Source: Russian Anarchism. Nechayev was born September 20, He died at age 35 in prison, on December 3, — from dropsy complicated by scurvy. He was convicted for the murder of a fellow student, but his real crimes were political. He frightened the state because he claimed to head a secret society four million strong.
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Written: while in prison in Russia, and by command of the Czar, in ; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, In Bakunin founded the secret International Revolutionary Association better known as the International Fraternity which published its program and statutes in in three related documents: The International Family, the Revolutionary Catechism, and the National Catechism, in which Bakunin outlined the basic tenets of his doctrine.
They are, as H. They were reproduced in the original French in Dr. Nettlau made fifty copies of them which he deposited in the principal libraries of the world. The men who, in Italy, founded the Fraternity with Bakunin were former disciples of the republican nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, from whom they acquired their fondness for secret societies. Bakunin was not alone; everybody conspired — the Poles, the Italians, the Russians, the Blanquists, and the nascent unions camouflaged as social clubs.
Like all radicals at that time, Bakunin believed that the fall or death of Napoleon III would precipitate a new revolution, a new He directed all his energy toward safeguarding the expected revolution from the mistakes which had led to the collapse of the revolution of Despite the encouraging revival of the socialist and labor movements, Bakunin saw that the workers were still very far from attaining the necessary revolutionary consciousness.
To imbue the masses with this consciousness and to prevent the deformation of the revolution, Bakunin felt that the only alternative was to organize the secret International Fraternity.
Bakunin was convinced that this kind of vanguard movement was indispensable to the success of the Social Revolution; that the Revolution must simultaneously destroy the old order and take on a federalist and anarchistic direction. The Revolutionary Catechism is primarily concerned with the immediate practical problems of the revolution. It was meant to sketch out for new and prospective members of the International Fraternity both the fundamental libertarian principles and a program of action.
The Revolutionary Catechism does not attempt to picture the perfect anarchist society — the anarchist heaven.
Bakunin had in mind a society in transition toward anarchism. The building of a full-fledged anarchist society is the work of future generations. The Revolutionary Catechism indicates that Bakunin did not at first favor the direct expropriation of those sectors of private industry which did not employ hired labor. He feared that an immediate massive expropriation might find the workers unprepared to take control.
This would leave the way open for a bureaucratic administrative apparatus. It would lead to a worse evil, namely, the restoration of authoritarian institutions. The fact that Bakunin called for the destruction of all oppressive institutions does not mean that he favored premature changes in certain areas.
However, some years later he included expropriation in his program when the workers demanded it. National frontiers would be abolished. Human society would be organized industrially according to the needs of production. In view of the existing situation, it was not a matter of immediate concern and he merely mentioned it in passing.
Replacing the cult of God by respect and love of humanity, we proclaim human reason as the only criterion of truth; human conscience as the basis of justice; individual and collective freedom as the only source of order in society. Freedom is the absolute right of every adult man and woman to seek no other sanction for their acts than their own conscience and their own reason, being responsible first to themselves and then to the society which they have voluntarily accepted.
It is not true that the freedom of one man is limited by that of other men. Man is really free to the extent that his freedom, fully acknowledged and mirrored by the free consent of his fellowmen, finds confirmation and expansion in their liberty. Man is truly free only among equally free men; the slavery of even one human being violates humanity and negates the freedom of all. The freedom of each is therefore realizable only in the equality of all.
The realization of freedom through equality, in principle and in fact, is justice. If there is one fundamental principle of human morality, it is freedom. To respect the freedom of your fellowman is duty; to love, help, and serve him is virtue. Absolute rejection of every authority including that which sacrifices freedom for the convenience of the state. Primitive society had no conception of freedom; and as society evolved, before the full awakening of human rationality and freedom, it passed through a stage controlled by human and divine authority.
The political and economic structure of society must now be reorganized on the basis of freedom. Henceforth, order in society must result from the greatest possible realization of individual liberty, as well as of liberty on all levels of social organization. The political and economic organization of social life must not, as at present, be directed from the summit to the base — the center to the circumference — imposing unity through forced centralization.
On the contrary, it must be reorganized to issue from the base to the summit — from the circumference to the center — according to the principles of free association and federation. Political organization. It is impossible to determine a concrete, universal, and obligatory norm for the internal development and political organization of every nation.
The life of each nation is subordinated to a plethora of different historical, geographical, and economic conditions, making it impossible to establish a model of organization equally valid for all. Any such attempt would be absolutely impractical. It would smother the richness and spontaneity of life which flourishes only in infinite diversity and, what is more, contradict the most fundamental principles of freedom. However, without certain absolutely essential conditions the practical realization of freedom will be forever impossible.
These conditions are: A. The abolition of all state religions and all privileged churches, including those partially maintained or supported by state subsidies. Absolute liberty of every religion to build temples to their gods, and to pay and support their priests. The churches considered as religious corporations must never enjoy the same political rights accorded to the productive associations; nor can they be entrusted with the education of children; for they exist merely to negate morality and liberty and to profit from the lucrative practice of witchcraft.
Abolition of monarchy; establishment of a commonwealth. Abolition of classes, ranks, and privileges; absolute equality of political rights for all men and women; universal suffrage. Note by Max Nettlau] E. Abolition, dissolution, and moral, political, and economic dismantling of the all-pervasive, regimented, centralized State, the alter ego of the Church, and as such, the permanent cause of the impoverishment, brutalization, and enslavement of the multitude. This naturally entails the following: Abolition of all state universities: public education must be administered only by the communes and free associations.
Abolition of the State judiciary: all judges must be elected by the people. Abolition of all criminal, civil, and legal codes now administered in Europe: because the code of liberty can be created only by liberty itself.
Abolition of banks and all other institutions of state credit. Abolition of all centralized administration, of the bureaucracy, of all permanent armies and state police. Immediate direct election of all judicial and civil functionaries as well as representatives national, provincial, and communal delegates by the universal suffrage of both sexes.
The internal reorganization of each country on the basis of the absolute freedom of individuals, of the productive associations, and of the communes. Necessity of recognizing the right of secession: every individual, every association, every commune, every region, every nation has the absolute right to self-determination, to associate or not to associate, to ally themselves with whomever they wish and repudiate their alliances without regard to so-called historic rights [rights consecrated by legal precedent] or the convenience of their neighbors.
Once the right to secede is established, secession will no longer be necessary. Consecrated by liberty, these new federations of communes, provinces, regions, and nations will then be truly strong, productive, and indissoluble.
Individual rights. The right of every man and woman, from birth to adulthood, to complete upkeep, clothes, food, shelter, care, guidance, education public schools, primary, secondary, higher education, artistic, industrial, and scientific , all at the expense of society. The equal right of adolescents, while freely choosing their careers, to be helped and to the greatest possible extent supported by society.
After this, society will exercise no authority or supervision over them except to respect, and if necessary defend, their freedom and their rights. Unlimited freedom of propaganda, speech, press, public or private assembly, with no other restraint than the natural salutary power of public opinion. Absolute freedom to organize associations even for allegedly immoral purposes including even those associations which advocate the undermining or destruction of individual and public freedom.
Freedom can and must be defended only by freedom: to advocate the restriction of freedom on the pretext that it is being defended is a dangerous delusion. As morality has no other source, no other object, no other stimulant than freedom, all restrictions of liberty in order to protect morality have always been to the detriment of the latter.
Psychology, statistics, and all history prove that individual and social immorality are the inevitable consequences of a false private and public education, of the degeneration of public morality and the corruption of public opinion, and above all, of. It follows that all attempts to combat social immorality by rigorous legislation which violates individual freedom must fail. Experience, on the contrary, demonstrates that a repressive and authoritarian system, far from preventing, only increases crime; that public and private morality falls or rises to the extent that individual liberty is restricted or enlarged.
It follows that in order to regenerate society, we must first completely uproot this political and social system founded on inequality, privilege, and contempt for humanity. After having reconstructed society on the basis of the most complete liberty, equality, and justice — not to mention work — for all and an enlightened education inspired by respect for man — public opinion will then reflect the new humanity and become a natural guardian of the most absolute liberty [and public order.
Society cannot, however, leave itself completely defenseless against vicious and parasitic individuals.
Work must be the basis of all political rights. The units of society, each within its own jurisdiction, can deprive all such antisocial adults of political rights except the old, the sick, and those dependent on private or public subsidy and will be obliged to restore their political rights as soon as they begin to live by their own labor. The liberty of every human being is inalienable and society will never require any individual to surrender his liberty or to sign contracts with other individuals except on the basis of the most complete equality and reciprocity.
Society cannot forcibly prevent any man or woman so devoid of personal dignity as to place him- or herself in voluntary servitude to another individual; but it can justly treat such persons as parasites, not entitled to the enjoyment of political liberty, though only for the duration of their servitude. Persons losing their political rights will also lose custody of their children.
Persons who violate voluntary agreements, steal, inflict bodily harm, or above all, violate the freedom of any individual, native or foreigner, will be penalized according to the laws of society.
Individuals condemned by the laws of any and every association commune, province, region, or nation reserve the right to escape punishment by declaring that they wish to resign from that association.
But in this case, the association will have the equal right to expel him and declare him outside its guarantee and protection. Rights of association [federalism].
At this time we can only speculate about, but not determine, the immense development that they will doubtlessly exhibit in the new political and social conditions of the future. It is possible and even very likely that they will some day transcend the limits of towns, provinces, and even states.
They may entirely reconstitute society, dividing it not into nations but into different industrial groups, organized not according to the needs of politics but to those of production.
But this is for the future. Be that as it may, we can already proclaim this fundamental principle: irrespective of their functions or aims, all associations, like all individuals, must enjoy absolute freedom. Neither society, nor any part of society — commune, province, or nation — has the right to prevent free individuals from associating freely for any purpose whatsoever: political, religious, scientific, artistic, or even for the exploitation or corruption of the naive or alcoholics, provided that they are not minors.
To combat charlatans and pernicious associations is the special affair of public opinion. But society is obliged to refuse to guarantee civic rights of any association or collective body whose aims or rules violate the fundamental principles of human justice.
Individuals shall not be penalized or deprived of their full political and social rights solely for belonging to such unrecognized societies. The difference between the recognized and unrecognized associations will be the following: the juridically recognized associations will have the right to the protection of the community against individuals or recognized groups who refuse to fulfill their voluntary obligations. The division of a country into regions, provinces, districts, and communes, as in France, will naturally depend on the traditions, the specific circumstances, and the particular nature of each country.
Vudolkis The freedom of adults is possible only when the free society looks after the education of minors. Absolute freedom to organize associations even rrvolutionary allegedly immoral purposes including even those associations which advocate the undermining or destruction of individual and public freedom. He despises and hates the existing social morality in all its manifestations. Affinity group Synthesis anarchism Platformism. Commercial and industrial crises, stagnation unemploymentwaste of capital, etc. It is superfluous to speak of solidarity among revolutionists. The same goes for the bourgeois: The same causes are bound to produce the same effects; the nobility, weakened and demoralized by depraved idleness, fell in under the blows of the revolutionary serfs and workers.
The Revolutionary Catechism
Written: while in prison in Russia, and by command of the Czar, in ; Source: Bakunin on Anarchy, translated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, In Bakunin founded the secret International Revolutionary Association better known as the International Fraternity which published its program and statutes in in three related documents: The International Family, the Revolutionary Catechism, and the National Catechism, in which Bakunin outlined the basic tenets of his doctrine. They are, as H. They were reproduced in the original French in Dr. Nettlau made fifty copies of them which he deposited in the principal libraries of the world. The men who, in Italy, founded the Fraternity with Bakunin were former disciples of the republican nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini, from whom they acquired their fondness for secret societies. Bakunin was not alone; everybody conspired — the Poles, the Italians, the Russians, the Blanquists, and the nascent unions camouflaged as social clubs.
The Anarchist Library: Michail Bakunin Revolutionary Catechism a4
Samugar It would lead to a worse evil, namely, the restoration of authoritarian institutions. Be that as it may, we can already proclaim this fundamental principle: We can only point out here the two fundamental and indispensable principles which must be put into effect by any country seriously trying to organize a free society. Communes refusing to accept the provincial laws will not be entitled to its benefits. For this is a form of politics which locks each country into a self-made fortress, shutting out the rest of humanity, organizing itself into a closed world, independent of all human solidarity, finding its glory and prosperity in the evil it can do to other countries. Bakunin on Anarchytranslated and edited by Sam Dolgoff, He is its merciless enemy and continues to inhabit it with only one purpose — to destroy it. Equality does not imply the leveling of individual differences, nor that individuals should be made physically, morally, or mentally identical. Psychology, statistics, and all history prove that individual and social immorality are the inevitable consequences of a false private and public education, of the degeneration of public morality and the corruption of public opinion, and above all, of.