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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Elisée Reclus
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War
  Art and Anarchy
  Education and Anarchy
  Anarchist Poets


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Liverpool. The next day he was with his comrades in London. They knew nothing about the amazing documents Bakunin had left behind him in the Russian archives. Sixty years were to elapse before they were to come to light. In the interval, his revolutionary influence was to win the Russian youth to the cause of social revolution by the simplicity, clearness and consistency of his teachings. Immediately, the organised workers of London were inspired by his wonderful record of martyrdom. They regarded both him and his doctrine with respectful awe. Behind his phrases they beheld the figure of a legendary being who had given up the safety of his home and thrown himself into the fight for working-class freedom. They did not know all the truth. It was as well because they would not have appreciated its exact significance. They would have made no allowance for the agony that reduced Bakunin's spirits to the state of humble petition. They would have forgotten that every martyr has wished that the cup might pass from his lips. They would have attached undue importance to promises and abasements made under duress. Bakunin would have been unable to have given to the world his later magnificent Anarchist manifestos. As it was, they rejoiced. Their rejoicing more nearly expressed what the truth merited than their silence would have done.

"Bakunin is in London! Buried in dungeons, lost in Siberia, he reappears in the midst of us full of life and energy! He returns more hopeful than ever, with redoubled love for freedom's holy cause. He is invigorated by the sharp but healthy air of Siberia. With his resurrection, images and shadows rise from the dead! Ghosts walk abroad! Visions of 1848 reappear! That revolutionary epoch belongs no longer to the past! It has changed its place in the order of time. The revolution must be completed."

Such were the greetings with which all lovers of freedom and members of the revolutionary working-class committees throughout Britain welcomed the approach of the year, 1862.

To justify these expectations, Bakunin settled down to the part editorship of Herzen's Kolokol or Bell. Never did revolutionists produce greater or more valuable writings than Bakunin did during the ten years that followed. Mentally and physically, he attained his prime.


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