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.
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.
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.
From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots.
Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying.
When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the People's Stick.
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.
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.
The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists, there the parasitic Jewish nation - which speculates upon the labor of people - will always find the means for its existence.
The 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.
If there is a State, then there is domination, and in turn, there is slavery.
Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain.
Real humanity presents a mixture of all that is most sublime and beautiful with all that is vilest and most monstrous in the world.
Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations.
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.
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.
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.