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Freedom: March 1893, p14 Advice to Those About to Emigrate In these days when Home Colonization is seriously discussed, and is even tried, in England as an outlet for the populations of our congested towns, the following letters will be of much interest to our readers. A comrade in New South Wales, writing to Kropotkin for suggestions and advice, says: "As you are probably aware, the Labor movement in Australia has advanced tremendously during the last four or five years. The reason, I believe, lies in the increased agitation in the minds of the people through the late strikes here and also in England and America. The Labor Party here got the worst of it in the last three big strikes, yet the importance of those strikes as factors in educat... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A French writer, sympathetic to anarchism, wrote in the 1890s that "anarchism has a broad back, like paper it endures anything"---including, he noted those whose acts are such that "a mortal enemy of anarchism could not have done better." There have been many styles of thought and action that have been referred to as "anarchist." It would be hopeless to try to encompass all of these conflicting tendencies in some general theory or ideology. And even if we proceed to extract from the history of libertarian thought a living, evolving tradition, as Daniel Guérin does in Anarchism, it remains difficult to formulate its doctrines as a specific and determinate theory of society and social change. The anarchist historian Rudolph Rocker, who presents a systematic conception of the development of anarchist thought towards anarchosyndicalism, along lines that bear comparison to Guérins work, puts the matter well when he writes that anarchism is not a fixed, self-enc...


Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


ANARCHISM: WHAT IT REALLY STANDS FOR 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! &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


There is a sad lack of Anarchist pamphlets in England, and we gladly welcome our comrade Joseph Lane's contribution of 'An Anti-Statist Communist Manifesto' (price 1d., Joseph Lane, 38, Ainsley Street, Bethnal Green Junction, E.), which is an energetic and earnest exposition of Anarchist Socialism from a worker's standpoint. The second portion, which deals with practical politics, is specially interesting. We hope the tract will have a wide circulation. But is it not a pity to use the somewhat clumsy title 'Anti-Statist' rather than the more definite and expressive 'Anarchist'? Why evade the fine old name which for years has rung out in the van of the Socialist movement throughout the world? It is flung at every energetic Socialist, of what... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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,...


The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism. At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (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.)

Revolution breaks the social forms grown too narrow for man. It bursts the molds which constrict him the more solidified they become, and the more Life ever striving forward leaves them. In this dynamic process the Russian Revolution has gone further than any previous revolution. The abolition of the established --- politically and economically, socially and ethically --- the attempt to replace it with something different, is the reflex of man's changed needs, of the awakened consciousness of the people. Back of revolution are the millions of living humans who embody its inner spirit, who feel, think, and have their being in it. To them revolution is not a mere change of externals: it implies the complete dislocation of life, the shattering of dominant traditions, the annulment of accepted standards. The habitual, measured step of existence is interrupted, accustomed criteria become inoperative, former precedents are void. Existence is forced into uncharted channels; every...


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.)

The Biography of an Anarchist
Errico Malatesta The Biography of an Anarchist A Condensed Sketch of Malatesta from the book written by by Max Nettlau Published by the Jewish Anarchist Federation New York City. 1924 Introduction The short sketch of Malatesta's life is based on the exhaustive study of Max Nettlau, published in Italian translation by "Il Martello" in New York under the title Vita e Pensieri di Errico Malatesta, and in German translation issued at Berlin by the publishers of the "Syndicalist." Max Nettlau, the profound scholar of the Anarchist movement, biographer of Michael Bakunin and author of Bibliographie de l'Anarchie, lives in Vienna, and like so many intellectuals in Europe, in distressing economic condition. May I express here the hope that he will ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

If the empirical. philosophers have hitherto failed to prove the progress of moral conceptions (which may be inciple of evolution), the fault lies to a great extent with the speculative, i.e., the . nonscientific philosophers. They have so strongly denied the empirical origin of man's moral feelings; they have gone to such subtle reasoning in order to assign a supernatural origin to the moral sense; and they have spoken so much about "the destination of man," the "way of his existence," and "the aim of Nature," that a reaction against the mythological and metaphysical conceptions which had risen round this question was unavoidable. Moreover, the modern evolutionists, having established the presence in the animal world of a keen struggle for life among different species, could not accept such a brutal process, which entails so much suffering upon sentient beings, as the expression of a Supreme Being; and they consequently denied that any ethical principle could...


National questions are not in vogue now in Europe. After having so much exercised the generation of '48, they seem to be now in neglect. The poor results of a movement which caused so many illusions; the new problems that are coming to the front -- the social problem taking the precedence of all; the prominence recently given to the ideas of unification and centralization above those of territorial independence and federalism, by the sudden growth of a powerful military State in middle Europe, -- all these have helped to repel into the background those questions of national independence which seemed to constitute the very essence of the history of Europe during the first half of our century. Faith in national programs, formerly so firm, has... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Over 200 people crowded the little hall at 13, Farringdon Road, at our second meeting, on March 15th. The debate was to have been on Individualist and Communist Anarchism; but as no Individualists or Mutualists appeared to state their side of the question, the discussion turned chiefly on Free Communism. Comrade Kropotkin opened the proceedings with an hour's speech, which we print elsewhere. When he resumed his seat, the audience showed their interest in the subject by a brisk fire of questions, and then engaged in a somewhat desultory debate. The chief result of the discussion was to show that we Socialists of all shades of opinion are a long way yet from a thorough common understanding. 11 Nature is not slow to equip us in the prison uni... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


On July 13th, P. Kropotkin opened the second discussion on work and the distribution of wealth, by pointing out the essential injustice of the wage system as a method of distribution, and showing how even under present economic conditions social feeling has supplemented it by a certain amount of distribution according to needs. The Social Democrats propose to do this to a far larger extent, the Communist-Anarchists to base distribution on needs only. The first part of our comrade's paper will be found in another column. The discussion which followed was even more discursive than usual because the Social Democrats animated by the strongest sense of opposition came too late to hear the opening speech and consequently were reduced to the neces... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


We had a rough and ready sort of meeting on April 12, for the opener mistook the date and did not appear, and the notices were sent too late to Justice and the 'Weal. So Comrade Kropotkin opened the debate with some general remarks on voluntary association. A common objection, he said, to Communist-Anarchism is that men are not yet good enough to organize themselves on a basis of perfect freedom, or to behave like social beings without government control. But in truth, authority in itself has a depressing influence, corrupting even good men, and already more of our social life is founded on voluntary association than we at all realize. If it is true that among the workers to-day there are many men who are as ready as any bourgeois to compet... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Reforms at beginning of reign of Louis XVI -- Turgot -- Question of National Representation -- Character of Louis XVI -- Revolution in America Riots on accession of Louis -- Their consequences -- Large towns revolt in turn -- "Parliaments" and "Plenary Courts" -- Paris parliament refuses to grant money to Court -- Action of King -- Insurrections in Brittany -- Grenoble -- Queen's letter to Count de Mercy -- Gradual awakening of revolutionary spirit -- Louis compelled to convoke Assembly of Notables and States-General As is usual in every new reign, that of Louis XVI began with some reforms. Two months after his accession Louis XVI summoned Turgot to the ministry, and a month later he appointed him Controller-General of Finance. He even supported him at first against the violent opposition that Turgot, as an economist, a parsimonious middle-class man and an enemy of the effete aristocracy, was bound to meet with from the Court party.


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.)


These days these words "freedom and equality" are part of the vocabulary of each and every one of us. But make a few inquiries and ask: What is freedom? and you will be told "Freedom means freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, freedom of association and assembly, the freedom of secrecy of correspondence". Ask: What is equality? and you will be told: "All citizens are equal before the law, with no difference between the high-born and the yokel." Now, such narrow definitions have nothing to do with true freedom, true equality. Don't believe me? Then have a read of the following. The blight upon the people's freedom is the State. Ever since the State came into existence, we have stopped being free. No matter what we do or say, the State st... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)


The minds of men are in confusion, for the very foundations of our civilization seem to be tottering. People are losing faith in the existing institutions, and the more intelligent realize that capitalist industrialism is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve. The world is at a loss for a way out. Parliamentarism and democracy are on the decline. Salvation is being sought in Fascism and other forms of "strong" government. The struggle of opposing ideas now going on in the world involves social problems urgently demanding a solution. The welfare of the individual and the fate of human society depend on the right answer to those questions The crisis, unemployment, war, disarmament, international relations, etc., are among those p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The two sister arts of Agriculture and Industry were not always so estranged from one another as they are now. There was a time, and that time is not far off, when both were thoroughly combined: the villages were then the seats of a variety of industries, and the artisans in the cities did not abandon agriculture; many towns were nothing else but industrial villages. If the medieval city was the cradle of those industries which fringed art and were intended to supply the wants of the richer classes, still it was the rural manufacture which supplied the wants of the million; so it does until the present day in Russia. But then came the water-motors, steam, the development of machinery, and they broke the link which formerly connected the far... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Siberia-the land of exile-has always appeared in the conceptions of the Europeans as a land of horrors, as a land of the chains and knoot where convicts are flogged to death by cruel officials, or killed by overwork in mines; as a land of unutterable sufferings of the masses and of horrible prosecutions of the foes of the Russian Government. Surely nobody, Russian or foreigner, has crossed the Ural Mountains and stopped on their water-divide, at the border-pillar that bears the inscription " Europe " on one side, and " Asia " on the other, without shuddering at the idea that he is entering the land of woes. Many a traveler has certainly said to himself that the inscription of Dante's Inferno would be more appropriate to the boundary-pillar of Siberia than these two words which pretend to delineate two continents. As the traveler descends, however, towards the rich prairies of Western Siberia; as he notices there the relative welfare and the spirit of...


From Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, P.A. Kropotkin, edited and translated by Martin A. Miller. The letter appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the editor and translator. Dmitrov (Moscow province) 21 December, 1920 Respected Vladimir Illich, An announcement has been placed in Izvestiia and in Pravda which makes known the decision of the Soviet government to seize as hostages SRs [Social Revolutionary party members] from the Savinkov groups, White Guards of the nationalist and tactical center, and [Pyotr] Wrangel officers; and, in case of an [assassination] attempt on the leaders of the soviets, to “mercilessly exterminate” these hostages. Is there really no one around you to remind your comrades and to... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Living My Life by Emma Goldman Volume one New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1931. Chapter 5 I had begged Most not to give the time of my arrival to the German Union in Rochester, before which I was to speak. I wanted to see my beloved sister Helena first. I had written her about my coming, but not the purpose of my visit. She met me at the station and we clung to each other as if we had been separated for decades. I explained to Helena my mission in Rochester. She stared at me open-mouthed. How could I undertake such a thing, face an audience? I had been away only six months; what could I have learned in such a brief time? Where did I get the courage? And in Rochester, of all cities! Our parents would never get over the shock. I had never before been angry with Helena; there never had been occasion for it. In fact, it was always I who tried her patience...

EVENTS in Moscow, quickly following each other, were full of interest. I wanted to remain in that vital city, but as I had left all my effects in Petrograd I decided to return there and then come back to Moscow to join Lunacharsky in his work. A few days before my departure a young woman, an Anarchist, came to visit me. She was from the Petrograd Museum of the Revolution and she called to inquire whether I would take charge of the Museum branch work in Moscow. She explained that the original idea of the Museum was due to the famous old revolutionist Vera Nikolaievna Figner, and that it had recently been organized by nonpartizan elements. The majority of the men and women who worked in the Museum were not Communists, she said; but they were devoted to the Revolution and anxious to create something which could in the future serve as a source of information and inspiration to earnest students of the great Russian Revolution. When my caller was informed that I...

MY FURTHER DISILLUSIONMENT IN RUSSIA By Emma Goldman, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Company; 1924 CHAPTER IV ARCHANGEL AND RETURN On November 28th the Expedition again got under way, this time with three members only: Alexander Berkman, the Secretary, and myself. We traveled by way of Moscow to Archangel, with stops in Vologda and Yaroslavl. Vologdahad been the seat of various foreign embassies, unofficially engaged in aiding the enemies of the Revolution; We expected to find historic material there, but we were informed that most of it had been destroyed or otherwise wasted. The Soviet institutions were uninteresting: it was a plodding, sleepy provincial town. In Yaroslavl, where the so- called Savinkov uprising had taken place two years previously, no significant data were found. We continued to Archangel. The stories we had heard of the frozen North made us rather apprehensive. But, much to our relief, we found that city...

Numbers of Prisoners. Overcrowding.--From an official document communicated to the State Council on March 15, 1909, by the administration of the prisons, it appears that on February 1, 1909, there were in the lock-ups of the Empire 181,137 inmates. This figure, however, does not include those prisoners who are in transportation, and the numbers of whom are estimated officially at about 30,000. Nor does it include an immense number of persons detained at the police lock-ups, both in the towns and in the villages. No approximate idea as to the number of this last category can be obtained, but it has been suggested in the Russian Press that it may be anything between 50,000 and 100,000. The worst is that it is especially in the Police lock-ups that the ill-treatment of the prisoners is the most awful. The famous torture chambers of Grinn at Warsaw, and Gregus at Riga (both condemned by courts) were precisely police lock-ups. The number of inmates...


The spectacle presented at this moment by Europe is deplorable enough but withal particularly instructive. On the one hand, diplomatists and courtiers hurrying hither and thither with the increased activity which displays itself whenever the air of our old continent begins to smell of powder. Alliances are being made and unmade, with much chaffering over the amount of human cattle that shall form the price of the bargain. "So many million head on condition of your house supporting ours; so many acres to feed them, such and such seaports for the export of their wool." Each plotting to overreach his rivals in the market. That is what in political jargon is known as diplomacy. [NOTE. -- While it will be understood that the political situation ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

If the economic situation of Europe can be summed up in these words-industrial and commercial chaos and the failure of capitalist production-the situation in politics can be defined as the rapid breakdown of the State and its entire failure, which will take place very soon. Consider all the various States, from the police autocracy of Russia to the bourgeois oligarchy of Switzerland, and you will not find a single example today (with the possible exception of Sweden and Norway) of a State that is not set on an accelerating course towards disintegration and eventually, revolution. Like wornout old men, their skin shriveled and their feet stumbling, gnawed at by mortal sicknesses, incapable of embarking on the tide of new ideas, the States of Europe squander what strength remains to them, and while living on credit of their past, they merely hasten their ends by squabbling like aged gossips. Having reached a high point in the eighteenth cen...

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