LUCIO URTUBIA — THE INDOMITABLE ANARCHIST by Bernard Thomas. (Translated by Paul Sharkey) eBook — £1.50

LuciosmallLUCIO URTUBIA — THE INDOMITABLE ANARCHIST by Bernard Thomas

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The biography of Lucio Urtubia, a Paris-based Navarese anarchist who was a friend and protégé of the enigmatic Spanish urban guerrilla ‘El Quico’, and the friend of, among others, André Breton and Albert Camus. Lucio played his part in the network of anarchist action and illegalist groups (Laureano Cerrada, D.I., First of May Group, M.I.L., G.A.R.I., Action Directe) that resisted and challenged the Franco and other oppressive regimes from the late 1950s through to the ‘70s and beyond. He is probably best known — because of his arrest in 1977 — for his ‘Robin Hood’ role in the falsification and international distribution of tens of thousands of Citibank $100 cheques— the money raised being used to support the libertarian guerrilla movements in Latin America (Tupamaros and Montoneros) and in Europe (G.A.R.I.). The action so damaged the bank its stock price plummetted. However, in spite of the scale and audacity of the forgery operation, Urtubia received only a six-month jail sentence as a result of an extrajudicial agreement with Citibank, which dropped the charges in exchange for Lucio’s printing plates. A unique story of ordinary politically conscious people — bricklayers, house-painters, electricians, etc. — challenging injustice in the turbulent nineteen sixties- and –seventies.
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THE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH AND THE STATE by MICHAEL BAKUNIN. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

TheCommuneChurch&StateTHE COMMUNE, THE CHURCH AND THE STATE by Michael Bakunin — 

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Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin on the Paris Commune, government and the state: “This work, like all my published work, of which there has not been a great deal, is an outgrowth of events. It is the natural continuation of my Letters to a Frenchman (September 1870), wherein I had the easy but painful distinction of foreseeing and foretelling the dire calamities which now beset France and the whole civilized world, the only cure for which is the Social Revolution.

“My purpose now is to prove the need for such a revolution. I shall review the historical development of society and what is now taking place in Europe, right before our eyes. Thus all those who sincerely thirst for truth can accept it and proclaim openly and unequivocally the philosophical principles and practical aims which are at the very core of what we call the Social Revolution.

“I know my self-imposed task is not a simple one. I might be called presumptuous had I any personal motives in undertaking it. Let me assure my reader, I have none. I am not a scholar or a philosopher, not even a professional writer. I have not done much writing in my life and have never written except, so to speak, in self-defense, and only when a passionate conviction forced me to overcome my instinctive dislike for any public exhibition of myself…”

 

GOD AND THE STATE by Michael Bakunin. Preface by Carlo Cafiero, Elysée Reclus; Introduction by Paul Avrich. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

God&theStatesmall1GOD AND THE STATE by Michael Bakunin

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Bakunin’s classic and highly influential text setting out the anarchist critique of religion as bound up in legitimising the state.

INTRODUCTION by Paul Avrich

This man was born not under an ordinary star but under a comet. — ALEXANDER HERZEN

It was nearly a century ago that Michael Bakunin wrote what was to become his most celebrated pamphlet, God and the State. At that time, anarchism was emerging as a major force within the revolutionary movement, and the named Bakunin, its foremost champion and prophet, was as well known among the workers and radical intellectuals of Europe as that of Karl Marx, with whom he was competing for leadership of the First International.

In contrast to Marx, Bakunin had won his reputation chiefly as an activist rather than a theorist of rebellion. He was born into the Russian landed gentry in 1814, but as a young man abandoned his army commission and noble heritage for a career as a professional revolutionist. Leaving Russia in 1840, aged twenty-six, he dedicated his life to a struggle against tyranny in all its forms. He was not one to sit in libraries, studying and writing about predetermined revolutions. Impatient for action, he threw himself into the uprisings of 1848 with irrepressible exuberance, a Promethean figure moving with the tided revolt from Paris to the barricades of Austria and Germany. Men like Bakunin, a companion remarked, “grow in a hurricane and ripen better in stormy weather than in sunshine.”1 But his arrest during the Dresden insurrection of 1849 cut short his feverish revolutionary activity. He spent the next eight years in prism, six of them in the darkest dungeons of tsarist Russia, and when he emerged, his sentence commuted to a life term of Siberian exile, he was toothless from scurvy and his health seriously impaired. In 1861, however, he escaped his warders and embarked upon a sensational odyssey that encircled the globe and made his name a legend and an object of worship in radical groups all over Europe.
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MODERN SCIENCE AND ANARCHISM by Peter Kropotkin. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

ModernScience&AnarchsmallMODERN SCIENCE AND ANARCHISM by Peter Kropotkin

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In ‘Modern Science and Anarchism’ Kropotkin argues that the Idea of anarchism originated not with individual thinkers, but from among the people and that it will preserve its vitality and creative force only for as long as it remains a movement of the people. Kropotkin claims in this work that throughout history ‘two currents of thought and action have been in conflict in the midst of human societies,’ — the ‘mutual aid’ tendency, as exemplified in tribal custom, village communities, medieval guilds, and, in fact, all institutions ‘developed and worked out, not by legislation, but by the creative spirit of the masses’. The other current is the authoritarian one, beginning with the ‘magi, shamans, wizards, rain-makers, oracles, and priests’ and continuing with the recorders of laws and the ‘chiefs of military bands’. ‘Kropotkin concludes ‘that anarchy represents the first of these two currents. … We can therefore say that from all times there have been anarchists and statists.’ Kropotkin postulates that the roots of anarchism lie in ‘the remotest Stone-age antiquity’; from this highly personal view of prehistory he continues through all rebellious movements to the rise of the early trade unions, concluding that ‘these are the main popular anarchist currents which we know of in history’. The book’s roots go back to 1887 when Kropotkin wrote an article entitled “The Scientific Bases of Anarchy” for the Nineteenth Century, the magazine edited by James Knowles which published most of Kropotkin’s major works in essay form before they appeared as books. Modern Science and Anarchism originated out of a burst of activity on Kropotkin’s part related to the rise of the clandestine anarchist movement in Russia. The first edition was printed in Russian, in London, in 1901; a later, German edition, was published in 1904, while the English and French versions did not appear until 1912/13. Kropotkin’s intention in writing Modern Science and Anarchism was, apparently, to clarify the basic methodological principle of anarchism, and establish the fact that anarchism is a broad based modern sociological science, i.e. political economy broadly defined, including political sociology, psychology, and law. Far from endorsing ‘the government of science’, he wanted to see established: “A society in which all the mutual relations of its members are regulated, not by laws, not by authorities, whether self-imposed or elected, but by mutual agreement… and by a sum of social customs and habits—not petrified by law, routine, or superstition, but continually developing and continually readjusted, in accordance with the ever-growing requirements of a free life, stimulated by the progress of science, invention, and the steady growth of higher ideals” (Modern Science and Anarchism).

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ANARCHISM: Arguments For and Against by Albert Meltzer. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

AlbertMArgumentsF&AsmallANARCHISM: FOR AND AGAINST by Albert Meltzer

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This is the revised edition of Anarchism: Arguments For and Against that Albert Meltzer was working on at the time of his death on May 7th, 1996. The book was important to Albert, and it was one whose arguments he returned to often in his other writings.

Albert had become increasingly concerned about what he saw as the ghettoisation of anarchism. Separated from the working class base so necessary to achieve social revolution, anarchism could easily fall into the twin traps of philosophical radicalism or revolutionary arrogance — the “we’re more militant than anyone else” approach. Both strands have manifested themselves in British anarchism together with a sometimes demoralising and destructive incestuous approach to revolutionary change. Anarchists tend to talk only to other anarchists and are unable to relate to the majority of people who do not share their ideas and see anarchism as a rather exotic or illogical idea.

This was Albert’s attempt to examine and counter arguments people may have about anarchism. He examines the basic tenets of anarchist thought and practice and challenges some of the myths about anarchist theory and action— a vade mecum for those who hope to win over sceptics to anarchist ideas and break down the walls of the ghetto in which anarchism has been contained for many years.