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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, 4 March, 1920 Esteemed Vladimir Ilich, Several employes of the postal-telegraph department have come to me with the request that I bring to your attention information about their truly desperate situation. As this problem concerns not only the commissariat of mail and telegraphs alone, but the general condition of everyday life in Russia, I hasten to fulfill their request. You know, of course, that to live in the Dmitrov district on the salary received by these employes is absolutely impossible. It is impossible even to buy a bushel of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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, prosec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
There is a considerable amount of confusion, even among Socialists, as to the real meaning of words that run off the end of our tongues every time we speak of the revolutionary movement. Take, for instance, the words Socialist, Communist, Collectivist, Social Democrat, Anarchist, and collect the opinions of the first half dozen men you meet as to what they understand by them, and you will hear as many interpretations as replies. Yet amid this seeming confusion it is quite possible to gather the general lines of tendency expressed in these disputed terms. Thinking a little about the matter, one soon comes to see that Socialism is an economic term; it refers to man in his relation to wealth. Further, that in spite of all differences of opinio... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
NIGHT in a prison cell! A chair, a bed, a small washstand, four blank walls, ghastly in the dim light from the corridor without, a narrow window, barred and sunken in the stone, a grated door! Beyond its hideous iron latticework, within the ghastly walls, -a man! An old man, gray-haired and wrinkled, lame and suffering. There he sits, in his great loneliness, shut in front all the earth. There he walks, to and fro, within his measured space, apart from all he loves! 'There, for every night in five long years to come, he will walk alone, while the white age-flakes drop upon his head, while the last years of the winter of life gather and pass, and his body draws near the ashes. Every night, for five long years to come, he will sit alone, this... (From : Anarchy Archives.)