30
Jul
2005

Successful Revolutions - Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Those who know me, know of my great love for Russian Literature: Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Gogol‹trusted sources of insight into the struggle of human beings learning to conduct themselves responsibly on earth and with each other. Among these giants in Russian literature is Peter Kropotkin, known best for his "Mutual Aid," describing the Buryat people of Lake Baikal in Siberia and their unique social structure. In times of need, the independent Buryat tribes band together in a spirit of cooperation to resolve problems without resorting to hierarchal command. Kropotkin's autobiography, "Memoirs of a Revolutionist" first published as a series of essays in the 1898 "Atlantic Monthly," spills over with relevancy for today.

"Socialist papers have often a tendency to become mere annals of complaint about existing conditions. The oppression of the laborers in the mine, the factory, and the field is related; the misery and sufferings of the workers during strikes are told in vivid pictures; their helplessness in the struggle against employers is insisted upon: and this succession of hopeless efforts, related in the paper, exercise a most depressing influence upon the reader. To counterbalance that effect, the editor has to rely chiefly upon burning words by means of which he tries to inspire his readers with energy and faith. I thought, on the contrary, that a revolutionary paper must be, above all, a record of those symptoms which everywhere announce the coming of a new era, the germination of new forms of social life, the growing revolt against antiquated institutions. These symptoms should be watched, brought together in their intimate connection, and so grouped as to show to the hesitating minds of the greater number the invisible and often unconscious support which advanced ideas find everywhere, when a revival of thought takes place in society. To make one feel sympathy with the throbbing of the human heart all over the world, with its revolt against age-long injustice, with its attempts at working out new forms of life,-- this should be the chief duty of a revolutionary paper. It is hope, not despair, which makes successful revolutions."

from MEMOIRS OF A REVOLUTIONIST by Peter Kropotkin, Grove Press edition `

Following is a list of upcoming events conducted or sponsored by the E. F. Schumacher Society. They are gatherings of hope, not despair--announcing the coming of a new era Join us.

Susan Witt, Executive Director E. F. Schumacher Society
140 Jug End Road Great Barrington, MA 01230 USA //www.smallisbeautiful.org

* * * * * * * *

TWENTY-FIFTH ANNUAL E. F. SCHUMACHER LECTURES With Nancy Jack Todd and Tom Linzey October 22, 2005 Stockbridge, Massachusetts //www.smallisbeautiful.org

FIRST ANNUAL BIONEERS BY THE BAY: CONNECTING FOR CHANGE With Wangari Maathai, Juliet Schor, Susan Witt, John Lash, Gunter Pauli, and others. October 14-16, 2005 Dartmouth, Massachusetts //www.bioneersbythebay.org

THIRTY-FIRST ANNUAL NORTHEAST ORGANIC FARMING ASSOCIATION SUMMER CONFERENCE With keynote speaker Satish Kumar August 11-14, 2005 Amherst, Massachusetts //www.nofamass.org

CONFERENCE ON ETHICAL COMMERCE With Jonathan Rosenthal and others Sept 23, 2005 University Park, Pennsylvania //www.ethicalcommerce.org


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