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George Woodcock (1912-1995) was a historian, political biographer, essayist, poet, and anarchist. He wrote biographies of such anarchist thinkers as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, William Godwin, Oscar Wilde, and Peter Kropotkin. Throughout his life, Woodcock was given numerous awards for his work, but he refused several awards from the government of Canada on the grounds that he only accepted awards granted by his peers.In this chapter, Woodcock recounts a short biography of Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921), the Russian revolutionary anarchist theorist. Woodcock argues that Kropotkin brought scientific and theoretical rigor to anarchist thought, which had been previously underdeveloped. Kropotkin argued that human societies were fundamentally cooperative, that Bakunin's collectivist anarchism was unable to account for modern industrial processes, and that communal ownership of both the means of production and the products of labor was needed to guarantee both necessities and luxuries could be provided for all members of society.
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