Statism and Anarchy is a complete English translation of the last work by the great Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin. It was written in , in the aftermath of. Statism and Anarchy is the first complete English translation of the last work by the Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin. Given his influence, it is. Cambridge Core - European Studies - Bakunin: Statism and Anarchy - edited by Marshall Shatz.


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If they can root out the last vestiges of subjective loyalty to the bourgeois world, and those of personal vanity, these men, statism and anarchy few in number, could render priceless services to the revolutionary movement.

They draw their inspiration from the movement of the people.

But in exchange they can contribute expert knowledge, the capacity for abstract thought and generalization, and the ability to organize and coordinate — qualities statism and anarchy constitute the creative force without which any victory is impossible. In Italy and Russia there are more such young men than there are in other countries.

The Anarchist Library: Michail Bakunin Statism and Anarchy a4

But what is a much more important asset for the Revolution is that there is in Italy an enormous proletariat, unusually intelligent by nature but very often lacking education and living in great poverty.

This proletariat comprises two or three million urban workers, mainly in factories and small workshops, and approximately twenty million totally deprived peasants. This statism and anarchy class has been reduced to such statism and anarchy that even the defenders of this terrible society are beginning to speak out openly in parliament and in the official press, admitting that things have reached the breaking point, and that something must immediately be done to avoid a popular holocaust which will destroy everything in its path.


statism and anarchy Nowhere are there more favorable conditions for the Statism and anarchy Revolution than in Italy. There does not exist in Italy, as in most other European nations, a special category of relatively affluent workers, earning higher wages, boasting of their literary capacities, and so impregnated by a variety of bourgeois prejudices that, excepting income, they differ in no way from the bourgeoisie.

Statism and Anarchy (Texts in the History of Political Thought)

This class of bourgeois workers is numerous in Germany and in Switzerland; but in Italy, on the contrary, they arc insignificant in number and influence, a mere drop in the ocean. In Italy it is the extremely poor proletariat that predominates. Marx speaks disdainfully, but quite unjustly, of this Statism and anarchy.

For in them, and only in them, and not in the bourgeois strata of workers, are there crystallized the entire intelligence and power of the statism and anarchy Social Revolution.


A popular insurrection, by its very nature, is instinctive, chaotic, and destructive, and always entails great personal sacrifice and an enormous loss of public and private property.

The masses are always ready to sacrifice themselves; and this is what turns them into a brutal and savage horde, capable of performing heroic and apparently impossible exploits, and since statism and anarchy possess little or statism and anarchy, they are not demoralized by the responsibilities of property ownership.

Works of Mikhail Bakunin

And in moments of crisis, for the sake of statism and anarchy or victory, they will not hesitate to burn down their own houses and neighborhoods, and property being no deterrent, since it belongs to their oppressors, they develop a passion for destruction.

This negative passion, it statism and anarchy true, is far from being sufficient to attain the heights of the revolutionary cause; but without it, revolution would be impossible. Revolution requires extensive and widespread destruction, a fecund and renovating destruction, since in this way and only this way are new worlds born Not even the most terrible misery affecting millions of workers is in itself enough to spur them to revolution.


Man is by nature endowed or cursed by marvelous patience, and only the devil knows how he can patiently endure unimaginable statism and anarchy and even slow death by starvation; and even the impulse to statism and anarchy way to despair is smothered by a complete insensibility toward his own rights, and an imperturbable obedience People in this condition are hopeless.

They would rather die than rebel.

Statism and Anarchy

But when a man can be driven to desperation, he is then more likely to rebel. Despair is a bitter, passionate feeling capable statism and anarchy rousing men from their semiconscious resignation if they already have an idea of a more desirable situation, even without much hope of achieving it.

But statism and anarchy is impossible to remain too long in a state of absolute despair: Obviously, to free oneself, to fight for a better life But poverty and desperation are still not sufficient to generate the Social Revolution.

They may be able to call forth intermittent local rebellions, but not great and widespread mass statism and anarchy.