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Library

OUR COLLECTIVE LIBRARY

A LIBRARY FOR LIBERATION

The People’s Library

The People’s Library is our collective library which is named in the likeness of the famous pop-up libraries that existed throughout the Occupy Wall Street movement. Our online archive begins with an introduction to anarchism and leads to many popular books, essays, and other resources that can be used for education, enlightenment, and empowerment.

The library is constantly being curated with new content which reflects the preferences of those who are actively engaged with the collective. If you have any suggestions or find broken links please contact us for consideration.

THE SCHOOLS OF ANARCHY

The term “anarchy” is derived from the Greek “anarchos” (“without ruler”). Up until the 19th Century, the term was generally used in a positive manner, to describe a coherent political belief, and it was only later that it became used pejoratively (to mean something akin to chaos).

There is no single defining position that all Anarchists hold, beyond their rejection of compulsory government or “the state”, and proponents may support anything from extreme individualism (the political outlook that stresses human independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty) to complete collectivism (the political outlook that stresses human interdependence and the importance of the collective). Thus, there are any number of diverse schools of thought within Anarchism.

As a collective – Paper Revolution chooses to extend revolutionary solidarity to all of our comrades by acknowledging ‘Anarchism without Adjectives’. The school by which one connects with or studies creates a path from one’s own individual perspective toward radical self-empowerment and actualization.

Anarchism is the political philosophy which rejects (and supports the elimination of ) compulsory government or compulsory rule, and holds that society can (and should) be organized without a coercive state. This may, or may not, involve the rejection of any authority at all. Anarchists believe that government is both harmful and unnecessary. This does not necessarily mean that we, as a society, are without rules – but rather – we become liberated from the violence and corruption of the state, the elite, and those who falsely assume roles of authority over individuals.

Anarchism contends that the state lacks moral legitimacy, that there is no individual obligation or duty to obey the state and, conversely, that the state has no right to command individuals. Anarchism calls for gradual change to free all individual from the oppressive laws and social constraints of the modern state.

WE MAKE THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW SERPENT

ANARCHISM WITHOUT ADJECTIVES

The use of the phrase anarchism without adjectives was an attempt to show greater tolerance between anarchist tendencies and to be clear that anarchists should not impose a preconceived economic plan on anyone—even in theory. Anarchists without adjectives tended either to reject all particular anarchist economic models as faulty, or take a pluralist position of embracing them all to a limited degree in order that they may keep one another in check.

The roots of the origin arguments can be found in the development of anarcho-communism, after Bakunin’s death in 1876. In the 1920s “synthesis anarchism” emerged as a form of anarchist organizations based on anarchism-without-adjectives principles.

“Anarchism without Adjectives” is a historic part of anarchist tradition, an attempt at bringing together diverse ideas and people under their common goals to effectively implement change. In the words of historian George Richard Esenwein, “[Anarchism without Adjectives] referred to an unhyphenated form of anarchism, that is, a doctrine without any qualifying labels such as communist, collectivist,mutualist, or individualist. For others, … [it] was simply understood as an attitude that tolerated the coexistence of different anarchist schools.” 

The originators of the expression were Cuban-born Fernando Tarrida del Mármol and Ricardo Mella, who were troubled by the bitter debates between mutualist, individualists, and communist anarchists in the 1880s.

AN INTRODUCTION TO ANARCHY

Other Media:

  • Noam Chomsky on anarchism – interview by Barry Pateman – Video of an interview by Barry Pateman with Noam Chomsky about anarchism.
  • Living utopia – Unique feature-length documentary which chronicles the origins and evolution of the Spanish anarchist movement and its important role during the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution. In Spanish with English subtitles.

HISTORICAL ANARCHIST THINKERS

Pierre Proudhon

French mutualist philosopher and first person to call themselves an ‘anarchist’.

  • What is Property? – Influential work on the concept of property in which Proudhon declared “property is theft!”.
  • The Philosophy of Poverty
  • The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century
  • The Principle of Federation

Mikhail Bakunin

Russian revolutionary, considered the original theorist of collectivist anarchism.

Peter Kropotkin

Russian revolutionary (as well as scientist, zoologist, geographer and evolutionary theorist!) who was the first to advocate a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers – anachist-communism.

  • The Conquest of Bread – Classic work explaining the defects of feudal and capitalist economic systems and how they can be replaced by a decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation.
  • Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution – Kropotkin’s response to Social Darwinism in which he explains the phenomenon of co-operation in evolution.
  • Fields, Factories and Workshops – Hugely influential work outlining how a society based on mutual aid and voluntary association could work.
  • Anarchism; & Anarchist communism – Two excellent essays explaining the history of anarchism and the inseparable relationship between anarchism and communism.
  • Memoirs of a Revolutionist – Autobiography recounting his aristocratic beginnings to his transformation into the revolutionary he would be for the rest of his life.
  • The State–Its Historic Role – Classic work on the state and its function in society.
  • Act for Yourselves: Articles from Freedom 1886-1907 – Collection of articles written for Freedom newspaper.

In a world ruled by ceaseless capitalist competition, where people are pitted to work against each other, anarchists offer a different vision: Mutual Aid.

Errico Malatesta

Highly influential Italian anarchist-communist who wrote and spoke widely across Italy and spent many years either in jail or in exile.

Emma Goldman

Lithuanian-born anarchist who emigrated to the USA, where she became highly involved in radical unions, anti-war and feminist activism. Became known as “the most dangerous woman in America”.

Alexander Berkman

Lithuanian-born anarchist-communist Alexander “Sasha” Berkman, who became a leading figure in the American anarchist movement and was sent to prison for attempting to assassinate Henry Clay Frick, the steel boss responsible for the deaths of workers in the 1892 Homestead strike.

  • Alexander Berkman, 1870-1936 – Biography.
  • What is anarchism? – Absolutely indispensable classic introduction to anarchism.
  • Prison memoirs of an anarchist – Autobiographical account of his experience in prison after being sentenced to 22 years for the attempted assassination of an industrialist.
  • The Russian Tragedy – Berkman’s anaylsis the failure of the Russian Revolution, written 1922.
  • The Bolshevik Myth – Book describing his experiences in post-revolution Russia from 1920 to 1922
  • The Kronstadt Rebellion – Berkman’s analysis of the crushing of the Kronstadt uprising by the Bolshevik government.

Rudolf Rocker

Prominent anarcho-syndicalist who organised extensively amongst the Jewish community in the East End of London.

  • Rudolf Rocker, 1873-1958 – biography.
  • Anarcho-syndicalism – Definitive extended work on anarcho-syndicalism.
  • Anarchism and Anarcho-syndicalism – Two essays introducing first the concept of anarchist politics and then its manifestation in anarcho-syndicalism.
  • Nationalism and Culture – Classic text on nationalism and culture.
  • The Tragedy of Spain – Rocker’s history of the Spanish Civil War.
  • The Truth About Spain – Analysis of the situation in Spain, with much on the Spanish anarchist organizations the CNT (Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo) and FAI (Federacion Anarquista Iberica).

Nestor Makhno

Ukrainian anarchist-communist who led a revolutionary army during the 1917 Russian revolution which fought against both the old Tsarist regime and the new Bolshevik one.

Daniel Guerin

French anarchist and revolutionary supporter of gay liberation.

Albert Meltzer

British anarcho-syndicalist print worker who fiercely opposed individualist strains within anarchism and was a major figure in the British anarchist movement.

Murray Bookchin

American libertarian socialist and founder of social ecology who severely criticised individualist and spiritual elements within radical politics.

  • Bookchin remembered – Obituary written by Iain Mackay.
  • Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism – Essay against the increasingly individualist, misanthropic, mystical and anti-organisational trends in US anarchism.
  • Listen, Marxist! – An anarchist criticism of Marxism, aimed predominantly at the Maoist Progressive Labor Party in America.
  • Post-Scarcity Anarchism – Collection of essays envisioning an anarchist society without scarce resources, if we rely on technology.
  • Anarchism, Marxism and The Future of The Left – Collection of texts including accounts of his years as a teenage Communist during the Great Depression, his experiences and reflections on the 1960s and his vision of a libertarian communist society, libertarian politics and the future of anarchism.
  • The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 – History of the day-to-day activism of Spanish anarchists in the decades leading up to the famous civil war and revolution of 1936.

A GUIDE TO ORGANIZING RADICAL GROUPS

The more democratic a group or campaign is, the more effective it is, as all people involved can have an input and feel a part of the project.

Although often basic, this information is essential for the smooth-running of an organisation and sticking to these simple guidelines can make the difference between a long lasting successful group and a failure.

Below find tips on many aspects of organising, from facilitating meetings and financing your group, to structure and making decisions.

REASONS TO MASK UP

Let’s face it, we live in a time where surveillance devices are all around us, be it police with video cameras, CCTV or citizens with mobile phones. So when we decide to take to the streets to oppose the state and their police, it’s wise to hide our identity.

For more tips on security culture check out these links: