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We are a mixed race, we English, and perhaps the mixture of which we have most reason to be proud is our strain of Norse blood, our kinship with the Scandinavians. We are accustomed in our childish history books to read of the "Danes" and their continual invasions of England as if these human beings, many of whom came from Norway and not Denmark at all, were a mere swarm of locusts, seeking what they might devour. Certainly their resolute efforts to obtain a share of the soil and wealth of Britain from the earlier settlers were frequently attended with destruction of life and of peaceful industry. Those old Norsemen cared as little for the life of the man or woman of an alien community as their descendant, the fisherman of to-day, cares for... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Next day at eleven o’clock in the morning Vronsky drove to the station of the Petersburg railway to meet his mother, and the first person he came across on the great flight of steps was Oblonsky, who was expecting his sister by the same train. "Ah! your excellency!" cried Oblonsky, "whom are you meeting?" "My mother," Vronsky responded, smiling, as everyone did who met Oblonsky. He shook hands with him, and together they ascended the steps. "She is to be here from Petersburg today." "I was looking out for you till two o’clock last night. Where did you go after the Shtcherbatskys’?" "Home," answered Vronsky. "I must own I felt so well content yesterday after the Shtcherbatskys’ that I didn’t care to go anywhere." "I know a gallant steed by tokens sure, And by his eyes I know a youth in love," declaimed Stepan Arkadyevitch, just as he had d...

The ResurrectionWhen the examination of the exhibits was over, the justiciary announced the investigation closed, and, desiring to end the session, gave the word to the prosecutor, in the hope that as he, too, was mortal, he might also wish to smoke or dine, and would have pity on the others. But the prosecutor pitied neither himself nor them. When the word was given him, he rose slowly, displaying his elegant figure, and, placing both hands on the desk, and slightly bending his head, he cast a glance around the court-room, his eyes avoiding the prisoners. "Gentlemen of the jury, the case which is now to be submitted to your consideration," he began his speech, prepared while the indictment and reports were being read, "is a characteristic crime, if I may so express myself." The speech of a prosecuting attorney, according to his idea, had to be invested with a social significance, according to the manner of those lawyers who became famous. True, among his hearer...


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 the dictatorship of any political party. The elimination of the revolutionary elements would be of prime necessity to any dictatorship, because such a dictatorship would meet with the strongest opposition NOT from the bourgeoisie but f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

February 2.5.---Life in the Kharitonensky is interesting. It is an ossobniak (private house), large and roomy, and contains a number of delegates and guests. At meal time we gather in the common dining room, furnished in the bourgeois taste of the typical German merchant. The house has weathered the Revolution without any change. Nothing has been touched in it; even the oil painting of the former owner, life-size, flanked by those of his wife and children, still hangs in its accustomed place. One feels the atmosphere of respectability and correctness. But at meals a different spirit prevails. The head of the table is occupied by V---, a Red Army officer in military uniform of English cut. He is the chief of the Ukrainian delegation come for an important conference to "the center." A tall, strapping fellow, not over thirty, of military bearing and commanding manner. He has been in many fights against Kaledin and Denikin, and was repeatedly wounded. When...


Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Published by Freedom Press 27 Red Lion Street, London, W.C.1 July 1945 and printed by Express Printers, London. We are reproducing an abridged version of the first part of Gaston Leval's pamphlet "Social Reconstruction in Spain," which was published by Freedom Press in 1938, but which has since gone out of print. Many readers of "War Commentary" have expressed a desire for the reproduction in some form of the contents of this excellent pamphlet. COLLECTIVES IN SPAIN INDUSTRIAL socialization was the first undertaking of the Spanish Revolution, particularly in Barcelona. But obstacles were created from the beginning, which resulted in preventing these experiments from being developed t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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, postmodernist, spiritual, and psychological commentaries. From an examination of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

THE CONQUEST OF BREAD by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER VI Dwellings I THOSE who have closely watched the growth of certain ideas among the workers must have noticed that on one momentous question--the housing of the people, namely--a definite conclusion is being imperceptibly arrived at. It is a known fact that in the large towns of France, and in many of the smaller ones also, the workers are coming gradually to the conclusion that dwelling-houses are in no sense the property of those whom the State recognizes as their owners. This idea has evolved naturally in the minds of the people, and nothing will ever convince them again that the "rights of property" ought to extend to houses. The house was not built by its owner. It was erected, decorated, and furnished by innumerable workers--in the timber yard, the brick field, and the workshop, toiling for...


The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: 'Return with a Constitution!' Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. Ecology and Revolutionary Thought by Lewis Herber (pseudonym for Murray Bookchin) [Originally published in Bookchin’s newsletter Comment in 1964 and republished in the British monthly Anarchy in 1965.] In almost every period since the Renaissance, the development of revolutionary thought has been heavily influenced by a branch of science, often in conjunction with a school of philosophy. Astronomy in the time of Copernicus and Galileo helped to guide a sweeping movement of ideas from the medieval world, riddled by superstition, into one pervaded by a critical rationalism, openly naturalistic and humanistic in outlook. During the Enlightenment—the era that culminated i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

In our village there was an old, old man, Pímen Timoféich. He was ninety years old. He was living at the house of his grandson, doing no work. His back was bent: he walked with a cane and moved his feet slowly. He had no teeth at all, and his face was wrinkled. His nether lip trembled; when he walked and when he talked, his lips smacked, and one could not understand what he was saying. We were four brothers, and we were fond of riding. But we had no gentle riding-horses. We were allowed to ride only on one horse,—the name of that horse was Raven. One day mama allowed us to ride, and all of us went with the valet to the stable. The coachman saddled Raven for us, and my eldest brother was the first to take a ride. He rode for a long time; he rode to the threshing-floor and around the garden, and when he came back, we shouted: "Now gallop past us!" My elder brother began to strike Raven with his feet and with the whip, and R...

In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone predicted would become aide-de-camp to the Emperor Nicholas I. and have a brilliant career, left the service, broke off his engagement to a beautiful maid of honor, a favorite of the Empress’s, gave his small estate to his sister, and retired to a monastery to become a monk. This event appeared extraordinary and inexplicable to those who did not know his inner motives, but for Prince Stepan Kasatsky himself it all occurred so naturally that he could not imagine how he could have acted otherwise. His father, a retired colonel of the Guards, had died when Stepan was twelve, and sorry as his mother was to part from her son, she entered him at the Military College as her deceased husband had intended. The widow herself, with her daughter, Varvara, moved to Petersburg to be near her son and have him with her for the ho...


National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background those questions of national independence which seemed to constitute the very essence of the history of Europe during the first half of our century. Faith in national programs, formerly so firm, has... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The two boys, having rung the door-bell, entered the empty shop, which had shelves along the walls and photographic appliances on them, together with show-cases on the counters. A plain woman, with a kind face, came through the inner door and asked from behind the counter what they required. “A nice frame, if you please, madam.” “At what price?” asked the woman; she wore mittens on her swollen fingers with which she rapidly handled picture-frames of different shapes. “These are fifty kopecks each; and these are a little more expensive. There is rather a pretty one, of quite a new style; one ruble and twenty kopecks.” “All right, I will have this. But could not you make it cheaper? Let us say one ruble.” “We don’t bargain in our shop,” said the shopkeeper with a dignified air. “Well, I will take it,” said Mahin, and put the coupon on the counter. “Wrap...

A Comedy in Four ActsLEONÍD FYÓDORITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. A retired Lieutenant of the Horse Guards. Owner of more than 60,000 acres of land in various provinces. A fresh-looking, bland, agreeable gentleman of 60. Believes in Spiritualism, and likes to astonish people with his wonderful stories. ANNA PÁVLOVNA ZVEZDÍNTSEVA. Wife of Leoníd. Stout; pretends to be young; quite taken up with the conventionalities of life; despises her husband, and blindly believes in her doctor. Very irritable. BETSY. Their daughter. A young woman of 20, fast, tries to be mannish, wears a pince-nez, flirts and giggles. Speaks very quickly and distinctly. VASÍLY LEONÍDITCH ZVEZDÍNTSEF. Their son, aged 25; has studied law, but has no definite occupation. Member of the Cycling Club, Jockey Club, and of the Society for Promoting the Breeding of Hounds. Enjoys perfect health, and has imperturbable self-assurance. Speaks loud...

To Business Men. To you, business men, I dedicate these new essays. You have always been the boldest, the most skillful revolutionaries. It was you who, from the third century of the Christian era, drew the winding-sheet over the Roman Empire in Gaul, by your municipal federations. Had it not been for the barbarians, whose coming suddenly changed the aspect of affairs, the republic which you established would have ruled the Middle Ages. Remember that the monarchy in our country is Frankish, not Gallic. It was you who later vanquished feudalism, arraying the town against the castle, the king against the vassals. Finally, it was you who, for eighty years past, have proclaimed, one after the other, all the revolutionary ideas—liberty of worship, liberty of the press, liberty of association, liberty of commerce and industry: it is you who, by your cleverly drawn constitutions, have curbed the altar and the throne, and established upon a permanent...


When we cast a broad glance upon the history of mankind, we see one distinctive feature pervading it from the remotest antiquity up to our own times. On the one aide there are the masses toiling, laboring creating wealth by the labor of their hands, and asking for nothing else -but peace, liberty, and equality among themselves. And on the other side there is a minority, sometimes of foreign conquerors, and sometimes natives of the country itself, who continually aim dominating the masses, at freely enjoying the fruits of their labor, and at rendering their own rule everlasting by means of Law and Force, by an appropriate education, and religious teachings. All the history of mankind is nothing but that struggle between the two hostile force... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


On the 5th of May last the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution began by the commemoration of the opening of the States-General at Versailles, at the same date, in the memorable year of 1789. And Paris—that city which in January last so clearly manifested its dissatisfaction with Parliamentary rule—heartily joined in the festivities organized to celebrate a day when parliamentary institutions, crossing the Channel, went to take firm root on the Continent. Must we see in the enthusiasm of the Parisians one of those seeming contradictions which are so common in the complicated life of large human agglomerations? Or was it the irresistible attraction of a spring festival which induced the Parisians to rush in flock... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The more one studies the French Revolution the clearer it is how incomplete is the history of that great epoch, how many gaps in it remain to be filled, how many points demand elucidation. How could it be otherwise? The Great Revolution, that set all Europe astir, that overthrew everything, and began the task of universal reconstruction in the course of a few years, was the working of cosmic forces dissolving and re-creating a world. And if in the writings of the historians who deal with that period and especially of Michelet, we admire the immense work they have accomplished in disentangling and coordinating the innumerable facts of the various parallel movements that made up the Revolution, we realize at the same time the vastness of the work which still remains to be done. The investigations made during the past thirty years by the school of historical research represented by M. Aulard and the Société de la Revolution française, have certai...


The month of October 1917 is a great historical watershed in the Russian revolution. That watershed consists of the awakening of the toilers of town and country to their right to seize control of their own lives and their social and economic inheritance; the cultivation of the soil, the housing, the factories, the mines, transportation, and lastly the education which had hitherto been used to strip our ancestors of all these assets. However, as we see it, it would be wide of the mark if we were to see all of the content of the Russian revolution encapsulated in October: in fact, the Russian revolution was hatched over the preceding months, a period during which the peasants in the countryside and the workers in the towns grasped the essenti... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)


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... (From : Gutenberg.org.)

The Russian Language--Early folk literature: Folklore-- Songs-Sagas-Lay of Igor's Raid-Annals-The Mongol Invasion; its consequences-Correspondence between John IV. and Kúrbiskíy-Split in the Church-Avvakúm's Memoirs- The eighteenth century: Peter I. and his contemporaries-Tretiakóvsky-Lomonósoff-Sumarókoff-The times of Catherine II.-Derzhávin-Von Wízin-The Freemasons: Novikóff; Radíscheff-Early nineteenth century: Karamzín and Zhukóvskiy-The Decembrists-Ryléeff. One of the last messages which Turguéneff addressed to Russian writers from his death-bed was to implore them to keep in its purity "that precious inheritance of ours.-the Russian Language." He who knew in perfection most...


Written: August 1874; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Bakunin was above all preoccupied with the theory and practice of revolution and wrote very little about how the everyday practical problems of social reconstruction would be handled immediately following a successful revolution. Nevertheless, these problems were intensively discussed in Bakunin’s circle and among the anti-authoritarian sections of the International. In “Ideas on Social Organization”, Guillaume discusses the transition from capitalism to anarchism – a synthesis of “Bakuninist” ideas on how this transition could be effected without the restoration of authoritarian institutions.” Its value li... (From : Marxists.org.)


The two sister arts of Agriculture and Industry were not always so estranged from one another as they are now. There was a time, and that time is not far off, when both were thoroughly combined: the villages were then the seats of a variety of industries, and the artisans in the cities did not abandon agriculture; many towns were nothing else but industrial villages. If the medieval city was the cradle of those industries which fringed art and were intended to supply the wants of the richer classes, still it was the rural manufacture which supplied the wants of the million; so it does until the present day in Russia. But then came the water-motors, steam, the development of machinery, and they broke the link which formerly connected the far... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


In Praise of Idleness This text was first provided by the Massachusetts Green Party, but I found out that they have moved or deleted their page, so now I'm keeping a "mirror" of their text. . In this essay, Lord Bertrand Russell proposes a cut in the definition of full time to four hours per day. As this article was written in 1932, he has not the benefit of knowing that, as we added more wage-earners per family (women entered the work force) and families shrunk (fewer kids), and the means of production become more efficient (better machines) the number of hours each wage-earner must work to support the family has stayed constant. These facts seem to uphold Russell's point. Like most of my generatio... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_idl....)

Chapter III DISTURBING THOUGHTS LIFE went on. Each day brought new conflicting thoughts and emotions. The feature which affected me most was the inequality I witnessed in my immediate environment. I learned that the rations issued to the tenants of the First House of the Soviet (Astoria) were much superior to those received by the workers in the factories. To be sure, they were not sufficient to sustain life--but no one in the Astoria lived from these rations alone. The members of the Communist Party, quartered in the Astoria, worked in Smolny, and the rations in Smolny were the best in Petrograd. Moreover, trade was not entirely suppressed at that time. The markets were doing a lucrative business, though no one seemed able or willing to explain to me where the purchasing capacity came from. The workers could not afford to buy butter which was then 2,000 rubles a pound, sugar at 3,000, or meat at 1,000. The inequality was most apparent in th...

Numbers of Prisoners. Overcrowding.--From an official document communicated to the State Council on March 15, 1909, by the administration of the prisons, it appears that on February 1, 1909, there were in the lock-ups of the Empire 181,137 inmates. This figure, however, does not include those prisoners who are in transportation, and the numbers of whom are estimated officially at about 30,000. Nor does it include an immense number of persons detained at the police lock-ups, both in the towns and in the villages. No approximate idea as to the number of this last category can be obtained, but it has been suggested in the Russian Press that it may be anything between 50,000 and 100,000. The worst is that it is especially in the Police lock-ups that the ill-treatment of the prisoners is the most awful. The famous torture chambers of Grinn at Warsaw, and Gregus at Riga (both condemned by courts) were precisely police lock-ups. The number of inmates...

If the economic situation of Europe can be summed up in these words-industrial and commercial chaos and the failure of capitalist production-the situation in politics can be defined as the rapid breakdown of the State and its entire failure, which will take place very soon. Consider all the various States, from the police autocracy of Russia to the bourgeois oligarchy of Switzerland, and you will not find a single example today (with the possible exception of Sweden and Norway) of a State that is not set on an accelerating course towards disintegration and eventually, revolution. Like wornout old men, their skin shriveled and their feet stumbling, gnawed at by mortal sicknesses, incapable of embarking on the tide of new ideas, the States of Europe squander what strength remains to them, and while living on credit of their past, they merely hasten their ends by squabbling like aged gossips. Having reached a high point in the eighteenth cen...

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