Modern Science and Anarchism

Peter Kropotkin


I. Two fundamental tendencies in Society: the popular and the governmental.--The Kinship of Anarchism and the Popular-creative tendency.

II. The Intellectual movement of the XVIII century: its fundamental traits: the investigation of all phenomena by the scientific method.--The Stagnation of Thought at the Beginning of the XIX century.--The Awakening of Socialism: its influence upon the development of science.--The Fifties.

III. Auguste Comte's Attempt to build up a Synthetic Philosophy.--The causes of his failure: the religious explanation of the moral sense in man.

IV. The flowering of the Exact Sciences in 1856-62.--The Development of the Mechanical World-Conception, embracing the Development of Human Ideas and Institutions.--A Theory of Evolution.

V. The Possibility of a New Synthetic Philosophy.--Herbert Spencer's attempt: why it failed.--The Method not sustained.--A False Conception of "The Struggle for Existence."

VI. The Causes of this Mistake.--The Teaching of the Church: "the World is steeped in Sin."--The Government's Inculcation of the same view of "Man's Radical Perversity."--The Views of Modern Anthropology upon this subject.--The Development of forms of life by the "Masses," and the LAw.--Its Two-fold Character.

VII. The Place of Anarchism in Science.--Its Endeavor to Formulate a Synthetic Conception of the World.--Its Object.

VIII. Its origin.--How Its Ideal is Developed by the Natural-Scientific Method.

IX. A Brief Summary of the Conclusions Reached by Anarchism: Law.--Morality.--Economic Ideas.--The Government.

X. Continuation:--Methods of Action.--The Understanding of Revolutions and their Birth.--The Creative Ingenuity of the People.--Conclusion.

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