On patents

Kropotkin argues that patents slow down human progress. He noted that inventors always relied on the accumulated knowledge of the race and as such owe it to posterity to allow access to their invention.

The question to be asked is how to pay back these individuals for their work. How do developers who share their work on open source make money? Could this be the way to go? Would we, by doing this improve on the inventions of those before us?

On peasant labour

Continuing with our discussion on poverty and wealth, Kropotkin argued that it is the poverty of the peasant which is the source of the wealth to the landed proprietor. In short, the wealth of the landlord or the capitalist comes from the poverty of his/ her workers or wage employees.

He goes on to say that the secret to becoming wealthy is to find the starving and the destitute, pay them half a crown and make them produce five shillings worth in the day, amass a fortune by these means, and then increase it by some lucky speculation, made with the help of the state.

He alleges that 90% of the great fortunes made in the USA and Europe are the results of knavery on a large scale, assisted by the state.

The most important question for the revolution is bread for all, food and shelter come next.

paradoxes of our times

that we live at a time when the accumulated wealth of the species is unfathomable and we have people who are desperately poor.

Kropotkin writing in the 19th century opined then that had everyone been engaged in producing useful stuff, we would address world poverty. he also said an economic system that was a trifle reasonable would not permit a few people, who by limiting production, increase prices of goods and services.

In his own words

[..]But over and above this, we must take into account all the labour that goes to sheer waste- here, in keeping up the stables, the kennels, and the retinue of the rich, there in pandering to the caprices of society and the depraved tastes of the fashionable mob; there again, in forcing the consumer to buy what he does not need, or foisting an inferior article upon him by means of puffery, and in producing on the other hand wares which are absolutely injurious, but profitable to the manufacturer. What is squandered in this manner would be enough to double the production of useful things. (The Conquest of Bread by Kropotkin)