Last Essay: "1967" This is Bertrand Russell's last manuscript. Untitled, it was annotated "1967" by Russell, at the age of 95, two or three years before he died. Ray Monk published it first in The Independent of London on the 25th anniversary of the Russell Archives. The essay's politics are uncannily prescient. The time has come to review my life as a whole, and to ask whether it has served any useful purpose or has been wholly concerned in futility. Unfortunately, no answer is possible for anyone who does not know the future. Modern weapons make it practically certain that the next serious war will exterminate the human race. This is admitted by all competent authorities, and I shall not waste time in proving it. Any man who cares what th... (From : mcmaster.ca.)
On the 5th of May last the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution began by the commemoration of the opening of the States-General at Versailles, at the same date, in the memorable year of 1789. And Paris—that city which in January last so clearly manifested its dissatisfaction with Parliamentary rule—heartily joined in the festivities organized to celebrate a day when parliamentary institutions, crossing the Channel, went to take firm root on the Continent. Must we see in the enthusiasm of the Parisians one of those seeming contradictions which are so common in the complicated life of large human agglomerations? Or was it the irresistible attraction of a spring festival which induced the Parisians to rush in flock... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
The month of October 1917 is a great historical watershed in the Russian revolution. That watershed consists of the awakening of the toilers of town and country to their right to seize control of their own lives and their social and economic inheritance; the cultivation of the soil, the housing, the factories, the mines, transportation, and lastly the education which had hitherto been used to strip our ancestors of all these assets. However, as we see it, it would be wide of the mark if we were to see all of the content of the Russian revolution encapsulated in October: in fact, the Russian revolution was hatched over the preceding months, a period during which the peasants in the countryside and the workers in the towns grasped the essenti... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)
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 Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, P.A. Kropotkin, edited and translated by Martin A. Miller. The letter appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the editor and translator. Dmitrov, 4 March, 1920 Esteemed Vladimir Ilich, Several employees of the postal-telegraph department have come to me with the request that I bring to your attention information about their truly desperate situation. As this problem concerns not only the commissariat of mail and telegraphs alone, but the general condition of everyday life in Russia, I hasten to fulfill their request. You know, of course, that to live in the Dmitrov district on the salary received by these employees is absolutely impossible. It is impossible even to buy a bushel ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
VII. --- " VI ET ARMIS." After the death of Henry VIII., the "amiable persuasions of law and reason" were no longer visible even in the State papers. Coercion pure cud simple again came to the fore to continue the policy of the English Government towards Ireland from 1550 to 1887. The sword, the gallows, famine, pestilence, and expatriation each and all were tried, and found most effective when used in combination. The Parliamentary farce was not played during the reign of Edward VI. Dublin officials found the progress hoped for from the administration of the Common law too slow. Martial law was substituted, and "sundry persons" were authorized by the Lord Deputy to execute it where and whensoever it seemed best unto them. The warrant f or ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
VIII.--UNDER GOOD QUEEN BESS. The news that a small body of Spaniards and Italians had taken possession of the fort of Smerwick on the Kerry coast brought the whole of England's force to bear upon that point. Famine forced the little garrison to surrender. The men were disarmed, and Captain (afterwards Sir) Walter Raleigh superintended the cutting of their throats. For this and similar services Raleigh was rewarded with 40,000 acres of land in county Cork, which he afterwards sold for a goodly sum to Richard, first Earl of Cork. The illustrious poet, Edmund Spenser, was present at the Smerwick butchery, but whether he took active part in it or was merely a critical spectator of it we know not. He, however, was presented by his patrons with ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
IX.--THE DE-PLANTATION OF ULSTER. The most scathing indictments of the proceedings of successive English Governments in Ireland may be found in the hearty condemnations which the new men in office passed upon the actions of their predecessors. When the kinglet from Scotland took the reins in hand he professed to be able to guide the refractory Irish into the paths of peace and his own immediate flunkies and toadies into those of prosperity at one and the same time. Instead of the heaps of ashes and carcasses made by Elizabeth's soldiery, James desired to have little farms well-tilled and pastures well-filled whence would flow a rich stream of gold into the royal coffers. The beginning of his reign promised well, for, to quote the notorious ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
MY FURTHER DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA By Emma Goldman, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company; 1924 CHAPTER II RETURNING TO MOSCOW In a country where speech and press are so completely suppressed as in Russia it is not surprising that the human mind should feed on fancy and out of it weave the most incredible stories. Already, during my first months in Petrograd, I was amazed at the wild rumors that circulated in the city and were believed even by intelligent people. The Soviet press was inaccessible to the population at large and there was no other news medium. Every morning Bolshevik bulletins and papers were pasted on the street corners, but in the bitter cold few people cared to pause to read them. Besides, there was little faith in the Communist press. Petrograd was therefore completely cut off, not only from the Western world but even from the rest of Russia. An old revolutionist once said to me: "We no...
Godwin, William. Of Population. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, Paternoster Row, 1820. CHAPTER V. Numbers of Mankind in Ancient and Modern Times Les hommes ne multiplient pas aussi aisément qu'oun le pense. Voltaire, Histoire Générale, CHAP. I. It is not a little singular, and is proper to be commemorated here, that a controversy existed in the early part of the last century, as to the comparative populousness of ancient nations, or the contrary. One of the leaders in this debate was the celebrated Montesquieu; and what he says on the subject is so much to the purpose, that I shall translate the passage. "To amuse in some part," says one of the correspondents in the Persian Letters to another, "the time of my visit to Europe, I devoted myself to the perusal of the historians, ancient and modern; I compare the different ages of the world; I am plea...