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A Confession by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy XI And remembering how those very beliefs had repelled me and had seemed meaningless when professed by people whose lives conflicted with them, and how these same beliefs attracted me and seemed reasonable when I saw that people lived in accord with them, I understood why I had then rejected those beliefs and found them meaningless, yet now accepted them and found them full of meaning. I understood that I had erred, and why I erred. I had erred not so much because I thought incorrectly as because I lived badly. I understood that it was not an error in my thought that had hid truth from me as much as my life itself in the exceptional conditions of epicurean gratification of desires in which I passed it. I understood that my question as to what my life is, and the answer - and evil - was quite correct. The only mistake was that the answer referred only to my li...
• "To me a policeman is worse than a criminal, at least than a minor common criminal; a policeman is more dangerous and harmful to society. However, if people do not feel sufficiently protected by the public, no doubt they immediately call for the policeman. Therefore, the only way of preventing the policeman from existing is to make him useless by replacing him in those functions that constitute a real protection for the public."
• "On the contrary, we do not boast that we possess absolute truth; we believe that social truth is not a fixed quantity, good for all times, universally applicable, or determinable in advance, but that instead, once freedom has been secured, mankind will go forward discovering and acting gradually with the least number of upheavals and with a minimum of friction. Thus our solutions always leave the door open to different and, one hopes, better solutions."
• "The authoritarians, the rulers, either believe they hold an infallible formula, or must pretend to hold it, as they intend to lay down and impose the law. However, all history shows that the law's only use is to defend, strengthen and perpetuate the interests and prejudices prevailing at the time the law is made, thus forcing mankind to move from revolution to revolution, from violence to violence."
The use of the strike as an offensive and defensive weapon against Capitalism has been illustrated during the past few weeks by noteworthy revolts of workers in Leeds and London. In the former city -the men have gained what they desired; in the latter they have supplied the capitalist newspapers with some sensational news by which to catch the pence of the multitude, whilst they have practically lost their, cause and allowed a number of the most energetic among them to lose their employment. The reason of this difference of fortune which has befallen the gas workers of Leeds and the postmen and policemen of London is not far to seek. In the Yorkshire town the men were determined and united. Following up the tactics of the Irish peasants whe... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
• "...where violence intervenes, injustice, oppression and exploitation invariably triumph."
• "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...."
• "Individual property and the principle of authority, in the new disguises of capitalism and parliamentarism, were in that program and had to lead, as has always been the case, to oppression, misery and the dehumanization of the masses."
Part 1 You must often have asked yourselves what is the cause of Anarchism, and why, since there are already so many Socialist schools, it is necessary to found an additional one -- that of Anarchism. In order to answer this question I will go back to the close of last century. You all know the characteristics which marked that epoch: there was all expansion of intelligence a prodigious development of the natural sciences, a pitiless examination of accepted prejudices, the formation of a theory of Nature based on a truly scientific foundation, observation and reasoning. In addition to these there was criticism of the political institutions bequeathed to Humanity by preceding ages, and a movement towards that ideal of Liberty, Equality, and ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying. The workers necessarily strive after a fundamental transformation of society, the result of which must be the abolition of classes, equally in economic as in political respects: after a system of society in which all men will enter the world under special conditions, will be able to unfold and develop themselves, work and enjoy the good things of life. These are the demands of justice. But how can we from the abyss of ignorance, of misery and slavery, in which the workers on the land and in the cities are sunk, arrive at that paradise, the realization of justice and manhood? For this the workers have one means: the Association of Counci... (From : Marxists.org.)
Chapter 2. Causes and Consequences of the Bolshevik Conception It was, as is well known, the political, governmental, statist, centralist conception which won in Russia in 1917. And at this point two preliminary questions arise which need to be clarified before we deal with the events there in that year. What were the fundamental reasons that permitted Bolshevism to triumph over Anarchism in the Russian Revolution? How is thai triumph to be evaluated? The numerical difference between the two groups and the poor organization of the Anarchists is not enough to explain their lack of success. In the course of developments their numbers could have been increased and their organization improved. Violence alone also is not a sufficient reason. If the masses could have been won over to Anarchist ideas in time, violence could not have been used against that movement. Moreover, as will be seen, the...