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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

This book was thoroughly disappointing, especially after reading Memoirs of a Revolutionist, which was an incredible book. This book however, was pretty much a 279 page rant about what a perfect society would look like, and what was wrong with the industrialized world at that time, rather than h...more

Kropotkin is interesting and his ideas on a socialist form of anarchism are a road not taken. I don't know if people can take that road but it is worthy of consideration. States often even under socialism and social democracy often replicate many of the things people dislike about capitalism some...more

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 th...more

FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM

I now know how to find bread

Pierre Kropotkine, aristocrate russe ému par l'injustice des sociétés européennes d'il y a un siècle livre dans ce livre ses réflexions quand aux solutions qu'il imagine pour soulager la misère des classes ouvrières, lors de cette première mondialisation économique.

La hauteur de ses aspirations...more

Kropotkin's "The Conquest of Bread" is rightfully a classic of anarchist literature. This book was the first of the "classic" anarchists that I've actually read and I found it rather illuminating. In my social circle, the words "communist" and "socialist" are so toxic that few people actually rea...more

Anarchist utopia...more

Introduction & Notes, by David Priestland
Further Reading

--The Conquest of Bread

Notes

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