The Conquest of Bread (Kobo eBook)
First written in French and originally appearing as a series of articles in 1892, “The Conquest of Bread” is the most famous and enduring work by Peter Kropotkin, the Russian political philosopher and anarchist. In this widely influential and often cited work, Kropotkin presents his arguments against feudalism and capitalism. These economic systems rely on and perpetuate poverty, misery, and scarcity, while protecting and promoting the privilege of the few over the many. He advocated for a more decentralized and smaller-scale system that instead relied on cooperation and mutual assistance. Kropotkin persuasively argues that this voluntary system of localized anarchy already exists in many types of human society and is how humans evolved to live. His ideas were a rejection of the more formalized and centralized system of communism advocated by Karl Marx and advocated in contrast for the eventual elimination of money altogether as a necessary part of the social economy. Rather, society could become so advanced that every good and service would be shared equally and no one would be deprived of what they needed. Kropotkin’s work continues to have a profound effect on both political philosophers and revolutionaries, from the Spanish Civil War to the modern Occupy movement.