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
THE LESSONS OF TO-DAY. THE HYDE PARK DEMONSTRATION. THERE is something cruel in the part which is assigned to the people in the present political system. Their advice is never asked on a purely and simply defined question. Even the few who are called upon to take part in an election are asked to choose a representative simply as an expression of sympathy and confidence, and if any question at all is put to them, it is so involved in personal and party wranglings that the intrinsic merit of it is quite lost sight of. The usual course, however, is to simply ignore them, and they are only called upon when the time comes for one party to deal an effective blow at another in order to turn it out of office. Then the whole machinery of party is put in motion, all energies are exerted, all resources exhausted, all strategies and devices adopted in order to bring about a great and imposing... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Published: The Masses, January, 1917. Transcribed: Sally Ryan for marxists.org in October, 2002. Many of our friends fail to appreciate the magnitude of the Minnesota strike, involving 15,000 miners and the United States Steel Corporation, and are beguiling themselves into the belief that the murder cases pending are not serious. Mrs. Masonovitch, the woman prisoner, wife of one of the strikers, is a particularly pathetic and appealing figure, a young and beautiful Montenegrin woman, mother of five children, one a nursing baby. She speaks little English, does not understand the proceedings, looks frightened and bewildered and clings frantically to her children. If the parents should he convicted these little ones would be practically orphans. The older ones, twelve and eight, bright, nice boys, tell very clearly what happened on July 3, the night of the tragedy, how the deputies came to arrest their father, how one struck their m... (From : Marxists.org.)
There is a sad lack of Anarchist pamphlets in England, and we gladly welcome our comrade Joseph Lane's contribution of 'An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto' (price 1d., Joseph Lane, 38, Ainsley Street, Bethnal Green Junction, E.), which is an energetic and earnest exposition of Anarchist Socialism from a worker's standpoint. The second portion, which deals with practical politics, is specially interesting. We hope the tract will have a wide circulation. But is it not a pity to use the somewhat clumsy title 'Anti-Statist' rather than the more definite and expressive 'Anarchist'? Why evade the fine old name which for years has rung out in the van of the Socialist movement throughout the world? It is flung at every energetic Socialist, of whatever school, by the privileged classes, just because it expresses so accurately the very climax of their dread. They are willing (under compulsion) to yield sonic of their spoils to keep the workers quiet by improving their material condition; bu... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Everyone has their own definition of anarchism. One I find generally useful is the first three paragraphs of the article Peter Kropotkin was asked to write for the 11 th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica in 1905. This is the collection of volumes which (however repugnant we now find its sales techniques) is the place we look for a working definition of most things. Kropotkins first paragraph said that: ANARCHISM (from the Greek, contrary to authority), is the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
There is a considerable amount of confusion, even among Socialists, as to the real meaning of words that run off the end of our tongues every time we speak of the revolutionary movement. Take, for instance, the words Socialist, Communist, Collectivist, Social Democrat, Anarchist, and collect the opinions of the first half dozen men you meet as to what they understand by them, and you will hear as many interpretations as replies. Yet amid this seeming confusion it is quite possible to gather the general lines of tendency expressed in these disputed terms. Thinking a little about the matter, one soon comes to see that Socialism is an economic term; it refers to man in his relation to wealth. Further, that in spite of all differences of opinion among Socialists, there are certain definite and extremely important points upon which all Socialists are agreed. All Socialists look on the wealth of a community as the result of the common labor of... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
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.
"If you let a single ray of light through the shutter, it will go on diffusing itself without limit till it enlighten the world; but the shadow that was never so wide at first, as rapidly contracts till it comes to naught." -- Henry David Thoreau
(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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)
(1844 - 1912) ~ French Socialist, IWMA Radical, and Leader of the Possibilist Movement : Paul Brousse was then a young doctor, full of mental activity, uproarious, sharp, lively, ready to develop any idea with a geometrical logic to its utmost consequences; powerful in his criticisms of the state and state organization... (From : Memoirs of a Revolutionist.)
• "The Commune is the vehicle of the Revolution." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
• "I'm demanding the complete, definitive, absolute emancipation of all workers." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
• "Make the Revolution or die." (From : "Anarchist Portraits," by Paul Avrich, chapter 18.)
(1946 - ) ~ Scottish Anarchist Publisher and Would-Be Assassin of a Fascist Dictator
Stuart Christie (born 10 July 1946) is a Scottish anarchist writer and publisher. As an 18-year-old Christie was arrested while carrying explosives to assassinate the Spanish caudillo General Franco. He was later alleged to be a member of the Angry Brigade, but was acquitted of related charges. He went on to found the Cienfuegos Press publishing house and in 2008 the online Anarchist Film Channel which hosts films and documentaries with anarchist and libertarian themes. (From : Wikipedia.org.)
(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.)
(1906 - 1990)
Alan John Percivale Taylor FBA (25 March 1906 7 September 1990) was a British historian who specialized in 19th- and 20th-century European diplomacy. Both a journalist and a broadcaster, he became well known to millions through his television lectures. His combination of academic rigor and popular appeal led the historian Richard Overy to describe him as "the Macaulay of our age". (From : Wikipedia.org.)