ANARCHY AND CHRISTIANITY Two essays on Christian Anarchism: ‘On Anarchy’ and ‘The Kingdom Of God Is Within You’ by Leo Tolstoy (Kindle and Kobo editions)

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May 202015
 

TolstoySMALLANARCHY AND CHRISTIANITY Two essays on Christian Anarchism: ‘On Anarchy’ and ‘The Kingdom Of God Is Within You’ by Leo Tolstoy. Read Inside. NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.91 .  Check out all Christiebooks titles HERE UK : £1.91 ; USA : $3.00 FRANCE : €2.62 ; SPAIN : €2.62 ; ITALY: €2.62 ; GERMANY : €2.62; NETHERLANDS : €2.62  ; JAPAN : ¥ 358CANADA : CDN$ 3.60 ; BRAZIL : R$ 8.99 ; AUSTRALIA : $3.73 ; INDIA : R191 ; MEXICO : $45.02

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The Kingdom of God Is Within You [Tsarstvo Bozhiye vnutri vas]) and On Anarchy by Leo Tolstoy are philosophical treatises on the organisation of society based on a literal Christian interpretation of the New Testament. The former first appeared in Germany in 1894, after being banned in his home country of Russia; the latter essay was written in 1900.

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THE ANARCHIST REVOLUTION Polemical Articles 1924-1931 Errico Malatesta. Edited and Introduced by Vernon Richards (Kindle and Kobo editions)

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May 122015
 

MalatestaTHE ANARCHIST REVOLUTION. Polemical Articles 1924-1931 by Errico Malatesta. (Kindle and Kobo editions)— Look Inside
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Though complete in itself this volume of Malatesta’s writings is intended as a ‘supplementary’ to the Errico Malatesta: His Life and Ideas which I compiled and edited in 1965 and of which the fourth reprint appeared in 1993. That volume is 311 pages long and includes more than 200 pages of Malatesta’s writings, mostly translated for the first time. But in order to present as complete a picture of Malatesta’s life as an agitator and as a propagandist for nearly sixty years, it was impossible to do so within 200-odd pages and at the same time print complete articles by him. Instead what I did was to make a list of topics that he dealt with constantly in his propaganda and so arrived at the 27 selections which comprise the main volume. I feel it is important to explain how that volume developed in order to ‘justify’ (if I have to) the publication of the latest Malatesta volume. And I quote from Life and Ideas:

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THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF BAKUNIN. Scientific Anarchism. Compiled and Edited by G. P Maximoff. Preface by Bert F. Hoselitz; Introduction by Rudolf Rocker; Biographical sketch by Max Nettlau, (Kindle and Kobo editions)

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May 052015
 

BakuninTHE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF BAKUNIN. Scientific Anarchism. Compiled and Edited by G. P Maximoff. Preface by Bert F. Hoselitz; Introduction by Rudolf Rocker; Biographical sketch by Max Nettlau, (Kindle and Kobo editions)— Look Inside
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THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF BAKUNIN. Scientific Anarchism. Compiled and Edited by G. P Maximoff. Mikhail Bakunin is one of the key anarchist thinkers and revolutionary activists of the 19th century. Building upon the federalist and libertarian socialist ideas of his friend Pierre-Joseph Proudhon as well as those in the European labour movement, Bakunin shaped anarchism into its modern form. His revolutionary, class-struggle-based anarchism soon became the dominant form of anarchism in the First International, challenging the state socialism of Marx and Engels and laying the foundations for both communist-anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism. His predictions about Marxism have been confirmed and his critique of capitalism, the state and religion are just as valid as when they were first expounded. Both the Russian and Spanish revolutions have confirmed the power of his ideas on revolution.

His life and writings are a marvellous introduction to the nineteenth century He embodied in his actions and in the events of his life much of the experience of the struggle for freedom, both individual and national, which rocked Europe during this period. He was a prime mover in armed uprisings against despotic governments, a tireless propagandist and journalist, a teacher, a conspirator and, of course, a prisoner of the Czar for twelve years until his escape from Siberia. In the present work, G. P. Maximoff, a student of Bakunin, has accomplished for Bakunin what he could not do for himself. From Bakunin’s scattered writings he has selected those pertinent theoretical sections that give the reader a complete statement of Bakunin’s politics in his own words. It is, probably, the most substantial collection of Bakunin’s work in the English-language. Short of translating his collected works it has been difficult, in the past, to provide a translation of Bakunin that would make sense, hence so little Bakunin has been available in the English language. In addition to Bakunin’s text, the book contains a definitive biographical sketch of Bakunin written by Max Nettlau, a Foreword by Rudolf Rocker, and a Preface by Bert F Hoselitz.

LA CORRIENTE — El pensamiento antiautoritario Luis Andrés Edo (Kindle and Kobo eBook editions)

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Apr 032015
 

LaCorrienteamendedLA CORRIENTE El pensamiento antiautoritario por Luis Andrés Edo — Look Inside
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Luis Andrés Edo (1925-2009) pasaba largos años en prisión (1966-1972) y no sólo durante el franquismo, también en 1980, en plena transición, será durante más de un año preso gubernativo, sin acusación concreta alguna. En aquel año, en el Penal de Soria los presos realizan largos y acalorados debates. Los anarquistas son ya menos que los estalinistas del PCE y del PSUC, que se autodenominan comunistas. Como fruto de estos debates y como producto de una reflexión interior, Luis Andrés elabora este manuscrito, escrito en folios de papel cebolla y sacado clandestinamente de la cárcel gracias a la colaboración de Miguel García, también preso.

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The ‘Persons Unknown’ Case — Order in the Court Stuart Christie, City Limits, January 1980

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Mar 312015
 
PersonsUnknown

Vince Stevenson, Iris Mills, Ronan Bennett, Trevor Dawton and ”Taff’ Ladd. ‘Taff’ skipped bail prior to the trial and the sixth defendant, Stewart Carr (a ‘politicised’ prisoner like Jake Prescott in the ‘Angry Brigade’ case before him) pled guilty and disassociated himself from his fellow accused.

We have just witnessed the first of the political show trials of the ’80s. There will certainly be others—and what proportion of them will be before freely-selected juries? Before any kind of jury? With anti-libertarianism becoming the rallying cry of the extremists of the right and centre, the state is creating an ugly balance to the unifying anti-nazism of the left. Its methods are rather different, however. Such is its vigilance that it can find conspiracies when nothing has happened.

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MUTUAL AID A Factor of Evolution by Peter Kropotkin (Kindle edition)

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Mar 082015
 

MutualAidMUTUAL AID A Factor of Evolution by Peter Kropotkin  LOOK INSIDE
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Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid is usually, and rightly, called his masterpiece. While the high quality of all his work makes it hard to say whether this classic can be considered his best, it is fair to say that it is probably his most famous and one of his most widely read. Suffice to say, that it is rarely out of print testifies to its importance as well as the quality and timelessness of its message.

It is often called an anarchist classic. This is not entirely accurate. Yes, it is a classic and it was written by an anarchist, indeed the leading anarchist thinker of the time. However, it is not a book about anarchism. It is, first and foremost, a work of popular science, a “best-selling work,” which made co-operation “well known in lay society” while ensuring it would “be discussed among biologists in the following decades.” It was aimed at rebutting the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify the status quo, but its synthesis of zoological, anthropological, historical and sociological data achieved far more and, consequently, its influence is great. “It is arguable that of all the books on co-operation written by biologists,” suggests Lee Alan Dugatkin Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Louisville, “Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid had the most profound affect on biologists, social scientists, and laymen alike.” Anthropologist Ashley Montagu dedicated his book Darwin, Competition and Co-operation, to Kropotkin, stating it was a “classic” and “no book in the whole realm of evolutionary theories is more readable or more important, for it is Mutual Aid which provides the first thoroughly documented demonstration of the importance of co-operation as a factor in evolution.”

This is not to say that anarchism plays no part in it nor that it holds nothing of interest for anarchists or anarchist theory. Far from it! The very mode of analysis, the looking into mutual aid tendencies of everyday life is inherently libertarian. It flows from the “bottom-up” and is rooted in popular history. More than that, it is documented with the skill of a talented scientist and, in this, it is somewhat unusual. It is often noted that Proudhon, the founding father of anarchism, was unique in being a socialist thinker who was also working class. In the case of Kropotkin, he was one of the few socialist thinkers who was a trained scientist, an extremely gifted one according to his peers. This education in the scientific method can be seen from all his work, but most obviously in Mutual Aid.

WHAT IS PROPERTY? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Kindle Edition) Translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker

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Mar 062015
 

CharlemagneWHAT IS PROPERTY? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (Translated by Benjamin R. Tucker) LOOK INSIDE
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Proudhon’s work is a classic for many reasons. Not only did it put a name to a tendency within socialism (“I am an Anarchist”) and raise a battle-cry against inequality (“Property is Theft!”), it also sketched a new, free, society: anarchy.

The bulk of the book contains Proudhon’s searing critique of property. This rests on two key concepts. Firstly, property allowed the owner to exploit its user (“property is theft”). Secondly, that property created authoritarian social relationships between the two (“property is despotism”). These are interrelated, as it is the oppression that property creates which ensures exploitation while the appropriation of our common heritage by the few gives the rest little alternative but to agree to such domination and let the owner appropriate the fruits of their labour. The notion that workers are free when capitalism forces them to seek employment was demonstrably false: “We who belong to the proletarian class, property excommunicates us!”

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“LIBERATION” IDEOLOGIES AND TRANSFORMING SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Octavio Alberola (Translated by Paul Sharkey)

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Aug 262014
 

alberolagransacpalma“No longer does innovation come about through parties, trade unions, bureaucracies or politics. It is now dependent on individual moral concern. No longer do we look to political theory for an indication of what we should be doing; we need no tutors. The change is ideological and it runs deep.”

(M Foucault, 1978)

Back in 1978 I opened an article on the topic “Ethics and Revolution – the dialectical tension of the age” [i] with the quotation above from Michel Foucault; not merely to underline the change that was taking place in terms of social transformation but also because it struck me that that change was of great significance to anarchism and liberation struggles.

More than three decades have now passed since then and the course of history has repeatedly borne out what, back then, was more than plain to be seen: that “innovation no longer comes about through parties, trade unions, bureaucracies and politics”, that “nobody looks to political theory any more for guidance as to what we should be doing” and that “we have no need of tutors”. This does not mean, however, that there is not still an insistence – coming from various strands of the left (institutional left and supposedly “alternative” left alike) – upon the need to theorise about action before setting about it and that some grassroots groups are not still on the look-out for tutors …

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INTERVIEW WITH AGUSTÍN GUILLAMÓN, HISTORIAN OF THE WORKING CLASS REVOLUTION IN BARCELONA IN 1936 by Txema Bofill (translated by Paul Sharkey)

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Aug 172014
 
Guillamon

Agustín Guillamón, historian of the proletarian revolution in Barcelona in 1936

Agustín Guillamón was born in Barcelona in 1950, the son of textile workers. From the age of 13 he lived in the working class barrio of Poble Nou and later in La Verneda. He graduated from the University of Barcelona in contemporary history; his dissertation, under the supervision of Muniesa, dealt with the activism and political thought of Amadeo Bordiga.

He has published four books on the 1936 revolution, ‘Barricadas en Barcelona‘, ‘Els Comités de Defensa en Barcelona 1936-1938,La Revolución de los Comités‘, and most recently La Guerra del Pan. Hambre y violencia en Barcelona revolucionaria. De diciembre de 1936 a mayo de 1937 wherein he provides a platform for the protagonists of the revolution themselves. His books are essential reading for anyone investigating the revolution and for any Catalan eager to know what happened in Barcelona during the revolution and the counter-revolution in 1937. Agustín Guillamón lets the protagonists speak for themselves and this entails complicated and dogged research. A non-directional, non-interpretative, superb way of showing us the history by letting the ‘cast’ do the talking. Vital books on self-organisation among the Barcelona proletariat, mostly, the handiwork of a non-aligned historian involved in class struggle.

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ANARCHISM AS PROPHYLACTIC. Excerpts from Robert Michels’ Political Parties. A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy (1915) PART FIVE: ATTEMPTS TO RESTRICT THE INFLUENCE OF THE LEADERS.

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Jun 142014
 
Domela

Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis (1846 –1919)

CHAPTER 4: ANARCHISM AS PROPHYLACTIC

Anarchists were the first to insist upon the hierarchical and oligarchical consequences of party organisation. Their view of the defects of organisation is much clearer than that of socialists and even than that of syndicalists. They resist authority as the source of servility and slavery, if not the source of all the ills of the world. For them constraint is “synonymous with prison and police.” 1 They know how readily the individualism of the leaders checks and paralyses the socialism of the led. In order to elude this danger, anarchists, notwithstanding the practical inconveniences entailed, have refrained from constituting a party, at least in the strict sense of the term. Their adherents are not organized under any stable form. They are not united by any discipline. They know nothing of obligations or duties, such as elections, pecuniary contributions, participation in regular meetings, and so on.

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