This is a collection of some of the best writings of Italian anarchist Errico Maltesta (1853-1932). But readers who find this volume valuable may also want to get the collection Errico Malatesta: Life and Ideas (compiled by Vernon Richards) - a book containing 200 pages of writings by Malatesta as well as a lengthy assessment of his importance by the editor.
The Anarchist Revolution makes available 25 polemical articles originally published in 1924-1931, including classics like A Project of Anarchist Organisation, Democracy and Anarchy, and Questions of Tactics. Although the articles are polemical in character, they are also more scholarly than the average anarchist tract. Readers who are looking for violent sloganeering will be disapointed.
Of particular interest are Malatestas insightful commentaries on the different varietes of anarchism - syndicalism, mutualism, individualism and communism. His own preferences are for communist anarchism, but he remains pragmatic and open-minded in the face of differing opinions. To quote from his 1929 essay Some Thoughts On the Post-Revolutionary Property System (reprinted in this collection, pages 113-119):
"Probably all possible forms of ownership, use of the means of production and all forms of distribution will be experimented with ... until practical experience identifies the best form or forms."
Malatesta comes across as an erudite anarchist journalist in the pages of this anthology, and I gladly recommend it to anyone who wants an introduction to libertarian communism.
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Jan 22, 2012, 23:11:39
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