He production of luxuries or nothing at allXVI The Decentralization of Industry The concentration of particular industries as the specialization of certain peoples countries areas is unnecessary and counterproductive in the modern worldXVII Agriculture This chapter is a detailed accounting of the acreage and human hours reuired using modern agricultural methods to allow the three and one half million citizens of the two departments Seine Seine et Oise round Paris with their 1507300 acres to produce all the corn and cereals milk cattle vegetables and fruit that the population reuires Chiefly interesting for the way that Kropotkin argues foe the self sufficiency of such a population and the amount of the land left over for houses roads parks and forests Anarchist Communism common inheritanceKropotkin s use of Communism is not to be confused with what we think of when we consider the Soviet and Chinese systems of the twentieth century rather he is using the term in the manner coined by the French philosopher Victor d Hupay in 1777 d Hupay defines this lifestyle as a commune and envisions that its members share all economic and material products among themselves so that all may benefit from everybody s work That is Communism for Kropotkin is organization and living by the principles of the commune Or as Kropotkin himself says it is 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 LibertyKropotkin returned to Russia after the Revolution He was not particularly happy with what he observed but was of an age that he felt precluded him from attempting to actively engage in what was going on Here is a link to a first hand account of a meeting that he had in 1919 with Lenin Anarchist Communism is the title of the third chapter of CoB Kropotkin contrasts this idea with that of the Collectivists These are the followers of the other major anarchist theoretician of the second half of the nineteenth century Mikail Bakunin 1814 1876 who is taken as the founder of collectivist anarchism The aspect of Bakunin s system that disturbs Kropotkin here is that payment proportional to the hours of labor rendered by each would be an ideal arrangement suffice it to say here leaving ourselves free to return to the subject later which he does particularly in XIII The Collectivist Wages System that the Collectivist ideal appears to us untenable in a society which considers the instruments of labor as a common inheritance Starting from this principle such a society would find itself forced from the very outset to abandon all forms of wagesAnd what of common inheritance This is an idea that Kropotkin brings up again and again Introduced in chapter I Our Riches he returns to it in chapter III In the present state of industry when everything is interdependent when each branch of production is knit up with all the rest the attempt to claim an Individualist origin for the products of industry is absolutely untenable The astonishing perfection attained by the textile or mining industries in civilized countries is due to the simultaneous development of a thousand other industries great and small to the extension of the railroad system to inter oceanic navigation to the manual skill of thousands of workers to a certain standard of culture reached by the working class as a whole to the labours in short of men in every corner of the globeThe Italians who died of cholera while making the Suez Canal or of anchyloses in the St Gothard Tunnel and the Americans who were mowed down by shot and shell while fighting for the abolition of slavery have helped to develop the cotton industry of France and England as well as the work girls who languish in the factories of Manchester and Rouen and the inventor who following the suggestion of some worker succeeds in improving the loomsHow then shall we estimate the share of each in the riches which ALL contribute to amassThe property factories machines farmland roads railways buildings housing which have been financed developed manufactured built by the toil and efforts of countless workers inventors many compensated richly for their capital contributions vast numbers of others particularly those who actually did the work expended the effort given a pittance even nothing by which they could barely sustain themselves and their families all these things must be looked up as the common inheritance of those alive today not as the property of the descendants of those who have already been compensated to an "Unjust Extent No Need For "extent No need for do not need to be told by social or political higher ups how to live how to solve problems that reuire than simply personal attention there are ample examples of free associations of men and groups
OF MEN THAT HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANTmen that have made significant on how an important enterprise can be organized and this has always been done simply through discussion bargaining and coming to an agreement on what would in fact benefit everyone concerned to the best extent This idea is explored most fully in XI Free Agreement Kropotkin tells how the European railway network came into being through free agreements between the scores of separate companies that had developed small pieces of the system then connected them together established routes and schedules figured out how to allow freight to move over the entire network without having to unload and reload at company boundaries all without the intervention of any Central authority or State AgencyHe goes through many other examples of things that have been organized by free agreement of people who simply saw a need for something to be done and did it the way that the Dutch settled uestions of canal access the similar way that shipowners settled uestion of boat access along the Rhine the establishment of the British Lifeboat Association manned and financed by volunteer seamen and the founding staffing organization and activities of the Red Cross On revolutionary failures1871 the Paris CommuneIn this instance which is discussed in both the Preface which Kropotkin wrote in 1913 and in different chapters of the original book the beginning of the end occurred when groups of the revolutionaries separated off to make decisions which they deemed needed to
Be Made FOR THE PEOPLEmade FOR THE PEOPLE insists that THE PEOPLE do not need this that they will make the correct decisions for themselvesThe decision makers begin to argue about what needs to be done what rules and regulations need to be effected and put into place and meanwhile the people STARVE because their immediate daily NEEDS which are of course provided for the decision makers in their own privileged ways are completely disregarded These self appointed decision makers will provide the people not with the food clothing and shelter that they need but with EDICTS THEY MUST OBEYAnd so goes another failed revolutionsomething that occurred to meDespite the fact that we in the 21st century live in a world very different from that of the late 18th century there is much that Kropotkin urges that seems to have application today Particularly with various contemporary movements such as the Transition movement which emphasize localized aspects of society support for local businesses local food production CSAs Community Supported Agriculture local banking and so forth and then with the possibilities of society coming apart at the seams at some future point Much of what Kropotkin says may be extremely applicable in some futureA book to be passed on into that future Very highly recommended Previous review Freedom From FearNext review The Fall sorry to say Earlier review Greek Mathematics classic history Thomas HeathPrevious library review Anarchism VSINext library review Nations and Nationalism Hobsbawm. H the Russian Revolution The volume also includes a number of his shorter writings including a hitherto untranslated chapter from his classic Memoirs of a Revolutioni. .
review ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ó Pyotr Kropotkin.
Kropotkin s The Conuest of Bread is rightfully a classic of anarchist literature This book was the first of the classic anarchists that I ve actually read and I found it rather illuminating In my social circle the words communist and socialist are so toxic that few people actually read communist authors to understand what they are actually advocating which is unfortunate In some ways most people are socialist to some degree it is ust a matter of how far away from the individual you extend your tribe Some people only extend it to their immediate family while others want to extend it to all humanity and beyond If people read of these classics they might realize that we have in common than we realize and that there is a lot of disagreement within communist circles Kropotkin identified as a communist but had serious problems with Marx and other state communists Kropotkin s view of government is very similar to that of modern libertarians and others who are skeptical of concentrated powerDespite dying when Abraham Maslow was only a teenager Kropotkin seems to have tapped into Maslow s hierarchy of needs His focus on providing society with bread clothing and shelter in order to maximize human happiness and increase productivity echoes in Maslow s works and bears a striking resemblance to conversations in modern times around a Basic Income Guarantee In fact much of the conversation and discussions in this book are still being had today and it seems the things change the things remain the same I m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing Despite amazing technological advances in the last 150 years the same fight is being had and many people are still living impoverished Even if you don t agree with Kropotkin s economic viewpoints and I certainly don t on several occasions I can understand the frustration with the current system and how his utopian view could inspire people And considering he views the state as the primary problem I probably have in common with him than notMy book is littered with underlined passages and writing in the margin I wish I would have taken notes while reading it because I feel there is a lot to be said I like this dissertation uite a bit Startling to me Kropotkin sometimes called the Father of Anarchism I was expecting an incoherent hate filled screed Well there is an occasional exclamation mark when he hones one of his arguments to a particularly fine point But otherwise this is a well tempered and calmly considered treatise on the great good commonsense found in socialism Kropotkin says pretty much the same things I say in advance of socialism when challenged by libertarians and other self made men I m pleased to learn I ve unconsciously been echoing some of his best points At the heart of Kropotkin is merely this an eagerness for fairness It s simple elouent and compelling If in the circumstance that some or many men are starving to death for the lack of bread what businessman has any right to grow rich from this Who imagines they have the foremost privilege to maintain their wealthy lifestyle when others are in dire extremity Just as a metaphor mind you what financial baron can say they own all the bakeries and all the ovens No one has the right to force other men to starve But Kropotkin doesn t advocate coercion or force This writer reminds us that socialism differs from an authoritative communist State seizing all our goods for the public weal For fully half the book Kropotkin reminds us of nothing else save mere facts Remember communal living was the way of all of man s most far flung societies up until the late 170os harmoniously run communities were the way of the world for much longer extant than the towering egocentric money making systems that yoke our necks today Comparatively speaking the Industrial Revolution the rise of great fortunes have only recently replaced the natural order Moreover communal living still demonstrates a thriving success anywhere it is left alone by capitalists to operate on its own and without hindrance So there s
NOTHING TO FEAR IN SOCIALIST COMMUNITIESto fear in socialist communities core impetus is making sure we ALL have food and shelter You would call this anarchy Kropotkin a frenzied abbering bomb hurler I m sure every mendacious wealth hoarding backstabbing throat cutting speculator out there would love to hear this confirmed but the truth is Kropotkin is deadly to their "slimy aims without ever once raising his voice He speaks of revolution yes but the real revolution is the one we "aims without ever once raising his voice He speaks of revolution yes but the real revolution is the one we to take place in our hearts not outside in our streets And he has it to offer Just stop the selfishness and the luxuries Your neighbor is not your enemy We sink or we swim together We get nowhere by preying on each other That s all he s asserting I now know how to find bread This book was thoroughly disappointing especially after reading Memoirs of a Revolutionist which was an incredible book This book however was pretty much a 279 page rant about what a perfect society would look like and what was wrong with the industrialized world at that time rather than how these things could realistically be achieved One reason for this is as Kropotkin points out was that these anarchist ideals could be achieved rather easily once some great revolution had occurred Humanity only need to catch a glimpse of some efficient anarchist organization and they would fall in line It s strange then that Kropotkin gives example after example of where anarchist principles already exist in organizations of that period be it the Red Cross various communes the British Life Boat Association Russian peasant communes the Royal Society of Zoology etc I wonder if these organizations were so well founded and it would only take humanity glimpsing them during a period of revolution why then did the French not turn to anarchism in 1793 1848 or 1871 For that matter with the Soviets of the Russian Revolution that decided things in consensus and ran their factories and farms efficiently without outside intervention particularly of the State such as the Kronstadt sailors why was anarchism so easily defeated by state sponsord Communism The answer lies in the fact that people are fully engrossed in the systems that they are a part of Just because the oppressors and their tools are shattered does not mean that people stop thinking in certain manners and change towards whichever way the wind blows Humanity is cultured and steeped in systems of capitalism and state run systems to the point where are very cities are designed upon the premise of the good of the state as Kropotkin points out Why then would he expect people to readily abandon that system when they have had little education to the contrary and even if they do try to change the status uo they will be unfamiliar with the systems of anarchism until they "Are Fully Educated In "fully educated in This can be seen in the case of Occupy Wall Street And in Occupy Wall Street one can see why his simplistic prognosis for revolution being a sudden and necessary cure all failed While organizers of the movement in various cities did attempt to make some form of change they were often stymied by a lack of knowledge of their own consensus system General Assembly and that made it all too easy for those with enough will to wreck havoc on the organizational structure especially when no one involved even seemed to be aware that the movement was fundamentally anarchist at least outside of New York So when I read Kropotkin s ideas about a spontaneous committee arising to address the cities need for food and supply I do have to laugh In reality this would become so complicated even if it did happen there would surely be so much infighting among organizations and power players that nothing of value would have gotten done Kropotkin himself must have seen this system fall apart dur. The Conuest of Bread is Peter Kropotkin's most detailed description of the ideal society embodying anarchist communism and of the social revolution that was to achiev. ,
Ing his last days in the Russian Revolution I wish this book would have been better but as it stands it is a lot of pie in the sky BS Uplifting light and truly enjoyable While I stand by an earlier assertion that best way to learn about anarchism nowadays is through radical permaculture ecologists and intersectional women of color feminists I was surprised to find The Conuest of Bread is really worth reading too In terms of your old white European male anarcho communists Kropotkin is the go to guy I d put him ahead of Emma Goldman for timid students of anarchist theory since he focuses on practicalities and vision of the future while she brings instead critiue of the present and passionate calls to arms Feel free to skim the pages of statistics and outdated examples Kropotkin uses to support his hypothesesAccording to Kropotkin the means to conuer bread is permaculture intensive small scale urban soil building ecologically efficient agriculture based on an scientific assessment of what are the needs of all and what are the means of satisfying them steps one and two an ecological design process He calls for doing the least amount of work necessary to meet material needs echoed in the present by both anarchists and permaculturalists with all participating in labor so that that everyone may have free time and energy to pursue passions like science art music writing etc etc etc the enjoyable productivity that Kropotkin reminds us so many people take up when they have time freed from draining work weeks The aim in his words is to Produce the greatest amount of goods necessary to the well being of all with the least possible waste of human energy Elegantly efficientThere are other lessons in here Kropotkin argues in favor of free association and diversity and decentralization of production and against coercion and centralized authority always with examples and evidence to support his claims but also always with a heartfelt uplifting of human creativity inclinations toward kindness and mutual support and general respect for the mass of people being competent and able Finally he argues for the need for luxury It is this acknowledgement of the importance of happiness that I think makes Kroptkin and anarchism so much embedded in reality than other social theories including capitalism s pursuit of competitive self interest We want bread but we want roses too Kropotkin says start there with our needs and desires and then figure out the best means of meeting themFor the A book club Anarchist utopia Kropotkin is interesting and his ideas on a socialist form of anarchism are a road not taken I don t know if people can take that road but it is worthy of consideration States often even under socialism and social democracy often replicate many of the things people dislike about capitalism sometimes in a worse form However it is hard to imagine an alternative but maybe we should FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM Introduction Notes by David PriestlandFurther Reading The Conuest of Bread Notes Anarchism The name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government harmony in such a society being obtained not by submission to law or by obedience to any authority but by free agreements concluded between the various groups territorial and professional freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption as also for the satisfying of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized beingThis is how Kropotkin defined anarchism in 1905 for the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britanica biography and introductionPeter Kropotkin Russian prince geographer and outstanding anarcho Communist writer Raised as Imperial Cadet later a cavalry officer studied mathematics and geography In 1872 visited Switzerland and oined the anarchist International Workers Association Imprisoned for agitation in Russia in 1874 Escaped from ail and moved through England Switzerland and France where he was imprisoned for five years Then settled in England where he wrote Memoirs of a Revolutionist and The Great French Revolution 1789 1793 Returned to Russia after the February Revolution Adapted from glossary entry for Kropotkin in Victor Serge s Memoirs of a RevolutionaryWhen I looked through several books I have that deal with anarchism directly or indirectly I found The Conuest of Bread CoB mentioned often than any of kropotkin s other writings as any of Kropotkin s other writings As example in Colin Ward s book Anarchism A Very Short Introduction he notes that the Mexican peasant revolutionary Emiliano Zapata was made literate by the anarchist Ricardo Flores Magon through reading and discussing this book with him Before getting into the book here s a list of some of Kropotkin s works taken from Rudolf Rocker s bibliography in Anarcho Syndicalism Theory and Practice 1 Anarchist Communism Its Basis and Principles 18912 The Conuest of Bread 18923 The State Its Role in History 18984 Fields Factories and Workshops 18995 Memoirs of a Revolutionist 18996 Modern Science and Anarchism 19007 Mutual Aid A Factor of Evolution 19028 The Modern State 1912 9 Ethics Origin and Development 1924Of these all but 8 can be easily obtained even today a century and after Kropotkin wrote them Here on Goodreads Conuest of Bread has been rated by over 1800 readers 7 by over 1300 5 by about 400 a couple not on the list by about 300 All others are near 100 or fewer Thus I would venture to say that the book here reviewed is Kropotkin s most widely read book at least in the 21st centuryorganization and main ideasA list of chapters with a few commentsI Our Riches Introduces the idea that the immense riches of the contemporary world are the result of the labor of countless workers in the past and that they thus belong to all people now living not to simply those who hold title to themII Well Being for AllIII Anarchist Communism What is meant by this and how it differs from CommunalismIV Expropriation Why an anarchist revolution must expropriate things from those who claim ownership of thingsV FoodVI DwellingsVII Clothing These three chapters lay out the reasons methods and ustifications by which the common people may on their own initiative and action provide the essentials of food dwellings and clothing to allVIII Ways and Means Why the current system will not and cannot supply for allIX The Need for Luxury By no means will items of luxury be no longer available in an anarchist society There will be ample opportunity for
Workers To Engage In Productionto engage in production distribution of such items for all who want themX Agreeable Work How it can come about because of great increases in productivity in modern times that no one will be forced to work as wage slaves now do Women will benefit as they will no longer be forced to work only in the home as even less than a wage slaveXI Free Agreement Arguments for and examples of the way in which free agreements among groups of people can effect the benefits which some claim can only be provided with a State which dictates The State is not neededXII Objections How the objections urged against an anarchist society can be metXIII The Collectivist Wages System Why it must come to pass that people in an anarchist society no longer be subject to "DIFFERENT WAGES DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF WORK THEY "wages depending on the type of work they Consumption and Production The correct way to analyze Political Economy Rather than a description of facts it should be a science The study of the needs of mankind and the means of satisfying them with the least possible waste of human energyXV The Division of Labor With modern methods of agriculture and production each citizen need contribute a modest number of hours each week to work shared by all to produce the essentials Beyond that each can choose to devote effort to what interests them be it art science E it Marshall Shatz's introduction to this edition traces Kropotkin's evolution as an anarchist from his origins in the Russian aristocracy to his disillusionment wit.