Who is Mikhail Bakunin?

Who is Mikhail Bakunin?

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (30 May 1814 – 13 June 1876) was a prominent Russian anarchist. He is one of the representatives of the first generation of anarchist thinkers and is one of the thinkers known as the “fathers of anarchism”.


Bakunin was born into an aristocratic family in the village of Piramukhino, between Torzok and Kuvshinovo, northwest of Moscow. At the age of 14, he received military education at the Artillery University in St. He went to Petersburg. His training was completed in 1832, and he was appointed a low-ranking officer in the Russian Imperial Guard and was sent to Minsk, Gardinas, Lithuania (now Belarus). Although his father wanted Bakunin to continue in military or civil service, he left both in 1835 to move to Moscow, where he hoped to study philosophy.

Bakunin made friends with a group of former university students in Moscow and then began a systematic study of idealistic philosophy. In particular, he concentrated on Schelling, Fichte, and Hegel. From the beginning, he and his friends wanted to complete their studies by making a trip to Berlin, which was considered the capital of modern science at that time. Bakunin’s family refused to pay for the trip; but eventually they relented and in 1840 he set off on the journey.

Bakunin’s plan at that time was to become a professor at the university (“priest of righteousness”, as his friends called it). But later he met and joined radical students called “Left Hegelians”. He became involved in the socialist movement in Berlin. From there he went to Paris, where he met Proudhon and George Sand and was introduced to the leader of the Polish exiles. He traveled from Paris to Switzerland. He stayed there for a while and was active in socialist movements.

While in Switzerland, Bakunin was summoned to Russia by the Russian government, and upon his refusal, his property was confiscated. When he returned to Paris in 1848, he launched a fierce attack against Russia, which resulted in Bakunin’s expulsion from France. The revolutionary movements of 1848 gave him the opportunity to participate in a democratically agitating fundamentalist campaign, and for his participation in the Dresden uprising of May 1849 he was arrested and sentenced to death. However, the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and handed over to the Russian authorities. He was imprisoned and sent to eastern Siberia in 1855.

Bakunin requested permission to go to the Amur region, where he managed to escape to Japan and then to England in 1861 from the United States. He spent the remainder of his life in exile in western Europe, particularly in Switzerland. In 1869 he founded the Social Democratic Union. However, under the pretext that the First International was an international organization and only national organizations were admitted to membership, the union established by Bakunin was not included in the First International. The various groups that formed this union, which broke up the year it was formed, later joined the International separately.

In 1870 Bakunin led an unsuccessful uprising in Lyons. The uprising later set an example for the Paris Commune. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels later endorsed this commune and described it as an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat; however, Marx was of the opinion that the uprising in Lyons was an early and adventurous uprising. Because it had failed. At the same time, being in Bakunin’s activity could bring such an evaluation.

Bakunin’s expulsion from the International at the Hague Congress in 1872, with Marx prevailing, was a clear representation of the incompatibility between Marxist thought for the establishment of a workers’ state before the final dissolution of the state, and Bakunin’s view that such an intermediate step was unnecessary. . While accepting Marx’s analysis of class (acknowledging his genius) and his economic theories of capitalism, he also found his views on State and Authority extremely weak and inadequate. He thought that Marx was arrogant and arrogant and that his methods would endanger the communist revolution. There are those who say that Bakunin also exposed his anti-Semitism by attacking Marx because of his Jewish origin. However, the interesting thing is that a news claiming that Bakunin is a Russian agent was published as if it were serious in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which Marx was the editor of, and that all the bourgeois press in Europe and Jewish origins who dominate them frequently repeated this so-called news, Bakunin made statements that could be considered anti-Semitic has also used. This news was kept on the agenda especially by Utin (who later apologized to the tsar and was allowed to live in Russia), who was very close to Marx.

Bakunin retired to a corner in Lugano in 1873 and died in Bern on June 13, 1876.

– Bakunin’s views on politics

– What is anti-Semitism?