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This book is the best introduction to Kropotkin's ideas that I have read and it even gives a somewhat unbiased definition of anarchism that Kropotkin had written for the Encyclopedia Britannica. Since it is a series of pamphlets that Kropotkin had written, and was originally intended for the specific purpose of informing and winning the support of the public, it is presented in a clear, concise, and easily digestable fashion, without pretense.
fact with its consequences to humanity will still remain. We may not be able fully to explain the origin of the planets. /�rt 94 KROPOTKlN'S REVOLUTIONARY PAMPHLETS revolving round the sun, but the planets revolve none the less, and one of them carries us with it in space. We h �ve lready spoken of the religious explanation. � If . an dlStIngU lshes between good and evil, say theologians. it � IS God who has inspired him with this idea. Useful or hurt ful s not for him to inquire ; he must
industrial crises, the frequency and dura tion of which are always augmenting, have passed into a chronic state in many industries. All is linked, all holds together under the present economic system, and all tends to make the fall of the industrial and mercantile system under which we live inevitable. Its dura tion is but a question of time that may already be counted by years and no longer by centuries. A question of time- and energetic attack on our part ! Idlers do not make history: they
how to rouse the spirit of initiative in individuals and in groups, those who will be able to create in their mutual relations a movement and a life based on the principles of free understanding those that will understand that variety, conflict even, is life ant! that uniformity is deatb,-they will work, not for fu ideal. But reasoning like this seems to me to misunderstand the true character of human progress and to make use of a badly chosen military comparison. Humanity is not a rolling
upon society. All really serious reformers-political, religious, and economic-have belonged to this class. And among them there always appeared persons who, without waiting for the time when all theit fellow-countrymen, or even a majority of them, shall have become imbued with I48 KROPOTKIN'S REVOLUTIONARY PAMPHLETS the same views, moved onward in the struggle against oppres sion, in mass where it was possible, and sino-Ie-handed where ere the revolu These it could not be done otherwise. :
The Germans, on the contrary, drew from their victory over France quite another lesson and quite dif ferent ideals--the worship of the centralized State. The centralized State, hostile even to national tendencies of independence ; the power of centralization and a strong cen tral authority-these were the lessons they drew from the victories of the German Empire, and to these lessons they cling even now, without understanding that this was only a victory of a military mass, of the universal