Hunter, R. (1914). Violence and the Labor Movement. New York: The Macmillan Company.
CHAPTER I THE FATHER OF TERRORISM
CHAPTER 2 A SERIES OF INSURRECTIONS
CHAPTER III THE BATTLE BETWEEN MARX AND BAKOUNIN
From: Hunter, R. (1914). Violence and the Labor Movement. New York: The Macmillan Company.
CHAPTER I The Father of Terrorism
"DANTE tells us," writes Macaulay, "that he saw, in Malebolge, a strange encounter between a human form and a serpent. The enemies, after cruel wounds inflicted, stood for a time glaring on each other. A great cloud surrounded them, and then a wonderful metamorphosis began. Each creature was transfigured into the likeness of its antagonist. The serpent's tail divided into two legs; the man's legs intertwined themselves into a tail. The body of the serpent put forth arms; the arms of the man shrank into his body. At length the serpent stood up a man, and spake; the man sank down a serpent, and glided hissing away." (I) Something, I suppose, not unlike this appalling picture of Dante's occurs in the world whenever a man's soul becomes saturated with hatred. It will be remembered, for instance, that even Shelley's all-forgiving and sublime Prometheus was forced by the torture of the furies to cry out in anguish,
"Whilst I behold such execrable shapes,
Methinks I grow like what I contemplate."
It would not be strange, then, if here and there a man's entire nature were transfigured when he sees a monster appear, cruel, pitiless, and unyielding, crushing to the earth the weak, the weary, and the heavy-laden. Nor is it strange that in Russia-the blackest Malebolge in the modern world-a litter of avengers is born every generation of the savage brutality, the murderous oppression, the satanic infamy of the Russian government. And who does not love those innumerable Russian youths and maidens, driven to acts of defiance-hopeless, futile, yet necessary-if for no other reason than to fulfill their duty to humanity and thus perhaps quiet a quivering conscience? There is something truly Promethean in the struggle of the Russian youth against their overpowering antagonist. They know that the price of one single act of protest is their lives. Yet, to the eternal credit of humanity, thousands of them have thrown themselves naked on the spears of their enemy, to become an example of sacrificial revolt. And can any of us wonder that when even this tragic seeding of the martyrs proved unfruitful, many of the Russian youth, brooding over the irremediable wrongs of their people, were driven to insanity and suicide? And, if all that was possible, would it be surprising if it also happened that at least one flaming rebel should have developed a philosophy of warfare no less terrible than that of the Russian bureaucracy itself ? I do not know, nor would I allow myself to suggest, that Michael Bakounin, who brought into Western Europe and planted there the seeds of terrorism, came to be like what he contemplated, or that his philosophy and tactics of action were altogether a reflection of those he opposed. Yet, if that were the case, one could better understand that bitter and bewildering character.
That there is some justification for speculation on these grounds is indicated by the heroes of Bakounin. He always meant to write the story of Prometheus, and he never spoke of Satan without an admiration that approached adoration. They were the two unconquerable enemies of absolutism. He was "the eternal rebel," Bakounin once said of Satan, "the first free-thinker and emancipator of the worlds." (2) In another place he speaks of Proudhon as having the instinct of a revolutionist, because "he adored Satan and proclaimed anarchy." (3) In still another place he refers to the proletariat of Paris as "the modern Satan, the great rebel, vanquished, but not pacified." (4) In the statutes of his secret organization, of which I shall speak again later, he insists that "principles, programs, and rules are not nearly as important as that the persons who put them into execution shall have the devil in them." (5) Although an avowed and militant atheist, Bakounin could not subdue his worship of the king of devils, and, had anyone during his life said that Bakounin was not only a modern Satan incarnate, but the eight other devils as well, nothing could have delighted him more. And no doubt he was inspired to this demon worship by his implacable hatred of absolutism-whether it be in religion, which he considered as tyranny over the mind, or in government, which he considered as tyranny over the body. To Bakounin the two eternal enemies of man were the Government and the Church, and no weapon was unworthy of use which promised in any measure to assist in their entire and complete obliteration.
Absolutism was to Bakounin a universal destroyer of the best and the noblest qualities in man. And, as it stands as an effective barrier to the only social order that can lift man above the beast-tbat of perfect liberty-so must the sincere warrior against absolutism become the universal destroyer of any and everything associated with tyranny. How far such a crusade leads one may be gathered from Bakounin's own words: "The end of revolution can be no other," he declares, "than the destruction of all powers-religious, monarchical, aristocratic, and bourgeois-in Europe. Consequently, the destruction of all now existing States, with all their institutions-political, juridical, bureaucratic, and financial." (6) In another place he says: "It will be essential to destroy everything, and especially and before all else, all property and its inevitable corollary, the State." (7) "We want to destroy all States," he repeats in still another place, "and all Churches, with all their institutions and their laws of religion, politics, jurisprudence, finance, police, universities, economics, and society, in order that all these millions of poor, deceived, enslaved, tormented, exploited human beings, delivered from all their official and officious directors and benefactors, associations, and individuals, can at last breathe, with complete freedom." (8) All through life Bakounin clung tenaciously to this immense idea of destruction, "terrible, total, inexorable, and universal," for only after such a period of destructive terror-in which every vestige of "the institutions of tyranny" shall be swept from the earth-can "anarchy, that is to say, the complete manifestation of unchained popular life," (9) develop liberty, equality, and justice. These were the means, and this was the end that Bakounin had in mind all the days of his life from the time he convinced himself as a young man that "the desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire." (10)
Even so brief a glimpse into Bakounin's mind is likely to startle the reader. But there is no fiction here; he is what Carlyle would have called "a terrible God's Fact." He was a very real product of Russia's infamy, and we need not be surprised if one with Bakounin's great talents, worshiping Satan and preaching ideas of destruction that comprehended Cosmos itself, should have performed in the world a unique and never-to-be-forgotten role. It was inevitable that he should have stood out among the men of his time as a strange, bewildering figure. To his very matter-of-fact and much annoyed antagonist, Karl Marx, he was little more than a buffoon, the "amorphous pan- destroyer, who has succeeded in uniting in one person Rodolphe, Monte Cristo, Karl Moor, and Robert Macaire." (ii) On the other hand, to his circle of worshipers he was a mental giant, a flaming titan, a Russian Siegfried, holding out to all the powers of heaven and earth a perpetual challenge to combat. And, in truth, Bakounin's ideas and imagination covered a field that is not exhausted by the range of mythology. He juggled with universal abstractions as an alchemist with the elements of the earth or an astrologist with the celestial spheres. His workshop was the universe, his peculiar task the refashioning of Cosmos, and he began by declaring war upon the Almighty himself and every institution among men fashioned after what he considered to be the absolutism of the Infinite.
It is, then, with no ordinary human being that we must deal in treating of him who is known as the father of terrorism. Yet, as he lived in this world and fought with his faithful circle to lay down the principles of universal revolution, we find him very human indeed. Of contradictions, for instance, there seems to be no end. Although an atheist, he had an idol, Satan. Although an eternal enemy of absolutism, he pleaded with Alexander to become the Czar of the people. And, although he fought passionately and superbly to destroy what he called the "authoritarian hierarchy" in the organization of the International, he planned for his own purpose the most complete hierarchy that can well be imagined. His only tactic, that of lex talionis, also worked out a perfect reciprocity even in those common affairs to which this prodigy stooped in order to conquer, for he seemed to create infallibly every institution he combated and to use every weapon that he execrated when employed by others. The most fertile of law-givers himself, he could not tolerate another. Pope of Popes in his little inner circle, he could brook no rival. Machiavelli's Prince was no richer in intrigue than Bakounin; yet he always fancied himself, with the greatest self-compassion, as the naive victim of the endless and malicious intrigues of others. However affectionate, generous, and open he seemed to be with those who followed him worshipfully, even they were not trusted with his secrets, and, if he was always cunning and crafty toward his enemies, he never had a friend that he did not use to his profit. Volatile in his fitful changes toward men and movements, rudderless as he often seemed to be in the incoherence of his ideas and of his policies, there nevertheless burned in his soul throughout life a great flaming, and perhaps redeeming, hatred of tyranny. At times he would lead his little bands into open warfare upon it, dreaming always that the world once in motion would follow him to the end in his great work of destruction. At other times he would go to it bearing gifts, in the hope, as we must charitably think, of destroying it by stealth.
In general outline, this is the father of terrorism as I see him. How he developed his views is not entirely clear, as very little is known of his early life, and there are several broken threads at different periods both early and late in his career. The little known of his youth may be quickly told. He was born in Russia in 1814, Of a family of good position, belonging to the old nobility. He was well educated and began his career in the army. Shortly after the Polish insurrection had been crushed, militarism and despotism became abhorrent to him, and the spectacle of that terrorized country made an everlasting impression upon him. In 1834 he renounced his military career and returned to Moscow, where he gave himself up entirely to the study of philosophy, and, as was natural at the period, he saturated himself with Hegel. From Moscow he went to St. Petersburg and later to Berlin, constantly pursuing his studies, and in 1842 he published under the title, "La reaction en Allemagne, fragment, par un Francais," an article ending with the now famous line: "The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire." (12) This article appeared in the Deutsche Jahrbucher, in which publication he soon became a collaborator. The authorities, however, were hostile to the paper, and he went into Switzerland in 1843, only to be driven later to Paris. There he made the acquaintance of Proudhon, "the father of anarchism," and spent days and nights with him discussing the problems of government, of society, and of religion. He also met Marx, "the father of socialism," and, although they were never sympathetic, yet they came frequently in friendly and unfriendly contact with each other. George Sand, George Herwegh , Arnold Ruge, Frederick Engels, William Weitling, Alexander Herzen, Richard Wagner, Adolf Reichel, and many other brilliant revolutionary spirits of the time, Bakounin knew intimately, and for him, as for many others, the period of the forties was one of great intellectual development.
In the insurrectionary period that began in 1848 he became active, but he appears to have done little noteworthy before January, 1849, when he went secretly to Leipsic in the hope of aiding a group of young Czechs to launch an uprising in Bohemia. Shortly afterward an insurrection broke out in Dresden, and he rushed there to become one of the most active leaders of the revolt. It is said that he was "the veritable soul of the revolution," and that he advised the insurrectionists, in order to prevent the Prussians from firing upon the barricades, to place in front of them the masterpieces from the art museum. (13) When that insurrection was: suppressed, he, Richard Wagner, and some others hurried to Chemnitz, where Bakounin was captured and condemned to death. Austria, however, demanded his extradition, and there, for the second time, he was condemned to be hanged. Eventually he was handed over to Russia, where he again escaped paying the death penalty by the pardon of the Czar, and, after six years in prison, he was banished to Siberia. Great efforts were made to secure a pardon for him, but without success. However, through his influential relatives, he was allowed such freedom of movement that in the end he succeeded in escaping, and, returning to Europe through Japan and America, he arrived in England in 1861.
The next year is notable for the appearance of two of his brochures, "Aux amis russes, polonais, et a tous les amis slaves," and "La Cause du Peuple, Romanoff, Pougatchoff, ou Pestel?" One would have thought that twelve years in prison and in Siberia would have made him more bitter than ever against the State and the Czar; but, curiously, these writings mark a striking departure from his previous views. For almost the only time in his life he expressed a desire to see Russia develop into a magnificent "State," and he urged the Russians to drive the Tartars back to Asia, the Germans back to Germany, and to become a free people, exclusively Russian. By cooperative effort between the military powers of the Russian Government and the insurrectionary activities of the Slavs subjected to foreign governments, the Russian peoples could wage a war, he argued, that would create a great united empire. The second of the above-mentioned volumes was addressed particularly to Alexander II. In this Bakounin prophesies that Russia must soon undergo a revolution. It may come through terrible and bloody uprisings on the part of the masses, led by some fierce and sanguinary popular idol, or it will come through the Czar himself, if he should be wise enough to assume in person the leadership of the peasants. He declared that "Alexander 11. could so easily become the popular idol, the first Czar of the peasants. . . . By leaning upon the people he could become the savior and master of the entire Slavic world." (14) He then pictures in glowing terms a united Russia, in which the Czar and the people will work harmoniously together to build up a great democratic State. But he threatens that, if the Czar does not become the "savior of the Slavic world," an avenger will arise to lead an outraged and avenging people. He again declares, "We prefer to follow Romanoff (the family name of the Czar), if Romanoff could and would transform himself from the Petersbourgeois emperor into the Czar of the peasants." (15) Despite much flattery and ill-merited praise, the Czar refused to be converted, and Bakounin rushed off the next year to Stockholm, in the hope of organizing a band of Russians to enter Poland to assist in the insurrection which had broken out there.
The next few years were spent mostly in Italy, and it was here that he conceived his plan of a secret international organization of revolutionists. Little is known of how extensive this secret organization actually became, but Bakounin said in 1864 that it included a number of Italian, French, Scandinavian, and Slavic revolutionists. As a scheme this secret organization is remarkable. It included three orders: I. The International Brothers; II. The National Brothers; III. The semi-secret, semipublic organization of the International Alliance of Social Democracy. Without Bakounin's intending it, doubtless, the International Brothers resembled the circle of gods in mythology; the National Brothers, the circle of heroes; while the third order resembled the mortals who were to bear the burden of the fighting. The International Brothers were not to exceed one hundred, and they were to be the guiding spirits of the great revolutionary storms that Bakounin thought were then imminent in Europe. They must possess above all things " revolutionary passion," and they were to be the supreme secret executive power of the two subordinate organizations. In their hands alone should be the making of the programs, the rules, and the principles of the revolution. The National Brothers were to be under the direction of the International Brothers, and were to be selected because of their revolutionary zeal and their ability to control the masses. They were "to have the devil in them." The semi-secret, semi-public organization was to include the multitude, and sections were to be formed in every country for the purpose of organizing the masses. However, the masses were not to know of the secret organization of the National Brothers, and the National Brothers were not to know of the secret organization of the International Brothers. In order to enable them to work separately but harmoniously, Bakounin, who had chosen himself as the supreme law-giver, wrote for each of the three orders a program of principles, a code of rules, and a plan of methods all its -own. The ultimate ends of this movement were not to be communicated to either the National Brothers or to the Alliance, and the masses were to know only that which was good for them to know, and which would not be likely to frighten them. These are very briefly the outlines of the extraordinary hierarchy that was to form throughout' all Europe and America an invisible network of "the real revolutionists."
This organization was "to accelerate the universal revolution," and what was understood by the revolution was "the unchaining of what is to-day called the bad passions and the destruction of what in the same language is called 'public order.' We do not fear, we invoke anarchy, convinced that from this anarchy, that is to say, from the complete manifestation of unchained popular life, must come forth liberty, equality, justice..."(16) It was clearly foreseen by Bakounin that there would be opponents to anarchy among the revolutionists themselves, and, he declared: "We are the natural enemies of these revolutionists . . . who . .. dream already of the creation of new revolutionary States." (17) It was admitted that the Brothers could not of themselves create the revolution. All that a secret and well-organized society can do is "to organize, not the army of the revolution-the army must always be the people-but a sort of revolutionary staff composed of individuals who are devoted, energetic, intelligent, and especially sincere friends of the people, not ambitious nor self-conceited-capable of serving as intermediaries between the revolutionary idea and the popular instincts. The number of these individuals does not have to be immense. For the international organization of all Europe, one hundred revolutionists, strongly and seriously bound together, are sufficient. Two or three hundred revolutionists will be sufficient for the organization of the largest country." (18)
The idea of a secret organization of revolutionary leaders proved to be wholly repugnant to many of even the most devoted friends of Bakounin, and by 1868 the organization is supposed to have been dissolved, because, it was said, secrets had leaked out and the whole affair had been subjected to much ridicule. (19) The idea of the third order, however, that of the International Alliance, was not abandoned, and it appears that Bakounin and a number of the faithful Brothers felt hopeful in 1867 of capturing a great "bourgeois" congress, called the "League of Peace and of Liberty," that had met that year in Geneva. Bakounin, Elisee Reclus, Aristide Rey, Victor Jaclard, and several others in the conspiracy undertook to persuade the league to pass some revolutionary resolutions. Bakounin was already a member of the central committee of the league, and, in preparation for the battle, he wrote the manuscript afterward published under the title, "Federalisme, Socialisme, et Antitheologisme." But the congress of 1868 dashed their hopes to the ground, and the revolutionists separated from the league and founded the same day, September 25th, a new association, called L'Alliance Internationale de la Democratie Socialiste. The program now adopted by the Alliance, although written by Bakounin, expressed quite different views from those of the International Brothers. But it, too, began its revolutionary creed by declaring itself atheist. Its chief and most important work was "to abolish religion and to substitute science for faith; and human justice for divine justice." Second, it declared for "the political, economic, and social equality of the classes" (which, it was assumed, were to continue to exist), and it intended to attain this end by the destruction of government and by the abolition of the right of inheritance. Third, it assailed all forms of political action and proposed that, in place of the community, groups of producers should assume control of all industrial processes. Fourth, it opposed all centralized organization, believing that both groups and individuals should demand for themselves complete liberty to do in all cases whatever they desired. (20) The same revolutionists who a short time before had planned a complete hierarchy now appeared irreconcilably opposed to any form of authority. They now argued that they must abolish not only God and every political State, but also the right of the majority to rule. Then and then only would the people finally attain perfect liberty.
These were the chief ideas that Bakounin wished to introduce into the International Working Men's Association. That organization, founded in 1864 in London, had already become a great power in Europe, and Bakounin entered it in 1869, not only for the purpose of forwarding the ideas just mentioned, but also in the hope of obtaining the leadership of it. Failing in 1862 to convert the Czar, in 1864-1867 to organize into a hierarchy the revolutionary spirits of Europe, in 1868 to capture the bourgeoisie, he turned in 1869 to seek the aid of the working class. On each of these occasions his views underwent the most magical of transformations. With more bitterness than ever he now declared war upon the political and economic powers of Europe, but he was unable to prosecute this war until he had destroyed every committee or group in the International which possessed, or sought to possess, any power. He assailed Marx, Engels, and all those who he thought wished to dominate the International. The beam in his own eye he saw in theirs, and he now expressed an unspeakable loathing for all hierarchical tendencies and authoritarian methods. The story of the great battle between him and Marx must be left for a later chapter, and we must content ourselves for the present with following the history of Bakounin as he gradually developed in theory and in practice the principles and tactics of terrorism.
While struggling to obtain the leadership of the working classes of Western Europe, Bakounin was also busy with Russian affairs. "I am excessively absorbed in what is going on in Russia," he writes to a friend, April 13, 1869. "Our youth, the most revolutionary in the world perhaps, in theory and in practice, are so stirred up that the Government has been forced to close the universities, academies, and several schools at St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Kazan. I have here now a specimen of these young fanatics, who hesitate at nothing and who fear nothing. . . . They are admirable. . . . believers without God and heroes without phrase!" (21) He who called forth this eulogy was the young Russian revolutionist, Sergei Nechayeff. Whether admirable or not we shall leave the reader to judge. But, if Bakounin bewilders one, Necbayeff staggers one. And, if Bakounin was the father of terrorism, Nechayeff was its living embodiment. He was not complex, mystical, or sentimental. He was truly a revolutionist without phrase, and he can be described in the simplest words. He was a liar, a thief, and a murderer-the incarnation of Hatred, Malice, and Revenge, who stopped at no crime against friend or foe that promised to advance what he was pleased to call the revolution. Bakounin had for a long time sought his cooperation, and now in Switzerland they began that collaboration which resulted in the most extraordinary series of sanguinary revolutionary writings known to history.
In the summer of 1869 there was printed at Geneva "Words Addressed to Students," signed by them both; the "Formula of the Revolutionary Question"; "The Principles of the Revolution"; and the "Publications of the People's Tribunal"--the three last appearing anonymously. All of them counsel the most infamous doctrines of criminal activity. In "Words Addressed to Students," the Russian youth are exhorted to leave the universities and go among the people. They are asked to follow the example of Stenka Razin, a robber chieftain who, in the time of Alexis, placed himself at the head of a popular insurrection. "Robbery," declare Bakounin and Nechayeff, "is one of the most honorable forms of Russian national life. The brigand is the hero, the defender, the popular avenger, the irreconcilable enemy of the State, and of all social and civil order established by the State. He is the wrestler in life and in death against all this civilization of officials, of nobles, of priests, and of the crown. . . . He who does not understand robbery can understand nothing in the history of the Russian masses. He who is not sympathetic with it , cannot sympathize with the popular life, and has no heart for the ancient, unbounded sufferings of the people; he belongs in the camp of the enemy, the partisans of the State . . . It is through brigandage only that the vitality, passion, and force of the people are established undeniably . . . The brigand in Russia is the veri table and unique revolutionist-revolutionist without phrase, without rhetoric borrowed from books, a revolutionist indefatigable, irreconcilable, and irresistible in action . . . The brigands scattered in the forests, the cities, and villages of all Russia, and the brigands confined in the innumerable prisons of the empire, form a unique and indivisible world, strongly bound together, the world of the Russian revolution. In it, in it alone, has existed for a long time the veritable revolutionary conspiracy." (22)
Once again the principles of the revolution appear to be complete and universal destruction. "There must 'not rest . . . one stone upon a stone.' It is necessary to destroy everything, in order to produce 'perfect amorphism,' for, if 'a single one of the old forms' were preserved, it would become 'the embryo' from which would spring all the other old social forms." (23) The same leaflet preaches systematic assassination and declares that for practical revolutionists all speculations about the future are "criminal, because they hinder pure destruction and trammel the march of the revolution. We have confidence only in those who show by their acts their devotion to the revolution, without fear of torture or of imprisonment, and we disclaim all words unless action should follow immediately." . . . (24) "Words have no value for us unless followed at once by action. But all is not action that goes under that name: for example, the modest and too-cautious orgamzation of secret societies without some external manifestations is in our eyes merely ridiculous and intolerable child's play. By external manifestations we mean a series of actions that positively destroy something-a person, a cause, a condition that hinders the emancipation of the people. Without sparing our lives, without pausing before any threat, any obstacle, any danger, etc., we must break into the life of the people with a series of daring, even insolent, attempts, and inspire them with a belief in their own power, awake them, rally them, and drive them on to the triumph of their own cause." (25)
The most remarkable of this series of writings is "The Revolutionary Catechism." This existed for several years in cipher, and was guarded most carefully by Nechayeff. Altogether it contained twenty-six articles, classified into four sections. Here it is declared that if the revolutionist continues to live in this world it is only in order to annihilate it all the more surely. "The object remains always the same: the quickest and surest way of destroying this filthy order." . . . "For him exists only one single pleasure, one single consolation, one reward, one satisfaction: the success of the revolution. Night and day he must have but one thought, but one aim-implacable destruction ... . . . .. For this end of implacable destruction a revolutionist can and often must live in the midst of society, feigning to be altogether different from what he really is. A revolutionist must penetrate everywhere: into high society as well as into the middle class, into the shops, into the church, into the palaces of the aristocracy, into the official, military, and literary worlds, into the third section (the secret police), and even into the imperial palace." (26)
"All this unclean society must be divided into several categories, the first composed of those who are condemned to death without delay." (Sec. 15.) ... "In the first place must be destroyed the men most inimical to the revolutionary organization and whose violent and sudden death can frighten the Government the most and break its power in depriving it of energetic and intelligent agents." (Sec. 16.) "The second category must be composed of people to whom we concede life provisionally, in order that by a series of monstrous acts they may drive the people into inevitable revolt." (Sec. 17.) "To the third category belong a great number of animals in high position or of individuals who are remarkable neither for their mind nor for their energy, but who, by their position, have wealth, connections, influence, power. We must exploit them in every possible manner, overreach them, deceive them, and, getting hold of their dirty secrets, make them our slaves." (Sec. 18.) . . . "The fourth class is composed of sundry ambitious persons in the service of the State and of liberals of various shades of opinion. With them we can conspire after their own program, pretending to follow them blindly. We must take them in our hands, seize their secrets, compromise them completely, in such a way that retreat becomes impossible for them, so as to make use of them in bringing about disturbances in the State." (Sec. ig.) "The fifth category is composed of doctrinaires, conspirators, revolutionists, and of those who babble at meetings and on paper. We must urge these on and draw them incessantly into practical and perilous manifestations, which will result in making the majority of them disappear, while making some of them genuine revolutionists." (Sec. 20.) "The sixth category is very important. They are the women, who must be divided into three classes: the first, frivolous women, without mind or heart, which we must use in the same manner as the third and fourth categories of men; the second, the ardent, devoted, and capable women, but who are not ours because they have not reached a practical revolutionary understanding, without pbrase-we must make use of these like the men of the fifth category; finally, the women who are entirely with us, that is to say, completely initiated and having accepted our program in its entirety. We ought to consider them as the most precious of our treasures, without whose help we can do nothing." (Sec. 21.) (27)
The last section of the "Catechism" treats of the duty of the association toward the people. "The Society has no other end than the complete emancipation and happiness of the people, namely, of the laborers. But, convinced that this emancipation and this happiness can only be reached by means of an all-destroying popular revolution, the Society will use every means and every effort to increase and intensify the evils and sorrows, which must at last exhaust the patience of the people and excite them to insurrection en masse. By a popular revolution the Society does not mean a movement regulated according to the classic patterns of the West, which, always restrained in the face of property and of the traditional social order of so-called civilization and morality, has hitherto been limited merely to exchanging one form of political organization for another, and to the creating of a so-called revolutionary State. The only revolution that can do any good to the people is that which utterly annihilates every idea of the State and overthrows all traditions, orders, and classes in Russia. With this end in view, the Society has no intention of imposing on the people any organization whatever coming from above. The future organization will, without doubt, proceed from the movement and life of the people; but that is the business of future generations. Our task is terrible, total, inexorable, and universal destruction." (28) These are in brief the tactics and principles of terrorism, as understood by Bakounin and Nechayeff. As only the criminal world shared these views in any degree, the "Catechism" ends: "We have got to unite ourselves with the adventurer's world of the brigands, who are the veritable and unique revolutionists of Russia." (29)
It is customary now to credit most of these writings to Nechayeff, although Bakounin himself, I believe, never denied that they were his, and no one can read them without noting the ear-marks of both Bakounin's thought and style. In any case, Nechayeff was constantly with Bakounin in the spring and summer of 1869, and the most important of these brochures were published in Geneva in the summer of that year. And, while it may be said for Bakounin that he nowhere else advocates all the varied criminal methods advised in these publications, there is hardly an argument for their use that is not based upon his well-known views. Furthermore, Nechayeff was primarily a man of action, and in a letter, which is printed hereafter, it appears that he urgently requested Bakounin to develop some of his theories in a Russian journal. Evidently, then, Nechayeff had little confidence in his own power of expression. We must, however, leave the question of paternity undecided and follow the latter to Russia, where he went late in the summer, loaded down with his arsenal of revolutionary literature and burning to put into practice the principles of the "Catechism."
Without following in detail his devious and criminal work, one brief tale will explain how his revolutionary activities were brought quickly to an end. There was in Moscow, so the story runs, a gentle, kindly, and influential member of Nechayeff's society. Of ascetic disposition, this Iwanof spent much of his time in freely educating the peasants and in assisting the poorer students. He starved himself to establish cheap eating houses, which became the centers of the revolutionary groups. The police finally closed his establishments, because Nechayeff had placarded them with revolutionary appeals. Iwanof, quite unhappy at this ending of his usefulness, begged Nechayeff to permit him to retire from the secret society. Necbayeff was, however, in fear that Iwanof might betray the secrets of the society, and he went one night with two fellow conspirators and shot Iwanof and threw the corpse into a pond. The police, in following up the murder, sought out Nechayeff, who had already fled from Russia and was hurrying back to Bakounin in Switzerland.
From January until July, 187o, he was constantly with Bakounin, but quarrels began to arise between them in June, and Bakounin writes in a letter to Ogaref: "Our boy (Nechayeff) is very stubborn, and I, when once I make a decision, am not accustomed to change it. Therefore, the break with hirn, on my side at least seems inevitable." (30) In the middle of July it was discovered that Nechayeff was once more carrying out the ethics they had jointly evolved, and, in order to make Bakounin his slave, had recourse to all sorts of "Jesuitical maneuvers, of lies and of thefts." Suddenly he disappeared from Geneva, and Bakounin and other Russians discovered that they had been robbed of all their papers and confidential letters. Soon it was learned that Nechayeff had presented himself to Talandier in London, and Bakounin hastened to write to his friend an explanation of their relations. "It may appear strange to you that we advise you to repulse a man to whom we gave letters of recommendation, written in the most cordial terms. But these letters date from the month of May, and there have happened since some events so serious that they have forced us to break all connections with Nechayeff." . . . "It is perfectly true that Nechayeff is more persecuted by the Russian Government than any other man. . . . It is also true that Nechayeff is one of the most active and most energetic men that I have ever met. When it is a question of serving what he calls the cause, he does not hesitate, he stops at nothing, and is as pitiless toward himself as toward all others. That is the principal quality which attracted me to him and which made me for a long time seek his cooperation. There are those who pretend that he is nothing but a sharper, but that is a lie. He is a devoted fanatic, but at the same time a dangerous fanatic, with whom an alliance could only prove very disastrous for everyone concerned. This is the reason: He first belonged to a secret society which, in reality, existed in Russia. This society exists no more; all its members have been arrested. Nechayeff alone remains, and alone he constitutes to-day what he calls the 'Committee.' The Russian organization in Russia having been destroyed, he is forced to create a new one in a foreign country. All that was perfectly natural, legitimate, very useful-but the means by which he undertakes it are detestable. . . . He will spy on you and will try to get possession of all your secrets, and to do that, in your absence, left alone in your room, he will open all your drawers, will read all your correspondence, and whenever a letter appears interesting to him, that is to say, compromising you or one of your friends from one point of view or another, he will steal it, and will guard it carefully as a document against you or your friend. . . . If you have presented him to a f riend, his first care will be to sow between you seeds of discord, scandal, intrigue-in a word, to set you two at variance. If your friend has a wife or a daughter, he will try to seduce her, to lead her astray, and to force her away from the conventional morality and throw her into a revolutionary protest against society. . . . Do not cry out that this is exaggeration. It has all been fully developed and proved. Seeing himself unmasked, this poor Nechayeff is indeed so childlike, so simple, in spite of his systematic perversity, that he believed it possible to convert me. He has even gone so far as to beg me to consent to develop this theory in a Russian journal which he proposed to me to establish. He has betrayed the confidence of us all, he has stolen our letters, he has horribly compromised us-in a word, he has acted like a villain. His only excuse is his fanaticism. He is a terribly ambitious man without knowing it, because he has at last completely identified the revolutionary cause with his own person. But he is not an egoist in the worst sense of that word, because he risks his own person terribly and leads the life of a martyr, of privations, and of unheard-of work. He is a fanatic, and fanaticism draws him on, even to the point of becoming an accomplished Jesuit. At moments he becomes simply stupid. Most of his lies are sewn with white thread. . . . In spite of this relative naivete, he is very dangerous, because lie daily commits acts, abuses of confidence, and treachery, against which it is all the more difficult to safeguard oneself because one hardly suspects the possibility. With all that, Nechayeff is a force, because he is an immense energy. It is with great pain that I have separated from him, because the service of our cause demands much energy, and one rarely finds it developed to such a point." (31)
The irony of fate rarely executes itself quite so humorously. Although perfectly familiar with Nechayeff's philosophy of action for over a year, the viciousness of it appeared to Bakounin only when he himself became a victim. When Nechayeff arrived in London he began the publication of a Russian journal, the Commune, where he bitterly attacked Bakounin and his views. Early in the seventies, he was arrested and taken back to Russia, where he and over eighty others, mostly young men and women students, were tried for belonging to secret societies. For the first time in Russian history the court proceeding took place before a jury and in public. Most of those arrested were condemned for long periods to the mines of Siberia at forced labor, while Nechayeff was kept in solitary imprisonment until his death, some years later.
Bakounin, on the other hand, remained in Switzerland and became the very soul of that element in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland which fought the policies of Marx in the International. At the same time he was training a group of youngsters to carry out in Western Europe the principles of revolution as laid down in his Russian publications. Over young middle-class youths, especially, Bakounin's magnetic power was extraordinary, and his followers were the faithful of the faithful. A very striking picture of Bakounin's hypnotic influence over this circle is to be found in the memoirs of Madame A. Bauler. She tells us of some Sundays she spent with Bakounin and his friends.
"At the beginning," she says, "being unfamiliar with the Italian language, I did not even understand the general drift of the conversation, but, observing the faces of those present, I had the impression that something extraordinarily grave and solemn was taking place. The atmosphere of these conferences imbued me; it created in me a state of mind which I shall call, for want of a better term, an 'stat de grace.' Faith increased; doubts vanished. The value of Bakounin became clear to me. His personality enlarged. I saw that his strength was in the power of taking possession of human souls. Beyond a doubt, all these men who were listening to him were ready to undertake anything, at the slightest word from him. I could picture to myself another gathering, less intimate, that of a great crowd, and I realized that there the influence of Bakounin would be the same. Only the enthusiasm, here gentle and intimate, would become incomparably more intense and the atmosphere more agitated by the mutual contagion of the human beings in a crowd.
"At bottom, in what did the charm of Bakounin consist? I believe that it is impossible to define it exactly. It was not by the force of persuasion that he agitated. It was not his thought which awakened the thought of others. But he aroused every rebellious heart and awoke there an 'elemental' anger. And this anger, transplendent with beauty, became creative and showed to the exalted thirst for justice and happiness an issue and a possibility of accomplishment. 'The desire for destruction is at the same time a creative desire,' Bakounin has repeated to the end of his life." (32)
From: Hunter, R. (1914). Violence and the Labor Movement. New York: The Macmillan Company.
CHAPTER II A Series of Insurrections
AT the beginning of the seventies Bakounin and his friends found opening before them a field of practical activity. On the whole, the sixties were spent in theorizing, in organizing, and in planning, but with the seventies the moment arrived "to unchain the hydra of revolution." On the 4th of September, 1870, the Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris, and a few days afterward there were many uprisings in the other cities of France. It was, however, only in Lyons that the Bakouninists played an important part. Bakounin had a fixed idea that, wherever there was an uprising of the people, there he must go, and he wrote to Adolphe Vogt on September 6: "My friends, the revolutionary socialists of Lyons, are calling me there. I am resolved to take my old bones thither and to play there what will probably be my last game. But, as usual, I have not a sou. Can you, I do not say lend me, but give me 500 or 4oo, or 3(0 or 200, or even 1oo francs, for my voyage?" (I) Guillaume does not state where the money finally came from, but Bakounin evidently raised it somehow, for he left Locarno on September 9. The night of the 11th he spent in Neuchatel, where he conferred with Guillaume regarding the publication of a manuscript. On the 12th he arrived in Geneva, and two days later set out for Lyons, accompanied by two revolutionary enthusiasts, Ozerof and the young Pole, Valence Lankiewicz.
Since the 4th of September a Committee of Public Safety had been installed at the Hótel de Ville composed of republicans, radicals, and some militants of the International. Gaspard Blanc and Albert Richard, two intimate friends of Bakounin, were not members of this committee, and in a public meeting, September 8, Richard made a motion, which was carried , to name a standing commission of ten to act as the "intermediaries between the people of Lyons and the Committee of Public Safety." Three of these commissioners, Richard, Andrieux, and jaclard, were then appointed to go as delegates to Paris in order to come to some understanding with the Government. Andrieux, in the days of the Empire, had acquired fame as a revolutionist by proposing at a meeting to burn the ledger of the public debt. It seems, however, that these close and trusted friends of Eakounin began immediately upon their arrival in Paris to solicit various public positions remunerative to themselves, (2) and, although they succeeded in having General Cluseret sent to take command of the voluntary corps then forming in the department of the Rhone, that proved, as we shall see, most disastrous of all.
This is about all that had happened previous to Bakounin's arrival in Lyons, and, when he came, there was confusion everywhere. Even the members of the Alliance had no clear idea of what ought to be done. Bakounin, however, was an old hand at insurrections, and in a little lodging house where he and his friends were staying a new uprising was planned. He lost no time in getting hold of all the men of action. Under his energetic leadership "public meetings were multiplied and assumed a character of unheard-of violence. The most sanguinary motions were introduced and welcomed with enthusiasm. They openly provoked revolt in order to overthrow the laws and the established order of things." (3) On September 19 Bakounin wrote to Ogaref : "There is so much work to do that it turns my head. The real revolution has not yet burst forth here, but it will come. Everything possible is being done to prepare for it. I am playing a great game. I hope to see the approaching triumph." (4)
A great public meeting was held on the 24th, presided over by Eugene Saignes, a plasterer and painter, and a man of energy and influence among the Lyons workmen, at which various questions relative to proposed political changes were voted upon. But it was the following day, the 25th, that probably the most notable event of the insurrection took place. "The next day, Sunday, was employed," Guillaume says, "in the drawing up and printing of a great red placard, containing the program of the revolution which the Central Committee of Safety of France proposed to the people . - -" (5) The first article of the program declares: "The administrative and governmental machinery of the State, having become powerless, is abolished. The people of France once again enter into full possession of themselves." The second article suspends "all civil and criminal courts," and replaces them "by the justice of the people." The third suspends "the payment of taxes and of mortgages." The fourth declares that "the State, having decayed, can no longer intervene in the payment of private debts." The fifth states that "all existing municipal organizations are broken up and replaced in all the federated communes by Committees of Safety of France, which will exercise all powers under the immediate control of the people." The revolution was at last launched, and the placard ends, "Aux Armes!ff' (60)
While the Bakouninists were decreeing the revolution by posters and vainly calling the people to arms, an event occurred in Lyons which brought to them a very useful contingent of fighters. The Lyons municipality had just reduced the pay of the workers in the national dock yards from three to two and a half francs a day, and, on this account, these laborers joined the ranks of the insurgents. On the evening of September 27 a meeting of the Central Committee of Safety of France took place, and there a definite plan of action for the next day was decided upon. Velay, a tulle maker and municipal councillor, Bakounin, and others advised an armed manifestation, but the majority expressed itself in favor of a peaceful one. An executive committee composed of eight members signed the following proclamation, drawn up by Gaspard Blanc, which was printed during the night and posted early the next morning: "The people of Lyons . . . are summoned, through the organ of their assembled popular committees, to a popular manifestation to be held to-day, September 28, at noon, on the Place des Terreaux, in order to force the authority to take immediately the most energetic and efficacious measures for the national defense." (7)
Turning again to Guillaume, we find "At noon many thousands of men pressed together on the Place des Terreaux. A delegation of sixteen of the national dockyard workmen entered the H6tel de Ville to demand of the Municipal Council the reEstablishment of their wage to three francs a day, but the Council was not in session. Very soon a movement began in the crowd, and a hundred resolute men, Saignes at their head, forcing the door of the H6tel de Ville, penetrated the municipal building. Some members of the Central Committee of Safety of France, Bakonnin, Parraton, Bastelica, and others, went in with them. From the balcony, Saignes announced that the Municipal Council was to be compelled to accept the program of the red proclamation of September 26 or to resign, and he proposed to name Cluseret general of the revolutionary army. Cluseret, cheered by the crowd, appeared in the balcony, thanked them, and announced that he was going to CroixRousse" (the working- class district). (8) He went there, it is true, but not to call to arms the national guards of that quarter. Indeed, his aim appears to have been to avoid a conflict, and he simply asked the workers "to come down en masse and without arms." (9) In the meantime the national guards of the wealthier quarters of the city hastened to the H6tel de Ville and penetrated the interior court, while the Committee of Safety of France installed itself inside the building. There they passed two or three hours in drawing up resolutions, while Bakounin and others in vain protested: "We must act. We are losing time. We are going to be invaded by the national bourgeois guard. It is necessary to arrest immediately the prefect, the mayor, and General Mazure." (1o) But their words went unheeded. And all the while the bourgeois guards were massing themselves before the H6tel de Ville, and Cluseret and his unarmed manifestants were yielding place to them. In fact, Cluseret even persuaded the members of the Committee of Safety to retire and those of the Municipal Council to return to their seats, which they consented to do.
Bakounin made a last desperate effort to save the situation and to induce the insurgents to oppose force to force, but they would not. Even Albert Richard failed, him. The Revolutionary committee, after parleying with the Municipal Councillors, then evacuated the Hotel de Ville and contenteq itself with issuing a statement to the effect that "The delegates of the people have not believed it their duty to impose themselves on the Municipal Council by violence and have retired when it went into session, leaving it to the people to fully appreciate the situation." (ii) "At the moment," says Guillaume, "when . . . Mayor Henon, with an escort of national bourgeois guards, reentered the Hotel de Ville, he met Bakounin in the hall of the Pas-Perdus. The mayor immediately ordered his companions to take him in custody and to confine him at once in an underground hiding-place." (12) The Municipal Councillors then opened their session and pledged that no pursuit should be instituted in view of the happenings of the day. They voted to reestablish the former wage of the national dock-yard workers, but declared themselves unable to undertake the revolutionary measures proposed by the Committee of Safety of France, as these were outside their legal province.
In the meantime Bakounin was undergoing an experience far from pleasant, if we are to judge from the account which he gives in a letter written the following day: "Some used me brutally in all sorts of ways, jostling me about, pushing me, pinching me, twisting my arms and hands. I must, however, admit that others cried: 'Do not harm him! In truth the bourgeoisie showed itself what it is everywhere: brutal and cowardly. For you know that I was delivered by some sharpshooters who put to flight three or four times their number of these heroic shopkeepers armed with their rifles. I was delivered, but of all the objects which had been stolen from me by these gentlemen I was able to find only my revolver. My memorandum book and my purse, which contained 165 francs and some sous, without doubt stayed in the hands of these gentlemen. ...I beg you to reclaim them in my name. You will send them to me when you have recovered them."
As a matter of fact, it was at the instance of his follower, Ozerof, that Bakounin was finally delivered. When he came forth from the H6tel de Ville, the Committee of Safety of France and its thousands of sympathizers had disappeared, and he found himself practically alone. He spent the night at the house of a friend, and departed for Marseilles the next day, after writing the following letter to Palix: "My dear friend, I do not wish to leave Lyons without having said a last word of farewell to you. Prudence keeps me from coming to shake hands with you for the last time. I have nothing more to do here. I came to Lyons to fight or to die with you. I came because I am profoundly convinced that the cause of France has become again, at this supreme hour, . . . the cause of humanity. I have taken part in yesterday's movement, and I have signed my name to the resolutions of the Committee of Safety of France, because it is evident to me that, after the real and certain destruction of all the administrative and governmental machinery, there is nothing but the immediate and revolutionary action of the people which can save France. . . . The movement of yesterday, if it had been successful . . . could have saved Lyons and France. . . . I leave Lyons, dear friend, with a heart full of sadness and somber forebodings. I begin to think now that it is finished with France. . . .
She will become a viceroyalty of Germany. In place of her living and real socialism, we shall have the doc triffaire socialism of the Germans, who will say no more than the Prussian bayonets will permit them to say. The bureaucratic and military intelligence of Prussia, combined with the knout of the Czar of St. Petersburg, are going to assure peace and public order for at least fifty years on the whole continent of Europe. Farewell, liberty! Farewell, socialism! Farewell, justice for the people and the triumph of humanity! All that could have grown out of the present disaster of France. All that would have grown out of it if the people of France, if the people of Lyons, had wished it." (04)
The insurrection at Lyons and Bakounin's decree abolishing the State amounted to very little in the history of the French Republic. Writing afterward to Professor Edward Spencer Beesly, Karl Marx comments on the events that had taken place in Lyons: "At the beginning everything went well," he writes. "Under the pressure of the section of the International, the Republic had been proclaimed at Lyons before it had been at Paris. A revolutionary government was immediately established, namely the Commune, composed in part of workmen belonging to the International, in part of bourgeois radical republicans . . . But those blunderers, Bakounin and Cluseret, arrived at Lyons and spoiled everything. Both being members of the International, they had unfortunately enough influence to lead our friends astray. The H6tel de Ville was taken, for a moment only, and very ridiculous decrees on the abolition Of the State and other nonsense were issued. You understand that the fact alone of a Russian-whom the newspapers of the bourgeoisie represented as an agent of Bismarckpretending to thrust himself at the head of a Committee of Safety of France was quite sufficient to change completely public opinion. As to Cluseret, he behaved at once like an idiot and a coward. These two men left Lyons after their failure." 05) Bakounin's so-called abolition of the State appealed to the humor of Marx. He speaks of it in another place in these words: "Then arrived the critical moment, the moment longed for since many years, when Bakounin was able to accomplish the most revolutionary act the world has ever seen: he decreed the abolition of the State. But the State, in the form and aspect of two companies of national bourgeois guards, entered by a door which they had forgotten to guard, swept the hall, and caused Bakounin to hasten back along the road to Geneva." (16)
Such indeed was the humiliating and vexatious ending of Bakounin's dream of an immediate social revolution. His sole reward was to be jostled, pinched, and robbed. This was perhaps most tragic of all, especially when added to this injury there was the further indignity of allowing the father of terrorism to keep his revolver. The incident is one that George Meredith should have immortalized in another of his "Tragic Comedians." However, although the insurrection at Lyons was a complete failure, the Commune of Paris was really a spontaneous and memorable working-class uprising. The details of that insurrection, the legislation of the Commune itself, and its violent suppression on May 28, 1871, are not strictly germane to this chapter, because, in fact, the Bakouninists played no part in it. In the case of Lyons, the revolution maker was at work; in the case of Paris, "The working class," says Marx, "did not expect miracles from the Commune. They have no ready-made utopias to introduce par dicret du peuple. They know that in order to work out their own emancipation, and along with it that higher form to which present society is irresistibly tending, by its own economic agencies, they will have to pass through long struggles, through a series of historic processes, transforming circumstances and men." But, while Marx wrote in this manner of the Paris Commune, he evidently had in mind men of the type of Bakounin when he declared: "In every revolution there intrude, at the side of its true agents, men of a different stamp; some of them survivors of and devotees to past revolutions. . . . others mere bawlers, who by dint of repeating year after year the same set of stereotyped declamations against the Government of the day have sneaked into the reputation of revolutionists of the first water. After the 18th of March some such men turned up, and in some cases contrived to play preeminent parts. As far as their power went, they hampered the real action of the working class, exactly as men of that sort have hampered the full development of every previous revolution. They are an unavoidable evil; with time they are shaken off ; but time was not allowed to the Commune." (07)
The despair of Bakounin over the miserable ending of his great plans for the salvation of France had, of course, disappeared long before the revolution broke out in Spain, and he easily persuaded himself that his presence there was absolutely necessary to insure its success. "I have always felt and thought," he wrote in the Wmoire I . justificatif, "that the most desirable end for me would be to fall in the midst of a great revolutionary storm." (18) Consequently, in the summer of the year 1873, when the uprising gave promise of victory to the insurgents, Bakounin decided that he must go and, to do so, that he must have money. Bakounin then wrote to his wealthy young disciple, Cafiero, in a symbolic language which they had worked out between them, declaring his intention of going to Spain and asking him to furnish the necessary money for his expenses. As usual, Bakounin became melodramatic in his effort to work upon the impressionable Cafiero, and, as he put it afterward in the wmoire justificatif, "I added a prayer that he would become the protector of my wife and my children, in case I should fall in Spain." (ig) Cafiero, who at this time worshiped Bakounin, pleaded with him not to risk his precious life in Spain. He promised to do everything possible for his family in case he persisted in going, but he sent no money, whether because he did not have it or because be did not wish Bakounin to go is not clear. Bakounin now wrote to Guillaume that he was greatly disappointed not to be able to take part in the Spanish revolution, but that it was impossible for him to do so without money. Guillaume admits that he was not convinced of the absolute necessity of Bakounin's presence in Spain, but, nevertheless, since be desired to go there, Guillaume offered to secure for him fifteen hundred francs to make the journey. On the receipt of this news, Bakounin answered Guillaume that the sum would be wholly insufficient.
If, however, the Spanish revolution was forced to proceed without Bakounin, his influence in that country was not wanting. In the year 1873 the Spanish sections of the International were among the largest and most numerous in Europe. At the time of the congress of Cordova, which assembled at the close of the year 1872, three hundred and thirty-one sections with over twentyfive thousand members expressed themselves in favor of "anarchist and collectivist" principles. The trade unions were very active, and they formed the basis of the Spanish movement. They had numerous organs of propaganda, and the general unrest, both political and economic, led for a time to an extraordinary development in revolutionary ideas.
On February 1873, the king abdicated and a republic was proclaimed. Insurrections broke out in all parts of Spain. At Barcelona, Cartagena, Murcia, Cadiz, Seville, Granada, and Valencia there existed a state of civil war, while throughout the industrial districts strikes were both frequent and violent. Demands were made on all sides for shorter hours and increase of wages. At Alcoy ten thousand workingmen declared a general strike, and, when the municipal authorities opposed them, they took the town by storm. In some cases the strikers lent their support to the republicans; in other cases they followed the ideas of Bakounin, and openly declared they had no concern for the republic. The changes in the government were numerous. Indeed, for three years Spain, politically and industrially, was in a state of chaos. At times the revolt of the workers was suppressed with the utmost brutality. Their leaders were arrested, their papers suppressed, and their meetings dispersed with bloodshed. At other times they were allowed to riot for weeks if the turbulence promised to aid the intrigues of the politicians.
A lively discussion took place as to the wisdom of the tactics employed by the anarchists in Spain. Frederick Engels severely criticised the position of the Bakouninists in two articles which he published in the Volksstaat. He reviewed the events that had taken place during the summer of 1873, and he condemned the folly of the anarchists, who had refused to co6perate with the other revolutionary forces in Spain. In his opinion, the workers were simply wasting their energy and lives in pursuit of a distant and unattainable end. "Spain is a country so backward industrially," lie wrote, "that it cannot be a question there of the immediate complete emancipation of the workers. Before arriving at that stage, Spain will still have to pass through diverse phases of development and struggle against a whole series of obstacles. The republic furnished the means of passing through these phases most rapidly and of removing these obstacles most quickly. But, to accomplish that, the Spanish proletariat would have had to launch boldly into active politics. The mass of the working people realized this, and everywhere demanded that they should take part in what was happening, that they should profit by the opportunities to act, instead of leaving, as formerly, the field free to the action and intrigues of the possessing classes. The government ordered elections for the Cortes members. What position should the International take? The leaders of the Bakouninists were in the greatest dilemma. A continued political inactivity appeared more ridiculous and more impossible from day to day. The workers wanted to 'see deeds.' On the other hand, the alliancistes (Bakouninists) had preached for years that one ought not to take part in any revolution that had not for its end the immediate and entire emancipation of the workers, that participation in any political action constituted an acceptance of the principle of the State, that source of all evil, and that especially taking part in any election was a mortal sin." (2o)
The anarchists were of course very bitter over this attack on their policies, and they concluded that the socialists had become reactionaries who no longer sought the emancipation of the working class. They were more than incensed at the reference Engels had made to an act of the insurgents of Cartagena, who, in order to gain allies in their struggle, had armed the convicts of a prison, "eighteen hundred villains, the most dangerous robbers and murderers of Spain." (21) According to Engels' information, this infamous act had been undertaken upon the advice of Bakounin, but, whether or not that is true, it was a fatal mistake that brought utter disaster to the insurgents.
Certainly of this fact there can be no question-the divisions among the revolutionary forces in Spain, which Engels deplored, resulted, after many months of fighting, in returning to power the most reactionary elements in Spain. And this was foreseen, as even before the end Of the summer Bakounin had despaired of success. In his opinion, the Spanish revolution miscarried miserably, "for want," as he afterward wrote, "of energy and revolutionary spirit in the leaders as well as in the masses. And all the rest of the world was plunged," he lamented, "into the most dismal reaction." (22)
France and Spain, having now failed to launch the universal revolution, Bakounin's hopes turned to Italy, where a series of artificial uprisings among the almost famished peasants was being stirred up by his followers. Their greatest activity was during the first two weeks in August of the next year, 1874, and the three main centers were Bologna, Romagna, and Apulia. In spite of the fact that the followers of Mazzini were opposed to the International, an attempt was made in the summer of 1874 by some Italian socialists (Celso Cerretti among others), to effect a union in order that by common action they might work more advantageously against the monarchy. Garibaldi, to whom these socialists appealed, at first disapproved of any reconciliation with Bakounin and his friends, but later allowed himself to be persuaded. A meeting of the Mazzinian leaders to discuss the matter convened August 2 at the village of Ruffi. The older members were opposed to all common action, while the younger elements desired it. However, before an agreement was reached, twenty-eight Mazzinians were arrested, among them Saffi, Fortis, and Valzania. Three days later, the police succeeded in arresting Andrea Costa, for whom they had been searching for more than a year on account of his participation in the International congress at Geneva. Although these events were something of a setback, the revolutionists decided that they had gone too far to retreat. It was then that Bakounin wrote: "And now, my friends, there remains nothing more for me but to die. Farewell!" (23) On the way to Italy he wrote to his friend, Guillaume, saying good-by to him and announcing, without explanation, that he was journeying to Italy to take part in a struggle from which he would not return alive. On his arrival in that country, however, he carefully concealed himself in a small house where only the revolutionary "intimates" could see him.
The nights of August 7 and 8 had been chosen for the insurrection which was to burst forth in Bologna and thence to extend, first to Romagna, and afterward to the Marches and Tuscany. A group of Bologna insurgents, reinforced by about three thousand others from Romagna, were to enter Bologna by the San Felice gate. Another group would enter the arsenal, the doors of which would be opened by two non-commissioned officers, and take possession of the arms and ammunition, carrying them to the Church of Santa Annunziata, where all the guns should be stored. At certain places in the city material was already gathered with which to improvise barricades. One hundred republicans had promised to take part in the movement, not as a group, but individually. On the 7th copies of the proclamation of the Italian Committee for the Social Revolution were distributed throughout the city, calling the masses to arms and urging the soldiers to make common cause with the people. During the nights of the 7th and 8th, groups from Bologna assembled at the appointed places of meeting outside the walls, but the Romagna comrades did not come, or at least came in very small numbers. Those from Imola were surrounded in their march, some being arrested and others being forced to retreat. At dawn the insurgents who had gathered under the walls of Bologna dispersed, some taking refuge in the mountains. Bakounin bad been alone during the night, and became convinced that the insurrection had failed. He was trying to make up his mind to commit suicide, when his friend, Silvio, arrived and told him that all was not lost and that perhaps other attempts might yet be made. The following day Bakounin was removed to another retreat of greater safety, as numerous arrests had been made at Bologna, Imola, Romagna, the Marches, as well as in Florence, Rome, and other parts of Italy.
About the same time a conspiracy similar to that undertaken at Bologna was launched by Enrico Malatesta and some friends in Apulia. A heavy chest of guns had been dispatched from Tarentum to a station in the province of Bari, from which it was carried on a cart to the old chAteau of Castel del Monte, which had been chosen as the rendezvous. "Many hundreds of conspirators," Malatesta recounts, "had promised to meet at Castel del Monte. I arrived, but of all those who had sworn to be there we found ourselves six. No matter. We opened the box of arms and found it was filled with old percussion guns, but that made no difference. We armed ourselves and declared war on the Italian army. We roamed the country for some days, trying to gain over the peasants, but meeting with no response. The second day we met eight carabinieri, who opened fire on us and imagined that we were very numerous. Three days later we discovered that we were surrounded by soldiers. There remained only one thing to do. We buried the guns and decided to disperse. I hid myself in a load of hay, and thus succeeded in escaping from the dangerous region." (24) An attempt at insurrection also took place in Romagna, but it appears to have been limited to cutting the telegraph wires between Bologna and Imola.
Back of all the Italian riots lay a serious economic condition. The peasants were in very deep distress, and it was not difficult for the Bakouninists to stir them to revolt. The Bulletin of the Jura Federation of August 16 informs us: "During the last two years there have been about sixty riots produced by hunger; but the rioters, in their ignorance, only bore a grudge against the immediate monopolists, and did not know how to discern the fundamental causes of their misery." (25) This is all too plainly shown in the events of 1874. Beyond giving the Bakouninists a chance to play at revolution, there is little significance in the Italian uprisings of that year.
The failure of the various insurrections in France, Spain, and Italy was, naturally enough, discouraging to Bakounin and his followers. The Commune of Paris was the one uprising that had made any serious impression upon the people, and it was the one wherein the Bakouninists had played no important part. The others had failed miserably, with no other result than that of increasing the power of reaction, while discouraging and disorganizing the workers. Even Bakounin had now reached the point where he was thoroughly disillusioned, and he wrote to his friends that he was exhausted, disheartened, and without hope. He desired, he said, to withdraw from the movement which made him the object of the persecutions of the police and the calumnies of the jealous. The whole world was in the evening of a black reaction, he thought, and he wrote to the truest and most devoted of all that loyal circle of Swiss workmen, James Guillaume, that the time for revolutionary struggles was past and that Europe had entered into a period of profound reaction, of which the present generation would probably not see the end. "He urged me," relates Guillaume, "to imitate himself and 'to make my peace with the bourgeoisie.' " (26) "It is useless," are Bakounin's words "to wish obstinately to obtain the impossible. It is necessary to recognize reality and to realize that, for the moment, the popular masses do not wish socialism. And, if some tipplers of the mountains desire on this account to accuse you of treason, you will have for yourself the witness of your conscience and 'the esteem of your friends." (27)
In July, 1873, Bakounin retired to an estate that had been bought for him through the generosity of Cafiero, on the route from Locarno to Bellinzona, and for the next few months lavish expenditures were made in the construction and reconstruction of an establishment where the "intimates" could be entertained. That fall Bakounin wrote to the Jura Federation, announcing his retreat from public life and requesting it to accept his resignation. "For acting in this way," he wrote, "I have many reasons. Do not believe that it is principally on account of the personal attacks of which I have been made the object these last years. I do not say that I am absolutely insensible to such. However, I would feel myself strong enough to resist them if I thought that my further participation in your work and in your struggles could aid in the triumph of the cause of the proletariat. But I do not think so.
"By my birth and my personal position, and doubtless by my sympathies and my tendencies, I am only a bourgeois, and, as such, I could not do anything else among you but propaganda. Well, I have a conviction that the time for great theoretical discourses, whether printed or spoken, is past. In the last nine years there have been developed within the International more ideas than would be necessary to save the world, if ideas alone could save it, and I defy anybody to invent a new one." (28)
This letter in reality marks the end of Bakounin's activity in the revolutionary movement. After squandering most of Cafiero's fortune, Bakounin sought a martyr's death in Italy, but in this, as in all his other exploits he was unsuccessful. And from that time on to his death his life is a humiliating story as he sought here and there the necessary money for his livelihood. Nearly always he had been forced to live from hand to mouth. Money, money, money was the burden of hundreds of his letters. In order to obtain funds he had resorted to almost every possible plan. He had accepted money in advance from publishers for books which he had never had time to write. From time to time he would find an almoner to care for him, only in the end to lose him through his, importunate and exacting demands. An account is given by Guillaume of what I believe is the last meeting betveen Bakounin and certain of his old friends in September, 1874. Ross, Cafiero, Spichiger, and Guillaume met Bakounin in a hotel at Neuchatel. Guillaume, it appears, was cold and unfeeling; Cafiero and Ross said nothing, while Spichiger wept silently in a corner. "The explicit declaration made by me . . . " says Guillaume, "took away from Bakounin at the very beginning all hope of a change in our estimation of him. It was also a question of money in this last interview. We offered to assure to our old friend a monthly pension Of 300 francs, expressing the hope that he would continue to write, but he refused to accept anything. As a set-off, he asked Cafiero to loan him 3,000 francs (no longer 5,000). . . . and Cafiero replied that he would do it. Then we separated sadly." (29)
On the first of July, 1876, Bakounin, after a brief illness, died at Bern at the house of his old friend, Dr. Vogt. The press of Europe printed various comments upon his life and work. The anarchists wrote their eulogies, while the socialists generally deplored the ruinous and disrupting tactics that Bakounin had employed in the International Working Men's Association. This story will be told later, but it is well to mention here that since 1869 an unbridgeable chasm had opened itself between the anarchists and the socialists. When they first came together in the International there was no clear distinction between them, but, after Bakounin was expelled from that organization in 1872, at The Hague, his followers frankly called themselves anarchists, while the followers of Marx called themselves socialists. In principles and tactics they were poles apart, and the bitterness between them was at fever beat. The anarchists took the principles of Bakounin and still further elaborated them, while his methods were developed from conspiratory insurrections to individual acts of violence. While the idea of the Propaganda of the Deed is to be found in the writings of Bakounin and Nechayeff, it was left to others to put into practice that doctrine. For the next thirty years the principles and ideals of anarchism made no appreciable headway, but the deeds of the anarchists became the talk and, to a degree, the terror of the world.
Hunter, R. (1914). Violence and the Labor Movement. New York: The Macmillan Company.
CHAPTER III The Battle between Marx and Bakounin
At the moment when the future of the International seemed most promising and the political ideas of Marx were actually taking root in nearly all countries, an application was received by the General Council in London to admit the Alliance of Social Democracy. This, we will remember, was the organization that Bakounin had formed in 1868 and was the popular section of that remarkable secret hierarchy which he had endeavored to establish in 1864. The General Council declined to admit the Alliance, on grounds which proved later to be well founded, namely, that schisms would undoubtedly be encouraged if the International should permit an organinization with an entirely different program and policies to join it in a body. Nevertheless, the General Council declared that the members of the Alliance could affiliate themselves as individuals with the various national sections. After considerable debate, Bakounin and his followers decided to abandon the Alliance and to join the International. Whether the Alliance was in fact abolished is still open to question, but in any case Bakounin appeared in the International toward the end of the six ties, to challenge all the theories of Marx and to offer in their stead, his own philosophy of universal revolution. Anarchism as the end and terrorism as the mean were thus injected into the organization at its most formative period, when the laboring classes of all Europe had just begun to write their program, evolve their principles, and define their tactics. With great force and magnetism, Bakounin undertook his war upon the General Council, and those who recall the period will realize that nothing could have more nearly expressed the occasional spirit of the masses-the very spirit that Marx and Engels were endeavoring to change-than exactly the methods proposed by Bakounin.
Whether it were better to move gradually and peacefully along what seemed a never-ending road to emancipation or to begin the revolution at once by insurrection and civil war-tbis was in reality the question which, from that moment on, agitated the International. It had always troubled more or less the earlier organizations of labor, and now, aided by Bakounin's eloquence and fiery revolutionism, it became the great bone of contention throughout Europe. The struggles in the International between those who became known later as the anarchists and the socialists remind one of certain Greek stories, in which the outstanding figures seem to impersonate mighty forces, and it is not impossible that one day they may serve as material for a social epic. We all know to-day the interminable study that engages the theologians in their attempts to describe the battles and schisms in the early Christian Church. And there can be no doubt that, if socialism fulfills the purpose which its advocates-have in mind, these early struggles in its history will become the object of endless research and commentary. The calumnies, the feuds, the misunderstandings, the clashing of doctrines, the antagonism of the ruling spirits, the plots and conspiracies, the victories and defeats-all these various phases of this war to the death between socialists and anarchists-will in that case present to history the most vital struggle of this age. But, whatever may be the outcome of the socialist movement, it is hardly too much to say that to both anarchists and socialists these struggles seemed, at time they were taking place, of supreme importance to the destinies of humanity.
The contending titans of this war were, of course, Karl Marx and Michael Bakounin. It is hardly necesary to go into the personal feud that played so conpicuous a part in the struggle between them. Perhaps no one at this late day can prove what Marx and his friends themselves were unable to prove-altough they never ceased repeating the allegations-that Bakounin was a spy of the Russian Government, that his life had been thrice spared through the influence of that Goverment, that he was treacherous and dishonest, and that his sole purpose was to disrupt and destroy the International Working Men's Association. Nor is it necessary to consider the charges made against Marx- some of the time has already taken care of-that he was domineering, malicious, and ambitious, that his spirit was actuated by intrigue, and that, when he conceived a dislike for any one, he was merciless and conscienceless in his warfare on that one. Incompatibility of temperament and of personality played its part in the battles between these two, but, even had there been no mutual dislike, the dif ferences between their principles and tactics would have necessitated a battle ti outrance.
For twenty years before the birth of the International, Marx and Bakounin had crossed and recrossed each other's circle. They had always quarreled. There was mutual fascination, due perhaps to an innate antagonism, that brought them again and again together at critical periods. At times there seemed a chance of reconciliation, but they no more touched each other than imme- unfourtunate Poles. George Sand has shown these papers to some of her friends." (5) Marx later printed Bakounin's answer to these charges-which were, in fact, groundless-and in his letters to the New York Tribune (1852) even commended Bakounin for his services in the Dresden uprising of 1849. (6) Nevertheless, there is no doubt that to the end Marx believed Bakounin to be a tool of the enemy. These quarrels are important only as they are prophetic in thus early disclosing the gulf between Marx and Bakounin in their conception of revolutionary activity. Although profoundly revolutionary, Marx was also rigidly rational. He had no patience, and not an iota of mercy, for those who lost their heads and attempted to lead the workers into violent outbreaks that could result only in a massacre. On this point he would make no concessions, and anyone who attempted such suicidal madness was in Marx's mind either an imbecile or a paid agent provocateur. The failure of Herwegh's project forced Bakounin to admit later that Marx had been right. Yet, as we know, with Bakounin's advancing years the passion for insurrections became with him almost a mania.
If this quarrel between Bakounin and Marx casts a light upon the causes of their antagonism, a still greater illumination is shed by the differences between them which arose in 1849. Bakounin, in that year, had written a brochure in which he developed a program for the union of the revolutionary Slavs and for the destruction of the three monarchies, Russia, Austria, and Prussia. He advocated pan-Slavism, and believed that the Slavic people could once more be united and then federated into a great new nation. When Marx saw the volume, he wrote in the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (February 14, 1849), "Aside from the Poles, the Russians, and perhaps even the Slavs of Turkey, no Slavic people has a future for the simple reason that there are lacking in all the other Slavs the primary conditions-historical, geographical, political, and industrial-of independence and vitality." (7) This cold-blooded statement infuriated Bakounin. He absolutely refused to look at the facts. Possessed of a passion for liberty, he wanted all nations, peoples-civilized, semi-civilized, or savage-to be entirely free. What bad historical, geographical, political, industrial conditions to do with the matter? All this is typical of Bakounin's revolutionary sentimentalism. He clashed again with Marx on very similar grounds when the latter insisted that only in the more advanced countries is there a possibility of a social revolution. Modern capitalist production, according to Marx, must atain a certain degree of development before it is possile for the working class to hope to carry out any really revolutionary project. Bakounin takes issue with him here. He declares his own aim to be "the complete a real emancipation of all the proletariat, not only of so countries, but of all nations, civilized and non-civilized. (8) In these declarations the differences between Marx and Bakounin stand forth vividly. Marx at time states what he wishes. He expresses no sentiment but confines himself to a cold statement of the facts as he sees them. Bakounin, the dreamer, the sentimentalist and the revolution-maker, wants the whole world free. Whether or not Marx wants the same thing is not the question. He rigidly confines himself to what he believes is possible. He says certain conditions must exist before a people can be free and independent. Among them are included historical, geographical, political, and industrial conditions. Marx further states that, before the working-class revolution can be successful, certain economic conditions must exist. Marx is not stating here conclusions which are necessarily agreeable to him. He states only the results of his study of history, based on his analysis of past events. In the one case we find the idealist seeking to set the world violently right; in the other case we find the historian and the scientist-influenced no doubt, as all men must be, by certain hopes, yet totally regardless of personal desire-stating the antecedent conditions which must exist previous to the birth of a new historic or economic period.
In speaking of the antagonism between Marx and Bakounin in this earlier period, I do not mean to convey the impression that it was the cause of the dissensions that arose later. The slightest knowledge of Bakounin's philosophy and methods is enough to make one realize that neither the International nor any considerable section of the labor or socialist movements had anything in common with those ideas. Certainly the thought and policies of Marx were directly opposed to everything from first to last that Bakounin stood for. Nothing could be more grotesque than the idea that Marxism and Bakouninism could be blended, or indeed exist together, in any semblance of harmony. Every thought, policy, and method of the two clashed furiously. It would be impossible to conceive of two other minds that were on so many points such worlds apart. Both Bakounin and Marx instinctively felt this essential antagonism, yet the former wrote Marx, in December, 1868, when he was preparing to enter the International, assuring him that he had had a change of heart and that "my country, now, c'est l'Internationale, of which you are one of the principal founders. You see then, dear friend, that I am your disciple and I am proud to be it." (9) He then signs himself affectionately, "Your devoted M. Bakounin." (io)
With an olive branch such as that arrived the new "disciple" of 1\1arx. He then set to work without a moment's delay to capture the International congress which was to be held at Basel, September, 1869. And it there that the first battle occurred. From the very moment that the congress opened it was clear that on every important question there was to be a division. Most unexpectedly, the first struggle arose over a question that seemed not at all fundamental at the time, but whicch, as the later history of socialism shows, was really basic. The father of direct legislation, Rittingbausen, was a delegate to the congress from Germany. He begged congress for the opportunity to present his ideas, and won the support, quite naturally, of the Marxian elements. In his preliminary statement to the congress he said: "You are going to occupy yourselves at length with the great social reforms that you think necessary in order to put an end to the deplorable situation of the labor world. Is it then less necessary for you to occupy yourselves with methods of execution by which you may accomplish these reforms? I hear many among you say that you wish to attain your end by revolution. Well, comrades, revolution, as a matter of fact, accomplishes nothing. If you are not able to formulate, after the revolution, by legislation, your legitimate demands, the revolution will perish miserably like that of 1848. You will be the prey of the most violent reaction and you will be forced anew to suffer years of oppression and disgrace.
"What, then, are the means of execution that democracy will have to employ in order to realize its ideas? Legislation by an individual functions only to the advantage of that individual and his family. Legislation by a group of capitalists, called representatives, serves only\ the interests of this class. It is only by taking their interest into their own hands, by direct legislation, that the people can . . . establish the reign of social justice. I insist, then, that you put on the program of this congress the question of direct legislation by the people." (H)
The forces led by Bakounin and Professor Hins, of Belgium, opposed any consideration of this question. The latter, in elaborating the remarks of Bakounin, declared: "They wish, they say, to accomplish, by representation or direct legislation, the transformation of the present governments, the work of our enemies, the bourgeois. They wish, in order to do this, to enter into these governments, and, by persuasion, by numbers, and by new laws, to establish a new State. Comrades, do not follow this line of march, for we would perish in following it in Belgium or in France as elsewhere. Rather let us leave these governments to rot away and not prop them up with our morality. This is the reason: the International is and must be a State within States. Let these States march on as they like, even to the point where our State is the strongest. Then, on their ruins, we will place ours, all prepared, all made ready, such as it exists in each section." (12) The result of this debate was that the father of direct legislation was not allowed time to present his views, and it is significant that this first clash of the congress resulted in a victory for the anarchists, despite all that could be done by Liebknecht and the other socialists.
The chief question on the program was the consideration of the right of inheritance. This was the main economic change desired by the Alliance. For years Bakounin had advocated the abolition of the right of inheritance as the most revolutionary of his economic de mands. "The right of inheritance," dedared Bakounin, after having been the natural consequence of wiolent appropriation of natural and social wealth, become later the basis of the political state and of the legal family . . . It is necessary, therefore, to vote the abolition of the right of inheritance." (Q) It was left to George Eccarius, delegate of the Association of Tailors of London, to present to that congress the views of Marx and the General Council. The report of the General Council was, of course, prepared in advance, but Bakounin's views were well known, and it was intended as a crushing rejoinder. "Inheritance," it declared, "does create that power of transferring the produce of man's labor into another man's pocket--it only relates to the change in the individuals who yield (sic) that power. Like all other civil legislation, the laws of inheritance are not the cause, but the effect, the juridical consequence of the existing economical organization of socity based upon private property in the means of production, that is to say, in land, raw material, machinery, etc. In the same way the right of inheritance in the slave is not the cause of slavery, but, on the contrary, slavery is the cause of inheritance in slaves. . . . To proclaim the abolition of the right of inheritance as the starting point of the social revolution would only tend to lead the working class away from the true point of attack against present society. It would be as absurd a thing as to abolish the laws of contract between buyer and seller, while continuing the present state of exchange 0 commodities. It would be a thing false in theory an reactionary in practice." (14) Despite the opposition 4. the Marxians at the congress, the proposition of Bakoukanin received thirty-two votes as against twenty-three given to the proposition of the General Council. As thirteen of the delegates abstained from voting, Bakounin's resolution did not obtain an ahsolute majority, and the question was thus left undecided.
Another important discussion at the congress was on landed property. Some of the delegates were opposed to the collective ownership of land, believing that it should be divided into small sections ;and left to the peasants to cultivate. Others advocated a kind of communism, in which associations of agriculttirists were to work the soil. Still others believed that the State should own the land and lease it to individual. Indeed, almost every phase of the question was untouched, including the means of obtaining the land from the present owners and of distributing it among the peasamts or of owning it collectively while allowing them the right to cultivate it for their profit. On this subject, again, Eccarius presented the views of Marx. To Bakotinin, who expressed his terror of the State, no matter of what character, Eccarius said "that his relations with the French have doubtless communicated to him this conception (for it appears that the French working men can never think of the State without seeing a Napoleon appear, accompanied by a flock of cannon), and he applied that the State can be reformed by the coming of the working class into power. All great transformations have been inaugurated by a change in the form of landed property. The allodial system was replaced by the feudal system, the feudal system by modern private ownership, and the social transformation to which the new state of things tends will be inaugurated by the abolition of individual property in land. As to compensations, that will depend on the circumstances. If the transformation is made peacefully, the present owner will be indemnified...If the owners of slaves had yielded when Lin coln was elected, they would have received a compensation for their slaves. Their resistance led to the abolition of slavery without compensation . . ." (iS) The congress, after debating the question at length, contented itself with voting the general proposition that "society has the right to abolish private property in land and to make land the property of the community." (16)
The last important question considered by the congress was that dealing with trade unions. The debate aroused little interest, although Liebknecht opened the discussion. He pointed out the great extension of trade-union organization in England, Germany, and America, and he tried to impress upon the congress the necessity for vastly extending this form of solidarity. And, indeed, it seems to have been generally admitted that trade-union organization was necessary. No practical proposals were, however, made for actually developing such organizations. The interesting part of the discussion came upon the function of trade unionism in future society. The socialists were little concerned as to what might happen to the trade unions in future society, but Professor Hins outlined at that congress the program of the modern syndicalists. It is, therefore, especially interesting to read what Professor Hins said as early as 1869: "Societies de resistance (trade unions) will subsist after the suppression of wages, not in name, but in deed. They will then be the organization of labor. . . . operating a vast distribution of labor from one end of the world to the other. They will replace the ancient political systems-' in place of a confused and heterogeneous representation, there will be the representation of labor.
"They will be at the same time agents of decentralization, for the centers will differ according to industries which will form, in some manner, each one as a seperate State, and will prevent forever the return to the ancient form of centralized State, which will not, however, prevent another form of government for local purposes. As is evident, if we are reproached for being inerent to every form of government, it is . . . because we detest them all in the same way, and because we believe that it is only on their ruins that a society coning to the principles of justice can be established."(17)
The congress at Basel was the turning point in the brief history of the International. Although the Marxist were reluctant to admit it, the Bakouninists had won complete victory on every important issue. Some of decisions future congresses might remedy, but in refusing even to discuss the question of direct legislation many of the delegates clearly showed their determination to have nothing to do with politics or with any movement aiming at the conquest of political power. In all the discussions the anarchist tendencies of the congress were unmistakable, and the immense gulf between the Marxist and the Bakouninists was laid bare. The very foundation principles upon which the International was based had been overturned. Political action was to be abandoned, while the discussion on trade unions introduced for the first time in the International the idea of a pure economic struggle and a conception of future society which groups of producers, and not the State or the comunity, should own the tools of production. This syndicalist conception of socialism was not new. Developed for the first time by Robert Owen in 1833, it had I the working classes into the most violent and bit strikes, that ended in disaster for all participants. Born again in 1869, it was destined to lie dormant for thirty years, then to be taken up once more-this time with immense enthusiasm-by the French trade unions.
Needless to say, the decisive victory of the Bakuninists at Basel was excessively annoying and humiliating to Marx. He did not attend in person, but it evident before the congress that he fully expected that his forces would, on that occasion, destroy root and branch the economic and political fallacies of Bakounin. He rather welcomed the discussion of the differences between the program of the Alliance and that of the Intranational, in order that Eccarius, Liebknecht, and others might demolish, once and for all, the reactionary proposals of Bakounin. To Marx, much of the program of the Alliance seemed a remnant of eighteenth-century philosophy, while the rest was pure utopianism, consiting of unsound and impractical reforms, mixed with atheism and schoolboy declamation. Altogether, the policies and projects of Bakounin seemed so vulnerable that the General Council evidently felt that little preparation was necessary in order to defeat them. They seemed to have forgotten, for the moment, that Bakounin was an old and experienced conspirator. In any case, he had left no stone unturned to obtain control of the congress. Week by week, previous to the congress, I'Egalitj, the organ of the Swiss federation, had published articles by Bakounin which, while professedly explaining the principles of the International, were in reality attacking them; and most insidiously Bakounin's own program was presented as the traditional position of the organization. Liberty, fraternity, and equality were, of course, called into service. The treason of certain working- class politicians was pointed out as the natural and inevitable result of political action, while to those who had given little thought to economic theory the abolition of inheritances seemed the final word. Nor did Bakounin limit his efforts to his pen. All sections of the Alliance undertook to see that friends of Bakounin were sent as delegates to the congress, and it was charged that credentials were obtained in various underhanded ways. However that may have been, the "practical," "coldblooded" Marx was completely outwitted by his "sentimental" and "visionary" antagonist. Instead of a great victory, therefore, the Marxists left the congress of Basel utterly dejected, and Eccarius is reported to have said, "Marx will be terribly annoyed." (18)
That Marx was annoyed is to put it with extraordinary moderation, and from that moment the fight on Bakouninism, anarchism, and terrorism developed to a white heat. Immediately after the adjournment of the congress, Moritz Hess, a close friend of Marx and a delegate to the congress, published in the Reveil of Paris what he called "the secret history" of the congress which he declared that "between the collectivists of International and the Russian communists [meaning Bakouninists] there was all the difference which exist between civilization and barbarism, between liberty a despotism, between citizens condemning every form violence and slaves addicted to the use of brutal force." (19) Even this gives but a faint idea of the bitterness of the controversy. Marx, Engels, Liebknecht Hess, Outine, the General Council in London, and eve newspaper under the control of the Marxists began to assail Bakounin and his circle. They no longer confined themselves to a denunciation of the "utopian and bourgeois" character of the anarchist philosophy. They went into the past history of Bakounin, revived all the accusations that had been made against him, and exposed every particle of evidence obtainable concerning his "checkered" career as a revolutionist. It will be remembered that it was in 1869 that Nechayeff appeared Switzerland. When the Marxists got wind of him and his doctrine their rage knew no bounds. And later they obained and published in L'Alliance de la Democratie Socialiste the material from which I have already quote extensively in my first chapter.
No useful purpose, however, would be served in dealing with the personal phases of the struggle. Bakounin became so irate at the attacks upon him, several of which happened to have been written by Jews, that he wrote an answer entitled "Study Upon the German Jews.' He feared to attack Marx; and this "Study," while avoiding a personal attack, sought to arouse a racial predjudice that would injure him. He writes to Herzen, a month after the congress at Basel, that he fully realizes that Marx is "the instigator and the leader of all this calumnious and infamous polemic." (20) He was reluctant however, to attack him personally, and even refers to Marx and Lassalle as "these two Jewish giants," but besides them, he adds, "there was and is a crowd of Jewish pigmies." (21) "Nevertheless," he writes, "it may happen, and very shortly, too, that I shall enter into conflict with him, not over any personal offense, of course, but over a question of principle, regarding State comnunism, of which he himself and the English and German parties which he directs are the most ardent partisans. Then it will be a fight to the finish. But there is a time for everything, and the hour for this struggle has not yet sounded. . . . Do you not see that all these gentlemen who are our enemies are forming a phalanx, which must be disunited and broken up in order to be the more easily routed? You are more erudite than I; you know, therefore, better than I who was the first to take for principle: Divide and rule. If at present I should undertake an open war against Marx himself, three-quarters of the members of the International would turn against me, and I would be at a disadvantage, for I would have lost the ground on which I must stand. But by beginning this war with an attack against the rabble by which he is surrounded, I shall have the majority on my side. . . . But, . . - if he wishes to constitute himself the defender of their cause, it is he who would then declare war openly. In this case, I shall take the field also and I shall play the star role." (22)
This was written in October, 1869, a month after the Basel congress. On the 1st of January, 1870, the General Council at London sent a private communication to all sections of the International, and on the 28th of March it was followed by another. These, together with various circulars dealing with questions of principle, but all consisting of attacks upon Bakounin personally or upon his doctrines, finally goaded him into open war upon Marx, the General Council, all their doctrines, -and even upon the then forming socialist party of Germany with Bebel and Liebknecht at its head. During the year 1870 Bakounin was preparing for the great controversy but his friends of Lyons interrupted his work by calling him there to take part in the uprising of that year. He hastened to Lyons, but, as we know, he was soon to flee and conceal himself in Marseilles. It was thier in the midst of the blackest despair, that Bakounin wrote' "I have no longer any faith in the Revolution in France. This nation is no longer in the least revolutionary. 7 people themselves have become doctrinaire, as insolate and as bourgeois as the bourgeois . . . The borgeois are loathsome. They are as savage as they stupid-and as the police blood flows in their vein should be called policemen and attorneys-general in bryons. I am going to reply to their infamous calumniers by a good little book in which I shall give everything everybody its proper name. I leave this country deep despair in my heart." (23) He then set to work last to state systematically his own views and to annhilate utterly those of the socialists. Many of these documents are only fragmentary. Some were started abandoned; others ended in hopeless confusion. With the most extraordinary gift of inspirited statement, passes in review every phase of history, leaping from peak to another of the great periods, pointing his lessons, issuing his warnings, but all the time throwing at reader such a Niagara of ideas and arguments that he is left utterly dazed and bewildered as by some startling military display or the rushing here and there of a military maneuver. In Lettres ti un Francais; Manuscrit de 114 Pages, ecrit a Marseille; Lettre a Esquiros; Pr9ambule pour la Seconde Livraison de I'Empire Knouto Germanique; Avertissement pour I'Empire Knouto-Gernjanique; Au Journal La LibeW, de Bruxelles; and Fragment formant une Suite de I'Empire Knouto- Gernianique, he returns again and again to the charge, always seeking to deal some fatal blow to Marxian socialisml but never apparently satisfying himself that he has accomplished his task. He touches the border of practical criticism of the socialist program in the fragment entitled Lettres a un Francais. It ends, however, before the task is done. Again he takes it up in the Manuscrit ecrit d Marseille. But here also, as soon as he arrives at the point of annihilating the socialists, his task is discontinued. In truth, he himself seems to have realized the inconclusive character of his writings, as he refused in some cases to complete them and in other cases to publish them. Nevertheless, we find in various places of his fragmentary writings not only a statement of his own views, but his entire critique upon socialism.
As I have made clear enough, I think, in my first chapter, there are in Bakounin's writings two main ideas put forward again and again, dressed in innumerable forms and supported by an inexhaustible variety of arguments. These ideas are based upon his antagonism to religion and to government. It was always Dieu et Etat that he was fighting, and not until both the ideas and the institutions which had grown up in support of "these monstrous oppressions" had been destroyed and swept from the earth could there arise, thought Bakounin, a free society, peopled with happy and emancipated human souls. When one has once obtained this conception of Bakounin's fundamental views, there is little necessity for deal various circulars dealing with questions of principle, but all consisting of attacks upon Bakounin personally or upon his doctrines, finally goaded him into open war upon Marx, the General Council, all their doctrines, -and even upon the then forming socialist party of Germany with Bebel and Liebknecht at its head. During the year 1870 Bakounin was preparing for the great controversy but his friends of Lyons interrupted his work by calling him there to take part in the uprising of that year. He hastened to Lyons, but, as we know, he was soon to flee and conceal himself in Marseilles. It was thier in the midst of the blackest despair, that Bakounin wrote' "I have no longer any faith in the Revolution in France. This nation is no longer in the least revolutionary. 7 people themselves have become doctrinaire, as insolate and as bourgeois as the bourgeois . . . The borgeois are loathsome. They are as savage as they stupid-and as the police blood flows in their vein should be called policemen and attorneys-general in bryons. I am going to reply to their infamous calumniers by a good little book in which I shall give everything everybody its proper name. I leave this country deep despair in my heart." (23) He then set to work last to state systematically his own views and to annhilate utterly those of the socialists. Many of these documents are only fragmentary. Some were started abandoned; others ended in hopeless confusion. With the most extraordinary gift of inspirited statement, passes in review every phase of history, leaping from peak to another of the great periods, pointing his lessons, issuing his warnings, but all the time throwing at reader such a Niagara of ideas and arguments that he is left utterly dazed and bewildered as by some startling military display or the rushing here and there of a military maneuver. In Lettres ti un Francais; Manuscrit de 114 Pages, ecrit a Marseille; Lettre a Esquiros; Pr9ambule pour la Seconde Livraison de I'Empire Knouto Germanique; Avertissement pour I'Empire Knouto-Gernjanique; Au Journal La LibeW, de Bruxelles; and Fragment formant une Suite de I'Empire Knouto- Gernianique, he returns again and again to the charge, always seeking to deal some fatal blow to Marxian socialisml but never apparently satisfying himself that he has accomplished his task. He touches the border of practical criticism of the socialist program in the fragment entitled Lettres a un Francais. It ends, however, before the task is done. Again he takes it up in the Manuscrit ecrit d Marseille. But here also, as soon as he arrives at the point of annihilating the socialists, his task is discontinued. In truth, he himself seems to have realized the inconclusive character of his writings, as he refused in some cases to complete them and in other cases to publish them. Nevertheless, we find in various places of his fragmentary writings not only a statement of his own views, but his entire critique upon socialism.
As I have made clear enough, I think, in my first chapter, there are in Bakounin's writings two main ideas put forward again and again, dressed in innumerable forms and supported by an inexhaustible variety of arguments. These ideas are based upon his antagonism to religion and to government. It was always Dieu et Etat that he was fighting, and not until both the ideas and the institutions which had grown up in support of "these monstrous oppressions" had been destroyed and swept from the earth could there arise, thought Bakounin, a free society, peopled with happy and emancipated human souls. When one has once obtained this conception of Bakounin's fundamental views, there is little necessity for dealing with the infinite number of minor points upon which he was forced to attack the men and movements of his time. On the one hand, he was assailing Mazzini, whose every move in life was actuated by his intense religious and political faith, while, on the other hand , he was attacking Xlarx as the modern Moses handing down to the enslaved multitudes his table of infamous laws as the foundation for a new tyranny, that of State socialism. In 1871 Bakounin ceased all maneuvering. Bringing out his great guns, he began to bombard both Mazzini and Marx. Never has polemic literature seen such another battle. With a weapon in each hand, turning from the one to the other of his antagonists, he battled as no man ever before battled, to crush "these enemies of the entire human race."
There is, of course, no possibility of adequately sumarizing, in such limited space as I have allotted to, the thought of one who traversed the history of the entire world of thought and action in pursuit of some crushing argument against the socialism of Marx. This perverted form of socialism, Bakounin maintained, templated the establishment of a communisme autorit or State socialism. "The State," he says, "having come the sole owner-at the end of a certain period transition which will be necessary in order to transform society, without too great economic and political shocks from the present organization of bourgeois privilege the future organization of official equality for all State will also be the sole capitalist, the banker, money lender, the organizer, the director of all national work, and the distributor of its products. Such is the ideal, the fundamental principle of modern communism." (24) This is, of all Bakotinin's criticisms of socialism, the one that has had the greatest vitality. It has gone the round of the world as a crushing blow to socialist ideals. The same thought has been repeated by every politician, newspaper, and capitalist who has undertaken to refute socialism. And every socialist will admit that of all the attempts to misrepresent socialism and to make it abhorrent to most people the idea expressed in these words of Bakounin has been the most effective. To state thus the ideal of socialism is sufficient in most cases to end all argument. Add to this program military discipline for the masses, barracks for homes, and a ruling bureaucracy, and you have complete the terrifying picture that is held up to the workers of every country, even to-day, as the nefarious, world- destroying design of the socialists.
It is, therefore, altogether proper to inquire if these were in reality the aims of the Marxists. Many sincere opponents of socialism actually believe that these are the ends sought, while the casual reader of socialist literature may see much that appears to lead directly to the dreadful State tyranny that Bakounin has pictured. But did Marx actually advocate State socialism? In the Communist Manifesto Marx proposed a series of reforms that the State alone was capable of instituting. He urged that many of the instruments of production should be centralized in the hands of the State. Moreover, nothing is clearer than his prophecy that the working class "will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State." (25) Indeed, in this program, as in all others that have developed out of it, the end of socialism would seem to be State ownership. "With trusts or without," writes Engels, "the official representative of capitalist society-the State-will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production." Commenting himself upon this statement, he adds in a footnote: "I say 'have to." For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the State has become economically inevitable, only then- even if it is the State of to-day that effects this-is there an economic advance, the attain of another step preliminary to the taking over productive forces by society itself." "This necessity" he continues, "for conversion into State property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and comunication-the post-office, the telegraphs, the railways." (26)
Here is the entire position in a nutshell. But Engles says the State will "have to." Thus Engels and Marx are not stating necessarily what they desire. And it must not be forgotten that in all such statements were outlining only what appeared to them to be a natural and inevitable evolution. In State ownership they s aw an outcome of the necessary centralization of calp and its growth into huge monopolies. Society woul forced to use the power of the State to control, eventually to own, these menacing aggregations of capital in the hands of a few men. Both Marx and Engles saw clearly enough that State monopoly does not destroy the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. " The modern State, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine . . . The more it proceeds totaking over of productive forces. . . . the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage workers- proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution." (27)
State ownership, then, was not considered by Marx and Engels in itself a solution of the problem. It is only a necessary preliminary to the solution. The essential step, either subsequent or precedent, is the capture of political power by the working class. By this act the means of production are freed "from the character of capital they have thus far borne, . . . " and their "socialized character" is given "complete freedom to work itself Out." (28) "Socialized production upon a predetermined mined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the State dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes -at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master- free.
"To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the new oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism." (29)
Engels declares that the State, such as we have known it in the past, will die out "as soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer neccessary. The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society-the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society-this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, then dies out of itself; the government of persons i placed by the administration of things, and by the duct of processes of production. The State is not abolished.' It dies out. This gives the measure of the of the phrase 'a free State,' both as to its justifiable at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific in:, sufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called, anarchists for the abolition of the State out hand."(30)
This conception of the role of the State is one that anarchist can comprehend. He is unwilling to admit that social evolution necessarily leads through State socialism to industrial democracy, or even that such evolution is possible. To him the State seems to have a corporeal, material existence of its own. It is a tyranncal machine that exists above all classes and wields legal, military, and judicial power all its own. That the State is only an agency for representing in certain fields the power of a dominant economic class-this is some thing the anarchist will not admit. In fact, Bak seems to have been utterly mystified when Eccarius answered him at Basel in these words: "The State can be reformed by the coming of the working class power." (31) That the State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the capitalist class neither be granted nor understood by the anarchists. Nor can it be comprehended that, when the capitalist class has no affairs of its own to manage, the coercive character of the State will gradually disappear. State ownership undermines and destroys the economic power of private capitalists. When the railroads, the mines, the forests, and other great monopolies are taken out of their hands, their control over the State is by this much diminished. The only power they possess to control the State resides in their economic power, and anything that weakens that tends to destroy the class character of the State itself. The inherent weakness of Bakounin's entire philosophy lay in this fact, that it begins with the necessity of abolishing God and the State, and that it can never get beyond that or away from that. And, as a necessary consequence, Bakounin had to oppose every measure that looked toward any compromise with the State, or that might enable the working class to exercise any influence in or through the State.
When, therefore, the German party at its congress at Eisenach demanded the suffrage and direct legislation, when it declared that political liberty is the most urgent preliminary condition for the economic emancipation of the working class, Bakounin could see nothing revolutionary in such a program. When, furthermore, the party declared that the social question is inseparable from the political question and that the problems of our economic life could be solved only in a democratic State, Eakounin, of course, was forced to oppose such heresies with all his power. And these were indeed the really vital questions, upon which the anarchists and the socialists could not be reconciled. It is in his Lettres a un Francais, written just after the failure of his own " practical" efforts at Lyons, that Bakounin undertakes his criticism of the program of the German socialists. Preparatory to this task, he first terrifies his French readers with the warning that if the German army, then at their doors, should conquer France, it would result in the destruction of French socialism, (by which he means anarchism), in the utter degradation and complete slavery of the French people, and make it possible for the Knout of Germany and Russia to fall upon the back of all Europe. "If, in this terrible' moment. . . . [France] does not prefer the death 0f all her children and the destruction of all her goods, the burning of her villages, her cities, and of all her houses to slavery under the yoke of the Prussians, if she does not destroy, by means of a popular and revolutionary uprising, the power of the innumerable German armies which, victorious on all sides up to the present, threaten her dignity, her liberty, and even her existence, if she does not become a grave for all those six hundred thousand soldiers of German despotism, if she does not oppose them with the one means capable of conquering and destroying them under the present circumstances, if she does not reply to this insolent invasion by the social revolution no less ruthless and a thousand times more menacing-it is certain, I maintain, that then France is her masses of working people will be slaves, and socialism will have lived its life." (32)
Approaching his subject in this dramatic matter Bakounin turns to examine the degenerate state of socialism in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany to see "what will be the chances of working-class emancipation in the rest of Europe." (33) In the first country socialism is only in its infancy. The Italians are wholly ignorant of the true causes of their misery. They are crushed, maltreated, and dying of hunger. They are "led blindly by the liberal and radical bourgeois." (34) Altogether, there is no immediate hope of socialism there. In Switzerland the people are asleep. "If the human world were on the point of dying, the Swiss would not resuscitate it." (35) Only, in Germany is socialism making headway, and Bakounin undertakes to examine this socialism and to put it forward as a horrible example. To be sure, the German workers are awakening, but they are under the leadership of certain cunning politicians, who have abandoned all revolutionary ideas, and are now undertaking to reform the State, hoping that that could be done as a result of "a great peaceful and legal agitation of the working class." (36) The very name Liebknecht had taken for his paper, the Volksstaat, was infamous in Bakounin's eyes, while all the leaders of the labor party had become merely appendages to "their friends of the bourgeois Volkspartei." (37) He then passes in review the program of the German socialists, and points to their aim of establishing a democratic State by the "direct and secret suffrage for all men" and its guidance by direct legislation, as the utter abandonment of every revolutionary idea. He dwells upon the folly of the suffrage and of every effort to remodel, recast, and change the State, as "purely political and bourgeois." (38)
Democracies and republics are no less tyrannical than monarchies. The suffrage cannot alter them. In England, Switzerland, and America, he declares, the masses now have political power, yet they remain in the deepest depths of misery. Universal suffrage is only a new superstition, while the referendum, already existing in Switzerland, has failed utterly to improve the condition of the people. The working-class slaves, even in the most democratic countries, "have neither the instruction, nor the leisure, nor the independence necessary to exercise freely and with full knowledge of the case their rights as citizens. They have, in the most democratic countries which are governed by representatives elected by all the people, a ruling day or rather a day of Saturnalian celebration: that is election day. Then the bourgeois, the oppressors, their every-day exploiters, and their masters come to them, with hats off, talk to them of equality and of fraternity, and call them the ruling people, of they (the bourgeois) are only very humble servants, the representatives of their will. This day over, fraternity and equality evaporate in smoke, the bourgeois become bourgeois once more, and the proletariate, the sovereign people, remain slaves.
"Such is the real truth about the system of representative democracy, so much praised by the radical bourgeois, even when it is amended, completed, and developed, with a popular intention, by the referendum or by that 'direct legislation of the people' which is extolled a German school that wrongly calls itself socialist. Foe very nearly two years, the referendum has been a part of the constitution of the canton of Zurich, and up to this time it has given absolutely no results. The people there are called upon to vote, by yes or by no, on all the important laws which are represented to them by the representative bodies. They could even grant them the initiative without real liberty winning the least advantage." (39)
It is a discouraging picture that Bakounin draws here of the ignorance and stupidity of the people as they are led in every election to vote their enemies into power.What, then, is to be done? What shall these hordes of the illiterate and miserable do? If by direct legislation they cannot even vote laws in their own interest, how then, will it be possible for them ever to improve their condition? Such questions do not in the least disturb Bakounin. He has one answer, Revolution! As he said in the beginning, so he repeats: "To escape its wretched lot, the populace has three ways, two imaginary and one real. The first two are the rum shop and the church, . . . the third is the social revolution." (40) "A cure is possible only through the social revolution," (40 that is, through "the destruction of all institutions of inequality, and the establishment of economic and social equality." (42)
However, if Bakounin's idea of the social revolution never altered, the methods by which it was to be carried out suffered a change as a result of his experience in the International. In 1871 he no longer advocated, openly at any rate, secret conspiracies, the "loosening of evil passions," or some vague "unchaining of the hydra." He begins then to oppose to political action what he calls economic action. (43) In the fragment-not published during Bakounin's life-the Protestation de I'Alliance, he covers for the hundredth time his arguments against the Volksstaat, which is a "ridiculous contradiction, a fiction, a lie." (44) "The State . . . will always be an institution of domination and of exploitation . . . a permanent source of slavery and of misery." (45) How, then, shall the State be destroyed? Bakounin's answer is "first, by the organization and the federation of strike funds and the international solidarity of strikes; secondly, by the organization and international federation of trade unions; and, lastly, by the spontaneous and direct development of philosophical and sociological ideas in the International. . . .
"Let us now consider these three ways in their special action, differing one from another, but, as I have just said, inseparable, and let us commence with the organization of strike funds and strikes.
"Strike funds have for their sole object to provide the necessary money in order to make possible the costly organization and maintenance of strikes. And the strike is the beginning of the social war of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, while still within the limits of legality. Strikes are a valuable weapon in this two- fold connection; first, because they electrify the masses, give fresh impetus to their moral energy, and awaken in their hearts the profound antagonism which exists between their interests and those of the bourgeoisie, by showing them ever clearer the abyss which from this time irrevocably separates them from that class; and, second, because they contribute in large measure to provoke and to constitute among the workers of all trades, of all localities, and of all countries the consciousness and the fact itself of solidarity: a double action, the one negative and the other positive, which tends to constitute directly the new world of the proletariat by opposing it, almost absolutely, to the bourgeois world." (46)
In another place he says: "Once this solidarity is seriously accepted and firmly established, it brings forth all the rest-all the principles-the most sublime and the most subversive of the International, the most destructive of religion, of juridical right, and of the State, of authority divine as well as human-in a word, the moat revolutionary from the socialist point of view, being nothing but the natural and necessary developments this economic solidarity. And the immense practical advantage of the trade sections over the central sections consists precisely in this-that these developments and these principles are demonstrated to the workers not by theoretical reasoning, but by the living and tragic experience of a struggle which each day becomes larger, more profound, and more terrible. In such a way that the worker who is the least instructed, the least prepared, the most gentle, always dragged further by the very consequences of this conflict, ends by recognizing himself to be a revolutionist, an anarchist, and an atheist, without often knowing himself how he has become such." (47)
This is as far as Bakounin gets in the statement of his new program of action, as this article, like many others, was discontinued and thrown aside at the moment when he comes to clinching his argument. The mountain, however, had labored, and this was its mouse. It is chiefly remarkable as a forecast of the methods adopted by the syndicalists a quarter of a century later. Nevertheless, one cannot escape the thought that Bakounin's advocacy of a purely economic struggle was only a last desperate effort on his part to discover some method of action, aside from his now discredited riots and insurrections, that could serve as an effective substitute for political action. In reality, Bakounin found himself in a vicious circle. Again and again he tried to find his way out, but invariably he returned to his starting point. In despair he tore to pieces his manuscript, immediately, however, to start a new one; then once more to rush round the circle that ended nowhere.
Marx and Engles ingnored utterly the many and varied assaults that Bakounin made upon their theoretical views. They were not the least bit concerned over attacks upon their socialism. They had not invented it, and economic evolution was determining its form. It was not, indeed until 1875 that Engels deals with the tendencies to State socialism, and then it was in answer to Dr. Eugene Duchring, privat docent at Berlin University, who had just announced that he had become "converted" to socialism. Like many another distinguished convert, he immediately began to remodel the whole theory and to create what he supposed were new and original doctrines of his own. But no sooner were they put in print than were found to be a restatement of the old and choiciest formulas of Proudhon and Bakounin. Engels therefore took up the cudgels once again, and, no doubt to stupefaction of Duehring, denied that property is robbery, (48) that slaves are kept in slavery by force,(49) and that the root of social and economic inequality is political tyranny. (50) Furthermore, be deplored method of interpreting history, and pointed out that capitalism would exist "if we exclude the possibility of force, robbery, and cheating absolutely . . . " Further more, "the monopolization of the means of production in the hands of a single class few in numbers...rests on purely economic grounds withoul robbery, force, or any intervention of politics or the government being necessary." To say that property rests, force "merely serves to obscure the understanding of the real development of things." (51) 1 mention Engles' argument in answer to Dr. Duehring, because word for word it answers also Bakounin. Of course, Bakounin was a much more difficult antagonist, because he could not be pinned down to any systematic doctrines or to any clear and logical development or state of his thought. Indeed, Marx and Engels seemed amused than concerned and simply treated his essay a form of "hyper-revolutionary dress-parade oratory,"to use a phrase of Liebknecht's. They ridiculed him as an "amorphous pan-destroyer," and made no attempt to refute his really intangible social and economic theories.
However, they met Bakounin's attacks on the International at every point. On the method of organization which Bakounin advocated, namely, that of a federalism of autonomous groups, which was to be "in the present a faithful image of future society," Marx replied that nothing could better suit the enemies of the International than to see such anarchy reign amidst the workers. Furthermore, when Bakounin advocated insurrections, uprisings, and riots, or even indeed purely economic action as a substitute for political action, Marx undertook extraordinary measures to deal finally with Bakounin and his program of action. A conference was therefore called of the leading spirits of the International, to be held in London in September, 1871. The whole of Bakounin's activity was there discussed, and a series of resolutions was adopted by the conference to be sent to every section of the International movement. A number of these resolutions dealt directly with Bakounin and the Alliance, which it was thought still existed, despite Bakounin's statement that it had been dissolved.* But by far the most important work of the conference was a revolution dealing with the question of political action. It is perhaps as important a document as was issued during the life of the International, and it stands as the answer of Marx to what Bakounin called economic action and to what the syndicalists now call direct action. The whole International organization is here pleaded with maintain its faith in the efficacy of political means. Political action is pointed out as the fundamental princple of the organization, and, in order to give authority to this plea, the various declarations that had been made during the life of the International were brought together. Once again, the old motif of the Communist Manifesto appeared, and every effort was made to give it the authority of a positive law. Although rather long, the resolution is too important a document not to be printed here almost in full.
"Considering the following passage of the preamble to the rules: 'The economic emancipation of the working classes is the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means; "That the Inaugural Address of the International Working Men's Association (1864) states: 'The lords of land and the lords of capital will always use their political privileges for the defense and perpetuation of their economic monopolies. So far from promoting, they will continue to lay every possible impediment in the way of the emancipation of labor . . . To conquer political power has therefore become the great duty of the working classes;'
"That the Congress of Lausanne (1867) has passed this resolution: 'The social emancipation of the workmen is inseparable from their political emancipation;'
"That the declaration of the General Council relative to the pretended plot of the French Internationals on the eve of the plebiscite (1870) says: 'Certainly by the tenor of our statutes, all our branches in England, on the Continent, and in America have the special mission not only to serve as centers for the militant organization of the working class, but also to support, in their respective countries, every political movement tending toward the accomplishment of our ultimate end-the economic emancipation of the working class;'
"Considering that against this collective power of the propertied classes the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes;
"That this constitution-of the working class into a political party is indispensable in order to insure the triumph of the social revolution and its ultimate endthe abolition of classes;
"That the combination of forces which the working class has already effected by its economic struggles ought at the same time to serve as a lever for its struggles against the political power of landlords and capitalists.
"The Conference recalls to the members of the International:
"That, in the militant state of the working class, its economic movement and its political action are indissolubly united." (52)
From the congress at Basel in 1869 to the conference at The Hague in 1872, little was done by the Interna tional to realize its great aim of organizing politically the working class of Europe. It had been completely side tracked, and all the energies of its leading spirits were wasted in controversy and in the various struggles of the factions to control the organization. It was a period of incessant warfare. Nearly every local conference was a scene of dissension; many of the branches were dissolved; and disruption in the Latin countries was gradually obliterating whatever there was of actual organization. It all resolved itself into a question of domination between Bakounin and Marx. The war between Germany and France prevented an international gathering, and it was not until September, 1872, that another congress of the International was held. It was finally decided that it should gather at The Hague. The Commune had flashed across the sky for a moment. Insurrection had broken out and had been crushed in varios places in Europe. Strikes were more frequent than had ever been known before. And, because of these various disturbances, the International had become the terror of Europe. Its strength and influence were vastly over- estimated by the reactionary powers. Its hand was seen in every act of the discontented masses. It became the "Red Spectre," and all the powers of Europe were now seeking to destroy it. Looming thus large to the outside world, those within the International knew how baseless were the fears of its opponents. They realized that internecine war was eating its heart out. During all this time, when it was credited and blamed for every revolt in Europe, there were incredible plotting and intrigue between the factions. Endless documents were printed, assailing the alleged designs of this or that group, an secret circulars were issued denouncing the character 0f this or that leader. Sections were formed and dissolved in the maneuvers of the two factions to control the approaching congress. And, when finally the congress gathered at The Hague, there was a. gravity among the delegates that foreboded what was to come. The Marxists were in absolute control. On the resolution to expel Michael Bakounin from the International the vote stood twenty- seven for and six against, while seven abstained. The expulsion of Bakounin, however, occurred only after a long debate upon his entire history and that of his secret Alliance. Nearly all the amazing collection of "documentary proof," afterward published in L'Alliance de la Democratie Socialiste, was submitted to the congress, and a resolution was passed that all the documents should be published, together with such others as might tend to enlighten the membership concerning the purposes of Bakounin's organization.
Two other important actions were taken at the congress. One was to introduce into the actual rules of the Association part of the resolution, which was passed by the conference in London the year before, dealing with political action, and this was adopted by thirty-six votes against five. The other action was to remove the seat of the General Council from London to New York. Although this was suggested by Marx, it was energetically fought on the ground that it meant the destruction of the International. By a very narrow vote the resolution was carried, twenty-six to twenty-three, a number of Marx's oldest and most devoted followers voting against the proposition. No really satisfactory explanation is given for this extraordinary act, although it has been thought since that Marx had arrived at the decision, perhaps the hardest of his life, to destroy the International in order to save it from the hands of the anarchists. To be sure, Bakounin was now out of it, and there was little to be feared from his faction, segregated and limited to certain places in the Latin countries; but everywhere the name of the International was being used by all sorts of elements that could only injure the actual labor movement. The exploits of Nechayeff, of Bakounin, and of certain Spanish and Italian sections had all conveyed to the world an impression of the International which perhaps could never be altogether erased. Furthermore, in Germany and other countries the seeds of an actual working-class political movement had been planted, and there was already promise of a huge development in the national organizations. What moved Marx thus to destroy his own child, the concrete thing he had dreamed of in his thirty years of incessant labor, profound study, and ceaseless agitation, will perhaps never be fully known, but in any case no act of Marx was ever of greater service to the cause of labor. It was a form of surgery that cut out of the socialist movement forever an irreconcilable element, and from then on the distinction between anarchist and socialist was indisputably clear. They stood poles apart, and everyone realize that no useful purpose would be served in trying to bring them together again.
Largely because of Bakounin, the International as an organization of labor never played an important r6le; but, as a melting pot in which the crude ideas of many philosophies were thrown-some to be fused, others to be cast aside, and all eventually to be clarified and purified-the International performed a memorable service. During its entire life it was a battlefield. In the beginning there were many separate groups, but at the end there were only two forces in combat-socialists an anarchists. When the quarrel began there was amoung the masses no sharply dividing line; their ideas were incoherent; and their allegiance was to individuals rather than to principles. Without much discrimination, they called themselves "communists," "Internationalists," "collectivists," "anarchists ... .. socialists." Even these terms they had not defined, and it was only toward the end of the International that the two combatants classified their principles into two antagonistic schools, socialism and anarchism. Anarchism was no longer a vague, undefined philosophy of human happiness; it now stood forth, clear and distinct from all other social theories. After this no one need be in doubt as to its meaning and methods. On the other hand, no thoughtful person need longer remain in doubt as to the exact meaning and methods of socialism. This work of definition and clarification was the immense service performed by the International in its eight brief years of life. Throughout Europe and America, after 1872, these two forces openly declared that they had nothing in common, either in method or in philosophy. To them at least the International had been a university.