28th out of 229 books — 166 voters
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Many think 'anarchy' means confusion, disorder, and chaos, but Maletesta sets the record staight. Errico Malatesta was a warm-hearted anarchist of widespread reputation and influence, who said that he considered Anarchy the best thing he had ever writter. This now classic work was first published in 1891 and has been in continual demand ever since. Translated from the orig ...more
Paperback, 54 pages
Published 1995 by Freedom Press (CA)
(first published 1891)
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Anarchy is a slim book, just 54 pages altogether, of which the first 15 are the translator’s introduction. Malatesta’s style, though, is dense - arguments come thick and fast, but with extreme clarity. Of course, in such a short book, not everything can be examined in great depth. But as a brief, clear introduction to anarchist thought, this is hard to beat. It’s a hard book to summarise, because it’s already a very concise summary of a whole body of thought. Still, here’s a distillation of Mala ...more
A childish and frankly stupid lack of any understanding of humanity or reading of history. Not a book on anarchy at all but a lazily concealed promotion of socialism and class warfare through atheistic, Darwinian, and Marxist principles. Miserably fails in attempting to replace one utopian vision for another.
I chose to give this book a 2 star for its great introduction into what government is, what Anarchy isn't, and for a comprehensive explanation of human nature. On the issue of Anarchy itself, or what should be called Socialist Anarchy, Malatesta's ideal is a revolution to take all private property and distribute it amongst all men (much like communism) and thence punish through self-defense, which is still a form a punishment - despite the author's claim - anyone who decides to declare rights up ...more
This is probably the best single introduction to Anarchist Communism your ever going to read. Malatesta uses a plain language and his concern is approaching arguements from the view of the skeptic, using philosphy and concrete examples to show how Anarchists could organise a new and better society. Surely a must in the library or propaganda of any Anarchist.
A somewhat more meandering, pondering book on what anarchy is than you would get from someone like Bakunin, Berkman or Goldman. Worth reading from a canonical point of view but best not used as an actual introduction to what anarchy is and/or stands for.
i was not expecting to enjoy this nearly as much as i did, given my responses to other anarchist texts. this is a brilliant merger of communism and anarchism, and while in some areas malatesta falls into some of the idealist moralism that i found so irritating in goldman's essay of the same title, these areas are few and far between. this translation reads well and malatesta is a persuasive, visual writer who uses his rhetorical flourishes sparingly (and so to great effect). a very engaging, tig ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Marts (Thinker) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Malatesta presents thorough insights to the theory of anarchy in this rather short book. He begins by first explaining that anarchy isn't total confusion as is generally thought but more accurately put, it means 'without government'. He also presents views and comparisons with socialism and communism thought...
Nov 23, 2010 MV rated it 3 of 5 stars
Oh, I suppose this is my way of celebrating May Day. Malatesta's not a bad guy. I still like reading his stuff, & he knows how to create a great metaphor. I'd like to read him in Italian some time because the translations include amazing vocabulary.
This is Malatesta's definition of what anarchy is and is not. Malatesta is an excellent writer, and this is possibly one of the best explanations and elborations of what anarchy should be along with Kropotkin's essay. Malatesta speaks to the reader in words that are appealing and does not go overboard with the usual social anarchists rhetoric.
Errico Malatesta (December 14, 1853 – July 22, 1932) was an Italian anarchist. He spent much of his life exiled from Italy and in total spent more than ten years in prison. Malatesta wrote and edited a number of radical newspapers and was also a friend of Mikhail Bakunin. He was an enormously popular figure in his time. According to Brian Doherty, writer for Reason magazine, "Malatesta could get t ...moreMore about Errico Malatesta...
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“In all times and in all places, whatever may be the name that the government takes, whatever has been its origin, or its organization, its essential function is always that of oppressing and exploiting the masses, and of defending the oppressors and exploiters. Its principal characteristic and indispensable instruments are the bailiff and the tax collector, the soldier and the prison. And to these are necessarily added the time-serving priest or teacher, as the case may be, supported and protected by the government, to render the spirit of the people servile and make them docile under the yoke.”More quotes…