Top

A collection of quotes and thoughts by Mikhail Bakunin on art, creativity, destruction, atheist, God, politics, socialism, religion, humor, truth, passion and anarchy.

47 Quotes By Mikhail Bakunin, The Founder Of Collective Anarchism

Quick Facts

Born On
30 May 1814 AD

Died On
01 July 1876 AD

Born In
Russia

Died At Age
62

Mikhail Bakunin was a Russian anarchist and revolutionary, who lived in the 19th century, is often regarded as one of the most important radical ideologues of his time. Bakunin is credited for being one of the most important figures in the history of social anarchism. He has been the founder of collective anarchism, and became an extremely popular figure among the European radicals. Bakunin’s work as a radical took him to Germany as well as France, where he got in touch with Karl Marx. Bakunin has also been a huge influence on latter day anarchists and Noam Chomsky counts him as one of his influencers. As is the case with any revolutionary, he was an excellent writer and speaker, who could put his point across effectively. Bakunin spoke on a variety of subjects during his lifetime and some of his most important thoughts include his opposition to theologies’, criticism of Marxist theories, federalism, materialism, liberty, free thought and collectivist anarchism. He put down his thoughts and views in books and some of the noted ones include ‘Statism and Anarchy’ and ‘God and the State’ among others. Bakunin was a giant among thinkers; here is a collection of some of his quotes from his books, writings, sppeches, works and life.

Thence results, for science as well as for industry, the necessity of the division and association of labor. I receive and I give - such is human life. Each directs and is directed in his turn.

- Mikhail Bakunin

To my utter despair I have discovered, and discover every day anew, that there is in the masses no revolutionary idea or hope or passion.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Powerful states can maintain themselves only by crime, little states are virtuous only by weakness.

- Mikhail Bakunin

I am conscious of my inability to grasp, in all its details and positive developments, any very large portion of human knowledge.

- Mikhail Bakunin

A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Anyone who makes plans for after the revolution is a reactionary.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The privileged man, whether he be privileged politically or economically, is a man depraved in intellect and heart.

- Mikhail Bakunin

I bow before the authority of special men because it is imposed upon me by my own reason.

- Mikhail Bakunin

But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person.

- Mikhail Bakunin

I am sure that, on the one hand, the Rothschilds appreciate the merits of Marx, and that on the other hand, Marx feels an instinctive inclination and a great respect for the Rothschilds.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Such a faith would be fatal to my reason, to my liberty, and even to the success of my undertakings; it would immediately transform me into a stupid slave, an instrument of the will and interests of others.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Therefore, if God existed, only in one way could he serve human liberty - by ceasing to exist.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Look at Christ, my dear friend: His life was divine through and through, full of self-denial, and He did everything for mankind, finding His satisfaction and His delight in the dissolution of His material being.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain.

- Mikhail Bakunin

If there is a State, then there is domination, and in turn, there is slavery.

- Mikhail Bakunin

People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vice versa.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

- Mikhail Bakunin

He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity.

- Mikhail Bakunin

This contradiction lies here: they wish God, and they wish humanity. They persist in connecting two terms which, once separated, can come together again only to destroy each other.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.

- Mikhail Bakunin

I listen to them freely and with all the respect merited by their intelligence, their character, their knowledge, reserving always my incontestable right of criticism and censure.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists, there the parasitic Jewish nation - which speculates upon the labor of people - will always find the means for its existence.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will.

- Mikhail Bakunin

To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying.

- Mikhail Bakunin

From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The passion for destruction is also a creative passion

- Mikhail Bakunin

Do you want to make it impossible for anyone to oppress his fellow-man? Then make sure that no one shall possess power.

- Mikhail Bakunin

It should be added that, in general, it is the character of every metaphysical and theological argument to seek to explain one absurdity by another.

- Unknown Book 9062488, Mikhail Bakunin

From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs

- Mikhail Bakunin

By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. Those who have cautiously done no more than they believed possible have never taken a single step forward.

- Mikhail Bakunin

Real humanity presents a mixture of all that is most sublime and beautiful with all that is vilest and most monstrous in the world.

- God and the State, Mikhail Bakunin

I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind both in theory and practice.

- Mikhail Bakunin

We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.

- Mikhail Bakunin

When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the People's Stick.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The freedom of all is essential to my freedom.

- Mikhail Bakunin

If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself.

- Mikhail Bakunin

I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The urge for destruction is also a creative urge!

- Mikhail Bakunin

If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him.

- Mikhail Bakunin

A jealous lover of human liberty, deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that, if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The liberty of man consists solely in this, that he obeys the laws of nature because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been imposed upon him externally by any foreign will whatsoever, human or divine, collective or individual.

- Mikhail Bakunin

The privilege of ruling would be in the hands of the skilled and the learned, with a wide scope left for profitable crooked deals carried on by the Jews, who would be attracted by the enormous extension of the international speculations of the national banks.

- Mikhail Bakunin