While in jail I only had two serious opportunities to escape. The first an unscheduled incoming call from an embassy official meant I was brought to a secure area to use a special phone. It was right by the sally port  which normally has at least one door closed. Both were open. I could have run directly out to the street. The guards do not carry their guns inside the jail.
The second was on a run to a civil court appearance. I was carrying a huge weight in legal work, which is near impossible when your hands are cuffed tight to your waist. I told the guard he would need to carry the documents. He scoffed at the idea of this extra work. He checked my record and noted that I had no violence and no staff attacks and decided to leave me totally uncuffed so I could carry the items. When we arrived at the courthouse we had to park nearby and I got to walk down the street without any restraints. Again, I could have run, although the guards carry guns when they are outside the jail.
This made us laugh while I was locked up - murder suspect escapes while guard is in the McDonald's drive through:
Most people just want to get their sentence behind them, not become a fugitive. It likely was the same for you.
In some departments, officers have been fired for not eliminating a threat that the officer felt didn’t need to be “eliminated”.
So extrajudicial capital punishment for basically anything is legal in every state and territory in the US.
“Justified” only means that the action the officer chose was one of the equally weighted choices in the department’s current catalogue. It is not a tiered response, it is only an available response.
edit: here we go https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner "the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others." that is of course for a suspect. If you've been convicted the standards are probably much lower.
In general (but not always, not in e.g. armed escape) there is a requirement of warning, giving a chance to surrender without violence, but if they refuse to surrender, the society has decided that it is acceptable to shoot to kill. It's not murder (murder being unlawful killing), it's enforcement of the designated proper punishment (staying imprisoned for a certain time) by the threat of death. The death penalty isn't appropriate for most (or even any) crimes, other penalties are, and they are free to take (and expected to take) those other penalties and avoid the risk of death - however, if they intentionally refuse the appropriate punishment (prison sentence) and try to escape, that is their own choice of putting their life on the line.
On return to the jail I had the guard run his name to find out how serious his alleged offense was. "He wasn't even in for a crime!" said the Guard. "WTF?". "He was only booked for the weekend - he hadn't paid child support." Now facing 5 years in prison for escape.
Compare for example https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/englis... (British English) with https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prison and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jail (US English)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison also says “In American English, the terms prison and jail have separate definitions, though this is not always followed in casual speech.”
If they do run away they’ll get a much bigger sentence, so people just return so they can get it over with.
I've never actually been convicted of a crime. I was in a pre-trial facility.
Addendum: The Russian version of Kropotkin’s memoir, published in London in 1902, is at . Thank you again, Internet Archive.
“The first rubber balloons were made by Professor Michael Faraday in 1824 […] Latex rubber toy balloons were introduced by pioneer rubber manufacturer Thomas Hancock the following year in the form of a do-it-yourself kit consisting of a bottle of rubber solution and a condensing syringe. Vulcanized toy balloons, which unlike the earlier kind were unaffected by changes in temperature, were first manufactured by J.G. Ingram of London in 1847 and can be regarded as the prototype of modern toy balloons.”
"In fact, on that morning, his friends had discovered that there was not a single red balloon for sale in all the markets of St. Petersburg. At length, they obtained an old one from a child, but it no longer flew. In desperation, they bought a red rubber ball and attempted to inflate it with hydrogen; but when they released it, it floated only a few feet up, stopped just short of the top of the courtyard wall, and drifted back down to them. Finally, they tied it to the top of a woman’s umbrella, and she walked back and forth on the street, holding the umbrella as high above her head as she could—but not high enough".
Thought the crimethinc cult died with GWBs presidency. They definitely disappeared from the punk scene (for the better)
Not aware of inter-group shenanigans so feel free to elaborate, but some Crimethinc publications (like "To change everything") have been very popular in the anarchist punk scene in some places i've visited across Europe in the past 10 years.
More lately, two articles of theirs were widely-enough shared that they reached my ears without the help of my RSS feed reader:
I played some shows on tour with a Crimethinc band and we crashed at the same places after the gigs. The bands and locals would all gather around Brian (Crimethinc founder), sit and listen to him blabber for hours into the night. It felt super cult-y, especially compared to some the other anarchist corners of the US punk scene at the time.
it's no surprise to me that Crimethinc books are still treated as scripture in anarchist squats across Europe (many of which are tax-payer funded thru the state, hah)j
EDIT: As for the date, the article was published for Kropotkin's birthday apparently.
I had wondered who the heck Kropotkin was.
The common understanding of communism used to be (and still is in many cultures/circles) the redistribution/decentralization of power and resources. The February "revolution" in 1917 in Russia was famously very decentralized with "soviets" (base assemblies) popping up everywhere (as trade unions, as local councils, etc) and organizing from the bottom up without a central authority. That is, until the october revolution during which Lenin and Trotsky and their power-hungry friends started literally hunting down all the anarcho-communists with their secret police in order to build their State-capitalist dystopia.
If you're curious about more details about anarcho-communism and its varied history, I would recommend Emma Goldman's autobiography (which goes into great lengths about propaganda vs reality in bolshevik Russia) or Martha Ackelsberg's account of the Spanish revolution (1936) "Free women of spain". There's of course a lot more to be read on that topic if you're curious, but i found these two books to be very broad introductions to anarchism although they don't cover all the topics that intersect with anarchist politics (eg. anti-colonialism).
But there have always been communists who want to organize production communally using purely voluntary means. I want to get together with other people like me and build and operate a “means of production” we control as I believe it is in our benefit to do so. But I have no interest in and explicitly oppose using force to coerce anyone into participating.
That’s exactly what Peter Kropotkin thought too, way back in the late 1800’s. I am opposite from authoritarian communists who believe that a powerful state should be used to force communism on people. I, like Kropotkin, oppose that.
So yes in the english-speaking world since the 50s/60s with Hayek and Randt) "libertarian" started to take a capitalist meaning. But it's worth noting that this doesn't expand to other parts of the world: in french-speaking cultures the capitalist libertarian movement is almost non-existent, and we use the distinct "libertarien-ne" word borrowed back from english for when we actually need to the american movement: "libertaire" certainly refers to the anti-authoritarian anticapitalist movement to this day.
 Yeah if you believe France is the country of human rights, that's just a myth. The 3rd republic had the same slogan (Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité) and flag (the Paris red & blue holding tight the royalist white) than the 5th, yet had widespread slavery and apartheid (following the "code de l'Indigénat") and women had no civil rights. French public schools was famously established in the 1880s as a means to expand the French colonial empire's reach. Don't even get me started on how broken/racist the 5th republic (since De Gaulle) is! :)
As history has shown, reestablishing the old forms of power (centralized State, political police, prisons, work) for the sake of the revolution didn't help to achieve any communism ever (USSR was profoundly anti-communist beyond the appearances: the secret police fought against all self-organized communes like Cronstadt or the peasant soviets of Ukraine). That's why anarchists to this day refer to marxism-leninism (what capitalists call "communism") as State-capitalism: it has the same structures and power balance than capitalism, with the difference that power is held not by the bourgeoisie but by a so-called avant-garde. But for the common people, the situation is very similar, as the promised Stateless/classless society is nowhere to be seen.
But yes, we'll agree that the most widely-known brand of marxism is in fact the very opposite of communism (as defined by a Stateless/classless society).
TLDR: Dan G, can you fix the title to say Kropotkin escaped from prison in 1876 rather than just now? Thanks.
1. A (minor) prince.
2. A Geographer and Zoologist.
Crimethinc still exists and it's digital content is being shared on hackernew????
Blinking meme gif
And if the provisional government did a better job of turning that train around, it's unlikely the October revolution would have been successful.
Wars have been fought over the distinction.
And people downvoted.
While he did think the Bolsheviks would not achieve communism because of the over-centralization of their rule, he still supported their goals and thought the October revolution was worthwhile despite being bound to fail even if only as an experiment on how to better introduce communism.
Kropotkin was thus both an anarchist and a communist and was cordial and cooperated with authoritarian communists.
Anarchists are opposed to communism in the commonly understood sense: a centralized state ruled by the communist party. Kropotkin was friendly with the Bolsheviks, who had not become communists in that sense yet. He supported the October Revolution, but he quickly became critical of Bolshevik rule afterwards. He believed it would not lead into communism in the sense the word was understood at that time: a society based on common ownership of the means of production without state or social classes.
The Bolsheviks were very forthcoming. They professed from even before the revolution that they were aiming for a pretty centralized state ruled by a vanguard party. They never pretended anything else. It is only after the death of Lenin that they started diverging more and more from what they originally professed.
Kropotkin was critical of the Bolsheviks from before the revolution and actually became more amicable to them after the revolution than before. Indeed he found the fact that they had managed to lead a revolution to be a profound good for humanity that would, in his own words, "enlighten the path of the civilised countries for at least a century", and agreed that the Bolsheviks were communists just as well as him, only that they would be eventually unsuccessful.
In any case, the sense the word is understood by many at this time is itself a misunderstanding. There is a reason why China agrees that their system is not communism, and indeed the word is still used in the way it was intended originally by a great many people. Taking it to be the common sense in English instead of the correct sense is to be in error.
Pre-revolution Bolsheviks argued that a centralized socialist state was a necessary step before achieving "true" communism. Kropotkin disagreed (one meaning of "critical") with that. He supported the February revolution and returned to the country after that, but he refused to take a position in the moderate socialist government. Kropotkin gladly supported the October revolution that replaced the moderate socialists with radical ones. He was strongly opposed to (another meaning of "critical") the "war communism" that emerged after the second revolution, and he didn't live to see the period of state capitalism that followed.
In any case, the system we currently understand as communism didn't emerge until around 1930, making it irrelevant when talking about Kropotkin.
I don't think that, after thinking for a few seconds, the regular person would arrive to the conclusion that the USSR was only communist because of the name of the ruling party.
I also don't agree that, if people were introduced to society like the USSR with the only exception that they had decentralized planning, would conclude that it wasn't communist anymore.
Similarly a lot of people in the US have called the economic system of the AANES communist despite being neither centralized nor run by a communist party. All the people that called Bernie Sanders a communist despite him not being a member of the communist party also don't agree. Largely from, you know, collectivizing agriculture and seizing a third of the productive capital to then put it under the control of soviets.
In summary I don't think that people commonly understand communism as being dependent on the name of the ruling party.
In the widely understood meaning, communism refers to a centralized state ruled by the communist party. Not by something called a communist party but by something that is a communist party.
The USSR was the canonical example of a communist state. States similar to it are generally seen as communist states, while states that are too different are not. Decentralized states otherwise similar to the USSR have never existed, so we don't know if people would consider them communist states.
What Russia did in the 20th century was called a workers dictatorship, and was meant to be a transition into communism, which is defined as a stateless and classless society. So, calling what Russia did 'communism' is a bit like calling what the fascists did 'capitalism', and then saying that because it didn't work, therefore capitalism doesn't work. Anarchists have generally stood against workers dictatorships because they seem to be an ineffective way of achieving communism, but they do want communism.
Soviet rule was at best state-capitalism, with the government creating market quotas, trading with other countries, annexing other countries for their resources, and ultimately still doing everything capitalist countries do, but with more state-intervention.
The other is, apparently, a centralized society run by people that call themselves communist.
Among living socialists and communists, I'd argue that that is actually their definition of "socialism", while their definition of "communism" is a moneyless, classless and stateless society, the idea being that the former could lead to the later if implemented. All three words have changed their meanings over the last 200 years though. To most people today, "communism" just means an authoritarian state ruled by a communist party with a centralized economy and "socialism" means widely different things to different people depending on where you live and what media you read.
Given that it more or less "succeeded" (at least in the sense of holding on to power for a long time), and therefore absolutely didn't lead to better ways to introduce communism, couldn't it be more accurate that he thought the October revolution was worthwhile only because (he thought) it was bound to fail?
Cordial yes. But he was not "friendly" and did not "cooperate". Famously, Kropotkin could not be hurt by Lenin as he was a very popular figure and hurting him would have strongly destabilized his power. So he tried to bribe him with public money, which Kropotkin refused because it was handed out as a privilege for him specifically and not a fundamental right for all. So he ended up dying in misery in a small cabin in the woods.
Emma Goldman's autobiography contains some accounts of this story.