Many Anarchists and thinkers in general, whilst recognizing the immense advantages which Communism may offer to society, yet consider this form of social organization a danger to the liberty and free development of the individual. This danger is also recognized by many Communists, and, taken as a whole, the question is merged in that other vast problem which our century has laid bare to its fullest extent: the relation of the individual to society. The importance of this question need hardly be insisted upon. The problem became obscured in various ways. When speaking of Communism, most people think of the more or less Christian and monastic and always authoritarian Communism advocated in the first half of this century and practiced in certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
On the 5th of May last the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution began by the commemoration of the opening of the States-General at Versailles, at the same date, in the memorable year of 1789. And Paris—that city which in January last so clearly manifested its dissatisfaction with Parliamentary rule—heartily joined in the festivities organized to celebrate a day when parliamentary institutions, crossing the Channel, went to take firm root on the Continent. Must we see in the enthusiasm of the Parisians one of those seeming contradictions which are so common in the complicated life of large human agglomerations? Or was it the irresistible attraction of a spring festival which induced the Parisians to rush in flock... (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. 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.)
Ideals and Realities of Russian Literature Peter Kropotkin CHAPTER VIII POLITICAL LITERATURE: SATIRE: ART CRITICISM: CONTEMPORARY NOVELISTS POLITICAL LITERATURE-Difficulties of Censorship-The Circles - Westerners and Slavophiles-Political Literature abroad: Herzen - Ogaryoff - Bakunin - Lavróff - Stepniak - The Contemporary and Tchernyshévskiy - SATIRE: Schedrin (Saltykóff) - ART CRITICISM: Its Importance in Russia - Byelinskiy - Dobroluboff - Pisareff - Mihailovskiy - Tolstoy's What is Art? - CONTEMPORARY NOVELISTS - Otel - Korolénko - Present Drift of Literature - Merezherovskiy - Boborykin - Potapenko - Tchéhoff. POLITICAL LITERATURE To speak of political literature in a country which has no political liberty, and where nothin...
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.)
This text was taken from the 1st edition of Memoirs of a Revolutionist, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1899. MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONIST PART FIRST CHILDHOOD III OUR father was very proud of the origin of his family, and would point with solemnity to a piece of parchment which hung on a wall of his study. It was decorated with our arms, --- the arms of the principality of Smolénsk covered with the ermine mantle and the crown of the Monomáchs, --- and there was written on it, and certified by the Heraldry Department, that our family originated with a grandson of Rostisláv Mstislávich the Bold (a name familiar in Russian history as that of a Grand Prince of Kíeff), and that our ancestors had been Grand Princes of Smolénsk. "It cost me three hundred rubles to obtain that parchment," our father used to say. Like most peop...
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 -- and a well-chosen one -- it was taken up by the par... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Freedom Press London Introduction In the year 1837, Adolphe Blanqui (brother of the revolutionary leader from whom the Blanquists took their name) wrote a book, The History of Political Economy. He showed in it the importance which economics had in the history of humanity for the determination of political forms and also for the building up of current ideas on Right, Morals and Philosophy. Sixty years ago, Liberals and Radicals concentrated their thoughts on politics, and were altogether unaware of the new industrial conditions which were in course of formation out of the ruins of the old regime. It was from Blanquis point of view quite legitimate that in order to draw attention upon economics and upon the Socialist movement which was... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The last students' disturbances in Russia were quite different from all the disturbances which have taken place in the Russian universities for the last forty years. They began, as all students' movements begin, with an insignificant incident, which concerned the students alone; but, owing to a series of circumstances quite peculiar to Russia, they took, all of a sudden, a political complexion; and in this respect they acquired such a significance that they will now count in the history of the constitutional movement in Russia as an important milestone. Consequently it is impossible to speak of the last events without going deeper than their surface — that is, without touching upon the general problem of education in Russia, and witho... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Since the publication of this book Englishmen have for the first time the opportunity of learning the life and ideas, the sufferings and wrongs of the people of Russia. The voiceless, unknown masses of cultivators of the soil, 83 percent of the whole population, have hitherto been vaguely pictured in English minds as a herd of coarse and brutalized semi-barbarians. In Stepniak's book they start into vivid reality as a nation of lovable and social human beings. Nay more, they appear before us as men whose social and personal development is in some directions wider than our own, men who bear a message of enlargement to the Teutons and Kelts of Western Europe. In his previous works Stepniak has shown the English public how the Russian governme... (From : AnarchyArchives.)