Direct Action Against Capital: A Peter Kropotkin Anthology

Edited by

Iain McKay

Peter Kropotkin is by far anarchism’s most influential theorist, and Direct Struggle Against Capital is the most extensive collection of his writings available in English. Over half the selections have been translated for the first time or recovered from long-out-of-print pamphlets and newspapers. The result is a volume that provides an introduction to classic texts, while showing new facets of a familiar and canonical figure. Direct Struggle Against Capital paints a detailed portrait of Kropotkin the revolutionary, the man Emma Goldman described as someone for whom anarchism “was not an ideal for the select few. It was a constructive social theory, destined to usher in a new world for all of mankind.”


Published by AK Press


Introduction: Bread and Liberty

Anarchism before Kropotkin

Kropotkin’s ideas


Kropotkin: A Biographical Sketch

Further Reading


A Note on the Texts


Anarchism and Anarchists

From Memoirs of a Revolutionist

The Lyon anarchist trial of 1883

The Place of Anarchism in Socialist Evolution

Preface to Bakunin’s The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State

Letter to Maria Isidine Goldsmith

Letter to Max Nettlau


From Modern Science and Anarchism

The Anarchist Principle

A Few Thoughts about the Essence of Anarchism

Letter to the Bakunin Centenary Celebration

From Ethics: Origin and Development

Capitalism and the State

From Representative Government

Our Riches

The Division of Labour

Economic Expedients

From The State: Its Historic Role

Prisons: Universities of Crime

From The Modern State

The Workers Movement and Class Struggle

From Memoirs of a Revolutionist

Enemies of the People

The Workers’ Movement in Spain

Workers Organisation

The Use of the Strike


1st May 1891

The Death of the New International

Commemoration of the Chicago Martyrs

The Workers’ Congress of 1896

The Development of Trade-Unionism

Letter to French and British Trade Union Delegates

From Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

Politics and Socialism

Trade Unionism and Parliamentarism

Letter to “The Voice of Labour”

Anarchists and Trade Unions

1886-1907: Glimpses into the Labour Movement in this Country

Letter to Alexander Berkman

Syndicalism and Anarchism


From The Great French Revolution


The Paris Commune

Commune of Paris

The Revolution in Russia

The Russian Revolution and Anarchism

Enough of Illusions!

A Letter to the Workers of the West

Social Revolution

From Memoirs of a Revolutionist

The Anarchist Idea from the Point Of View of its Practical Realisation

Revolutionary Government

From Expropriation

What Revolution Means

Act For Yourselves

Local Action

Preface to Words of a Rebel (1904)

Insurrections and Revolution

Preface to How We Shall Bring About the Revolution

Anarchist Action in the Revolution

Postscript to Words of a Rebel (1919)


The Commune

From In Russian and French Prisons

Are We Good Enough?

The Permanence of Society after the Revolution

The Wage System

  • I. Representative Government and Wages
  • II. The Collectivist Wage System
  • III. Unequal Remuneration
  • IV. Equal Wages versus Communism

Communism and Anarchy

The Reformed School

From Fields, Factories and Workshops

  • Preface to the Second Edition (1913)
  • Preface to the First Edition (1898)
  • The Decentralisation of Industries
  • The Possibilities of Agriculture
  • Small Industries and Industrial Villages
  • Brain Work and Manual Work
  • Conclusion


Mutual Aid: An Important Factor in Evolution