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Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


(Originally published in the Contemporary Review, and then reprinted as a pamphlet by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1884) An Anarchist on Anarchy by Elisée Reclus “It is a pity that such men as Elisée Reclus cannot be promptly shot.” – Providence Press To most Englishmen, the word Anarchy is so evil-sounding that ordinary readers of the Contemporary Review will probably turn from these pages with aversion, wondering how anybody could have the audacity to write them. With the crowd of commonplace chatterers we are already past praying for; no reproach is too bitter for us, no epithet too insulting. Public speakers on social and political subjects find that abuse of Anarchists is an unfailing passport to public favor. Every... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anna came in with hanging head, playing with the tassels of her hood. Her face was brilliant and glowing; but this glow was not one of brightness; it suggested the fearful glow of a conflagration in the midst of a dark night. On seeing her husband, Anna raised her head and smiled, as though she had just waked up. "You’re not in bed? What a wonder!" she said, letting fall her hood, and without stopping, she went on into the dressing room. "It’s late, Alexey Alexandrovitch," she said, when she had gone through the doorway. "Anna, it’s necessary for me to have a talk with you." "With me?" she said, wonderingly. She came out from behind the door of the dressing room, and looked at him. "Why, what is it? What about?" she asked, sitting down. "Well, let’s talk, if it’s so necessary. But it would be better to get to sleep." Anna said what came to her lips, and marveled, hearing herself, at her own capacity for lying. How simpl...

The ResurrectionWhen the reading of the indictment was finished, the justiciary, having consulted with his associates, turned to Kartinkin with an expression on his face which plainly betokened confidence in his ability to bring forth all the truth. "Simon Kartinkin," he called, leaning to the left. Simon Kartinkin rose, put out his chest, incessantly moving his cheeks. "You are charged, together with Euphemia Bochkova and Katherine Maslova, with stealing from the trunk of the merchant Smelkoff money belonging to him, and subsequently brought arsenic and induced Maslova to administer it to Smelkoff, by reason of which he came to his death. Are you guilty or not guilty?" he said, leaning to the right. "It is impossible, because our business is to attend the guests——" "You will speak afterwards. Are you guilty or not?" "No, indeed. I only——" "You can speak later. Do you admit that you are guilty?" calmly but firm...


I am asked for my thoughts about the content and style of anti-war films, and how to make such a film. First of all, such a film must at least not do positive harm by predisposing its audience toward war. The images of senseless violence, horror, and waste that are usually employed in the commercially successful “antiwar” films do have a titillating effect and remain in the soul as excitants and further incitements. Let me show how this works. In cinematic conditions of bright screen and dark theater, lasting for many minutes and tending to fascination and hypnosis, images of horror easily detach themselves from the kind of intellectual and ethical framework in which they are usually presented, and they attach themselves to quite ... (From : http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/goodman.htm.)


Translated from the French by Robert Helms "La Mort du Chien" originally appeared in the monarchist paper Le Galois under the pen name Henry Lys on August 23, 1884, about a year before the author's conversion to anarchism. Although most of Mirbeau's work remains untranslated, he is now regarded by French critics as one of the most important writers of his period, and his 1903 play Business is Business made a triumphant return to the Paris stage in 1995. He is best known to anglophone posterity for his novels The Torture Garden and Diary of a Chambermaid . His master called him Turk. He was thin, yellow, and sad, with a pointed snout, a small build, and short, badly cropped ears that were always bleeding. The tail he wore on his rump looked ... (From : Mid-Atlantic Infoshop.)


Translated by Robert Helms "Des ilections" first appeared in La France (Paris), Aug.12, 1885. What's going to happen? Where will we flee? Already the election campaigns are infected by a terrible leprosy. The cabarets roar, rolling over with drunken eyes. Looming above the intersections, the red, blue, and yellow posters explode across the walls of solitary houses. The peasants hurry to gather their wheat and oats before the political whirlwind blows in, like a devastating sirocco. The bad smell of spilled wine is hanging in the air, and the deafening clamor of committees comes from everywhere, left, right, and center, calling for an encore, and marking time on the bass drum of alcoholic frenzy. People walk by, cross themselves, don't recog... (From : Mid-Atlantic Infoshop.)


Let me begin my address with a confession. I make it sorrowfully and with self-disgust; but in the presence of great sacrifice we learn humility, and if my comrades could give their lives for their belief, why, let me give my pride. Yet I would not give it, for personal utterance is of trifling importance, were it not that I think at this particular season it will encourage those of our sympathizers whom the recent outburst of savagery may have disheartened, and perhaps lead some who are standing where I once stood to do as I did later. This is my confession: Fifteen years ago last May when the echoes of the Haymarket bomb rolled through the little Michigan village where I then lived, I, like the rest of the credulous and brutal, read one l... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published by Freiheit Publishing Association New York Among all mental diseases which man has systematically inoculated into his cranium, the religious pest is the most abominable. Like all things else, this disease has a history; it only regrettable that in this case nothing will be found of the development from nonsense to reason, which is generally assumed to be the course of history. Old Zeus and his double, Jupiter, were still quite decent, jolly, we might even say, somewhat enlightened fellows, if compared with the last triplet on the pedigree of gods who, on examination, can safely rival with Vitzliputzli as to brutality and cruelty. We won't argue at all with the pensioned or dethroned gods, for they no longer do any harm. But the m... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Great Anarchist Trial: The Haymarket Speeches As Delivered On The Evening Of The Throwing Of The Bomb, At Haymarket Square, Chicago, May 4, 1886, By: August Spies and Albert R. Parsons 1886 Published by the Chicago labor press association Room 17, No, 76 and 78 Fifth Ave., Chicago NOTE. The Chicago Times of August 10 contained the following statements, among others, in regard to the great trial: "The climax in the Anarchist trial was reached yesterday. Schwab, Spies and Parsons told their respective stories to the jury from the witness-chair, to a spell-bound audience of spectators, an amazed jury, and a surprised judge. Parsons was composed and eloquent. His brother, General W. H. Parsons, sat with eyes fixed upon him during the time h... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


"Justice, Justice! One penny. Shows you how to get rid of all landlords and capitalists" was the appropriate cry that fell upon one's ear when joining the huge crowd assembling round the platform erected beneath the Reformer's Tree for the reception of T. D. Sullivan and Edward Harrington, two of Balfour's criminals. In spite of the nipping east wind and threatening snow-clouds, their London sympathizers poured into the park in vast numbers, and when those attending the procession came up there must have been at least fifty thousand good men and true. The chance words heard whilst waiting for the heroes of the hour were instructive and portentous. To the right stood a sturdy workman propounding the doctrine of Socialism as it seemed unto hi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


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.)


At the Annual Conference of the Social Democratic Federation last month the secretary reported the formation of over forty branches. There is some solid Socialistic propaganda doing by members of the S. D. F. all over the country. The actions, as well as the opinions, of many of our comrades the Social Democrats are far more revolutionary than their official program. Their street demonstrations are capital. The last in Trafalgar Square, against police tyranny, called together a big crowd, who energetically tore the effigy of policeman Endacott to rags and applauded all denunciations of authority. But why so many exhortations to "go home peaceably," and why cooperation "to secure order" with the very police the people were called together to... (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.)


The State is nothing else but this domination and exploitation regularized and systemized. We shall attempt to demonstrate it by examining the consequence of the government of the masses of the people by a minority, at first as intelligent and as devoted as you like, in an ideal State, founded on a free contract. Suppose the government to be confined only to the best citizens. At first these citizens are privileged not by right, but by fact. They have been elected by the people because they are the most intelligent, clever, wise, and courageous and devoted. Taken from the mass of the citizens, who are regarded as all equal, they do not yet form a class apart, but a group of men privileged only by nature and for that reason singled out for e... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Some twenty-one years ago I heard the first great Anarchist speaker--the inimitable John Most. It seemed to me then, and for many years after, that the spoken word hurled forth among the masses with such wonderful eloquence, such enthusiasm and fire, could never be erased from the human mind and soul. How could any one of all the multitudes who flocked to Most's meetings escape his prophetic voice! Surely they had but to hear him to throw off their old beliefs, and see the truth and beauty of Anarchism! My one great longing then was to be able to speak with the tongue of John Most,--that I, too, might thus reach the masses. Oh, for the naivety of Youth's enthusiasm! It is the time when the hardest thing seems but child's play. It is the onl... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


PETER KROPOTKIN's first political book, 'Paroles d'un Révolté' -- a collection of articles from 'LeRévolté', the paper he had founded In Geneva in 1879 -- was published in France in 1885, while he was serving a five-year prison sentence. It has been translated into nearly all the main languages of the world but, though most of its nineteen chapters have appeared in English at various times and in various places as articles or pamphlets or both, there has never been a complete translation. The first English language edition of the whole book will be published by the Libertarian Book Club of New York next year, In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Kropotkin's death, under the title 'Words of a Rebel' (co... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Saverio Merlino sees, according to us, the decomposition and agony of the anarchist movement in the conflict between the individualist and the organizers on the ground of immediate action and in the intimate contradiction particular to the two streams of thought: those, the organizers “are not able to find a compatible organization with the anarchist principles”: those, the individualists, “miss the concept of retaliation which was the spirit of anarchist action. They can’t find a better way to act and they are not able to sustain an organization that they deny.” That these organizers can’t find some form of organization compatible with the anarchist principles is perfectly natural and logical: and this, its ar... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Translated by Larry Gambone Comrades, I explained - quickly, but in a sufficient way - the first part of libertarian Communism, the critical, negative part and, I hope that I managed to convince you that misery, ignorance, hatred, repression, suffering in all its forms, is the fatal result of the social background in which we live. If, as I hope, you arrived at this conviction, you must also be convinced of the need and the urgency to put an end to a social system which generates such pains. It is precisely what we will begin to study this evening. It is necessary to destroy the established social order since it is generating sufferings, inequalities, injustices and miseries. It should be destroyed at all costs; it should be destroyed as so... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Recent events in the country of the Kaiser have been most encouraging for all those who really wish a happier time for the workers, an for Anarchists especially. In all parts of Germany we have had strikes and rumors of strikes, and although the demands made have not been very important, the general effect of the movement has been excellent and the attitude taken up by the German Emperor and the Prussian capitalists very instructive. The idea of a. general strike continues to grow in popularity on the Continent and faith in political agitation and methods is giving way. The workers are getting tired of waiting for the parliamentarians to do something for them; they are making tip their minds to do something for themselves. Hence the spread ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


BELGIUM The early days of summer have brought a renewed outbreak of passionate indignation among the Belgian miners against the miseries of the life to which they are condemned. Once again the coal basins are the scene of a strike, which bears the character of an insurrection. Bands of miners are marching through the country inciting their comrades to refuse to work, bridges are destroyed, and traitors' houses tumbled about their ears. Last year when the miners' insurrection was temporarily suppressed, when the more energetic strikers had been shot down, or condemned to long terms of imprisonment, and the order of starvation and despair restored, then certain theorists set with increased good-will about the organization of a labor party. Th... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


BRITAIN. THE UNEMPLOYED OF LONDON.--Towards the middle of last month the increasing number of Londoners who could get no work to do began to assemble day by day in Trafalgar Square to discuss their situation and endeavor to force the property-monopolists to allow them to labor. On October 19 they marched in procession, with black flags flying, to wait on Sir James Ingram at Bow Street Police Court, where that respectable magistrate informed them that they were "making a theatrical exhibition," and that "the law provided a sufficient maintenance for persons who chose to avail themselves of it." Asked if he would give them food and shelter in prison if they sacked bakers' shops, he replied that they were "exceedingly impertinent," and "deserv... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


'Thou shalt not kill.' -EXOD. xx. 13. 'The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master.' -LUKE vi. 40 'For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.' -MATT xxvi. 52. 'Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' - MATT. vii. 12. When Kings are executed after trial, as in the case of Charles L, Louis XVI., and Maximilian of Mexico; or when they are killed in Court conspiracies, like. Peter Ill., Paul, and various Sultans, Shahs, and Khans-little is said about it; but when they are killed without a trial and without a Court conspiracy- as in the case of Henry IV. of France, Alexander ll., the Empress of Austria, the late Shah of Pers... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Critical Essay on ShakespeareMr. Crosby's article on Shakespeare's attitude toward the working classes suggested to me the idea of also expressing my own long-established opinion about the works of Shakespeare, in direct opposition, as it is, to that established in all the whole European world. Calling to mind all the struggle of doubt and self-deceit,—efforts to attune myself to Shakespeare—which I went through owing to my complete disagreement with this universal adulation, and, presuming that many have experienced and are experiencing the same, I think that it may not be unprofitable to express definitely and frankly this view of mine, opposed to that of the majority, and the more so as the conclusions to which I came, when examining the causes of my disagreement with the universally established opinion, are, it seems to me, not without interest and significance. My disagreement with the established opinion about Shakespeare is not the result of an accidental frame of mind, nor o...


Again there are murders, again disturbances and slaughter in the streets, again we shall have executions, terror, false accusations, threats and anger on the one side; and hatred, thirst for vengeance, and readiness for self-sacrifice, on the other. Again all Russians are divided into two hostile camps, and are committing and preparing to commit the greatest crimes. Very possibly the disturbances that have now broken out may be suppressed, though it is also possible that the troops of soldiers and of police, on whom the Government place such reliance, may realize that they are being called on to commit the terrible crime of fratricide-and may refuse to obey. But even if the present disturbance is suppressed, it will not be extinguished, but... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Voline (1882–1945) by Rudolf Rocker Introduction: Some Essential Preliminary Notes Preface Part I. The First Fruits (1825–1905) Chapter 1. Russia at the Beginning of the 19th Century; Birth of the Revolution Chapter 2. Repression, Violence and Failure; Development Continues (1825–1855) Chapter 3. Reforms; Resumption of the Revolution “The Failure of Czarism” and the Failure of Revolution; Reaction (1855–1881) Chapter 4. The End of the Century; Marxism; Rapid Evolution; Reaction (1881–1900) Chapter 5. The 20th Century; Hasty Development; Revolutionary Advance; Results (1900–1905) Part II. The Jolt (1905–1906) Chapter 1. The Gaponist Epic; First General Strike Chapter 2. The Birth of the “Soviets”...

The rustle of a woman’s dress was heard in the next room. Prince Andrew shook himself as if waking up, and his face assumed the look it had had in Anna Pávlovna’s drawing room. Pierre removed his feet from the sofa. The princess came in. She had changed her gown for a house dress as fresh and elegant as the other. Prince Andrew rose and politely placed a chair for her. “How is it,” she began, as usual in French, settling down briskly and fussily in the easy chair, “how is it Annette never got married? How stupid you men all are not to have married her! Excuse me for saying so, but you have no sense about women. What an argumentative fellow you are, Monsieur Pierre!” “And I am still arguing with your husband. I can’t understand why he wants to go to the war,” replied Pierre, addressing the princess with none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their intercourse with young women.

I recollect that during the whole time of my unsuccessful endeavors to help the unfortunate inhabitants of Moscow, I felt I was like a man trying to help others out of a bog, who was all the time stuck fast in it himself. Every effort made me feel the instability of the ground upon which I was standing. I felt that I myself was in this bog, but the acknowledgment did not help me to look more closely under my feet to find out the nature of the ground on which I stood: I kept looking for some external means to remedy the evil. I felt my life was a bad one, and that people ought not to live so; yet I did not come to the most natural and obvious conclusion: that I must first reform my own mode of life before I could have any conception of how to reform others. And so I began at the wrong end, as it were. I was living in town, and wished to improve the lives of the men there; but I soon became convinced that I had no power to do so; and then I began to ponder over the natur...


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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