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THE CONFESSION OF A CONVICT By Alexander Berkman (The 19th of December, 1913, was "confession evening" at the "Twilight Club", New York, among whose members are the "best" people, supreme court judges, and other pillars of society. "Confessions" were made by a drunkard, a dope fiend, an actress, a labor agitator, a convict, etc., some of whom spoke in complete darkness, to hide their identity.) This is an evening of confession, and I therefore at once confess myself a lawbreaker, a criminal -- if you will -- and a convict. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, I beg your kind indulgence, for the convict's manner is uncouth, his speech ragged, his thoughts indecently naked. For only the convict, the outcast from the fold of ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The Death Penalty La Peine de MortTranslated by Natalya Ratan and Virginia Anton. By Elisée Reclus I do not have the honor of being a Swiss Citizen and know only imperfectly the means to petition the removal of an article, but it is an issue of human agitation in all civilized countries As an international citizen I have the right to address this issue. Unfortunately I also am French and my motherland is also a country of executioners and the guillotine, that we have invented and use everyday Enemies of the death penalty. I must try to find their origins. Is if justifiable that it takes away from the right to self defense? If it is, it will be difficult to oppose it because we all have the right to self defense, against bea... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Let me begin my address with a confession. I make it sorrowfully and with self-disgust; but in the presence of great sacrifice we learn humility, and if my comrades could give their lives for their belief, why, let me give my pride. Yet I would not give it, for personal utterance is of trifling importance, were it not that I think at this particular season it will encourage those of our sympathizers whom the recent outburst of savagery may have disheartened, and perhaps lead some who are standing where I once stood to do as I did later. This is my confession: Fifteen years ago last May when the echoes of the Haymarket bomb rolled through the little Michigan village where I then lived, I, like the rest of the credulous and brutal, read ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
LAW AND AUTHORITY: AN ANARCHIST ESSAY BY PIERRE KROPOTKIN. PRICE THREEPENCE. LONDON: WILLIAM REEVES, 83 CHARING CROSS ROAD, W. C. 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, Dalloy, 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 p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
On Order Peter Kropotkin We are often reproached for accepting as a label this word *anarchy*, which frightens many people so much. "Your ideas are excellent", we are told, "but you must admit that the name of your party is an unfortunate choice. Anarchy in common language is synonymous with disorder and chaos; the word brings to mind the idea of interests clashing, of individuals struggling, which cannot lead to the establishment of harmony". Let us begin by pointing out that a party devoted to action, a party representing a new tendency, seldom has the opportunity of choosing a name for itself. It was not the *Beggars* of Brabant who made up their name, which later came to be popular. But, beginning as a nickname - an... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
From: Selected works of Voltairine de Cleyre By Voltairine De Cleyre, Alexander Berkman, and Hippolyte Havel The Paris Commune Voltairine De Cleyre THE Paris Commune, like other spectacular events in human history, has become the clinging point for many legends, alike among its enemies and among its friends. Indeed, one must often question which was the real Commune, the legend or the fact,— what was actually lived, or the conception of it which has shaped itself in the world-mind during those forty odd years that have gone since the 18th of March, 1871. It is thus with doctrines, it is thus with personalities, it is thus with events. Which is the real Christianity, the simple doctrine attributed to Christ or the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The text is from my copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 115-132. PRISONS: A SOCIAL CRIME AND FAILURE IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil: "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Prisons and Crime. Three Essays by A.B. III. Crime. Society makes not the least effort to prevent crime, as it could and should by pursuing such methods which would tend to remove the conditions breeding criminals. It deals with criminals, not with crime. It concerns itself only with the classes or individuals already criminal --- generally after the commitment of a crime and occasionally while in the act of commitment --- completely disregarding those standing on the precipice. of criminality; ready to take their fatal leap. Along t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
WILLIAM GODWIN GODWIN'S OWN ACCOUNT OF CALEB WILLIAMS As written for insertion in the edition of FLEETWOOD when that novel was reprinted in Bentley's "Standard Novels' as No. XXII (1832) London, November 20, 1832 CALEB WILLIAMS has always been regarded by the public with an unusual degree of favor. The proprietor of "THE STANDARD NOVELS" has therefore imagined, that even an account of the concoction and mode of writing the work would be viewed with some interest. I had always felt in myself some vocation towards the composition of a narrative of fictitious adventure; and among the things of obscure note, which I have above referred to, were two or three pieces of this nature. It is not therefore extraordinary that some project of the sort should have suggested itself on the present occasion [after the publication of Po...
'Thou Shalt Not Kill' By Leo Tolstoy 'Thou shalt not kill.' -EXOD. xx. 13. 'The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master.' -LUKE vi. 40 'For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.' -MATT xxvi. 52. 'Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' - MATT. vii. 12. When Kings are executed after trial, as in the case of Charles L, Louis XVI., and Maximilian of Mexico; or when they are killed in Court conspiracies, like. Peter Ill., Paul, and various Sultans, Shahs, and Khans-little is said about it; but when they are killed without a trial and without a Court conspiracy- as in the case of ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)