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 3,593 texts, with 12,622,001 words or 78,543,003 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.
"...there is no revolution without the masses..." -- Mikhail Bakunin
Emma Goldman, The Social Significance of the Modern Drama (Boston: Richard G. Badger, 1914; The Gorham Press, Boston, U.S.A.) THE SCANDINAVIAN DRAMA: HENRIK IBSEN AN ENEMY OF SOCIETY DR. THOMAS STOCKMANN is called to the position of medical adviser to the management of the "Baths," the main resource of his native town. A sincere man of high ideals, Dr. Stockmann returns home after an absence of many years, full of the spirit of enterprise and progressive innovation. For as he says to his brother Peter, the town Burgomaster, "I am so glad and content. I feel so unspeakably happy in the midst of all this growing, germinating life. After all, what a glorious time we do live in. It is as if a new world were springing up around us." Burgomaster. Do you really think so? Dr. Stockmann. Well, of course, you can't see this as clearly...
An introduction by Robert P. Helms, Philadelphia, May 2013 Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) has drawn plenty of well-deserved attention in recent years by historians of anarchism, of feminism, sex radicalism, and atheism. My research for a book on the early anarchists of Philadelphia has caused me to understand ever more clearly why, during her life, she was considered an intellectual of very high stature, why she was respected by social reformers of many varieties for her body-and-soul dedication to helping and educating the poor, and why she was loved or even revered by fellow anarchists. I spotted a magazine review in the Brooklyn Eagle of Sept. 26, 1893 (p. 4). The October issue of the short-lived Worthington's Illustrated Monthly Magazine was described in summary form, and mid-way through, it read, "'Some Nihilists I have Met' is an interesting paper by Voltairine de Cleyre, who exhibits a specimen of that so... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The Population Myth--I by Murray Bookchin The "population problem" has a Phenix-like existence: it rises from the ashes at least every generation and sometimes every decade or so. The prophecies are usually the same namely, that human beings are populating the earth in "unprecedented numbers" and "devouring" its resources like a locust plague. In the days of the Industrial Revolution, Thomas Malthus, a craven English parson, formulated his notorious "law of population" which asserts that while food supplies expand only arithmetically, population soars geometrically. Only by wars, famines, and disease (Malthus essentially argued) can a "balance" be struck between population and food supplies. Malthus did not mean this to be an argument to foster human welfare; it was an unfeeling justification for the inhuman miseries inflicted on the mass of English people by land grabbing aristo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Since the Paris Commune no event in the world-wide evolution of the struggle between Socialism and the existing order of society has been so important, so significant, as the tragedy of Chicago. Standing as we do to-day at more than twelve months' distance from the series of events which culminated in the judicial murder of the Eleventh of November, we are able to estimate their meaning with a calmer certainty than amid the storm of horror, indignation and pity which the wrongs of our comrades aroused last year, not only among Socialists but among all workmen aware of the facts. Good men are being murdered for their devotion to the cause of freedom; let us save them, or if that may not be, at least let us protest against the crime. Such was the feeling which at the moment united Socialist and Radical, Revolutionist and Parliamentarian. First, as to the facts of the Chicago affair itself. Fuller inquiry, more complete and detailed informati... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Is the child to be considered as an individuality, or as an object to be molded according to the whims and fancies of those about it? This seems to me to be the most important question to be answered by parents and educators. And whether the child is to grow from within, whether all that craves expression will be permitted to come forth toward the light of day; or whether it is to be kneaded like dough through external forces, depends upon the proper answer to this vital question. The longing of the best and noblest of our times makes for the strongest individualities. Every sensitive being abhors the idea of being treated as a mere machine or as a mere parrot of conventionality and respectability, the human being craves recognition of his kind. It must be borne in mind that it is through the channel of the child that the development of the mature man must go, and that the present ideas of the educating or training of the latter in the school... (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.
"You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year." -- Mark Twain
(1902 - 1990) ~ Russian Emigre and American Anarchist Activist : He rode the rails for the Wobblies, sometimes as a gandy dancer (or maintenance man), or else hopping boxcars, and he always looked for the chance to stand in front of a crowd and, in that broken cello of a voice. (From : IWW.org.)
• "The increasing complexity of society is making anarchism MORE and NOT LESS relevant to modern life. It is precisely this complexity and diversity, above all their overriding concern for freedom and human values that led the anarchist thinkers to base their ideas on the principles of diffusion of power, self-management and federalism." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The very fact that autonomy, decentralization and federalism are more practical alternatives to centralism and statism already presupposes that these vast organizational networks now performing the functions of society are prepared to replace the old bankrupt hyper-centralized administrations." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "Society without order (as the word 'society' implies) is inconceivable. But the organization of order is not the exclusive monopoly of the State. For, if the State authority is the sole guarantee of order, who will watch the watchmen?" (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
(1919 - 2014) ~ Socialist Youth Leader and Anti-Fascist Military Correspondent : She was a member of Juventudes Socialistas Unificadas (Socialist Youth), the youth organization mainly directed by Partido Comunista de España (PCE, Communist Party of Spain). Despite her initial involvement she quickly grew disillusioned with the path that the Stalinists were taking. (From : Poumista Bio.)
• "It is a good photo, it reflects the feelings we had at the time. Socialism had arrived and the clients of the hotel had gone." (From : Independent Obituary, 2014.)
• "We had no idea what was really happening, we were that innocent..." (From : Independent Obituary, 2014.)
• "They say I have a striking way of looking at the camera. That's possible, because we were well aware of the mystique surrounding a revolution of the proletariat..." (From : Independent Obituary, 2014.)
(1830 - 1905) ~ Exiled Anarchist Geographer, Environmentalist, and Animal Rights Activist : Reclus was also actively involved in a number of societies during this time, including the Freemasons, the Freethinkers, the International Brotherhood of Michael Bakunin, and a number of anarchist cooperatives. In 1864, Elisée and Elie even helped to co-found the first Rochdale-type cooperative in Paris... (From : Samuel Stephenson Bio.)
• "Everything that can be said about the suffrage may be summed up in a sentence. To vote is to give up your own power. To elect a master or many, for a long or short time, is to resign one's liberty." (From : "Why Anarchists Don't Vote," by Élisée Reclus.)
• "How can a worker, enrolled by you among the ruling class, be the same as before, since now he can speak in terms of equality with the other oppressors?" (From : "Why Anarchists Don't Vote," by Élisée Reclus.)
• "The possession of power has a maddening influence; parliaments have always wrought unhappiness. In ruling assemblies, in a fatal manner, the will prevails of those below the average, both morally and intellectually." (From : "Why Anarchists Don't Vote," by Élisée Reclus.)
(1811 - 1886) ~ Radical, American Preacher and Utopian Socialist : In 1847, Noyes moved his community to Oneida, New York. The community followed Noyes's teachings and managed economically through agriculture and industry. Their most controversial practice was that of complex marriage, where no two individuals where exclusively attached to one another. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "As a man who has passed through a series of passional excitements, is never the same being afterwards, so we insist that these socialistic paroxysms have changed the heart of the nation ; and that a yeanling toward social reconstruction has become a part of the continuous, permanent, inner experience of the Anlerican people." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
• "The only laudable object anyone can have in rehearsing and studying the histories of the socialistic failures, is that of learning fronl them practical lessons for guidance in present and future experiments." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
• "...we do not see how Socialism on a large scale is going to be propagated. Exceptional Associations may be formed here and there by careful selection and special good fortune; but how general society is to be resolved into Communities, without some such transformation of existing organizations, we do not pretend to foresee." (From : "American Socialism," by John Humphrey Noyes.)
(1798 - 1874) ~ Early American Individualist Anarchist Publisher and Writer : Equally notable as an inventive genius, a social philosopher, and a peaceful revolutionist, Josiah Warren stands forth, by descent, by his practical, all-round talents, by the force of an earnest life's work, as an American of the sturdy pioneer type whose brawn and brains have formed the true foundation of the republic. (From : William Bailie Bio.)
• "It is worse than useless, it is calamitous, to legislate as if it were possible to divest ourselves of this involuntary instinct of self- preservation or self-sovereignty, and those who accept or act on such pledge commit as great an error as those who give it, and all contracts to this effect being impossible of fulfillment are null and void." (From : "True Civilization," by Josiah Warren.)
• "It is not till after long and painful experience and study that we discover that the precedents, traditions, authorities, and fictions upon which society has been allowed to grow up, do not coincide with each other, nor with the great unconquerable primitive or divine laws." (From : "True Civilization," by Josiah Warren.)
• "Primitive nature insists on an Individuality in a personal lead, and it is in vain for us to contend against it." (From : "True Civilization," by Josiah Warren.)