ETHICS. Origin and Development by Peter Kropotkin.
Kropotkin’s Ethics: Origin and Development (£1.00 via Paypal to [email protected]) , is, in a sense, a continuation of his well-known work, “Mutual Aid as a Factor of Evolution.” The basic ideas of the two books are closely connected, almost inseparable, in fact: — the origin and progress of human relations in society. Only, in the “Ethics” Kropotkin approaches his theme through a study of the ideology of these relations removing ethics from the sphere of the speculative and metaphysical, and bringing human conduct and ethical teaching back to its natural environment: the ethical practices of men in their everyday concerns — from the time of primitive societies to our modern highly organized States. Thus conceived, ethics becomes a subject of universal interest.
On Anarchist Morality
This study of the origin and function of what we call “morality” was written for pamphlet publication as a result of an amusing situation. An anarchist who ran a store in England found that his comrades in the movement regarded it as perfectly right to take his goods without paying for them. “To each according to his need” seemed to them to justify letting those who were best able to foot the bills pay for them. Kropotkin was appealed to, with the result that he not only condemned such doctrine, but was moved to write the comrades this sermon.
Its conception of morality is based on the ideas set forth in Mutual Aid and later developed in his Ethics. Here they are given special application to “right and wrong” in the business of social living. The job is done with fine feeling and with acute shafts at the shams of current morality.