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


(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.)


If I am not deceived, my readers must be convinced at least of one thing, that Social Truth is not to be looked for either in Utopia or in the Old Routine; that Political Economy is not the Science of Society, and yet that it contains the elements of such a science, even as chaos before creation contained the elements of the universe; and finally, that in order to arrive at the definitive organization which would appear to be the destiny of our race upon this globe, it is only necessary to make a general equation of all our contradictions. But what shall be the formula of this equation? Already we have been enabled to perceive, that it must be a Law of Exchange, a theory of Mutualism, a system of Guarantees, which dissolves the old forms of... (From : proudhonlibrary.org.)


[We have received the following from a non-Anarchist correspondent. "We insert it in the belief that the measured and quiet words in which our contributor describes how the ancient customs and sense of mutual responsibility of the English people have been turned in the hands of evil men and ruling classes into an instrument of cruelty and oppression, may stir some of our readers to think for themselves what is the true meaning of that blind subservience to the law, to which they are daily exhorted by their pastors and masters.--ED.] Not by argument, but by mere dogged pressure of a class-majority, fighting in its old dull method the fight for its proprietary monopolies, the Jubilee Coercion Bill is being forced through Parliament. But outsi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

When we cast a glance upon the immense progress realized by the natural sciences in the course of the nineteenth century, and when we perceive the promises they contain for the future, we can not but feel deeply impressed by the idea that mankind is entering upon a new era of progress It has, at any rate, before it all the elements for preparing such a new era. In the course of the last one hundred years, new branches of knowledge, opening entirely new vistas upon the laws of the development of human society, have grown up under the names of anthropology prehistoric ethnology (science of the primitive social institutions), the history of religions, and so on. New conceptions about the whole life of the universe were developed by pursuing such lines of research as molecular physics, the chemical structure of matter, and the chemical composition of distant worlds. And the traditional views about the position of man in the universe, the origin of life, and the nature of reas...


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.)


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.)


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.)


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.)


Six years have passed since William McKinley met his doom at Buffalo and the return stroke of justice took the life of his slayer, Leon Czolgosz. The wild rage that stormed through the brains of the people, following that revolver shot, turning them into temporary madmen, incapable of seeing, hearing, or thinking correctly, has spent itself. Figures are beginning to appear in their true relative proportions, and there is some likelihood that sane words will be sanely listened to. Instead of the wild and savage threats, “Brand the Anarchists with hot iron,” “Boil in oil,” “Hang to the first lamp-post,” “Scourge and shackle,” “Deport to a desert island,” which were the stock phrases ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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 people; and...

A Factor of EvolutionMutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution Peter Kropotkin 1902 INTRODUCTION Two aspects of animal life impressed me most during the journeys which I made in my youth in Eastern Siberia and Northern Manchuria. One of them was the extreme severity of the struggle for existence which most species of animals have to carry on against an inclement Nature; the enormous destruction of life which periodically results from natural agencies; and the consequent paucity of life over the vast territory which fell under my observation. And the other was, that even in those few spots where animal life teemed in abundance, I failed to find -- although I was eagerly looking for it -- that bitter struggle for the means of existence, among animals belonging to the same species, which was considered by most Darwinists (though not always by Darwin himself) as the dominant characteristic of struggle for life, and the main factor of evolution. The...


Introduction In the year 1837, Adolphe Blanqui (brother of the revolutionary leader from whom the Blanquists took their name) wrote a book, The History of Political Economy. He showed in it the importance which economics had in the history of humanity for the determination of political forms and also for the building up of current ideas on Right, Morals and Philosophy. Sixty years ago, Liberals and Radicals concentrated their thoughts on politics, and were altogether unaware of the new industrial conditions which were in course of formation out of the ruins of the old regime. It was from Blanqui’s point of view quite legitimate that in order to draw attention upon economics and upon the Socialist movement which was then beginning, he s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The question frequently arises in discussions: "But if you got an anarchist state of society to-morrow, how would you maintain it? and even if it did continue for a certain time, would not, afterwards, when the first force of revolutionary sentiment and vigilance had spent itself, the old abuses gradually and insidiously come to reestablish themselves, as they came to be established in the first instance?" The question is worth answering, especially the latter portion of it. The only way in which a state of Anarchy can be obtained is for each man who is oppressed to act as if he were at liberty, in defiance of all authority to the contrary, and evading or overcoming by force by which he is opposed or pursued. The liberty of each is created ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


Herbert Read, . The Philosophy of Anarchism. London: Freedom Press. The Philosophy of Anarchism. By Herbert Read FREEDOM PRESS First published September 1940 by Freedom Press. 27, Red Lion Street. London, W.C.1, Second Impression, June 1941 Third Impression, December 1941 Fourth Impression, July 1942 Fifth Impression, February 1943 Sixth Impression, December 1944. Seventh Impression, November 1947. All rights reserved. Printed in Great Britain by Express Printers, London. Ts'ui Chii said to Lao Tzu, "You say there must be no government. But it there is no government, how are men's hearts to be improved?" "The last thing you should do," said Lao Tzu, "is to tamper with men's hearts. The heart of man is like a spring; if you press it down, it... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


To give an adequate exposition of the Philosophy of Atheism, it would be necessary to go into the historical changes of the belief in a Deity, from its earliest beginning to the present day. But that is not within the scope of the present paper. However, it is not out of place to mention, in passing, that the concept God, Supernatural Power, Spirit, Deity, or in whatever other term the essence of Theism may have found expression, has become more indefinite and obscure in the course of time and progress. In other words, the God idea is growing more impersonal and nebulous in- proportion as the human mind is learning to understand natural phenomena and in the degree that science progressively correlates human and social events. God, today, no... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil: "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!' "The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Essays in Literary Criticism
Essays in Literary Criticism Homo est quodammodo omnia. [Man is somehow everything.] —ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Faber and Gwyer -iii- First published in mcmxxvi by Faber and Gwyer Limited 24 Russell Square London. Made and printed in Great Britain by the Chiswick Press: Charles Whittingham & Griggs (Printers) Limited Tooks Court Chancery Lane London -iv- CONTENTS THE ATTRIBUTES OF CRITICISM 1 THE NATURE OF METAPHYSICAL POETRY 31 PURE POETRY 59 THE FUTURE OF POETRY 67 PSYCHO-ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM 83 THE DISCIPLES OF DIDEROT 107 THE DEFINITION OF COMEDY 127 THE DIALOGUE 139 CHARLOTTE AND EMILY Brontë 159 TOBIAS SMOLLETT 187 THE MODERN NOVEL (CURSORY NOTES) 207 INDEX... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published Essays and Pamphlets Sacco and Vanzetti by Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman [Published in The Road to Freedom (New York), Vol. 5, Aug. 1929.] THE names of the "good shoe-maker and poor fish-peddler" have ceased to represent merely two Italian workingmen. Throughout the civilized world Sacco and Vanzetti have become a symbol, the shibboleth of Justice crushed by Might. That is the great historic significance of this twentieth century crucifixion, and truly prophetic, were the words of Vanzetti when he declared, "The last moment belongs to us--that agony is our triumph." We hear a great deal of progress and by that people usually mean improvements of various kinds, mostly life-saving discoveries and labor-saving inventions, or ref... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The miners who work the sulfur mines in the beautiful island of Sicily are some of the most unhappy victims of oppression on the face of the earth: the oppression of property, we mean. A comrade who has lately been among them sends us a description of the state of things. You cannot conceive, he writes, a more primitive kind of work; there is no machinery to take the miners down into the pits or to bring the mineral up. All is done by hand, and the "hands" are moody little children. Children, some of whom are only six years old, have to carry on their shoulders loads weighing from one hundred to two hundred pounds, up steep, rough, broken flights of steps for two or three hundred yards. The poor little creatures arrive at the top utterly br... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


SOCIETY AND ECOLOGY The problems which many people face today in "defining" themselves, in knowing "who they are"--problems that feed a vast psychotherapy industry--are by no means personal ones. These problems exist not only for private individuals; they exist for modern society as a whole. Socially, we live in desperate uncertainty about how people relate to each other. We suffer not only as individuals from alienation and confusion over our identities and goals; our entire society, conceived as a single entity, seems unclear about its own nature and sense of direction. If earlier societies tried to foster a belief in the virtues of cooperation and caring, thereby giving an ethical meaning to social life, modern society fosters a belief i... (From : Spunk.org.)

When Kropotkin was invited by Jean Grave, editor of Les Temps Nouveaux, to take part in a series of lectures to be held in the Milles Colonnes Hall in Paris in March 1896, he chose two subjects: The State: Its Historic Role and Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Its Ideal. Bearing in mind that his greatest work, Mutual Aid, had been appearing as a series of articles in The Nineteenth Century from 1890-1896 his choice of subjects for these lectures is not surprising. Kropotkin explains in the French edition of his Memoirs "The research that I carried out in the course of familiarizing myself with the institutions of the barbarian period and those of the free cities of the Middle Ages, led me to carry out further interesting research on the role played by the State during the last three centuries, from the time of its last incarnation in Europe. In addition the study of institutions of mutual aid in th...

True Civilization. Warren, Josiah Boston, Mass. PREFACE. The present condition of our country, and of many other parts of the world, calls out and places before us, as in a panorama, whatever there is of thought; whatever there has been of progress or retrogression, and displays to us at a simple glance, as it were, the present state of civilization in so vivid a manner that we are enabled to weigh and estimate what we have and what we need with a degree of certainty that, in a state of repose, no one's lifetime might enable him to measure; and which may reasonably inspire even the humble with a boldness suited to the time, and with a hope that discoveries indispensable to true civilization, that could scarcely gain a single ear while the adversities of life could be borne, may now receive some attention where all confidence in the tried is lost. TABLE OF REFERENCE.


First published in War Commentary - For Anarchism mid-march 1944. In no characteristic is existing society in the West so sharply distinguished from the earlier societies, whether of Europe or the East, than in its conception of time. To the ancient Chinese or Greek, to the Arab herdsman or Mexican peon of today, time is represented in the cyclic processes of nature, the alternation of day and night, the passage from season to season. The nomads and farmers measured and still measure their day from sunrise to sunset, and their year in terms of the seedtime and harvest, of the falling leaf and the ice thawing on the lakes and rivers. The farmer worked according to the elements, the craftsman for so long as he felt it necessary to perfect his... (From : Spunk.org.)


To those of us who still retain an irreconcilable animus against war, it has been a bitter experience to see the unanimity with which the American intellectuals have thrown their support to the use of war-technique in the crisis in which America found herself. Socialists, college professors, publicists, new-republicans, practitioners of literature, have vied with each other in confirming with their intellectual faith the collapse of neutrality and the riveting of the war-mind on a hundred million more of the world's people. And the intellectuals are not content with confirming our belligerent gesture. They are now complacently asserting that it was they who effectively willed it, against the hesitation and dim perceptions of the American de... (From : BigEye.com.)


To most Americans of the classes which consider themselves significant the war [World War II brought a sense of the sanctity of the State which, if they had had time to think about it, would have seemed a sudden and surprising alteration in their habits of thought. In times of peace, we usually ignore the State in favor of partisan political controversies, or personal struggles for office, or the pursuit of party policies. It is the Government rather than the State with which the politically minded are concerned. The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of patriotic holiday. Government is obviously composed of common and unsanctified men, and is thus a legitimate object of criticism and even co... (From : bopsecrets.org.)


Publication of the following article is forthcoming in Murray Bookchin, Anarchism, Marxism, and the Future of the Left (San Francisco and Edinburgh: A.K. Press, 1998). The article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and publisher. Whither Anarchism? A Reply to Recent Anarchist Critics by Murray Bookchin Liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality. -- Mikhail Bakunin What form will anarchism take as it enters the twenty-first century? What basic ideas will it advance? What kind of movement, if any, will it try to create? How will it try to change the human sensibilities and social institutions that it has inherited from the past? In a fundamental sense the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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