Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a revolutionary, anarchist theorist and philosopher who reflected especially on the role of the state . He lays the foundations of libertarian socialism in his writings, so we are going to review some of his best phrases below.
Bakunin: the best phrases of one of the ideologues of Anarchism
Bakunin , born on May 30, 1814 in Priamoukhino near Torjok (government of Tver, Russian Empire) and died on July 1, 1876 in Bern (Switzerland), was extremely influential in the socialist movement of the 19th century.
Bakunin saw the revolution in terms of the overthrow of an oppressing class by another oppressed class and the destruction of political power expressed as the state and the social hierarchy. According to Bakunin, society is divided into two main classes that are fundamentally opposed to each other . The oppressed class, which he variously described as commoners, the people, the masses, or the workers, constitutes a vast majority of the population. It is in “normal” time that he is not aware of himself as a class, although he has an “instinct” for rebellion and, although disorganized, he is full of vitality. The numerically much smaller oppressor class, however, is aware of its role and maintains its ancestry by acting in a determined, concerted and united manner. The basic differences between the two classes, Bakunin argued, are based on ownership and control of property, which is disproportionately in the hands of the minority class of capitalists. The masses, on the other hand, have little to call their own beyond their ability to work.
Let’s review some of the phrases that most identify this philosopher and revolutionary:
- “The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.”
- “It is evident that as long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.”
- “We need to organize the company in such a way that each individual, man or woman, can find, throughout his life, equal means to develop his various faculties”.
- “The worker sells himself and his freedom for a definite time to the capitalist in exchange for a salary.”
- “God appears, man is annihilated; and the greater the Divinity becomes, the more miserable humanity becomes. Here is the history of all religions «.
- “No man can emancipate himself if he does not emancipate with him all the men around him.”
- “Where there is freedom, there is no state. The right to freedom, without the means to achieve it, is nothing more than a ghost. And we love freedom too much to be satisfied with its ghost. We want reality «.
- “Idealism is the despot of thought, as politics is the despot of law.”
- “The very existence of the State requires that there be some type of privileged class that is interested, as a matter of vitality, in maintaining that existence. And it is precisely the group interests of this class that are called patriotism.
- “No legislation has ever had any other purpose than to establish and organize the exploitation of the labor of the popular masses for the benefit of the ruling classes.”
- “The freedom of men will be full only when it has completely destroyed the pernicious fiction of the celestial of a teacher.”
- “The richer the sky became, the poorer humanity and the earth became.”
- “For man, being free means being recognized and treated as such by another man, by all the men around him.”
- “All religions are cruel, all are based on blood, because all are based mainly on the idea of sacrifice, that is, on the constant immolation of humanity to the insatiable vengeance of divinity.”
- «Art is, therefore, in a way, the return of abstraction to life. Science is, moreover, the perpetual immolation of fleeting life, fleeting, but real, on the altar of eternal abstractions ».