Revolt Library : Revolutionary Materials from the Past
Welcome to RevoltLib! Here you will find an archive of materials from the past that once helped people to abolish the state, fight capitalism, end sexism, demolish imperialism, and eliminate all forms of social domination. Information is power -- arm yourself!
This archive contains 3,717 texts, with 17,667,148 words or 108,422,490 characters.
A collection of historic materials detailing Anarchism, Libertarianism, and Anti-Authoritarianism. By understanding more about the past, we can better apply the principles we discover today.
"As to parliamentary rule, and representative government altogether... It is becoming evident that it is merely stupid to elect a few men, and to entrust them with the task of making laws on all possible subjects, of which subject most of them are utterly ignorant." -- Peter Kropotkin
There is no question with which Anarchists are more commonly met than, "What is to be done with criminals in a society where there is no government? You say that the present system of coercion is a cruel wrong to human nature; you say that the masses, when they rise to overthrow the economic tyranny of the property owners, will destroy all this elaborate machinery of law-court and prison, and indeed it is a fact that the opening of prison doors has been a prominent feature of popular revolts; but surely you cannot wish and intend to let the criminal class loose upon society?" And the most selfish and brutal of respectable objectors will go on discoursing about the "criminal class" in the tone of the Pharisee of all ages when be has occasion to allude to the Publican. Even people whose kindly disposition shrinks from carelessly condemning other human beings to a fate which they themselves look upon with loathing, and who are consequently dissati... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
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 man is starving, but he may not pluck so much as a turnip to save his life. The wind cuts to the marrow of his bones, but out in the open he must he if he cannot purchase shelter. This is the lot of the modern proletariat reduced to destitution. It is the condition thousands of unemployed and penniless continually must face. This very day, in every " civilized" country, thousands will have gone without a meal. This very night thousands will shiver on park benches, or huddle themselves into a fitful sleep within some friendly doorway. A life no decent-minded man would wish his dog to lead. Even here we do not touch bottom. Not only must the man starve to-day; he must go on starving. This night he is shelterless, and for weeks and months he may have no roof to cover him. He may not say, "I will go to work and raise for myself the food without which I cannot live." He may not lay hands on the materials scattered all around him and build the modest cabi... (From : Google Books.)
Professor Sidgwick has compiled for the British Association a list of permissible exceptions to the principle of laissez-faire. There is an opening now for some gentleman to. compile a list of permitted exceptions to the other principle : that of interference by armed government It would be shorter and much less comprehensive than Professor Sidgwick's. To understand the Governmental application of laissez-faire learn the two -following rules of thumb. 1. When the proprietors molest the proletariat, laissez-faire. 2. When the proletariat resist the proprietors, interfere to help, the proprietors. There are no exceptions to these rules. For examples of their working, apply to Sir Redvers Buller, Co. Clare, Ireland, any time during the winter. Mr. Fisher Unwin has published a boo k advocating Home Rule with Imperial Federation as the solution of the... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
In preparing the Life of Albert R. Parsons for publication I have been actuated by one desire alone, viz.: that I might demonstrate to every one, the most prejudiced as well as the most liberal minds: first, that my husband was no aider, nor abettor, nor counselor of crime in any sense. Second, that he knew nothing of nor had anything to do with the preparation for the Haymarket meeting, and that the Haymarket meeting was intended to be peaceable, and was peaceable until interfered with by the police. Third, that Mr Parsons connection with the labor movement was purely and simply for the purpose of bettering the condition of his fellow men; that he gave his time, talents, and at last his life, to this cause. In order to make these facts undeniable, I obtained articles from persons holding avowedly adverse views with his, but who were nevertheless willing to testify to his innocence of the crime for which he suffered death, and his sterling integrity... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
About the people and individuals of the past who have made up revolutions, whether they were active revolutionaries or brilliant theoreticians. If we know how they lived in the past, we might know what's possible to do today.
"Civilization, therefore, or that which is so-called, has operated two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the other more wretched, than would have been the lot of either in a natural state." -- Thomas Paine
(1828 - 1910) ~ Father of Christian Anarchism : In 1861, during the second of his European tours, Tolstoy met with Proudhon, with whom he exchanged ideas. Inspired by the encounter, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana to found thirteen schools that were the first attempt to implement a practical model of libertarian education. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people's work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government, frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments. But neither Germans nor Russians nor Frenchmen desire to fight their neighbors or other people; but, living in peace, they dread war more than anything else in the world." (From : "Letter to a Non-Commissioned Officer," by Leo Tol....)
• "There are people (we ourselves are such) who realize that our Government is very bad, and who struggle against it." (From : "A Letter to Russian Liberals," by Leo Tolstoy, Au....)
• "...for no social system can be durable or stable, under which the majority does not enjoy equal rights but is kept in a servile position, and is bound by exceptional laws. Only when the laboring majority have the same rights as other citizens, and are freed from shameful disabilities, is a firm order of society possible." (From : "To the Czar and His Assistants," by Leo Tolstoy, ....)
(1808 - 1887) ~ Individualist Anarchist and Unitarian Christian Abolitionist : The greatest natural rights thinker of the 19th century was the American lawyer and maverick individualist Lysander Spooner. He responded to the tumultuous events of his era, including the Panic of 1837 and the Civil War, with pamphlets about natural rights, slavery, money, trial by jury and other timely subjects. (From : Jim Powell Bio.)
• "The doctrine that the majority have a right to rule proceeds upon the principle that minorities have no right in the government; for certainly the minority cannot be said to have any rights in a government so long as the majority alone determine what their rights shall be." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)
• "Again, the doctrine that the minority ought to submit to the will of the majority proceeds, not upon the principle that government is formed by voluntary association and for an agreed purpose on the part of all who contribute to its support, but upon the presumption that all government must be practically a state of war and plunder between opposing parties..." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)
• "There is no particle of truth in the notion that the majority have a right to rule, or exercise arbitrary power over, the minority simply because the former are more numerous than the latter. Two men have no more natural right to rule one than one has to rule two." (From : "Free Political Institutions," by Lysander Spooner.)
17th Century, British Leveller and Protestant Reformer
Gerrard Winstanley (19 October 1609 10 September 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer, political philosopher, and activist during The Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley was the leader and one of the founders of the English group known as the True Levelers or Diggers for their beliefs, and for their actions. The group occupied public lands that had been privatized by enclosures and dug them over, pulling down hedges and filling in ditches, to plant crops. True Levelers was the name they used to describe themselves, whereas the term Diggers was coined by contemporaries. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
(1912 - 1995) ~ Canadian Anarchist Essayist and Literary Critic : ...sought to raise awareness of the revolution in Spain and of what was being achieved by the Spanish working class against great odds. He was a firm believer in the working class's ability to reorganize society along fundamentally democratic and egalitarian lines. (From : Kevin Doyle Bio.)
• "Only if he is willing to accept of the hazards of living by his faith or his wits can the man without money avoid living as a slave to the clock." (From : "The Tyranny of the Clock," by George Woodcock, 19....)
• "These two centuries [the eighteenth and ninteenth], it should be observed, were those in which capitalism grew to such an extent that it was able to take advantage of the industrial revolution in technique in order to establish its domination over society." (From : "The Tyranny of the Clock," by George Woodcock, 19....)
• "...the clock represents an element of mechanical tyranny in the lives of modern men more potent than any individual exploiter or any other machine." (From : "The Tyranny of the Clock," by George Woodcock, 19....)
(? - 1989) ~ American Yippy, Youth International Founder and Flower Power Activist
Abbot Howard Hoffman (November 30, 1936 April 12, 1989) was an American political and social activist, anarchist, a socialist, and revolutionary who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"). He was also a leading proponent of the Flower Power movement.