The State Its Historic Role

(Peter Kropotkin, Author)


Publisher: Freedom Press
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 60
Released: January 1, 1997
ISBN-13: 9780900384332

When Kropotkin was invited by Jean Grave to take part in a series of lectures to be held in Paris in March 1896, he chose two subjects: The State: Its Historic Role and Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Its Ideal. As it happens the lectures were never delivered. The day Kropotkin set off for Paris coincided with the decision by the heir to the Russian throne to visit Nice where he was to be welcomed by top representatives of the French government. At that time the Franco-Russian military alliance was close and important to France, and the French authorities could not risk demonstrations in Paris at the Kropotkin lecture which was expected to attract between 4000 and 5000 people.So when he disembarked from the Newhaven-Dieppe day boat Kropotkin was met by police officers who detained him. He was told that he had been expelled from France and would have to return by the first boat; in the event of any resistance he would be taken into 'administrative custody'. Below is a fitting excerpt from the text of this classic work."Either the State for ever, crushing individual and local life, taking over in all fields of human activity, bringing with it all its wars and domestic struggles for power, its palace revolutions which only replace one tyrant by another, and inevitably at the end of this development there is...death!Or the destruction of States, and new life starting again in thousands of centers on the principles of the lively initiative of the individual and groups and that of free agreement.The choice lies with you!"
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