Page 10 Centennial Tribute to Kropotkin
PETER KROPOTKIN, EVOLUTIONIST
by Joseph Ishill, Editor: The Oracle Press
How shall we, this day, commemorate the spirit of that great man, rebel, and scientist, Peter Kropotkin? Cataclysmic events have occurred since he was born, much devastation of the flower of human life and achievement, sufferings on an unprecedented scale- all endured in the dark transition period from a moribund "civilization" to an eternally bright and just future way of life.
Anyone firmiliar with Kropotkin's precepts will agree that the contributions of his career as philosopher, scientist and propagandist were of prime value and of the utmost benefit to all who have integrated their intellectual capacities and seen in him one of the few great liberators of the oppresed everywhere. He was the incarnation of truth, goodness and brotherhood toward which mankind aspires in its vision of a better world.
One cannot adequetly express how much we miss him in these tragic and barbarous times of total and totalitarian darkness let loose upon the world by a horde of neurasthenic psycopaths. How ably he would ave come to the assistance of all those down-trodden victims of aggression and perversion. We well remember how the so-called Aryan master-race (of Germanic origin) sought in the First World War to justify their abominations against the innocent and defenseless. They have proved themselves masters, indeed, of darkness! Their German "Kultur" truly a germ-culture, which they foster for the destruction of the world, A number of German writers in the First WOrld War excused themselves on the score that the horrors of that War, in the guilt of which they hold equal share with the militarists, were unavoidable consequense of the "struggle for existence," the necessity of which. they maintained , was proven by Darwin's theories for the improvement of the human race. Kropotkin sharply refuted these deductions in his scientific work, "Mutual Aid." On the contrary, he proves that this was not Darwin's conception of Nature at all, since, for the preservation of the species, he attached the greatest importance to the social instinct; and above all he proves, with many facts from the life of animals and the evolution of society, that progress, both biological and social, is best fostered, not by brute force or cunning, but by the practice of mutual aid and cooperation.
To combat this poisonous Germanic propaganda via perverted Darwinisms, the British people sought another scientist and immediately there came to light Kropotkin's "Mutual Aid- A Factor of Evolution"- of which a large popular edition was published at one shilling per copy, notwithstanding the previous eight editions which were completely exhausted.
It must have been a great satisfaction to Kropotkin to see that quite a number of English Tories who were in complete disagreement with his political views had to endorse this work by a Russian revolutionist! Regardless of his affiliations, he was loved and respected by many of the social strata both high and low.
Were he alive today it is certain he would have allied himself with the United Nations as he did in the First World War when many pacifist-minded, and other various radicals sharply condemned him for siding with the Allies. But Kropotkin had clearly seen and understood, as could only one of his keen mentality, the menace of Prussian militarism which was rapidly darkening the world-horizon. In spite of the gloomy spectre of the First World War, Kropotkin did not become utterly disillusioned at the somber sweep of events. He still hoped for a better world of the future, and here it is well to quote the concluding words of his preface to "Mutual Aid," November, 1914- which gives in true perspective the integral and exemplary idealist:-"In the midst of misery and agony which this War has flung over the world, there is still room for the belief that the constructive forces of men being nevertheless at work, their action will tend to promote a better understanding between men, and eventually among nations."
Those words will be proven as unalterably true, a prophecy and a statement of faith.
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