FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE by Maximilian A. Mügge. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

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Nietzsche has a poor reputation among many of the liberal intelligentsia for, among other things, his critique of liberal rationalism and his propagation of the over-man/Superman (Übermensch), but is his near villainous reputation deserved? He was, certainly, a complicated, ambiguous and contradictory piece of work, but he did help shape the modern philosophical landscape and is considered to be one of the genuinely great, influential and thinkers who has earned his ledge in the modern philosophical pantheon

Not many philosophers have provoked such widely varying assesments: “a madman” (The Chambers Biographical Dictionary); “a greater thinker than Marx” (Horkheimer); the “philosopher of developed capitalism” (Franz Mehring); the “progenitor and ideological founder of the Third Reich” (Hitler); the inspiration for “Nietzschean anarchism” (Gustav Landauer, who conveniently turned a blind eye to Nietzsche’s tirades against anarchism, solidarity and communal social interest and cherry-picked his ideas on voluntarism, materialism, along with his occasional tirades against capitalism and the “money economy” to establish the basis for his own take on anarchism.) He was also a significant influence on Lenin and Trotsky, as well as Max Weber, Sartre and other 20th century existentialists

The present work is neither polemic nor apology. It is, rather, an attempt to introduce aspiring students and aficionados of moral philosophy to Nietzsche as a person and as a provocative thinker. Contents include a detailed biography, an outline of his views on metaphysics, moral theorising, Christian values, the Superman, art, war, history, etc., together with interpretative sketches and a chronological exposition of all his works. A useful primer on all things Nietzsche.

THE FIRST MAYDAY. The Haymarket Speeches 1895-1910. Voltairine de Cleyre With an introduction by Paul Avrich eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

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Chicago, May 3rd 1886: ‘Towards the end of the afternoon of May 3rd, about 8,000 strikers gathered at the exit of the McCormick agricultural machine factory to taunt the scabs; they were greeted by revolver and rifle shots from the police and Pinkerton agents; forced to retreat they left six dead and fifty wounded.’ The Art of Anarchy by Flavio Costantini, Cienfuegos Press, Honley, 1975

The first Mayday. The Haymarket Speeches 1895-1910 Voltairine de Cleyre (with an introduction by Paul Avrich).

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On 1 May 1886, 800,000 workers from all trades and factories throughout the US went on strike in support of the eight-hour working day. In Chicago, a stronghold of immigrant labour and anarchists, 300,000 workers struck and marched through the city streets in a huge display of proletarian power. Before the Chicago May Day strike action began, the management at McCormick Machine Co. (now International Harvester) had locked out 1500 workers over a wage dispute. On 3 May, when pickets attempted to prevent blackleg labour entering the plant, the Chicago police opened fire on the workers, killing, four and wounding many more. Outraged at this act of naked aggression, radical newspapers called for armed resistance against the bloodthirsty Chicago police, and a protest rally was called for the following day (4 May) at Haymarket Square. Three leading anarchists gave speeches condemning police violence and capitalist oppression: Parsons, Spies and Fielden. As the meeting came to an end, 200 police moved in on the crowd. Suddenly, a bomb was thrown and exploded in the midst of the police, who immediately opened fire on the assembled workers. Several police and many workers were killed.

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THE LIFE, TRIAL, AND DEATH OF FRANCISCO FERRER I GUARDIA by William Archer. Edited and Introduced by Dave Poole. eBook eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

The Life, Trial and Death of Francisco Ferrer GuardiaWilliam Archer (Edited and Introduced by Dave Poole) (ISBN 978-1-873976-02-9), First published in 1977 by Cienfuegos Press, Over the Water, Sanday, Orkney, 

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Francisco Ferrer y Guardia (1859 –1909), anarchist, internationally renowned educationalist and founder of the rationalist ‘Modern School’ (La Escuela Moderna), was arrested in September 1909 in the wake of the popular and violent protests in Catalonia against Spain’s highly unpopular war against Moroccan tribesmen. The events of that week in July 1909 came to be known as the ‘Tragic Week’ (La Semana Tragica) for which the Spanish government and Catholic Church selected their most hated enemy, Francisco Ferrer, as the scapegoat — ‘the author in chief of the popular rebellion”. Within a month he had faced a mock military trial – a drumhead court martial – and on October 13 he was escorted to the ‘ditch of many sighs’ in Montjuich Castle and executed by a firing squad.

FerrerCover2This account of the life and death of Francisco Ferrer Guardia was written by William Archer for the October and November issues of McClure’s Magazine for 1910. Archer, a freelance journalist, had been commissioned by the magazine editor to go to Spain to find new material on the Ferrer case, as public interest in the affair had been revived. During his stay in Spain, Archer was able to interview Ferrer’s family and friends, as well as his opponents. He was also able to consult the many new books on the Tragic Week that had, at the time, just been published, and the official trial report, Juicio Ordinario Seguido … contra Francisco Ferrer Guardia. It is therefore to Archer’s credit, that on his return from Spain, he was able to write a very fine and well-documented article.

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THE MODERN SCHOOL by Francisco Ferrer i Guardia. Translated by Joseph McCabe for the Rationalist Press Association, 1913 eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

FerrerCover6300The Origin and Ideals of the Modern School by Francisco Ferrer. First published 1913 by Watts & Co, 17 Johnson’s Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.

The Origin and Ideals of The Modern School, Francisco Ferrer i Guardia (translated by Joseph McCabe) — 

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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

Chapter I — THE BIRTH OF MY IDEALS………………………………………………………. 6

Chapter II — MLLE. MEUNIER……………………………………………………………………… 9

Chapter III — I ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY………………………………………….. 11

Chapter IV — THE EARLY PROGRAMME…………………………………………………… 14

Chapter V — THE CO-EDUCATION OF THE SEXES…………………………………….. 17

Chapter VI — CO-EDUCATION OF THE SOCIAL CLASSES…………………………… 21

Chapter VII — SCHOOL HYGIENE………………………………………………………………. 24

Chapter VIII — THE TEACHERS…………………………………………………………………. 25

Chapter IX — THE REFORM OF THE SCHOOL……………………………………………. 27

Chapter X — NO REWARD OR PUNISHMENT…………………………………………….. 32

Chapter XI — THE GENERAL PUBLIC AND THE LIBRARY…………………………. 35

Chapter XII — SUNDAY LECTURES…………………………………………………………….. 41

Chapter XIII — THE RESULTS……………………………………………………………………. 43

Chapter XIV — A DEFENSIVE CHAPTER…………………………………………………….. 46

Chapter XV — THE INGENUOUSNESS OF THE CHILD………………………………… 51

Chapter XVI — THE “BULLETIN“……………………………………………………………….. 55

Chapter XVII — THE CLOSING OF THE MODERN SCHOOL………………………… 58

EPILOGUE By J. M……………………………………………………………………………………….. 61

INTRODUCTION

On October 12, 1909, Francisco Ferrer y Guardia was shot in the trenches of the Montjuich Fortress at Barcelona. A Military Council of War had found him guilty of being “head of the insurrection” which had, a few months before, lit the flame of civil war in the city and province. The clergy had openly petitioned the Spanish Premier, when Ferrer was arrested, to look to the Modern School and its founder for the source of the revolutionary feeling; and the Premier had, instead of rebuking them, promised to do so. When Ferrer was arrested, the prosecution spent many weeks in collecting evidence against him, and granted a free pardon to several men who were implicated in the riot, for testifying against him. These three or four men were the only witnesses out of fifty who would have been heard patiently in a civil court of justice, and even their testimony would at once have crumbled under cross-examination. But there was no cross-examination, and no witnesses were brought before the court. Five weeks were occupied in compiling an enormously lengthy indictment of Ferrer; then twenty-four hours were given to an inexperienced officer, chosen at random, to analyse it and prepare a defence. Evidence sent in Ferrer’s favour was confiscated by the police; the witnesses who could have disproved the case against him were kept in custody miles away from Barcelona; and documents that would have tended to show his innocence were refused to the defending officer. And after the mere hearing of the long and hopelessly bewildering indictment (in which the evidence was even falsified), and in spite of the impassioned protest of the defending officer against the brutal injustice of the proceedings, the military judges found Ferrer guilty, and he was shot.

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TOLSTOY by L. Winstanley eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)

tolstoy2smallTOLSTOY by L Winstanley

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LEO TOLSTOY, conscience-driven anarchist, soldier, pacifist, moral and religious teacher, environmentalist, war correspondent, and social reformer, etc., is considered to be one of the world’s finest writers. War and Peace and Anna Karénina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and pinnacles of realist fiction while his shorter work,The Death of Ivan Ilyich, is a fine example of the novella. In this work, author, L Winstanley, a lecturer in English at University College Wales, Aberystwyth, assesses key aspects of Tolstoy’s complicated life and paradoxical personae: his contemporaries, influence and principal works: Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, The Cossacks, War and Peace, Anna Karénina, My Confession, My Religion, What is Art?, The Power of Darkness, The Kreutzer Sonatta, and Resurrection.