Frases de Piotr Kropotkin

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Piotr Kropotkin

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

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Piotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin foi um geógrafo, escritor 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 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. 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.

Citações Piotr Kropotkin

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„What economists call over-production is but a production that is above the purchasing power of the worker, who is reduced to poverty by Capital and State.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: What economists call over-production is but a production that is above the purchasing power of the worker, who is reduced to poverty by Capital and State. Now, this sort of over-production remains fatally characteristic of the present capitalist production, because — Proudhon has already shown it — workers cannot buy with their salaries what they have produced and at the same time copiously nourish the swarm of idlers who live upon their work. The very essence of the present economic system is, that the worker can never enjoy the well-being he has produced, and that the number of those who live at his expense will always augment. The more a country is advanced in industry, the more this number grows. Inevitably, industry is directed, and will have to be directed, not towards what is needed to satisfy the needs of all, but towards that which, at a given moment, brings in the greatest temporary profit to a few. Of necessity, the abundance of some will be based on the poverty of others, and the straitened circumstances of the greater number will have to be maintained at all costs, that there may be hands to sell themselves for a part only of that which they are capable of producing; without which, private accumulation of capital is impossible! These characteristics of our economical system are its very essence. Without them, it cannot exist; for, who would sell his labor power for less than it is capable of bringing in, if he were not forced thereto by the threat of hunger? And those essential traits of the system are also its most crushing condemnation.

„It provokes new acts of revolt, individual and collective, it drives the rebels to heroism; and in rapid succession these acts spread, become general, develop. The revolutionary party is strengthened by elements which up to this time were hostile or indifferent to it.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: One courageous act has sufficed to upset in a few days the entire governmental machinery, to make the colossus tremble; another revolt has stirred a whole province into turmoil, and the army, till now always so imposing, has retreated before a handful of peasants armed with sticks and stones. The people observe that the monster is not so terrible as they thought they begin dimly to perceive that a few energetic efforts will be sufficient to throw it down. Hope is born in their hearts, and let us remember that if exasperation often drives men to revolt, it is always hope, the hope of victory, which makes revolutions. The government resists; it is savage in its repressions. But, though formerly persecution killed the energy of the oppressed, now, in periods of excitement, it produces the opposite result. It provokes new acts of revolt, individual and collective, it drives the rebels to heroism; and in rapid succession these acts spread, become general, develop. The revolutionary party is strengthened by elements which up to this time were hostile or indifferent to it.

„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
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

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„Such, also, are the revolutions of mankind.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: Harmony thus appears as a temporary adjustment, established among all forces acting upon a given spot — a provisory adaptation; and that adjustment will only last under one condition: that of being continually modified; of representing every moment the resultant of all conflicting actions. Let but one of those forces be hampered in its action for some time and harmony disappears. Force will accumulate its effect; it must come to light, it must exercise its action, and if other forces hinder its manifestation it will not be annihilated by that, but will end by upsetting the present adjustment, by destroying harmony, in order to find a new form of equilibrium and to work to form a new adaptation. Such is the eruption of a volcano, whose imprisoned force ends by breaking the petrified lavas which hindered them to pour forth the gases, the molten lavas, and the incandescent ashes. Such, also, are the revolutions of mankind.

„Is not the court of a tribunal a school of ferocity?“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: 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? Is not the court of a tribunal a school of ferocity?

„Relatively speaking, law is a product of modern times.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
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
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.

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„Did not the Parisian press, only two or three years ago, maintain that the whole philosophy of Anarchy consisted in destruction, and that its only argument was violence?“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: It is not without a certain hesitation that I have decided to take the philosophy and ideal of Anarchy as the subject of this lecture. Those who are persuaded that Anarchy is a collection of visions relating to the future, and an unconscious striving toward the destruction of all present civilization, are still very numerous; and to clear the ground of such prejudices of our education as maintain this view we should have, perhaps, to enter into many details which it would be difficult to embody in a single lecture. Did not the Parisian press, only two or three years ago, maintain that the whole philosophy of Anarchy consisted in destruction, and that its only argument was violence? Nevertheless Anarchists have been spoken of so much lately, that part of the public has at last taken to reading and discussing our doctrines. Sometimes men have even given themselves trouble to reflect, and at the present moment we have at least gained a point: it is willingly admitted that Anarchists have an ideal. Their ideal is even found too beautiful, too lofty for a society not composed of superior beings.

„Take Christian morality: what other teaching could have had more hold on minds than that spoken in the name of a crucified God, and could have acted with all its mystical force, all its poetry of martyrdom, its grandeur in forgiving executioners? And yet the institution was more powerful than the religion“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: Far be it from us not to recognize the importance of the second factor, moral teaching — especially that which is unconsciously transmitted in society and results from the whole of the ideas and comments emitted by each of us on facts and events of every-day life. But this force can only act on society under one condition, that of not being crossed by a mass of contradictory immoral teachings resulting from the practice of institutions. In that case its influence is nil or baneful. Take Christian morality: what other teaching could have had more hold on minds than that spoken in the name of a crucified God, and could have acted with all its mystical force, all its poetry of martyrdom, its grandeur in forgiving executioners? And yet the institution was more powerful than the religion: soon Christianity — a revolt against imperial Rome — was conquered by that same Rome; it accepted its maxims, customs, and language. The Christian church accepted the Roman law as its own, and as such — allied to the State — it became in history the most furious enemy of all semi-communist institutions, to which Christianity appealed at Its origin.

„I of course take a negative attitude about a great deal that is happening, and I have said so directly and frankly to many of those who stand at the head of government.“

—  Peter Kropotkin
Context: I of course take a negative attitude about a great deal that is happening, and I have said so directly and frankly to many of those who stand at the head of government. They behave well towards me, and many things I asked were carried out. They even proposed that I should take part in their work, but I refused. As an anarchist, I cannot reconcile myself to any government. About the Bolshevik revolution, as quoted in Peter Kropotkin : From Prince to Rebel (1990) by George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic, p. 428

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

—  Peter Kropotkin
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.

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