Bakunin opposed communism and capitalism because he believed each to be controlled by the same secret Jewish cabal. Meanwhile his political project consisted of instituting secret societies that would subtly control the various revolutions.
No, no he didn’t, neither of these statements is true. You’ve never read Bakunin.
A simple way of finding out why Bakunin opposed capitalism and ‘communism’ would be to actually read some of the things he wrote.
wishful thinking probably
he did actually. he called it the secret revolutionary vanguard. he also wanted to create an “invisible dictatorship”. these are things that are obviously in his texts. someone making a point about bakunin that you don’t like doesn’t mean they’ve never read him. maybe you should read him more thoroughly and you would realize that whoever said that is right.
No he didn’t actually, and although he did use the terms you mention, if you had read the context in which he used them, you’d know that “instituting secret societies that would subtly control the various revolutions.” was categorically not his “political project”.
In fact, he clarifies this in every instance where he mentions secret societies. He wanted groups of anarchists to assist in and spread revolutions, but NEVER to control them:
No political or national revolution can ever triumph unless it is transformed into a social revolution, and unless the national revolution, precisely because of its radically socialist character, which is destructive of the State, becomes a universal revolution. Since the Revolution must everywhere be achieved by the people, and since its supreme direction must always rest in the people, organized in a free federation of agricultural and industrial associations, the new revolutionary State, organized from the bottom up by revolutionary delegations embracing all the rebel countries in the name of the same principles, irrespective of old frontiers and national differences, will have as its chief objective the administration of public services, not the governing of peoples.This organ should be the secret and universal association of the International Brothers.
This association has its origin in the conviction that revolutions are never made by individuals or even by secret societies. They make themselves; they are produced by the force of circumstances, the movement of facts and events. They receive a long preparation in the deep, instinctive consciousness of the masses, then they burst forth, often seemingly triggered by trivial causes. All that a well-organized society can do is, first, to assist at the birth of a revolution by spreading among the masses ideas which give expression to their instincts, and to organize, not the army of the Revolution – the people alone should always be that army – but a sort of revolutionary general staff, composed of dedicated, energetic, intelligent individuals, sincere friends of the people above all, men neither vain nor ambitious, but capable of serving as intermediaries between the revolutionary idea and the instincts of the people.
As for the “invisible dictatorship”, that’s a term he only used in letters, remember that the word “dictatorship” didn’t have the same connotation in the 19th century as it does now…let’s have a look at one of those letters to see what he meant by it:
The dictatorship is free from all self-interest, vanity, and ambition for it is anonymous, invisible, and does not give advantage or honour or official recognition of power to a member of the group or to the groups themselves…
This dictatorship is not contrary to to the free development and self-determination of the people, or its organization from below according to its own customs and instincts for it acts on the people only by the natural personal influence of its members
Bakunin, letter to Nechaev, 2nd of June 1870.
The guy’s fond of theatrical and overblown rhetoric, and it seems a bit ill advised/just plain silly now, but he definitely doesn’t want to secretly control revolutions.
someone making a point about bakunin that you don’t like doesn’t mean they’ve never read him.
That’s true, but someone claiming that Bakunin held contrary ideas to those contained in the mass of his work probably does mean they haven’t read him.
maybe you should read him more thoroughly
Hey, maybe we all should.
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