Direct Struggle Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology
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"The enemy on whom we declare war is capital, and it is against capital that we will direct all our efforts, taking care not to become distracted from our goal by the phony campaigns and arguments of the political parties. The great struggle that we are preparing for is essentially economic, and so it is on the economic terrain that we should focus our activities." —Peter Kropotkin
Peter Kropotkin is by far anarchism’s most influential theorist, and Direct Struggle Against Capital is the most extensive collection of his writings available in English. Over half the selections have been translated for the first time or recovered from long-out-of-print pamphlets and newspapers. The result is a volume that provides an introduction to classic texts, while showing new facets of a familiar and canonical figure. Direct Struggle Against Capital paints a detailed portrait of Kropotkin the revolutionary, the man Emma Goldman described as someone for whom anarchism “was not an ideal for the select few. It was a constructive social theory, destined to usher in a new world for all of mankind.”
Fully annotated and featuring a lengthy historical introduction, biographical sketch, glossary, bibliography, and index.
Peter Kropotkin (1842—1921) was one of anarchism's most famous thinkers. His classic works include Conquest of Bread; Fields, Factories and Workshops; Memoirs of a Revolutionist; and Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.
Iain McKay is author of An Anarchist FAQ (volumes 1 & 2) and Property Is Theft: A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Anthology.
hierarchies within which most people simply survive. This vision of self-liberation of the oppressed is reflected in the strategies he advocated (direct action and revolutionary unionism), his vision of revolution (mass action to expropriate capital and destroy the State) as well as his sketches of a free society (created and managed from below 15 by the people themselves, directly) and is expressed in numerous articles for the anarchist press. Unfortunately, although critically important in
repression of the Paris Commune. He took the opportunity to discuss that revolt and its lessons, using these eyewitness 116 accounts to build a critique of the revolt so that future revolutions would not make the same mistakes. Politically, he acknowledged that while it raised the vision of a federated France and so denied the national State, internally, it was based on the existing town council. This caused immense problems, as this structure could not handle the many problems facing the
and history of anarchism and place it within the social, economic and intellectual tendencies of the times. It was soon translated into other languages. During that year, Kropotkin also visited America for the second time to talk on the subject of Russian literature, a passion of his. These lectures were subsequently revised and published as the book Russian Literature in 1905. In the early 1900s, he also wrote a series of articles on socialism, subsequently reprinted as the pamphlets Socialism
a series of profound and brilliant articles on the historical progress of mankind towards freedom; he infused enthusiasm into his new friends, and he created that centre of propaganda, from which anarchism spread later on to other parts of Europe. After he had moved to Locarno—from whence he started a similar movement in Italy and, through his sympathetic and gifted emissary, Fanelli, also in Spain—the work that he had begun in the Jura hills was continued independently by the Jurassians
of production work.” Bakunin and Rev olutionary Anarchism 31 So by 1869 a clear collectivist current that advocated common ownership of both land and capital as well as embracing trade unions as both the means of struggle and the structure of a free society had developed in the IWMA. The most famous champion of these ideas was Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876). Bakunin was, like Kropotkin, a Russian aristocrat who renounced his title to join the struggle against autocracy and became an anarchist.