Chapter Four – Anarcho-Communism, Pyotr Kropotkin

“The Conquest of Bread” Exercises

The Conquest of Bread

Part One

Keeping it Anarcho-Communist

Kropotkin claims that the poor did not sign the social contract, that they were forced into “civilization,” in his view, to become slaves to the state that protects the private property of the bourgeois (corporations). How does his view of how civilization, the state, and capitalism connect with his argument that an anarcho-communist society will be able to avoid the resurgence of greed and capitalism by abolishing poverty? How does his concept of the warehouse connect with the abolition of poverty and the resurgence of capitalism?


Part Two

Explain the concept of expropriation

a. What should be expropriated?
b. Why?
c. How does “expropriation” connect with “surplus value”?

Part Three

Are there any elements of Eurocentrism in Kropotkin’s text? If so, cite them.

Part Four

Kropotkin asserts that humanity evolved through cooperation rather than through competition. This is quite different from Marx, who asserted that history progressed through class struggle, the eternal fight between those who owned the means of production (the bourgeois) and those who worked for the bourgeois (the proletariat). Produce examples of recent events that emphasize cooperation among humans, not state led or corporate funded, leading to a better world.

Part Five

Check out these examples of workplaces and communities free of individual appropriation of surplus value.  Summarize how they are organized around issues of decision-making, salaries paid, etc.

Recovered Factories in Argentina

Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives

Cooperation Jackson

Landless Workers’ Movement

The Okupa Movement

The ZAD (Zone to Defend)


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