Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (1842-1921) was the leading - and the most widely admired - anarchist Communist in the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th. He lived long enough to see the establishment of Communism in Russia under Lenin, who acknowledged Kropotkins commitment to political change. However, Kropotkin was a very different kind of revolutionary figure, for he argued not only for Communism but anarchist Communism, distrusting and even despising central government control in favour of a more individual sense of responsibility and civic duty. In The Conquest of Bread, first published in 1892, Kropotkin set out his ideas on how his heightened idealism could work. It was all the more extraordinary because he was born into an aristocratic land-owning family - with some 1,200 male serfs - though from his student years his liberal views and his fixation on the need for social change saw him take a revolutionary path. This led rapidly to decades of exile. Even today, The Conquest of Bread is fascinating listening. It is a passionate, even a fierce polemic for dramatic social change. Kropotkin looks at the European revolutions, from the French Revolution to the upheavals of 1848 and later 19th-century events, commenting on why they were ultimately unsuccessful. Like Karl Marx he was convinced that major social upheaval was inevitable, but he argued for a different social structure - one where innate human goodness would not only overcome individualist capitalist greed but obviate the necessity of overbearing government control. Kropotkins faith in humanity and the reasonableness of man may seem naive, but his slogans are persuasive. All belongs to all; 'well-being for all; anarchist Communism, Communism without government - the Communism of the free: it is the synthesis of the two ideals pursued by humanity throughout the ages - economic and political liberty. His views encompassed further ideals: wealth should not hoarded by the few but distributed to each according to his need; women must be released from traditional domestic drudgery (he predicted that new machines would lightening the domestic load); the working day could easily be reduced to five hours a day, allowing more leisure time. With these innovations, Kropotkin argues, the future would be very different. The Conquest of Bread is a classic political text of an idealistic vision that may never come to pass but which contains views which are difficult - theoretically - to dismiss.
Public Domain (P)2018 Ukemi Audiobooks
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that's going to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. She's interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
©2016 Gabby Rivera (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Pyotr Kropotkin (1842-1921), one of the most individual political figures of his time, is best known as an influential anarchist communist. But he was also a scientist, geographer and philosopher, a man who, having grown up on his aristocratic fathers extensive country estate in Russia, had a deep understanding of and love for animals (wild and domesticated), the countryside and wildernesses. And all this was underpinned by a life committed to work for the good of humanity. Though his two best-known works, The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops, are revolutionary economic texts, Mutual Aid, a collection of essays published in 1902, is a jewel of another kind. In it, Kropotkin argues that Darwins views on evolution and the survival of the fittest show only one aspect of life on planet Earth. Taking a kindlier - but equally scientific - look at the existence and growth of societies, both animal and human, Kropotkin takes great pains to demonstrate that the principal of mutual aid is just as important a feature in life on Earth - in fact, even more important. In this most engaging, absorbing and even endearing book, Kropotkin shows that societies evolve and develop better though the principle of mutual aid than by challenge, conflict and conquest. His chapter headings provide the overview: 'Mutual Aid Among Animals', 'Among Savages', 'Among the Barbarians', 'In the Medieval City', and 'Amongst Ourselves'. His positive and uplifting conclusion is clear: In the practice of mutual aid, which we can retrace to the earliest beginnings of man, mutual support - not mutual struggle - has had the leading part. In its wide extension, even at the present time, we also see the best guarantee of a still loftier evolution of our race. This humane attitude was the driver behind his politics, because Kropotkin the scientist was also very much a political personality. But Mutual Aid is endlessly entertaining and informative because it contains thousands of well-documented examples of his thesis, whether drawn from colonies of ants and bees, or mutual protection among small birds; or rodents and ruminants; Bushmen, Eskimos, Caucasian mountaineers; village life in Switzerland, Germany; or from the history of Guilds and trade unions. Mutual Aid - A Factor of Evolution is a classic that should be far more widely known and appreciated.
Public Domain (P)2019 Ukemi Productions Ltd
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©2019 Paul Thomson (P)2019 Paul Thomson
Pyotr Kropotkin (1842-1921) was one of the most interesting figures to emerge from the Russian Communist movement, developing the path of Communist Anarchism: he was not associated, either in theory or practice with the violence associated with that time of great change. Born into a Russian aristocratic land-owning family, he was affected by the injustice he saw as a young man on his fathers estate and committed himself early to social change; but his study and interest in science, geography, anthropology and philosophy enriched and broadened his political views. Fields, Factories, and Workshops (1898) was one of his three most important texts (along with The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid - also available on Ukemi Audiobooks). Its subtitle - Industry Combined with Agriculture and Brain Work with Manual Work - indicates that although he starts from a Marxist standpoint, concerned with the exploitation of the wage labourer and the inequality suffered by the majority of the social classes, he was equally concerned with the 'human needs of the individual. Kropotkin argues that science of political economy should acknowledge that the life of the human being went beyond the narrow presentation of him as a wage-earning, labouring worker. Man shows his best when he is in a position to apply his usually varied capacities to several pursuits in the farm, the workshop, the factory, the study or the studio, instead of being riveted for life to one of these pursuits only. A crucial observation in Kropotkins time, this is equally relevant to the 21st century! Fields, Factories, and Workshops is a collection of essays written between 1888-1890. It opens with The Decentralisation of Industries and continues with The Possibilities of Agriculture and Small Industries and Industrial Villages and concludes with Brain Work and Manual Work. Kropotkin discusses in some detail statistics of economic activity in the UK and Russia as well as mainland Europe - Germany, France, etc. He looks at trade and manufacturing, import and export, its growth and change during the 19th century and its effect as industrial development takes an increasingly strong hold on societies. And in his conclusion, he warns, Are the means now in use for satisfying human needs, under the present system of permanent division of functions and production for profits, really economical? Do they really lead to economy in the expenditure of human forces ? Or, are they not mere wasteful survivals from a past that was plunged into darkness, ignorance and oppression, and never took into consideration the economical and social value of the human being? PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.
Public Domain (P)2019 Ukemi Productions Ltd