Frases de Piotr Kropotkin

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Piotr Kropotkin

Data de nascimento: 27. Novembro 1842
Data de falecimento: 8. Fevereiro 1921

Piotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin foi um geógrafo, filósofo, escritor, economista, cientista político, sociólogo, biólogo, historiador e ativista político russo, um dos principais pensadores políticos do anarquismo no fim do século XIX, considerado também o fundador da vertente anarco-comunista. Suas análises profundas da burocracia estatal e do sistema prisional também são relevantes na área de criminologia. Foi o autor de livros hoje considerados clássicos do pensamento libertário, entre os mais importantes se destacam A Conquista do Pão e Memórias de um Revolucionário ambos publicados em 1892, Campos, Fábricas e Oficinas de 1899, e Mutualismo: Um Fator de Evolução publicado em 1902. Durante um longo período foi convidado para contribuir também para a Enciclopédia Britânica na escrita de diversos verbetes, entre estes o referente ao Anarquismo.

Nascido príncipe, membro da antiga família real de Rurik, na idade adulta Kropotkin rejeitou este título de nobreza pela sua decepção com a erudição dos aristocratas. Ainda adolescente foi obrigado a ingressar no exército imperial russo por ordem do próprio czar Nicolau I. Nesta mesma época passou a ter contato com a literatura revolucionária da época.

Interessado por geografia, tornou-se explorador do círculo polar ártico percorrendo milhares de quilômetros a pé e registrando diferentes fenômenos relacionados a tundra e outras paisagens árticas. Em suas muitas viagens teve contato e passou a se solidarizar com os camponeses vivendo em condições miseráveis na Rússia e na Finlândia. Este sentimento de solidariedade fez com que Kropotkin abandonasse a atividade de pesquisador. Viajou para o Leste Europeu tendo contato em diversos países ativistas e revolucionários, entre estes os associados de Bakunin e os seguidores de Marx. Em Genebra, tornou-se membro da Primeira Internacional depois partiu em direção à Jura a convite de um anarquista que lhe relatara a força que o movimento adquirira naquela região. Estudou o programa revolucionário da Federação Anarquista de Jura, retornando à Rússia com a intenção de divulgá-lo entre ativistas libertários e populações marginalizadas. Na Rússia voltou a fazer pesquisas científicas, tomando parte em diferentes âmbitos do ativismo libertário.

Foi preso por diversas vezes por sua militância. Seus textos foram publicados por centenas de jornais ao redor do mundo. Seu funeral, em fevereiro de 1921, constituiu o último grande encontro de anarquistas na Rússia, uma vez que este país, desde a revolução de 1917, estava sob o domínio dos bolcheviques marxistas que passaram a perseguir, exilar e aniquilar os ativistas libertários onde quer que fossem encontrados.

Obras

A Conquista do Pão
Piotr Kropotkin

Citações Piotr Kropotkin

„Há períodos na vida da sociedade humana quando a revolução torna-se uma necessidade imperativa“

—  Piotr Kropotkin
The Spirit of Revolt http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/spiritofrevolt.html (1880)

„Sabe como eu sempre acredito no futuro. Sem desordem, a revolução é impossível; sabendo isso, eu não perdi a esperança, e eu não a perco agora.“

—  Piotr Kropotkin
carta a um amigo (novembro de 1920), conforme citado em "Peter Kropotkin: From Prince to Rebel" (1990) de George Woodcock e Ivan Avakumovic, p. 428

„The individual is quite a world of federations, a whole universe in himself.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal (1896), Context: When a physiologist speaks now of the life of a plant or of an animal, he sees rather an agglomeration, a colony of millions of separate individuals than a personality one and indivisible. He speaks of a federation of digestive, sensual, nervous organs, all very intimately connected with one another, each feeling the consequence of the well-being or indisposition of each, but each living its own life. Each organ, each part of an organ in its turn is composed of independent cellules which associate to struggle against conditions unfavorable to their existence. The individual is quite a world of federations, a whole universe in himself.

„A different conception of society, very different from that which now prevails, is in process of formation.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal (1896), Context: 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. In fact, it is certain that in proportion as the human mind frees itself from ideas inculcated by minorities of priests, military chiefs and judges, all striving to establish their domination, and of scientists paid to perpetuate it, a conception of society arises, in which conception there is no longer room for those dominating minorities. A society entering into possession of the social capital accumulated by the labor of preceding generations, organizing itself so as to make use of this capital in the interests of all, and constituting itself without reconstituting the power of the ruling minorities. It comprises in its midst an infinite variety of capacities, temperaments and individual energies: it excludes none. It even calls for struggles and contentions; because we know that periods of contests, so long as they were freely fought out, without the weight of constituted authority being thrown on the one side of the balance, were periods when human genius took its mightiest flight and achieved the greatest aims. 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.

„It is evident that no review of evolution can be complete, unless these two dominant currents are analyzed.“

—  Peter Kropotkin, livro Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution
Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution (1902), Context: Mutual aid, even though it may represent one of the factors of evolution, covers nevertheless one aspect only of human relations; that by the side of this current, powerful though it may be, there is, and always has been, the other current — the self-assertion of the individual, not only in its efforts to attain personal or caste superiority, economical, political, and spiritual, but also in its much more important although less evident function of breaking through the bonds, always prone to become crystallized, which the tribe, the village community, the city, and the State impose upon the individual. In other words, there is the self-assertion of the individual taken as a progressive element. It is evident that no review of evolution can be complete, unless these two dominant currents are analyzed. However, the self-assertion of the individual or of groups of individuals, their struggles for superiority, and the conflicts which resulted therefrom, have already been analyzed, described, and glorified from time immemorial. In fact, up to the present time, this current alone has received attention from the epical poet, the annalist, the historian, and the sociologist. History, such as it has hitherto been written, is almost entirely a description of the ways and means by which theocracy, military power, autocracy, and, later on, the richer classes' rule have been promoted, established, and maintained.

„Such was law; and it has maintained its two-fold character to this day.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: Legislators confounded in one code the two currents of custom of which we have just been speaking, the maxims which represent principles of morality and social union wrought out as a result of life in common, and the mandates which are meant to ensure external existence to inequality. Customs, absolutely essential to the very being of society, are, in the code, cleverly intermingled with usages imposed by the ruling caste, and both claim equal respect from the crowd. "Do not kill," says the code, and hastens to add, "And pay tithes to the priest." "Do not steal," says the code, and immediately after, "He who refuses to pay taxes, shall have his hand struck off." Such was law; and it has maintained its two-fold character to this day. Its origin is the desire of the ruling class to give permanence to customs imposed by themselves for their own advantage. Its character is the skillful commingling of customs useful to society, customs which have no need of law to insure respect, with other customs useful only to rulers, injurious to the mass of the people, and maintained only by the fear of punishment. II

„A single law, that imposed by Rome, dominated that Empire which did not represent a confederation of fellow citizens but was simply a herd of subjects.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
The State — Its Historic Role (1897), Context: The Roman Empire was a State in the real sense of the word. To this day it remains the legist's ideal. Its organs covered a vast domain with a tight network. Everything gravitated towards Rome: economic and military life, wealth, education, nay, even religion. From Rome came the laws, the magistrates, the legions to defend the territory, the prefects and the gods, The whole life of the Empire went back to the Senate — later to the Caesar, the all powerful, omniscient, god of the Empire. Every province, every district had its Capitol in miniature, its small portion of Roman sovereignty to govern every aspect of daily life. A single law, that imposed by Rome, dominated that Empire which did not represent a confederation of fellow citizens but was simply a herd of subjects. Even now, the legist and the authoritarian still admire the unity of that Empire, the unitarian spirit of its laws and, as they put it, the beauty and harmony of that organization. But the disintegration from within, hastened by the barbarian invasion; the extinction of local life, which could no longer resist the attacks from outside on the one hand nor the canker spreading from the centre on the other; the domination by the rich who had appropriated the land to themselves and the misery of those who cultivated it — all these causes reduced the Empire to a shambles, and on these ruins a new civilization developed which is now ours. I

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„Its character is the skillful commingling of customs useful to society, customs which have no need of law to insure respect, with other customs useful only to rulers, injurious to the mass of the people, and maintained only by the fear of punishment.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: Legislators confounded in one code the two currents of custom of which we have just been speaking, the maxims which represent principles of morality and social union wrought out as a result of life in common, and the mandates which are meant to ensure external existence to inequality. Customs, absolutely essential to the very being of society, are, in the code, cleverly intermingled with usages imposed by the ruling caste, and both claim equal respect from the crowd. "Do not kill," says the code, and hastens to add, "And pay tithes to the priest." "Do not steal," says the code, and immediately after, "He who refuses to pay taxes, shall have his hand struck off." Such was law; and it has maintained its two-fold character to this day. Its origin is the desire of the ruling class to give permanence to customs imposed by themselves for their own advantage. Its character is the skillful commingling of customs useful to society, customs which have no need of law to insure respect, with other customs useful only to rulers, injurious to the mass of the people, and maintained only by the fear of punishment. II

„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. … In short, a law everywhere and for everything!“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: 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. … In short, a law everywhere and for everything! A law about fashions, a law about mad dogs, a law about virtue, a law to put a stop to all the vices and all the evils which result from human indolence and cowardice. We are so perverted by an education which from infancy seeks to kill in us the spirit of revolt, and to develop that of submission to authority; we are so perverted by this existence under the ferrule of a law, which regulates every event in life — our birth, our education, our development, our love, our friendship — that, if this state of things continues, we shall lose all initiative, all habit of thinking for ourselves. Our society seems no longer able to understand that it is possible to exist otherwise than under the reign of law, elaborated by a representative government and administered by a handful of rulers. And even when it has gone so far as to emancipate itself from the thralldom, its first care has been to reconstitute it immediately. "The Year I of Liberty" has never lasted more than a day, for after proclaiming it men put themselves the very next morning under the yoke of law and authority. I

„Even amongst ourselves — the "civilized" nations — when we leave large towns, and go into the country, we see that there the mutual relations of the inhabitants are still regulated according to ancient and generally accepted customs, and not according to the written law of the legislators.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: Relatively speaking, law is a product of modern times. For ages and ages mankind lived without any written law, even that graved in symbols upon the entrance stones of a temple. During that period, human relations were simply regulated by customs, habits, and usages, made sacred by constant repetition, and acquired by each person in childhood, exactly as he learned how to obtain his food by hunting, cattle-rearing, or agriculture. All human societies have passed through this primitive phase, and to this day a large proportion of mankind have no written law. Every tribe has its own manners and customs; customary law, as the jurists say. It has social habits, and that suffices to maintain cordial relations between the inhabitants of the village, the members of the tribe or community. Even amongst ourselves — the "civilized" nations — when we leave large towns, and go into the country, we see that there the mutual relations of the inhabitants are still regulated according to ancient and generally accepted customs, and not according to the written law of the legislators. II

„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.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal (1896), Context: Oh, the beautiful utopia, the lovely Christmas dream we can make as soon as we admit that those who govern represent a superior caste, and have hardly any or no knowledge of simple mortals' weaknesses! It would then suffice to make them control one another in hierarchical fashion, to let them exchange fifty papers, at most, among different administrators, when the wind blows down a tree on the national road. Or, if need be, they would have only to be valued at their proper worth, during elections, by those same masses of mortals which are supposed to be endowed with all stupidity in their mutual relations but become wisdom itself when they have to elect their masters. All the science of government, imagined by those who govern, is imbibed with these utopias. But we know men too well to dream such dreams. We have not two measures for the virtues of the governed and those of the governors; we know that we ourselves are not without faults and that the best of us would soon be corrupted by the exercise of power. We take men for what they are worth — and that is why we hate the government of man by man, and that we work with all our might — perhaps not strong enough — to put an end to it. But it is not enough to destroy. We must also know how to build, and it is owing to not having thought about it that the masses have always been led astray in all their revolutions. After having demolished they abandoned the care of reconstruction to the middle class people, who possessed a more or less precise conception of what they wished to realize, and who consequently reconstituted authority to their own advantage. That is why 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.

„But side by side with these customs, necessary to the life of societies and the preservation of the race, other desires, other passions, and therefore other habits and customs, are evolved in human association.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: The hospitality of primitive peoples, respect for human life, the sense of reciprocal obligation, compassion for the weak, courage, extending even to the sacrifice of self for others which is first learnt for the sake of children and friends, and later for that of members of the same community — all these qualities are developed in man anterior to all law, independently of all religion, as in the case of the social animals. Such feelings and practices are the inevitable results of social life. Without being, as say priests and metaphysicans, inherent in man, such qualities are the consequence of life in common. But side by side with these customs, necessary to the life of societies and the preservation of the race, other desires, other passions, and therefore other habits and customs, are evolved in human association. The desire to dominate others and impose one's own will upon them; the desire to seize upon the products of the labor of a neighboring tribe; the desire to surround oneself with comforts without producing anything, while slaves provide their master with the means of procuring every sort of pleasure and luxury — these selfish, personal desires give rise to another current of habits and customs. II

„All human societies have passed through this primitive phase, and to this day a large proportion of mankind have no written law.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Law and Authority (1886), Context: Relatively speaking, law is a product of modern times. For ages and ages mankind lived without any written law, even that graved in symbols upon the entrance stones of a temple. During that period, human relations were simply regulated by customs, habits, and usages, made sacred by constant repetition, and acquired by each person in childhood, exactly as he learned how to obtain his food by hunting, cattle-rearing, or agriculture. All human societies have passed through this primitive phase, and to this day a large proportion of mankind have no written law. Every tribe has its own manners and customs; customary law, as the jurists say. It has social habits, and that suffices to maintain cordial relations between the inhabitants of the village, the members of the tribe or community. Even amongst ourselves — the "civilized" nations — when we leave large towns, and go into the country, we see that there the mutual relations of the inhabitants are still regulated according to ancient and generally accepted customs, and not according to the written law of the legislators. II

„Indifference from this point on is impossible.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
The Spirit of Revolt (1880), Context: Whoever has a slight knowledge of history and a fairly clear head knows perfectly well from the beginning that theoretical propaganda for revolution will necessarily express itself in action long before the theoreticians have decided that the moment to act has come. Nevertheless, the cautious theoreticians are angry at these madmen, they excommunicate them, they anathematize them. But the madmen win sympathy, the mass of the people secretly applaud their courage, and they find imitators. In proportion as the pioneers go to fill the jails and the penal colonies, others continue their work; acts of illegal protest, of revolt, of vengeance, multiply. Indifference from this point on is impossible. Those who at the beginning never so much as asked what the "madmen" wanted, are compelled to think about them, to discuss their ideas, to take sides for or against. By actions which compel general attention, the new idea seeps into people's minds and wins converts. One such act may, in a few days, make more propaganda than thousands of pamphlets. Above all, it awakens the spirit of revolt: it breeds daring. The old order, supported by the police, the magistrates, the gendarmes and the soldiers, appeared unshakable, like the old fortress of the Bastille, which also appeared impregnable to the eyes of the unarmed people gathered beneath its high walls equipped with loaded cannon. But soon it became apparent that the established order has not the force one had supposed.

„What forms will this action take? All forms, — indeed, the most varied forms, dictated by circumstances, temperament, and the means at disposal.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
The Spirit of Revolt (1880), Context: How is it that men who only yesterday were complaining quietly of their lot as they smoked their pipes, and the next moment were humbly saluting the local guard and gendarme whom they had just been abusing, — how is it that these same men a few days later were capable of seizing their scythes and their iron-shod pikes and attacking in his castle the lord who only yesterday was so formidable? By what miracle were these men, whose wives justly called them cowards, transformed in a day into heroes, marching through bullets and cannon balls to the conquest of their rights? How was it that words, so often spoken and lost in the air like the empty chiming of bells, were changed into actions? The answer is easy. Action, the continuous action, ceaselessly renewed, of minorities brings about this transformation. Courage, devotion, the spirit of sacrifice, are as contagious as cowardice, submission, and panic. What forms will this action take? All forms, — indeed, the most varied forms, dictated by circumstances, temperament, and the means at disposal. Sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, but always daring; sometimes collective, sometimes purely individual, this policy of action will neglect none of the means at hand, no event of public life, in order to keep the spirit alive, to propagate and find expression for dissatisfaction, to excite hatred against exploiters, to ridicule the government and expose its weakness, and above all and always, by actual example, to awaken courage and fan the spirit of revolt.

„If you admit such methods, one can foresee that one day you will use torture, as was done in the Middle Ages.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: Vladimir Ilyich, your concrete actions are completely unworthy of the ideas you pretend to hold. Is it possible that you do not know what a hostage really is — a man imprisoned not because of a crime he has committed, but only because it suits his enemies to exert blackmail on his companions? … If you admit such methods, one can foresee that one day you will use torture, as was done in the Middle Ages. I hope you will not answer me that Power is for political men a professional duty, and that any attack against that power must be considered as a threat against which one must guard oneself at any price. This opinion is no longer held even by kings... Are you so blinded, so much a prisoner of your own authoritarian ideas, that you do not realise that being at the head of European Communism, you have no right to soil the ideas which you defend by shameful methods … What future lies in store for Communism when one of its most important defenders tramples in this way every honest feeling? Letter to Vladimir Lenin (21 December 1920); as quoted in Peter Kropotkin : From Prince to Rebel (1990) by George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic, p. 426 Variant translation: Whoever holds dear the future of communism cannot embark upon such measures. It is possible that no one has explained what a hostage really is? A hostage is imprisoned not as punishment for some crime. He is held in order to blackmail the enemy with his death. As translated in Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution (1970) edited and translated by Martin A. Miller http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/kropotlenindec20.html

„Whoever has a slight knowledge of history and a fairly clear head knows perfectly well from the beginning that theoretical propaganda for revolution will necessarily express itself in action long before the theoreticians have decided that the moment to act has come.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
The Spirit of Revolt (1880), Context: Whoever has a slight knowledge of history and a fairly clear head knows perfectly well from the beginning that theoretical propaganda for revolution will necessarily express itself in action long before the theoreticians have decided that the moment to act has come. Nevertheless, the cautious theoreticians are angry at these madmen, they excommunicate them, they anathematize them. But the madmen win sympathy, the mass of the people secretly applaud their courage, and they find imitators. In proportion as the pioneers go to fill the jails and the penal colonies, others continue their work; acts of illegal protest, of revolt, of vengeance, multiply. Indifference from this point on is impossible. Those who at the beginning never so much as asked what the "madmen" wanted, are compelled to think about them, to discuss their ideas, to take sides for or against. By actions which compel general attention, the new idea seeps into people's minds and wins converts. One such act may, in a few days, make more propaganda than thousands of pamphlets. Above all, it awakens the spirit of revolt: it breeds daring. The old order, supported by the police, the magistrates, the gendarmes and the soldiers, appeared unshakable, like the old fortress of the Bastille, which also appeared impregnable to the eyes of the unarmed people gathered beneath its high walls equipped with loaded cannon. But soon it became apparent that the established order has not the force one had supposed.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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