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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.)


St. Tropez, [France,] July 12th, 1936 It is only two weeks since our beloved comrade Alexander Berkman passed away. Yet it seems an eternity to me. The blow his untimely death has struck me has left me completely shattered. I find it difficult to collect my thoughts. But I feel sure you will want to know all about Sasha's end. For have you not loved him all through the years? Sasha left a note which we found after we returned from his last resting place. It reads: "I don't want to live a sick man. Dependent. Forgive me Emmie darling. And you too Emma. Love to All. Help Emmie." signed, Sasha. I have two letters from comrade Berkman dated June 24th and 26th. He wrote while he did not feel strong enough to come to St. Tropez the 27th, my sixty... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


ANARCHISM: Its Philosophy and ldeal. Translated from the German by Harry Lyman Koopman. Ever reviled, accursed,-n'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, That sayest all which I for goal have taken. I give thee to the future! -Thine secure When each at last 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 No... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)


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.)


[Comrade H. Davis of the Socialist League, delivered a lecture having this title, at 13 Farringdom Road, under the auspices of the Clerkenwell Branch of the Socialist League, on the 22nd of last month.] In all discussions on this subject, said be, whether our opponents be of the most generous or the most hostile sort, Anarchy, is, they admit, the highest form of civilization conceivable. Anarchy has been defined by an intelligent opponent as "a state of Society in which each individual is a law unto himself." A grand, but an impossible ideal, we are told, this is when looked at from the imperfections of to-day. Now opposition to most schemes for a reorganization of Society are urged from a more or less well defined knowledge of the imperfec... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


• "Revolutionaries yes, but above all anarchists."
• "The revolution is the creation of new living institutions, new groupings, new social relationships; it is the destruction of privileges and monopolies; it is the new spirit of justice, of brotherhood, of freedom which must renew the whole of social life, raise the moral level and the material conditions of the masses by calling on them to provide, through their direct and conscientious action, for their own futures. Revolution is the organization of all public services by those who work in them in their own interest as well as the public’s; Revolution is the destruction of all coercive ties; it is the autonomy of groups, of communes, of regions; Revolution is the free federation brought about by desire for brotherhood, by individual and collective interests, by the needs of production and defense..."
• "...for us and all anarchists, the abolition of political power is not possible without the simultaneous destruction of economic privilege."


To most Americans Anarchy is an evil-sounding word -- another name for wickedness, perversity, and chaos. Anarchists are looked upon as a herd of uncombed, unwashed, and vile ruffians, bent on killing the rich and dividing their capital. Anarchy, however, to its followers actually signifies a social theory which regards the union of order with the absence of all government of man by man; in short, it means perfect individual liberty. If the meaning of Anarchy has so far been interpreted as a state of the greatest disorder, it is because people have been taught that their affairs are regulated, that they are ruled wisely, and that authority is a necessity. In by-gone centuries any person who asserted that mankind could get along without the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Bakunin wrote this in response to the failed Polish uprising of 1867, encouraging Russians to support Poland against the Russian government. This article has been translated from the French, which in turn was a translation from Russian. To see the French original, go here. Friends and brothers, These lines, which your friend Nicholas Platonovitch Oragev just wrote regarding the Polish insurrection, have reached one devoted sincerely and unlimitedly to the great cause of our national bondage and the general emancipation of enslaved people. One must recognize that the partial, premature insurrection of the Polish people threatens to arrest the evolution of progress in all slave states, especially Russia. The state of one's spirit in these cou... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


FERENZ RENYI, Hungary, 1848 This is the story of Renyi - And when you have heard it through, Pray, God be send no trial like his To try the faith of you. And if his doom be upon you, Then may God grant you this: To fight as good a fight as he, And win a crown like his. He was strong and handsome and happy, Beloved and loving and young, 'With eyes that men set their trust in, And the fire of his soul on his tongue. He loved the spirit of Freedom, He hated his country's wrongs, He told the patriots' stories, He sang the patriot's songs. With mother and sister and sweetheart His safe glad days went by, Till Hungary called on her children To arm--to fight--and to die. "Goodbye to mother and sister, Goodbye to m... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


On everything that lives, if one looks searchingly, is limned the shadow line of an idea --- an idea, dead or living, sometimes stronger when dead, with rigid, unswerving lines that mark the living embodiment with the stern immobile cast of the non-living. Daily we move among these unyielding shadows, less pierceable, more enduring than granite, with the blackness of ages in them, dominating living, changing bodies, with dead, unchanging souls. And we meet, also, living souls dominating dying bodies-living ideas regnant over decay and death. Do not imagine that I speak of human life alone. The stamp of persistent or of shifting Will is visible in the grass-blade rooted in its clod of earth, as in the gossamer web of being that floats and sw... (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...

From the Cossack village I did not travel directly to Russia, but first to Pyatigórsk, where I stayed two months. Milton I gave away to a Cossack hunter, and Búlka I took along with me to Pyatigórsk. Pyatigórsk [in English, Five-Mountains] is called so because it is situated on Mount Besh-tau. And besh means in Tartar "five," and tau "mountain." From this mountain flows a hot sulfur stream. It is as hot as boiling water, and over the spot where the water flows from the mountain there is always a steam as from a samovár. The whole place, on which the city stands, is very cheerful. From the mountain flow the hot springs, and at the foot of the mountain is the river Podkúmok. On the slopes of the mountain are forests; all around the city are fields, and in the distance are seen the mountains of the Caucasus. On these the snow never melts, and they are always as white as sugar. One large mountain, Elbrus, is like a white loaf o...

"You will readily imagine what a thunder-stroke it was to me to be entered as one of the members in this vast machine. Up to the period of eight years of age I had been accustomed to walk upon the level plain of human society; I had submitted to my parents and instructors; but I had no idea that there was any class or cast of my fellow-creatures superior to that in which I was destined to move. This persuasion inspires into the heart, particularly the heart of the young, such gaiety of temper, and graceful confidence in action! Now I was cast down at once, to be the associate of the lowest class of mechanics, paupers, brutified in intellect, and squalid in attire. "I had, however, the courage to make up my resolution at once to the calamities of my station. I saw what it was to which it would be necessary for me to submit; and I felt too proud, to allow myself to be driven by blows and hard usage to that from which I could not e...


A Free Man's Worship by Bertrand Russell A brief introduction: "A Free Man's Worship" (first published as "The Free Man's Worship" in Dec. 1903) is perhaps Bertrand Russell's best known and most reprinted essay. Its mood and language have often been explained, even by Russell himself, as reflecting a particular time in his life; "it depend(s)," he wrote in 1929, "upon a metaphysic which is more platonic than that which I now believe in." Yet the essay sounds many characteristic Russellian themes and preoccupations and deserves consideration--and further serious study--as an historical landmark of early-twentieth-century European thought. For a scholarly edition with some documentation, see Volume 12 of The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russe... (From : Drew.edu.)


TO THE EDITOR OF "FREEDOM." Many thanks for the copy of Freedom sent to me the other week. I hope it will be the means of snapping some of the links in the chain that makes us the slaves of landlords, capitalists, and others who live out of the labors of the workers everywhere. Why we should be for ever producing wealth and yet not have the power of enjoying it ourselves, is more than I can understand. The staple trade of this village is shoe work, and most of that of a common sort. One manufacturer resides in the place; the others live at a distance. We are somewhere in the position of the Irish. The land is claimed by absentee landlords, who must have their rent for doing nothing live There are over two thousand acres of land in the paris... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


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....)


• "None can judge with certainty who is right and who is wrong, who is nearest the truth, or which is the best way to achieve the greatest good for each and everyone. Freedom coupled with experience, is the only way of discovering the truth and what is best; and there can be no freedom if there is a denial of the freedom to err."


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.)


These letters, addressed to Frederic Bastiat, an economist, originally appeared in a debate published in The Voice of the People, in 1849. Interest and Principal A Loan is a Service On the one hand, it is very true, as you have unquestionably established, that a loan is a service. And as every service has a value, and, in consequence, is entitled by its nature to a reward, it follows that a loan ought to have its price, or, to use the technical phrase, ought to bear interest. But it is also true, and this truth is consistent with the preceding one, that he who tends, under the ordinary conditions of the professional lender, does not deprive himself, as you phrase it, of the capital which be lends. He lends it, on the contrary, precisely bec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


No one at all capable of an intense conscious inner life need ever hope to escape mental anguish and suffering. Sorrow and often despair over the so-called eternal fitness of things are the most persistent companions of our life. But they do not come upon us from the outside, through the evil deeds of particularly evil people. They are conditioned in our very being; indeed, they are interwoven through a thousand tender and coarse threads with our existence. It is absolutely necessary that we realize this fact, because people who never get away from the notion that their misfortune is due to the wickedness of their fellows never can outgrow the petty hatred and malice which constantly blames, condemns, and hounds others for something that is... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

THE JOURNAL OF LEO TOLSTOY October–December 1895 THE JOURNAL OF LEO TOLSTOY I continue[A] October 28. Yasnaya Polyana. Have been thinking: Have been thinking one thing: that this life which we see around us is a movement of matter according to fixed, well-known laws; but that in us we feel the presence of an altogether different law, having nothing in common with the others and requiring from us the fulfillment of its demands. It can be said that we see and recognize all the other laws only because we have in us this law. If we did not recognize this law, we would not recognize the others. This law is different from all the rest, principally in this, that those other laws are outside of us and forces us to obey them; but this law is in us—and more than in us; it is our very selves and therefore it does not force us when we obey it, b...


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, 4 March, 1920 Esteemed Vladimir Ilich, Several employes of the postal-telegraph department have come to me with the request that I bring to your attention information about their truly desperate situation. As this problem concerns not only the commissariat of mail and telegraphs alone, but the general condition of everyday life in Russia, I hasten to fulfill their request. You know, of course, that to live in the Dmitrov district on the salary received by these employes is absolutely impossible. It is impossible even to buy a bushel of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


From: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, 1971. Letter to the Comrades of the Jura Federation Mikhail Bakunin 1873 October 12, 1873 October 12, 1873 I cannot retire from public life without addressing to you .these few parting words of appreciation and sympathy. ... in spite of all the tricks of our enemies and the infamous slanders they have spread about me, your esteem, your friendship, and your confidence in me have never wavered. Nor have you allowed yourselves to be intimidated when they brazenly accused you of being "Bakuninists," hero-worshipers, mindless followers... You have to the highest degree always conscientiously maintained the independence of your opinions and the spontaneity of your acts; the perfidiou... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Subjection of India-Its Cause and Cure
Introduction by M. K. GANDHI The letter printed below is a translation of Tolstoy's letter written in Russian in reply to one from the Editor of Free Hindustan. After having passed from hand to hand, this letter at last came into my possession through a friend who asked me, as one much interested in Tolstoy's writings, whether I thought it worth publishing. I at once replied in the affirmative, and told him I should translate it myself into Gujarati and induce others' to translate and publish it in various Indian vernaculars. The letter as received by me was a type-written copy. It was therefore referred to the author, who confirmed it as his and kindly granted me permission to print it. To me, as a humble follower of that great teacher who... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Here was one guard, and here was the other at this end. I was here opposite the gate. You know those problems in geometry of the hare and the hounds, they never run straight, but always in a curve, so, see? And the guard was no smarter than the dogs. If he had run straight he would have caught me. It was Peter Kropotkin telling of his escape from the Petro-Paulovsky fortress. Three crumbs on the table marked the relative position of the outwitted guards and the fugitive prisoner; the speaker had broken them from the bread on which he was lunching and dropped them on the table with an amused grin. The suggested triangle had been the starting point of the life long exile of the greatest man, save Tolstoy alone, that Russia has produced: from ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


GREEN PERSPECTIVES A Left Green Publication Number 20 November 1989 P.O. Box 111 Burlington, VT 05402 The Meaning of Confederalism by Murray Bookchin Few arguments have been used more effectively to challenge the case for face-to-face participatory democracy than the claim that we live in a "complex society." Modern population centers, we are told, are too large and too concentrated to allow for direct decision-making at a grassroots level. And our economy is too "global," presumably, to unravel the intricacies of production and commerce. In our present transnational, often highly centralized social system, it is better to enhance representation in the state, to increase the efficiency of bureaucratic institutions, we are advised, than to a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

When I apprehended clearly the words "Resist not evil," my conception of the doctrine of Jesus was entirely changed; and I was astounded, not that I had failed to understand it before, but that I had misunderstood it so strangely. I knew, as we all know, that the true significance of the doctrine of Jesus was comprised in the injunction to love one's neighbor. When we say, "Turn the other cheek," "Love your enemies," we express the very essence of Christianity. I knew all that from my childhood; but why had I failed to understand aright these simple words? Why had I always sought for some ulterior meaning? "Resist not evil" means, never resist, never oppose violence; or, in other words, never do anything contrary to the law of love. If any one takes advantage of this disposition and affronts you, bear the affront, and do not, above all, have recourse to violence. This Jesus said in words so clear and simple that it would be impossible to express the ide...


Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence. From sickness of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


One year has passed since the death of Francisco Ferrer. His martyrdom has called forth almost universal indignation against the cabal of priest and ruler that doomed a noble man to death. The thinking, progressive elements throughout the world have voiced their protest in no ambiguous manner. Everywhere sympathy has been manifested for Ferrer, the modern victim of the Spanish Inquisition, and deep appreciation expressed for his work and aims. In short, the death of Ferrer has succeeded - as probably no other martyrdom of recent history - in rousing the social conscience of man. It has clarified the eternally unchanging attitude of the church as the enemy of progress; it has convincingly exposed the State as the crafty foe of popular advanc... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)

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