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Note For "Anarchist Morality"

This study of the origin and function of what we call "morality" was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. "To each according to his need" seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able foot the bills. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon.

Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to "right and wrong" in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality.

Kropotkin sees the source of all so-called moral ideas in primitive superstitions. The r...


Why do you clothe me with scarlet of shame? Why do you point with your finger of scorn? What is the crime that you hissingly name When you sneer in my ears, "Thou bastard born?" Am I not as the rest of you, With a hope to reach, and a dream to live? With a soul to suffer, a heart to know The pangs that the thrusts of the heartless give?" I am no monster! Look at me -- Straight in my eyes, that they do not shrink! Is there aught in them you can see To merit this hemlock you make me drink? This poison that scorches my soul like fire, That burns and burns until love is dry, And I shrivel with hate, as hot as a pyre, A corpse, while its smoke curls up to the sky? Will you touch my hand? I... (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.)


The original pamphlet [191?] is in my possession. It is a single sheet, with two pages printed per side and designed to be folded into a four-page flier. Down With the Anarchists! We must get rid of the Anarchists! They are a menace to society. Does not Hearst say so? Do not the M. & M. and the gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce, who have also declared war on Labor, assure us that the Anarchists are dangerous and that they are responsible for all our troubles? Does not every skinner of Labor and every grafting politician shout against the Anarchists? Isn't that enough to prove that the Anarchists are dangerous?      But why are all the money bags and their hirelings so unanimous in condemning... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Inquiry Concerning Political Justice
by William Godwin
1793


ENQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE
AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MODERN MORALS AND HAPPINESS



BOOK I: OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HIS SOCIAL CAPACITY



CHAPTER I



INTRODUCTION



The object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general benefit. How may the peculiar and independent operation of each individual in the social state most effectually be preserved? How may the security each man ought to possess, as to his life, and the employment of his faculties according to the dictates of his own understanding, be most certainly defended from invasion? How may ...


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. 151-172.FRANCISCO FERRER AND THE MODERN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE has come to be considered the best school of life. The man or woman who does not learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon as a dunce indeed. Yet strange to say, that though organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, though they learn nothing from experience, we acquiesce, as a matter of course. There lived and worked in Barcelona a man by the name of Francisco Ferrer. A teacher of children he was, known and loved by his people. Outside of Spain only the cultured few knew of Francisco Ferr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


First published anonymously as "The Handicapped -- By One of Them" in The Atlantic Monthly, 1911; revised and collected in Youth and Life, 1913. It would not perhaps be thought, ordinarily, that the man whom physical disabilities have made so helpless that he is unable to move around among his fellows can bear his lot more happily, even though he suffer pain, and face life with a more cheerful and contented spirit, than can the man whose deformities are merely enough to mark him out from the rest of his fellows without preventing him from entering with them into most of their common affairs and experiences. But the fact is that the former's very helplessness makes him content to rest and not to strive. I know a young man so helples... (From : RaggedEdgemagazine.com.)

THE JOURNAL OF
LEO TOLSTOI
(First Volume—1895–1899)

TRANSLATED FROM THE RUSSIAN
By ROSE STRUNSKY

ALFRED A. KNOPF
NEW YORK · MCMXVII

COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY
ALFRED A. KNOPF

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

INTRODUCTION

The ultimate meaning of the Russian Revolution which took place in March, 1917, can be best understood through the pages of the Journal of Leo Tolstoi which is here printed. The spiritual qualities which make up the mind and personality of Tolstoi are the spiritual qualities which make up the new era among men which is being waged so painfully and so uncompromisingly at the present moment on the soil of Russia. One holds the key to the other, for no land but Russia could have produced a Tolstoi, and in no land but Russia could Tolstoi have been so embraced and so absorbed.

...

CHAPTER IV.

“Well, I am going then to tell you my life, and my whole frightful history,—yes, frightful. And the story itself is more frightful than the outcome.”

He became silent for a moment, passed his hands over his eyes, and began:—

“To be understood clearly, the whole must be told from the beginning. It must be told how and why I married, and what I was before my marriage. First, I will tell you who I am. The son of a rich gentleman of the steppes, an old marshal of the nobility, I was a University pupil, a graduate of the law school. I married in my thirtieth year. But before talking to you of my marriage, I must tell you how I lived formerly, and what ideas I had of conjugal life. I led the life of so many other so-called respectable people,—that is, in debauchery. And like the majority, while leading the l...


Letter to A Non-Comissioned Officer By Leo Tolstoy You are surprised that soldiers are taught that it is right to kill people in certain cases and in war, while in the books admitted to be holy by those who so teach. there is nothing like such a permission, but, on the contrary, not only is all murder forbidden but all insulting of others is forbidden also, and we are told not to do to others what we do not wish done to us. And you ask, Is there not some fraud in all this? And if so, then for whose sake is it committed? Yes, there is a fraud, committed for the sake of those accustomed to live on the sweat and blood of other men, and who therefore have perverted, and still pervert, Christ's teaching, given to man for his good, but... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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