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"ETHICS" is the swan song of the great humanitarian scientist and revolutionist-anarchist, and constitutes, as it were, the crowning work and the résumé of all the scientific, philosophical, and sociological views of Peter Alekseyevich Kropotkin, at which he arrived in the course of his long and unusually rich life. Unfortunately, death came before he could complete his work, and, according to the will and desire of Peter Alekseyevich, the responsible task of preparing "Ethics" for the press fell upon me.
In issuing the first volume of "Ethics", I feel the necessity of saying a few words to acquaint the reader with the history of this work.
In his "Ethics" Kropotkin wished to give answers to the two fundamental pr...
From Meet Kropotkin. The Salvation Series No. 1. Bombay: The Libertarian Book House, n.d. KROPOTKIN - THE MASTER by HERBERT READ. PRINCE PETER ALEXEIVICH KROPOTKIN was born at Moscow on the 9th December, 1842 (o. s.). His father, Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, is described by Kropotkin as "a typical officer of the time of Nicholas I", but he seems to have been an easy-going parent, content to leave his son's educaton to his French tutor until it was time to send him off to a military academy. Kropotkin's mother was the youngest daughter of the commander of a Cossack army corps, General Sulima, and a woman of great refinement and sensibility, qualities which her son must have inhe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
THE popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous, that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition. Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other. No doubt some marriages have been the result of love. Not, however, because love could assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it because few people can completely outgrow a convention. There are to-day large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At any rate, wh... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
ON ANARCHY Leo Tolstoy The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without Authority, there could not be worse violence than that of Authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a [violent- Editor]revolution. 'To establish Anarchy'. 'Anarchy will be instituted'. But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of the governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power. 'The capitalistic organization will pass into the hands of workers, and then there will be no more oppression of these workers, and no uneq... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
They Who Marry Do Ill (A lecture presenting the negative side of the question, whose positive was argued under the heading "They who marry do well," by Dr. Henrietta P. Westbrook; both lectures delivered before the Radical Liberal League, Philadelphia, April 28, 1907.) LET ME make myself understood on two points, now, so that when discussion arises later, words may not be wasted in considering things not in question: First -How shall we measure doing well or doing ill; Second -What I mean by marriage. So much as I have been able to put together the pieces of the universe in my small head, there... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I BEGIN with an admission: Regardless of all political and economic theories, treating of the fundamental differences between various groups within the human race, regardless of class and race distinctions, regardless of all artificial boundary lines between woman's rights and man's rights, I hold that there is a point where these differentiations may meet and grow into one perfect whole. With this I do not mean to propose a peace treaty. The general social antagonism which has taken hold of our entire public life today, brought about through the force of opposing and contradictory interests, will crumble to pieces when the reorganization of our social life, based upon the principles of economic justice, shall have become a reality. ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The present condition of our country, and of many other parts of the world, calls out and places before us, as in a panorama, whatever there is of thought; whatever there has been of progress or retrogression, and displays to us at a simple glance, as it were, the present state of civilization in so vivid a manner that we are enabled to weigh and estimate what we have and what we need with a degree of certainty that, in a state of repose, no one's lifetime might enable him to measure; and which may reasonably inspire even the humble with a boldness suited to the time, and with a hope that discoveries indispensable to true civilization, that could scarcely gain a single ear while the adversities of life could be borne, may now receive some attention where all confidence in the tried is lost.
TABLE OF REFERENCE.
WHY MEN FIGHT
THE PRINCIPLE OF GROWTH
TO all who are capable of new impressions and fresh thought, some modification of former beliefs and hopes has been brought by the war. What the modification has been has depended, in each case, upon character and circumstance; but in one form or another it has been almost universal. To me, the chief thing to be learned through the war has been a certain view of the springs of human action, what they are, and what we may legitimately hope that they will become. This view, if it is true, seems to afford a basis for political philosophy more capable of standing erect in a time of crisis than the philosophy of traditional Liberalism has shown itself to be. The following lectures, though only one of them will deal with war, all are inspired by a view of the springs of action which has been suggested by the war. And all of them are informed by the hope of seeing such political institutions established in Europe as shall m...