most Englishmen, the word Anarchy is so evil-sounding that ordinary readers of the Contemporary Review will probably turn from these pages with aversion, wondering how anybody could have the audacity to write them. With the crowd of commonplace chatterers we are already past praying for; no reproach is too bitter for us, no epithet too insulting. Public speakers on social and political subjects find that abuse of Anarchists is an unfailing passport to public favor. Every... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


To most Americans Anarchy is an evil-sounding word -- another name for wickedness, perversity, and chaos. Anarchists are looked upon as a herd of uncombed, unwashed, and vile ruffians, bent on killing the rich and dividing their capital. Anarchy, however, to its followers actually signifies a social theory which regards the union of order with the absence of all government of man by man; in short, it means perfect individual liberty. If the meaning of Anarchy has so far been interpreted as a state of the greatest disorder, it is because people have been taught that their affairs are regulated, that they are ruled wisely, and that authority is a necessity. In by-gone centuries any person who asserted that mankind could get along without the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


ldquo;BETHINK YOURSELVES!” “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.”—Luke xxii. 53. I Again war. Again sufferings, necessary to nobody, utterly uncalled for; again fraud; again the universal stupefaction and brutalization of men. Men who are separated from each other by thousands of miles, hundreds of thousands of such men (on the one hand—Buddhists, whose law forbids the killing, not only of men, but of animals; on the other hand—Christians, professing the law of brotherhood and love) like wild beasts on land and on sea are seeking out each other, in order to kill, torture, and mutilate each other in the most cruel way. What can this be? Is it a dream or a reality? Something is taking place which s... (From : Gutenberg.org.)


The Death Penalty La Peine de Mort Translated by Natalya Ratan and Virginia Anton. By Elisée Reclus I do not have the honor of being a Swiss Citizen and know only imperfectly the means to petition the removal of an article, but it is an issue of human agitation in all civilized countries As an international citizen I have the right to address this issue. Unfortunately I also am French and my motherland is also a country of executioners and the guillotine, that we have invented and use everyday Enemies of the death penalty. I must try to find their origins. Is if justifiable that it takes away from the right to self defense? If it is, it will be difficult to oppose it because we all have the right to self defense, against beasts and a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


A D E F E N C E OF THE ROCKINGHAM PARTY, IN THEIR LATE C O A L I T I O N WITH THE RIGHT HONORABLE FREDERIC LORD NORTH. LONDON: Printed for J. STOCKDALE, opposite Burlington House, Piccadilly. 1783. [Price One Shilling and Sixpence.] Entered at Stationers Hall. A D E F E N C E OF THE ROCKINGHAM PARTY, &c. &c. &c. THE present reign will certainly appear to our posterity full of the noblest materials for history. Many circumstances seem to have pointed it out as a very critical period. The general diffusion of science has, in some degree, enlightened the minds of all me... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea --- an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies-living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and sw... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We must get rid of the Anarchists! They are a menace to society. Does not Hearst say so? Do not the M. & M. and the gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce, who have also declared war on Labor, assure us that the Anarchists are dangerous and that they are responsible for all our troubles? Does not every skinner of Labor and every grafting politician shout against the Anarchists? Isn't that enough to prove that the Anarchists are dangerous? But why are all the money bags and their hirelings so unanimous in condemning the Anarchists? Generally they disagree on many questions and they bitterly fight each other in their business and social life. But on TWO questions they are always in accord. Smash the Labor Unions! Hang the Anarchists! WHY? B... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published in 1936. Obtained from the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford, California. Durruti is Dead, Yet LivingEmma Goldman, 1936 Durruti, whom I saw but a month ago, lost his life in the street-battles of Madrid. My previous knowledge of this stormy petrel of the Anarchist and revolutionary movement in Spain was merely from reading about him. On my arrival in Barcelona I learned many fascinating stories of Durruti and his column. They made me eager to go to the Aragon front, where he was the leading spirit of the brave and valiant militias, fighting against fascism. I arrived at Durruti's headquarters towards evening, completely exhausted from the long drive over a rough road. A few moments with Durruti was like a s... (From : WikiSource.)


THE HERALD OF LITERATURE. [PRICE TWO SHILLINGS.] THE HERALD OF LITERATURE; OR, A REVIEW OF THE MOST CONSIDERABLE PUBLICATIONS THAT WILL BE MADE IN THE COURSE OF THE ENSUING WINTER: WITH EXTRACTS. LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. MURRAY, NO. 32, FLEET-STREET. M DCC LXXXIV. TO THE AUTHORS OF THE MONTHLY AND CRITICAL REVIEWS. GENTLEMEN, In presenting the following sheets to the public, I hope I shall not be considered as encroaching upon that province, which long possession has probably taught you to consider as your exclusive right. The labor it has cost me, and the many perils I have encountered to bring it to perfection, will, I trust, effectually plead my pardon with persons of your notorious candor and humanity. Represent... (From : Gutenberg.org.)


The Impulse to Power introduction to the book "Power" by Bertrand Russell. Between man and other animals there are various differences, some intellectual, some emotional. One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of- animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction. The boa constrictor, when he has had his meal, sleeps until appetite revives; if other animals do not do likewise, it is because their meals are less adequate or because they fear enemies. The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative. With men, the matter is different. A large proportion of the human ... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)

In the year 1884 I wrote a book under the title "What I Believe," in which I did in fact make a sincere statement of my beliefs. In affirming my belief in Christ's teaching, I could not help explaining why I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church's doctrine, which is usually called Christianity. Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ I pointed out as the principal one the absence of any commandment of nonresistance to evil by force. The perversion of Christ's teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference. I know—as we all do—very little of the practice and the spoken and written doctrine of former times on the subject of nonresistance to evil. I knew what had been said on the subject by the fathers of the Church—Origen, Tertullian, and others—I knew too of the existence of some so-called sects of Mennonites, Herrn...


From Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, P.A. Kropotkin, edited and translated by Martin A. Miller. The letter appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the editor and translator. Dmitrov (Moscow province) 21 December, 1920 Respected Vladimir Illich, An announcement has been placed in Izvestiia and in Pravda which makes known the decision of the Soviet government to seize as hostages SRs [Social Revolutionary party members] from the Savinkov groups, White Guards of the nationalist and tactical center, and [Pyotr] Wrangel officers; and, in case of an [assassination] attempt on the leaders of the soviets, to “mercilessly exterminate” these hostages. Is there really no one around you to remind your comrades and to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


No incident of recent years has served to bring out so much crude thinking among supposedly educated men as the now happily ended McNamara case. A wave of hysterical passion for law and order seems suddenly to have swept over the land, a passion which one would like to believe is entirely sincere and ready to carry itself through to logical conclusions. It looks a little too much like a sudden scare, a purely physical timidity on the part of the comfortable classes, to be quite convincing. The gallant and well-worn phrase, law and order, has been worked overtime to conceal a very real fear on the part of the dominant classes for their lives and property. The law and order which they reverence is one in which society minds its own business a... (From : fair-use.org.)


Paris, Sept. 29th 1926 Dear Theodore Dreiser Before you leave Paris I want to let you know how much I have enjoyed the evening with you and thank you for it. I can not begin to tell you how hungry I am for some of the people who have been in my life in America-people who began their struggle almost at the same time with me and whom I have seen grow and do worth while things. To me it was never so important whether these people have chosen the thorny path that was mine, but that they set out to give something out of the ordinary. You are among them and one who has certainly given lasting work. And what is more, you have not stopped growing, that is more than can be said for other of our own generation. It is therefore not idle flattery when ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Selected Letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti from the Charlestown State Prison, 1921-24 July 22, 1921. Charlestown Prison MY DEAR MRS. GLENDOWER EVANS: I was just thinking what I would to do for past the long days jail: I was saying to myself: Do some work. But what? Write. A gentle motherly figure came to my mind and I rehear the voice: Why don't you write something now? It will be useful to you when you will be free. Just at that time I received your letter. Thanks to you from the bottom of my heart for your confidence in my innocence; I am so. I did not spittel a drop of blood, or steal a cent in all my life. A little knowledge of the past; a sorrowful experience of the life itself had gave to me some ideas very different from those of many o... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Vanzetti from the Charlestown State Prison, 1925 through April 1927 November 13, 1925. Charlestown Prison DEAR COMRADE BLACKWELL: Your most welcome letter of Nov. 4th reached me in due time. Its news about your health assured me of your recovering and its arguments rouse many thoughts and sentiments within my being. I am going to answer with an attempt to express myself--and this will be a long random letter. You blame to me, anarchist, Miss H because "she hates politics and never votes." Well, these facts cause me to add my admiration and my gratitude to her; and I don't believe that you have written in the hope that I would have approved your "blaming," for, you should believe that I have changed my ideas, in order to ... (From : umkc.edu.)


You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach. there is nothing like such a permission, but, on the contrary, not only is all murder forbidden but all insulting of others is forbidden also, and we are told not to do to others what we do not wish done to us. And you ask, Is there not some fraud in all this? And if so, then for whose sake is it committed? Yes, there is a fraud, committed for the sake of those accustomed to live on the sweat and blood of other men, and who therefore have perverted, and still pervert, Christ's teaching, given to man for his good, but which has now, in its perverted form, become a chief source o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it likes, pr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Manifesto of the Sixteen From various sides, voices are raised to demand immediate peace. There has been enough bloodshed, they say, enough destruction, and it is time to finish things, one way or another. More than anyone, and for a long time, we and our journals have been against every war of aggression between peoples, and against militarism, no matter what uniform, imperial or republican, it dons. So we would be delighted to see the conditions of peace discussed—if that was possible—by the European workers, gathered in an international congress. Especially since the German people let itself be deceived in August 1914, and if they really believed that they mobilized for the defense of their territory, they have since had ... (From : Libertarian-Labyrinth, http://libertarian-labyrint....)


IF I WERE to give a summary of the tendency of our times, I would say, Quantity. The multitude, the mass spirit, dominates everywhere, destroying quality. Our entire life--production, politics, and education--rests on quantity, on numbers. The worker who once took pride in the thoroughness and quality of his work, has been replaced by brainless, incompetent automatons, who turn out enormous quantities of things, valueless to themselves, and generally injurious to the rest of mankind. Thus quantity, instead of adding to life's comforts and peace, has merely increased man's burden. In politics, naught but quantity counts. In proportion to its increase, however, principles, ideals, justice, and uprightness are completely swamped by the array o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment In Russia (London: C. W. Daniel Company, 1925) PREFACE To First Volume of American Edition THE decision to record my experiences, observations, and reactions during my stay in Russia I had made long before I thought of leaving that country. In fact, that was my main reason for departing from that tragically heroic land. The strongest of us are loathe to give up a long-cherished dream. I had come to Russia possessed by the hope that I should find a new-born country, with its people wholly consecrated to the great, though very difficult, task of revolutionary reconstruction. And I had fervently hoped that I might become an active part of the inspiring work. I found reality in Russia grotesque, totally unlike the great ideal that had borne me upon the crest of high hope to the land of promise. It required fifteen long months before I could get my bearings. Each day, each...

To one not familiar with the Russian language the accessible data relative to the external life of Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy, the author of this book, are, to say the least, not voluminous. His name does not appear in that heterogeneous record of celebrities known as The Men of the Time, nor is it to be found in M. Vapereau's comprehensive Dictionnaire des Contemporains. And yet Count Leo Tolstoy is acknowledged by competent critics to be a man of extraordinary genius, who, certainly in one instance, has produced a masterpiece of literature which will continue to rank with the great artistic productions of this age. Perhaps it is enough for us to know that he was born on his father's estate in the Russian province of Tula, in the year 1828; that he received a good home education and studied the oriental languages at the University of Kasan; that he was for a time in the army, which he entered at the age of twenty-three as an officer of artillery, serving later...


Chinese society is at the darkest stage now. Under such circumstances, young people become impotent and weak without the power to resist corruption. Even the brave ones can only keep quiet and submit to fate. When it is really unbearable, suicide is the only way out. China is paralyzed; where can we find happiness? Some conscious youth believe that the only way to improve China’s current situation is to promote “nationalism,” and identify “nationalism” as the only road to happiness for the Chinese. Voices of “nationalism” have spread all over the nation. I shudder at such a thought. “Nationalism” is in fact the obstacle to human progress. Being a member of this society, I cannot accept nationalis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


No Treason II Lysander Spooner Table of Contents No Treason. No. II. I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, By LYSANDER SPOONER, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Massachusetts. NO TREASON. NO. II. I. The Constitution says: "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordai... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The time had come to think of the inauguration of the Modern School. Some time previously I had invited a number of gentlemen of great distinction and of progressive sentiments to assist me with their advice and form a kind of Committee of Consultation. My intercourse with them at Barcelona was of great value to me, and many of them remained in permanent relation with me, for which I may express my gratitude. They were of opinion that the Modern School should be opened with some display--invitation-cards, a circular to the press, a large hall, music, and oratorical addresses by distinguished Liberal politicians. It would have been easy to do this, and we would have attracted an audience of hundreds of people who would have applauded with that momentary enthusiasm which characterizes our public functions. But I was not seduced by the idea. As a Positivist and an Idealist I was convinced that a simple modesty best befitted the inauguration of a work of reform. Any other method seeme...


The Paris Commune, like other spectacular events in human history, has become the clinging point for many legends, alike among its enemies and among its friends. Indeed, one must often question which was the real Commune, the legend or the fact,— what was actually lived, or the conception of it which has shaped itself in the world-mind during those forty odd years that have gone since the 18th of March, 1871. It is thus with doctrines, it is thus with personalities, it is thus with events. Which is the real Christianity, the simple doctrine attributed to Christ or the practical preaching and realizing of organized Christianity? Which is the real Abraham Lincoln,—the clever politician who emancipated the chattel slaves as an act ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


"The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult You can offer him. Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interests of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born." - E. BELFORT BAX. I. I have already several times expressed the thought that in our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering, and that, consequently, this feeling--should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men. Yet, strange to say--though it is undeniable that the universal armam... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


On my first visit to Spain in September 1936, nothing surprised me so much as the amount of political freedom I found everywhere. True it did not extend to fascists; but outside of these deliberate enemies of the revolution and the emancipation of the workers in Spain, everyone of the anti-fascist front enjoyed political freedom which hardly existed in any of the so called European democracies. The one party that made the utmost use of this was the PSUC, the Stalinist party in revolutionary Spain. Their radio and loudspeakers filled the air. Their daily marches in military formation with their flags waving were flaunted in everybody’s face. They seemed to take a special pleasure in marching past the house of the Regional Committee as ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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