The State: Its Historic Role [Unduh pdf] - Peter Kropotkin

Ebook Title          : The State: Its Historic Role
Ebook Thickness  : 58 Page
Language : English

When Kropotkin was invited by Jean Grave, editor of Les Temps Nouveaux, to take part in a series of lectures to be held in the Milles Colonnes Hall in Paris in March 1896, he chose two subjects: The State: Its Historic Role and Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Its Ideal. Bearing in mind that his greatest work, Mutual Aid, had been appearing as a series of articles in The Nineteenth Century from 1890–1896 his choice of subjects for these lectures is not surprising. Kropotkin explains in the French edition of his Memoirs “The research that I carried out in the course of familiarizing myself with the institutions of the barbarian period and those of the free cities of the Middle Ages, led me to carry out further interesting research on the role played by the State during the last three centuries, from the time of its last incarnation in Europe. In addition the study of institutions of mutual aid in the different periods of civilization led me to enquire as to how the development of ideas of justice and morality came about in human society. I summarized my findings as two lectures: one on The State and Its Historic Role, and the other, in English, as Justice and Morality.”

As it happens the lectures were never delivered. The day Kropotkin set off for Paris coincided with the decision by the heir to the Russian throne to visit Nice where he was to be welcomed by top representatives of the Government. At that time the Franco Russian military alliance was close and important to France, and the French authorities could not risk demonstrations in Paris at the Kropotkin lecture which was expected to attract between 4000 and 5000 people.

So when he disembarked from the Newhaven-Dieppe day boat Kropotkin was met by police officers who detained him. He was told that he had been expelled from France and would have to return by the first boat; in the event of any resistance he would be taken into ‘administrative custody’. Apart from the fact that he did not get to Paris to deliver his lectures, the incident had its amusing side as well as confirming the esteem which he enjoyed even with his political enemies. He described the incident in more than one letter to his friends. Writing to James Guillaume in 1902 six years after the incident — in response to his old friend’s request for a detailed account, he describes the way he was approached by the police superintendent.

“He introduced himself as Monsieur Merdes (‘of Spanish descent’ he added every time he repeated his name). He read out the telegram from Bourgeois [the French Prime Minister) which more or less said ‘If Kropotkin disembarks inform him that he is expelled, and that he must return with the first boat. If he resists take him into administrative custody’.

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