Mikhail Bakunin

Marxism, Freedom and the State

Written: 1867-1872
Source: Marxism, Freedom and the State
Publisher: Freedom Press, London; 1950
First Published: 1950
Translated: K.J. Kenafick
Online Version: Bakunin Reference Archvie (marxists.org) 1999
Transcription/Markup: Natasha Morse

Table of Contents:

Chapter I: Introductory
Chapter II: Marxist Ideology
Chapter III: The State and Marxism
Chapter IV: Internationalism and the State
Chapter V: Social Revolution and the State
Chapter VI: Political Action and the Workers

This book is Bakunin's version of the split between himself and Karl Marx that took place in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Bauknin saw the schism between them arising out of different perceptions of the function of the state in the Socialist program. Specifically, Bakunin held that the International tended to be too accepting of the concept of the state, which he viewed as a dangerous and dehumanizing institution. The state, he wrote “imposes injustice and cruelty on all its subjects, as a supreme duty. It restrains, mutilates, it kills the humanity in them, so that, ceasing to be men, they are no longer anything but citizens.”

Bakunin wrote the essays that detail his dispute with Marx from 1870-1872, prior to his expulsion from the International. Other essays regarding emancipation and the general characteristics of the state were excerpted from Federalism, Socialism and Anti-Theologianism, from 1867. K.J. Kenafick, an Australian editor and translator, combined these works into the book Marxism, Freedom and the State in 1950.

Chapter One