A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

Well, the sections that will make up An Anarchist FAQ have been proof-read and trimmed. I’ve written the introduction to volume 2 and now can have a rest AFAQ wise. It should be out early 2012. Work is busy (as is my work as a union rep) so I don’t think I’m going to be blogging or writing as much as I would like.

I will be working on a talk for the London anarchist bookfair on October 22nd (and it is a good sign I have to write London, as it used to be the as there was only one!) entitled “Anarchist Theory – Use it or Lose it.” So what will that be? Well, here is my blurb:

“Why bother with dead anarchists? For some, while anarchists may do beards well we don’t do theory. This is wrong. We do have theory, as my An Anarchist FAQ and Property is Theft! show. Anarchism is a rich source for analysing and transforming society. Join me in exploring why dead anarchists are worth reading.”

This was cut down from this:

 “Why bother with dead anarchists? Because you can learn something! While there is a sadly all too common notion that anarchists may do beards very well, we don’t have much in the way of theory. This all too common (usually Marxist) perspective is wrong. We do have theory, it is just that most of it is not translated or in out-of-print books. As my work on An Anarchist FAQ, Property is Theft! and Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation shows, anarchism is a rich source for analysing, understanding and transforming society. Indeed, what much of what passes for “Marxism” was first expounded by libertarians. Moreover, many of our critiques have been proven right. Marxism failed precisely as we predicted. Mutual aid has become a core part of modern evolutionary theory. Marx so shamelessly embraced Proudhon’s vision of a decentralised self-managed communal society in 1871 that many don’t realise that the Paris Commune applied libertarian ideas first argued for in 1848. So please join me as I explore why reading dead anarchists is a worthwhile activity.”

So I’m planning to do a summary of anarchism’s contributions to socialist thought, discussing why reading dead anarchist writers can be a fruitful experience – not least for discovering that certain people did not actually think certain things or that some thinkers were not that original, regardless of what subsequent generations thought….

My other big project will be working on a Peter Kropotkin anthology for AK Press. Suffice to say, I expect to get a more sympathetic response in certain quarters with this project rather than with Proudhon. Sad to say… Still, it should be far easier as much (most?) of Kropotkin’s works have been translated, but not all. And quite a few articles have never been included in a book. I am to change that. Here is the proposal I sent to AK Press:

Proposal: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

From my work on An Anarchist FAQ and Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that there is a pressing need for a comprehension anthology

of Kropotkin's articles and extracts from his books. This is because many of his most insightful comments are in his  books or buried in his Memoirs. Articles are scattered over many different collections. All of which makes it hard to get a comprehensive understanding of his revolutionary  ideas without reading LOTS of books. In addition, some interesting articles have either never been translated (not many, admittedly) or have not appeared in anthologies  (at least in English).

No anthology in print which includes extracts from his books. There is Anarchism (by Dover Press, formerly Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets) but that is just a collection of his [often edited] pamphlets. The Essential Kropotkin collection has extracts from books and pamphlets but that is out of print and not compiled from a revolutionary anarchist perspective

More importantly, there has been no anthology of his writings which have been compiled from a communist-anarchist perspective. That is, an anthology aimed at extracting a comprehensive account of his revolutionary ideas and perspectives. This would be of interest to current revolutionary anarchists AND combat the Kropotkin as "kindly old man who viewed life through rose-tinted glasses" nonsense. It would also aim to show his pro-union and pro-syndicalist views, something which has been consistently downplayed.

The aim would be to include extracts/articles which are relevant and not included in other available works. So, some pamphlets in Anarchism (such as "The Spirit of Revolt", "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal") will probably not be included.

I would like to get some articles and letters translated (for example, one of the 1905 Russian Revolution) but I hope that these will be few and short and done for free by volunteers.

Almost all of this is in the public domain or published by anarchist publishers (notably, Freedom). A few letters may need to be translated. Also, as most of Kropotkin's works IS available in English, there will be no need to include long extracts as in the Proudhon Anthology -- people would be able to find the rest of the book!

Title

“Make way for the people! Make way for anarchy!”: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

Or:

Kropotkin on Anarchism and Revolution

Or:

A Kropotkin Reader [Which is boring, I admit, so probably won’t happen]

[Any suggestions on titles will be gratefully received]

Contents

Introduction (by me!)

[The aim would be to include chapters, articles and extracts from Kropotkin’s based on themes. These would be as follows, I think, depending on how easy the material is to categorise]

Anarchism

Communist-Anarchism

The State

Capitalism

Mutual Aid

The Workers Movement

Revolutions

Social Revolution

Anarchy

Possible works by Kropotkin to be included.

[These are articles/books/chapters which are currently available in English]

Articles

Anarchism [from Encyclopaedia Britannia]

Communism and Anarchy

The Place of Anarchism in Socialistic Evolution

Syndicalism and Anarchism

Preface to Pataud and Pouget How we shall bring about the Revolution

Revolutionary Studies

Mutual Aid: An Important Factor in Evolution (from Mother Earth)

Prisons: Universities of crime (from Mother Earth)

Anarchist Communism: Its Basis and Principles

Revolutionary Government

Declaration to the Tribunal of Lyons by the Accused Anarchists

Extracts/Chapters

The State: Its Historic Role

Anarchist Morality

Law and Authority

Prisons and Their Moral Influence on Prisoners

Words of a Rebel

The Conquest of Bread

Act for Yourselves!

The Great French Revolution

Extracts

Mutual Aid

Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Fields, Factories and Workshops

Modern Science and Anarchism

Ethics

Letters

Letter to the Workers of Western Europe

Letter to Alexander Berkman

 

Some material will need to be translated, here is a list of possible articles I’ve identified as worth investigating. Not sure if there are available on-line or not (some are).

In French

Idee Anarchistic, Le Revolté, 1/11/1879 (Freedom Feb 1967)

L'Organisation Ouvriere, Le Revolté, 10/12/1881 and 24/12/1881

La Praqiue de l'expropriation, Le Revolté, 10-17/07/1886

Editorial, Le Revolté, 12/11/81

Charles Darwin, Le Revolté, 29/04/1882

La Guerre sociale, Le Revolté, 11-17/09/1886

 

Le Premier Mai, 1891, La Révolte, 18/10/1890

Le Premier Mai, La Révolte, 01/11/1890

Les Greves anglaises, La Révolte, 21/2/1891 and 18/03/1891

Ce que c'est qu'une greve, La Révolte, 18/10/1890

Le Mouvement ouvrier en Angleterre, La Révolte, 13/09/1890

La Mort de la nouvelle Internationale, La Révolte, 17/10/1891

 

Insurrection et revolution, Les Temps Nouveaux, 6/8/1910

Les Anarchistes et les Syndicates, Les Temps Nouveaux, 25/5/1907

 

L'action anarchistie et la revolution, 1914

Russian

Russkaia revoliutsiia i anarkhizm, 1907

"Justice and Morality" (Spravedlivost' i nravstvennost')

Articles in English

These have never been reprinted in book form and I will hit the Freedom archives to see if they are worthy of inclusion.

Socialism and Politics, Freedom Press pamphlets

Co-operation: A reply to Herbert Spencer, Freedom, Dec 1896-Jan 1897

Enough of Illusions, Freedom, 220 (August 1907)

Past and Future, Freedom, April 1889

Domestic Slavery, Freedom, July 1891

The development of Trades Unionism, Freedom, March 1898

Politics and Socialism, Freedom, Feb-May 1903

The Coming Revival of Socialism, Freedom, Aug-Nov 1903/Feb-Mar 1904

Herbert Spencer, Freedom, Feb-Sept 1904

Bakunin, Freedom, June/July 1905

Anarchists and Trade Unions, Freedom, June 1907

A few thoughts about the essence of Anarchism, Freedom, Jan 1914

1848-1871, Freedom, April 1898

In Memory of William Morris, Freedom, Nov. 1896

The Revolution in Russia, Freedom, Nov/Dec 1905

Modern Wars and Capitalism, Freedom, May-August 1913

Letters

These may need translation (assuming I can get the originals).

To Nettleu, 28/11/1895 and 05/03/1902

To Guilleume, 12/06/1903

To Bertoni 02/03/1914

To De Reijger

The aim is half-a-Proudhon, so to speak – around 150,000 words in total. This is because Kropokin's work is more accessible -- more has been translated and more is available in print. And, in part, because Property is Theft! is a big book! I also think that while the Proudhon project got bigger in terms of material, the Kropotkin one may not include all these texts. It depends on whether I can get them translated or scanned it -- and whether they are of sufficient quantity (there may be good reasons they were never put in books before!).

As with Property is Theft!, though, the project is dependent on people volunteering to translate material or otherwise helping out. If you are interested in getting involved in this project, then please contact me at cllv13[at]yahoo.com

After this, well, I was thinking that a new Bakunin anthology was well overdue – particularly as Bakunin on Anarchism has some translation issues with it (as well as being over-edited). I’ve heard that AK Press will be producing a Malatesta anthology, which I’m looking forward to (him being my favourite dead anarcho). A Rudolf Rocker anthology would also not go amiss, either.

But that is well into the future. In the near future, a second edition of Mutual Aid: An Introduction and Evaluation (typos fixed, slight text changes) is coming out soon, volume 2 of AFAQ will be out next year and so is The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics to which I’ve contributed a chapter on Proudhon’s economic ideas (entitled “Laying the foundations: Proudhon’s contribution to anarchist economics”). That will be posted here once the book is out (I’ve been asked by one of the editors to wait until after publication, over wise it would have been posted ages ago…). Plus, of course, helping with future issues of Black Flag

And, finally, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m looking for a striking picture of lots of anarchists marching (or similar) for the front cover of volume 2 of An Anarchist FAQ. If you have seen any good pictures of that kind (similar to the one of the French CNT May Day march used in volume 1), please let me know.

Until I blog again, be seeing you.

Comments

Of the 19th century

Of the 19th century anarchists, I really like Lysander Spooner, Gustave de Molinari, and Henry David Thoreau. Tucker and Proudhon are also good reads.

En disant sur les violations de l'érection il faut tout de suite être stipulé dans la terminologie. Aujourd'hui la plupart des spécialistes s'occupant "des problèmes pour hommes" sont utilisés le terme la dysfonction érectile. Le terme "l'impuissance" est parti au passé. La description pas tout à fait exacte de l'état et la large expansion du mot dans la vie quotidienne ont amené à son "discrédit" comme du terme médical. Aujourd'hui les mots "l'impuissance" et "l'impuissant" ont la nuance "vulgaire-injurieuse", а sont inacceptables donc dans la conversation entre le patient et le médecin. En prenant en considération le lien entre les violations de l'érection et l'état psychique, les urologues, sexologs et les psychothérapeutes ont décidé de refuser ce cliché au plus haut niveau. Nous nous tiendrons aussi à cette terminologie que, à proprement parler, est reflété dans le nom de notre site. Les impuissants est absents ici. Tout est remédiable.

Le tadalafil (http//veille-pharmaceutique.com/)possède une haute efficacité, qui non seulement améliore l'érection mais aussi aide au patient à restaurer le naturel des relations sexuelles. Le tadalafil est sûr, effectif, confortable dans l'application et est sûr, il restaure la vie normale sexuelle pour les patients souffrant de la dysfonction érectile, en les libérant des idées constantes sur le traitement.

Molinari was not an anarchist

Molinari was not an anarchist (see section F.7.1 of An Anarchist FAQ). Of the rest, I've always considered Proudhon the best (hence the new anthology Property is Theft!).

A Peter Kropotkin anthology

A Peter Kropotkin anthology is absolutely essential. I've long had an interest in the man, but the scattered collections of an enormous variety of works don't seem to bring his key writings all together in one big volume that is representative of all his work. What you've outlined seems to be the best approach, and, from what I understand, you will attempt to either describe/make a case (not too long, though) for communist anarchism/libertarian socialism in the intro or somewhere else, given your own anarchist communist views (I think I'm correct on this- you are an anarchist communist right?) This is important, I think- for myself, I think communist anarchism is the only form of revolutionary socialism that can make a competing claim to, say, both state socialist and libertarian-democratic revolutionary Marxist currents, say of the Luxemburg/ist type of which I have the most attraction to- and a lot of the latter, I would say, is both consistent in theory and practice with most of communist anarchism, and share the same ultimate goal. And its ideas need to be more widely propagated and circulated. By the way, are you familiar with any systemic modern economic proposals of a kind of decentralised, democratised planning that is designed for/consistent with anarchist communism? Though it has its problems, Pat Devine's model is probably my favourite economic model, and seems to be better and more realisable than parecon- what's your opinion on the best economic alternative? Or any whole outlines for what an anarchist communist society could look like.

Hey, I just stumbled across

Hey, I just stumbled across your website. I've realized recently that the views I've possessed all my life are relative to Anarchism, so I was wondering where I could get my hands on some of these articles you mention. Links to articles that you feel would be sufficient, and et cetera, would be highly appreciated! Even just the names of Anarchists who've written down their ideas, or any material including videos for that matter, that I may be able to access on the internet. You can reach me at anthony_falez[at]hotmail.com, if it's not too much of a hassle of course! Or hopefully, I get notified somehow..

Hi,I was looking at this site

Hi,I was looking at this site and saw what you were asking for,so...I think when it comes to checking out Anarchists who have written and been active I think you should look at Nestor Makhno. The reason for this would be that at first he seems to have been a man who was mainly a revolutionary, who fought with an army named after him, The Makhnovists. He was ,however, in my opinion a man well worth reading, plus was greatly admired by some of the other great but now dead Anarchists who are known mainly for their written work. People like Emma Goldman, who visited him during the Russian Revolution.
Their is a Makhno Archives website that is no problem finding and contains loads of his essays etc plus films and songs have been made about him,mostly in the Russian language ,though.
So, that's my choice of where to start,mainly because he was so active, and as an introduction maybe elements of his exploits lead to seeing that the writings of the Anarchists who in turn inspired him, was put into action by him...other reasons are maybe just personal admiration,like some people greatly admire Ghandi,also a great man and Anarchist-though he did say 'but not of that sort'...not really sure what he meant, I've never read it in the context it was said...so yep,I'd check out his archives page and enjoy...

I think you're putting

I think you're putting together some really great work. However, I think there needs to be more of a focus on anarchist economic theory with new material from Instituionalism, Post Keynesians, Proudhons ideas, Marxism, and another material from heterdox economists. I rarely find anarchists who have any economic knowledge and so they focus on sociological issues. Not that thats not important. But when the Austrians and the new individualist mutualists (basically ancaps with a preferance for co-opts) come around, the collectivist and communist get their asses kicked every time. Sorry but its true. There is major demand for this subject with little to read. (With the exception of Section I and a couple of other documents. Oh, and by the way, Section I needs to be rewritten so its not so damn vague. I read that thing like 10 times before I started really understanding how an anarhist society and economy might work). What we really need is something like an anarchist economic textbook. We don't need a bunch of shit like, hey we'll figure it out after the revolution. I'm NOT saying there should be a strict outlay of economic theory but we do need something that covers basic information like LTV, some basic ideas from Keynes like his critism of Say's Law, criticism of money, the banking system, uncertainty, etc. etc..

Kevin Carson and his crew have seemed to do this in his last couple of books. However, it's time that Collectivist and libcoms put something really powerful together. So, I'm nominating you for the job. Good luck!

Keep up the good work fellow

Keep up the good work fellow worker!

  


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