(From a Correspondent.) So strong and so widespread are the pretensions of "governments" to-day, that it is difficult for any civilized community to remain anarchistic without being interfered with or "annexed" by one or the other of them. it is therefore interesting to discover from the 'Colonial Office List' (Harrison & Sons) that the British empire includes at least one successful anarchist commune. Judging train the following account it is in no need of the so-called indispensable "laws" of majority rule. We hope it may be long before busybody philanthropy imposes any such chains upon it. "Tristan d'Acunha and Gough Island are the principal of a group of islands lying in lat. 37 deg. 6 min. S. and long. 12 deg. 2 min. W. It was take... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Division of labor and integration--The spread of industrial skill--Each nation its own producer of manufactured goods --The United Kingdom -- France -- Germany -- Russia -- "German competition." Who does not remember the remarkable chapter by which Adam Smith opens his inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations? Even those of our contemporary economists who seldom revert to the works of the father of political economy, and often forget the ideas which inspired them, know that chapter almost by heart, so often has it been copied and recopied since. It has become an article of faith; and the economical history of the century which has elapsed since Adam Smith wrote has been, so to speak, an actual commentary upon it. "Division of labor" was its watchword. And the division and subdivision--the permanent subdivision--of functions has been pushed so far as to divide humanity into castes which are almost as firmly established as those of...
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.)
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....)
Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM Our Changed Environment Life in the United States has changed so radically over the past one hundred years that the most wearisome historians tend to become rhapsodic when they describe the new advances that have been made in technology, science, and medicine. We are usually told that early in the last century most Americans lived heroic but narrow lives, eking out a material existence that was insecure and controlled by seasonal changes, drought, and the natural fertility of the soil. Daily work chores were extremely arduous; knowledge, beleaguered by superstition, was relatively crude. Historians with an interest in science often point out that medical remedies were primitive, if not useless; they may have sufficed to relieve the symptoms of common diseases, but they seldom effected a cure. Life was hard and precarious, afflicted by many tragedies that can easily be a...
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.)
We have already said that, whatever may be our wishes and desires, the present state of Europe will result in revolutions on the Continent, and that these revolutionary disturbances will be echoed in this country. As soon as the trade of the world and the markets of the world are disturbed, the conditions of the workmen of this country will become still more precarious than they are now, and the workers will ask for some fundamental changes in the economical conditions of the community. But, as the ruling classes will be unable to satisfy the needs of the workers, and as they will try, on the contrary, to stifle them by force, or by any other more or less cunning means, changes in the political organization will follow. The circumstances be... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Last summer I received from the Toronto organizing committee the invitation to come out to Canada with the British Association. It is well known, but it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge it once more that the members of the British Association, whether British or foreign, received from the Canadians -- and those of us who went to the States from the Americans -- the most friendly welcome, and were treated with the utmost cordiality and hospitality. Many a standing friendship between scientific men of the Old and the New World has grown up during that visit. After the meeting of the British Association was over a most instructive trip was organized by the Canadian Pacific Railway Association across the continent to Vancouver, and I had ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
There are periods in the life of human society when revolution becomes an imperative necessity, when it proclaims itself as inevitable. New ideas germinate everywhere, seeking to force their way into the light, to find an application in life; everywhere they are opposed by the inertia of those whose interest it is to maintain the old order; they suffocate in the stifling atmosphere of prejudice and traditions. The accepted ideas of the constitution of the State, of the laws of social equilibrium, of the political and economic interrelations of citizens, can hold out no longer against the implacable criticism which is daily undermining them whenever occasion arises,--in drawing room as in cabaret, in the writings of philosophers as in daily ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This work appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. The article was written in May 1965 and published in Anarchos, no. 2 (Spring 1968) and No. 3 (Spring 1969). Towards a Liberatory Technology Lewis Herber [Murray Bookchin] Note: This is the final part of a two-part article on the technological bases of freedom. The first part (Anarchos n. 2) examined the technological limitations of the previous century and their influence on revolutionary theory. An economy anchored technologically in scarcity, it was shown, circumscribed the range of social ideas and tended to subvert revolutionary concepts of freedom. These limitations were compared with the potentialities of technology today -- the substitution of invention by desig... (From : Anarchy Archives.)