Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin

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Michail Bakunin on a photograph by Nadar

Mikhail Bakunin , Russian Михаил Александрович Бакунин ., Scientific transliteration Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin (May 18th . Jul / 30th May  1814 greg. In Prjamuchino , Tver province , now Tver Oblast - 1. July 1876 in Bern ) was a Russian revolutionary and Anarchist . He is considered one of the most influential thinkers , activists, and organizers of the anarchist movement.

Bakunin came from an old Russian noble family . He was an artillery officer and a math teacher. Known to many revolutionary personalities through his stay in Western Europe, he took part in the surveys in Paris and Prague in 1848 and in 1849 in a leading position in Dresden . After the May Uprising in Dresden was suppressed , Bakunin was arrested and interned. He spent eight years in prisons and another four years in Siberian exile before he managed to escape. His subsequent revolutionary activities essentially focused on Poland , which was divided into three parts at the time, and the newly founded Italy .

Bakunin developed the idea of collectivist anarchism . In the International Workers' Association , Bakunin was the main figure of the anti-authoritarians and in conflict with General Council member Karl Marx , which led to the split in the International and at the same time to the separation of the anarchist movement from the communist movement and social democracy .


Early years in Russia (1814-1840)

Coat of arms of the Bakunin family

Mikhail Bakunin was born as the eldest son and the third of eleven children to an aristocratic family in the small village of Prjamukhino. His mother, Varvara Alexandrovna, came from the Muravyov family . His father Alexander Mikhailovich lived abroad for a long time, received his doctorate in Padua and experienced the French Revolution in Paris . He was head of the family estate in Prjamukhino with over 500 serfs , but belonged to the western-oriented part of Russian society. Many important and progressive figures of Russia visited the home of the Bakunin family; Son Mikhail was brought up liberally.

Mikhail Bakunin's self-portrait from 1838
Bakunin's birthplace in Prjamukhino

However, due to the involvement of friends and relatives in the Decembrist uprising and the threat of repression, the father Alexander saw himself obliged to absolute loyalty to the Tsar Nicholas I , which meant for the son Mikhail to be sent to military service . Mikhail Bakunin entered the St. Petersburg Artillery School as a cadet at the age of 14 and embarked on a career as an officer . He was deeply dissatisfied with the military and the military manners. In 1832, at the age of 18, he was sent to Grodno as a lieutenant , where he arrived shortly after the Polish uprising . The brutality with which the Russian Empire proceeded in the suppression shocked the young Bakunin; his disgust for the military grew. Three years later, he called in sick and left the military. It was thanks to influential relatives that he was not arrested for deserting .

Mikhail Bakunin then refused to follow his family's advice and accept a job in the civil service. Instead, he moved to Moscow against his father's wishes in February 1836 and tried to earn a living as a math teacher. He later took up a degree in philosophy at Moscow University , where he joined the Stankewitsch Circle , a literary and philosophical group led by Nikolai Stankewitsch . He had already met Stankevich during his military service; he introduced him to German philosophy. The Stankewitsch circle included several young students who later became important figures in social and political life in Russia, including the famous literary critic Vissarion Belinsky , with whom Bakunin became a close friend. Bakunin was particularly interested in German philosophy and read Kant , Fichte and Schelling . He translated Goethe's correspondence with a child of Bettina von Arnim , Fichte's Instructions for the Blessed Life and Hegel's high school speeches into Russian. Due to his intensive studies of Hegel , he was considered the greatest Hegel expert of his time in Russia.

In Moscow, Bakunin met the Slavophile Konstantin Aksakow - also a member of the group around Stankewitsch - and Pyotr Tchaadayev . Another inspiration was the friendship with the socialist Alexander Herzen and his friend Nikolai Ogarjow , which arose during this time. Bakunin met Herzen in Moscow in 1839, where they lived together for a year. Looking back, hearts wrote about the time together:

“Bakunin drove me to immerse myself more and more in the study of Hegel; I tried to introduce more revolutionary elements into his rigorous science. "

- Alexander Herzen to Jules Michelet : letter of November 1851 .

Participation in the revolutionary circles of Europe (1840–1848)

"Russia as it really is!" The speech on the anniversary of the Polish uprising made Bakunin known throughout Europe.

In the summer of 1840 Mikhail Bakunin went to Berlin , thanks to financial support , to prepare for a professorship in Moscow. In Berlin he met Karl August Varnhagen von Ense , among others , and was close friends with Iwan Turgenew . Bakunin later served the latter as inspiration for the novel Rudin , where the main character is portrayed as a great thinker who, however, never puts his ideas into practice. Two years later, Mikhail wrote to his brother Nikolai that he would not return to Russia. His stay in Germany had changed him a lot. In his confession to the tsar, he wrote in retrospect:

The young Mikhail Bakunin

“Otherwise Germany healed me from the philosophical illness from which it was suffering; When I became more familiar with metaphysical questions, I quickly became convinced of the futility and vanity of the whole of metaphysics: I looked for life in it, but it is boring, has a deadly effect; I looked for action, but it is absolute inactivity. I gave up philosophy and surrendered to politics. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : Confession to Tsar Nicholas I from 1851 .

The contact with Ludwig Feuerbach had a decisive influence on Bakunin's departure from metaphysical thinking. In early 1842 he came into contact with the Young Hegelians , who were radicalized by the repression during this time, and met Arnold Ruge in Dresden. Ruge was editor of the journal German Year Books for Science and Art , the organ of the Young Hegelians, for which Bakunin wrote the article The Reaction in Germany in 1842 under the pseudonym Jules Elysard . The dialectical final sentence “The pleasure of destruction is at the same time a creative pleasure!” Made him famous in wide circles of revolutionaries. Bakunin now began to be more interested in socialism. The book Socialism and Communism of Today's France by Lorenz von Stein , which popularized the ideas of French early socialists as well as Louis Blanc and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in German-speaking countries, played a special role .

Because Bakunin no longer felt safe in Dresden , he and Georg Herwegh left the Kingdom of Saxony for Zurich , which at the time granted asylum to numerous political emigrants and where an important publishing house for radical German literature had emerged with the Literary Comptoir Zurich and Winterthur . There he socialized - mediated by Herwegh - with Wilhelm Weitling , whose communist social plan he strongly criticized. Weitling was arrested in the same year. The papers found on him provided the Swiss lawyer Johann Caspar Bluntschli with the material for his anti-communist Bluntschli report , in which Bakunin was also mentioned. The Russian consul became aware of Bakunin and demanded that he return immediately. When Bakunin refused and fled to Brussels , he was stripped of his title of nobility by an ukase from the Tsar and he was sentenced to forced labor in Siberia in absentia.

In 1844 he settled in Paris , the center of European radicalism at the time, and won the sympathy of Joachim Lelewel and the Poles in exile there. In the same year an old letter from Bakunin to Ruge was published in the only edition of the Franco-German yearbooks , in which he wrote about the hopes he had in the revolutionary potential of the Germans. However , Bakunin stopped the initially intensive contacts with the group of editors around Vorwärts , because the discussions with Karl Marx in particular ended in disputes several times. On the other hand, he made a close friendship with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon , which lasted until Proudhon's death in 1865. Bakunin wrote some newspaper articles sympathizing with the Poles and for the first time publicly criticized the Tsar and the Russian autocracy . After he had given a speech in 1847, on the day of commemoration for the Polish uprising ("Russia as it really is!") , In which he spoke out in favor of a joint fight between the Russians and Poles against the Russian tsar, he became known throughout Europe . At the request of Russia, he was expelled from France and went back to Brussels.

Bakunin in the revolutions of 1848/49

After the Whitsun uprising in Prague, Bakunin was able to use this pass to go to Wroclaw

After the outbreak of the February Revolution in 1848 , which led to the overthrow of Louis-Philippe I and the proclamation of the Second French Republic , Bakunin returned to Paris and took part in the revolutionary struggle. At his suggestion to support the revolution in the Russian part of Poland as well, he received 2000 francs and passports from the republican government, which tried to consolidate its power and took the opportunity to get rid of the revolutionary. He went to Frankfurt am Main and helped his friend Arnold Ruge get a seat in the Frankfurt National Assembly through his contacts with Wroclaw Democrats . His attempts to win the democratic forces of the National Assembly for cooperation with the Polish revolutionaries had no effect.

Bakunin (sitting in front of the table) at a meeting with the members of the provisional government in Dresden's town hall

Bakunin traveled on to Poland to join the Polish peasant army of Ludwik Mierosławski , who planned to liberate Poland from Poznan . When Bakunin arrived in Breslau , the uprising had already been suppressed by the Prussian army . Now he supported the German Democratic Legion von Herwegh , which was advancing from France and tried to reinforce Friedrich Hecker's irregulars in the so-called Hecker uprising in Baden and thus to save the Baden Revolution . This attempt also failed, because Herwegh's Legion was defeated by the Württemberg military in Dossenbach near Schopfheim on April 27, 1848 , shortly after the legion had crossed the Baden border. When Marx criticized Herwegh's actions, Bakunin defended him, and it came to a break.

Voucher from a revolutionary committee in France in 1848, with the names of Bakunin, Batthyány , Blum and the Bandiera brothers .

Bakunin traveled to Prague at the beginning of June to be the only Russian to take part in the Slavs Congress . The demand for equal rights for peoples in the Habsburg Monarchy met with open rejection in Austria, and the Czechs revolted against Austrian rule, in which Bakunin also fought. The uprising was forcibly suppressed after five days by Austrian troops under the orders of the Prague city commander, Prince Windisch-Graetz , and was thus the first decisive victory of the ruling forces of the Restoration era .

After the failure of the uprising, Bakunin went to Wroclaw. Through intermediaries in Rijeka , he sent weapons to a democratic circle in Odessa and, with the help of Heinrich Brockhaus , printed writings in various Slavic languages ​​that were disguised as prayers. While in Breslau, Bakunin read an article in Marx's Neue Rheinischer Zeitung which claimed that George Sand had evidence that Bakunin was an agent of the Russian Tsar. When George Sand contacted the newspaper with a letter contradicting the claim, the mistake was corrected. Bakunin's reputation for being a Russian agent stayed with Bakunin all his life and found a passionate advocate in the person of David Urquhart .

Bakunin was disappointed with the course of the 1848 revolutions, especially with the results in Germany, where the Frankfurt National Assembly decided to place areas inhabited by Poles and Czechs under German rule. Another disappointment was the suppression of the Vienna October Uprising by troops under the leadership of Josip Jelačić , whom he had supported until then because of his fight against Hungarian nationalism. At the end of 1848, on the initiative of Hermann Müller-Strübing, Bakunin published his appeal to the Slavs , in which he emphasized that the national question is inextricably linked with the social question . He criticized the events in Germany and called for a common struggle by Germans and Slavs against the ruling forces.

In May 1849 he took a leading role in the uprising in Dresden to establish a Saxon republic. Initially, this worked in favor of the rebels, and King Friedrich August II , who had previously dissolved parliament and rejected the constitution, had to flee. The revolutionaries took control of Dresden practically without a fight and organized a provisional government headed by Otto Heubner , Samuel Tzschirner and Carl Todt . Bakunin took over the military leadership of the uprising and advised the provisional government. With the help of a large Prussian military presence, Dresden was besieged, and after seven days the rebels were forced to withdraw towards Freiberg . On May 10, 1849, Bakunin was arrested together with August Röckel and Otto Leonhard Heubner in Chemnitz , where they wanted to gather the rebel forces.

Imprisonment, Exile and Flight (1849–1861)

The Dresden trial files

Bakunin was imprisoned first in Dresden, then in the Königstein Fortress . In the Kingdom of Saxony , he was sentenced to death after his arrest , but his sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment . Shortly after his arrest, Russia and also - because of its participation in the Slavic Congress and the Prague uprising - Austria demanded his extradition.

Bakunin's cell in the Peter and Paul Fortress

In June 1850 Austria's request was obeyed and Bakunin was initially arrested in Prague Castle , transferred to Olomouc in 1851 and sentenced to death again. Shortly thereafter, Bakunin was pardoned to life imprisonment and forged on a dungeon wall in Olomouc. At the time it was not publicly known where Bakunin was or whether he was even alive; Erroneous reports about his death got through the European press.

On May 17, 1851, Bakunin re-entered Russian soil as a prisoner after Austria had extradited him. Like many other political prisoners from Russia, he came to the notorious Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg and was informed by Count Orlov that Tsar Nicholas I wanted him to make a written confession, namely: " how a spiritual son should write to his spiritual father ”. Bakunin hoped that this confession (known as confession to the tsar) would ease the conditions of his detention and describe his revolutionary activities to date. His attempt to placate the tsar failed because Bakunin still considered Bakunin to be too dangerous.

In 1854, because of its proximity to the front in the Crimean War, it was moved to the Shlisselburg east of Petersburg. As a result of the poor diet, Bakunin fell ill with scurvy and suffered from disease-related tooth loss and obesity . When Tsar Nikolaus died in 1855, Bakunin was personally struck off the amnesty list by his successor Alexander II and his life imprisonment was confirmed.

Following repeated requests for clemency from the Bakunin family, in March 1857 Bakunin's life imprisonment was converted to life in exile in Siberia. He was brought to Tomsk via Omsk , where he met the Polish woman Antonia Kwiatkowska and married in 1858. A year later he was deported to Irkutsk , the then capital of East Siberia, and enjoyed certain freedoms again because of his relationship with Muravyov-Amursky , the then governor of East Siberia. During his time in Siberia, Bakunin made contact with many exiled Decembrists and Petrashevzen .

In mid-1861 he was able to escape his guards on a research trip on the Amur . He later wrote about this, formulated as a play on words to his friends: "C'est l'Amour qui m'a sauvé!" - translated: "The Amur / Love saved me". From Nikolaevsk out he escaped and reached on 9 August 1861 an American clipper place Hakodate on the Japanese coast.

Resumption of revolutionary activities (1861–1868)

Bakunin during his time in Italy
Bakunin's membership card for the International League for Peace and Freedom

Bakunin reached Europe at the end of 1861 via Yokohama , San Francisco , Panama City and Boston and went to see Alexander Herzen in London - “more than ever ready for every attempt, for every sacrifice”. He made contact with Giuseppe Garibaldi , whose successes he had already followed in Siberia, and wrote Kolokol (“The Bell”) for Herzens Zeitung . At times, relations with Marx became friendlier again, and Bakunin valued him as "one of the few people who, after 16 years, I have not found back but developed". Bakunin first translated the Communist Party's manifesto into Russian for Marx in London .

Made famous by his spectacular escape in Russia, he became, together with all his hearts, the enemy of the tsarist and conservative public in Russia. Kropotkin wrote in his memoirs after the St. Petersburg fire:

“Katkow, the ex-liberal, who was full of hatred for hearts and especially for Bakunin, [...] accused the Poles and the Russian revolutionaries of incitement the day after the fire, a view that was generally prevalent in St. Petersburg and Moscow. "

- Peter Kropotkin : Memoirs of a Revolutionary .

Bakunin was in contact with many Poles in exile and the Zemlya i volja (“ Land and Freedom ”) movement, which campaigned for Poland's independence. When the January uprising broke out in Poland in 1863 , Bakunin went to Stockholm and wrote some articles about Russia for Aftonbladet . Later he was able to take part in a Polish expedition and tried to embark for Poland via Copenhagen , which failed. Disappointed in the lack of a social revolution against which the aristocratic leaders of the insurgents opposed, he returned to London and turned entirely to socialism and revolution from below .

Bakunin settled in Italy in 1864 , where he was introduced to the Italian revolutionary circles through letters of recommendation from Giuseppe Mazzini and Aurelio Saffi and made first acquaintances. In the same year he founded the Fraternité Internationale ("International Brotherhood"), a nucleus of the later influential anarchist movement in Italy, in which Élisée Reclus was a member. After articles in various Italian magazines, Bakunin published La Situazione italiana , the first social revolutionary paper in Italy. The newspaper was directed against the ideas of Mazzini and Garibaldi and represented anarchist and atheist positions. During this time he developed his anarchist views in Italy, which he recorded in the programs of the International Brotherhood , such as the Revolutionary Catechism . A year later he described himself for the first time in the Italian newspaper Libertà e Giustizia as an anarchist .

Bakunin returned to Geneva in 1867 to take part in the founding congress of the International League for Peace and Freedom . He was elected to the central committee of the newly formed league, but his attempt to dissuade the organization from its moderate course was rejected by a majority of the members.

Participation in the labor movement (1868–1873)

In 1868 Bakunin became a member of the Geneva section of the International Workers' Association and campaigned for the organization to work together with the Peace League, which both sides rejected. At the second congress of the Peace League in the following year, he resigned with 17 other members, reading a protest note, because they denied the organization any use for the maintenance of peace. From then on, those who had left organized themselves in the newly formed alliance of socialist democracy . After the Alliance's membership as an international organization in the International was rejected by its General Council, the members decided to continue the Alliance only in various national organizations until it was dissolved in 1871.

Mikhail Bakunin was one of the authors of the proclamation of the Lyons Commune. The uprising was short-lived, but served as a model for the Paris Commune .
Bakunin with participants in the Congress of the International in Basel in 1869

Bakunin wrote from 1868 together with André Léo for the Égalité , the organ of the Geneva section. In the same year the September Revolution broke out in Spain , and Bakunin co-authored an appeal to the workers of Spain with Charles Perron. He then planned an agitation trip to Spain, which Giuseppe Fanelli undertook and which led to the formation of many new sections of the International in Spain. The following year he met Sergei Nechayev , whom he was initially enthusiastic about. But after it came to light that Nechayev was secretly stealing letters and personal documents from Bakunin in order to use them against him at the appropriate time, the two broke up.

In September 1870 Bakunin took part in the uprising in Lyon after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War became apparent. He was one of the authors of a revolutionary proclamation in Lyons, which was later read to 6,000 people and distributed in the region. The uprising was ended by the government that same month, but served as a model for the Paris Commune , in which Bakunin was unable to participate. After returning to Switzerland, Bakunin wrote his letter-based appeal Lettres à un français sur la crise actuelle ( “Letters to a Frenchman on the current crisis” ), in which he emphasized the importance of an alliance of workers and peasants to form a common revolutionary force .

When Giuseppe Mazzini criticized the Paris Commune and the International in articles and warned the Italian workers against socialism, Bakunin responded with the newspaper article Answer from a member of the International to Giuseppe Mazzini , who gave the International a decisive boost in Italy through its high response. In the International, the conflicts between the anti-authoritarians and the General Council in London with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels grew . At the Congress in The Hague , Bakunin was expelled from the International together with James Guillaume . As a result, the anti-authoritarian part split off and founded the Anti-Authoritarian International in St-Imier , in which Bakunin was no longer actively involved. Bakunin took part with some of his colleagues, such as Guillaume and Adhémar Schwitzguébel , in the Jura Federation , the core of the new International, and decided to withdraw from the public.

Withdrawal and Death (1873–1876)

“Remember the one who sacrificed everything for the freedom of his country”, Bakunin's tombstone in the Bremgarten cemetery in Bern

Bakunin wrote his work Statehood and Anarchy in 1873 , which was smuggled into Russia in large numbers and strongly influenced the Narodniki movement. In it he called on the young revolutionaries in Russia to participate in the life of the peasants, to experience their problems and thus to spread the revolution to the people. Also in Switzerland, Bakunin met the 18-year-old Social Revolutionary Errico Malatesta , who was wanted in Italy and, influenced by Bakunin, developed into one of the spokesmen of Italian anarchism in the following decades.

In October 1873 Bakunin decided to withdraw from the anarchist labor movement and left the Jura Federation , believing that there was nothing more he could do for the movement. At that time he was marked by a serious illness and resigned himself because his expectation of the imminent revolution had not come true and he lost faith in it.

From November 1869 on, Bakunin lived in Locarno and in 1873 bought - with financial support from Carlo Cafiero - the Villa La Baronata in Minusio , which was to become a refuge for revolutionaries wanted by the police. After a falling out with Cafiero, he moved to Lugano , which is also in the canton of Ticino and close to Italy. Many of his closest friends were Italians, and he had great hopes for revolutionary upheavals in Italy, which he was no longer allowed to enter.

Bakunin tried in 1874 despite his illness to take part in a revolt in Bologna . The uprising was supposed to send a start signal for uprisings across Italy, but many key people were arrested by the Carabinieri beforehand . A few thousand insurgents nevertheless marched towards Bologna on the night of August 7th and 8th and were finally forced to surrender by army detachments. After the failure, Bakunin was able to return to Switzerland undiscovered.

When his health deteriorated further in the summer of 1876, he was forced to seek medical treatment. In a sick pension in Bern he was in the care of the doctor Carl Vogt and was cared for by Adolf Reichel , both of whom were long-time friends of Bakunin. Ten days before his death, Bakunin said with resignation about Adolf Reichel: “The peoples of all nations have lost their revolutionary instinct today. They are too satisfied with their situation and the fear of losing what they have makes them harmless and indolent. "

A plaque by Daniel Garbade on the Bakunin tombstone
Michail Bakunin Monument in Bern, video

His health deteriorated surprisingly quickly. On July 1, 1876, shortly before noon, Michael Bakunin died of his illness at the age of 62. His grave is in the Bremgartenfriedhof in Bern, Department 9201, Grave 68, near the main entrance to the cemetery. On May 30, 2016, the plaque on the tombstone was replaced by a new one. It was designed by the Swiss artist Daniel Garbade , and it shows Bakunin's head and his quote: “If you don't dare to do the impossible, you will never achieve the possible”.


Overview and development of Bakunin's thinking

God and the State , title page of the first print in 1882. The work is one of the best-known writings of Bakunin and the anarchist movement.

Bakunin's political and philosophical positions changed over the course of his life. As a young man he still represented strongly religious and Pan-Slavic views. He later turned away from this and developed the idea of ​​an anti-authoritarian socialism on the basis of epistemological materialism .

Rainer Beer sees four phases in the development of Bakunin's thinking that differ from one another. Between 1831 and 1836, Bakunin's thinking was heavily influenced by reading Schelling, Kant and Fichte. This phase, which Beer describes as protoidealistic , was followed by an intensive examination of Hegel's philosophy from 1837 to 1840. This Hegelian phase was determined by a conservative reading of Hegel's work and was anti-revolutionary. From 1840 to around 1847, Bakunin developed into a Left Hegelian during his stay in Germany due to the influence of the Young Hegelians . This was followed by his development to anarchism, for which he was particularly active after 1864. The change to an anarchist can be seen in the writings he wrote during his time in Italy from 1864 to 1867. There he essentially formulated his ideas, for which he later stood up in the International Workers' Association and which he wrote down in God and the State or Statehood and Anarchy .

Together with the Belgian socialist César De Paepe , Bakunin is considered to be the founder of collectivist anarchism , the idea of ​​which both first formulated independently of each other in 1866. This collectivist community should enable a life with the greatest possible autonomy and equal opportunities and guarantee every person the full share in the product of their own work . However, Bakunin did not strive for a fully developed theory, "for any absolute theory will never fail to turn into practical despotism and exploitation". It is also not possible to theoretically construct the social paradise in advance, he emphasizes and writes, "that we can indeed proclaim the great principles of future development, but that we must leave the practical realization of these principles to the experience of the future".

Freedom , socialism and federalism are part of the foundation of Bakunin's concept of a new social order. Bakunin's criticism of religion and theology is of particular importance .

Freedom and authority

Bakunin rejects the state and generally all forms of institutionalized and centralized authority, because these impose foreign or external laws and orders on the lives of individuals . Based on Baruch Spinoza , Bakunin contrasts these artificial laws , which deliberately restrict the freedom of the individual, with the laws of nature to which all individuals have to bow and which therefore do not mean any restriction of the freedom of the individual. At the same time, Bakunin differentiates between the artificial authority on the one hand, such as B. with the state and other systems of rule, and a natural authority on the other hand, which describes the submission of the individual to the laws of nature, against which Bakunin has no objection. The artificial authority arises in social processes through power, special abilities, knowledge advantage and religious guidelines and becomes individuals “with the right of power, arbitrarily; be it hypocritical, in the name of some religion or metaphysical doctrine; be it finally by virtue of that fiction, that democratic lie that is called universal suffrage ”. “One follows the laws or orders of this authority not because they are reasonable or out of an inner necessity, but only because one is forced to do so by external force, regardless of whether it is of a divine or human nature.” “In any case, however, it is a presumption, because no one can regulate the life of another for his benefit and no one needs such guidance. ”But Bakunin does not reject any form of artificial authority , but accepts the authority of the knower, the so-called epistemological authority , if this is reciprocal and Voluntariness based. Bakunin describes this in detail in God and the State :

“Does it follow from this that I reject all authority? This thought is far from me. When it comes to boots, I turn to the shoemaker's authority; if it is a house, a canal, or a railroad, I ask the authority of the architect or the engineer. […] But I do not recognize infallible authority, not even on very specific questions; consequently, whatever respect I have for a person's honesty and sincerity, I do not put unconditional belief in anyone. Such a belief would be fatal to my sanity, my freedom and the success of my business; it would instantly turn me into a stupid slave and an instrument of the will and interests of others. When I bow to the authority of specialists and am ready to follow their indications and even their guidance to a certain extent and for as long as it seems necessary to me, I do so because this authority is not imposed on me by anyone, not by people and not from God. [...] I bow to the authority of specialists because it is imposed on me by my own reason. I am aware that I can only encompass a very small part of human science in all its details and positive developments. The greatest intelligence is not enough to embrace everything. From this follows the necessity of division of labor and unification for science as well as for industry. I receive and I give, that's human life. Each is alternately a leading authority or a directed. So there is no constant and fixed authority, but a constant alternation of mutual authority and subordination, which is temporary and above all voluntary. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : God and the State .

The distinction between natural and artificial authority forms the basis for Bakunin's concept of freedom. Bakunin does not understand freedom as an abstract ideal, but as a state of equal freedom for everyone through the freedom of all. Based on Immanuel Kant , he defines negative freedom ( freedom from ) and positive freedom ( freedom to ). Bakunin describes negative freedom as a rebellion against divine, collective or individual authority and writes, “Man's freedom consists solely in obeying the laws of nature because he himself has recognized them as such and not because they are external to him are imposed by some other will, be it divine or human, collective or individual ”. Positive freedom consists in having the opportunity to develop one's skills in the best possible way, through education and the necessary material prosperity.

For Bakunin it does not matter whether the rule is a royal rule, the Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat or the popular rule based on universal suffrage , because ultimately this represents nothing other than “the domination of the masses from top to bottom by an intellectual and precisely because of this a privileged minority, which supposedly recognizes the true interests of the people better than the people themselves ”. In addition, every authority tries to “create eternal permanence by making the society entrusted to it more and more stupid and consequently more and more in need of its government and leadership”. Bakunin also criticizes the demand for the “rule of science” because, due to its privileged position in society, science is unable and unwilling to serve people, but rather the privileged themselves. Auguste Comte's demand that social life should In Bakunin's eyes, the need to be subject to the laws of science poses a threat to society. He particularly rejected Jean-Jacques Rousseau's social ideas and the social contract theory in general, and saw Rousseau as the prophet of the doctrinal state.

Principles of a new society

Bakunin gives a speech at the Basel Congress of the International Workers' Association in 1869.

Bakunin sees freedom, socialism and federalism as inseparable from one another as basic principles of an egalitarian society and points out “that freedom without socialism means an economy of privileges and injustice; and that socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality ”. Bakunin sees sacrificing freedom under the pretext of defending freedom or for the state as dangerous, because freedom can only be preserved with it:

“Let us be socialists, but we will never be herd people. Let us seek justice, all political, economic and social justice, only on the path of freedom. There can be nothing living and human outside of freedom, and a socialism that rejects it from its midst, or that does not accept it as the only creative principle and basis, would lead us directly back to slavery and bestiality. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : Letter to “La Démocratie” .

Bakunin understands socialism as economic and social equality, i.e. a society without classes and with equal access to the means of production and education. Everyone should have the opportunity to develop their skills in the best possible way, through education and the necessary material prosperity. He sees socialism as a natural form of coexistence and warns that “every privileged position has the peculiarity of killing the mind and heart of man”.

A federal organization prevents power from being concentrated in a central power that makes socialism and freedom impossible. According to materialism, Bakunin understands federalism to be the structure of society from the bottom up, that is, from the base to the top. This federation should be based on the free association of individuals, production communities and municipalities and lead to the greatest possible independence and self-determination, to an order "which has no basis other than the interests, needs and the natural affinity of the population".

Bakunin calls for the emancipation and equality of women and advocates the abolition of legal marriage , which can be replaced by "free marriage", i.e. the voluntary union of two people. For Bakunin, privileged science is a hurdle that should be replaced by free science.

Social revolution

Bakunin rejects revolutions that only lead to a change of power, such as the French revolutions of 1789 and 1848 or the Polish uprising of 1863. He is convinced that the lot of the economically and politically disadvantaged must improve directly with a social revolution, because "Any political revolution that does not aim at immediate and immediate economic equality [is] only a hypocritical and masked reaction from the standpoint of the people's interests and rights." The struggle should be waged primarily against all institutions that create privileges:

“Unleash the social revolution! Make sure that all needs really become solidary, that the material and social interests of everyone become equal to their human duties! There is only one way to do this: destroy all institutions of inequality, establish economic and social equality for all, and on this basis freedom, morality and humanity in solidarity will arise for all. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : God and the State .

The people themselves should be responsible for the further development of their local communities and in particular the course of economic redistribution. As a direct measure, private ownership of land and means of production is to be abolished: the land must belong to those who cultivate it, and the means of production to all those who work with it. Bakunin demanded that, in the wake of a spontaneous popular revolution, the workers' unions and peasants take possession of the means of production and the land in order to enable communal production. Bakunin sees it as necessary that an association of principled revolutionaries deal with protecting the revolution from the possible takeover of power by individual individuals or groups. But no vanguard or vanguard of the working class should lead the revolution, nor should a workers or revolutionary government be formed. According to Bakunin, the social revolution cannot be the individual revolution of a people, but will inevitably result in an international and “universal” revolution.

However, he does not see the scientific education and upbringing of the people as a necessary prerequisite for a revolution and believes “that thinking [...] results from life and that in order to change thinking, one must first change life. Give the people the full breadth of human life, and they will astonish you through the deep rationality of their thinking. ”Bakunin sees man or the individual as a driving force and initiator of revolutionary change and not as a function of a step-by-step development of humanity, which is different Results in “objective” historical conditions , as in Marx and Engels.


Bakunin sees God as a product of human thought, "the first awakening of [human] reason [...] in the form of [divine] unreason." Thus, he recognizes belief in God as an evolutionary necessity which, however, has to be overcome in order to To gain freedom. He rejects religion and theology because they do not see people as creative creators and are contrary to human reason and the sense of justice:

“Human reason, the only organ we have to recognize truth, becomes incomprehensible to us through its transformation into divine reason and inevitably appears to the believer as a revelation of the absurd. So the reverence for heaven expresses itself in the contempt for the earth and the worship of the Godhead in the degradation of humanity. Human love, this immeasurable bond of natural solidarity that spans all individuals, all peoples and makes the freedom and happiness of each individual dependent on the freedom and happiness of all others and people, despite all differences of race and skin color, before or after must later connect to a fraternal community - this love, when it is transformed into love for God and religious charity, immediately becomes a scourge of humanity: all the blood that has been shed in the name of religion since the beginning of history, the millions of people, those who were sacrificed to the highest glory of the gods bear witness to it ... "

- Mikhail Bakunin : federalism, socialism, anti-theologism .

In God and the State he tries to refute the existence of God, which culminates in a famous passage in the book with the statement:

“If God exists, man is a slave; but man can and should be free: consequently God does not exist. I urge everyone to avoid this circle, and now one can choose. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : God and the State .

Effect and reception

Bakunin is considered to be the first organizer of the anarchist movement and through his work put anarchism on the basis of the workers' movement. He is considered the founder of collectivist anarchism and, because of his role in the labor movement, as the "progenitor" of anarcho-syndicalism . Pointing the way for the entire socialist movement was the conflict between Karl Marx and Bakunin in the First International , which ended with the separation of the anarchist from the rest of the socialist movement. Through his work in Italy he created the seeds of an anarchist movement and later won many former Mazzinists for the movement through his journalistic work. The same applies to Spain , where Bakunin, mediated by Giuseppe Fanelli , was able to convince large sections of the Spanish working class for the International and revolutionary socialism.

Because of his pioneering role in libertarian socialism , his works and ideas influenced emerging anarchist movements around the world. There was a strong reception, especially with the strengthening of the anarcho-syndicalist movement. In the French movement before the First World War, Bakunin became the focus of interest again and the edition of the oeuvres by James Guillaume was published. In the German anarcho-syndicalist movement of the 1920s, there was again a strong reception, which was promoted by Rudolf Rocker and Max Nettlau, among others. The collected works , brochures were published and , for example, the Bakuninhütte , a training and recreation center for the workers' movement, was built in the town of Meiningen in his honor .

Bakunin also had an extraordinary influence on the Russian youth of the 1870s, where he shaped a generation and won them over to socialism. Bakunin later had a great impact on the growing anarchist movement in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but it did not match the impact of Peter Kropotkin . In the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, under the leadership of Lenin and later Stalin, a large number of anarchists fell victim to political "purges". The policies of the Bolsheviks were quickly criticized in the German Social Democrats , but equated with anarchism because Lenin's policies were considered anti-parliamentary and violent. The Marxist theorist Heinrich Cunow wrote, for example: "Leninism is nothing more than a relapse into Bakunism." The historian Peter Lösche describes this attitude as unreflective anti-Bolshevism. Nevertheless, this equation of Bolshevism and anarchism and the emphasis on the closeness of Lenin and Bakunin is also repeated in contemporary literature.

In the course of the student movement there was a certain rediscovery of Bakunin in German-speaking countries. For many he was initially only of interest as a legendary figure and revolutionary symbolic figure and was received in the course of a liberal interpretation of Marx. A connection between Marx and Bakunin was undertaken because it was believed that a liberal socialism, in contrast to the dogmatic interpretation of Marx in the communist “East”, needed both thinkers. Critics, however, criticized the synthesis for the fading out of the historical and fundamental philosophical differences between the two thinkers. An important exception was the 'rehabilitation' of Bakunin by Rudi Dutschke in his book Selected and Commented Bibliography of Revolutionary Socialism from K. Marx to the present from 1966. Bakunin's reception also played a similar role in the 1968 movement in France .

Bakunin served as a literary model in many works by well-known authors. Eastern European writers have dealt particularly extensively with his person, including Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Demons , Joseph Conrad in With the Eyes of the West , Mark Alexandrowitsch Aldanow and Roman Borissowitsch Gul . For example, Riccardo Bacchelli in Der Teufel auf dem Pontelungo , Lars Gustafsson in Bakunin's Journey , Hugo Ball , Horst Bienek and Lambert Giebels deal with Bakunin in historical and literary terms . In addition, Bakunin appears as a character in numerous theaters and radio plays.


Revolutionary violence and terrorism

Bakunin depicted on a poster as the modern Danton : "In order to defeat the opponents of the proletariat, we must destroy, destroy even more and always destroy."

Bakunin is accused of preaching violence and destruction. The dialectical closing sentence of his newspaper article from 1842, "The pleasure of destruction is at the same time a creative pleasure!" , Is used to this day as an example and proof of Bakunin's terrorist sentiments. Bakunin describes his attitude to revolutionary violence elsewhere as follows:

“This destructive passion is far from sufficient as the basis of a revolutionary act, but without it a revolution is unthinkable, impossible, because there can be no revolution without far-reaching, passionate destruction, without saving and fruitful destruction, because from it and only through them new worlds arise. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : Statehood and Anarchy .

This violence and destruction of the revolution should "wage war more against positions and institutions than against people [...] One must destroy property and the state, then one will not have to destroy people and lead to the infallible, inevitable reaction condemn, which in every society always brought about and will always bring about the massacre of people. "Bakunin was also a staunch opponent of the politically motivated assassinations that shaped the anarchist movement for a while after Bakunin's death:" All revolutionaries, the oppressed, the suffering victims of the The present state of society, whose hearts are naturally filled with vengeance and hatred, must remember that the kings, the oppressors, the exploiters of all kinds are just as guilty as the criminals who have emerged from the masses: they are evildoers, but not guilty because they, too, like common criminals, are the involuntary products of the opposite current state of society. ”Nevertheless, he saw violence as the only means of social revolution because it had to be enforced against the violence of the state. His experience with the Paris Commune confirmed him and wrote:

“In order to be able to fight successfully against military violence, which in future no longer has any respect for anything and is also equipped with the most terrible weapons of destruction and ready to use them in the destruction not only of houses and streets, but of entire cities and all their inhabitants In order to be able to fight against such a wild beast, one must have another, no less wild, but more just beast: the organized revolt of the whole people, the social revolution, which is just as ruthless as the military reaction and before nothing shrinks back. "

- Mikhail Bakunin : Statehood and Anarchy .

Nationalism and anti-Semitism

In his polemics against Karl Marx and Moses Hess , Bakunin repeated anti-Semitic clichés . In a posthumously published manuscript Bakunin writes: "This whole Jewish world, which forms an exploitative sect, a leech people, a single eating parasite , closely and intimately not only across state borders, but also across all differences in political opinions." Bakunin also used the - in the 19th century - popular concept of race to explain differences in character and coexistence of people. He writes, for example, in statehood and anarchy : "There is [...] despite all the differences in dialects, customs and traditions, a common Italian character and type, according to which one can immediately distinguish the Italian from a person of another race [...]." In contrast to social Darwinism , Bakunin does not see any biological causes in the differences between the various races and sees his ideal in “an organization based on free economic alliances among peoples, regardless of all old state borders and all national differences, on one basis, namely the The basis of productive, completely humanized and, despite all the diversity, completely solidarity work. "

Bakunin's biographer Max Nettlau relativizes his internationalism insofar as Bakunin's “assessments and judgments about socialist possibilities [...] are closely connected to the overall complex of European politics, and [for his assessments and judgments] passionate personal national sympathies and aversions are primarily decisive. “Nettlau goes further in his assessment and writes in 1927 in his Geschichte der Anarchy :“ It is too late to change anything in all this, but this limitation of the personal abilities of a man who at that time excelled everyone and who no one in this field opposed , contributed to the one-sided geographical distribution of anarchism, which is still unbalanced today [1927]. "

Post-anarchist criticism

Post- anarchist or post-structuralist theorists criticize Bakunin, whom they mostly treat as a representative of classical anarchism because his thinking is based on outdated concepts. Todd May wrote in 1994 in his work The Political Philosophy of Poststructuralist Anarchism that the presupposition of a human being , the definition of the same as good and the reduction of the enemy to evil authority / power / state order are unsustainable. According to Saul Newman , Bakunin is indeed a critic of the oppression by the state and the divine, but replaces them with essentialist concepts of the Enlightenment and humanism , such as humanity and morality . According to Newman, on the other hand, these concepts can also have a suppressive effect because they are abstract concepts that cannot be fixed in reality and which therefore represent an external compulsion on people.

However, the post-anarchist criticism of Bakunin, and in particular Newman's relatively much-noticed work, were heavily criticized for their lack of knowledge of the philosophy of Bakunin and other classical anarchists . The anarchist and writer Gabriel Kuhn comes to the conclusion in his analysis of the post-anarchist criticism of Bakunin: “Bakunin's reception in post-anarchism is often amazingly superficial. […] I think that Bakunin is simply built up into a straw man in post-anarchism to represent an 'old', 'outdated', 'essentialist' anarchism that the post-anarchists have made it their task to overcome. "


Portrait of Bakunin by Félix Vallotton
Bakunin's signature in the French spelling M. Bakounine

Only two larger works by Bakunin were published during his lifetime ( The Knuto-Germanic Empire and the Social Revolution. Part I. and Statehood and Anarchy ). What remained were mainly fragments that were published posthumously . When asked about his fragmentary works during his lifetime, he would reply: “My life is just a fragment!” Bakunin was often said to have a talent as a speaker, and his writings are also very reminiscent of speeches. Élisée Reclus , for example, emphasizes the fact that Bakunin's writing style lacks the proportions between the important and the minor . In contrast, Max Nettlau sees Bakunin's writing style as an “intellectual journey” or “walk with a brilliant libertarian conversation partner”. Wolfgang Eckhardt states that Bakunin did not write any of his works as an abstract conceptual construction, but always in the intensive examination of his time and in connection with his revolutionary activity. Bakunin said of his work: "I have written very little in my life and only ever did so when a passionate conviction forced me to overcome my instinctive aversion to any public exhibition of my own self."

Bakunin's writings (selection)

Work editions

  • Rainer Beer (ed.): Early writings. Jakob Hegner Verlag, Cologne 1973.
  • Rainer Beer (ed.): Philosophy of action. Selection from his work. Jakob Hegner Verlag, Cologne 1968.
  • Wolfgang Eckhardt (Ed.): Selected writings. Volumes 1–6 (laid out in 12 volumes), Karin Kramer Verlag , Berlin, from 1995.
    • Volume 1: God and the State (1871). 6th edition, Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-87956-222-0
    • Volume 2: “Barricade Weather” and “Revolutionary Heaven” (1849). Article in the " Dresdner Zeitung ". Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 1995, ISBN 978-3-87956-223-7
    • Volume 3: Russian Conditions (1849). Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 1996, ISBN 978-3-87956-231-2
    • Volume 4: Statehood and Anarchy (1873). 2nd edition, Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-87956-319-7
    • Volume 5: Conflict with Marx. Part 1: Texts and letters up to 1870. 2nd edition, Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-87956-288-6
    • Volume 6: Conflict with Marx. Part 2: Texts and letters from 1871 onwards. Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-87956-342-5
  • Max Nettlau (ed.): Collected works. 3 volumes, Kramer Verlag, Berlin 1975.
  • Bakounine: Œuvres complètes. (on CD-ROM). Textes prepared by the Institute international d'Histoire sociale . Edita-KNAW, Amsterdam 2000, ISBN 90-6984-303-X

See also


  • Alexander Block : Selected Articles. Translated from the Russian by Alexander Kaempfe. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt 1964. Edition suhrkamp, ​​71. Essay on Bakunin, pp. 7-12.
    • again in: The action. Ed. Lutz Schulenburg , triple no. 16-18 of the new editions, Nautilus, Hamburg 1983, p. 253 f.
  • Wilhelm Blos : Marx or Bakunin? Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Democracy or Dictatorship? Up-to-date new edition of the reports to the Socialist International on Michael Bakunin . With a foreword and explanations ed. by Wilhelm Blos. Volksverlag for Economy and Transport, Stuttgart 1920.
  • Fritz Brupbacher : Marx and Bakunin. A contribution to the history of the International Workers' Association. Die Aktion , Berlin-Wilmersdorf 1922. New edition: Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 1976
  • Fritz Brupbacher: Michael Bakunin. The Satan of Revolt. Libertad Verlag , Berlin 1979, ISBN 3-922226-00-0
  • Heinrich Cunow : Marx or Bakunin? Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Democracy or Dictatorship? Up-to-date new edition of the reports to the Socialist International on Michael Bakunin . Edited by Wilhelm Blos.
  • Wolfgang Eckhardt, Bernd Kramer: Bakunin-Almanach , Volume 1. Karin Kramer, Berlin, 2007, ISBN 978-3-87956-320-3 . (also contains a continuation of the 1994 Bakunin bibliography)
  • Wolfgang Eckhardt: Michail A. Bakunin (1814–1876). Bibliography of primary and secondary literature in German. Libertad Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-922226-20-5
  • Wolfgang Eckhardt: From the Dresden May Revolution to the First International. Investigations into the life and work of Mikhail Bakunin. Edition AV , Lich 2005, ISBN 3-936049-53-X
  • Wolfgang Eckhardt: Bakunin vs. Marx. Russia and other conflict issues in the International Workers' Association . In: Contributions to Marx-Engels research. New episode 2012 . Argument, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-86754-680-5 , pp. 21-38.
  • Madeleine Grawitz: Bakunin. A life for freedom. Edition Nautilus , Hamburg 1999, ISBN 3-89401-339-7
  • Ricarda Huch : Michael Bakunin and anarchy. Suhrkamp Verlag , Frankfurt 1972, ISBN 3-518-37993-3 (first Insel, 1923)
  • Ernst-Ultrich Knaudt: Five letters without an address ─ Bakunin ─ Marx vs. Marx Ćernyśevskij . In: Contributions to Marx-Engels research. New episode 2012 . Argument, Hamburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-86754-680-5 , pp. 56-82.
  • La Redaction: Mikhail Bakunin. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . March 26, 2009 , accessed January 20, 2020 .
  • Michael Lausberg : Bakunin's Philosophy of Collective Anarchism . Unrast, Münster 2008, ISBN 978-3-89771-483-0
  • Arthur Lehning : Conversations with Bakunin. Franz Greno, Nördlingen 1987, ISBN 3-89190-228-X
  • Jannis Mallouchos: The Song of the Oceanids . Mikhail Bakunin and the music . bahoe books , Vienna 2017, ISBN 978-3-903022-66-9
  • Max Nettlau : Michael Bakunin. A biographical sketch . Pavlovich, Berlin 1901.
  • New Society for Fine Arts (ed.): Bakunin? A monument! . Kramer, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-87956-220-2
  • Georg Steklow : Michael Bakunin. A picture of life. Stuttgart 1913. ( Chapter IV (PDF file; 3 MB) & Chapter VI-XI ; PDF file; 3.88 MB)
  • Wim van Dooren: Bakunin for an introduction. Junius Verlag , Hamburg 1985, ISBN 3-88506-817-6
  • Justus Franz Wittkop: Michail A. Bakunin in self-testimonies and photo documents . Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag , Reinbek 1974, ISBN 3-499-50218-6
  • Fragments on international democratic activities around 1848. (M. Bakunin, F. Engels, F. Mellinet et al.) Ed. And arr. by Helmut Elsner, Jacques Grandjonc, Elisabeth Neu and Hans Pelger. Trier 2000. Writings from the Karl-Marx-Haus , 48 ISBN 3-86077-545-6 , pp. 113–306 contains u. a. Complete facsimile print of Comte rendu du 17me anniversaire de la révolution Polonaise du 29 November 1847 , with commentary.

Web links

Commons : Mikhail Alexandrowitsch Bakunin  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. quoted from Arthur Lehning : Conversations with Bakunin . Nördlingen, 1987, p. 49.
  2. quoted by Mikhail Bakunin: confession from the Peter and Paul Fortress on Czar Nicholas I . Frankfurt a. M., 1973, p. 55.
  3. a b quoted from Jules Elysard (Michail Bakunin): Die Reaction in Deutschland. A fragment from a French . In: German Yearbooks for Science and Art, No. 247–251, 1842.
  4. quoted from Fritz Brupbacher : Michael Bakunin: Der Satan der Revolte . Zurich 1929, p. 67.
  5. quoted from Madeleine Grawitz: Bakunin. A life for freedom. Edition Nautilus, Hamburg 1999, p. 203.
  6. quoted from Alexander Herzen : Mein Leben , Vol. III, 1852–1868. Berlin 1962, p. 450.
  7. quoted from MEW . Volume 31, Berlin 1965, p. 16.
  8. quoted from Peter A. Kropotkin : Memoiren einer Revolutionärs , Volume I. Münster 2002, p. 187
  9. cf. TR Ravindranathan: Bakunin in Naples. An assessment . In: Journal of Modern History 53, June 1983, pp. 189-212.
  10. quoted from Arthur Lehning : Conversations with Bakunin . Nördlingen 1987, p. 389.
  11. a b Rainer Beer (ed.): Philosophy of action . Verlag Jakob Hegner, Cologne 1968, p. 18ff.
  12. a b cf. Jean-Christophe Angaut: Liberté et histoire chez Michel Bakounine . Nancy 2005, part 2 p. 364 ff. ( Adapted: Bakounine 2nd part ) (part 1 )
  13. cf. Max Nettlau : The anarchism from Proudhon to Kropotkin. Its historical development in the years 1859–1880 . Berlin 1927, p. 107 ff.
  14. cf. Max Nettlau : Bibliographie de l'anarchie . Brussels 1897, p. 52.
  15. quoted from Michail Bakunin: Letter to the "Brothers of the Alliance" . In: Nettlau, Max (ed.): Collected works . Berlin 1921-1924.
  16. quoted from Mikhail Bakunin: Socialism . In: Nettlau, Max : Michael Bakunin. Collected Works . Volume III, Berlin 1924, p. 69.
  17. a b cf. Mikhail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 56.
  18. Jürgen Mümken : Bakunin and the authority . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 179 ff.
  19. a b Jürgen Mümken : Bakunin and the authority . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 177.
  20. a b Jürgen Mümken : Bakunin and the authority . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 180.
  21. quoted from Mikhail Bakunin: Philosophical considerations about the divine phanton, about the real world and about people . In: Michail Bakunin: Collected Works. Volume I . Verlag "Der Syndikalist", Berlin 1921, p. 216.
  22. Mikhail Bakunin: Philosophical considerations about the divine phanton, about the real world and about humans . In: Michail Bakunin: Collected Works. Volume I . Verlag "Der Syndikalist", Berlin 1921, p. 224.
  23. Jürgen Mümken : Bakunin and the authority . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 184 ff.
  24. quoted from Michail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 58ff.
  25. Jürgen Mümken : Bakunin and the authority . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 178.
  26. a b c cf. Michail Bakunin: The Knuto-Germanic Empire and the Social Revolution , Part I. 1871.
  27. quoted from Michail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 56.
  28. ^ A b quoted from Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 131.
  29. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 85 ff.
  30. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 108 ff.
  31. quoted from Michail Bakunin: The revolutionary question. Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism . Münster 2005, p. 62
  32. a b c cf. Mikhail Bakunin: Revolutionary Catechism . 1866.
  33. ^ Quoted from Mikhail Bakunin: Letter to “La Démocratie” (Geneva) . In: Max Nettlau (Ed.): Collected works . Berlin 1921-1924.
  34. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: The revolutionary question. Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism . Münster 2005, p. 60
  35. quoted from Michail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 57.
  36. quoted from Michail Bakunin: The revolutionary question. Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism . Münster 2005, p. 32
  37. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: The revolutionary question. Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism . Münster 2005, p. 59.
  38. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: Revolutionary Catechism . In: Max Nettlau : Michael Bakunin. Collected Works . Volume III, Berlin 1924, p. 28.
  39. cf. Mikhail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 60 ff.
  40. Mikhail Bakunin: Socialism . In: Nettlau, Max : Michael Bakunin. Collected Works . Volume III, Berlin 1924, p. 69 ff.
  41. Michail Bakunin: To the comrades of the International Workers' Association of Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds . In: Max Nettlau : Michael Bakunin. Collected Works . Volume II, Berlin 1923, p. 11.
  42. Michail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 70.
  43. Michail Bakunin: Lettres à un Français sur la crise actuelle . Neuchâtel 1870, p. 16 ff.
  44. Michail Bakunin: Letter to Nechayev on the role of secret revolutionary societies ( Memento of September 5, 2002 in the Internet Archive )
  45. Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 165.
  46. Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 375.
  47. ^ Paul Avrich : The Legacy of Bakunin. In: Russian Review . Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr. 1970), p. 130.
  48. a b quoted from Michail Bakunin: The revolutionary question. Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism . Münster 2005, p. 89
  49. Mikhail Bakunin: Philosophical considerations about the divine phanton, about the real world and about humans . In: Michail Bakunin: Collected Works. Volume I . Verlag "Der Syndikalist", Berlin 1921, p. 182.
  50. quoted from Michail Bakunin: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 51.
  51. ^ Wolfgang Eckhardt: From the Dresden May Revolution to the First International. Investigations into the life and work of Mikhail Bakunin. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2005, p. 15.
  52. ^ Max Nettlau : Bakunin and the International in Italy up to the autumn of 1872 . In: Grünberg, Carl (Ed.): Archives for the history of socialism and the workers' movement. No. 04, 1914.
  53. ^ Max Nettlau : Bakunin and the International in Spain 1868–1873 . In: Carl Grünberg (Hrsg.): Archive for the history of socialism and the workers' movement. No. 02, 1912.
  54. ^ Heinrich Cunow : The Marxian theory of history, society and the state. Basics of Marxian sociology . Volume 1, Berlin 1923, pp. 335ff.
  55. Peter Lösche : Anarchism . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1977, p. 43.
  56. Peter Lösche : Anarchism . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1977, p. 43ff.
  57. ^ Wolfgang Eckhardt: From the Dresden May Revolution to the First International. Investigations into the life and work of Mikhail Bakunin. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2005, p. 15ff.
  58. Hans Jürgen Degen: "The Return of the Anarchists". Anarchist attempts 1945-1970. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2009, p. 304.
  59. ^ Rolf Bigler: Expropriated Germany! The Bankruptcy of Marxism or The Student Revolt. Molden Verlag, Vienna 1968, pp. 188ff.
  60. Hans Jürgen Degen: "The Return of the Anarchists". Anarchist attempts 1945-1970. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2009, p. 308.
  61. ^ Günter Bartsch : Anarchism in Germany. Volume II / III. 1965-1973 . Fackelträger-Verlag, Hanover 1973, p. 76ff.
  62. ^ Paul Avrich : The Legacy of Bakunin. In: Russian Review . Blackwell Publishing, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr. 1970), p. 131.
  63. Wolfgang Eckhardt: "Come again!" Bakunin poems . In: New Society for Fine Arts eV (NGBK) Berlin (ed.): Bakunin -? A monument! . Kramer Verlag, Berlin 1996, p. 81.
  64. ^ Brockhaus: Current topic - a service of the Brockhaus editorial team ( Memento from October 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ). Status: January 5, 2008. "Terrorism is mainly a phenomenon of modern times, whose first theorist Mikhail Alexandrowitsch Bakunin (1814–1876) proclaimed that the 'desire to destroy is also a creative urge'." Current topic - a service the Brockhaus editorial team ( memento of October 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  65. Der Spiegel : http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/0,1518,296368,00.html . As of January 5, 2008. “The phenomenon of terrorism is by no means new. Even in ancient times, Greek and Roman thinkers philosophized about the legitimation of tyrannicide. In 19th century Russia, the anarchist Mikhail A. Bakunin took the view that the 'lust for destruction is also a creative urge'. "
  66. The conversation from afar: http://www.gadf.de/ . Issue No. 382, ​​as of January 5, 2008. “One of the pioneers was Michail Bakunin (1814–1876), the Russian founder of anarchism. He preached the radical overthrow of the “prevailing conditions” by means of violence, called the “lust for destruction” itself a “creative urge”. "
  67. quoted from Michail Bakunin: Collected Works Volume 3, pp. 84 ff.
  68. quoted from Michail Bakunin: Collected Works Volume 3, p. 86.
  69. quoted from Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 313.
  70. quoted from Max Nettlau : Michael Bakunin. Collected Works . Volume III, Berlin 1924, p. 209.
  71. cf. Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 140.
  72. quoted from Michail Bakunin: Statehood and Anarchy (1873) . Berlin 2007, p. 161.
  73. cf. Max Nettlau : History of Anarchy, Volume III. Anarchists and social revolutionaries . Impuls Verlag, Leipzig 1978, p. 37.
  74. cf. Max Nettlau : History of Anarchy, Volume II. The anarchism from Proudhon to Kropotkin. Its historical development in the years 1859–1880 . Publishing house "Der Syndikalist", Berlin 1927, p. 37.
  75. ^ Gabriel Kuhn : Bakunin vs. Post-anarchism . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 143.
  76. cf. Saul Newman : From Bakunin to Lacan. Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power . Lanham 2001, p. 40 ff.
  77. quoted from Gabriel Kuhn : Bakunin vs. Post-anarchism . In: Bernd Kramer and Wolfgang Eckhardt (eds.): Bakunin Almanach 1 . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 167 & p. 170.
  78. quoted from J. M. W .: The Torch of Anarchy. Mikhail Bakunin .
  79. cf. Fritz Brupbacher : Michael Bakunin: The Satan of Revolt . Zurich 1929, p. 87.
  80. cf. Élisée Reclus : Foreword to the French first edition, Geneva 1882 . In: Bakunin, Michail: God and the State . Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 116.
  81. quoted from Max Nettlau (ed.): Miguel Bakunin. Obras. V . Barcelona 1939, p. 6 ff.
  82. ^ Wolfgang Eckhardt: From the Dresden May Revolution to the First International. Investigations into the life and work of Mikhail Bakunin. Verlag Edition AV, Lich 2005, p. 16.
  83. ^ Quoted from the preamble to the second delivery of "L'Empire knouto-germanique et la révolution sociale" . In: Michail Bakunin, Horst Stuke (Hrsg.): Statehood and Anarchy . Frankfurt a. M., Berlin, Vienna 1972.
  84. ^ Robbery : Institute for Practice and Theory of Council Communism, o. O., 1969. Complete