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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...


Individualist Anarchism is a round square, a contradiction in set terms. As a cube is not a ball, so " Individualism " is not Anarchism. What then, is Individualism? It is the chaos of to-day in social and industrial life, which has sprung from the licentious play of self-will Self-will is the will to be somewhat, and to have hold and sway something in isolation from other such wills, and in opposition to them. Property, dominion, government, law, are embodiments of this self will. Individualism is this striving, grabbing, over-reaching, and self-seeking of atoms, that seek to possess human individuality, but go about their quest the wrong way. It calls itself civilization, progress, fair competition, free trade, and many other fine names. ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. ἄν, and αρχος, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to s... (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.)


Johann Most's most famous speech. "Among the beasts of prey man is certainly the worst." This expression, very commonly made nowadays, is only relatively true. Not man as such, but man in connection with wealth is a beast of prey. The richer a man, the greater his greed for more. We may call such a monster the `beast of property." It now rules the world, making mankind miserable. and gains in cruelty and voracity with the progress of our so called `civilization " This monster we will in the following characterize and recommend to extermination. Look about ye! In every so-called "civilized" country there are among every 100 men about 95 more or less destitute and about 5 money-bags. It is unnecessary to trace all the sneaking ways by which t... (From : http://www.eclipse.net/~basket42/beast.html.)


We are living on the eve of great events. Before the end of this century has come we shall see great revolutionary movements breaking up our social conditions in Europe and probably also in the United States of America. Social storms cannot be forecast with the same accuracy as those which cross the Atlantic on their way to our shores. But still, there are tokens permitting us to predict the approach of those great disturbances which periodically visit mankind to redress wrongs accumulated by past centuries, to freshen the atmosphere, to blow away monopolies and prejudices. There is a certain periodicity in these great uprisings of the oppressed. The end of each of the last five centuries has been marked by great movements which have helped... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Comments on the International Social Ecology Network Gathering and the "Deep Social Ecology" of John Clark by Murray Bookchin Between August 14 and 19, 1995, an international social ecology network gathering met near Dunoon, Scotland, to discuss the topic "Democracy and Ecology." Its agenda featured, among other presentations, a one-hour summary of a long essay by John Clark titled "The Politics of Social Ecology: Beyond the Limits of the City." My age and growing disabilities prevented me from attending the gathering, which caused me some concern since Clark has broken with social ecology and become, as he impishly denominated himself in The Trumpeter, an organ of the deep ecology "movement," a "deep social ecologist, or social deep ecolog... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


I. THE PLACE OF THE COMMUNE IN SOCIALIST EVOLUTION On March 18, 1871, the people of Paris rose against a despised and detested government, and proclaimed the city independent free, belonging to itself. This overthrow of the central power took place without the usual stage effects of revolution, without the firing of guns, without the shedding of blood upon barricades. When the armed people came out into the streets, the rulers fled away, the troops evacuated the town, the civil functionaries hurriedly retreated to Versailles carrying everything they could with them. The government evaporated like a pond of stagnant water in a spring breeze, and on the nineteenth the great city of Paris found herself free from the impurity which had defiled ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From: Bakunin's Writings, Guy A. Aldred Modern Publishers, Indore Kraus Reprint co. New York 1947 THE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH & THE STATE. I am a passionate seeker for truth and just as strong an opponent of the corrupting lies, through which the party of order-this privileged, official, and interested representative of all religions, philosophical political, legal economical, and social outrage in the past and present-has tried to keep the world in ignorance. I love freedom with all my heart. It is the only condition under which the intelligence, the manliness, and happiness of the people, can develop and expand. By freedom, however, I naturally understand not its mere form, forced down as from above, measured and controlled by the state, ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Many Anarchists and thinkers in general, whilst recognizing the immense advantages which Communism may offer to society, yet consider this form of social organization a danger to the liberty and free development of the individual. This danger is also recognized by many Communists, and, taken as a whole, the question is merged in that other vast problem which our century has laid bare to its fullest extent: the relation of the individual to society. The importance of this question need hardly be insisted upon. The problem became obscured in various ways. When speaking of Communism, most people think of the more or less Christian and monastic and always authoritarian Communism advocated in the first half of this century and practiced in certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and New Politics. The Communist Manifesto: Insights and Problems Murray Bookchin [from New Politics, vol. 6, no. 4 (new series), whole no. 24, Winter 1998] Murray Bookchin is the author of numerous books on left social theory and history. His most recent work is The Third Revolution, a three-volume history of popular movements in the revolutionary era, Volumes 1 and 2 of which have recently been published by Cassell. IT IS POLITICALLY RESTORATIVE TO LOOK WITH A FRESH EYE at The Manifesto of the Communist Party (to use its original title), written before Marxism was overlaid by reformist, postmodernist, spiritual, and psychological commentaries. From an examination of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)

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 was...


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.)


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.)


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.)


MUNICIPALIZATION Community Ownership of the Economy1 by Murray Bookchin In my article, "Toward a Libertarian Municipalism2," I advanced the view that any counterculture to the prevailing culture must be developed together with counterinstitutions to the prevailing institutions -- a decentralized, confederal, popular power that will acquire the control over social and political life that is being claimed by the centralized, bureaucratic nation-state. Through much of the nineteenth century and nearly half of the twentieth, the classical center of this popular power was located by most radical ideologies in the factory, the arena for the conflict between wage labor and capital. The factory as the locus of the "power question" rested on the bel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Factor of EvolutionMutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution Peter Kropotkin 1902 Chapter 2: MUTUAL AID AMONG ANIMALS (continued) Migrations of birds.-- Breeding associations. -- Autumn societies. -- Mammals: small number of unsociable species. -- Hunting associations of wolves, lions, etc. -- Societies of rodents; of ruminants; of monkeys. -- Mutual Aid in the struggle for life. -- Darwin's arguments to prove the struggle for life within the species. -- Natural checks to over-multiplication. -- Supposed extermination of intermediate links. -- Elimination of competition in Nature. As soon as spring comes back to the temperate zone, myriads and myriads of birds which are scattered over the warmer regions of the South come together in numberless bands, and, full of vigor and joy, hasten northwards to rear their offspring. Each of our hedges, each grove, each ocean cliff, and each of the lakes and ponds with which Northern America, North...


First Published in 1871 Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY. Image:1 This work, like all my published work, of which there has not been a great deal, is an outgrowth of events. It is the natural continuation of my Letters to a Frenchman (September 1870), wherein I had the easy but painful distinction of foreseeing and foretelling the dire calamities which now beset France and the whole civilized world, the only cure for which is the Social Revolution. My purpose now is to prove the need for such a revolution. I shall review the historical development of society and what is now taking place in Europe, right before our eyes. Thus all those who sincerely thirst for truth can accept it and proclaim openly and unequivocally the philosophical principle... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. Green Program Project -- Discussion Paper No. 2 Popular Politics vs. Party Politics Note: This article was written and published in the River Valley Voice, a New England publication, during the 1984 Democratic primary campaign. Although it makes repeated allusions to the 1984 elections, the views it expresses have a more lasting value, and are submitted for discussion to the reader as a Green Program Project paper. Murray Bookchin A new American politics is definitely needed today. The problem we face is what kind? If the goal of "independent political action" is to gain "power," to "function effectively" as a means to "lobby" or "resolve" specific issues of practic... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Newcastle Daily Chronicle: February 20, 1985, p4. Reprinted in Small Communal Experiments and Why They Fail Jura Books Editor's Preface Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) was one of the greatest anarchist theoreticians of his time. Although he admired the directly democratic and non-authoritarian practices of the traditional peasant village commune, he was never an advocate of small and isolated communal experimentalism. Many people, upon reading his works, have been inspired to found such communities, both in his own time as well as the hippies of the 1960s (a period when Kropotkin's major works were republished and influential). Kropotkin did not consider such ventures were likely to be successful or useful in achieving wider revolutionary g... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. GREEN PERSPECTIVES Price:$1.00 A LEFT GREEN PUBLICATION Number 18 November 1989 P.O. Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 Radical Politics in an Era of Advanced Capitalism by Murray Bookchin Defying all the theoretical predictions of the 1930s, capitalism has restabilized itself with a vengeance and acquired extraordinary flexibility in the decades since World War II. In fact, we have yet to clearly determine what constitutes capitalism in its most "mature" form, not to speak of its social trajectory in the years to come. But what is clear, I would argue, is that capitalism has transformed itself from an economy surrounded by many precapitalist social and political formatio... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This pamphlet is the second printing of an expanded version of an article that appeared in a 1970 issue of "Libertarian Analysis". It is the first pamphlet published by "Soil of Liberty". A second pamphlet, "A Critique of Marxism", also by Sam Dolgoff, is also available ($0.55). Bulk rates are available for both. Sam has been active in the anarchist movement since the 1920s and is a re- tired house painter living in New York City. "Soil of Liberty" offers a literature service through the magazine and a partial listing is available. Magazine subscriptions are $3 - $4 per year. Soil of Liberty POB 7056 Powderhorn Station Minneapolis, MN 55407 First Printing - August 1977 Second Printing - September 1979 NOTE: ABOVE LISTED PRICES ARE AT LEAST ... (From : Spunk.org.)


Note: Murray Bookchin submitted the following resolution to the Second Continental Conference of the Left Green Network on July 1st, 1990. It was adopted by a vote of 24 -- yes; 16 -- no; 6 - Abstain. Resolution: "On Gubernatorial Races" Libertarian municipalism is premised on developing a dual power -- grassroots in the fullest sense in that its politics rests on the most immediate popular institutions in the political realm namely the municipality, and confederal relationships between municipalities in which the coordination of power is vested in confederal councils whose authority diminishes as the confederal structure is raised to encompass ever-wider political jurisdictions. State power functions on precisely the opposite principle -- ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


II. Replacing the cult of God by respect and love of humanity, we proclaim human reason as the only criterion of truth; human conscience as the basis of justice; individual and collective freedom as the only source of order in society. III. Freedom is the absolute right of every adult man and woman to seek no other sanction for their acts than their own conscience and their own reason, being responsible first to themselves and then to the society which they have voluntarily accepted. IV. It is not true that the freedom of one man is limited by that of other men. Man is really free to the extent that his freedom, fully acknowledged and mirrored by the free consent of his fellowmen, finds confirmation and expansion in their liberty. Man is tr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Letter to the Workers of Western Europe
Dmitrov, Russia, April 28, 1919 I have been asked if I did not have a message for the workers of the western world. Certainly there is plenty to say and learn of the actual events in Russia. As the message would have to be long to cover all, I will indicate only the principal points. First, the workers of the civilized world and their friend in other classes ought to prevail on their governments to abandon entirely the idea of armed intervention in Russia whether openly or secretly. Russia is undergoing now a revolution of the same extent and importance as England under went in 1639 to '48, and France in 1789 to '94. Every nation should refuse to play the shameful role played by England, Prussia, Austria and Russia during the French Revolut... (From : Marxists.org.)


The most complicated pieces of mechanism are often not the latest but the earliest results of the inventor's skill in a particular direction. Improvements in machinery very frequently take the form of a reduction in the number of wheels and principles of motion, necessary to obtain the desired result, and a machine is considered to be more nearly perfect in proportion as its action becomes more direct. It is safe to conclude, too, that this law of human progression from the complicated to the direct, is by no means confined to mechanics. In philosophy and in sociology similar phenomena may be observed. Thus the Social Democratic scheme for reorganizing society--based as it is upon an insufficient knowledge of the principles which govern the... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Stateless Socialism: Anarchism by Mikhail Bakunin 1814-1876 From "The Political Philosophy of Bakunin" by G.P. Maximoff 1953, The Free Press, NY Effect of the Great Principles Proclaimed by the French Revolution. From the time when the Revolution brought down to the masses its Gospel - not the mystic but the rational, not the heavenly but the earthly, not the divine but the human Gospel, the Gospel of the Rights of Man - ever since it proclaimed that all men are equal, that all men are entitled to liberty and equality, the masses of all European countries, of all the civilized world, awakening gradually from the sleep which had kept them in bondage ever since Christianity drugged them with its opium, began to ask themselves whether they too... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

In taking the State and its historic role as the subject for this study, I think I am satisfying a much felt need at the present time: that of examining in depth the very concept of the State, of studying its essence, its past role and the part it may be called upon to play in the future. It is above all over the question of the State that socialists are divided. Two main currents can be discerned in the factions that exist among us which correspond to differences in temperament as well as in ways of thinking, but above all to the extent that one believes in the coming revolution. There are those, on the one hand, who hope to achieve the social revolution through the State by preserving and even extending most of its powers to be used for the revolution. And there are those like ourselves who see the State, both in its present form, in its very essence, and in whatever guise it might appear, an obstacle to the social revolution, the greatest hindrance to t...


Voline, libertarian chronicler of the Russian revolution, after having been an actor in and an eye-witness to it, writes: “We have been bequeathed a fundamental problem by preceding revolutions: I am thinking of the one in 1789 and the one in 1917 especially: largely mounted against oppression, animated by a mighty breath of freedom and proclaiming freedom as their essential objective, how come these revolutions slid into a new dictatorship wielded by other ruling, privileged strata, into fresh slavery for the popular masses? What might the conditions be that would enable a revolution to avoid that dismal fate? Might that fate be due to ephemeral factors and even quite simply to mistakes and shortcomings which might from now on be ave... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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