Section II Anarchist Morality by Peter Kropotkin When our ancestors wished to account for what led men to act in one way or another, they did so in a very simple fashion. Down to the present day, certain catholic images may be seen that represent this explanation. A man is going on his way, and without being in the least aware of it, carries a devil on his left shoulder and an angel on his right. The devil prompts him to do evil, the angel tries to keep him back. And if the angel gets the best of it and the man remains virtuous, three other angels catch him up and carry him to heaven. In this way everything is explained wondrously well. Old Russian nurses full of such lore will tell you never to put a child to bed without unbuttoning the collar of its shirt. A warm spot at the bottom of the neck should be left bare, where the guardian angel may nestle. Otherwise the devil will worry the child even in its sleep.
Translated by C.J. HOGARTH CONTENTS I. A SLOW JOURNEY II. THE THUNDERSTORM III. A NEW POINT OF VIEW IV. IN MOSCOW V. MY ELDER BROTHER VI. MASHA VII. SMALL SHOT VIII. KARL IVANITCH’S HISTORY IX. CONTINUATION OF KARL’S NARRATIVE X. CONCLUSION OF KARL’S NARRATIVE XI. ONE MARK ONLY XII. THE KEY XIII. THE TRAITRESS XIV. THE RETRIBUTION XV. (From : Gutenberg.org.)
Faith is that which invests life with meaning, that which gives strength and direction to life. Every living man discovers this meaning and lives upon it. Having failed to discover it, he dies. In his search, man avails himself of all that humanity has achieved. All that has been achieved by humanity is called revelation. Revelation is that which helps man to comprehend the meaning of life. Such is the relation of man to faith. What a wonderful thing, then! Men appear, who toil unceasingly to make other people enjoy just this and no other form or revelation; who cannot rest until others accept their, just their form of revelation, and who damn, execute, kill, as many as they can of the dissenters. Others do the same: damn, execute, and kill... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
"But perhaps I have overlooked something, or misunderstood something?" said to myself several times. "It cannot be that this condition of despair is natural to man!" And I sought for an explanation of these problems in all the branches of knowledge acquired by men. I sought painfully and long, not from idle curiosity or listlessly, but painfully and persistently day and night - sought as a perishing man seeks for safety - and I found nothing. I sought in all the sciences, but far from finding what I wanted, became convinced that all who like myself had sought in knowledge for the meaning of life had found nothing. And not only had they found nothing, but they had plainly acknowledged that the very thing which made me despair - namely the senselessness of life - is the one indubitable thing man can know. I sought everywhere; and thanks to a life spent in learning, and thanks also to my relations with the scholarly world, I had access to scientists...
On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea --- an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies-living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and sw... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
TRANSLATORS' PREFACE Kropotkin's "Ethics: Origin and Development," is, in a sense, a continuation of his well-known work, "Mutual Aid as a Factor of Evolution." The basic ideas of the two books are closely connected, almost inseparable, in fact: -- the origin and progress of human relations in society. Only, in the "Ethics" Kropotkin approaches his theme through a study of the ideology of these relations. The Russian writer removes ethics from the sphere of the speculative and metaphysical, and brings human conduct and ethical teaching back to its natural environment: the ethical practices of men in their everyday concerns -- from the time of primitive societies to our modern highly organized States. Thus conceived, ethics becomes a subject of universal interest; under the kindly eyes and able pen of the great Russian scholar, a subject of special and academic study becomes closely linked to whatever is significant in the life and...
Published by Freiheit Publishing Association New York Among all mental diseases which man has systematically inoculated into his cranium, the religious pest is the most abominable. Like all things else, this disease has a history; it only regrettable that in this case nothing will be found of the development from nonsense to reason, which is generally assumed to be the course of history. Old Zeus and his double, Jupiter, were still quite decent, jolly, we might even say, somewhat enlightened fellows, if compared with the last triplet on the pedigree of gods who, on examination, can safely rival with Vitzliputzli as to brutality and cruelty. We won't argue at all with the pensioned or dethroned gods, for they no longer do any harm. But the m... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
SPEAKING of Puritanism in relation to American art, Mr. Gutzon Borglum said: "Puritanism has made us self-centered and hypocritical for so long, that sincerity and reverence for what is natural in our impulses have been fairly bred out of us, with the result that there can be neither truth nor individualality in our art." Mr. Borglum might have added that Puritanism has made life itself impossible. More than art, more than estheticism, life represents beauty in a thousand variations; it is indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change. Puritanism, on the other hand, rests on a fixed and immovable conception of life; it is based on the Calvinistic idea that life is a curse, imposed upon man by the wrath of God. In order to redeem himself man... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
I. The Doctrine Of Non-Resistance To Evil By Force Has Been Professed By A Minority Of Men From The Very Foundation Of Christianity II. Criticisms Of The Doctrine Of Non-Resistance To Evil By Force On The Part Of Believers And Of Unbelievers III. Christianity Misunderstood By Believers IV. Christianity Misunderstood By Men Of Science V. Contradiction Between Our Life And Our Christian Conscience VI. Attitude Of Men Of The Present Day To War VII. Significance Of Compulsory Service VIII. Doctrine Of Non-Resistance To Evil By Force Must Inevitably Be Accepted By Men Of The Present Day IX. The Acceptance Of The Christian Conception Of Life Will Emancipate Men From The Miseries Of Our Pagan Life X. Evil Cannot Be Suppressed By The Physical Force Of The Government&Mdash;the Moral Progr...
"They Shall Not Pass!" They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, Their vict'ry turns to dust and ashes still; What tho' the tyrants should our bodies slay, The spirit free lives on and 'scapes their will. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When all have given their lives for liberty, Tyrants will know the price they have to pay T'enthralled a people fighting to be free. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When men as yet unborn shall read the story, They'll judge 'twixt those who stood in... (From : Anarchy Archives.)