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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,...


(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.)

Political Liberalism After the chalice of so-called absolute monarchy had been drained down to the dregs, in the eighteenth century people became aware that their drink did not taste human - too clearly aware not to begin to crave a different cup. Since our fathers were "human beings" after all, they at last desired also to be regarded as such. Whoever sees in us something else than human beings, in him we likewise will not see a human being, but an inhuman being, and will meet him as an unhuman being; on the other hand, whoever recognizes us as human beings and protects us against the danger of being treated inhumanly, him we will honor as our true protector and guardian. Let us then hold together and protect the man in each other; then we find the necessary protection in our holding together, and in ourselves, those who hold together, a fellowship of those who know their human dignity and hold together as "human beings." Our holding together is the stat...

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 indi...

The text is taken from my copy of the fourth edition, 1842. This version of Political Justice, originally published in 1793, is based on the corrected third edition, published in 1798. Click here to jump to the table of contents for Volume 1. The table of contents for volume 2 can be found here. INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON MORALS AND HAPPINESS. BY WILLIAM GODWIN. THE FOURTH EDITION IN TWO VOLUMES. VOL I. LONDON: J.WATSON, 5 PAUL'S ALLEY, PATERNOSTER ROW. 1842 Few works of literature are held to be of more general use, than those which treat in a methodical and elementary way of the principles of science. But the human mind in every enlightened age is progressive; a...

The progress made by the natural sciences in the nineteenth century awakened in modern thinkers the desire to work out a new system of ethics on positive bases. After having established the fundamental principles of a universal philosophy free from postulates of supernatural forces, and at the same time, majestic, poetical, and capable of stimulating in men the highest motives,-modern science no longer needs to resort to supernatural inspiration to justify its ideals of moral beauty. Besides, science foresees that in the not-distant future, human society, liberated, through the progress of science, from the poverty of former ages, and organized on the principles of justice and mutual aid, will be able to secure for man free expression of his intellectual, technical, and artistic creative impulses. And this prevision opens up such broad moral possibilities for the future, that for their realization there is no longer any need either of the influence of the supernatural wor...


From Elisée Reclus , Evolution and Revolution, London: W. Reeves, Seventh Edition EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION By Elisée Reclus THESE two words, Evolution and Revolution, closely resemble one another, and yet they are constantly used in their social and political sense as though their meaning were absolutely antagonistic. The word Evolution, synonymous with gradual and continuous development in morals and ideas, is brought forward in certain circles as though it were the antithesis of that fearful word, Revolution, which implies changes more or less sudden in their action, and entailing some sort of catastrophe. And yet is it possible that a transformation can take place in ideas without bringing about some abrupt displacements in... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)


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.)


From: Bakunin's Writings, Guy A. Aldred Modern Publishers, Indore Kraus Reprint co. New York 1947 THE GERMAN CRISIS Whosoever mentions the State, implies force, oppression, exploitation, injustice-all these brought together as a system are the main condition of present-day society. The State has never had, and never can have, a morality. Its only morality and justice is its own interest, its existence, and its omnipotence at any price; and before its interest, all interest of humanity must stand in the back-ground. The State is the negation of Humanity. It is this in two ways: the opposite of human freedom and human justice (internally), as well as the forcible disruption of the common solidarity of mankind (externally).The Universal State,... (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.)


Ethics: Morality of the State The Theory of Social Contract. Man is not only the most individual being on earth-he is also the most social being. It was a great fallacy on the part of Jean Jacques Rousseau to have assumed that primitive society was established by a free contract entered into by savages. But Rousseau was not the only one to uphold such views. The majority of jurists and modern writers, whether of the Kantian school or of other individualist and liberal schools, who do not accept the theological idea of society being founded upon divine right, nor that of the Hegelian school-of society as the more or less mystic realization of objective morality- nor the primitive animal society of the naturalist school-take nolens volens, fo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The Impulse to Power introduction to the book "Power" by Bertrand Russell . Between man and other animals there are various differences, some intellectual, some emotional. One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of- animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction. The boa constrictor, when he has had his meal, sleeps until appetite revives; if other animals do not do likewise, it is because their meals are less adequate or because they fear enemies. The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative. With men, the matter is... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_pow....)


In Praise of Idleness This text was first provided by the Massachusetts Green Party, but I found out that they have moved or deleted their page, so now I'm keeping a "mirror" of their text. . In this essay, Lord Bertrand Russell proposes a cut in the definition of full time to four hours per day. As this article was written in 1932, he has not the benefit of knowing that, as we added more wage-earners per family (women entered the work force) and families shrunk (fewer kids), and the means of production become more efficient (better machines) the number of hours each wage-earner must work to support the family has stayed constant. These facts seem to uphold Russell's point. Like most of my generatio... (From : http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/2528/br_idl....)


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.)


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 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.)


From Post Scarcity Anarchism, 1971. Listen, Marxist! by Murray Bookchin All the old crap of the thirties is coming back again--the shit about the "class line," the "role of the working class," the "trained cadres," the "vanguard party," and the "proletarian dictatorship." It's all back again, and in a more vulgarized form than ever. The Progressive Labor Party is not the only example, it is merely the worst. One smells the same shit in various offshoots of SDS, and in the Marxist and Socialist clubs on campuses, not to speak of the Trotskyist groups, the International Socialist Clubs and the Youth Against War and Fascism. In the thirties, at least it was understandable. The United States was paralyzed by a chronic economic crisis, the deepe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Before going further, let us sum up the conclusions at which we have arrived in our preceding articles. They are two, and each of them is of importance in enabling us to see what we brave to do. We have established -- and if space permitted we might do so with a much greater display of arguments -- that we must rely for the accomplishment of the Social Revolution which we feel approaching all over the civilized world, neither on the present parliaments, nor on any representative bodies which might be summoned during a more disturbed period than the present. A mere change of Government would not necessarily be a revolution, even though the overthrow of the Government might be accompanied by acts of violence. European society is in need of a ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Dr. Malthus, an economist, an Englishman, once wrote the following words: “A man who is born into a world already possessed, if he cannot get subsistence from his parents on whom he has a just demand, and if the society do not want his labor, has no claim of right to the smallest portion of food, and, in fact, has no business to be where he is. At nature’s mighty feast there is no vacant cover for him. She tells him to be gone, and will quickly execute her own orders...” As a consequence of this great principle, Malthus recommends, with the most terrible threats, every man who has neither labor nor income upon which to live to take himself away, or at any rate to have no more children. A family, — that is, love, &mda... (From : anarchism.pageabode.com.)


Translated and Edited with a Biographical Sketch by K. J. Kenafick TO THE MEMORY OF J. W. (Chummy) FLEMING WHO, FOR NEARLY SIXTY YEARS UPHELD THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM AT THE YARA BANK OPEN AIR FORUM MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- K. J. Kenafick [First published in 1950 by Freedom Press. Scanned in and put in HTML format by Greg Alt (galt@facility.cs.utah.edu) on January 15, 1996. There was no copyright notice found in the 1984 printing by Freedom Press. All of the text except for the footnotes, foreword, and biography were written by Mikhail Bakunin and translated and edited by Kenafick. I have tried to fix all the errors resulting from scanning, but be aware that there are probably a few left{Dana Ward corrected html errors, December, 1999}] Table of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A Powerful Disseminator Of Radical Thought
So long as discontent and unrest make themselves but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such manifestations. But when the dumb unrest grows into conscious expression and becomes almost universal, it necessarily affects all phases of human thought and action, and seeks its individual and social expression in the gradual transvaluation of existing values. An adequate appreciation of the tremendous spread of the modern, conscious social unrest cannot be gained from merely propagandistic literature. Rather must we become conversant with the larger phases of human expression manifest in art, literature, and, above all, the modern drama--the strongest and most far-reaching interprete... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism, like Socialism in general, and like every other social movement, has not, of course, developed out of science or out of some philosophical school. The social sciences are still very far removed from the time when they shall be as exact as are physics and chemistry. Even in meteorology we cannot yet predict the weather a month, or even one week, in advance. It would be unreasonable, therefore, to expect of the young social sciences, which are concerned with phenomena much more complex than winds and rain, that they should foretell social events with any approach to certainty. Besides, it must not be forgotten that men of science, too, are but human, and that most of them either belong by descent to the possessing classes, and are steeped in the prejudices of their class, or else are in the actual service of the government. Not out of the universities, therefore, does Anarchism come. As Socialism in general, Anarchism was born among the peo...


(By a non-Anarchist correspondent.) The above written title is that of an essay by Mr. Karl Pearson, to whose opinions on Socialism some reference was made in the October number of Freedom. The essay has for some time past been familiar to us in pamphlet form, and is re-issued in Mr. Pearson's recently published volume of contributions to 'The Ethic of Freethought.' Now that it is thus surrounded and buttressed by complementary dissertations, it is perhaps not unfair to give utterance to a dissatisfaction which will have been felt by a good many Socialists at the manner in which the promise of the title hap been fulfilled. and to attempt some indication of what it is that is required for its fulfillment. "Not from fear of hell," writes Mr. ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

An Essay
• "...if one closely examines what happens deep down, in the intimate daily lives of the mass of humanity, one finds that as well as the struggle to snatch better working conditions, the thirst for domination, rivalry, envy and all the unhealthy passions which set man against man, is also valuable work, mutual aid, unceasing and voluntary exchange of services, affection, love, friendship and all that which draws people closer together in brotherhood. And human collectivizes advance or decay, live or die, depending on whether solidarity and love, or hatred and struggle, predominate in the community's affairs; indeed, the very existence of any community would not be possible if the social feelings, which I would call the good passions, were not stronger than the bad."
• "...­human history is full of violence, wars, carnage (besides the ruthless exploitation of the labor of others) and innumerable tyrannies and slavery."
• "...fortunately there exists in Man another feeling which draws him closer to his neighbor, the feeling of sympathy, tolerance, of love, and, thanks to it, mankind became more civilized, and from it grew our idea which aims at making society a true gathering of brothers and friends all working for the common good."


Chinese society is at the darkest stage now. Under such circumstances, young people become impotent and weak without the power to resist corruption. Even the brave ones can only keep quiet and submit to fate. When it is really unbearable, suicide is the only way out. China is paralyzed; where can we find happiness? Some conscious youth believe that the only way to improve China’s current situation is to promote “nationalism,” and identify “nationalism” as the only road to happiness for the Chinese. Voices of “nationalism” have spread all over the nation. I shudder at such a thought. “Nationalism” is in fact the obstacle to human progress. Being a member of this society, I cannot accept nationalis... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

THE SCANDINAVIAN DRAMA In a letter to George Brandes, shortly after the Paris Commune, Henrik Ibsen wrote concerning the State and political liberty: "The State is the curse of the individual. How has the national strength of Prussia been purchased? By the sinking of the individual in a political and geographical formula. . . . The State must go! That will be a revolution which will find me on its side. Undermine the idea of the State, set up in its place spontaneous action, and the idea that spiritual relationship is the only thing that makes for unity, and you will start the elements of a liberty which will be something worth possessing." The State was not the only bête noire of Henrik Ibsen. Every other institution which, like the State, rests upon a lie, was an iniquity to him. Uncompromising demolisher of all false idols and dynamiter of all social shams and hypocrisy, Ibsen consistently strove to uproot every stone of our so...

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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