"With the childlike faith, with the good humour of the masses who believe in their leaders, they think that 'yonder,' in the House, in the Town Hall, in the Committee of Public Safety, their welfare is being considered. But 'yonder' they are discussing everything under the sun except the welfare of the people" -- Peter Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread

"When you go into a public library... the librarian does not ask what services you have rendered to society before giving you the book, or the fifty books which you require, and he comes to your assistance if you do not know how to manage the catalogue." -- Peter "Santa" Kropotkin, my dude, my homie, on libraries and service for all society

"How can we doubt, then, that when the instruments of production are placed at the service of all, when business is conducted on Communist principles, when labour, having recovered its place of honour in society, produces much more than is necessary to all — how can we doubt but that this [communistic] force (already so powerful) will enlarge its sphere of action till it becomes the ruling principle of social life?" - my boy Petey Kropotkin

"We have all been brought up from our childhood to regard the State as a sort of Providence; all our education, the Roman history we learned at school, the Byzantine code which we studied later under the name of Roman law, and the various sciences taught at the universities, accustom us to believe in Government and in the virtues of the State providential.

To maintain this superstition whole systems of philosophy have been elaborated and taught..." - Kropotkin, Conquest of Bread

What if the Bread Book was actually a bread cookbook


"While bringing about expropriation, society cannot continue to organize itself on the principle of parliamentary representation. A society founded on serfdom is in keeping with absolute monarchy; a society based on the wage system and the exploitation of the masses by the capitalists finds its political expression in parliamentarianism. But a free society, regaining possession of the common inheritance, must seek, in free groups and free federations of groups, a new organization..."

"What we want is not a redistribution of overcoats, although it must be said that even in such a case, the shivering folk would see advantage in it. Nor do we want to divide up the wealth of the Rothschilds."

Hold on, Prince Petey, that is what we want! It would be really nice! Yes, the political project of anarchism will go father than this but okay ...

"We do not want to rob any one of his coat, but we wish to give to the workers all those things the lack of which makes them fall an easy prey to the exploiter, and we will do our utmost that none shall lack aught, that not a single man shall be forced to sell the strength of his right arm to obtain a bare subsistence for himself and his babes"

That's better.

I mean, I'd rob any Rockefeller's coat but w/e

"That we are Utopians is well known. So Utopian are we that we go the length of believing that the Revolution can and ought to assure shelter, food, and clothes to all — an idea extremely displeasing to middle-class citizens, whatever their party colour, for they are quite alive to the fact that it is not easy to keep the upper hand of a people whose hunger is satisfied."

- me, when people accuse me of being an ultra-leftist

"People should take immediate possession of all the food of the insurgent districts, keeping strict account of it all, that none might be wasted, and that by the aid of these accumulated resources every one might be able to tide over the crisis"

So, like, steal bread from Safeways

"Instead of plundering the bakers’ shops one day, and starving the next, the people of the insurgent cities will take possession of the warehouses, the cattle markets, — in fact of all the provision stores and of all the food to be had... In every block of houses, in every street, in every town ward, bands of volunteers will have been organized. These commissariat volunteers will work in unison and keep in touch with each other."

can we build these now

"In a word, the system is this: no stint or limit to what the community possesses in abundance, but equal sharing and dividing of those commodities which are scarce or apt to run short."

Why is this so abhorrent to people? I mean, there are a lot more nuts and bolts to the thing than just this but why are people so opposed to this principle?

"Is it necessary to go into details, to prepare tables showing how the distribution of rations may work, to prove that it is just and equitable, infinitely more just and equitable than the existing state of things?... those only who have never seen the people resolve and act on their own initiative could doubt for a moment that if the masses were masters of the situation, they would distribute rations to each and all in strictest accordance with justice and equity."

"Who will have a right to the food of the commune? will assuredly be the first question which we shall have to ask ourselves. Every township will answer for itself, and we are convinced that the answers will all be dictated by the sentiment of justice. Until labour is reorganized, as long as the disturbed period lasts, and while it is impossible to distinguish between inveterate idlers and genuine workers thrown out of work, the available food ought to be shared by all without exception."

Kropotkin's Eurocentrism isn't necessarily something I fault him for in that he knows European feudalism and capitalism best - but I DO take issue with how often he reiterates "civilized" versus "uncivilized" communities/populations - which is where Eurocentrism becomes a problem - that anarchist communism as he envisions it is ONLY possible in Europe.

Another thought I have about Kropotkin's Eurocentrism and latent racism against Asia is

whether or not this is an error of translation? uh

This part where Kropotkin is just speculating wildly about where the Revolution will occur first is

messy and annoying, I'm going to skip ahead

"We must offer to the peasant in exchange for his toil not worthless paper money, but the manufactured articles of which he stands in immediate need. He lacks the proper implements to till the land, clothes to protect him properly from the inclemencies of the weather, lamps and oil to replace his miserable rushlight or tallow dip, spades, rakes, ploughs."

Addressing people's needs > not just giving people more money (though that can be useful too)

"Let the town apply itself, without loss of time, to manufacturing all that the peasant needs, instead of fashioning gewgaws for the wives of rich citizens. "

Yes but what the fuck is a gewgaw

"Weavers, tailors, shoemakers, tinsmiths, cabinet-makers, and many other trades and crafts could easily direct their energies to the manufacture of useful and necessary articles, and abstain from producing mere luxuries... The public mind should be thoroughly convinced of the necessity of this transformation, and should come to look upon it as an act of justice and of progress"

"Cheat the peasant no longer with scraps of paper — be the sums inscribed upon them ever so large; but offer him in exchange for his produce the very things of which he, the tiller of the soil, stands in need. Then the fruits of the land will be poured into the towns. If this is not done there will be famine in our cities, and reaction and despair will follow in its train."


"Since all our middle-class civilization is based on the exploitation of inferior races and countries with less advanced industrial systems, the Revolution will confer a boon at the very outset, by menacing that 'civilization,' and allowing the so-called inferior races to free themselves.

But this great benefit will manifest itself by a steady and marked diminution of the food supplies pouring into the great cities of western Europe."

see, this is racist. THIS is what I'm not here for, Peter.

not even "so-called" "inferior races" redeems this, in my mind

"Let the Revolution only get so far, and famine is not the enemy it will have to fear. No, the danger which will menace it lies in timidity, prejudice, and half-measures."

This is better. I like Kropotkin more when he's writing like this

Show more

@mooncake it's a thingummy, a tchotchke, an article of bric-a-brac!

Sign in to participate in the conversation
ACP 🎉🍰

Anticapitalist Mastodon instance. Party means fun, not political party. But we're still political.