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Introduction by Noam Chomsky "Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by rael@ll.mit.edu (Bill Lear) A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Gurin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist th...

The ResurrectionCHAPTER IV. Having breakfasted, Nekhludoff went to the cabinet to see for what hour he was summoned to appear at court, and to answer the Princess' note. In the work-room stood an easel with a half-finished painting turned face downward, and on the wall hung studies in drawing. On seeing that painting, on which he had worked two years, and those drawings, he called to mind the feeling of impotence, which he experienced of late with greatest force, to make further advance in the art. He explained this feeling by the development of a fine esthetic taste, and yet this consciousness caused him unpleasant sensations. Seven years before he had retired from active service he decided that his true vocation in life was painting, and from the height of his artistic activity he looked down upon all other occupations. And now it appeared that he had no right to do so, and every recollection of it was disagreeable to him. He looked on all the luxuri...

The text is from my copy of Alexander Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925. Page numbers are in the source code. CHAPTER IV Moscow February 10, 1920.---The opportunity to visit the capital came unexpectedly: Lansbury and Barry, of the London Daily Herald, were in Petrograd, and I was asked to accompany them to Moscow as interpreter. Though not entirely recovered from my recent illness, I accepted the rare chance, travel between Petrograd and Moscow being limited to absolute necessity. The railroad conditions between the two capitals (both cities are so considered) are deplorable. The engines are old and weak, the road in need of repair. Several times we ran short of fuel, and our engineer left the train to go off into the woods for a fresh supply of wood. Some of the passengers accompanied the crew to...

THE CONQUEST OF BREAD by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER III ANARCHIST COMMUNISM I EVERY society which has abolished private property will be forced, we maintain, to organize itself on the lines of Communistic Anarchy. Anarchy leads to Communism, and Communism to Anarchy, both alike being expressions of the predominant tendency in modern societies, the pursuit of equality. Time was when a peasant family could consider the corn which it grew, or the woolen garments woven in the cottage, as the products of its own toil. But even then this way of looking at things was not quite correct. There were the roads and the bridges made in common, the swamps drained by common toil, and the communal pastures enclosed by hedges which were kept in repair by each and all. If the looms for weaving or the dyes for coloring f...


This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. THE IDEA IS THE THING Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world? If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them. That is the crux of the whole matter: present-day society rests on the belief of the people that it is good and useful. It is founded on the idea of authority and private ownership. It is ideas that maintain conditions. Government and capitalism are the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


"Notes on Anarchism" in For Reasons of State Noam Chomsky, 1970 Transcribed by rael@ll.mit.edu (Bill Lear) A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Gurin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specif... (From : Spunk.org.)

The ABC of Communist AnarchismFrom: Alexander Berkman, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism, New York: Vanguard Press, 1929. What Is Communist Anarchism? CHAPTER V UNEMPLOYMENT I am glad your friend asked the question, for every workingman realizes how important this matter of unemployment is to him. You know what your life is when you are out of work; and when you do have a job, how the fear of losing it hangs over you. You are also aware what a danger the standing army of unemployed is to you when you are out on strike for better conditions. You know that strikebreakers are enlisted from the unemployed whom capitalism always keeps on hand, to help break your strike. 'How does capitalism keep the unemployed on hand?' you ask. Simply by compelling you to work long hours and as hard as possible, so as to produce the greatest amount. All the modern schemes of 'efficiency', the Taylor and other syst...

Proposed Roads To Freedom By Bertrand Russell INTRODUCTION THE attempt to conceive imaginatively a better ordering of human society than the destructive and cruel chaos in which mankind has hitherto existed is by no means modern: it is at least as old as Plato, whose ``Republic'' set the model for the Utopias of subsequent philosophers. Whoever contemplates the world in the light of an ideal--whether what he seeks be intellect, or art, or love, or simple happiness, or all together--must feel a great sorrow in the evils that men needlessly allow to continue, and--if he be a man of force and vital energy--an urgent desire to lead men to the realization of the good which inspires his creative vision. It is this desire which has been the primary force moving the pioneers of Socialism and Anarchism, as it moved the inventors of ideal commonwealths in the past. In this there is nothing new. What is new in Socialis...


II. Replacing the cult of God by respect and love of humanity, we proclaim human reason as the only criterion of truth; human conscience as the basis of justice; individual and collective freedom as the only source of order in society. III. Freedom is the absolute right of every adult man and woman to seek no other sanction for their acts than their own conscience and their own reason, being responsible first to themselves and then to the society which they have voluntarily accepted. IV. It is not true that the freedom of one man is limited by that of other men. Man is really free to the extent that his freedom, fully acknowledged and mirrored by the free consent of his fellowmen, finds confirmation and expansion in their liberty. Man is tr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Russian Revolution Series No.1 The RUSSIAN TRAGEDY (A Review and An Outlook) by Alexander Berkman FOREWORD We live at a time when two civilizations are struggling for their existence. Present society is at death grips with the New Ideal. The Russian Revolution was but the first serious combat of the two forces, whose struggle must continue till the final triumph of the one or of the other. The Russian Revolution has failed - failed of its ultimate purpose. But that failure is a temporary one. In the point of revolutionizing the thought and feeling of the masses of Russia and of the world, in undermining the fundamental concepts of existing society, and lighting the torch of faith and hope for the Better Day, the Russian Revolution has b... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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