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From: Freiheit, July 25, 1885 Action as Propaganda by Johann Most We have said a hundred times or more that when modern revolutionaries carry out actions, what is important is not solely these actions themselves but also the propagandistic effect they are able to achieve. Hence, we preach not only action in and for itself, but also action as propaganda. It is a phenomenally simple matter, yet over and over again we meet people, even people close to the center of our party, who either do not, or do not wish, to understand. We have recently had a clear enough illustration of this over the Lieske affair... So our question is this: what is the purpose of the anarchists' threats -- an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth -- if they are not follow... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Address of the Free Constitutionalists to the People of the United States Lysander Spooner (Boston: Thayer & Eldridge, 1860). Table of Contents Note to Second Edition. Address. I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. XXIII. XXIV. A Few friends of freedom, who believe the Constitution of the United States to be a sufficient warrant for giving liberty to all the people of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


FROM A SOCIAL DEMOCRAT. In the July number of "Freedom" you state in reply to Comrade Underwood, a member of the Social Democratic Federation, that if he or any other Social Democrat will state his objections to Anarchist Communism, you will gladly answer them. Underwood not having sent in his objections, I take this opportunity of stating what I conceive to be some of the serious drawbacks to the realization of your ideals. In the first place, if I understand you rightly, Anarchists are against all laws and government. Now what do we Social Democrats mean by law; a common sense regulation, in conformity, with the best interests of the community, every adult having a voice in the making of the law, such law not to become binding until accep... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested--rulers, lawyers, clerics--have carefully enwound her. She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. But the inveterate enemies of thought--the government, the lawgiver, and the priest--soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs. Then, profiting by the servility of thought and of character, which they themselves have so effectually cultivated; profiting, too,...

Inquiry Concerning Political Justice by William Godwin 1793 INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MODERN MORALS AND HAPPINESS BOOK I: OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HIS SOCIAL CAPACITY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general benefit. How may the peculiar and independent operation of each individual in the social state most effectually be preserved? How may the security each man ought to possess, as to his life, and the employment of his faculties according to the dictates of his own understanding, be most certainly defended from invasion? How may the individuals of the human species be made to contribute most substantially to the general impr...

BOOK V Of Legislative and Executive Power CHAPTER X OF HEREDITARY DISTINCTION Birth considered as a physical cause - as a moral cause. - Education of the great. - Recapitu- altion A PRINCIPLE deeply interwoven with both monarchy and aristocracy in their most flourishing state, but most deeply with the latter, is that of hereditary preeminence. No principle can present a deeper insult upon reason and justice. Examine the new-born son of a peer, and of a mechanic, Has nature designated in different lineaments their future fortune? Is one of them born with callous hands and an ungainly form? Can you trace in the other the early promise of genius and understanding, of virtue and honor? We have been told indeed 'that nature will break out',1and that The eaglet of a valiant nest will quickly tower Up to the region of his fire;1 and the tale was once b...


Social Democrats in nearly all countries begin to reap what they have sown. For years the propaganda of principles has had to stand back before the reckless strife for votes to conquer political and municipal power, as the phrase goes. Their ranks were swelled on one side by masses of voters, whose real convictions and prejudices remained for the greater part untouched; on the other side, by politicians and self-seeking persons who were on the lookout for a party which would accept them as leaders. Among the inevitable consequences of these superficial flippant tactics are some apparent successes of a kind that makes sincere members of the party blush with shame--like the admission of Millerand, the French Socialist politician, to the Minis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Written: August 1874; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Bakunin was above all preoccupied with the theory and practice of revolution and wrote very little about how the everyday practical problems of social reconstruction would be handled immediately following a successful revolution. Nevertheless, these problems were intensively discussed in Bakunin’s circle and among the anti-authoritarian sections of the International. In “Ideas on Social Organization”, Guillaume discusses the transition from capitalism to anarchism – a synthesis of “Bakuninist” ideas on how this transition could be effected without the restoration of authoritarian institutions.” Its value li... (From : Marxists.org.)

Or An Essay on the Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in their IdeasSECTION VI. How is the Right of Property acquired. The right of property, in material wealth, is acquired, in the first instance, in one of these two ways, viz.: first, by simply taking possession of natural wealth, or the productions of nature; and, secondly, by the artificial production of other wealth. Each of these ways will be considered separately. 1. The natural wealth of the world belongs to those who first take possession of it. The right of property, in any article of natural wealth, is first acquired by simply taking possession of it. Thus a man, walking in the wilderness, picks up a nut, a stick, or a diamond, which he sees lying on the ground before him. He thereby makes it his property—his own. It is thenceforth his, against all the world. No other human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right, on the ground of pro...


“Be realistic, do the impossible” A Libertarian Marx? Marx’s famous address “The Civil War in France”, written in the name of the General Council of the International Working Mens Association two days after the crushing of the Paris Commune, is an inspiring text for Libertarians. Writing in the name of the International in which Bakunin had extensive influence, in it Marx revises some passages of the Communist Manifesto of 1848. In the Manifesto Marx and Engels had developed the notion of a proletarian evolution by stages. The first stage would be the conquest of political power, thanks to which the instruments of production, means of transport and credit system, would ‘by degrees’, be centralized i... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)


Chinese society is at the darkest stage now. Under such circumstances, young people become impotent and weak without the power to resist corruption. Even the brave ones can only keep quiet and submit to fate. When it is really unbearable, suicide is the only way out. China is paralyzed; where can we find happiness? Some conscious youth believe that the only way to improve China’s current situation is to promote “nationalism,” and identify “nationalism” as the only road to happiness for the Chinese. Voices of “nationalism” have spread all over the nation. I shudder at such a thought. “Nationalism” is in fact the obstacle to human progress. Being a member of this society, I cannot accept nationalis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Letter From Paris
A new illusion to the fore. When, oh when, we may well ask, shall we see the last? Trades' unionism, cooperation, Socialistic legislation, universal suffrage, labor representation, all have had their day in this or other countries, and have failed to bring about social equality and justice. Now to the great joy of all reactionaries, another failure is about to be added to the list--I mean the Labor Exchange. A few days ago, wandering in the Paris streets, I happened to stop in front of a building which is being adapted for a Labor Exchange. A workman, perceiving the interest with which I watched the work began to talk to me. "Here at last," said he, "is an institution for the benefit of the working classes! Now-a-days the workman out of emp... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


The attempt of the local authorities to renew the London coal and corn duties has revealed to the people one of the numberless indirect methods by which they are fleeced by their masters. The Corporation and Board of Works devote these duties (coal, taxed 13d. a ton, brings in L450,000 a-year) to the fair-seeming purposes of town improvements and the purchase of open spaces. But-putting aside all questions of jobbery and speculation, of " turns " and " bonuses " and " good things " for self and friends-for whose benefit are town improvements chiefly undertaken !The rich dwellers in fashionable districts and the traders of the City, or the poor crowded together in the slums ? Pulling down an occasional rookery is about as far as the authorit... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


I. We seek understanding of facts for guidance in action, for avoidance of mistake and suffering, and even for resignation to the inevitable. This statement may cover the chief aims of mankind in intellectual discussion, ignoring now that which is merely a scholastic exercise. I am not in favor of argument in the style of the debating tarnished by a practice of which easily generates an evil habit, and there are, at least as yet, too many occasion in real life on which every person who loves to tell the truth and expose falsehood must consider time and circumstance lest he impale himself upon implacable prejudices. Consequently if duplicity have its uses there need be no fear that it will not be cultivated without concerted efforts thereto ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Lysander Spooner, Poverty: Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cures. Boston: Bela Marsh, No. 25 Cornhill. 1846. CHAPTER 1: ILLEGAL CAUSES OF POVERTY The existing poverty would be rapidly removed, and future poverty almost entirely prevented, a more equal distribution of property than now exists accomplished, and the aggregate wealth of society greatly increased, if the principles of natural law, and of our national and state constitutions generally, were adhered to by the judiciary in their decisions in regard to contracts. These principles are violated by the judiciary in various ways, to wit: 1. In a manner to uphold arbitrary and unconstitutional statutes against freedom in banking, and freedom in the rate of interest; thus denying the natural and constitutional right of the people to make two classes of contracts, which will hereafter be shown to be of vital importance, both to the general increase and to the more equal...


A hundred and thirty thousand unemployed, in this city alone--such is the result of the parliamentary and private inquiries. Ninety-one thousand paupers; six hundred thousand at least of men, women, and children, out of the 4 1/2 million inhabitants of London in want of food, shelter, and clothes. Such is the result of aristocracy and middle-class rule. Our masters say that we must keep them, and provide them a rich living, because they alone are capable of organizing our industries and trade. And that is the way in which they have organized them. Plenty of luxury for themselves; sheer misery for the masses. One hundred and thirty thousand men, ready to work, but prevented from working; ready co till the fields and to grow for themselves th... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This work is part of the International Institute for Social History collection and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Thoughts Occasioned By The Perusal Of Dr. Parr's Spital Sermon, Preached At Christ Church, April 15, 1800: Being A Reply to the Attacks of Dr. Parr, Mr. Mackintosh, the Author of an Essay On Population, and Others. by William Godwin LONDON: Printed by Taylor and Wilks, Chancery-Lane; and sold by G.G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row. 1801. I HAVE now continued for some years a silent, not an inattentive, spectator of the flood of ribaldry, invective and intolerance which has been poured out against me and my writings. The work which has principally afforded a topic for the exercise of this malignity has been... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


If the forecasts contained in our preceding articles are correct; if we are really on the eve of a period to be characterized by great movements breaking out all over Europe, which movements will not only modify the present Governments, but also alter the established rights of property-and the more intelligent people even among the ruling classes have not the slightest doubt upon the subject--then the question necessarily arises: What shall the working-classes attempt to realize during the disturbed period we are approaching? In view of the coming revolution, what is their program? The ruling classes know pretty well what they will do. Their program is settled; it is to maintain by every possible means their possession of power and the inst... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


The word work, like "the word honesty, has obtained a quite peculiar meaning under the capitalist system of production. It is used indiscriminately for every sort of human labor. Yet how can any labor differ more widely than the slavery of a tram conductor from the free and useful work of the village blacksmith in Longfellow's poem- "Toiling,-rejoicing,-sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begun, Each evening sees its close; Something attempted, something done, Has earned a night's repose." Work in the true sense means neither enforced and slavish toil nor the purposeless efforts of the man who plays with some occupation for mere amusement. At present much well-meaning and honest labor is pure waste, for it pr... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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