Mikhail Bakunin

(Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin)

Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Bakunin
  • Born: May 30, 1814
  • Died: July 1, 1876
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Profession: Revolutionary









Quote Topics Cited
As far as learning was concerned, Marx was, and still is, incomparably more advanced than I. I knew nothing at that time of political economy, I had not yet rid myself of my metaphysical observations... He called me a sentimental idealist and he was right; I called him a vain man, perfidious and crafty, and I also was right. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
As long as inheritance lasts, there will be hereditary economic inequality—not the natural inequality of individuals, but the artificial inequality of classes—which will necessarily continue to be expressed in hereditary inequality of the development and cultivation of intelligence and will remain the source and sanction of all political and social inequality. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Before long, all those bloody butcheries and massacres [violent revolutions] must arouse against them everything that is human in man. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward Development & Growth
Collectivism can be imposed only upon slaves—and then collectivism becomes the negation of humanity. Miscellaneous
Everything that lives, does so under the categorical condition of decisively interfering in the life of someone else. Miscellaneous
Exploitation and government are two inseparable expressions of what is called politics. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots. Equality & Equal Opportunity
History is a record of the gradual negation of man’s original bestiality by the evolution of his humanity. History
History is not what you thought. It is what you can remember. All other history defeats itself. History
I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence, dignity and human happiness can develop and grow …. Liberty … consists in the full development of all the material, intellectual and moral powers that are latent in each person; liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the laws of our own individual nature … Freedom & Liberty
I am equally passionate about the struggle between the North and the Southern American states. Of course, my heart goes out to the North. But alas! It is the South who acted with the most force, wisdom, and solidarity, which makes them worthy of the triumph they have received in every encounter so far. It is true that the South has been preparing for war for three years now, while the North has been forced to improvise. War & Peace
I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If God is, man is a slave; now, man can and must be free; then, God does not exist. I defy anyone whomsoever to avoid this circle; now, therefore, let all choose. Religion & God
If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him. Religion & God
In a monarchy, the bureaucratic world oppresses and plunders the people for the greater benefit of the privileged propertied classes as well as for its own benefit, and all that is done in the name of the monarch; in a republic, the same bureaucracy does exactly the same thing, but in the name of the will of the people. ;, .d. monarchy;, .d. bureaucracy;, .d. oppression;, .d. republics;, .d. democracy;, In a monarchy, the bureaucratic world oppresses and plunders the people for the greater benefit of the privileged propertied classes as well as for its own benefit, and all that is done in the name of the monarch; in a republic, the same bureaucracy does exactly the same thing, but in the name of the will of the people. Bureaucracy
Intellectual slavery ... will always have as a natural result both political and social slavery. Miscellaneous ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Juridically they are equal; but economically the worker is the serf of the capitalist … The worker always has the right to leave his employer, but has he the means to do so? No, he does it in order to sell himself to another employer. He is driven to it by the same hunger which forces him to sell himself to the first employer. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
No dictatorship can have any other aim but that of self-perpetuation, and it can beget only slavery in the people tolerating it; freedom can be created only by freedom, that is, by a universal rebellion on the part of the people and free organization of the toiling masses from the bottom up. Freedom & Liberty ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy. Religion & God
Religion is a collective insanity. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Religious and civil marriage to be replaced by free marriage. Adult men and women have the right to unite and separate as they please....With the abolition of the right of inheritance and the education of children assured by society, all the legal reasons for the irrevocability of marriage will disappear....In marriage, man and woman must enjoy absolute liberty. Families, Children & Parenting
Respect for the freedom of someone else constitutes the highest duty of men Freedom & Liberty
Revolutions are not improvised. They are not made at will by individuals, and not even by the most powerful associations. They come about through force of circumstances, and are independent of any deliberate will or conspiracy. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth. Religion & God ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
The instinct to command others, in its primitive essence, is a carnivorous, altogether bestial and savage instinct. Under the influence of the mental development of man, it takes on a somewhat more ideal form and becomes somewhat ennobled, presenting itself as the instrument of reason and the devoted servant of that abstraction, or political fiction, which is called the public good Leaders & Leadership ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
The small and medium-sized capitalists, not being able to produce at the same price as the big capitalists, naturally succumb in the deadly struggle. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The state is force incarnate, its essence is command and compulsion. Power
There is no horror, no cruelty, sacrilege, or perjury, no imposture, no infamous transaction, no cynical robbery, no bold plunder or shabby betrayal that has not been or is not daily being perpetrated by the representatives of the states, under no other pretext than those elastic words, so convenient and yet so terrible: “for reasons of state.” Miscellaneous
Two sentiments inherent in power never fail to produce this moral corruption; they are: contempt for the masses and the overestimation of one's own merits. Power
We see that the richest property owners . . . are precisely those who work the least or who do not work at all. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
What is it that brings the capitalist to the market? It is the urge to get rich, to increase his capital, to gratify his ambitions and social vanities, to be able to indulge in all conceivable pleasures. And what brings the worker to the market? Hunger, the necessity of eating today and tomorrow. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick. Miscellaneous
A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished. Religion & God
A jealous lover of human liberty, deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him. Respect ;Religion & God
Anyone who makes plans for after the revolution is a reactionary.
But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person. Respect ;Religion & God
By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.
Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations. Society
Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain.
Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it. Freedom & Liberty
From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs.
He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity. Religion & God
I am conscious of my inability to grasp, in all its details and positive developments, any very large portion of human knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I am sure that, on the one hand, the Rothschilds appreciate the merits of Marx, and that on the other hand, Marx feels an instinctive inclination and a great respect for the Rothschilds. Respect
I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation. Women ;Freedom & Liberty
I bow before the authority of special men because it is imposed upon me by my own reason.
I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Respect
If there is a State, then there is domination, and in turn, there is slavery.
Look at Christ, my dear friend: His life was divine through and through, full of self-denial, and He did everything for mankind, finding His satisfaction and His delight in the dissolution of His material being. Life
Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying. Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Freedom & Liberty
Powerful states can maintain themselves only by crime, little states are virtuous only by weakness.
Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others. Religion & God ;Success
The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists, there the parasitic Jewish nation - which speculates upon the labor of people - will always find the means for its existence.
The freedom of all is essential to my freedom. Freedom & Liberty
The 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. Nature
The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.
The privilege of ruling would be in the hands of the skilled and the learned, with a wide scope left for profitable crooked deals carried on by the Jews, who would be attracted by the enormous extension of the international speculations of the national banks.
The privileged man, whether he be privileged politically or economically, is a man depraved in intellect and heart.
Thence results, for science as well as for industry, the necessity of the division and association of labor. I receive and I give - such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn. Life ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Therefore, if God existed, only in one way could he serve human liberty - by ceasing to exist. Religion & God
This contradiction lies here: they wish God, and they wish humanity. They persist in connecting two terms which, once separated, can come together again only to destroy each other. Religion & God
To my utter despair I have discovered, and discover every day anew, that there is in the masses no revolutionary idea or hope or passion. Hope
To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt. Life
Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vice versa.