Peter Kropotkin

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Peter (Pyotr) Alexeyevich Kropotkin (Russian: Пётр Алексеевич Кропоткин) (9 December 1842 – 8 February 1921) was a geogragher, zoologist, evolutionary theorist and one of the leading theorist of communist anarchism. Kropotkin advocated creation of anarchist communism – society that lacks hierarchical authority such as state or capitalism and is based on voluntary workers associations, common ownership of the means of production and direct democracy. e wrote many books, pamphlets and articles, including The Conquest of Bread, Fields, Factories and Workshops, and the work on evolutionary theory Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.


Peter Kropotkin was born 9 December (27 November old style) 1842, Moscow. His father was knyaz (Russian equivalent of duke) and major general Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin (1805—1871). He owned much tracts of land and nearly 1200 "souls" (male serfs) in three provinces. Mother, Yekaterina Nikolayevna, died when Peter was three and a half years old. His maternal grandfather was general Nikolay Semyonovich Sulima, hero of Patriotic War of 1812.

He received secondary education in 1st Moscow gymnasium, graduated with honors from Page Corps in 1862, was promoted to officers. After Page Corps he voluntarily chose military service in Syberia. 8 October 1862, 19 years old Peter was appointed to Chita in rank of yesaul under governor of Zabaykalskaya oblast, major general Boleslav Kazimirovich Kukel.

In 1960s he participated in several expeditions to unexplored regions of East Syberia and Far East. He become world famous with works Materials for orography of East Syberia, Research on the Ice age and others. In 1870 he was elected secretary of Russian Geographic Society. In 1872 Kropotkin leaves Russia, where joins anarchist movement. When returned to Russia, he carried on revolutionary agitation among Petersburg workers and students. In 1874 he was arrested and imprisoned in Petropavlovsk fortress, but after 2 years, in 1876, moved into Nicholas hospital, from where he escaped. He got abroad, lived in Switzerland, France and England. He was one of the organizers and theorists of international anarchist movement. Due to revolutionary activities he spent 3 years in French prison. He returned to Russia in June 1917.

Peter Kropotkin died 8 February 1921, in the age of 78, in Dmitrov near Moscow. He was buried in Novodevichy Cemetery, Division 4, Row 24.