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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
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  Art and Anarchy
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  Anarchist Poets


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of the working class, was the direct antithesis to the Social Democratic and petty bourgeoisie cowardice in the political life of the day. In the midst of the revolutionary struggle of 1848, Marx published, in his New Rhenish Gazette, articles accusing Bakunin of being a secret agent of Czar Nicholas and the Panslavists. Marx and his friends were then forced to stammer their apology. Whilst Bakunin, at Olmnitz and other Austrian jails, suffered imprisonment, forged to the walls in chains, Herzen and Mazzini forced Marx to take back his unworthy lies. But Marx was not the man to forgive them this humiliation.

When Bakunin reappeared in the midst of his revolutionary friends, after his escape from Siberia, Marx and his satellites recommenced their slanderous attack. Marx especially merits the workers' regard for his great services to the revolutionary cause, rendered under conditions often of appalling poverty. But this personal vanity and domination detract seriously from his claim to our love as a man and a comrade. His private spleen and hatred towards Bakunin, although occasionally softened, is unforgiveable and a serious blemish on a great character. On Bakunin's return, he inspired anonymous denunciations in Social Democratic Papers, which were under the editorship of W. Liebknecht, M. Hess, and others. Again at the congress of the International at Basle, 1869, the slanderers lost the game, and were forced to compromise themselves, and declare the entire baselessness of their charges. Marx resolved to kill Bakunin and Herzen, morally, at one stroke. In his position as secretary of a Russian section, and as a member of the General Council of the International, Marx sent, on March 28th, 1870, "a private and confidential circular to his German friends." This bore, at the bottom, the official seal of the International. The fact of it being issued secretly was an offence against the rules and spirit of the International. The slanders which it contains cover eight printed pages, and had been conveyed to Marx. The organisers of these slanders, and confidential correspondents of Marx, were two men who begged the Czar's pardon, received it, and loyally returned to Russia. Their names were Utin and Trussow. In our day, Trotsky has been slandered by similar types.

Amongst innumerable treacherous stupidities, the circular went on: -

"Soon after Herzen died, Bakunin, who, since the time he tried to proclaim himself leader of the European labour movement, and disowned his old friend and patron. Herzen, lost no time, soon after his death, to sing his praise. Why? Herzen, in spite of his great personal wealth, accepted 25,000 francs annually, for propaganda Through his flattering voice. Bakunin attracted this money, and with is, the heritage of Herzen - malgre so haine de l'heritage - pecuniarily and morally a beneficio inventaril resumed."

Never in the whole political and revolutionary movement was a worse slander issued. Herzen, who issued at his own cost a complete


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