Better Worlds, Brighter Futures

Ecology, Humanity, Idealism | betterworldsblog.com

Brain Work & Manual Work by Peter Kropotkin (1890)

Brain Work and Manual Work is an argument for a holistic integration of thought and action, theory and practice, arts and science, science and industry. In this context, Peter Kropotkin focuses specifically on the education of youth, the nature of labor, and the progress of science. Contemporary readers may be struck by the similarities in Kropotkin’s discussion with the present day, roughly 120 years later.

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Enough of Illusions! by Peter Kropotkin (1907)

This article, like Kropotkin’s earlier “The Revolution in Russia,” gives readers a glimpse of the first Russian Revolution as it was unfolding. Writing sometime between June and August 1907, shortly after the end of the Second Duma, he forcefully recounts and condemns the actions of Nicholas II. Calling the period between the outset of the revolution and the closing of the Second Duma the “Period of Illusions,” Kropotkin writes that only sustained opposition from the people can oust the Tsar and secure democratic changes.

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Kropotkin’s Farewell (1917)

In a long farewell letter addressed to the “Western Working Men,” prior to his return to Russia, Peter Kropotkin writes:

“After having worked in your midst for forty years, I cannot leave Western Europe without sending you a few words of farewell. From the depths of my heart I thank you for the reception–more than fraternal–that I found in your midst. The International Working Men’s Association was not for me a mere abstract word. Amidst the working men of Switzerland, France, Britain, Spain, Italy, the United States, I was in a society of brothers and friends. And in your struggles, each time I had the opportunity to take part in them, I lived the best moments of my life. I deeply felt that wave of human solidarity and oneness of men, disregarding all frontiers, which represents one of the greatest promises for man in the future.”

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