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The Conquest of Bread

Peter Kropotkin

Book Overview: 

In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralized economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organization already exist, both in evolution and in human society. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .that day will see the workers clothed and fed, and there will be no more Rothschilds or other exploiters.

No one will then have to sell his working power for a wage that only represents a fraction of what he produces.

"So far, so good," say our critics, "but you will have Rothschilds coming in from the outside. How are you to prevent a person from amassing millions in China, and then settling amongst you? How are you going to prevent such a one from surrounding himself with lackeys and wage-slaves—from exploiting them and enriching himself at their expense?

"You cannot bring about a revolution all over the world at the same time. Well, then—are you going to establish custom-houses on your frontiers to search all who enter your country and confiscate the money they bring with them?—Anarchist policemen firing on travellers would be a fine spectacle!"

But at the root of this argument there is a great error. Those who pr. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Noting the centrality of (then-)modern technology in Kropotkin's ideas about society after revolution, it is obvious that this book would need a thorough update to be relevent in a direct practical sense. However, many of the theoretical and moral foundations of Kropotkin's thinking are insipiring,

A seemingly much-ignored classic--Kropotkin here lays out the specifics of 'the ideal society,' where labor-time would be vastly reduced, everyone would have necessities provided for, and leisure time would be greatly maximized so as to allow for the greater cultivation of self and community. I, for

Certified hood classic

Life changing book. This is the text that made me an anarcho-communist.

Unfortunately, I haven't read the whole book but only about 50% of it. The book lays out some foundamentals on how socialist anarquism could be brought about in society. The book is very well written and lays down an interesting theoretical background. Nonetheless, I believe that this book should be

A straightforward treatise on how to achieve full anarcho-communism, and for a book written in 1892, it is still so very applicable to the problems we have with an ultra-capitalistic society. A must-read for any comrade!

More fun to read than Das Kapital

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