anarchy archives


About Us

Contact Us

Other Links

Critics Corner


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


<--Previous  Up  Next-->

that property necessitates and decides the State. He may mistake the shadow for the substance. But his error is one of theory and not of fact. It has always seemed strange to me that the Marxists, whose economic explanation of politics or the State is correct, should have become, in practice, parliamentarians and pretend to believe that parliament controls industry. Proudhon, Bakunin, and Most, being Anarchists, might be forgiven did they deduce from their hatred of authority, some idea of warring against the State instead of economic conditions. In practice they adopt the correct attitude of wanting to liquidate the State in economic society, of substituting use-value for property conditions. Hence they conclude their propaganda as sound Marxians. This is especially true of Most, who reconciled the teaching of Bakunin and Marx in his classic robust proletarian propaganda. Bakunin's aspiration as to social organisation all Communists share. When he repudiates Communism for Collectivism, it is clear, without the explanation already given, that he is giving a different meaning to these terms from that which we give to them. He is expressing his fear of dictatorship. He believes in the upsurge of violence but wants it the end in a free society. That is the revolution triumphant. He does not want violence to conserve itself into a dictatorship. To his mind this is the negation of the revolution and the triumph of reaction. The men who would exercise a dictatorship,once the revolutionary upheaval has seemed to succeed, would most likely be the very persons who has opposed the struggle. Dictatorship, in Bakunin's eyes meant that the class struggle still continued; that bourgeois society had not been liquidated; that a conflict of interests still prevailed. Dictatorship would no end that conflict. It would sacrifice the revolutionary toilers to the interests of counter-revolutionary bureaucracy and nepmen, as we term these creatures since the time of Lenin. Bakunin did not accept the theory that a revolutionary state could be created, only that it might wither away. To him, there was no withering-away state. The state meant a permanent authoritarian society.

Bakunin did not deny that there must be a transitional period between Capitalism-destroyed and Communism-achieved. During this period the workers must defend and develop the revolution and crush the counter-revolutions. Every action of the working-class would have to be class-power-action, in order to liquidate the operations of the beast of property, to destroy power the workers must build and express power. But it must be the living power of action of life in revolt; not the dead power of decrees and a new state authority. Bakunin did not object to the dictatorship of action. He objected to the power of action being lost to the workers in their industrial solidarity and a dictatorship established on the basis of their surrender to an external central bureaucracy, Stalinism is said to express the dictatorship of the proletariat in Russia. It has abolished the factory Soviet, established wage



[Home]               [About Us]               [Contact Us]               [Other Links]               [Critics Corner]