Peter Kropotkin Archive
Anarchist Revolutionary, Writer, Idealist and Historic, Russian Emigre

9 December 1842 — 8 February 1921


Peter Kropotkin Peter Kropotkin

"To recognise all men as equal and to renounce government of man by man is another increase of individual liberty in a degree which no other form of association has ever admitted even as a dream."

— Peter Kropotkin, Communism and Anarchy, 1901

Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian anarchist, socialist, revolutionary, economist, sociologist, historian, zoologist, political scientist, human geographer and philosopher who advocated anarcho-communism. He was also an activist, essayist, researcher and writer.

"We must recognize, and loudly proclaim, that every one, whatever his grade in the old society, whether strong or weak, capable or incapable, has, before everything, THE RIGHT TO LIVE, and that society is bound to share amongst all, without exception, the means of existence at its disposal. We must acknowledge this, and proclaim it aloud, and act up to it."

— Peter Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread, 1906

Born into an aristocratic land-owning family, Kropotkin attended a military school and later served as an officer in Siberia, where he participated in several geological expeditions. He was imprisoned for his activism in 1874 and managed to escape two years later. He spent the next 41 years in exile in Switzerland, France (where he was imprisoned for almost four years) and England. While in exile, he gave lectures and published widely on anarchism and geography. Kropotkin returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917, but he was disappointed by the Bolshevik state.

"With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible. Without it, it necessarily becomes slavery and cannot exist."

— Peter Kropotkin, Communism and Anarchy, 1901

Peter Kropotkin Peter Kropotkin

Kropotkin was a proponent of a decentralised communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations of self-governing communities and worker-run enterprises. He wrote many books, pamphlets and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields, Factories and Workshops, but also Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, his principal scientific offering. He contributed the article on anarchism to the Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition and left unfinished a work on anarchist ethical philosophy.

"It is not difficult, indeed, to see the absurdity of naming a few men and saying to them, 'Make laws regulating all our spheres of activity, although not one of you knows anything about them!'"

— Peter Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread, 1906




1892: The Conquest of Bread

1897: Anarchist Morality

1898: Fields, Factories, and Workshops

1902: Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution

1924: Ethics: Origin and Development


1880: The Paris Commune

1880: An Appeal to the Young

1880: The Commune of Paris

1883: Declaration to the Tribunal of Lyons by the Accused Anarchists

1885: Finland: A Rising Nationality

1887: The Scientific Basis of Anarchism

1888: Are We Good Enough?

1889: The Great French Revolution and its Lesson

1890: Brain Work and Manual Work

1890: The Action of the Masses and the Individual

1890: The Collapse of Counter-Revolutionary Socialism

1891: Revolutionary Studies

1893: Advice to Those About to Emigrate

1895: Proposed Communist Settlement

1895: The Effects of Persecution

1895: The Crisis of Socialism

1896: The State: Its Historic Role

1896: War or Peace?

1896: International Congresses and the Congress of London

1896: Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal

1900: Communism and Anarchy

1905: The Constitutional Agitation in Russia

1906: The Revolution in Russia

1907: Anarchists and Trade Unions

1910: Anarchism for Encyclopedia Britannica

1913: The Coming War

1914: War!

1916: The Manifesto of the Sixteen

1919: The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Government

1919: The Direct Action of Environment and Evolution

1920: The Wage System

1927: Anarchist Communism: Its Basis and Principles

(Date Unknown): Anarchism and Revolution


1920: Two letters to Lenin

1920: Letter on Russian Revolution

1921: Peter Kropotkin’s Last Letter


1956: Kropotkin on Mutual Aid — Review by Paul Mattick