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Note For "Anarchist Morality" This study of the origin and function of what we call "morality" was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. "To each according to his need" seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able foot the bills. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon. Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to "right and wrong" in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality. Kropotkin sees the source of all so-called moral ideas in primitive superstitions. The re...

(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.)

The workingman, whose strength and muscles are so admired by the pale, puny off-springs of the rich, yet whose labor barely brings him enough to keep the wolf of starvation from the door, marries only to have a wife and house-keeper, who must slave from morning till night, who must make every effort to keep down expenses. Her nerves are so tired by the continual effort to make the pitiful wages of her husband support both of them that she grows irritable and no longer is successful in concealing her want of affection for her lord and master, who, alas! soon comes to the conclusion that his hopes and plans have gone astray, and so practically begins to think that marriage is a failure. THE CHAIN GROWS HEAVIER AND HEAVIER As the expenses grow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Alexey Alexandrovitch had gained a brilliant victory at the sitting of the Commission of the 17th of August, but in the sequel this victory cut the ground from under his feet. The new commission for the inquiry into the condition of the native tribes in all its branches had been formed and dispatched to its destination with an unusual speed and energy inspired by Alexey Alexandrovitch. Within three months a report was presented. The condition of the native tribes was investigated in its political, administrative, economic, ethnographic, material, and religious aspects. To all these questions there were answers admirably stated, and answers admitting no shade of doubt, since they were not a product of human thought, always liable to error, but were all the product of official activity. The answers were all based on official data furnished by governors and heads of churches, and founded on the reports of district magistrates and ecclesiastical superintendents, founded...



My life came to a standstill. I could breathe, eat, drink, and sleep, and I could not help doing these things; but there was no life, for there were no wishes the fulfillment of which I could consider reasonable. If I desired anything, I knew in advance that whether I satisfied my desire or not, nothing would come of it. Had a fairy come and offered to fulfill my desires I should not have know what to ask. If in moments of intoxication I felt something which, though not a wish, was a habit left by former wishes, in sober moments I knew this to be a delusion and that there was really nothing to wish for. I could not even wish to know the truth, for I guessed of what it consisted. The truth was that life is meaningless. I had as it were lived, lived, and walked, walked, till I had come to a precipice and saw clearly that there was nothing ahead of me but destruction. It was impossible to stop, impossible to go back, and impossible to close my eyes or avoid seeing tha...

A Tale of 1852'I'm fond of them, very fond! … First-rate fellows! … Fine!' he kept repeating, and felt ready to cry. But why he wanted to cry, who were the first-rate fellows he was so fond of—was more than he quite knew. Now and then he looked round at some house and wondered why it was so curiously built; sometimes he began wondering why the post-boy and Vanyusha, who were so different from himself, sat so near, and together with him were being jerked about and swayed by the tugs the side-horses gave at the frozen traces, and again he repeated: 'First rate … very fond!' and once he even said: 'And how it seizes one … excellent!' and wondered what made him say it. 'Dear me, am I drunk?' he asked himself. He had had a couple of bottles of wine, but it was not the wine alone that was having this effect on Olenin. He remembered all the words of friendship heartily, bashfully, spontaneously (as he believed) addressed to him on his departure. He remembered the clas...

Inquiry Concerning Political Justice by William Godwin 1793 INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MODERN MORALS AND HAPPINESS BOOK I: OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HIS SOCIAL CAPACITY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general benefit. How may the peculiar and independent operation of each individual in the social state most effectually be preserved? How may the security each man ought to possess, as to his life, and the employment of his faculties according to the dictates of his own understanding, be most certainly defended from invasion? How may the indi...

Introduction by the Russian Editor "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 problems of morality: whence originate man's moral conceptions? and , what is the goal of the moral prescriptions and standards? It is for this reason that he subdivided his wo...

FLEETWOOD; or, THE NEW MAN OF FEELING. by WILLIAM GODWIN. IN TWO VOLUMES. Vol. I New York: PRINTED FOR I. RILEY & Co. BOOK-SELLERS, NO. I, CITY HOTEL. 1805. CHAPTER I. I WAS the only son of my father. I was very young at the period of the death of my mother, and have retained scarcely any recollection of her. My father was so much affected by the loss of the amiable and affectionate partner of his days, that he resolved to withdraw forever from those scenes, where every object he saw was ssociated with the ideas of her kindness, her accomplishments, and her virtues: and, being habitually a lover of the sublime and romantic features of nature, he fixed upon a spot in Merionethshire, near the foot of Cader Idr...

Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind from "Unpopular Essays" by Bertrand Russell . The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine, for example, was due to natural causes, and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are human. For six years the civilized nations of the wo... (From :

From: William Godwin . Imogen: A Pastoral Romance From the Ancient British. BOOK THE FIRST CHARACTER OF THE SHEPHERDESS AND HER LOVER. -FEAST OF RUTHYN.-SONGS OF THE BARDS. LISTEN, O man! to the voice of wisdom. The world thou inhabitest was not intended for a theater of fruition, nor destined for a scene of repose. False and treacherous is that happiness, which has been preceded by no trial, and is connected with no desert. It is like the gilded poison that undermines the human frame. It is like the hoarse murmur of the winds that announces the brewing tempest. Virtue, for such is the decree of the Most High, is evermore obliged to pass through the ordeal of temptation, and the thorny paths of adversity. If, in this day of her trial, no foul blot obscure her luster, no irresolution and instability tarnish the clearness of her spirit, then may she rejoice in the view of her approaching reward, and receive with an open heart the...

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 :

Travelers left and entered our car at every stopping of the train. Three persons, however, remained, bound, like myself, for the farthest station: a lady neither young nor pretty, smoking cigarettes, with a thin face, a cap on her head, and wearing a semi-masculine outer garment; then her companion, a very loquacious gentleman of about forty years, with baggage entirely new and arranged in an orderly manner; then a gentleman who held himself entirely aloof, short in stature, very nervous, of uncertain age, with bright eyes, not pronounced in color, but extremely attractive,—eyes that darted with rapidity from one object to another. This gentleman, during almost all the journey thus far, had entered into conversation with no fellow-traveler, as if he carefully avoided all acquaintance. When spoken to, he answered curtly and decisively, and began to look out of the car window obstinately. Yet it seemed to me that the solitude weighed upon him. He seemed to perc...

Front W. C. to J. B. Dear Jack,-You're about right; I do not see how you're going to got rid of landlords and employers of labor. First of all, if they weren't there how should we got any work to do or any wages for it I And second, they are there and wont clear off for our pleasure. Why they are rich by law; a lot of thorn are swindlers and such, but they've kept the right side of the law somehow, and I'd have the law made a bit plainer and tighter so that the scoundrels should not be able to play tricks. As far as I see, its less stealing not more stealing we want, and yet as far as I can make out your Communism, you would have stealing allowed. Why every one would be grabbing everything from every one else if there was no law against ste... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

A Letter to Grover Cleveland, on his false Inaugural Address, the Usurpations and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the consequent Poverty, Ignorance, and Servitude of the People A LETTER TO GROVER CLEVELAND. Section I. To Grover Cleveland: Sir, Your inaugural address is probably as honest, sensible, and consistent a one as that of any president within the last fifty years, or, perhaps, as any since the foundation of the government. If, therefore, it is false, absurd, self-contradictory, and ridiculous, it is not (as I think) because you are personally less honest, sensible, or consistent than your predecessors, but because the government itself—according to your own description of it, and according to the practical administration o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A LIBERAL DECALOGUE By Bertrand Russell Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows: 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed. 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory. 5. Have no respect for the auth... (From :

Natural Law. Lysander Spooner Part First. Chapter 1. The Science of Justice. Section I. The science of mine and thine — the science of justice — is the science of all human rights; of all a man's rights of person and property; of all his rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person. It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace; since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other. These conditions are simply these: viz., first, that each ma... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

No Treason I Lysander Spooner Table of Contents Introductory. No Treason. No. 1. I. II. III. IV. 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. INTRODUCTORY. The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded. On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union. The pri... (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... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

On Vegetarianism First printed in the HUMANE REVIEW, January, 1901 MEN of such high standing in hygiene and biology having made a profound study of questions relating to normal food, I shall take good care not to display my incompetence by expressing an opinion as to animal and vegetable nourishment. Let the cobbler stick to his last. As I am neither chemist nor doctor, I shall not mention either azote or albumen, nor reproduce the formulas of analysts, but shall content myself simply with giving my own personal impressions, which, at all events, coincide with those of many vegetarians. I shall move within the circle of my own experiences, stopping here and there to set down some observation suggested by the petty incidents of life. First o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I. We seek understanding of facts for guidance in action, for avoidance of mistake and suffering, and even for resignation to the inevitable. This statement may cover the chief aims of mankind in intellectual discussion, ignoring now that which is merely a scholastic exercise. I am not in favor of argument in the style of the debating tarnished by a practice of which easily generates an evil habit, and there are, at least as yet, too many occasion in real life on which every person who loves to tell the truth and expose falsehood must consider time and circumstance lest he impale himself upon implacable prejudices. Consequently if duplicity have its uses there need be no fear that it will not be cultivated without concerted efforts thereto ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

William Godwin, The Enquirer. Reflections On Education, Manners, And Literature. In A Series Of Essays. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797. The Enquirer. Part I. Essay I. Of Awakening the Mind The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness. Happiness to the individual in the first place. If individuals were universally happy, the species would be happy. Man is a social being. In society the interests of individuals are interwisted with each other, and cannot be separated. Men should be taught to assist each other. The first object should be to train a man to be happy; the second to train him to be useful, that is, to be virtuous. There is a further reason for this. Virtue is essential to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The young proprietor evidently desired to ask some more questions of the peasants. He did not move from the bench; and he glanced irresolutely, now at Churis, now at the empty, unlighted stove. "Well, have you had dinner yet?" he asked at last. A mocking smile arose to Churis's lips, as though it were ridiculous to him for his master to ask such foolish questions; he made no reply. "What do you mean,—dinner, benefactor?" said the old woman, sighing deeply. "We've eaten a little bread; that's our dinner. We couldn't get any vegetables to-day so as to boil some soup, but we had a little kvas,—enough for the children." "To-day was a fast-day for us, your excellency," remarked Churis sarcastically, taking up his wife's words. "Bread and onions; that's the way we peasants live. Howsomever, praise be to the Lord, I have a little grain yet, thanks to your kindness; it's lasted till now; but there's plenty of our peasants as ain...

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.)

"That will reconcile me to life," writes Emerson, "and renovate nature, to see trifles animated by a tendency, and to know what I am doing." And which of us, tortured and reduced well nigh to despair by the horrible degradation of human dignity in the existing hypocritical and unnatural sexual relations, does not feel the need for such a vision of the end and meaning of our present pain, if still we are to fight on. This essay by K. P.1 is one of those jets of thought which pierce the misty confusion of times when the air is full of the dust of out-worn forms and faded beliefs with a ray of positive and reasoned conviction, pointing the road to a new order in human life more in correspondence with our consciousness of reality. Following the... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

Translated front the French of JEHAN LE VAGRE. VIII.--HARMONY, SOLIDARITY. In the preceding chapter we have seen that individuals will be able to group themselves and understand each other in the organization which will result from their daily relations without the necessity for any authority existing among them, by the mere fact that those who group themselves will have the same affinities, the same tendencies, the same end in view. It remains for us to see if the groups can continue their existence side by side without hindering, troubling, or lighting each other. We firmly believe it, and we will explain the reasons which, in our opinion, make this belief a certainty. If we study the causes of division which in the present society makes ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

An introduction by Robert P. Helms, Philadelphia, May 2013 Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) has drawn plenty of well-deserved attention in recent years by historians of anarchism, of feminism, sex radicalism, and atheism. My research for a book on the early anarchists of Philadelphia has caused me to understand ever more clearly why, during her life, she was considered an intellectual of very high stature, why she was respected by social reformers of many varieties for her body-and-soul dedication to helping and educating the poor, and why she was loved or even revered by fellow anarchists. I spotted a magazine review in the Brooklyn Eagle of Sept. 26, 1893 (p. 4). The October issue of the short-lived Worthington's Illustrated Monthly Magaz... (From :

The spectacle presented at this moment by Europe is deplorable enough but withal particularly instructive. On the one hand, diplomatists and courtiers hurrying hither and thither with the increased activity which displays itself whenever the air of our old continent begins to smell of powder. Alliances are being made and unmade, with much chaffering over the amount of human cattle that shall form the price of the bargain. "So many million head on condition of your house supporting ours; so many acres to feed them, such and such seaports for the export of their wool." Each plotting to overreach his rivals in the market. That is what in political jargon is known as diplomacy. [NOTE. -- While it will be understood that the political situation ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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