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(en) Czech, AFED: Kropotkin 2021: The cultural fortnightly A2 dedicated one of its issues to the Russian revolutionary. [machine translation]

Date Tue, 23 Feb 2021 08:37:23 +0200


One hundred years since the death of Petr Kropotkin is not only mentioned in purely anarchist media. This is evidenced by only one example of the sprinkler cone (I really did not find any other mention outside our circles about the anniversary), and this is the third issue of this year's (from February 3, 2021) cultural magazine fortnightly A2 . He has always taken anarchism as an inspiring direction, unlike most media, which share in this issue either utter ignorance or tabloid tendencies of sensationalism and demonization. ---- On the cover, Kropotkin floats in the stars and peacefully embraces the whole world. This, too, is one of the views of the anarchist thinker. However, according to the title of Ondrej Slacálek's essay presenting the Kropotkin theme, it can also be seen as a problem ("The Kropotkin Problem"). Is he the problem? Or does anyone have a problem with it? We will not know this, but we will take a brief excursion into the world of his thoughts, stating that it is necessary to "re-understand his work and find in it the source of his own questioning." Andrew mentions Lenin's contempt for the old anarchist or Malatest's critique of Kropotkin's optimism, which he projected into his scientific works. According to the author, however, Kropotkin's theories were brought a greater blow by the intellectual development of the 20th century, on the one hand by Sigmund Freud with the determinism of the psyche and on the other by Michel Foucault with the self-centeredness of "modern". Mention of David Graeber's introduction to the bookThe Commonwealth says nothing material, it is only a springboard to reflect on the timelessness of Nazi Carl Schmitt's ideas. Why prokropotkina? Just as I did not take the bridge to elevate Bruno Latour, "the author of the strongest diagnoses today." I only read Back to Earth from him and I didn't find it very revealing and strong. Otherwise, I can sign the conclusions of the essay: "we need to look for different sources of solidarity, reciprocity and belonging... to rethink the nature of the state... and... bottom-up initiatives within the state, outside the state and against the state... question the tyranny of the division of labor... think about the morality of freedom... understand our society and culture as part of and a continuation of nature '"

Under the title "Revolutionary of Nature" there is a review (can be read HERE ) by Lukáš Rychetský on the bookGraham Purchas on Kropotkin's life and work. In the end, he comes up with a critique formulated by Malatesta in the past, which blames Kropotkin for the fatalism of the meaning of history, which "runs in a pre-sketched direction, that is, directly towards anarcho-communism and manifests itself in the form of natural laws." So far, however, I have not come across a place where Kropotkin would express himself in this explicit way. So a reason to study more carefully. In the review, however, I came across a phrase that almost shot me out of my shoes, and for the second time, when it was repeated in another article: "a black-red[hence anarchist]prince." More than a hundred years ago (the black-and-red diagonal flag was not yet used), Kropotkin, as an anarchist prince, was mockingly bourgeois diaries. Unfortunately, even today a Russian anarchist will use it. Why?! After all, Kropotkin would not call himself an aristocratic title.

This is how we proceeded to the next article, "Scientist or Revolutionary?" By Olga Pavlova, which goes back to a time when the Soviet regime used Kropotkin's names once as a scientist, the second time as a revolutionary, but with a thorough ideological emptiness. And so, according to Kropotkin, the city in the Krasnodar region or the Moscow metro station were named, for example. Yes, this is exactly the station where Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova were murdered on January 19, 2009 by neo-Nazi Nikita Tikhonov.

The penultimate text on the "problem" is "Mutual assistance of the state in spite", Arnošt Novák's commentary on the forthcoming edition of Kropotkin's famous work. Let us forgive him for postponing the anniversary of his death by a day, and let us acknowledge that reflection on the idea of mutual help is projected to this day and concludes nicely: "... to be in solidarity means often to act against the state."

The last contribution was made by Max Šcur, who you may know as the author of a recently published publication on events in Belarus, The State of the Revolution, or the reading book Radical Buddhism . And it is the Buddhist ethics that Kropotkin's teaching compares to the anarchist one in the text "Bodhisattva with a clouded mind." And as he explains, "It is proper for both of them to see the meaning of existence in sacrificial living for others, but while Buddhism seeks to tame and overcome human passions, Kropotkin's anarchism celebrates their unconditional pursuit."

All that remains is to thank the A2 editorial staff without taming their passions for remembering Kropotkin with dignity. Thanks!

https://www.afed.cz/text/7310/a2-kropotkin
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