Mikhail Bakunin , in full Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin , born May 30 [May 18, Old Style], , Premukhino, Russia—died July 1 [June 19], , Bern , Switzerland , chief propagator of 19th-century anarchism , a prominent Russian revolutionary agitator, and a prolific political writer. His quarrel with Karl Marx split the anarchist and Marxist wings of the revolutionary socialist movement for many years after their deaths. Bakunin was the eldest son of a small landowner in the province of Tver. His lifetime of revolt began when he was sent to the Artillery School in St.
|Published (Last):||6 August 2014|
|PDF File Size:||18.17 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||15.98 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Mikhail Bakunin , in full Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin , born May 30 [May 18, Old Style], , Premukhino, Russia—died July 1 [June 19], , Bern , Switzerland , chief propagator of 19th-century anarchism , a prominent Russian revolutionary agitator, and a prolific political writer. His quarrel with Karl Marx split the anarchist and Marxist wings of the revolutionary socialist movement for many years after their deaths.
Bakunin was the eldest son of a small landowner in the province of Tver. His lifetime of revolt began when he was sent to the Artillery School in St. Petersburg and later was posted to a military unit on the Polish frontier. In he absented himself without leave and resigned his commission, an action for which he narrowly escaped arrest for desertion.
During the next five years he divided his time between Premukhino, where he plunged into the study of the German philosophers Johann Fichte and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , and Moscow, where he moved in the literary circles of the critic Vissarion Grigoryevich Belinsky , the novelist Ivan Turgenev , and the publicist Aleksandr Herzen. In , with his opinions still in a fluid and turbulent state, he journeyed to Berlin to complete his education. There he fell under the spell of the Young Hegelians, the radical followers of Hegel.
The February Revolution of in Paris gave him his first taste of street fighting, and after a few days of eager participation he traveled eastward in the hope of fanning the flames of revolution in Germany and Poland. In Prague in June , he attended the Slav congress, which ended when Austrian troops bombarded the city. Tired of inaction, Bakunin once more plunged into revolutionary intrigues and, engaging in the Dresden insurrection of May , was arrested.
The Saxon authorities turned him over to Austria, where he was incarcerated and then transferred to Russia. At the invitation of the chief of police he wrote an enigmatic Confession , which was not published until In he was released to live in Siberia, where he contracted a marriage, which was not consummated , with the daughter of a Polish merchant.
Having reached the coast in a Russian ship, he transferred to an American vessel bound for Japan and traveled via the United States to Great Britain. When the Polish insurrection broke out early in , Bakunin eagerly embarked with a shipload of Polish volunteers for the Baltic, though he got only as far as Sweden.
At the beginning of he established himself in Italy, which became his residence for four years. While in Italy he framed the main outlines of the anarchist creed that he preached with unsystematic but unremitting vigour for the rest of his life. It was there, too, that he began to weave a complex network—part real, part fictitious—of interlocking secret revolutionary societies that absorbed his energies and bewildered the followers whom he enrolled in them.
While living in Geneva in , he joined the First International , a federation of working-class parties aimed at transforming the capitalist societies into socialist commonwealths and eventually unifying them in a world federation.
At the same time, however, he enrolled his followers in a semisecret Social Democratic Alliance, which he conceived as a revolutionary avant-garde within the International. The First International was unable to contain both of the two powerful and incompatible personalities, and at a congress in at The Hague, Marx, by an intrigue that had little relation to the causes of the quarrel, secured the expulsion of Bakunin and his followers from the International.
The resulting split in the revolutionary movement in Europe and the United States persisted for many years. Bakunin was as uncompromising a revolutionary as Marx and never ceased to preach the overthrow of the existing order by violent means, but he rejected political control, centralization, and subordination to authority while making an unconscious exception of his own authority within the movement.
He denounced what he regarded as characteristically Germanic ways of thought and organization and championed instead the untutored spirit of revolt that he found embodied in the Russian peasant. Both personally and theoretically, Bakunin threatened all Marxists. During his last years, which he spent in penury in Switzerland, Bakunin reverted to his preoccupation with central and eastern Europe. He was compromised by a short-lived enthusiasm for Sergey Gennadiyevich Nechayev , a young Russian nihilist who paraded his contempt for conventional morality and who achieved notoriety by murdering a fellow conspirator whom he suspected of intending to betray or desert the cause, a crime for which Nechayev was eventually extradited to Russia by the Swiss authorities.
His health grew worse, and his financial embarrassments became ever more acute , and he was forced to depend on the bounty of a few Italian and Swiss friends.
Proudhon and Bakunin rank as the founders of 19th-century anarchism. Bakunin formulated no coherent body of doctrine, and his voluminous and vigorous writings were often left incomplete.
However, his fame and personality inspired a large and widely dispersed following. Small anarchist groups existed in Great Britain, Switzerland, and Germany, though the powerful anarcho-syndicalist wing of the French trade unions owed more to Proudhon than to Bakunin. Anarchist movements owing allegiance to Bakunin continued to flourish in Italy and especially in Spain, where as late as the anarchists were the strongest revolutionary party. Mikhail Bakunin. Article Media. Info Print Print.
Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Alternative Title: Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin. Early life Bakunin was the eldest son of a small landowner in the province of Tver. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.
The revolutionaries were formed also by…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.
Bakunin, Nechaev, and the "Catechism of a Revolutionary": The Case for Joint Authorship
THE national catechisms of different countries may differ on secondary points, but there are certain fundamental points which must be accepted by the national organizations of all countries as the basis of their respective catechisms, These points are:. That it is absolutely necessary for any country wishing to join the free federations of peoples to replace its centralized, bureaucratic, and military organizations by a federalist organization based only on the absolute liberty and autonomy of regions, provinces, communes, associations, and individuals. This federation will operate with elected functionaries directly responsible to the people; it will not be a nation organized from the top down, or from the center to the circumference. Rejecting the principle of imposed and regimented unity, it will be directed from the bottom up, from the circumference to the center, according to the principles of free federation. Its free individuals will form voluntary associations.
It is debated how much input Mikhail Bakunin had or if it is solely the work of Nechayev. The most radical document of its age,  the Catechism outlined the authors' revolutionary Jacobin program of organisation and discipline, a program that became the backbone of the radical movement in Russia. The revolutionary is portrayed in the Catechism as an amoral avenging angel, an expendable resource in the service of the revolution,  committed to any crime or treachery necessary to effect the downfall of the prevailing order. The revolutionary is a doomed man. He has no private interests, no affairs, sentiments, ties, property nor even a name of his own.
Written : while in prison in Russia, and by command of the Czar, in ; Source : Bakunin on Anarchy , translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, In Bakunin founded the secret International Revolutionary Association better known as the International Fraternity which published its program and statutes in in three related documents: The International Family , the Revolutionary Catechism , and the National Catechism , in which Bakunin outlined the basic tenets of his doctrine. They are, as H. They were reproduced in the original French in Dr. Nettlau made fifty copies of them which he deposited in the principal libraries of the world. The men who, in Italy, founded the Fraternity with Bakunin were former disciples of the republican nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, from whom they acquired their fondness for secret societies. It is necessary to point out that when dissent is outlawed, revolutionaries are forced to organize secret societies.