52 Facts About Mikhail Bakunin


Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a Russian revolutionary anarchist.


Mikhail Bakunin is among the most influential figures of anarchism and a major figure in the revolutionary socialist, social anarchist, and collectivist anarchist traditions.


Mikhail Bakunin grew up in Pryamukhino, a family estate in Tver Governorate.


Mikhail Bakunin was expelled from France for opposing the Russian Empire's occupation of Poland.


In 1863, Mikhail Bakunin left to join the insurrection in Poland, but he failed to reach it and instead spent time in Switzerland and Italy.


In 1868, Mikhail Bakunin joined the International Workingmen's Association, leading the anarchist faction to rapidly grow in influence.


The 1872 Hague Congress was dominated by a struggle between Mikhail Bakunin and Marx, who was a key figure in the General Council of the International and argued for the use of the state to bring about socialism.


Mikhail Bakunin was expelled from the International for maintaining, in Marx's view, a secret organisation within the International, and founded the Anti-Authoritarian International in 1872.


From 1870 until his death in 1876, Mikhail Bakunin wrote his longer works such as Statism and Anarchy and God and the State, but he continued to directly participate in European worker and peasant movements.


Mikhail Bakunin sought to take part in an anarchist insurrection in Bologna, Italy, but his declining health forced him to return to Switzerland in disguise.


Mikhail Bakunin is remembered as a major figure in the history of anarchism, an opponent of Marxism, especially of the dictatorship of the proletariat; and for his predictions that Marxist regimes would be one-party dictatorships ruling over the proletariat, not rule by the proletariat.


Mikhail Bakunin's father, Alexander Mikhailovich Bakunin, was a Russian diplomat who had served in Italy.


Mikhail Bakunin left the school, despite his father's protests, in 1835 to study philosophy.


Mikhail Bakunin lived a bohemian, intellectual life in Moscow, where German Romantic literature and idealist philosophy were influential in the 1830s.


Mikhail Bakunin befriended Russian intellectuals including the literary critic Vissarion Belinsky, the poet Nikolay Ogarev, the novelist Ivan Turgenev, and the writer Alexander Herzen as youth prior to their careers.


Mikhail Bakunin enrolled in the University of Berlin and immigrated in 1840.


Mikhail Bakunin was drawn towards the Young Hegelians, an intellectual group with radical interpretations of Hegel's philosophy.


Mikhail Bakunin attended the 1848 Prague Slavic Congress to defend Slavic rights against German and Hungarian nationalism, and participated in its impromptu insurrection against the Austrian Habsburgs.


Prison weathered but did not break Mikhail Bakunin, who retained his revolutionary zeal through his release.


In 1857, Mikhail Bakunin was permitted to transfer to permanent exile in Siberia.


Mikhail Bakunin married Antonia Kwiatkowska there before escaping in 1861, first to Japan, then to San Francisco, across the country to New York, and arrived in London by the end of the year.


Mikhail Bakunin collaborated with them on their Russian-language newspaper but his revolutionary fervor exceeded their moderate reform agenda.


In 1863, Mikhail Bakunin joined in an unsuccessful effort to supply armed men for the Polish January Uprising against Russia.


Mikhail Bakunin, reunited with his wife, moved to Italy the next year, where they stayed for three years.


Mikhail Bakunin continued to refine these ideas in his remaining 12 years.


Mikhail Bakunin moved to Switzerland in 1867, a more permissive environment for revolutionary literature.


Mikhail Bakunin respected Marx's erudition and passion for socialism but found his personality to be authoritarian and arrogant.


Mikhail Bakunin's ideas continued to spread nevertheless to the labor movement in Spain and the watchmakers of the Swiss Jura Federation.


In one final revolutionary act, Mikhail Bakunin planned the unsuccessful 1874 Bologna insurrection with his Italian followers.


Mikhail Bakunin retreated to Switzerland, where he retired, dying in Bern on 1 July 1876.


Mikhail Bakunin was prone to large digressions and rarely completed what he set out to address.


Mikhail Bakunin wrote in God and the State that "[t]he liberty of man consists solely in this, that he obeys the laws of nature because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been imposed upon him externally by any foreign will whatsoever, human or divine, collective or individual".


Mikhail Bakunin similarly rejected the notion of any privileged position or class, since the social and economic inequality implied by class systems were incompatible with individual freedom.


Mikhail Bakunin developed a critique of Marxism, predicting that if the Marxists were successful in seizing power, they would create a party dictatorship "all the more dangerous because it appears as a sham expression of the people's will", adding that "[w]hen the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called 'the People's Stick'".


Mikhail Bakunin was the first to give the struggle against theology the complete consistency of an absolute naturalism.


Mikhail Bakunin believed that religion originated from the human ability for abstract thought and fantasy.


Mikhail Bakunin argued in his book God and the State that "the idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, in theory and practice".


Consequently, Mikhail Bakunin reversed Voltaire's famous aphorism that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him, writing instead that "if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him".


Mikhail Bakunin was an early proponent of the term political theology in his 1871 text "The Political Theology of Mazzini and the International", to which Schmitt's eponymous book responded.


Nevertheless, Mikhail Bakunin did not reduce the revolution to syndicalist unions, stressing the need to organize working-class neighborhoods as well as the unemployed.


Mikhail Bakunin did not dismiss the skilled workers as is sometimes claimed and the watchmakers of the Jura region were central to the St Imier International's creation and operations.


Mikhail Bakunin strongly rejected Marx's concept of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in which the new state would be unopposed and would, theoretically, represent the workers.


Mikhail Bakunin argued that the state should be immediately abolished because all forms of government eventually lead to oppression.


Mikhail Bakunin vehemently opposed vanguardism, in which a political elite of revolutionaries guide the workers.


Mikhail Bakunin further stated that "we are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality".


Mikhail Bakunin found Marx's economic analysis very useful and began the job of translating Das Kapital into Russian.


Mikhail Bakunin has sometimes been called the first theorist of the "new class", meaning a class of intellectuals and bureaucrats running the state in the name of the people or the proletariat, but in reality in their own interests alone.


Mikhail Bakunin married Antonia Kwiatkowska, originally from Poland, during his exile in Siberia.


Kwiatkowska was much younger than Mikhail Bakunin and had little interest in politics.


Mikhail Bakunin was the leading anarchist revolutionary of the 19th century, active from the 1840s through the 1870s.


Mikhail Bakunin's legacy reflects the paradox and ambivalence by which he lived.


Mikhail Bakunin's archives are held in the Pushkin House, State Archive of the Russian Federation, Russian State Library, Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, National Library of Russia, and International Institute of Social History.