Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gbqfq Total loading time: 0.616 Render date: 2022-05-23T04:34:08.277Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Introduction to Part 3: The General Idea of Anarchy

from Part 3 - Revolution and Evolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2016

Get access

Summary

As Kropotkin's exile advanced, he developed the ideas he had set out in the 1880s to challenge the cultural prejudices that dismissed anarchist organising as unviable. Publishing some of his best known work during this period, notably Mutual Aid. A Factor of Evolution, The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops: Or, Industry Combined with Agriculture and Brain Work with Manual Work, Kropotkin set out an evolutionary, scientific conception of anarchism and explored a number of ideas about the economics of anarchy, cementing his reputation for scientism, utopianism and political reformism at the same time. In The Conquest of Bread, Alfredo Bonnano argues, Kropotkin rightly presented an idea of revolution as a process, but was unable to escape the philosophical conventions of his time and took ‘scientific determinism’ as ‘his point of departure’.

The strategy Kropotkin adopted to address issues of structural and cultural change in the 1890s and 1900s helps explain this dominant reading of his work. Kropotkin's ambition was to instil confidence in the revolutionary movement by explaining the possibilities for non-hierarchical organising and to challenge doctrines that seemed to suggest anarchism's redundancy. In pursuing this strategy, he continued to address a range of different audiences, appropriating dominant discourses and moulding them to his own purposes. Darwin was only one of the leading writers he recruited for the anarchist cause. As Matthew Adams has shown, Kropotkin also engaged with the anti-collectivist liberalism of Herbert Spencer. Kropotkin's eagerness to show that significant cultural figures advocated ideas that tended towards anarchist conclusions was not entirely cynical: he made no secret of his admiration for Darwin. However, advertising these correspondences and borrowing the idioms of mainstream debate was a dangerous game and one that exposed Kropotkin to the criticism that he diluted his anarchism as a result. Yet the task Kropotkin set himself was to find a way of ensuring that the power to implement revolutionary change remained in the hands of oppressed groups.

Kropotkin's military experiences helped him formulate his ideas about the need to address the practical aspects of anarchist transformation.

Type
Chapter
Information
Kropotkin
Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition
, pp. 119 - 126
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2016

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×