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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.
PAMPHLETS REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT compelled to put it out of the way, to dismiss those that but yesterday they acclaimed as their chosen. by the social revolution. They renounce then the idea of "legal" government at least during that period which is a revolt against legality, and they advocate a "revolutionary dictatorship." "The party," say they, "which will have overturned the government will take the place of it, of course. It will seize upon power and proceed in a revolutionary manner.
themselves in the language of primitive anthropomorphism (the conception of nature as a thing governed by a being endowed with human attributes) Anarchists are not to be deceived by sonorous phrases, because they know that these words simply conceal either ignorance--that is, uncompleted investigation-or, what is much worse, mere superstition. They therefore pass on and continue their study of past and present social ideas and institutions according to the scientific method .of induc tion. And
State of society as against the authority which oppresses it. An availing itself of the historical data collected by modern sci ence, t has shown that the State--whose sphere of authority there IS now a tendency among its admirers to increase, and a tendency to limit in actual life--i s in reality a superstruc ture--a s harmful as it is unnecessary, and for us Europeans of a comparatively recent origin. A superstructure in the d � MODERN SCIENCE AND ANARCHISM I !J 3 interests of
of the classes they oppress. From time to time these dominant classes have allowed a law to be extorted from them which presented, or appeared to present, some guarantee for the disinherited. But then such laws have but repealed a previous law, made for the advan tage of the ruling caste. "The best laws," says Buckle, "were those which repealed the preceding ones." But what terrible efforts ave been needed, what rivers of blood have been spilt, every time there has been a question of the repeal
development. Man is the result of the environment in which he grows up and spends his life. If he is accustomed to work from child hood, to being considered as a part of society as a whole, to und�rstanding that he . cannot injure anyone without finally feehng the effects himself, then there will be found few cases of violation of moral laws. Two-thirds of the acts condemned as crimes today are acts against property. They will disappear along with pri vate property. As for aCts of violence