Centennial Tribute to Kropotkin
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Page 11 Centennial Tribute to Kropotkin
ETHICS: FOR AND AGAINST
by Cassius V. Cook, Sec.-Treas.:
The life of Peter Kropotkin is effective in proportion as he influenced others, day by day. His teachings were alive and understandable as they influenced others to act.
That he did this is evident from those that accepted his ethics- "from every man according to his ability, to every man according to his needs." Among those who disagreed are a few who feared to erect a "tyranny of needs."
KROPOTKIN- A SOCIAL THINKER- OPPOSED TO STATE TOTALITARIANISM
by Pitirim A. Sorokin, Department of Sociology, Harvard University
Most sincerely I join your meeting in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Peter Kropotkin, as an eminent social thinker; as a great apostle of Mutual Aid; as an indefatigable critic of social injustice in all its forms; as a relentless warrior against State bureaucracy and dictatorship; as a most notable ethical thinker and reformer.
It was my good fortune to meet and to know him personally during the last years of his life in Russia. This direct contact showed that, in addition to all his contributions to mankind, he was an excellent personality in his life and conduct.
In these times when State Totalitarianism menaces, to turn human beings into enslaved puppets, and freehuman creativeness into coercive, soulless drudgery, the warnings and teachings of this great man are especially timely and significant!
PETER KROPOTKIN ON KARL MARX AND MARXISM
by Dr. Herman Frank, Editor: Freie Arbeiter Stimme, New York
One of the central ideas of the scientific social thought in the past hundred years has been the question whether or not economic change in itself is endowed with a rational purpose. During the 19th Century, at least four great systems of thought were built up with the view of bridging the gulf between evolutionary change and social progress. Auguste Comte in France, herbert Spencer in England, Karl Marx in Germany, and Lester Ward in the United States built up their monumental social philosophies in the hope of resolving this dilemma.
Karl Marx spent over forty years in an endeavor to supply an answer to this problem- by imputing a transcendental goal to history. The capitalistic system, he claimed, by its own inherent process being driven toward a higher social organization, namely, Socialism. Although no definitely convincing proof could be offered for the Marxian solution, and it has remained a matter of faith yet as a matter of fact, Marxism, of the four above named systems, has become the most influential one, and has proved, in more than one sense, epoch-making.Nonetheless, of them all, none has exercised less attraction and evoked more criticism on the part of that outstanding revolutionary, Peter Kropotkin, than just Marxism, that is the most revolutionary system among these four.
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