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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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amazed, and promptly set to work upon translating it into Russian. He translated The Communist Manifest into Russian in 1862.

Writing to Herzen, Bakunin said:—

"For five and twenty years Marx has served the cause of Socialism ably, energetically, and loyally, taking the lead of every one in this matter. I should never forgive myself if, out of personal motives, I were to destroy or diminish Marx's beneficial influence. Still I may be involved in a struggle against him, not because he has wounded me personally, but because of the State Socialism he advocates."

Bakunin describes how simple and personal was the cause of the struggle being renewed. He writes:-

"At the peace Congress in Geneva, the veteran Communist, Becker, gave me the first, and as of yet only, volume of the extremely important, learned, profound, although very abstract work, Capital. Then I made a terrible mistake: I forgot to write Marx in order to thank you...I did not hasten to thank him and to pay him a compliment upon his really outstanding book. Old Phillip Becker, who had known Marx for a very long time, said to me, when he heard of this forgetfulness: 'What, you haven't written to him yet? Marx will never forgive you!'"

Bakunin thought that his forgetfulness could be ranked as a personal slight and an unpardonable discourtesy. But he did not believe that it could lead to a resumption of hostilities. It did. Frau Marx wrote to Becker as follows:-

"Have you seen or heard anything of Bakunin? My husband sent him, as an old Hegelian, his book- not a word or a sign. There must be something underneath this? One cannot trust any of these Russians; if they are not in the service of the Little Father in Russia, then they are in Herzen's service here, which amounts to much the same thing."

Bakunin was unable to persuade the Berne Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom to adopt a revolutionary programme and to affiliate to the International. He resigned an in conjunction with Becker, founded the International Alliance of Social Revolutionaries. His aim was to affiliate the Alliance to the International. At this time, Bakunin's programme was somewhere between that of Marx and Proudhon.

Mehring describes Bakunin's place in relation to Marx as follows:-

"Bakunin had advanced far beyond Proudhon, having absorbed a larger measure of European culture; and he understood Marx much better than Proudhon had done. But he was not so intimately acquainted with German philosophy as Marx, nor had he made so thorough a study of the class struggles of Western European nations. Above all, his ignorance of political economy was much more disastrous to him than ignorance of natural science had been to Proudhon. Yet he was revolutionary through and through; and, like Marx and Lassalle, he had the gift of making people listen to him.

"Marx favoured centralism, as manifested in the contemporary organisation of economic life and of the State; Bakunin favoured



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