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There has recently been a renewal of interest in anarchism. Books, pamphlets, and anthologies are being devoted to it. It is doubtful whether this literary effort is really very effective. It is difficult to trace the outlines of anarchism. Its master thinkers rarely condensed their ideas into systematic works. If, on occasion, they tried to do so, it was only in thin pamphlets designed for propaganda and popularization in which only fragments of their ideas can be observed. Moreover, there are several kinds of anarchism and many variations within the thought of each of the great libertarians. Rejection of authority and stress on the priority of individual judgment make it natural for libertarians to "profess the faith of anti dogmatism." "Let us not become the leaders of a new religion," Proudhon wrote to Marx, "even were it to be the religion of logic and reason." It follows that the views of the libertarians are more varied, more fluid, and harder to apprehend than thos...


CONTROVERSY: ANARCHISTS IN THE SPANISH REVOLUTION by Sam Dolgoff In 1974, or early 1975, I reviewed in the English anarchist paper Freedom a book by Carlos Semprun Maura, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Catalonia (French edition). In my review I criticized both Semprun Maura and Vernon Richards' book Lessons of the Spanish Revolution for presenting a distorted, over-simplified interpretation of events- a scenario. This provoked a heated rejoinder from Richards (three or four articles in Freedom). Over forty years after the tragic defeat of the Spanish Revolution - 1936 to 1939 - the question of anarchist participation in the Republican government and the role of anarchists in a revolution is a fundamental problem still debated- still r... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Foreword On May 26, 1958 at midnight, Chiu Tsai-kang, a steel worker of the Shanghai No. 3 Steel Works, was burned by molten steel. The affected area extended over 89 percent of his body, 20 percent being third degree burns with the muscles and bones involved. According to Western medical authorities, a patient with such severe burns would be likely to die. But due to the affectionate' concern of the Communist Party, to the great efforts made by the medical staff and to the widespread support of society at large, Chiu Tsai-kang is still alive. After being treated for more than five months his wounds are now completely healed and covered by grafted skin. On November 23 he was transferred to the Sino-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Peking for f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


It must be left to the future historian to determine whether the Bolshevik repression of the bourgeoisie, with which they started, their rule, was not merely a means towards the ulterior purpose of suppressing all the other non-Bolshevik elements. For the Russian bourgeoisie was not really dangerous to the Revolution. As is well known, it was an insignificant minority, unorganized, without definite solidaric interests and entirely powerless. The revolutionary elements, on the contrary, were a real obstacle to the dictatorship of any political party. The elimination of the revolutionary elements would be of prime necessity to any dictatorship, because such a dictatorship would meet with the strongest opposition NOT from the bourgeoisie but f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I like the feel of the hard snow singing under my feet. The streets are alive with people --- a striking contrast to Petrograd, which gave me the impression of a graveyard. The narrow sidewalks are crooked and slippery, and everybody walks in the middle of the street. Rarely does a street-car pass, though an auto creaks by occasionally. The people are better dressed than in Petrograd and do not look so pale and exhausted. More soldiers are about and persons clad in leather. Tcheka men, I am told. Almost everybody carries a bundle on his back or pulls a little sleigh loaded with a bag of potatoes dripping a blackish fluid. They walk with a preoccupied air and roughly push their way ahead. Turning the corner into the Miasnitskaya Street, I noticed a large yellow poster on the wall. My eye caught the word Prikaz in big red letters. Prikaz --- order --- instinctively the expression associated itself in my mind with the old régime. The poster was couched in...

Rose Pesotta Bread upon the Waters CHAPTER 11 Island Paradise and Mass Tragedy IN MAYAGUEZ WE LEARNED that some manufacturers already had discharged workers in sizable numbers. These employes had been working for a pittance, and the employers, not wanting to pay the increased wage provided under the Code minima, had begun laying them off. The rest of the force refused to start that morning until the dismissed workers had been reinstated. In certain other factories, ironers were asked how many handkerchiefs they could iron in a day. When they replied: "Five dozen," they were advised to double their output. The NRA officials there obviously hadn't the slightest idea how to go about correcting the glaring injustices to labor on every hand, nor did they appear really interested in labor problems. They were gover...


The original free, unconsciously Anarchist, institutions of our country, which Kemble describes as during the Saxon period "supplying a mutual guarantee of peace, security, and freedom for the inhabitants of a district," have constituted down to the present day the boast of Englishmen. But how changed they are: oh I quantum mutatabillis I. These originally free institutions of the English people have been attacked on both sides; by the over-growth of central government, and by the usurpations of that class whose fortune has been the misery of the people. The process of such political "enclosures," as it were, was extremely varied. Now the committee of the people's assembly was substituted for the assembly itself; now the function of moderat... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Gaston Leval: Social Reconstruction in Spain (London 1938); quoted in Vernon Richards: Lessons of the Spanish Revolution (London 1983) The mechanism of the formation of the Aragonese collectives has been generally the same. After having overcome the local authorities when they were fascist, or having replaced them by Anti-fascist or Revolutionary committees when they were not, an assembly was summoned of all the inhabitants of the locality to decide on their line of action. One of the first steps was to gather in the crop not only in the fields of the small landowners who still remained, but, what was even more important, also on the estates of the large landowners all of whom were conservatives and rural `caciques' or chiefs. Groups were o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


Published by Freedom Press 27 Red Lion Street, London, W.C.1 July 1945 and printed by Express Printers, London. We are reproducing an abridged version of the first part of Gaston Leval's pamphlet "Social Reconstruction in Spain," which was published by Freedom Press in 1938, but which has since gone out of print. Many readers of "War Commentary" have expressed a desire for the reproduction in some form of the contents of this excellent pamphlet. COLLECTIVES IN SPAIN INDUSTRIAL socialization was the first undertaking of the Spanish Revolution, particularly in Barcelona. But obstacles were created from the beginning, which resulted in preventing these experiments from being developed t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: 'Return with a Constitution!' Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Source: The Communist, Vol. XVIII, No.12, December 1939 Publisher: Workers Library Publishers, New York, NY Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive . You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source. HUNGRY for huge war profits, the barons of Wall Street are speeding to involve the American people in the imperialist war raging in Europe. The blackout of civil liberties is part of Wall Street’s war drive. Capitalist reaction is intent upon depriving the Communists of their civil rights as the preparation for an attack on the economic standards and civil rights of the trad... (From : Marxists.org.)


In reply to "A project of anarchist organization" Dear Comrade Malatesta, I have read your response to the project for an 'Organizational Platform of a General Union of Anarchists', a project published by the group of Russian anarchists abroad. My impression is that either you have misunderstood the project for the 'Platform' or your refusal to recognize collective responsibility in revolutionary action and the directional function that the anarchist forces must take up, stems from a deep conviction about anarchism that leads you to disregard that principle of responsibility. Yet, it is a fundamental principle, which guides each one of us in our way of understanding the anarchist idea, in our determination that it should penetrate to the ma... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)


FREEDOM IS IT A CRIME? The Strange Case of the Tree Anarchists Jailed at the Old Bailey, April 1945 Two Speeches by HERBERT READ FORWARD by E. SILVERMAN FREEDOM PRESS DEFENSE COMMITTEE 2d. First Published by The Freedom Press Defense Committee, 17, St. George Street, London, W.1. June, 1945 And printed by Express Printers, London. The Publishers have asked me to write a foreword to this pamphlet. As an individual who cares about freedom of speech and freedom of the press I accept with pleasure the opportunity to say a word to the public. Three decent, useful and respectable citizens, who Mr. Justice Birkett said were of the highest character and who he was quite prepared to believe were actuated by the highest motives, are in prison. Their ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


We had a rough and ready sort of meeting on April 12, for the opener mistook the date and did not appear, and the notices were sent too late to Justice and the 'Weal. So Comrade Kropotkin opened the debate with some general remarks on voluntary association. A common objection, he said, to Communist-Anarchism is that men are not yet good enough to organize themselves on a basis of perfect freedom, or to behave like social beings without government control. But in truth, authority in itself has a depressing influence, corrupting even good men, and already more of our social life is founded on voluntary association than we at all realize. If it is true that among the workers to-day there are many men who are as ready as any bourgeois to compet... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

Irresponsibility of old régime -- Miserable condition of peasants -- Discontent of middle classes -- They encourage riots among the people -- Change in political system of France -- Necker -- Financial crisis -- Assembly of Notables convoked -- Louis convokes States General -- Increased representation granted to Third Estate To any one who knew the condition of France it was clear that the irresponsible régime of the Court could not last. The misery in the country districts went on increasing year by year, and it became more and more difficult to levy the taxes and at the same time compel the peasants to pay rent to the landlords and perform the innumerable statute labors exacted by the provincial government. The taxes alone devoured half and often two-thirds of what the peasants could earn in the course of the year. Beggary and rioting were becoming normal conditions of country life. Moreover, it...

FOREWORD In spite of the self-effacing sub-title, the life of Albert Meltzer has been far from "commonplace". It is a witty account of the never-ending and tireless struggle -- sometimes Herculean, sometimes Schvejkian -- against the hydra-headed nonentities who seek to impose their order and their certainties on the universe. Since his schooldays, throughout his working life and now in "retirement", anarchism has been the guiding star which has fueled Albert's thankfully incurable and infectious optimism and faith in the ultimate common sense of humanity. He is a worker, was active in trade unionism, a tireless but unpaid editor, a traveler, a public speaker and a challenger of humbug. His character, ideas, good humor (mostly) and generosity of spirit have touched and influenced many people in many lands during the past sixty years. I am grateful to have been one of those links in the chain. Others, some of the many younger people Albert continues to inspire, w...

It is pretty generally recognized in Europe that altogether our penal institutions are very far from being what they ought, and no better indeed than so many contradictions in action of the modern theory of the treatment of criminals. The principle of the lex talionis--of the right of the community to avenge itself on the criminal--is no longer admissible. We have come to an understanding that society at large is responsible for the vises that grow in it, as well as it has its share in the glory of its heroes; and we generally admit, at least in theory, that when we deprive a criminal of his liberty, it is to purify and improve him. But we know how hideously at variance with the ideal the reality is. The murderer is simply handed over to the hangman; and the man who is shut up in a prison is so far from being bettered by the change, that he comes out more resolutely the foe of society than he was when he went in. Subjection, on disgraceful terms, to humiliating wor...


A succession of meetings have been held during the past month to protest against the infamous sentences of death and imprisonment passed upon the Chicago Anarchists. The largest of these meetings, held at South Place, Oct. 14 was organized by a representative committee of English Socialists-Anarchist an Democratic. A resolution declaring our comrades' condemnation to be an attack upon freedom of speech and public meeting, of vital concern to the working classes all over the world, was enthusiastically and unanimously passed by a crowded audience of English workers. The speakers were the Rev. Stewart Headlam chairman) of the Guild of St. Matthew, William Morris of the Socialist League, J. Blackwell of the Social Democratic Federation, Annie ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


From my copy of Alexander Berkman's The Kronstadt Rebellion, Berlin: Der Sindikalist, 1922. Russian Revolution Series The Kronstadt Rebellion By Alexander Berkman Fifteen Cents 1922 I. LABOR DISTURBANCES IN PETROGRAD It was early in 1921. Long years of war, revolution, and civil struggle had bled Russia to exhaustion and brought her people to the brink of despair. But at last civil war was at an end: the numerous fronts were liquidated, and Wrangel -- the last hope of Entente intervention and Russian counter-revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to the mitigation of the severe Bolshevik régime. It was expected that with the end of civil war the Commu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Jefferson City, MO, 29 June 1919, Darling, mine. There is so much, so much I want to write you. I scarcely know where to begin & where to let off. I will have to content myselfs with the most essential & leave the other when we meet - just three months from to day. My birth-day - like last year I spent it in bed. Not quite so ill, but in pain & discomfiture. The same thing I had 2 weeks ago & which I will probably have to endure during most of the Summer. As a result of my laying off a very funny thing happened. Funny only because I have so short a time in here. Other wise it would have been the beginning of a serious & bitter struggle. I have repeatedly written you how very decent Dr Mc Nearney has always been to me. As... (From : University of Berkeley.)


Letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti from the Death House August 4, 1927. From the Death House of the Massachusetts State Prison TO THE DEFENSE COMMITTEE: Governor Alvan T. Fuller is a murderer as Thayer, Katzmann, the State perjurors and all the other. He shake hand with me like a brother, make me believe he was honestly intentioned and that he had not sent the three carbarn-boy to have no escuse to save us. Now ignoring and denia all the proofs of our innocence and insult us and murder us. We are innocent. This is a war of plutocracy against liberty, against the people. We die for Anarcy. Long life Anarcy. [This letter was written directly after Vanzetti learned of the Governor’s decision not to commute Sacco and Vanzetti’s sentence... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti from the Bridgewater Hospital for the Criminal Insane April 4, 1925. Bridgewater Hospital for Criminal Insane COMRADE DONOVAN: This very sheet of paper tells you that I have received two copies of The Nation which you me in your letter of March 30th. Much obliged, comrade Donovan, for the papers and more for your letter, which came to me as a flash of light. . . . So, you are studying Dante’s language, and will write to me in the "Idioma gentil sonante e puro” of the "Bel Paese aue li 'si' suona”? Very well—I proudly congratulate you. There is something in the Italian literature worth while reading, studying and ponderating by every person of good will—not mentioning a re... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Dedham Jail November 30, 1921. Dedham Jail DEAR BARTOLO: Saturday the 26th my Rosie and the children came to visit me, and this was the first time I seen the children since the time you left Dedham. You can imagine how happy I felt to see them so joyful and so gay and in the best of health, if only you could see little Ines. She got so fat, she is really a dolly, Dante also looks very good. He writes to me every week. Rosa also looks very good after the operation she is gaining daily. I feel very good and I don't do nothing but exercise, read and write. I am very sorry that no one comes and see you, no one comes to see me neither, but Rosie . . . [Rosie and Rosa refer to Sacco’s wife Rosina. I... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Vanzetti from the Dedham Jail, April - June 1927 April 14, 1927. Dedham Jail DEAR COMRADE MARY [DONOVAN]: Today I have written, written and written all the time. Now it is late and I am tired. Yet I cannot help to write to you. . . . What I want to say to you is, again and ever, to be calm and self restrained. Yes, just that and what I do not know to say. I knew that you lost your job. Another of their nice things. Now you are working days and nights to save Nick and I. Remember that you must rest, and rest at least for the necessity of it. Good-bye, and all my regards to you, also Nick. [COMRADE MARY was Mary Donovan, a recording secretary of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee who had been dismissed from her job a... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Charlestown State Prison July 19, 1927 MY DEAR INES: I would like that you should understand what I am going to say to you, and I wish I could write you so plain, for I long so much to have you hear all the heart-beat, eagemess of your father, for I love you so much as you are the dearest little beloved one. It is quite hard indeed to make you understand in your young age, but I am going to try from the bottom of my heart to make you understand how dear you are to your father's soul. If I cannot succeed in doing that, I know that you will save this letter and read it over in future years to come and you will see and feel the same heart-beat affection as your father feels in writing it to you. I will... (From : umkc.edu.)


From La Correspondance de Michel Bakunin, published and prefaced by Michel Dragmanov, 1896, Paris, France, pages 180-183. Letter from Bakunin to Herzen and Ogareff1 August 17, 1863 Stockholm My dear friends, This is the third letter I am sending you from this place. Two months ago, I had the opportunity to send you the first directly, the second by your agent in Switzerland who, on your command, was supposed to come to Stockholm, but who was likely sidetracked by unexpected occurrences and contented himself with sending me a letter through Nordstrom. I immediately responded, with an extended letter attached, pleading with him to immediately send you the letter; I would be very angry if it was not sent to you. However, I can reassure you wit... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From La Correspondance de Michel Bakunin, published and prefaced by Michel Dragmanov, 1896, Paris, France, pages 133-135. The Cloche and the Polish People October 3, 1862 Herzen, I completely disagree with you; I do not think it would be possible to reply to the letter written by the Varsovie Committee only by publishing my Proclamation to Russian officers in the Cloche. I hold a firm conviction that we must respond to this official Polish document with a document, more precisely a letter addressed to the Committee itself, in which we will summarize our principles and our hopes for Russia and Little Russia, countersigned by the three of us. It seems to me that justice and our dignity demand it. We take full responsibility for the " practica... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it likes, pr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Living My Life by Emma Goldman Volume one New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc.,1931. Chapter 1 It was the 15th of August 1889, the day of my arrival in New York City. I was twenty years old. All that had happened in my life until that time was now left behind me, cast off like a worn-out garment. A new world was before me, strange and terrifying. But I had youth, good health, and a passionate ideal. Whatever the new held in store for me I was determined to meet unflinchingly. How well I remember that day! It was a Sunday. The West Shore train, the cheapest, which was all I could afford, had brought me from Rochester, New York, reaching Weehawken at eight o'clock in the morning. Thence I came by ferry to New York City. I had no friends there, but I carried three addresses, one of a married aunt, one of a young medical student I had met in New Haven a year before, while working in a corset facto...

MY FURTHER DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA By Emma Goldman, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company; 1924 CHAPTER I ODESSA AT THE numerous stations between Kiev and Odessa we frequently had to wait for days before we managed to make connections with trains going south. We employed our leisure in visiting the small towns and villages, and formed many acquaintances. The markets were especially of interest to us. In the Kiev province by far the greater part of the population is Jewish. They had suffered many pogroms and were now living in constant terror of their repetition. But the will to live is indestructible, particularly in the Jew; otherwise centuries of persecution and slaughter would long since have destroyed the race. Its peculiar perseverance was manifest everywhere: the Jews continued to trade as if nothing had happened. The news that Americans were in town would quickly gather about us crowds of people anxi...

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