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(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.)

Readers who have had the patience to follow the facts accumulated in this book, especially those who have given them thoughtful attention, will probably feel convinced of the immense powers over the productive forces of Nature that man has acquired within the last half a century. Comparing the achievements indicated in this book with the present state of production, some will, I hope, also ask themselves the question which will be ere long, let us hope, the main object of a scientific political economy: Are the means now in use for satisfying human needs, under the present system of permanent division of functions and production for profits, really economical? Do they really lead to economy in the expenditure of human forces ? Or, are they not mere wasteful survivals from a past that wads plunged into darkness, ignorance and oppression, and never took into consideration the economical and social value of the human being? In the domain of agriculture it may...

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 :

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 :

Our Synthetic Environment Murray Bookchin Chapter 2 - Agriculture and Health Soil and Agriculture Problems of soil and agriculture seldom arouse the interest of urban dwellers. Town and country have become so sharply polarized that the city man and the farmer live in widely separated, contrasting, and often socially antagonistic worlds. The average resident of an American metropolis knows as little about the problems of growing food as the average farmer knows about the problems of mass transportation. The city man, to be sure, does not need to be reminded that good soil is important for successful farming. He recognizes the necessity for conservation and careful management of the land. But his knowledge of food cultivation - its techniques, problems, and prospects - is limited. He leaves the land in trust to the farmer in the belief that modern agricultural methods cannot fail to produce attractive and nourishing food. I...

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.)

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 design, the open end in technological development, the emergence of cybernetic devices, the prospect of reducing toil to a near vanishing point. The article examined the possibility of making qualitative changes in the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I remember when laborers were paid only seven or eight shillings a-week, and their food was mostly barley cake and potatoes. They used to help themselves to swede turnips out of the fields, and to all the fuel they cooked with. They are better off now, but still it is sad enough. The people have been driven out of the villages to seek work in the towns. In 1857 the population of this village was 595, and in 1881 it was 422-a decrease of 173 in 30 years. The number of houses is less by 24. At the present time a farm laborer has eleven shillings a-week wages, and a house valued at from one shilling to eighteen pence a week rent. In hay-making time he gets ten shillings beer money. At wheat harvest he has £1, and during wheat tying, whic... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


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