Read Conquest of Bread by Pyotr Kropotkin Free Online
Book Title: Conquest of Bread|
The size of the: 17.49 MB
Edition: Elephant Editions
Date of issue: January 1st 1990
ISBN 13: 9781870133036
The author of the book: Pyotr Kropotkin
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books: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 Conquest 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 more on practicalities and vision of the future while she brings instead critique of the present and passionate calls to arms. Feel free to skim the pages of statistics and outdated examples Kropotkin uses to support his hypotheses.
According to Kropotkin, the means to conquer 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 efficient.
There 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 more 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 them.
[For the (A) book club]
Read information about the authorPyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Пётр Алексеевич Кропоткин) was a geographer, a zoologist, and one of Russia's foremost anarchists. One of the first advocates of anarchist communism, Kropotkin advocated a communist society free from central government. Because of his title of prince, he was known by some as "the Anarchist Prince". Some contemporaries saw him as leading a near perfect life, including Oscar Wilde, who described him as "a man with a soul of that beautiful white Christ which seems coming out of Russia." He wrote many books, pamphlets and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops, and his principal scientific offering, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. He was also a contributor to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.
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