A Greeting

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Peter Kropotkin

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DEAR COMRADES AND FRIENDS: First of all, let me express to you my warmest, heartiest thanks for all the kind words and thoughts you have addressed to me, and then to express through your pages the same heartiest thanks to all the comrades and friends who have sent me such warm and friendly letters and telegrams on the occasion of my seventieth birthday.

I need not tell you, nor could I word it on paper, how deeply I was touched by all these expressions of sympathy, and how I felt that "something brotherly" which keeps us, Anarchists, united by a feeling far deeper than the mere sense of solidarity in a party; and I am sure that that feeling of brotherhood will have some day its effect, when history will call upon us to show what we are worth, and how far we can act in harmony for the reconstruction of Society upon a new basis of equality and freedom.

And then let me add that if all of us have contributed to some extent to the work of liberation of exploited mankind, it is because our ideas have been more or less the expression of the ideas that are germinating in the very depths of the masses of the people. The more I live, the more am I convinced that no truthful and useful social science, and no useful and truthful social action is possible, but the science which bases its conclusions, and the action which bases its acts, upon the thoughts and the aspirations of the masses. All sociological science and all social action which would not do that would remain sterile.

With full heart with you,

PETER KROPOTKIN.

  • Peter Kropotkin, “A Greeting,” Mother Earth 7, no. 11 (January 1913): 363.