In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they thrive on and maintain poverty and scarcity, as symbol for richness and in spite of being in a time of abundance thanks to technology, while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society. He also talks about details of revolution and expropriation in order not to end in a reactionary way.
Mutual Aid, Peter Kropotkin’s most famous work, is both an Anarchist Classic and an important Biological treatise. It was written as a direct rebuttal of T.H. Huxley’s ‘Hobbesian’ assertion that human society was a constant battle of “all against all”, and that civilisation only existed by imposition of order from above (an argument that was used by the ruling class to validate unjust societal norms).
Kropotkin does not deny the existence of competition between individuals and groups, but amasses an overwhelming body of evidence that reveals mutual aid as an important factor in evolution. Individuals of sociable species prosper, develop and reproduce successfully because of their cooperation. And Humanity is no exception – in a comprehensive review of human society, both historical and contemporary, Kropotkin shows the vital importance of mutual support in the evolution of everything from tribal life to the development of cities, science and art. Anthropologist Ashley Montagu considered "no book in the whole realm of evolutionary theories more readable or more important…”
One of the founding Classics of Anarchist literature, Peter Kropotkin’s book is a thoughtful, humane and detailed critique of capitalism, a system which allows a small, rich elite to hold the majority of the population in poverty and servitude, despite there being enough globally to satisfy the needs (and even the luxuries) of everyone.
The Conquest of Bread gives a spirited rejoinder to all who believe Anarchism ‘sounds good’ but cannot succeed in practice. Using data from his own time, the former Russian Prince (whose family owned more than 1000 serfs) lays out a detailed account of Anarchist Society - a fair and equitable social system based upon the concept that, as all things are the common inheritance of Mankind, they should, and can be, held in common.
Many of Kropotkin’s concepts are surprisingly contemporary, including a ‘needs’ as opposed to a ‘contributory’ scheme of social care, and food security via a system that sounds suspiciously like present-day Permaculture! A book for all those interested in changing society for the better.
First written in French and originally appearing as a series of articles in 1892, "The Conquest of Bread" is the most famous and enduring work by Peter Kropotkin, the Russian political philosopher and anarchist. In this widely influential and often cited work, Kropotkin presents his arguments against feudalism and capitalism. These economic systems rely on and perpetuate poverty, misery, and scarcity, while protecting and promoting the privilege of the few over the many. He advocated for a more decentralized and smaller-scale system that instead relied on cooperation and mutual assistance. Kropotkin persuasively argues that this voluntary system of localized anarchy already exists in many types of human society and is how humans evolved to live. His ideas were a rejection of the more formalized and centralized system of communism advocated by Karl Marx and advocated in contrast for the eventual elimination of money altogether as a necessary part of the social economy. Rather, society could become so advanced that every good and service would be shared equally and no one would be deprived of what they needed. Kropotkin's work continues to have a profound effect on both political philosophers and revolutionaries, from the Spanish Civil War to the modern Occupy movement. This edition is printed on premium acid-free paper.
The Conquest of Bread is an 1892 book by the Russian anarcho-communist Peter Kropotkin. Originally written in French, it first appeared as a series of articles in the anarchist journal Le RÉvoltÉ. It was first published in Paris with a preface by ÉlisÉe Reclus, who also suggested the title. Between 1892 and 1894, it was serialized in part in the London journal Freedom, of which Kropotkin was a co-founder.
In the work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the defects of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism and why he believes they thrive on and maintain poverty and scarcity. He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organization already exist, both in evolution and in human society.
The Conquest of Bread has become a classic of political anarchist literature. It was heavily influential on both the Spanish Civil War and the Occupy movement. (wikipedia.org)
Peter Kropotkin: Memoiren eines Revolutionärs
Edition Holzinger. Taschenbuch
Berliner Ausgabe, 2019
Durchgesehener Neusatz bearbeitet und eingerichtet von Michael Holzinger
Herausgeber der Reihe: Michael Holzinger
Reihengestaltung: Viktor Harvion
Umschlaggestaltung unter Verwendung des Bildes: Peter Kropotkin um 1900, Edition Nadar
Gesetzt aus der Minion Pro, 11 pt.
Die Sammlung Holzinger erscheint im Verlag der Contumax GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin
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