Peter Kropotkin quotes

  • America is just the country that how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Country #America #Guarantees

  • Have not prisons - which kill all will and force of character in man, which enclose within their walls more vices than are met with on any other spot of the globe - always been universities of crime?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Wall #Character #Men

  • Anarchy, when it works to destroy authority in all its aspects, when it demands the abrogation of laws and the abolition of the mechanism that serves to impose them, when it refuses all hierarchical organization and preaches free agreement - at the same time strives to maintain and enlarge the precious kernel of social customs without which no human or animal society can exist. Only, instead of demanding that those social customs should be maintained through the authority of a few, it demands it from the continued action of all.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Animal #Agreement #Law

  • The law has no claim to human respect. It has no civilizing mission; its only purpose is to protect exploitation.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Purpose #Missions

  • Where there is authority, there is no freedom.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Authority

  • Either the State for ever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it its wars and its domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is ... death!Or the destruction of States, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principle of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of free agreement.The choice lies with you!
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Crush #War #Lying

  • In existing States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Evil #People

  • Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Spring #Poverty #Wealth

  • 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.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Past #Men #Race

  • 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.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Mean #Political #Ruins

  • There are those, on the one hand, who hope to achieve the social revolution through the State by preserving and even extending most of its powers to be used for the revolution. And there are those like ourselves who see the State, both in its present form, in its very essence, and in whatever guise it might appear, an obstacle to the social revolution, the greatest hindrance to the birth of a society based on equality and liberty, as well as the historic means designed to prevent this blossoming.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Mean #Hands #Essence

  • Each individual is a cosmos of organs, each organ is a cosmos of cells, each cell is a cosmos of infinitely small ones; and in this complex world, the well-being of the whole depends entirely on the sum of well-being enjoyed by each of the least microscopic particles of organized matter. A whole revolution is thus produced in the philosophy of life.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Philosophy #Cells #Cosmos

  • Competition is the law of the jungle, but cooperation is the law of civilization
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Civilization #Competition

  • But what right had I to these highest joys, when all around me was nothing but misery and struggle for a moldy bit of bread; when whatsoever I should spend to enable me to live in that world of higher emotions must needs be taken from the very mouths of those who grew the wheat and had not bread enough for their children?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Children #Struggle #Taken

  • In order that the revolution should be something more than a word, in order that the reaction should not lead us back tomorrow to the situation of yesterday, the conquest of today must be worth the trouble of defending; the poor of yesterday must be worth the trouble of defending; the poor of yesterday must not be poor tomorrow.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Order #Yesterday #Today

  • It is only by the abolition of the State, by the conquest of perfect liberty by the individual, by free agreement, association, and absolute free federation that we can reach Communism — the possession in common of our social inheritance, and the production in common of all riches.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Agreement #Perfect #Liberty

  • When we have but the will to do it, that very moment will Justice be done: that very instant the tyrants of the Earth shall bite the dust.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Tyrants #Dust #Justice

  • The two great movements of our century -- towards Liberty of the individual and social co-operation of the whole community -- are summed up in Anarchist-Communism.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Two #Community #Liberty

  • You reason like the king, who, being sent across the frontier, called out, 'What will become of my poor subjects without me?'
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Kings #Reason #Poor

  • Struggle so that all may live this rich, overflowing life. And be sure that in this struggle you will find a joy greater than anything else can give.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Struggle #Giving #Joy

  • If you want to know the people of a nation, I am sure you can judge a great deal more about them from their cooking and eating traditions than you can from the words and actions of their public officials.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Judging #People #Cooking

  • Think about the world you want to live and work in. What do you need to know to build the world? Demand that your teachers teach you that.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Teacher #Thinking #World

  • Educated men - "civilized," as Fourier used to say with disdain - tremble at the idea that society might some day be without judges, police, or gaolers.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Men #Ideas #Judging

  • The whole aspect of the universe changes with this new conception. The idea of force governing the world, of pre-established law, preconceived harmony, disappears to make room for the harmony that Fourier had caught a glimpse of: the one which results from the disorderly and incoherent movements of numberless hosts of matter, each of which goes its own way and all of which hold each other in equilibrium.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Ideas #Movement

  • The millions of laws which exist for the regulation of humanity appear upon investigation to be divided into three principal categories: protection of property, protection of persons, protection of government. And by analyzing each of these three categories, we arrive at the same logical and necessary conclusion: the uselessness and hurtfulness of law.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Government #Law #Humanity

  • While in the course of ages the nucleus of social custom inscribed in law has been subjected to but slight and gradual modifications, the other portion has been largely developed in directions indicated by the interests of the dominant classes, and to the injury of the classes they oppress.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Class #Age

  • ANARCHISM (from the Gr. , and , contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Government #Agreement #Law

  • As an anarchist, I cannot reconcile myself to any government.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Government #Anarchist #Anarchism

  • A different conception of society , very different from that which now prevails, is in process of formation. Under the name of Anarchy, a new interpretation of the past and present life of society arises, giving at the same time a forecast as regards its future, both conceived in the same spirit as the above-mentioned interpretation in natural sciences. Anarchy, therefore, appears as a constituent part of the new philosophy, and that is why Anarchists come in contact, on so many points, with the greatest thinkers and poets of the present day.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Philosophy #Past #Names

  • The education we all receive from the State, at school and after, has so warped our minds that the very notion of freedom ends up by being lost, and disguised in servitude. It is a sad sight to see those who believe themselves to be revolutionaries unleashing their hatred on the anarchist just because his views on freedom go beyond their petty and narrow concepts of freedom learned in the State school.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Believe #School #Sight

  • When we ask for the abolition of the State and its organs we are always told that we dream of a society composed of men better than they are in reality. But no; a thousand times, no. All we ask is that men should not be made worse than they are, by such institutions!
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Dream #Reality #Men

  • All this we see, and, therefore, instead of inanely repeating the old formula, Respect the law, we say, Despise law and all its Attributes! In place of the cowardly phrase, Obey the law, our cry, is Revolt against all laws!
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Law #Phrases #Cry

  • The immense and ever increasing sums which the state wrings from the people are never enough for it; it mortgages the income of future generations, and steers resolutely toward bankruptcy.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #People #Liberty #Generations

  • It is only those who do nothing who makes no mistake.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Mistake

  • Lenin is not comparable to any revolutionary figure in history. Revolutionaries have had ideals. Lenin has none.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Revolutionary #Figures

  • Prisons are universities of crime, maintained by the state.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Prison #Crime #States

  • When one has talent, everything contributes to its development.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Development #Talent

  • He objected, though, to indiscriminate reading. 'One must have some question,' he wrote, 'addressed to the book one is going to read.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Book #Reading

  • 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.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Memories #Men #Letters

  • 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.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Brother #Pain #Writing

  • ...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?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Lying #Sight #Horizon

  • 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?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Memories #Children #Men

  • The law is an adroit mixture of customs that are beneficial to society, and could be followed even if no law existed, and others that are of advantage to a ruling minority, but harmful to the masses of men, and can be enforced on them only by terror.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Men #Law #Society

  • War is the usual condition of Europe. A thirty years' supply of causes of war is always on hand.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #War #Hands #Years

  • Revolutions, we must remember, are always made by minorities.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #War #Drug #Minorities

  • Sociability is as much a law of nature as mutual struggle... mutual aid is as much a law of animal life as mutual struggle.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Struggle #Animal #Law

  • Man is appealed to be guided in his acts, not merely by love, which is always personal, or at best tribal, but by his perception of his oneness with each human being. In the practice of mutual aid, which we can re-trace to the earliest beginnings of evolution, we thus find the positive and undoubted origin of our ethical conceptions; and we can affirm that in the ethical progress of man, mutual support- not mutual struggle- has had the leading part.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Struggle #Men #Practice

  • You know how I always believe in the future... Without disorder, the revolution is impossible; knowing that, I did not lose hope, and I do not lose it now.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Believe #Knowing #Revolution

  • Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin], your concrete actions are completely unworthy of the ideas you pretend to hold.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Ideas #Action #Concrete

  • All things for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men worked to produce them in the measure of their strength, and since it is not possible to evaluate everyone's part in the production of the world's wealth... All is for all!
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Men #Needs #World

  • Any revolutionary agitation exacts enormous sacrifices, not so much in terms of prison sentences and years of incarceration - which have been raining down by the hundreds of years annually - as in terms of the manifold personal sacrifices sustained by those who commit themselves to revolutionary agitation.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Rain #Sacrifice #Years

  • The State is only one of the forms assumed by society in the course of history. Why then make no distinction between what is permanent and what is accidental?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Distinction #States #Form

  • True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Lying #Simple #Progress

  • But how do European railways manage without them? How do they continue to convey millions of travellers and mountains of luggage across a continent? If companies owning railways have been able to agree, why should railway workers, who would take possession of railways, not agree likewise? And if the Petersburg-Warsaw Company and that of Paris-Belfort can act in harmony, without giving themselves the luxury of a common commander, why, in the midst of our societies, consisting of groups of free workers, should we need a Government?
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Government #Luxury #Paris

  • Freedom of the press, freedom of association, the inviolability of domicile, and all the rest of the rights of man are respected so long as no one tries to use them against the privileged class. On the day they are launched against the privileged they are overthrown.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Men #Class #Rights

  • Idlers do not make history: they suffer it!
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Suffering #Idlers

  • The confused mass of rules of conduct called law, which has been bequeathed to us by slavery, serfdom, feudalism, and royalty, has taken the place of those stone monsters, before whom human victims used to be immolated, and whom slavish savages dared not even touch lest they should be slain by the thunderbolts of heaven.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Confused #Taken #Law

  • Cleverly assorted scraps of spurious science are inculcated upon the children to prove necessity of law; obedience to the law is made a religion; moral goodness and the law of the masters are fused into one and the same divinity. The historical hero of the schoolroom is the man who obeys the law, and defends it against rebels.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Children #Hero #Men

  • It is often said that Anarchists live in a world of dreams to come, and do not see the things which happen today. We do see them only too well, and in their true colors, and that is what makes us carry the hatchet into the forest of prejudice that besets us.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Dream #Color #World

  • Of all parties I now see only one party- The Anarchist- which respects human life, and loudly insists upon the abolition of capital punishment, prison torture and punishment of man by man altogether.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Party #Men #Prison

  • No evolution is accomplished in nature without revolution. Periods of very slow changes are succeeded by periods of violent changes. Revolutions are as necessary for evolution as the slow changes which prepare them and succeed them.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Violence #Succeed #Revolution

  • Poverty, the existence of the poor, was the first cause of riches.
    -- Peter Kropotkin

    #Riches #Poverty #Firsts