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KropotkinReviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition$
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Ruth Kinna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642298

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642298.001.0001

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Conclusion to Part 3

Conclusion to Part 3

Chapter:
(p.185) Conclusion to Part 3
Source:
Kropotkin
Author(s):

Ruth Kinna

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642298.003.0012

In his critical, melancholy reminiscence of Kropotkin, Malatesta made a number of significant claims about his anarchism. First, it traced a progressive evolution, leading to emancipation understood as a singular condition. Like Malatesta, Kropotkin was an optimist, who saw ‘things rose-coloured’. They both hoped for ‘an early revolution which would realize our ideals’. But in Kropotkin’s work, this optimism fuelled a rigid theorisation of anarchy, for he was also a scientist and a ‘social reformer’, ‘pressed’ by ‘the desire to know and the desire to bring about the well-being of humanity’. Second, Kropotkin was fully immersed in the conventions of his time. He ‘professed the materialist philosophy which dominated the scientists of the second half of the nineteenth century’ and ‘wanted to reduce all to a unity’. Third, his ‘conception of the universe was rigorously mechanical’ and consequently deterministic. According to Kropotkin’s system, individual will ‘does not exist and is a mere illusion’. Malatesta continues:...

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