The Conquest Of Bread

Paperback, 296 pages

English language

Published Jan. 16, 2007 by Kessinger Publishing, LLC.

ISBN:
978-1-4304-8932-0
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OCLC Number:
156805432

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4 stars (41 reviews)

Peter Kropotkin's "The Conquest of Bread", along with his "Fields Factories and Workshops" was the result of his extensive research into industrial and agricultural production; originally published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York and and London, 1906

Whereas Marx's main contribution to economics was his analysis of the commodity relationship in Capital - capitalism rather than communism - Kropotkin assesses what would need to be done, and most importantly how, in a communist society.

Now, almost 100 years later, technology and society has changed enormously, but the practical consideration Kropotkin gives to the question of production and distribution in a revolutionary society has taken on a new importance in the context of our globalised, interdependent, and resource intensive economic system.

76 editions

Classic imagining of a future that sorta came true?

5 stars

First published in 1906, a lot of the things Kropotkin imagined (soon we will all have electricity! And food delivery!) actually came to pass, and a lot of the social issues (child labor) have been mitigated, in the west. Many of his suggestions / predictions did not come to pass (we still have money). Very interesting to review what the pressing issues of his day, and feel some degree of hope that although we have our own problems, we have less cases of 8 year olds out-competing their parents in the workplace.

reviewed The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin (Working Classics, #4)

Review of 'The Conquest of Bread' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Uncle Pyotr is way too optimistic, and doesn't always back up his opinions or estimations all that well (with a few notable exceptions).

At the same time, he is sharp, clear headed, and can see through normative ideas and explain in plain language the failings of those ideas and his counterproposals.

His material analysis, which in a couple of occasions (both having to do with the production of food) is backed by numbers surprisingly well, is of course very dated. He claims that we can produce nutritious food for everyone and cover all other needs, by asking everyone to put in about five hours of work a day, leaving the rest of life for artistic, leisurely and even scientific pursuit (he curiously includes science here instead of in the work part). That cannot be trusted, but it can be used to make arguments about today: with current technology and industry, …

There's a reason this book is synonymous with anarchist communism

5 stars

Sure, some parts are out of date. But so much of it remains true even today. There's a saying about lectures that say that the best questions a lecturer can get are the ones answered by the very next slide. Well, that is exactly what happened to me, again and again, with the chapters of this book. Most amazingly, a question a friend raised in a discussion we had about chapter 8 was answered by the very first sentence of chapter 9. Can't be better than that.

reviewed The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin (Working Classics, #4)

Review of 'The Conquest of Bread' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A classic, of course. Clear-eyed and practical, yet visionary; a a re-envisioning of a post-revolutionary society serving the needs of people from the bottom (of Maslow’s) up: first food, then shelter, then clothing, then everything else. Without the twin coercive expropriators of the capitalist and the state, there will be more than enough to create a pleasant society for all with minimal work and maximal leisure and pleasure. As a bonus, the lure of the above expropriators will be castrated because you can’t coerce and subjugate a populace whose needs are met.

Review of 'The Conquest of Bread' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is a well thought out and concisely written explanation of the basic tenets of anarchist communism.

I can't say that it converted me to Kropotkin's specific political ideology, but it did raise some very interesting points about how society is organized and envision some very creative, maybe even seductive, ideas about how we can change that organization for the better even if it's light on practical details about how to get from here to there.

Incredibly, for a book written in 1892, it actually holds up pretty well. From a historical point of view, Kropotkin was dealing with the foreshadows of basically every economic issue we face today. Industrialization was in full swing, globalization was in its infancy as colonialism and trade swept the world, even communication (with the advent of the telegraph and the trans-atlantic cable) is easily relatable to the modern day. Kropotkin is seeing the seeds …

reviewed The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin (Working Classics, #4)

Review of 'The conquest of bread' on Goodreads

3 stars

Proposal and FAQ for why the Revolution should lead to an Anarchist Communist state, that individuals freed from Capitalism (the source and cause of poverty in the modern world) are entirely capable of self-organizing and delegating and negotiating without a corruptible State overseer. Optimistic and Idealistic and a little Cranky, not bad.

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  • General
  • Political Science
  • Politics/International Relations

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