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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
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Many comrades have found it hard to understand the difference between Marx and Bakunin. The story is very simple and can be told clearly.

During his imprisonment and exile, Bakunin was attacked by Marx and the latter's friends. Bakun summarised the attack: -

"While I was having a far from amusing time in German and Russian fortresses, and in Siberia, Marx and Co. were peddling, clamouring from the housetops, publishing in English and German newspapers, the most abominable rumours about me. They said that it was untrue to declare that I had been imprisoned in a fortress, that, on the contrary, Czar Nicholas had received me with open arms, had provided me with all possible conveniences and enjoyments, that I was able to amuse myself with light women, and had a abundance of champagne to drink. This was infamous, but it was also stupid."

After Bakunin arrived in London, in 1861, and settled down to his work on Herzen's Kolokol , an English newspaper published a statement by a man named Urquhart, declaring that Bakunin challenged his calumniator and heard no more of the matter. In November, 1864, Bakunin had an interview with Marx in London. Bakunin described the interview in the following terms: -

"At that time I had a little note from Marx, in which he asked me whether he could come to see me the next day. I answered in the affirmative, and he came. We had an explanation. He said that he had never said or done anything against me; that, on the contrary, he had always been my true friend, and had retained great respect for me. I knew that he was lying, but I really no longer bore any grudge against him. The renewal of the acquaintanceship interested me moreover, in another connection. I knew that he had taken a great part in the foundation of the International. I had read the manifesto written by him in the name of the provisional General Council, a manifesto which was weighty, earnest, and profound, like everything that came from his pen when he was not engaged in personal polemic. In a word, we parted, outwardly, on the best of terms, although I did not return his visit."

Writing to Engels, under date, November 4, 1864, Marx says: -

"Bakunin wishes to be remembered to you. He has left for Italy to-day. I saw him yesterday evening once more, for the first time after sixteen years. He said that after the failure in Poland he should in future, confine himself to participation in the Socialist Movement. On the whole he is one of the few persons whom I find not to have retrogressed after sixteen years, but to have developed further. I had a talk with him also about Urquhart's denunciations."



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