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THE CONQUEST OF BREAD

by P. Kropotkin


PREFACE

ONE of the current objections to Communism and Socialism altogether, is that the idea is so old, and yet it could never be realized. Schemes of ideal States haunted the thinkers of Ancient Greece; later on, the early Christians joined in communist groups; centuries later, large communist brotherhoods came into existence during the Reform movement. Then, the same ideals were revived during the great English and French Revolutions; and finally, quite lately, in 1848, a revolution, inspired to a great extent with Socialist ideals, took place in France. "And yet, you see," we are told, "how far away is still the realization of your schemes. Don't you think that there is some fundamental error in your understanding of human nature and its needs?"

At first sight this objection seems very serious. However, the...

CHAPTER THREE:

THE POSSIBILITIES OF AGRICULTURE

The development of agriculture--Over-population prejudice-- Can the soil of Great Britain feed its inhabitants?-- British agriculture-- Compared with agriculture in France; in Belgium; in Denmark--Market-gardening; its achievements--Is it profitable to grow wheat in Great Britain?-- American agriculture: intensive culture in the States.

THE industrial and commercial history of the world during the last fifty years has been a history of decentralization of industry. It was not a mere shifting of the center of gravity of commerce, such as Europe witnessed in the past, when the commercial hegemony migrated from Italy to Spain, to Holland, and finally to Britain: it had a much deeper meaning, as it excluded the very possibility of commercial or industrial hegemony. It has shown the growth of quite new conditions, and new conditions require new adaptations. To endeavor to revive the past would be useless:...


Kropotkin, P. (1885). "Finland: a Rising Nationality". The Nineteenth Century. March, pp. 527-46. Finland: A Rising Nationality. By Peter Kropotkin      National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background tho... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

This text was taken from Ideas and Realities in Russian Literature. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1915.

Chapter II
Púshkin -- Lérmontoff

PÚSHKIN: Beauty of form -- Púshkin and Schiller -- His youth; his exile; his later career and death -- Fairy tales: Ruslán and Ludmíla -- His lyrics -- "Byronism" -- Drama -- Evghéniy Onyéghin -- LÉRMONTOFF:Púshkin or Lérmontoff? -- His life -- The Caucasus -- Poetry of Nature -- Influence of Shelley -- The Demon -- Mtzyri -- Love of freedom -- His death -- Púshkin and Lérmontoff as prose-writers -- Other poets and novelists of the same epoch.
PÚSHKIN

Púshkin is ...

This text was taken from In Russian and French Prisons, London: Ward and Downey; 1887.

In Russian and French Prisons

by P. Kropotkin


CHAPTER III

THE FORTRESS OF ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL.

     No Autocracy can be imagined without its Tower or its Bastille. The St. Petersburg Autocracy is no exception to the rule, and it has its Bastille in the Petropavlovskaya Fortress. This fortress, unlike the Bastille of Paris, has nothing particularly gloomy in its outer aspect, nothing striking. Its low granite bastions facing the Neva have a modern appearance; it contains the Mint, a cathedral where the Emperors and their families are buried, several buildings occupied by engineers and military, extensive arsenals in the new Cronwerk in the north; and the ordinary street traffic passes through it in the day-time.

     But a sensation of horror...


From Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, P.A. Kropotkin, edited and translated by Martin A. Miller. The letter appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the editor and translator. Dmitrov (Moscow province) 21 December, 1920 Respected Vladimir Illich, An announcement has been placed in Izvestiia and in Pravda which makes known the decision of the Soviet government to seize as hostages SRs [Social Revolutionary party members] from the Savinkov groups, White Guards of the nationalist and tactical center, and Wrangel officers; and, in case of an [assassination] attempt on the leaders of the soviets, to “mercilessly exterminate” these hostages. Is there really no one around you to remind your ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

This text was taken from the 1st edition of Memoirs of a Revolutionist, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1899.

X

IT was in August, 1857, when I was nearly fifteen, that my turn came to enter the corps of pages, and I was taken to St. Petersburg. When I left home I was still a child; but human character is usually settled in a definite way at an earlier age than is generally supposed, and it is evident to me that under my childish appearance I was then very much what I was to be later on. My tastes, my inclinations, were already determined.

The first impulse to my intellectual development was given, as I have said, by my Russian teacher. It is an excellent habit in Russian families --- a habit now, unhappily, on the decline --- to have in the house a student who aids the boys and the girls with their lessons, even when they are at a gymnasium. For a better assimilation of...

Letter to the Workers of Western Europe
The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Government Letter to the Workers of Western Europe   Dmitrov, Russia,April 28, 1919 I have been asked if I did not have a message for the workers of the western world. Certainly there is plenty to say an learn of the actual events in Russia. As the message would have to be long to cover all, I will indicate only the principal points. First, the workers of the civilized world and their friend in other classes ought to prevail on their governments to abandon entirely the idea of armed intervention in Russia whether openly or secretly. Russia is undergoing now a revolution of the same extent and importance as England under went in 1639 to '48, and France in 1789 to '94. Ever... (From : Marxists.org.)

This text is from my copy of Kropotkin, P. "The State: Its Historic Role," London: Freedom Press, 1946; The Translator notes are from the Vanguard version.

Translator's Notes


When Kropotkin was invited by Jean Grave, editor of Les Temps Nouveaux, to take part in a series of lectures to be held in the Milles Colonnes Hall in Paris in March 1896, he chose two subjects: The State: Its Historic Role and Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Its Ideal. Bearing in mind that his greatest work, Mutual Aid, had been appearing as a series of articles in The Nineteenth Century from 1890-1896 his choice of subjects for these lectures is not surprising. Kropotkin explains in the French edition of his Memoirs "The research that I carried out in the course of familiarizing myself with the institutions of the barbarian period and t...

The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936

Preface

These essays are less an analysis of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-39 than an evocation of the greatest proletarian and peasant revolution to occur over the past two centuries. Although they contain a general overview and evaluation of the Anarchist and Anarchosyndicalist movements (the two should be clearly distinguished) in the three-year struggle at the end of the 1930s, they are not intended to be a full account of those complex events.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Revolution was the farthest-reaching movement that the Left ever produced, for reasons the essays that follow will make clear. The Spanish proletariat and peasantry, led largely by Anarchist militants whose names will never be known to us, strained the limits of what we in the 1930s called "proletarian socialism" and went appreciably beyond them. Far more than the leaders of the Anarchosyndicalist National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist ...

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