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Note For "Anarchist Morality" This study of the origin and function of what we call "morality" was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. "To each according to his need" seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able foot the bills. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon. Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to "right and wrong" in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality. Kropotkin sees the source of all so-called moral ideas in primitive superstitions. The...


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.)

BOOK III PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT CHAPTER I SYSTEMS OF POLITICAL WRITERS Having in the preceding book attempted a general delineation of the principles of rational society, it is proper that we, in the next place, proceed to the topic of government. It has hitherto been the persuasion of communities of men in all ages and countries that there are occasions, in which it becomes necessary, to supersede private judgment for the sake of public good, and to control the acts of the individual, by an act to be performed in the name of the whole. Previously to our deciding upon this question, it will be of advantage to inquire into the nature of government, and the manner in which this control may be exercised with the smallest degree of violence and usurpation in regard to the individual. This point, being determined, will assist us finally to ascertain both the quantity of evil which government in its best form involves, and the urgency of...

I Hastened, as I have already said, from paris, and plunged amid the wild and desolate scenery of mount Jura. The next intended stage of my travels was Switzerland, and I pursued the road which led to that country. The first anxiety I felt was to escape from my sufferings and my disgrace. There first I had felt my mind agitated with hose emotions which are destined to have so mighty an influence on the fate of man. But how agitated I had loved. I had not loved innocence; I had not loved the chaste simplicity of the female character: my affections had not gone forth toward any object, which might refine and elevate my soul, which might free me from the impurities I had contracted among the debauchees of the university, restore me to peace with myself, and prepare me to act an hourable part on the theater of society. Unfortunately, my initiation had been in the polluted tracts of adulterous commerce. My mind had been acted upon with vehemence, but not improved. What tru...

Chapter 1 "When ignorance reigns in society and disorder in the minds of men, laws are multiplied, legislation is expected to do everything, and each fresh law being a fresh miscalculation, men are continually led to demand form it what can proceed only from themselves, from their own education and their own morality." It is no revolutionist who says this, nor even a reformer. It is the jurist, [Joseph] Dallois, author of the Collection of French law known as “Repertoire de la Legislation.” And yet, though these lines were written by a man who was himself a maker and admirer of law, they perfectly represent the abnormal condition of our society. In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themsel... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

THE popular notion about marriage and love is that they are synonymous, that they spring from the same motives, and cover the same human needs. Like most popular notions this also rests not on actual facts, but on superstition. Marriage and love have nothing in common; they are as far apart as the poles; are, in fact, antagonistic to each other. No doubt some marriages have been the result of love. Not, however, because love could assert itself only in marriage; much rather is it because few people can completely outgrow a convention. There are to-day large numbers of men and women to whom marriage is naught but a farce, but who submit to it for the sake of public opinion. At any rate, while it is true that some marriages are based on love,... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Factor of EvolutionMutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution Peter Kropotkin 1902 Chapter 3: MUTUAL AID AMONG SAVAGES Supposed war of each against all. -- Tribal origin of human society. -- Late appearance of the separate family. -- Bushmen and Hottentots. -- Australians, Papuas. -- Eskimos, Aleoutes. -- Features of savage life difficult to understand for the European. -- The Dayak's conception of justice. -- Common law. The immense part played by mutual aid and mutual support in the evolution of the animal world has been briefly analyzed in the preceding chapters. We have now to cast a glance upon the part played by the same agencies in the evolution of mankind. We saw how few are the animal species which live an isolated life, and how numberless are those which live in societies, either for mutual defense, or for hunting and storing up food, or for rearing their offspring, or simply for enjoying life in common. We also saw that...

On Vegetarianism First printed in the HUMANE REVIEW, January, 1901 MEN of such high standing in hygiene and biology having made a profound study of questions relating to normal food, I shall take good care not to display my incompetence by expressing an opinion as to animal and vegetable nourishment. Let the cobbler stick to his last. As I am neither chemist nor doctor, I shall not mention either azote or albumen, nor reproduce the formulas of analysts, but shall content myself simply with giving my own personal impressions, which, at all events, coincide with those of many vegetarians. I shall move within the circle of my own experiences, stopping here and there to set down some observation suggested by the petty incidents of life. First o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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.)

William Godwin, The Enquirer. Reflections On Education, Manners, And Literature. In A Series Of Essays. London: G.G. and J. Robinson, 1797. The Enquirer. Part I. Essay I. Of Awakening the Mind The true object of education, like that of every other moral process, is the generation of happiness. Happiness to the individual in the first place. If individuals were universally happy, the species would be happy. Man is a social being. In society the interests of individuals are interwisted with each other, and cannot be separated. Men should be taught to assist each other. The first object should be to train a man to be happy; the second to train him to be useful, that is, to be virtuous. There is a further reason for this. Virtue is essential to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

We have all been so drilled from our youth up in the prejudices of property and authority that even the workers, for whom property and authority have done so little, are not free from superstitious belief in their necessity. Especially we are all too much inclined to believe that mere confusion must follow on a popular revolt, unless some central or local authority be immediately set up to control social life and reorganize the people. During the Commune of 1871, the newly-elected Municipal Government was too deeply engaged by the enemy at the gates to make many attempts at social reconstruction. Was the city, in which so much of the old order had been overthrown, given up to disorder or to merely aimless individual effort 7 Did its social ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


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