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Communist philosophic nirvana without the verbosity of Marx
on 11 November 2001
Karl Marx. Highpoint of communist philosophy? Wrong. Kropotkin takes communism to its logical conclusion far more concisely and with a lucidity that Marx could only allude to. Kropotkin guides us through the implausibility of private property and the state, highlighting the inherent inadequacies and misery they inevitably cause. Having used Mutual Aid and the unfinished Ethics to show the irrefutability of mans social nature, the Conquest of Bread enables Kropotkin to show us what, once having read it, seems so glaringly obvious- that political society works against man and not for him.
Its a radical conclusion reached through a series of logical statements and progressions, containing so much truth that it is almost impossible to argue against him, untill you are left with no other option but to agree with him.
Where he differs the most in his philosophy from Marx is with the organisation of society once the existing one has collapsed. Marx offered the communist party, the party of the workers which would take the place of capitalists and the bourgeois, who would take control of society, safeguarding the principles of Communism before somehow melting away. Or not. Kropotkin however, sees all authority as corrupting and so suggests that with the corrupting influence completely irradicated, man would be able to flourish. In other words Anarchist Communism. Leave man to work together and all will be well. Whether this is a naieve and even romantic view of human nature is up to the individual to decide. The conquest of Bread is however, a beautiful work of political philosophy and is one that deserves to be read by those that share his beliefs and those that dismiss his conclusions alike.