A short essay about the importance of ideas in maintaining Capitalist society.
Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?
If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.
Not forgotten, then or now. Review: book of Russian anarchist prisoner support bulletins keeps their memory alive
The Kate Sharpley Library and Alexander Berkman Social Club collectives have recently produced a beautiful book containing complete facsimile reprints of the Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia, and the Bulletin of the Relief Fund of the International Working Men’s Association for Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists Imprisoned or Exiled in Russia, which were originally published from 1923-1931.
These bulletins were produced and edited over the years by Alexander Berkman, Mark Mratchny, Milly Witcop, Rudolf Rocker, and others. They were part of the campaign to record and highlight the plight of a whole generation of anarchists and revolutionists imprisoned, exiled, or executed by the Bolshevik regime in Russia.
It was about 1890, when the anarchist movement was still in its infancy in America. We were just a handful then, young men and women fired by the enthusiams of a sublime ideal, and passionately spreading the new faith among the population of the New York Ghetto. We held our gatherings in an obscure hall in Orchard Street, but we regarded our efforts as highly successful. Every week greater numbers attended our meetings, much interest was manifested in the revolutionary teachings, and vital questions were discussed late into the night, with deep conviction and youthful vision.
To most of us it seemed that capitalism had almost reached the limits of its fiendish possibilities, and that the Social Revolution was not far off. But there were many difficult questions and knotty problems involved in the growing movement, which we ourselves could not solve satisfactorily.
Letter from Emma Goldman and Alex Berkman written to warn workers of the persecution of revolutionaries in Russia by the Bolsheviks, originally published in Freedom in 1922.
We have just received the following letter from our comrades Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, who are now stranded in Stockholm. This letter gives us the truth about the terrible persecution of Anarchists in Russia.
Featuring a new introduction by Howard Zinn, Life of an Anarchist contains Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, Berkman's account of his years in prison; The Bolshevik Myth, his eyewitness account of the early days of the Russian Revolution; and The ABCs of Anarchism, the classic text on the nature of anarchism in the twentieth century. Also included are a selection of letters between Berkman and his lifelong companion Emma Goldman, and a generous sampling from Berkmans other publications.
First published in 1929, this book by Alexander Berkman answers some of the charges made against it and presents the case for communist anarchism. Thorough and well stated, it is today regarded as a classic statement of the cause's goals and methods.
[i]"Our social institutions are founded on certain ideas; as long as the latter are generally believed, the institutions built on them are safe. Government remains strong because people think political authority and legal compulsion are necessary. Capitalism will continue as long as such an economic system is considered adequate and just.
Alexander Berkman (1912)
Autobiographical prison account of Russian émigré anarchist Alexander Berkman who was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment for the attempted assassination of an industrialist who massacred striking workers.
In 1892, Alexander Berkman, Russian émigré, anarchist, and lover of Emma Goldman, attempted to assassinate industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The act was intended both as retribution for the massacre of workers in the Homestead strike and as an incitement to revolution.