An Appeal to the Young by Prince Peter Kropotkin (Book Review)

Suhail Umrani

This motivational booklet was first published in 1880 in the French language, and its author is a Russian activist, revolutionary philosopher, Peter Kropotkin, who mainly advocated anarchist-communism in the 19th century. In 1899 Charles H. Kerr translated the French edition in English. And, for the first time, for me; this revolutionary pamphlet was being introduced by Mr. Jami Chandio (a renowned scholar and writer from Pakistan) during a lecture program back in 2008.

Through this write-up, Peter Kropotkin addresses young people and gets into their flights towards their professional career path; he wishes to address those young by the heart and not by age. The author has inked an enthusiast view over the question "What am I going to be?" for a new pass out graduate who is always in a state of complex about career path selection and his behavior towards well-being and generosity so; Peter Kropotkin has brilliantly professed and hammered rightly with existing examples by indirect interactions with, to be doctors, scientists or advocates of future.

In his first example, he addresses a doctor and drafts a foul atmosphere that a medical student has never assumed in his/her entire life. A sick-poor lady with nothing, whose husband is jobless for a few months, what prescription doctor could prescribe her? Or cure her illness! That is definitely due to general anemia and lacking enough diet, you know well, she is even unable to earn bread and butter for her innocent children in scanty garments. In the comparison, vice versa, another frame of a wealthy family is being showcased, and then a question is being asked from the same doctor now; which life are you supposed to choose? Would you follow all the pleasures of life with comforts and luxuries? Or you have a gentle and kind-hearted and will say it is undeserved to dwell in a dark room without basics where survival of the fittest is uneven. If you think so very day, then you have a warm welcome in the school of socialism.

In the very second example, he argues and puts an instance of a scientist whose devotion is towards pure science like said in a statement; "He may pass life pleasantly to himself, differ from drunkard there, who only seeks the immediate gratification that gin affords him." That means all it for egomania, and personal gratification has no worth for society at a larger scale. The author describes that you have to be kind-hearted for humanity cause science and technology is for the privileged class and not for the masses because social inequality has divided our society into labor and capitalists. So, make science easy where it could be individuals' property, and science should no longer be luxury; this is what justice demands.

In another example, he addresses a law student who has just finished his/her studies and eagerly wants to serve justice to needy people. Still, in reality, he/she observes a different world in actuality. In the legal proceedings, what would be his/her stance? Will he/she stand by the law and against justice or justice and the law? And another addressed person who is an engineer and working on the construction projected of a railway track that bulldozes the nature, and the path is being used to invade neighbor land. If you have the soft heart, you will concentrate on no more inventions that harm humanity; instead, you will disapprove, and you will be in the row of socialists whose dream is no more private property and manual laborers should be strengthened. Ahead in the pamphlet, the author has addressed an educationist and artists of the diverse background of art in the same way of being socialist or could be said a polite, generous, and humbled with a heart of gold whose whole conscious is for humanity and who take the side of the oppressed in the society despite being self-interested.

The author attempts to convince young people (who doubt over author's opinion for being socialist) through his penned work and notifies wherever you see privileged class and an oppressed society, then; there is another bunch of intelligent people who work with wisdom and raise the voice against that capitalist and opportunist masses who cement their mansion on the bricks of the sweat of labors. Socialists then attempt to find a balanced society in which injustice is denied, and they demolish feudalism.

The observer welcomes the young men and women who come to join his hand and agree with his socialist narrative, which is a long and heavy loaded venture. And, then, he reveals in details the principles of socialism, revolutions as well as history. Moreover emphasizes the social economy which is being robbed by capitalists.

Peter Kropotkin urges that anthropology, social sciences, and ethics should be modified in the wake of humanity's re-evaluation. He demands them that put your energy in welfare, utilize your abilities and skills for such modifications, cement foundations for the betterment of the livelihood of dwellers of isolated audience.

Finally, all of you, whatever profession you belong come with logic, intellect, abilities, or rational, and if you have a light of sympathy for the social cause, then come with your full attention and place your services with dignity and be prepared for any sacrifices because the social revolution is not an easy game! But, if you don't do so, you may realize it later when working for your master's in a company, and one day he/she revises the policy and may cut your salary. You may argue, but you will remain ignorant. Under his custody, you will feel slave of him that very day, your understanding regarding injustice and equity will take a turn and may enlighten inside you. Then you would agree with this statement, Revolt! Rise against this economic slavery!"


By concluding this, I suggest to people of all ages; this is a must-read small booklet and consider it one of the best motivational write-up ever produced in humankind's history.

(Book)


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