An anti-statist communist manifesto by Joseph Lane with a profile of the author by Nicolas Walter. eBook £1.00 (see eBookshelf)

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Sep 282016
 

LaneCoversmallAn anti-statist communist manifesto by Joseph Lane with a profile of Joseph Lane by Nicolas Walter. First published by Joseph Lane in 1887 (Bethnal Green). Second print edition (with intro by Nicolas Walter)  by Cienfuegos Press, Sanday, Orkney 1978. eBook £1.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo  and Kindle (READ INSIDECheck out all Christiebooks titles HERE

Joseph Lane defended liberty, equality and solidarity — what would now be called libertarian socialism. He attacked authority, whether religious or political, and declared himself both atheist and anti-statist neither God nor master! He avoided the word anarchist, preferring to call himself a revolutionary socialist or a free communist. He opposed both mere radicals and mere secularists, both individualist anarchists and collectivist socialists. He opposed Parliament as a symbol of what was wrong with public life and marriage as a symbol of what was wrong with private life (though he was himself happily married with several children). He rejected such panaceas as imperialism and emigration, co-operation and land nationalisation, teetotalism and vegetarianism, or so-called Malthusianism (birth control), and such palliatives as a legal eight-hour day or public relief far the unemployed. He attacked the welfare state as well as the warfare state. He wanted social revolution, not social democracy.

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NATIONALISM AND CULTURE by Rudolf Rocker (Translated by Ray E. Chase) eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

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Aug 252016
 

RockerCover2NATIONALISM AND CULTURE by Rudolf Rocker (Translated by Ray E. Chase)  Complete edition (Books I & II, with all 27 chapters, including bibliography and index. Appx. 713 pp) eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo  and Kindle (READ INSIDECheck out all Christiebooks titles HERE

Nationalism and Culture is a detailed and scholarly study of the development of nationalism and the changes in human cultures from the dawn of history to the present day and an analysis of the relations of these to one another. It tells the story of the growth of the State and the other institutions of authority and their influence on life and manners, on architecture and art, on literature and thought. Nationalism and Culture is, primarily, a 600-page (appx 713pp on Kindle/Kobo) exploration of the origins and development of nationalism, and a scathing denunciation of the corrosive effect of national feeling on the human spirit. Yet it is one of those works, like The Anatomy of Melancholy (Robert Burton, 1621), that springboard from their stated purpose to discourse on everything under the sun. Architecture is analyzed, socialism is defended, and Rembrandt’s paintings are scrutinized at length. It is at once a treatise on the state’s relationship with culture and a manifesto for an enlightened leftism. Most of all, it is a clear-eyed plea for sanity at a moment when nationalist and religious irrationalism threatened to swallow the globe. It could not be more relevant. Rocker’s thesis is straightforward: Nations are the products of states, rather than vice versa. They are manufactured to serve the goals of the powerful, to divide human beings and keep them from recognizing their common interests. Rocker argues this point with a litany of historical examples, from the Renaissance to “the stupid and stumbling provisions of the Versailles treaty.”

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THE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH AND THE STATE by MICHAEL BAKUNIN. eBook — £1.00

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Dec 122015
 

TheCommuneChurch&StateTHE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH AND THE STATE by Michael Bakunin£1.00 MOBI or ePUB file (readable on your Kindle or other device) Any of our titles can be purchased directly from us for between £1.00 and £1.50 — either from our eBOOKSTORE or by payment by PAYPAL to christie@btclick.com. You can check out all (or most of) the available Christiebooks titles HERE (Kindle) or  ChristieBooks on KOBO  —   and then order directly from us …
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Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin on the Paris Commune, government and the state: “This work, like all my published work, of which there has not been a great deal, is an outgrowth of events. It is the natural continuation of my Letters to a Frenchman (September 1870), wherein I had the easy but painful distinction of foreseeing and foretelling the dire calamities which now beset France and the whole civilized world, the only cure for which is the Social Revolution.

“My purpose now is to prove the need for such a revolution. I shall review the historical development of society and what is now taking place in Europe, right before our eyes. Thus all those who sincerely thirst for truth can accept it and proclaim openly and unequivocally the philosophical principles and practical aims which are at the very core of what we call the Social Revolution.

“I know my self-imposed task is not a simple one. I might be called presumptuous had I any personal motives in undertaking it. Let me assure my reader, I have none. I am not a scholar or a philosopher, not even a professional writer. I have not done much writing in my life and have never written except, so to speak, in self-defense, and only when a passionate conviction forced me to overcome my instinctive dislike for any public exhibition of myself…”

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MODERN SCIENCE AND ANARCHISM by Peter Kropotkin. eBook — £1.00

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Dec 102015
 

ModernScience&AnarchsmallMODERN SCIENCE AND ANARCHISM by Peter Kropotkin£1.00 MOBI or ePUB file (readable on your Kindle or other device) Any of our titles can be purchased directly from us for between £1.00 and £1.50 — either from our eBOOKSTORE or by payment by PAYPAL to christie@btclick.com. You can check out all the available Christiebooks titles HERE (Kindle) or  ChristieBooks on KOBO  —   and then order directly from us …

In ‘Modern Science and Anarchism’ Kropotkin argues that the Idea of anarchism originated not with individual thinkers, but from among the people and that it will preserve its vitality and creative force only for as long as it remains a movement of the people. Kropotkin claims in this work that throughout history ‘two currents of thought and action have been in conflict in the midst of human societies,’ — the ‘mutual aid’ tendency, as exemplified in tribal custom, village communities, medieval guilds, and, in fact, all institutions ‘developed and worked out, not by legislation, but by the creative spirit of the masses’. The other current is the authoritarian one, beginning with the ‘magi, shamans, wizards, rain-makers, oracles, and priests’ and continuing with the recorders of laws and the ‘chiefs of military bands’. ‘Kropotkin concludes ‘that anarchy represents the first of these two currents. … We can therefore say that from all times there have been anarchists and statists.’ Kropotkin postulates that the roots of anarchism lie in ‘the remotest Stone-age antiquity’; from this highly personal view of prehistory he continues through all rebellious movements to the rise of the early trade unions, concluding that ‘these are the main popular anarchist currents which we know of in history’. The book’s roots go back to 1887 when Kropotkin wrote an article entitled “The Scientific Bases of Anarchy” for the Nineteenth Century, the magazine edited by James Knowles which published most of Kropotkin’s major works in essay form before they appeared as books. Modern Science and Anarchism originated out of a burst of activity on Kropotkin’s part related to the rise of the clandestine anarchist movement in Russia. The first edition was printed in Russian, in London, in 1901; a later, German edition, was published in 1904, while the English and French versions did not appear until 1912/13. Kropotkin’s intention in writing Modern Science and Anarchism was, apparently, to clarify the basic methodological principle of anarchism, and establish the fact that anarchism is a broad based modern sociological science, i.e. political economy broadly defined, including political sociology, psychology, and law. Far from endorsing ‘the government of science’, he wanted to see established: “A society in which all the mutual relations of its members are regulated, not by laws, not by authorities, whether self-imposed or elected, but by mutual agreement… and by a sum of social customs and habits—not petrified by law, routine, or superstition, but continually developing and continually readjusted, in accordance with the ever-growing requirements of a free life, stimulated by the progress of science, invention, and the steady growth of higher ideals” (Modern Science and Anarchism).

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The General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century by P. J. Proudhon. Reviewed by Robert Anton Wilson.

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Nov 202015
 

Pierre-Joseph_Proudhon_0The General Idea of the Revolution in the 19th Century, by P. J. Proudhon. Reviewed by Robert Anton Wilson. (With thanks to the Joseph A. Labadie Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan)

Benjamin Tucker considered this Proudhon’s best book — “the most wonderful of all the wonderful books of Proudhon”— and he may well have been right in that judgment. Like many of the greatest works of the last century’ this “most wonderful book” comes to us from a prison cell: a fact which is probably far from insignificant. It is not without cause that the letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the Pisan Cantos of Ezra Pound, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” Nietzsche’s Antichrist, the best poems of Antonin Artaud, Van Gogh’s two or three greatest canvases, Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, and several other of the most significant cultural products of this age, were produced by men who were at the time unwilling “guests of the State.” Nor is it idle to note that some time has been served (unproductively, alas!) by Ford Madox Ford, Nijinsky, Seymour Krim, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jim Peck, and almost everybody else worth a damn as a serious thinker or artist. It is getting to the point where, as Eustace Mullins noted in his biography of Ezra Pound, lack of a police or psychiatric record is looked on, by avante garde, as a sign that a man has sold out.

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THE ABC OF ANARCHISM by Alexander Berkman (Kindle, Kobi, MOBI ePub)

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Nov 052015
 

ABCofAnarchismsmallTHE ABC OF ANARCHISM by Alexander Berkman Check out all Christiebooks titles HERE UK : £1.94 ; USA : $3.00 FRANCE : €2.73 ; GERMANY : €2.73 ; SPAIN : €2.73 ; ITALY: €2.73 ; NETHERLANDS : €2.73  ; JAPAN : ¥ 362CANADA : CDN$3.92 ; BRAZIL : R$ 11.57 ; AUSTRALIA : $5.60 ;   INDIA R196.00 ; Mexico : $66.01 —  ChristieBooks on KOBO  —  THE ABC OF ANARCHISM by Alexander Berkman. £2.00 For a MOBI (readable on your Kindle) or other eBook file — PAYPAL to christie@btclick.com — £1.50

THE ABC of ANARCHISM was first published in 1929, by the Vanguard Press of New York, under the title What is Communist Anarchism? It comprised three parts: “Now”, “Anarchism”, and The Social Revolution”. It was re-issued in 1936, by Frei Arbeiter Stimme of New York, with the new title of Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism. Freedom Press first published it in Britain, this time as The ABC of Anarchism, in May 1942, but without part one. The ABC of Anarchism is now an historic document. Indeed, George Woodcock (for whatever his opinion is worth!) has called it a minor classic of libertarian literature. That however is not the reason for its republication. The reason is that it still remains one of the best introductions to the ideas of anarchism, written from the communist-anarchist viewpoint, in the English language. Its author, Alexander Berkman, was no mere theoretician or “intellectual”. He had been a militant activist for much of his life.

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ABOUT ANARCHISM by Nicolas Walter. Introduction by Natasha Walter. (Kindle, Kobo and MOBI files)

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Sep 112015
 

WalterCoverABOUT ANARCHISM by Nicolas Walter. Introduction by Natasha Walter. Check out all Christiebooks titles HERE UK : £1.98 ; USA : $3.00 FRANCE : €2.69 ; GERMANY : €2.69 ; SPAIN : €2.69 ; ITALY: €2.69 ; NETHERLANDS : €2.69  ; JAPAN : ¥ 357CANADA : CDN$ 3.98 ; BRAZIL : R$ 11.53 ; AUSTRALIA : $4.34 ; INDIA : R199 ; MEXICO : $50.82 —  ChristieBooks on KOBO  — ABOUT ANARCHISM  £2.00 For a MOBI or other eBook file — PAYPAL to christie@btclick.com — £2.00

A concise introduction to the theories and practice of anarchism by the late Nicolas Walter, lifelong libertarian socialist and editor of the New Humanist for 10 years. Introduced by Nicolas’s daughter, Natasha, ‘About Anarchism’ neatly summarises what anarchists believe, how they differ, what they want, and what they do.

This is a struggle that we may not win and which may never end, but which is still worth fighting.

Apr 262015
 

CollectivesSpRevbCOLLECTIVES IN THE SPANISH REVOLUTION by Gaston Leval. Translated by Vernon RichardsLook Inside
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This is not yet another book about the Civil War, and its author is not yet another academic jumping on the Spanish band wagon. The book is about what Burnett Bolloten in the opening paragraph of his remarkable book (‘The Spanish Civil War. Revolution and Counterrevolution’) calls “a far reaching social revolution more profound in some respects than the Bolshevik revolution in its early stages”.

This book can only deal with a few of the collectives that were established in Spain during the struggle against Franco, for, as the author points out, there were 400 agricultural collectives in Aragon, 900 in the Levante and 300 in Castile. In addition, the whole of industry in Catalonia, and 70 per cent in the Levante was collectivised.

In a world where relations in industry between management and worker, and in the public services between workers and government, become daily more strained, not simply over money but over the growing demand by more and more workers to be responsible for and in control of the organisation of the work they do, surely the Spanish experiment of 1936 is of more than academic interest. Such experiments are never exactly repeated, not even in a Spain which has been freed from the military dictatorship. They don’t have to be. Their importance for us now is in showing what ordinary people, land- and industrial workers, technicians, and professionals of goodwill, can do when the State machine collapses even for a brief moment and the people are left to their own devices. The result is not chaos but cooperation, the discovery that for most of us life is richer and happier when we practise mutual aid than when we engage in the power and status struggle which invariably leads to permanent bitterness for the many and a doubtful “happiness” for the few.

COLLECTIVE DREAMS/ SUEÑOS COLECTIVOS

and LIVING UTOPIA / VIVIR LA UTOPIA

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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