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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 :

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

From the Encyclopedia Britannica
ANARCHISM (from the Gr. ἄν, and αρχος, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government - harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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

"Peter Kropotkin...was recognized by friend and foe as one of the greatest minds...of the nineteenth century...The lucidity and brilliance of his mind combined with his warmheartedness into the harmonious whole of a fascinating and gracious personality. " -Emma Goldman REVOLT! Addressed to young men and women preparing to enter the professions, An Appeal to the Young was first published in 1880 in Kropotkin's paper, La Revolte, and was soon thereafter issued as a pamphlet. An American edition was brought out by Charles H. Kerr in 1899, in the wake of the great Anarchist's first U.S. speaking tour; his Memoirs of a Revolutionist was also published (by Houghton-Mifflin) that year. A new edition in Kerr's "Pocket Library of Socialism" appeared... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima. From the scientific point of view, the atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination of genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind. Atoms are so minute that it might have seemed impossible to know as much as we do about them. A million million bundles, each containing a million million hydrogen atoms, would weigh about a gram and a half. Each hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus, and an electron going round the nucleus, as the earth goes round the sun. The distance from the nucleus to the electron is usually about a hundred-m... (From :

In olden times, men of science, and especially those who have done most to forward the growth of natural philosophy, did not despise manual work and handicraft. Galileo made his telescopes with his own hands. Newton learned in his boyhood the art of managing tools; he exercised his young mind in contriving most ingenious machines, and when he began his researches in optics he was able himself to grind the lenses for his instruments and himself to make the well known telescope which, for its time, was a fine piece of workmanship. Leibnitz was fond of inventing machines: windmills and carriages to be moved without horses preoccupied his mind as much as mathematical and philosophical speculations. Linnaeus became a botanist while helping his f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

[What follows is an nineteenth-century defense of Lamarckism, the since-disproven belief that genetics are molded by the activity or behavior of the organism, instead of through the process of natural selection. Naturally, anyone should be cautious when reviewing a scientific article written more than a hundred year ago, but at least here below, you can see what passionate turns the debate took. In Kropotkin's favor, it may at least be said that the process of natural selection turned out to be far more complicated than Darwin and Wallace had believed, and was only fully elaborated by Dawkins as gene-centric, rather than organism or species-centric. -- Andy Carloff] There can be no doubt that species may become greatly modified through the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

We have seen in the previous chapter that the most primitive peoples develop their own mode of social life and evolve their own carefully preserved customs and traditions, -- their own conceptions of what is good and what is bad, what is not to be done, and what is proper in different situations. In short, they evolve their own morality, their own Ethics. Part of such rules of conduct is placed under the protection of custom. Certain acts are to be avoided because they are "wrong" or "shameful"; they would indicate a physical weakness or a weakness of character. But there are also more serious offenses and sterner rules. He who breaks these rules not only displays undesirable traits of character, but also does hurt to his tribe. But the welfare of the tribe is being watched over by the "great multitude" of the dead ancestors, and if anyone breaks the rules of conduct established from generation to generation, the dead ancestors take revenge not only on the offende...

Or - Humanism And Realism
The False Principle of Our Education Or - Humanism And Realism By Max Stirner Because our time is struggling toward the word with which it may express its spirit, many names come to the fore and all make claim to being the right name. On all sides our present time reveals the most chaotic partisan tumult and the eagles of the moment gather around the decaying legacy of the past. There is everywhere a great abundance of political, social, ecclesiastical, scientific, artistic, moral and other corpses, and until they are all consumed, the air will not be clean and the breath of living beings will be oppressed. Without our assistance, time will not bring the right word to light; we must all work together on it. If, however, so much depends upon... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Division of labor and integration--The spread of industrial skill--Each nation its own producer of manufactured goods --The United Kingdom -- France -- Germany -- Russia -- "German competition." Who does not remember the remarkable chapter by which Adam Smith opens his inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations? Even those of our contemporary economists who seldom revert to the works of the father of political economy, and often forget the ideas which inspired them, know that chapter almost by heart, so often has it been copied and recopied since. It has become an article of faith; and the economical history of the century which has elapsed since Adam Smith wrote has been, so to speak, an actual commentary upon it. "Division of labor" was its watchword. And the division and subdivision--the permanent subdivision--of functions has been pushed so far as to divide humanity into castes which are almost as firmly established as those of old...

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 all unsuccessful social upheavals there are two terrors: the Red--that is, the people, the mob; the White--that is, the reprisal. When a year ago to-day the lightning of the White Terror shot out of that netherest blackness of Social Depth, the Spanish Torture House, and laid in the ditch of Montjuich a human being who but a moment before had been the personification of manhood, in the flower of life, in the strength and pride of a balanced intellect, full of the purpose of a great and growing undertaking,-- that of the Modern Schools,--humanity at large received a blow in the face which it could not understand. Stunned, bewildered, shocked, it recoiled and stood gaping with astonishment. How to explain it ? The average individual--certa... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The meeting on September 14 was opened by Comrade Marsh with a paper on "Work and Social Utility," the substance of which will be found in another column. There was no direct opposition to the opener's contention that a share in work of social utility, such as providing food, clothing, shelter, etc, ought to be taken by every able-bodied person, and that such work, if fairly shared by all members of the community, would not fall so heavily on any individual as to prevent him or her from exercising special artistic or intellectual capacities at least as fully and as beneficially as they are exercised to-day, when brain and hand labor are almost entirely divided and brain workers are considered as a superior class. Comrade Kropotkin said that... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

The Two Camps
You taunt us with disbelieving in God, We charge you with believing in him. We do not condemn you for this. We do not even indict you. We pity you. For the time of illusions is past. We cannot be deceived any longer. Whom do we find under God's banner ! Emperors, kings, the official and the officious world; our lords and our nobles; all the privileged persons of Europe whose names are recorded in the Almana de Gotha; the guinea, pigs of the industrial, commercial and banking world; the patented professors of our universities; the civil service servants; the low and high police officers; the gendarmes; the jailers; the headsmen or hangmen, not forgetting the priests, who are now the black police enslaving our souls to the State; the glorious... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Published by Freiheit Publishing Association New York Among all mental diseases which man has systematically inoculated into his cranium, the religious pest is the most abominable. Like all things else, this disease has a history; it only regrettable that in this case nothing will be found of the development from nonsense to reason, which is generally assumed to be the course of history. Old Zeus and his double, Jupiter, were still quite decent, jolly, we might even say, somewhat enlightened fellows, if compared with the last triplet on the pedigree of gods who, on examination, can safely rival with Vitzliputzli as to brutality and cruelty. We won't argue at all with the pensioned or dethroned gods, for they no longer do any harm. But the m... (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.)

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 generation, I was brought up on the saying:... (From :

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.)

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 ( 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.)

Errico Malatesta (Pensiero e Volontà, n. 9, May 10, 1924) MEDICINE... AND ANARCHISM. — Under this title, in the editorial mail of our issue n. 5, we published a note by which we refused the invitation of some comrades to make propaganda in favor of certain methods of treatment conflicting with science and the commonly accepted medical practice. This fact upset comrade N. Cuneo from New York. Though acknowledging that Pensiero e Volontà is not the right place for medical discussions (in fact, he is not among those who urged us to that propaganda), in the April 15 issue of Libero Accordo he stands up for the “natural treatment”, i.e. a treatment without drugs, which is said to be making great progress, and to have... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

But it must not be forgotten that Comte wrote his Positivist Philosophy long before the years 1856-1862, which, as stated above, suddenly widened the horizon of science and the world-concept of every educated man. The works which appeared in these five or six years have wrought so complete a change in the views on nature, on life in general, and on the life of human societies, that it has no parallel in the whole history of science for the past two thousand years. That which had been but vaguely understood--sometimes only guessed at by the encyclopædists, and that which the best minds in the first half of the nineteenth century had so much difficulty in explaining, appeared now in the full armor of science; and it presented itself so thoroughly investigated through the inductive-deductive method that every other method was at once adjudged imperfect, false and--unnecessary. Let us, then, dwell a little longer upon the results obtained in these...

When Professor Huxley introduced, twenty-three years ago, the name and the subject of Physiography, his intentions were certainly excellent. Natural sciences were almost entirely excluded at that time from the schools. The teaching of geography stood very low: political geography, so-called, was a mere collection of names, and an entirely subordinate subject; and physical geography was a collection of information, too abstract, too incoherent, too wide, and too superficial at the same time, to be of any use in education. Under the name of Physiography natural sciences were, so to say, smuggled into the schools. And by showing how the study of Nature may be approached, and methods of scientific observation may be rendered familiar by examini... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

October 12, 1909, Francisco Ferrer y Guardia was shot in the trenches of the Montjuich Fortress at Barcelona. A Military Council had found him guilty of being "head of the insurrection" which had, a few months before, lit the flame of civil war in the city and province. The clergy had openly petitioned the Spanish Premier, when Ferrer was arrested, to look to the Modern School and its founder for the source of the revolutionary feeling; and the Premier had, instead of rebuking them, promised to do so. When Ferrer was arrested the prosecution spent many weeks in collecting evidence against him, and granted a free pardon to several men who were implicated in the riot, for testifying against him. These three or four men were the only witnesses out of fifty who would have been heard patiently in a civil court of justice, and even their testimony would at once have crumbled under cross-examination. But there was no cross-examination, and no witnesses were brough...

• "If it is true that the law of Nature is Harmony, I suggest one would be entitled to ask why Nature has waited for anarchists to be born, and goes on waiting for them to triumph, in order to destroy the terrible and destructive conflicts from which mankind has already suffered. Would one not be closer to the truth in saying that anarchy is the struggle, in human society, against the disharmonies of Nature?"
• "PETER KROPOTKIN IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF THOSE WHO have contributed perhaps more—perhaps more even than Bakunin and Elisee Reclus—to the elaboration and propagandation of anarchist ideas. And he has therefore well deserved the recognition and the admiration that all anarchists feel for him."
• "...two passions: the desire for knowledge and the desire to act for the good of humanity, two noble passions which can be mutually useful and which one would like to see in all men, without being, for all this, one and the same thing."

This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of IISH. The Policy of The International. [The Policy was published in Egalite In 1869. It was translated by K. L. from a German version, in 1911, and was published in the Herald of Revolt, for October of that year under the title of "The Issue." It is now republished under its original title.-ED.] "Up to now we believed," says a reactionary paper, "that the political and religious opinions of a man depended upon the fact of his being a member of the International or not." At first sight, one might think that this paper was correct in its altered opinion. For the International does not ask any new member if he is of a religious or atheistic turn of mind. She does not ask if he be... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I am persuaded that there is absolutely no limit in the absurdities that can, by government action, come to be generally believed. Give me an adequate army, with power to provide it with more pay and better food than falls to the lot of the average man, and I will undertake, within thirty years, to make the majority of the population believe that two and two are three, that water freezes when it gets hot and boils when it gets cold, or any other nonsense that might seem to serve the interest of the State. Of course, even when these beliefs had been generated, people would not put the kettle in the refrigerator when they wanted it to boil. That cold makes water boil would be a Sunday truth, sacred and mystical, to be professed in awed tones,...

PETER KROPOTKIN's first political book, 'Paroles d'un Révolté' -- a collection of articles from 'LeRévolté', the paper he had founded In Geneva in 1879 -- was published in France in 1885, while he was serving a five-year prison sentence. It has been translated into nearly all the main languages of the world but, though most of its nineteen chapters have appeared in English at various times and in various places as articles or pamphlets or both, there has never been a complete translation. The first English language edition of the whole book will be published by the Libertarian Book Club of New York next year, In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Kropotkin's death, under the title 'Words of a Rebel' (co... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

[SECOND NOTICE.] Are Prisons Necessary? is the title of the concluding chapter of Kropotkin's account of his prison experiences. "Unhappily, hitherto," he goes on to remark, "our penal institutions have been nothing but a compromise between the old ideas of revenge, of punishment of the 'bad will' and 'sin,' and the modern ideas of 'deterring from crime,' both softened to a very slight extent by some notions of philanthropy." But is it not time that we fully recognized the fact that crime, like bodily disease, is capable of scientific investigation, and of that scientific treatment which considers prevention the best of cures? An energetic school of scientific students of crime has sprung up of late years in Italy and Germany, who have devo... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

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