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This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and publisher. COMMENT P.O. BOX 158 BURLINGTON, VT 05402 --New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought-- EDITOR: Murray Bookchin Vol. 1, No. 5 Price: 80 cents The American Crisis II NOTE: The following issue of COMMENT No. 5 is a continuation of No. 4. Please note that the publication of COMMENT has been moved to Burlington, Vermont, where it will be published for at least the next year. Readers who have subscribed to COMMENT will continue to receive it. Those who have not done so -- or do not intend to do so in the near future -- will cease to receive future issues owing to our very considerable print and mailing costs. Image::... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


1. ANARCHISM - a life of freedom and creative independence for humanity. Anarchism does not depend on theory or programs, which try to grasp man's life in its entirety. It is a teaching, which is based on real life, which outgrows all artificial limitations, which cannot be constricted by any system. Anarchism's outward form is a free, non-governed society, which offers freedom, equality and solidarity for its members. Its foundations are to be found in man's sense of mutual responsibility, which has remained unchanged in all places and times. This sense of responsibility is capable of securing freedom and social justice for all men by its own unaided efforts. It is also the foundation of true communism. Anarchism therefore is a part of hum... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The history of the great revolution, when properly understood, is the most striking illustration of what we Anarchists maintain, namely, that even during a revolutionary period, even with assemblies elected under the pressure of the revolted masses, the parliamentary representatives of the nation, far from promoting the accomplishment of the revolution, were like heavy shot attached to its feet. If the French-peasants had expected their liberation from the feudal yoke from the National Convention, the Assembly, or the Legislative Assembly, or even the Convention, would have come out of the revolution under nearly the same burden as before. And if France had expected from her legislators the abolition of court rule, court rule would have bee... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


"Community Control or Status Politics: A Reply to David Lewis," GREEN MULTILOGUE [Toronto] (May 13, 1991) Community Control or Statist Politics: A Reply to David Lewis by Murray Bookchin In his Green Multilogue hatchet job "The Thought of Director Bookchin" (May 13), David Lewis apparently sets out to undo any obstacle that my antihierarchical views -- libertarian municipalism and social ecology -- might present to his efforts to build a Green party. This does not exclude using blatant lies and gross distortions of my ideas. At his crudest (and he can be very crude indeed), he describes people who agree with my work as my "followers" and in the same vein demagogically makes an analogy between me and Chairman Mao ("Director Bookchin"). He as... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The greatest excitement has prevailed in Russia for the last few weeks since it became known that representatives of the Zemstvos of thirty-four provinces of the Empire were going to meet at St. Petersburg in order to discuss the necessary reforms in the general political organization of the country. The very fact that such an authorization had been granted was equivalent to an invitation to discuss a scheme of a Constitution; and so it was understood everywhere. When the Zemstvo delegates were leaving their respective provincial towns they were sent off by groups of enthusiastic friends, whose parting words were: 'Return with a Constitution!' Their original intention was to make of their conference a solemn official gathering which would s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


A Defense for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850 (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1850). Lysander Spooner Table of Contents Poverty, Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure.—part I. By Lysander Spooner. Recommendations. Act of Congress of 1793.: An Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters. Act of Congress of 1850.: An Act to Amend, and Supplementary to the Act, Entitled "an Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters," Approved February 12, 1793. A Defense For Fugitive Slaves. Chapter I.: Unconstitutionality of the Acts of Congress of 1793 and 1850. Chapter II.: The Right of Resistance, and the R... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Twelve Proofs of the Inexistence of God
There are two ways of studying and trying to solve the problem of the inexistence of God. One way is that of eliminating the hypothesis God from the field of plausible and necessary conjectures by a clear precise explanation through the exposition of a positive system of the universe, its origin, its successive evolutions and its final scope. But such an exposition would make the idea of God useless and would destroy beforehand the whole metaphysical edifice upon which it has been placed by spiritual philosophers and theologians. However, taking in consideration the present status of human knowledge and duly confining ourselves to that which is demonstrable and has been demonstrated, verifiable and has been verified, we have to admit that t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


When the approach of serious revolutionary movements is generally felt, it is very difficult to hold back from trying to raise a corner of the veil which conceals the future,--from trying to foresee what may be the possible issue of the approaching disturbances. Of course, historical forecasts as a rule are exceedingly difficult. We know that the keenest minds who lived, in times past, on the eve of great revolutions, failed to foresee the probable issues of the coming events. Some of their predictions went too far; but some others were rapidly distanced by the revolution. It must be avowed, however, that those forecasts were too often mere expressions of the personal wishes of the prophets; and that they very seldom had the character of re... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


The death of Michael Katkoff has deprived Russian despotism of its ablest supporter; the one man who by his strong logic and marvelous facility in self-deception had skill and audacity to make meanness seem great and a lie truth. Time was when young Katkoff was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Moscow, so enlightened in his opinions that the suspicions of Czar Nicholas obliged him to resign his post. And when, amid the national outburst of liberal thought and zeal for reform which marked the earliest years of the reign of Alexander II., Katkoff turned his attention to journalism, he founded the Russian .Messenger, a magazine favoring English forms of self-government. In 1861 when he became editor of the celebrated Moscow Gazett... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


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.)


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.)

In every revolutionary history three things are to be observed: The preceding state of affairs, which the revolution aims at overthrowing, and which becomes counter-revolution through its desire to maintain its existence. The various parties which take different views of the revolution, according to their prejudices and interests, yet are compelled to embrace it and to use it for their advantage. The revolution itself, which constitutes the solution. The parliamentary, philosophical, and dramatic history of the Revolution of 1848 can already furnish material for volumes. I shall confine myself to discussing disinterestedly certain questions which may illuminate our present knowledge. What I shall say will suffice, I hope, to explain the progress of the Revolution of the Nineteenth Century, and to enable us to conjecture its future. This is not a statement of facts: it is a speculative plan, an intellectual picture of the Revolution.


On the 5th of May last the celebration of the centenary of the French Revolution began by the commemoration of the opening of the States-General at Versailles, at the same date, in the memorable year of 1789. And Paris—that city which in January last so clearly manifested its dissatisfaction with Parliamentary rule—heartily joined in the festivities organized to celebrate a day when parliamentary institutions, crossing the Channel, went to take firm root on the Continent. Must we see in the enthusiasm of the Parisians one of those seeming contradictions which are so common in the complicated life of large human agglomerations? Or was it the irresistible attraction of a spring festival which induced the Parisians to rush in flock... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Unexpected reaction sets in -- Exultation of revolutionists -- Their misconception of the situation -- Reaction versus Revolution -- Aims of middle classes -- Assembly, afraid of people, strengthens its position -- Council of Three Hundred establishes its authority -- Importance of Bailly and Lafayette -- Martial law voted -- Marat, Robespierre and Buzot alone protest -- Intrigues of Duke of Orléans and Count de Provence -- Mirabeau -- Aims of educated middle class -- Duport, Charles de Lameth and Barnavo -- Bailly and Lafayette -- Alarm of middle classes at insurrection -- Proposal of Sieyès accepted -- Ancient feudal divisions abolished -- France divided into departments -- Electoral Assemblies -- Difference between passive and active citizens -- General assemblies of village communes forbidden -- Importance to Revolution of municipal centers -- Parliaments abolished -- Formidable opposition to new organization...


From my copy of Alexander Berkman's The Kronstadt Rebellion, Berlin: Der Sindikalist, 1922. Russian Revolution Series The Kronstadt Rebellion By Alexander Berkman Fifteen Cents 1922 I. LABOR DISTURBANCES IN PETROGRAD It was early in 1921. Long years of war, revolution, and civil struggle had bled Russia to exhaustion and brought her people to the brink of despair. But at last civil war was at an end: the numerous fronts were liquidated, and Wrangel -- the last hope of Entente intervention and Russian counter-revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to the mitigation of the severe Bolshevik régime. It was expected that with the end of civil war the Commu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


X.--THE PARLIAMENTARY IMPOSTURE. To ease the tender conscience of James I., and to stop the mouths of those whom his plantation had despoiled either directly or indirectly, it was resolved that a Parliament should be assembled which would set a seal of legality upon the highhanded proceedings in Ulster. Of course, before issuing the writs to summon the representatives of the people robbed of their birthright, means were taken to ensure to the Government a good working majority. Sir George Carew and Sir John Davis undertook to pack both the Upper and the Lower use. Satisfactory results were expected from the new counties and boroughs which had been created through the plantation, but, furthermore, writs were issued to the forty garrisons thr... (From : AnarchyArchives.)


I should be very glad to join you and your associates -- whose work I know and appreciate -- in standing up for the rights of the Literature Committee and opposing the enemies of popular education. But in the sphere in which you are working I see no way to resist them. My only consolation is that I, too, am constantly engaged in struggling against the same enemies of enlightenment, though in another manner. Concerning the special question with which you are preoccupied, I think that in place of the Literature Committee which has been prohibited, a number of other Literature Associations to pursue the same objects should be formed without consulting the Government and without asking permission from any censor. Let Government, if it likes, pr... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Dear Steffen, You ask my opinion about the war. I have expressed it on several occasions in France, and the present events, unfortunately, only reinforced it. I consider that the duty of everyone who cherishes the idea of human progress altogether, and especially those that were inscribed by the European proletarians on the banner of the International Workingmen's Association, is to do everything in one's power, according to one's capacities, to crush down the invasion of the Germans into Western Europe. The cause of this war was not Russia's attitude toward the Austrian ultimatum, as the German government, true to Bismarck's traditions, has tried to represent it. As early as July 19 it was known among the West European continental statesme... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This letter was first appeared in Benjamin Tucker's journal Liberty in 1882. Bayard was a Democratic Senator from the state of Delaware who believed that enlightened people like himself were the fittest to govern in the US. Spooner rejected this idea. A Letter to Thomas Bayard: Challenging his right - and that of all the other so-called Senators and Representatives in Congress - to exercise any Legislative Power whatever over the People of the United States By Lysander Spooner To Thomas F. Bayard, of Delaware: Sir,— I have read your letter to Rev. Lyman Abbott, in which you express the opinion that it is at least possible for a man to be a legislator, (under the Constitution of the United States), and yet be an honest man. This propos... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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.)


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.)


"They Shall Not Pass!" They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, Their vict'ry turns to dust and ashes still; What tho' the tyrants should our bodies slay, The spirit free lives on and 'scapes their will. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When all have given their lives for liberty, Tyrants will know the price they have to pay T'enthralled a people fighting to be free. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When men as yet unborn shall read the story, They'll judge 'twixt those who st... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

2. Religion and Politics. RELIGION AND POLITICS. THE ROOTS OF THE POWER IDEA. THE ORIGIN OF RELIGIOUS CONCEPTIONS. ANIMISM AND FETISHISM. THE SACRIFICE. THE FEELING OF DEPENDENCE. EFFECT OF TERRESTRIAL POWER ON THE SHAPE OF RELIGIOUS CONSCIOUSNESS. RELIGION AND SLAVERY. THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF ALL RULERSHIP. TRADITION. MOSES. HAMMURABI. THE PHARAOHS. THE LAWS OF MANU. THE PERSIAN DIVINE KINGDOM. LAMAISM. ALEXANDER AND CAESAROPAPISM. CAESARISM IN ROME. THE INCA. GENGHIS KHAN. POWER AND THE PRIESTHOOD. CHURCH AND STATE. ROUSSEAU. ROBESPIERRE. NAPOLEON. MUSSOLINI AND THE VATICAN. FASCISM AND RELIGION. IN ALL epochs of that history which is known to us, two forces are apparent that are in constant warfare. Their antagonism, open or veiled, results from the intrinsic difference between the forces themselves and between the activities in which they find expression. This...


No Treason I Lysander Spooner Table of Contents Introductory. No Treason. No. 1. I. II. III. IV. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, By LYSANDER SPOONER, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Massachusetts. INTRODUCTORY. The question of treason is distinct from that of slavery; and is the same that it would have been, if free States, instead of slave States, had seceded. On the part of the North, the war was carried on, not to liberate the slaves, but by a government that had always perverted and violated the Constitution, to keep the slaves in bondage; and was still willing to do so, if the slaveholders could be thereby induced to stay in the Union. Th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


No Treason VI Lysander Spooner Table of Contents No Treason. No. VI.: The Constitution of No Authority. I. II. III. Iv V VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. Appendix. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, By LYSANDER SPOONER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of Massachusetts. The first and second numbers of this series were published in 1867. For reasons not necessary to be explained, the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Most Irishmen, in and out of Ireland, seem unanimous in condemning the brutality of the British government toward the leaders of the unsuccessful revolt. There is no need to recite here the atrocious measures of repression practiced by England toward her subject races. The arrogant and irresponsible tyranny of the British government in this relation is a matter of history. The point of interest just now is, what did the Irish people, or at least the Sinn Feiners, expect England to do in the given circumstances? I am not interested in the weak-kneed editors of Irish-American papers who bemoan, with all due decorum, Great Britain's "lack of generosity" in dealing with the captured Sinn Feiners, or who hide their cowardice by arguments about t... (From : Spunk.org.)


Whenever a revolution breaks out - and regardless of its character - (the most important point is that broad masses of workers and peasants should have a hand in it) and its guides, whether a compact group or a scattering of individuals, enjoying a special authority in the eyes of the workers, place themselves above these masses and do not march in step with them and do not earn their trust, waiting for something out of the ordinary to happen or even, worse still, seek to subordinate them by trying to point them along the "only" path to follow, well, the revolution fails to develop thoroughly enough and fails to resolve or even correctly formulate the attendant problems in need of resolution. Then it cannot devise new and additional methods... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)


Nettlau, Max . Panarchy, A Forgotten Idea of 1860. In Kurt Zube (Ed.), On the Topic No. 9. Germany: Mackay Gesellschaft PANARCHY. A Forgotten Idea of 1860 by Max Nettlau For a long time I have been fascinated by the thought how wonderful it would be if at last, in public opinion on the succession of political and social institutions, the fateful term "one after another" would be replaced through the very simple and self-evident "simultaneously." "Down with the State!" and "Only upon the ruins of the State. . ." express emotions and wishes of many but it seems that only the cool "Opt out of the State" (No. 2 of "The Socialist") can help them towards their realization. When a new scientific insight appears, then those convinced of it do simpl... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The last students' disturbances in Russia were quite different from all the disturbances which have taken place in the Russian universities for the last forty years. They began, as all students' movements begin, with an insignificant incident, which concerned the students alone; but, owing to a series of circumstances quite peculiar to Russia, they took, all of a sudden, a political complexion; and in this respect they acquired such a significance that they will now count in the history of the constitutional movement in Russia as an important milestone. Consequently it is impossible to speak of the last events without going deeper than their surface — that is, without touching upon the general problem of education in Russia, and witho... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Mr. Seymour Deming follows his eloquent Message to the Middle Class with an assault upon the colleges. His book he calls a profane baccalaureate, and it rips along as from one who is overturning the altars of Baal. No one has a style quite like this, with its mixture of Greek classicism and Broadway slang, with its cheap sardonic kicks and its sudden flashes of insight. Mr. Deming moves you, but he leaves you in the end more entertained than persuaded. His prophetic fire is so much fire and so little light. The first part of the book is devoted to picturesque denunciation of the colleges for not training a man to make a living. The second glorified the radical as the man who scorns success, and has turned from everything which the world thi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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