Note For "Anarchist Morality" This study of the origin and function of what we call "morality" was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. "To each according to his need" seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able foot the bills. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon. Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to "right and wrong" in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality. Kropotkin sees the source of all so-called moral ideas in primitive superstitio...
The workingman, whose strength and muscles are so admired by the pale, puny off-springs of the rich, yet whose labor barely brings him enough to keep the wolf of starvation from the door, marries only to have a wife and house-keeper, who must slave from morning till night, who must make every effort to keep down expenses. Her nerves are so tired by the continual effort to make the pitiful wages of her husband support both of them that she grows irritable and no longer is successful in concealing her want of affection for her lord and master, who, alas! soon comes to the conclusion that his hopes and plans have gone astray, and so practically begins to think that marriage is a failure. THE CHAIN GROWS HEAVIER AND HEAVIER As the expenses grow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima. From the scientific point of view, the atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind. Atoms are so minute that it might have seemed impossible to know as much as we do about them. A million million bundles, each containing a million million hydrogen atoms, would weigh about a gram and a half. Each hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus, and an electron going round the nucleus, as the earth goes round the sun. The distance from the nucleus to the electron is usually about a hundred-m... (From : mcmaster.ca.)
FLEETWOOD; or, THE NEW MAN OF FEELING. by WILLIAM GODWIN. CHAPTER II The proper topic of the narrative I am writing is the record of my errors, To write it, is the act of my pentinence and humiliation. I can expect however few persons to interest themselves respecting my errors, unless they are first informed what manner of man I am, what were my spontaneous and native dispositions, and whether I am such a one as that my errors are worthy of commiseration and pity. This must be my apology for the topic I am here to introduce, a topic on which all ingenous minds are disposed to be silent, and which shall in this place be passed over as flightly as possible, my beneficence and charities. I was fond of penetrating into the cottages of the poor. I should be greatly unjust to myself, if I suffered the reader to suppose that the wild eleva...
Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind from "Unpopular Essays" by Bertrand Russell . The misfortunes of human beings may be divided into two classes: First, those inflicted by the non-human environment and, second, those inflicted by other people. As mankind have progressed in knowledge and technique, the second class has become a continually increasing percentage of the total. In old times, famine, for example, was due to natural causes, and although people did their best to combat it, large numbers of them died of starvation. At the present moment large parts of the world are faced with the threat of famine, but although natural causes have contributed to the situation, the principal causes are human. For six years the civilized nations of the wo... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_ide....)
From: William Godwin . Imogen: A Pastoral Romance From the Ancient British. BOOK THE FOURTH SONG IN HONOUR OF THE FAIR SEX. HYPOCRISY OF THE MAGICIAN. THE TRIUMPH OF IMOGEN. DESPAIR AND CONSOLATION OF RODERIC. So much was Roderic discouraged by the apparent spirit and firmness of these declarations, that at the conclusion of them he abruptly quitted his captive, and released her for a moment from his unjust persecutions. His pride however was too strongly piqued, and his passions too much alarmed to permit her a real respite Where ever, cried he, as he trod with hasty and irregular steps the level green, "where ever were found such simplicity, and so much strength of judgment, and gaiety of wit in union? Is it possible for the extreme of simplicity and the perfection of intellect to meet together? These surely are paradoxes, that not all the goblins of the abyss can solve, and which, had they been related instead of seen, must have...
Chapter 1 "When ignorance reigns in society and disorder in the minds of men, laws are multiplied, legislation is expected to do everything, and each fresh law being a fresh miscalculation, men are continually led to demand form it what can proceed only from themselves, from their own education and their own morality." It is no revolutionist who says this, nor even a reformer. It is the jurist, [Joseph] Dallois, author of the Collection of French law known as Repertoire de la Legislation. And yet, though these lines were written by a man who was himself a maker and admirer of law, they perfectly represent the abnormal condition of our society. In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 pu... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Letter From Bakunin to Elisée Reclus February 15, 1875 YOU are right, the revolutionary tide is receding and we are falling back into evolutionary periods --- periods during which barely perceptible revolutions gradually germinate... The time for revolution has passed not only because of the disastrous events of which we have been the victims (and for which we are to some extent responsible), but because, to my intense despair, I have found and find more and more each day, that there is absolutely no revolutionary thought, hope, or passion left among the masses; and when these qualities are missing, even the most heroic efforts must fail and nothing can be accomp... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...where violence intervenes, injustice, oppression and exploitation invariably triumph."
• "...fortunately there exists in Man another feeling which draws him closer to his neighbor, the feeling of sympathy, tolerance, of love, and, thanks to it, mankind became more civilized, and from it grew our idea which aims at making society a true gathering of brothers and friends all working for the common good."
• "...if one closely examines what happens deep down, in the intimate daily lives of the mass of humanity, one finds that as well as the struggle to snatch better working conditions, the thirst for domination, rivalry, envy and all the unhealthy passions which set man against man, is also valuable work, mutual aid, unceasing and voluntary exchange of services, affection, love, friendship and all that which draws people closer together in brotherhood. And human collectivizes advance or decay, live or die, depending on whether solidarity and love, or hatred and struggle, predominate in the community's affairs; indeed, the very existence of any community would not be possible if the social feelings, which I would call the good passions, were not stronger than the bad."