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 17,672,601 words or 108,426,972 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.
"...'higher powers' exist only through my exalting them and abasing myself." -- Max Stirner
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring against the Czar's Life. The funeral of the dead Czar. A terrorized city. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
There must, says holy Scripture, be factions [partis] : For there must be heresies [Oportet enim hoereses esse]. Terrible. There must! writes Bossuet in profound adoration, without daring to search for the reason behind this There must! A little reflection has revealed to us the principle and the significance of factions: the point is to know their goal and their end. All men are equal and free: society, by nature and destination, is thus autonomous, one might say, ungovernable. If the sphere of activity of each citizen is determined by the natural division of labor and the choice one makes of a profession, social functions are combined so as to produce an effect of harmony, and the order results from the free action of all; there is no government. Whosoever lays a hand on me in order to govern me is a usurper and a tyrant; I declare him my enemy. But social physiology d... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Translated and introduced by Robert Helms Franois-Claudius Koeningstein (Oct. 14, 1859 -- July 11, 1892), known to posterity as Ravachol, was born to Dutch and French parents at Saint-Chamond, near St. Etienne in Eastern France. He was angered by two actions taken by the French government on May 1, 1891. One was at Fourmies, where the newly designed Lebels machine gun was used against a peaceful May Day rally at which women and children were carrying flowers and palms. Casualties there numbered 14 dead and 40 wounded. The other incident was at Clichy, where police attacked a six-man anarchist labor rally. The workers defended themselves with pistol-shots and were subsequently given long terms at hard labor. Ravachol took retribution for the Clichy defendants by bombing the homes of the presiding judge (Mar. 11, 1892) and the prosecutor (Mar. 27, 1892). During the same month he bombed the Lobau Barracks in Paris in response to the Army... (From : Mid-Atlantic Infoshop.)
This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of IISH. The Policy of The International. [The Policy was published in Egalite In 1869. It was translated by K. L. from a German version, in 1911, and was published in the Herald of Revolt, for October of that year under the title of "The Issue." It is now republished under its original title.-ED.] "Up to now we believed," says a reactionary paper, "that the political and religious opinions of a man depended upon the fact of his being a member of the International or not." At first sight, one might think that this paper was correct in its altered opinion. For the International does not ask any new member if he is of a religious or atheistic turn of mind. She does not ask if he belongs to this or that or no political party. She simply says: Are you a worker? If not, do... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
And now, our philosophical parenthesis concluded, let us return to the events [involved in all this]. Part II. About the October Revolution Chapter 1. Bolsheviks and Anarchists Before October Here we find occasion to go back and review the respective positions of the Bolsheviks and the Anarchists prior to the October Revolution. The position of the Bolsheviki on the eve of that revolution was characteristic. It is well to recall, however, that Lenins ideology and the position of his party had changed considerably since 1900. Aware that the Russian laboring masses, once started in revolt, would go far and would not stop at a bourgeois solution especially in a country where the bourgeoisie hardly existed as a class Lenin and his party, in their desire to anticipate and dominate the masses in order to lead them, ended by formulating an extremely advanced revolutionary program. They...
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.
"...the fewer goods or possessions of this kind any people enjoy, the fewer quarrels are likely to arise among them, and the less necessity will there be for a settled police or regular authority to protect and defend them from foreign enemies, or from each other." -- David Hume
(1846 - 1906) ~ Father of Insurrectionary Anarchism : After being released from jail, Most came to the United States, beginning an invasion of anarcho-communism in the states. Most was a passionate anarchist, who believed that the state should be ruled by a collective group of all citizens, without any form of government. (From : Black Flag of Anarchy Bio.)
• "He who negates present society, and seeks social conditions based on the sharing of property, is a revolutionary whether he calls himself an anarchist or a communist." (From : "Anarchist Communism," by Johann Most, 1889.)
• "Anarchism is a world view, a philosophy of society; indeed the philosophy of society, for whoever considers the world and human life in their profoundest senses and their complete development, and then decides on the societal form of greatest desirability, cannot but decide for anarchism. Every other form is a half-measure and a patchwork." (From : "Anarchist Communism," by Johann Most, 1889.)
• "The failure of attempts to attain freedom does not mean the cause is lost. The facts that the struggle for freedom is clearer and stronger than ever before, that today there are different preconditions to achieving the goal, and that we therefore stand nearer anarchy than had been hoped -- proving a development of the desire to wash from the face of the earth what is authoritarian." (From : "Anarchist Communism," by Johann Most, 1889.)
(1845 - 1904) ~ American Egoist and Advocate of Stirner and Tucker : James L. Walker (June 1845 – April 2, 1904), sometimes known by the pen name Tak Kak, was an American individualist anarchist of the Egoist school, born in Manchester. (From : Wikipedia.)
Walker was one of the main contributors to Benjamin Tucker's Liberty. He worked out Egoism on his own some years before encountering the Egoist writings of Max Stirner, and was surprised with the similarities. He published the first twelve chapters of Philosophy of Egoism in the May 1890 to September 1891 issues of Egoism. (From : Wikipedia.)
(1920 - 1996) ~ British Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT-FAI Activist during the Spanish Civil War : A lifelong trade unionist he fought Mosley's blackshirts; actively supported the Spanish revolution's anarchist communes and militias and the German anti-Nazi resistance and was a key player in the second world war Cairo mutiny. (From : AInfos.ca Bio.)
• "Nobody is fit to rule anybody else. It is not alleged that Mankind is perfect, or that merely through his/her natural goodness (or lack of same) he/she should (or should not) be permitted to rule. Rule as such causes abuse." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If Government is the maintenance of privilege and exploitation and inefficiency of distribution, then Anarchy is order." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If we accept the principle of a socialized society, and abolish hereditary privilege and dominant classes, the State becomes unnecessary. If the State is retained, unnecessary Government becomes tyranny since the governing body has no other way to maintain its hold." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
(1869 - 1948) ~ Socialist Activist who Fought for Indian Independence and Pacifism : A complex man with a controversial legacy, Mohandas Gandhi remains one of the pioneers of civil disobedience as a political weapon and a giant in 20th century anti-colonialism. (From : Center for a Stateless Society.)
• "...the shape of reproduction on that sacred soil of gun factories and the hateful industrialism which has reduced the people of Europe to a state of slavery, and all but stifled among them the best instincts which are the heritage of the human family." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
• "The ideally nonviolent state will be an ordered anarchy. That State is the best governed which is governed the least." (From : Gandhi's Wisdom Box (1942), edited by Dewan Ram Pa....)
• "Tolstoy's life has been devoted to replacing the method of violence for removing tyranny or securing reform by the method of nonresistance to evil. He would meet hatred expressed in violence by love expressed in self-suffering. He admits of no exception to whittle down this great and divine law of love. He applies it to all the problems that trouble mankind." (From : "A Letter to a Hindu: The Subjection of India- Its....)
(1870 - 1936) ~ Globe-Trotting Anarchist, Journalist, and Exposer of Bolshevik Tyranny : He was a well-known anarchist leader in the United States and life-long friend of Emma Goldman, a young Russian immigrant whom he met on her first day in New York City. The two became lovers and moved in together, remaining close friends for the rest of Berkman's life. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The state has no soul, no principles. It has but one aim -- to secure power and hold it, at any cost." (From : "The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman, 1....)
• "It must always be remembered - and remembered well - that revolution does not mean destruction only. It means destruction plus construction, with the greatest emphasis on the plus." (From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The R....)
• "But when the industries will again begin to function more or less systematically, [Soviet] Russia will face a very difficult and complex labor situation. Labor organizations, trade unions, do not exist in Russia, so far as the legitimate activities of such bodies are concerned. The Bolsheviki abolished them long ago. With developing production and capitalism, governmental as well as private, Russia will see the rise of a new proletariat whose interests must naturally come into conflict with those of the employing class. A bitter struggle is imminent. A struggle of a twofold nature: against the private capitalist, and against the State as an employer of labor." (From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The R....)