Obviously, in the present state of mankind, when the vast majority of people, oppressed by poverty and stupefied by superstition, stagnate in a state of humiliation, the fate of humanity depends on the action of a relatively small number of individuals; obviously it will not be possible suddenly to get people to raise themselves to the point where they feel the duty, indeed the pleasure from controlling their own actions in such a way that others will derive the maximum benefit therefrom. But if today the thinking and directing forces in society are few, it is not a reason for paralyzing yet more of them and for subjecting many others to a few of them. It is not a reason for organizing society in such a way that (thanks to the apathy that is the result of secured positions, thanks to birth, patronage, esprit de corps, and all the government machinery) the most lively forces and real ability end up by finding themselves outside the government and almost without influence on social life; and those that attain to government, finding themselves out of their environment, and being above all interested in remaining in power, lose all possibilities of acting and only serve as an obstacle to others.

Once this negative power that is government is abolished, society will be what it can be, but all that it can be given the forces and abilities available at the time. If there are educated people who wish to spread knowledge they will organize the schools and make a special effort to persuade everybody of the usefulness and pleasure to be got from an education. And if there were no such people, or only a few, a government could not create them; all it could do would be what happens now, take the few that there are away from their rewarding work, and set them to drafting regulations which have to be imposed with policemen, and make intelligent and devoted teachers into political beings, that is useless parasites, all concerned with imposing their whims and with maintaining themselves in power. . . .

In any case we will have on events the kind of influence which will reflect our numerical strength, our energy, our intelligence and our intransigence. Even if we are defeated, our work will not have been useless, for the greater our resolve to achieve the implementation of our program in full, the less property and less government will there be in the new society. And we will have performed a worthy task for, after all, human progress is measured by the extent government power and private property are reduced. And if today we fail without compromising, we can be sure of victory tomorrow. — Errico Malatesta, 1891, from Anarchy


Anarchism and Other Essays

Emma Goldman

A useful selection of the writings of Red Emma. AK

Publisher: Dover
Paperback: 271 pages

Anarchist Organisation: History of the Federacion Anarquista Iberca

Juan Gómez Casas

“The first English-language history of the Federación Anarquista Ibérica. Casas traces the history of Spanish anarchism to the founding of the FAI and deals with its organizational principles, controversies, objectives and programs.”

Publisher: Black Rose
Paperback: 264 pages

Anarchist Society and Its Practical Realization

Graham Purchase

“A brief but stimulating discussion of ‘how we get from here to there,’ and a good first step toward demonstrating the practicability of anarchism.”

Publisher: See Sharp
Pamphlet: 16 pages

Anarchists in the Spanish Revolution

José Peirats

“This is the most comprehensive, critical history of the Spanish Civil War and the role played in it by the CNT-FAI, the Anarcho-syndicalists and Anarchists… The author was active in the clandestine Libertarian Youth when he was only 14 years old, and participated in the anarchist militias in 1936, and in 1937 joined the 26th Division. At the end of the struggle he managed to make his way to South America, but returned to Europe at the end of World War II and lived in Toulouse where he was editor of two Spanish-language journals as well as the historiographer of the CNT.”

Publisher: Left Bank
Paperback: 388 pages


Rudolf Rocker

Essential reading for anyone interested in worker control of industry, the classic work on the subject. AK

Publisher: AK


Errico Malatesta

Classic introduction to the subject by the Italian activist. AK

Publisher: Freedom
Paperback: 56 pages

Anarchy in Action

Colin Ward

“Suppose our future in fact lies, not with a handful of technocrats pushing buttons to support the rest of us, but with a multitude of small activities, whether by individuals or groups, doing their own things? Suppose the only plausible economic recovery consists in people picking themselves off the industrial scrapheap, or rejecting their slot in the microtechnology system, and making their own niche in the world of ordinary needs and their satisfaction. Wouldn’t that be something to do with anarchism?”

Publisher: Freedom
Paperback: 144 pages

Anarchy in the U.K.: The Angry Brigade

Tom Vague

Germany spawned the Red Army Faction; Italy, the Red Brigades; France, Action Directe; the United States, the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army… Britain had the Angry Brigade. Much more than a small group of individuals, the Angry Brigade was a movement that challenged reaction and state power in all its forms. Part of a general European resistance movement, its was an armed offensive grounded in substantial popular support. No leaders, do it yourself… Here, in Tom Vague’s notorious, barbed, pop-culture style, is the story of Britain’s premier revolutionary hooligans. Draws extensively on the Angry Brigade’s communiqués, along with both the underground/countercultural and mainstream press of the late ‘60s through the early ‘70s, and police and court documents. AK

Publisher: AK
Paperback: 160 pages

Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom

Brian Morris

Because Bakunin thought of himself as an anti-intellectual, he didn’t leave behind a codified book of his pronouncements for others to follow. Nevertheless, as collected here for the first time in English, his philosophical ideas are inspirational to anyone who opposes the dualistic Western view of the individual, the state and society. SC

Publisher: Black Rose
Paperback: 162 pages

The Conquest of Bread

Peter Kropotkin

“A study of the needs of humanity and of the economic means to satisfy them.” Taking the Paris Commune as its model, its aim is to show how a social revolution can be made and how a new society, organized on libertarian lines, can then be built on the ruins of the old.”

Publisher: Black Rose
Paperback: 282 pages