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ANARCHISM: Its Philosophy and ldeal. Translated from the German by Harry Lyman Koopman. Ever reviled, accursed,-n'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven, The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, That sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! -Thine secure When each at last unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell......but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will No... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.)
I Anarchism, the no-government system of socialism, has a double origin. It is an outgrowth of the two great movements of thought in the economic and the political fields which characterize the nineteenth century, and especially its second part. In common with all socialists, the anarchists hold that the private ownership of land, capital, and machinery has had its time; that it is condemned to disappear; and that all requisites for production must, and will, become the common property of society, and be managed in common by the producers of wealth. And in common with the most advanced representatives of political radicalism, they maintain that the ideal of the political organization of society is a condition of things where the functions o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Section II Anarchist Morality by Peter Kropotkin When our ancestors wished to account for what led men to act in one way or another, they did so in a very simple fashion. Down to the present day, certain catholic images may be seen that represent this explanation. A man is going on his way, and without being in the least aware of it, carries a devil on his left shoulder and an angel on his right. The devil prompts him to do evil, the angel tries to keep him back. And if the angel gets the best of it and the man remains virtuous, three other angels catch him up and carry him to heaven. In this way everything is explained wondrously well. Old Russian nurses full of such lore will tell you never to put a child to bed without unbuttoning the collar of its shirt. A warm spot at the bottom of the neck should be left bare, where the guardian angel may nestle. Otherwise the devil will worry the child even in its sleep.
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.)
To most Americans Anarchy is an evil-sounding word -- another name for wickedness, perversity, and chaos. Anarchists are looked upon as a herd of uncombed, unwashed, and vile ruffians, bent on killing the rich and dividing their capital. Anarchy, however, to its followers actually signifies a social theory which regards the union of order with the absence of all government of man by man; in short, it means perfect individual liberty. If the meaning of Anarchy has so far been interpreted as a state of the greatest disorder, it is because people have been taught that their affairs are regulated, that they are ruled wisely, and that authority is a necessity. In by-gone centuries any person who asserted that mankind could get along without the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Anarchy is a word that comes from the Greek, and signifies, strictly speaking, "without government": the state of a people without any constituted authority. Before such an organization had begun to be considered possible and desirable by a whole class of thinkers, so as to be taken as the aim of a movement (which has now become one of the most important factors in modern social warfare), the word "anarchy" was used universally in the sense of disorder and confusion, and it is still adopted in that sense by the ignorant and by adversaries interested in distorting the truth. We shall not enter into philological discussions, for the question is not philological but historical. The common interpretation of the word does not misconceive its tru... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The ResurrectionThe cell in which Maslova was confined was an oblong room, twenty feet by fifteen. The kalsomining of the walls was peeled off, and the dry boards of the cots occupied two-thirds of the space. In the middle of the room, opposite the door, was a dark iron, with a wax candle stuck on it, and a dusty bouquet of immortelles hanging under it. To the left, behind the door, on a darkened spot of the floor, stood an ill-smelling vat. The women had been locked up for the night. There were fifteen inmates of this cell, twelve women and three children. It was not dark yet, and only two women lay in their cots; one a foolish little woman—she was constantly crying—who had been arrested because she had no written evidence of her identity, had her head covered with her coat; the other, a consumptive, was serving a sentence for theft. She was not sleeping, but lay, her coat under her head, with wide-open eyes, and with difficulty retaining in her throat the tickling, g...
What is most significant, it seems to me, is the earnest attention paid to the Children and Family as a subject, the desire of parents to be Informed and thereby do their best, rather than following their wit and impulse; or to say this another way, what is significant is the importance assigned in our society to Psychology itself? for Psychology is still by and large the family-psychology that Freud made it discussing the problems of jealousy, infantile dependency authority, submissiveness and rebelliousness, and sibling competition: and problems of spite, moral prejudice and other reaction-formations springing from instinctual deprivation. This interest in the Children is of course hopeful, for the increase of wisdom cannot fail to remedy... (From : http://www.tao.ca/~freedom/goodman.html.)
If I were asked to give my opinion, as a geographer, on the pending conflict on the Afghan frontier, I should merely open the volume of Elisée Reclus's Geographie Universelle L'Asie, Russe, and show the pages he has consecrated under this head to the description of the Afghan Turkistan. Summing up the result of his extensive careful and highly impartial studies of Central Asia, Reclus has not hesitated to recognize that, geographically, the upper Oxus and all the northern slope of the Iran and Afghan plateaux belong to the Ural-Caspian region, and that the growing influence of the Slavonian might cannot fail to unite, sooner or later, into one political group, the various parts of this immense basin. And, surely, nobody who has studi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I. THE PLACE OF THE COMMUNE IN SOCIALIST EVOLUTION On March 18, 1871, the people of Paris rose against a despised and detested government, and proclaimed the city independent free, belonging to itself. This overthrow of the central power took place without the usual stage effects of revolution, without the firing of guns, without the shedding of blood upon barricades. When the armed people came out into the streets, the rulers fled away, the troops evacuated the town, the civil functionaries hurriedly retreated to Versailles carrying everything they could with them. The government evaporated like a pond of stagnant water in a spring breeze, and on the nineteenth the great city of Paris found herself free from the impurity which had defiled ... (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.)
To the Editor of The Open Court: Possessed of rather more than ordinary interest in the sex question, and agreeing with Professor Cope that any proposition for the amelioration of the condition of women should be discussed and decided by women, I am moved to certain remarks suggested by his article on “The Material Relations of Sex” in the first number of The Monist. All through its perusal I was impressed by his unconscious recognition of an underlying question, which, apart from woman’s inferiority, determines the relations of the sexes. This is plainly apparent in the paragraph alluding to the communistic system of wealth production and distribution, in which he admits the possibility of promiscuous sex-relations. While... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
TRANSLATORS' PREFACE Kropotkin's "Ethics: Origin and Development," is, in a sense, a continuation of his well-known work, "Mutual Aid as a Factor of Evolution." The basic ideas of the two books are closely connected, almost inseparable, in fact: -- the origin and progress of human relations in society. Only, in the "Ethics" Kropotkin approaches his theme through a study of the ideology of these relations. The Russian writer removes ethics from the sphere of the speculative and metaphysical, and brings human conduct and ethical teaching back to its natural environment: the ethical practices of men in their everyday concerns -- from the time of primitive societies to our modern highly organized States. Thus conceived, ethics becomes a subject of universal interest; under the kindly eyes and able pen of the great Russian scholar, a subject of special and academic study becomes closely linked to whatever is significant in the life and thought of all men.
In every revolutionary history three things are to be observed: The preceding state of affairs, which the revolution aims at overthrowing, and which becomes counter-revolution through its desire to maintain its existence. The various parties which take different views of the revolution, according to their prejudices and interests, yet are compelled to embrace it and to use it for their advantage. The revolution itself, which constitutes the solution. The parliamentary, philosophical, and dramatic history of the Revolution of 1848 can already furnish material for volumes. I shall confine myself to discussing disinterestedly certain questions which may illuminate our present knowledge. What I shall say will suffice, I hope, to explain the progress of the Revolution of the Nineteenth Century, and to enable us to conjecture its future. This is not a statement of facts: it is a speculative plan, an intellectual picture of the Revolution.
Speaking of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualility in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 minds of men are in confusion, for the very foundations of our civilization seem to be tottering. People are losing faith in the existing institutions, and the more intelligent realize that capitalist industrialism is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve. The world is at a loss for a way out. Parliamentarism and democracy are on the decline. Salvation is being sought in Fascism and other forms of "strong" government. The struggle of opposing ideas now going on in the world involves social problems urgently demanding a solution. The welfare of the individual and the fate of human society depend on the right answer to those questions The crisis, unemployment, war, disarmament, international relations, etc., are among those p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
No one at all capable of an intense conscious inner life need ever hope to escape mental anguish and suffering. Sorrow and often despair over the so-called eternal fitness of things are the most persistent companions of our life. But they do not come upon us from the outside, through the evil deeds of particularly evil people. They are conditioned in our very being; indeed, they are interwoven through a thousand tender and coarse threads with our existence. It is absolutely necessary that we realize this fact, because people who never get away from the notion that their misfortune is due to the wickedness of their fellows never can outgrow the petty hatred and malice which constantly blames, condemns, and hounds others for something that is... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
“All of us, men and women, are brought up in these aberrations of feeling that we call love. I from childhood had prepared myself for this thing, and I loved, and I loved during all my youth, and I was joyous in loving. It had been put into my head that it was the noblest and highest occupation in the world. But when this expected feeling came at last, and I, a man, abandoned myself to it, the lie was pierced through and through. Theoretically a lofty love is conceivable; practically it is an ignoble and degrading thing, which it is equally disgusting to talk about and to remember. It is not in vain that nature has made ceremonies, but people pretend that the ignoble and the shameful is beautiful and lofty. “I will tell you brutally and briefly what were the first signs of my love. I abandoned myself to beastly excesses, not only not ashamed of them, but proud of them, giving no thought to the intellectual life of my wife. And not only did I not think of her in...
Personal; not for print Viola. Muswill Hill Row London, N. November 20, 1908 Dear Berkman You are quite right in taking a hopeful view of the progress of our ideas in America. It would have been far greater, I am sure, if the American anarchists had succeeded in merging themselves into the mass of the workingmen. So long as they remain a knot, a handful, aristocratically keeping apart from the mass of the working men -- they may display the most heroic devotion to the cause of labor -- as you did. Dear, good friend -- their efforts will remain fruitless and their teachings will appeal more to the intellectual bourgeois who rebels against certain restraints in Art, in relations between man and woman, than to the worker. They will remain the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Chapter 1 "When ignorance reigns in society and disorder in the minds of men, laws are multiplied, legislation is expected to do everything, and each fresh law being a fresh miscalculation, men are continually led to demand form it what can proceed only from themselves, from their own education and their own morality." It is no revolutionist who says this, nor even a reformer. It is the jurist, [Joseph] Dallois, author of the Collection of French law known as Repertoire de la Legislation. And yet, though these lines were written by a man who was himself a maker and admirer of law, they perfectly represent the abnormal condition of our society. In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Manifesto of the Sixteen From various sides, voices are raised to demand immediate peace. There has been enough bloodshed, they say, enough destruction, and it is time to finish things, one way or another. More than anyone, and for a long time, we and our journals have been against every war of aggression between peoples, and against militarism, no matter what uniform, imperial or republican, it dons. So we would be delighted to see the conditions of peace discussed—if that was possible—by the European workers, gathered in an international congress. Especially since the German people let itself be deceived in August 1914, and if they really believed that they mobilized for the defense of their territory, they have since had ... (From : Libertarian-Labyrinth, http://libertarian-labyrint....)
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, while it is true that some marriages are based on love,... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Most of the letters on marriage in the Daily Telegraph have been well worthy of the silly season; none of them have thrown fresh light on the most difficult of Social problems. And what else could be expected when the editor boasts that he has excluded every correspondent who might perchance "bring a blush to the cheek of the Young Person" by any ill advised attempt to go to the root of the matter, socially, economically, physiologically or psychologically? Nevertheless, in spite of all the platitudes of all the prudes, the controversy as a whole is highly significant. It would have been of some importance if only from the fact that the question "Is marriage a failure?" has stared at every passer by from the notice board of every news-agent... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
The autobiographies which we owe to great minds have in former times generally been of one of three types: 'So far I went astray, thus I found the true Path' (St Augustine); or, 'So bad was I, but who dares to consider himself better!" (Rousseau); or, 'This is the way a genius has slowly been evolved from within and by favorable surroundings'(Goethe). In these forms of self-representation the author is thus mainly pre-occupied with himself. In the nineteenth century the a autobiographies of men of mark are more often shaped on lines such as these: 'So full of talent and attractive was I; such appreciation and admiration I won!' (Johanne Louise Heiberg, 'A Life lived once more in Reminiscence'); or, 'I was full of talent and worthy of being loved, but yet I was unappreciated, and these were the hard struggles I went through before I won the crown of fame' (Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Tale of a Life'). The main Pre-occupation of the writer, in these two classes of...
• "...official "morality"... serves to defend the privilege and violence of the ruling class..."
• "...Âhuman history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labor of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery."
• "The fact is that human life is not possible without profiting by the labor of others, and that there are only two ways in which this can be done: either through a fraternal, equalitarian and libertarian association, in which solidarity, consciously and freely expressed unites all mankind; or the struggle of each against the other in which the victors overrule, oppress and exploit the rest...."
A Factor of EvolutionMutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution Peter Kropotkin 1902 INTRODUCTION Two aspects of animal life impressed me most during the journeys which I made in my youth in Eastern Siberia and Northern Manchuria. One of them was the extreme severity of the struggle for existence which most species of animals have to carry on against an inclement Nature; the enormous destruction of life which periodically results from natural agencies; and the consequent paucity of life over the vast territory which fell under my observation. And the other was, that even in those few spots where animal life teemed in abundance, I failed to find -- although I was eagerly looking for it -- that bitter struggle for the means of existence, among animals belonging to the same species, which was considered by most Darwinists (though not always by Darwin himself) as the dominant characteristic of struggle for life, and the main factor of evolution. The...
Note to the article individualism and anarchism by adamas Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volontà, n. 15, August 1, 1924) Adamas reply to my article in n. 13 shows that I did not express my thought well, and induces me to add some clarifications. I claimed that individualist anarchism and communist anarchism are the same, or nearly so, in terms of moral motivations and ultimate goals. I know that one could counter my claim with hundreds of texts and plenty of deeds of self-proclaimed individualist anarchists, which would demonstrate that individualist anarchist and communist anarchist are separated by something of a moral abyss. However, I deny that that kind of individualists can be included among anarchis... (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. Th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)