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Anarchism means man living free and working constructively. It means the destruction of everything that is directed against man's natural, healthy aspirations. Anarchism is not exclusively a theoretical teaching emanating from programs artificially conceived with an eye to the regulation of life: it is a teaching derived from life across all its wholesome manifestations, skipping over all artificial criteria. The social and political visage of anarchism is a free, anti-authoritarian society, one that enshrines freedom, equality and solidarity between all its members. In anarchism, Right means the responsibility of the individual, the sort of responsibility that brings with it an authentic guarantee of freedom and social justice for each and... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

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...


ANARCHY. Ever reviled, accursed, ne'er understood, Thou art the grisly terror of our age. "Wreck of all order," cry the multitude, "Art thou, and war and murder's endless rage." O, let them cry. To them that ne'er have striven The truth that lies behind a word to find, To them the word's right meaning was not given. They shall continue blind among the blind. But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure, Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! Thine secure When each at least unto himself shall waken. Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest's thrill? I cannot tell--but it the earth shall see! I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will Not rule, and also ruled I will not be! JOHN HENRY MACKAY. &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Introduction "Nature has the habit of now and then producing a type of human being far in advance of the times; an ideal for us to emulate; a being devoid of sham, uncompromising, and to whom the truth is sacred; a being whose selfishness is so large that it takes the whole human race and treats self only as one of the great mass; a being keen to sense all forms of wrong, and powerful in denunciation of it; one who can reach in the future and draw it nearer. Such a being was Voltairine de Cleyre." What could be added to this splendid tribute by Jay Fox to the memory of Voltairine de Cleyre? The real biography of Voltairine de Cleyre is to be found in the letters she wrote to her comrades, friends and admires, for like many other women in pu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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.)


I Anarchism, the no-government system of socialism, has a double origin. It is an outgrowth of the two great movements of thought in the economic and the political fields which characterize the nineteenth century, and especially its second part. In common with all socialists, the anarchists hold that the private ownership of land, capital, and machinery has had its time; that it is condemned to disappear; and that all requisites for production must, and will, become the common property of society, and be managed in common by the producers of wealth. And in common with the most advanced representatives of political radicalism, they maintain that the ideal of the political organization of society is a condition of things where the functions o... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested--rulers, lawyers, clerics--have carefully enwound her. She shatters the chains. She subjects to severe criticism all that has been taught her, and lays bare the emptiness of the religious political, legal, and social prejudices amid which she has vegetated. She starts research in new paths, enriches our knowledge with new discoveries, creates new sciences. But the inveterate enemies of thought--the government, the lawgiver, and the priest--soon recover from their defeat. By degrees they gather together their scattered forces, and remodel their faith and their code of laws to adapt them to the new needs. Then, profiting by the servility of thought and of character, which they themselves have so effectually cultivated; profiting, too,...


Once I discovered that there were so many of our comrades in prison, I arranged, together with the French syndicalist delegates to make overtures to Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar for the Interior, implicitly obedient to Lenin. Being wary of me, my fellow delegates chose Joaquin Maurin to speak on behalf of the CNT delegation. Maurin reported back on their first audience. At the sight of the list of the prisoners whose release was being sought, Dzerzhinsky blanched, then went red with fury, arguing that these men were counterrevolutionaries in cahoots with the White generals: he accused them of having derailed trainloads of Red Army troops and of being responsible for the deaths of thousands of soldiers, in the Ukraine especially. We w... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Theory and Practice[Originally published in 1938 by Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd] Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes; The Proletariat and the Beginning of the Modern Labor Movement; The Forerunners of Syndicalism; The Objectives of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Methods of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Evolution of Anarcho-Syndicalism. 1. Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes Anarchism versus economic monopoly and state power; Forerunners of modern Anarchism; William Godwin and his work on Political Justice; P.J. Proudhon and his ideas of political and economic decentralization; Max Stirner's work, The Ego and Its Own; M. Bakunin the Collectivist and founder of the Anarchist movement; P. Kropotkin the exponent of Anarchist Communism and the philosophy of Mutual Aid; Anarchism and revolution; Anarchism a synthesis of Socialism and Liberalism; Anarchism versus economic materialism and Dictatorship; Anarchism and the state; Anarchism a tendency of h...


Anarchy and Organization appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. The essay originally was written in reply to an attack by Huey Newton on anarchist forms of organization. ANARCHY AND ORGANIZATION A Letter To The Left Reprinted from NEW LEFT NOTES January 15, 1969 by permission of the author There is a hoary myth that anarchists do not believe in organization to promote revolutionary activity. This myth was raised from its resting place by Marcuse in a L'Express interview some months ago and reiterated again by Huey Newton in his "In Defense of Self-Defense," which New Left Notes decided to reprint in the recent National Convention issue. To argue the question of "organization" versus "non-organization" is ridiculous; ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


"Peter Kropotkin...was recognized by friend and foe as one of the greatest minds...of the nineteenth century...The lucidity and brilliance of his mind combined with his warmheartedness into the harmonious whole of a fascinating and gracious personality. " -Emma Goldman REVOLT! Addressed to young men and women preparing to enter the professions, An Appeal to the Young was first published in 1880 in Kropotkin's paper, La Revolte, and was soon thereafter issued as a pamphlet. An American edition was brought out by Charles H. Kerr in 1899, in the wake of the great Anarchist's first U.S. speaking tour; his Memoirs of a Revolutionist was also published (by Houghton-Mifflin) that year. A new edition in Kerr's "Pocket Library of Socialism" appeared... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The general conception of the "type" American is in Europe picturesque and niave at the same time. In France as in Germany, in the Northern as in the Southern countries, in fact throughout the European Continent, with the exception of England perhaps, the opinion of the man in the street about America and Americans is primitive and inadequate. First of all, the name "an American" immediately suggests riches, wealth. It is almost as if American and rich man are synonyms, at least in the view of the average European who has never been in the United States and who seldom comes in direct contact with Americans in Europe. In the mind of most people the American is pictured as something very much different from the general run of men. He is very ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1886 - 1918) ~ American Anarchist and Early Activist in the Disabled Movement : Randolph Bourne, who was to die in the flu epidemic shortly after the Armistice, cried out alone against the betrayal of the values of civilization by his fellow writers. (From : Ogilby Commentary.)
• "If the State's chief function is war, then it is chiefly concerned with coordinating and developing the powers and techniques which make for destruction." (From : War is the Health of the State.)
• "It is States that make wars and not nations, and the very thought and almost necessity of war is bound up with the ideal of the State." (From : War is the Health of the State.)
• "...war can be called almost an upper-class sport.War is the Health of the State" (From : War is the Health of the State.)


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.)

Last Message to the People of America
INTRODUCTION. WITH pencil and scraps of paper concealed behind the persons of friends who had come to say good-bye at the Ellis Island Deportation Station, Alexander Berkman hastily scribbled the last lines of this pamphlet. I THINK it is the best introduction to this pamphlet to say that before its writing was finished the rulers of America began deporting men directly and obviously for the offense of striking against the industrial owners of America. THE "Red Ark" is gone. In the darkness of early morning it slipped away, leaving behind many wives and children destitute of support. They were denied even the knowledge of the sailing of the ship, denied the right of farewell to the husbands and fathers they may never see again. After the bo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)


Freethought in America was an anti-clerical, anti-Christian movement which sought to separate the church and state in order to leave religious matters to the conscience and reasoning ability of the individual involved. Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912) was prominent both as a feminist and as a freethinker. The following article, reprinted from Benjamin Tucker's periodical Liberty, was originally delivered by de Cleyre as a lecture before the Boston Secular Society. It is an excellent example of the interrelationship between the individualist-feminist view of the church and of the state. In her essay "Sex Slavery," de Cleyre reiterated this two-pronged attack. She wrote: "Let every woman ask herself, 'Why am I the Slave of Man?' . . . There a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)

Inquiry Concerning Political Justice by William Godwin 1793 INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MODERN MORALS AND HAPPINESS BOOK I: OF THE POWERS OF MAN CONSIDERED IN HIS SOCIAL CAPACITY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The object proposed in the following work is an investigation concerning that form of public or political society, that system of intercourse and reciprocal action, extending beyond the bounds of a single family, which shall be found most to conduce to the general benefit. How may the peculiar and independent operation of each individual in the social state most effectually be preserved? How may the security each man ought to possess, as to his life, and the employment of his faculties according to the dictates of his own understanding, be most certainly defended from invasion? How may the individuals of the human species be made to contribute most substantially to the general impr...

BOOK III Principles of Government CHAPTER V OF LEGISLATION Society can declare and interpret, but cannot enact. - Its authority only executive. HAVING thus far investigated the nature of political functions, it seems necessary that some explanation should be given upon the subject of legislation. "Who is it that has authority to make laws? What are the characteristics of that man or body of men in whom the tremendous faculty is vested of prescribing to the rest of the community what they are to perform, and what to avoid?" The answer to these questions is exceedingly simple: Legislation, as it has been usually understood, is not an affair of human competence. Immutable reason is the true legislator, and her decrees it behooves us to investigate. The functions of society extend, not to the making, but the interpreting of law; it cannot decree, it can only declare that which the nature of things...


The counterfeiters and poisoners of ideas, in their attempt to obscure the line between truth and falsehood, find a valuable ally in the conservatism of language. Conceptions and words that have long ago lost their original meaning continue through centuries to dominate mankind. Especially is this true if these conceptions have become a common-place, if they have been instilled in our beings from our infancy as great and irrefutable verities. The average mind is easily content with inherited and acquired things, or with the dicta of parents and teachers, because it is much easier to imitate than to create. Our age has given birth to two intellectual giants, who have undertaken to transvalue the dead social and moral values of the past, espe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author. From: Telos, no. 50 (Winter 1981-82). Telos Discussions: FINDING THE SUBJECT: NOTES ON WHITEBOOK AND "HABERMAS LTD." by Murray Bookchin "For a whole series of reasons, the reputation of Karl Marx has been reborn in a new form, the form of Marx as a sociologist. I believe that this is error: that Marx neither was -- nor in a very important sense intended to be -- a sociologist..." Donald G. Macrae Whitebook has known for years that I reject the very use of the word "modernity." So his attempt to dissociate me from it is quite gratuitous. He also knows that I reject it for reasons that have nothing to do with a desire to return to "premodernity." I also reject "sociol... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The text is from my copy of Emma Goldman's Anarchism and Other Essays. Second Revised Edition. New York & London: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1911. pp. 151-172. FRANCISCO FERRER AND THE MODERN SCHOOL EXPERIENCE has come to be considered the best school of life. The man or woman who does not learn some vital lesson in that school is looked upon as a dunce indeed. Yet strange to say, that though organized institutions continue perpetuating errors, though they learn nothing from experience, we acquiesce, as a matter of course. There lived and worked in Barcelona a man by the name of Francisco Ferrer. A teacher of children he was, known and loved by his people. Outside of Spain only the cultured few knew of Francisco Ferrer's work.... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


In our last two articles we have summarized a somewhat unusual, and therefore unpopular, view of the great intellectual movement. that, during the last three centuries, has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the idea of private property and economic individualism. Thereby we have gravely scandalized certain devotees of reason-worship, who have mistaken our criticism of their superstition for an attack on human reason. Now we Anarchists protest against the superstitious worship of anything whatever. We protest against an exclusive reverence for any one human function or faculty as a mental attitude unworthy of the dignity of man. Human beings have continually displayed a curious inclination to adore themselves piecemeal. Everyone has heard... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Social Democrats in nearly all countries begin to reap what they have sown. For years the propaganda of principles has had to stand back before the reckless strife for votes to conquer political and municipal power, as the phrase goes. Their ranks were swelled on one side by masses of voters, whose real convictions and prejudices remained for the greater part untouched; on the other side, by politicians and self-seeking persons who were on the lookout for a party which would accept them as leaders. Among the inevitable consequences of these superficial flippant tactics are some apparent successes of a kind that makes sincere members of the party blush with shame--like the admission of Millerand, the French Socialist politician, to the Minis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Mr. Mencken gives the impression of an able mind so harried and irritated by the philistinism of American life that it has not been able to attain its full power. These more carefully worked-over critical essays are, on the whole, less interesting and provocative than the irresponsible comment he gives us in his magazine. How is it that so robust a hater of uplift and puritanism becomes so fanatical a crusader himself? One is forced to call Mr. Mencken a moralist, for with him appraisement has constantly to stop while he tilts against philistine critics and outrageous puritans. In order to show how good a writer is, he must first show how deplorably fatuous, malicious or ignorant are all those who dislike him. Such a proof is undoubtedly th... (From : fair-use.org.)


William Godwin [Herbert Read MS from University of Victoria] In the history of English poetry, no name is more secure than that of Shelley: he ranks with the greatest -- with Spenser, Shakespear, Milton and Wordsworth, and the years only add to the depth of our appreciation of his genius. But Shelley's name is indisociably linked with another name -- the name of a man to whom he owed not only his philosopy of life, but even his personal happiness, for he ran away with the philosopher's daughter. This philosopher was William Godwin, and in his day no man was more famous. His fame rested on one book, though he wrote many others, and this book, Political Justice, was not only what we would now call a "best-seller", but, if we take account of t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript has been provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. History, Civilization, and Progress: Outline for a Criticism of Modern Relativism by Murray Bookchin Rarely have the concepts that literally define the best of Western culture--its notions of a meaningful History, a universal Civilization, and the possibility of Progress--been called so radically into question as they are today. In recent decades, both in the United States and abroad, the academy and a subculture of self-styled postmodernist intellectuals have nourished an entirely new ensemble of cultural conventions that stem from a corrosive social, political, and moral relativism. This ensemble encompasses a crude nominalism, pluralism, and skepticism, an extreme subje... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This work appears in Anarchy Archives courtesy of International Institute for Social History. Reclus, Elisée. The Ideal and Youth. Liberty Press, London, 1895. The Ideal and Youth. By ELISÉE RECLUS. If the word "Ideal" has really any meaning, it signifies far more than a vague yearning for better things, wearisome search for happiness, or a fitful and sad longing for an environment less hateful than the society of to-day; ah yes, we must give to the term an exact value, we must settle resolutely and intelligently what is the ostensible end of our ceaseless aspirations. Let us investigate then that Ideal. For some it would be no more than a return to the ages of the past, to the childhood of humanity; it would consist in the ne... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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