Mikhail Bakunin

God and the State

Written: February - March, 1871;
Source: God and the State;
Publisher: Mother Earth Publishing Association, New York © 1916;
First Published: 1882 (Discovered posthumously by Carlo Cafiero and Elisée Reclus);
Translated: Benjamin R. Tucker;
Online Version: Anarchist Archives; Bakunin Reference Archive (marxists.org) 1999;
Transcribed: Dana Ward;
HTML Markup: Brian Baggins.

Table of Contents:

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV

Bakunin's most famous work, published in various lengths, at times ending mid-second section with the line "This is the sense in which we are really Anarchists.", this version is the most complete form of the work published hitherto.

Originally titled "Dieu et l'état", Bakunin intended it to be part of the second portion to a larger work named "The Knouto-Germanic Empire and the Social Revolution" (Knouto-Germanic Empire is in reference to a treaty betwixt Russia and Germany at the time), but the work was never completed.

What follows is a small collection of passages representative of the primary themes of the book:

"God being everything, the real world and man are nothing. God being truth, justice, goodness, beauty, power, and life, man is falsehood, iniquity, evil, ugliness, impotence, and death. God being master, man is the slave." While Satan is "the eternal rebel, the first freethinker and the emancipator of worlds."

"The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such

"Science is the compass of life; but it is not life itself....What I preach then is, to a certain extent, the revolt of life against science, or rather against the government of science, not to destroy science - that would be high treason to humanity - but to remand it to its place so that it can never leave it again