Pyotr Kropotkin Famous Quotes & Sayings

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38 Pyotr Kropotkin Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: In fact, we know full well today that it is futile to speak of liberty In fact, we know full well today that it is futile to speak of liberty as long as economic slavery exists.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The idea of good and evil has thus nothing to do with religion or a The idea of good and evil has thus nothing to do with religion or a mystic conscience. It is a natural need of animal races. And when founders of religions, philosophers, and moralists tell us of divine or metaphysical entities, they are only recasting what each ant, each sparrow practices in its little society. Is this useful to society? Then it is good. Is this hurtful? Then it is bad.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Whole columns are devoted to parliamentary debates and to political intrigues; while the vast everyday Whole columns are devoted to parliamentary debates and to political intrigues; while the vast everyday life of a nation appears only in the columns given to economic subjects, or in the pages devoted to reports of police and law cases. And when you read the newspapers, your hardly think of the incalculable number of beings - all humanity, so to say - who grow up and die, who know sorrow, who work and consume, think and create outside the few encumbering personages who have been so magnified that humanity is hidden by their shadows, enlarged by our ignorance.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: When one has talent, everything contributes to its development. When one has talent, everything contributes to its development.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: He objected, though, to indiscriminate reading. 'One must have some question,' he wrote, 'addressed to He objected, though, to indiscriminate reading. 'One must have some question,' he wrote, 'addressed to the book one is going to read.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Do not the bewitching power of all studies lie in that they continually open up Do not the bewitching power of all studies lie in that they continually open up to us new, unsuspected horizons, not yet understood, which entice us to proceed further and further in the penetration of what appears at first sight only in vague outline?
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: In our civilized societies we are rich. Why then are the many poor? Why this In our civilized societies we are rich. Why then are the many poor? Why this painful drudgery for the masses? Why, even to the best paid workman, this uncertainty for the morrow, in the midst of all the wealth inherited from the past, and in spite of the powerful means of production, which could ensure comfort to all, in return for a few hours of daily toil?
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Throughout the history of our civilisation, two traditions, two opposed tendencies, have been in conflict: Throughout the history of our civilisation, two traditions, two opposed tendencies, have been in conflict: the Roman tradition and the popular tradition, the imperial tradition and the federalist tradition, the authoritarian tradition and the libertarian tradition.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: To seek pleasure, to avoid pain, is the general line of action (some would say To seek pleasure, to avoid pain, is the general line of action (some would say law) of the organic world. Without this quest of the agreeable, life itself would be impossible. Organisms would disintegrate, life cease. Thus whatever a man's actions and line of conduct may be, he does what he does in obedience to a craving of his nature. The most repulsive actions, no less than actions which are indifferent or most attractive, are all equally dictated by a need of the individual who performs them. Let him act as he may, the individual acts as he does because he finds a pleasure in it, or avoids, or thinks he avoids, a pain. Here we have a well-established fact. Here we have the essence of what has been called the egoistic theory.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: This 'fecundity of will,' this thirst for action, when accompanied by poverty of feeling and This 'fecundity of will,' this thirst for action, when accompanied by poverty of feeling and intellect incapable of creation, will produce nothing but a Napoleon I or a Bismarck, wiseacres who try to force the world to progress backwards. While on the other hand, mental fertility destitute of well developed sensibility will bring forth such barren fruits as literary and scientific pedants who only hinder the advance of knowledge. Finally, sensibility unguided by large intelligence will produce such persons as the woman ready to sacrifice everything for some brute of a man, upon whom she pours forth all her love.
If life is to be fruitful, it must be so at once in intelligence, in feeling and in will. This fertility in every direction is life; the only thing worthy the name.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: I understand regicide as a means of obtaining vengeance for the ruin of our lives, I understand regicide as a means of obtaining vengeance for the ruin of our lives, but regicide as a means of obtaining political freedom I could never understand.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: variety is life; uniformity is death variety is life; uniformity is death
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Thus by an unprejudiced observation of the animal kingdom, we reach the conclusion that wherever Thus by an unprejudiced observation of the animal kingdom, we reach the conclusion that wherever society exists at all, this principle may be found: Treat others as you would like them to treat you under similar circumstances. And when we study closely the evolution of the animal world, we discover that the aforesaid principle, translated by the one word Solidarity, has played an infinitely larger part in the development of the animal kingdom than all the adaptations that have resulted from a struggle between individuals to acquire personal advantages.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The feeling of solidarity is the leading characteristic of all animals living in society. The The feeling of solidarity is the leading characteristic of all animals living in society. The eagle devours the sparrow, the wolf devours the marmot. But the eagles and the wolves respectively aid each other in hunting, the sparrow and the marmot unite among themselves against the beasts and birds of prey so effectually that only the very clumsy ones are caught. In all animal societies solidarity is a natural law of far greater importance than that struggle for existence, the virtue of which is sung by the ruling classes in every strain that may best serve to stultify us.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Having been brought up in a serf-owner's family, I entered active life, like all young Having been brought up in a serf-owner's family, I entered active life, like all young men of my time, with a great deal of confidence in the necessity of commanding, ordering, scolding, punishing, and the like. But when, at an early stage, I had to manage serious enterprises ... I began to appreciate the difference between acting on the principle of command and discipline, and acting on the principle of common understanding ... Men of initiative are required everywhere; but once the impulse has been given, the enterprise must be conducted, ... not in military fashion, but in a sort of communal way.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Be strong. Overflow with emotional and intellectual energy, and you will spread your intelligence, your Be strong. Overflow with emotional and intellectual energy, and you will spread your intelligence, your love, your energy of action broadcast among others! This is what all moral teaching comes to.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: It must have been law that developed in man the sense of just and unjust, It must have been law that developed in man the sense of just and unjust, right and wrong. Our readers may judge of this explanation for themselves. They know that law has merely utilized the social feelings of man, to slip in, among the moral precepts he accepts, various mandates useful to an exploiting minority, to which his nature refuses obedience. Law has perverted the feeling of justice instead of developing it.
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Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Prisons are universities of crime, maintained by the state. Prisons are universities of crime, maintained by the state.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The concurrence of two elements is necessary for bringing about a revolution; and by revolution The concurrence of two elements is necessary for bringing about a revolution; and by revolution I do not mean the street warfare, nor the bloody conflicts of two parties - both being mere incidents dependent upon many circumstances - but the sudden overthrow of institutions which are the outgrowths of centuries past, the sudden uprising of new ideas and new conceptions, and the attempt to reform all political and economical institutions in a radical way - all at the same time. Two separate currents must converge to come to that result: a widely spread economic revolt, tending to change the economical conditions of the masses, and a political revolt, tending to modify the very essence of the political organisation - an economical change, supported by an equally important change of political institutions.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: One more impression I gathered from that work of my boyhood, an impression which I One more impression I gathered from that work of my boyhood, an impression which I did not formulate till afterward, and which will probably astonish many a reader. It is the spirit of equality which is highly developed in the Russian peasant, and in fact in the rural population everywhere. The Russian peasant is capable of much servile obedience to the landlord and the police officer; he will bend before their will in a servile manner; but he does not consider them superior men, and if the next moment that same landlord or officer talks to the same peasant about hay or ducks, the latter will reply to him as an equal to an equal. I never saw in a Russian peasant that servility, grown to be a second nature, with which a small functionary talks to one of high rank, or a valet to his master. The peasant too easily submits to force, but he does not worship it.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Love and hate; for only those who know how to hate know how to love. Love and hate; for only those who know how to hate know how to love. We keep this capacity; and as this alone serves to maintain and develop the moral sentiments in every animal society, so much the more will it be enough for the human race. We only ask one thing, to eliminate all that impedes the free development of these two feelings in the present society, all that perverts our judgment:
the State, the church, exploitation; judges, priests, governments, exploiters.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: It is only those who do nothing who makes no mistake. It is only those who do nothing who makes no mistake.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The mutual-aid tendency in man has so remote an origin, and is so deeply interwoven The mutual-aid tendency in man has so remote an origin, and is so deeply interwoven with all the past evolution of the human race, that is has been maintained by mankind up to the present time, notwithstanding all vicissitudes of history.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: And by that habit of submission, with which we are only too familiar, the thought And by that habit of submission, with which we are only too familiar, the thought of the next generation retains this religious twist, which is at once servile and authoritative; for authority and servility walk ever hand in hand.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The principle of equality sums up the teachings of moralists. But it also contains something The principle of equality sums up the teachings of moralists. But it also contains something more. This something more is respect for the individual. By proclaiming our morality of equality, or anarchism, we refuse to assume a right which moralists have always taken upon themselves to claim, that of mutilating the individual in the name of some ideal. We do not recognize this right at all, for ourselves or anyone else. We recognize the full and complete liberty of the individual; we desire for him plentitude of existence, the free development of all his faculties. We wish to impose nothing upon him; thus returning to the principle which Fourier placed in opposition to religious morality when he said: Leave men absolutely free. Do not mutilate them as religions have done enough and to spare. Do not fear even their passions. In a free society these are not dangerous.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: The prison population consists of heterogeneous elements; but, taking only those who are usually described The prison population consists of heterogeneous elements; but, taking only those who are usually described as 'the criminals' proper, and of whom we have heard so much lately from Lombroso and his followers, what struck me most as regards them was that the prisons, which are considered as preventive of anti-social deeds, are exactly the institutions for breeding them. Every one knows that absence of education, dislike of regular work, physical incapability of sustained effort, misdirected love of adventure, gambling propensities, absence of energy, an untrained will, and carelessness about the happiness of others are the causes which bring this class of people before the courts. Now I was deeply impressed during my imprisonment by the fact that it is exactly these defects of human nature
each one of them
which the prison breeds in its inmates; and it is bound to breed them because it is a prison, and will breed them so long as it exists.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: What interest, in fact, can this depressing work have for the worker, when he knows What interest, in fact, can this depressing work have for the worker, when he knows that the fate awaiting him from the cradle to the grave will be to live in mediocrity, poverty, and insecurity of the morrow? Therefore, when we see the immense majority of men take up their wretched task every morning, we feel surprised at their perseverance, at their zeal for work, at the habit that enables them, like machines blindly obeying an impetus given, to lead this life of misery without hope for the morrow; without foreseeing ever so vaguely that some day they, or at least their children, will be part of a humanity rich in all the treasures of a bountiful nature, in all the enjoyments of knowledge, scientific and artistic creation, reserved to-day to a few privileged favourites.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: It is not difficult, indeed, to see the absurdity of naming a few men and It is not difficult, indeed, to see the absurdity of naming a few men and saying to them, "Make laws regulating all our spheres of activity, although not one of you knows anything about them!
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Men passionately desire to live after death, but they often pass away without noticing the Men passionately desire to live after death, but they often pass away without noticing the fact that the memory of a really good person always lives. It is impressed upon the next generation, and is transmitted again to the children. Is that not an immortality worth striving for?
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Sometimes he would advise me to read poetry, and would send me in his letters Sometimes he would advise me to read poetry, and would send me in his letters quantities of verses and whole poems, which he wrote from memory. 'Read poetry,' he wrote: 'poetry makes men better.' How often, in my later life, I realized the truth of this remark of his! Read poetry: it makes men better.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: It often happens that men pull in a certain political, social, or familiar harness simply It often happens that men pull in a certain political, social, or familiar harness simply because they never have time to ask themselves whether the position they stand in and the work they accomplish are right; whether their occupations really suit their inner desires and capacities, and give them the satisfaction which everyone has the right to expect from his work. Active men are especially liable to find themselves in such a position. Every day brings with it a fresh batch of work, and a man throws himself into his bed late at night without having completed what he had expected to do; then in the morning he hurries to the unfinished task of the previous day. Life goes, and there is no time left to think, no time to consider the direction that one's life is taking. So it was with me.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Acknowledging, as a fact, the equal rights of all its members to the treasures accumulated Acknowledging, as a fact, the equal rights of all its members to the treasures accumulated in the past, it no longer recognizes a division between exploited and exploiters, governed and governors, dominated and dominators, and it seeks to establish a certain harmonious compatibility in its midst-not by subjecting all its members to an -authority that is fictitiously supposed to represent society, not by trying to establish uniformity, but by urging all men to develop free initiative, free action, free association. It seeks the most complete development of individuality combined with the highest development of voluntary association in all its aspects, in all possible degrees, for all imaginable aims; ever changing, ever modified associations which carry in themselves the elements of their durability and constantly assume new forms, which answer best to the multiple aspirations of all.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: We hold further that Communism is not only desirable, but that existing societies, founded on We hold further that Communism is not only desirable, but that existing societies, founded on Individualism, are inevitably impelled in the direction of Communism. The development of Individualism during the last three centuries is explained by the efforts of the individual to protect himself from the tyranny of Capital and of the State. For a time he imagined, and those who expressed his thought for him declared, that he could free himself entirely from the State and from society. "By means of money," he said, "I can buy all that I need." But the individual was on a wrong tack, and modern history has taught him to recognize that, without the help of all, he can do nothing, although his strong-boxes are full of gold.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: It is in the ardent revolutionist to whom the joys of art, of science, even It is in the ardent revolutionist to whom the joys of art, of science, even of family life, seem bitter, so long as they cannot be shared by all, and who works despite misery and persecution for the regeneration of the world.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: Lenin is not comparable to any revolutionary figure in history. Revolutionaries have had ideals. Lenin Lenin is not comparable to any revolutionary figure in history. Revolutionaries have had ideals. Lenin has none.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: And while English workmen are often unemployed and in great want, Indian women weave cotton And while English workmen are often unemployed and in great want, Indian women weave cotton by machinery, for the Far East at wages of six-pence a day. In short, the intelligent manufacturers are fully aware that the day is not far off when they will not know what to do with the "factory hands" who formerly wove cotton-cloth for export from England.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: My brother could not write about trifles. Even in society he became animated only when My brother could not write about trifles. Even in society he became animated only when some serious discussion was engaged in, and he complained of feeling 'a dull pain in the brain'
a physical pain, as he used to say
when he was with people who cared only for small talk.
Pyotr Kropotkin Sayings: In The Descent of Man he gave some powerful pages to illustrate its proper, wide In The Descent of Man he gave some powerful pages to illustrate its proper, wide sense. He pointed out how, in numberless animal societies, the struggle between separate individuals for the means of existence disappears, how struggle is replaced by co-operation, and how that substitution results in the development of intellectual and moral faculties which secure to the species the best conditions for survival.