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(1814 - 1876) ~ Father of Anarcho-Collectivism : The originality of his ideas, the imagery and vehemence of his eloquence, his untiring zeal in propagandism, helped too by the natural majesty of his person and by a powerful vitality, gave Bakunin access to all the socialistic revolutionary groups, and his efforts left deep traces everywhere... (From : The Torch of Anarchy.)
• "The State is the authority, the rule, and organized power of the possessing class, and the make-believe experts over the life and liberty of masses. The State does not want anything other than the servility of the masses. At once it demands their submission." (From : "The Organization of the International," by Mikhai....)
• "The great bulk of mankind live in a continual quarrel and apathetic misunderstanding with themselves, they remain unconscious of this, as a rule, until some uncommon occurrence wakes them up out of their sleep, and forces them to reflect on themselves and their surroundings." (From : "The Church, the State, and the Commune," by Mikha....)
• "The capitalists are by no means philanthropists; they would be ruined if they practiced philanthropy." (From : "The Capitalist System," by Mikhail Bakunin. This....)


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This document contains 12 sections, with 18,582 words or 116,312 characters.

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The Council of Action does not ask any worker if he is of a religious or atheistic turn of mind. She does not ask if he belongs to this or that or no political party. She simply says: Are you a worker? If not, do you feel necessity of devoting yourself wholly to the interests of the working class, and of avoiding all movements that are opposed to it? Do you feel at one with the workers? And have you the strength in you that is requisite if you would be loyal to their cause? Are you aware that the workers who create all wealth who have made civilization and fought for liberty — and domed to live in misery, ignorance, and slavery? Do you understand that the main root of all the evils that the workers experience, is poverty? And that poverty — which is the common lot of the workers in all parts of the world — is a consequence of the present economic organization of society, and especially of the enslavement of labor — i.e. the proletariat — under the yo... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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The masses are the social power, or, at least, the essence of that power. But they lack two things in order to free themselves from the hateful conditions which oppress them: education, and organization. These two things represent: today, the real foundations of power of all government. To abolish the military and governing power of the State, the proletariat must organize. But since organization cannot exist without knowledge, it is necessary to spread among the masses real social education. To spread this real social education is the aim of the International. Consequently, the day on which the international succeeds in uniting in its ranks a half, a fourth, or even a tenth part of the workers of Europe, the State or States will cease to exist. The organization of the International will be altogether different from the organization of the State, since its aim is not to create new States but to destroy all existing government systems. The more artifici... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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The Council of Action claims for each the full product of his labor: meaning by that his complete and equal right to enjoy, in common with his fellow workers, the full amenities of life and happiness that the collective labor of the people creates. The Council declares that it is wrong for these who produce nothing at all to be able to maintain their insolent riches, since they do so only by the work of others. Like the Apostle Paul, the Council maintains, that, if any would not work, neither should he eat. The Council of Action avers that the right to the noble namo of labor belongs exclusively to productive labor. Some years ago, the young King of Portugal paid a visit to his august father-in-law. He was presented to a gathering of the Working Men’s Association at Turin: and there, surrounded by workers, he uttered these memorable words: “Gentlemen, the present country is the country of labor. We all labor. I, too, labor for the good of my pe... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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From this truth of practical solidarity or fraternity of struggle that I have laid down as the first Principe of the Council of Action flows a theoretical consequence of equal importance. The workers are able to unite as a class for class economic action, because all religious philosophies, and systems of morality which prevail in any given order of society are always the ideal expression of its real, material situation. Theologies, philosophies and ethics define, first of all, the economic organization of society; and secondly, the political organization, which is itself nothing but the legal and violent consecration of the economic order. Consequently, there are not several religions of the ruling class; there is one, the religion of property. And there are not several religions of the working class: there is one, the piety of struggle, the vision of emancipation, penetrating the fog of every mysticism, and finding utterance in a thousand prayers. Workers of all creeds, like wo... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Political Freedom without economic equality is a pretense, a fraud, a lie; and the workers want no lying. The workers necessarily strive after a fundamental transformation of society, the result of which must be the abolition of classes, equally in economic as in political respects: after a system of society in which all men will enter the world under special conditions, will be able to unfold and develop themselves, work and enjoy the good things of life. These are the demands of justice. But how can we from the abyss of ignorance, of misery and slavery, in which the workers on the land and in the cities are sunk, arrive at that paradise, the realization of justice and manhood? For this the workers have one means: the Association of Councils. Through the Association they brace themselves up, they mutually improve each other and, through their own efforts, make an end of that dangerous ignorance which is the main support of their slavery. (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Except, Proudhon and M. Louis Blanc almost all the historians of the revolution of 1848 and of the coup d’etat of December, 1851, as well as the greatest writers of bourgeois radicalism, the Victor Hugos, the Quinots, etc. have commented at great length on the crime and the criminals of December; but they have never deigned to touch upon the crime and the criminals of June. And yet it is so evident that December was nothing but the fatal consequence of June and its repetition on a large scale. Why this silence about June? Is it because the criminals of June are bourgeois republicans of whom the above named writers have been, morally, more or less accomplices? Accomplices in their principles and therefore indirectly accomplices to their acts. This reason is probable, but there is yet another which is contain. The crime of June struck workers only, revolutionary socialists, consequently strangers to the class and natural enemies of the principle that all these h... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Whosoever mentions the State, implies force, oppression, exploitation, injustice — all these brought together as a system are the main condition of present-day society. The State has never had, and never can have, a morality. Its only morality and justice is its own interest, its existence, and its omnipotence at any price; and before its interest, all interest of Humanity must stand in the background. The State is the negation of Humanity. It is this in two ways: the opposite of human freedom and human justice (internally), as well as the forcible disruption of the common solidarity of mankind (externally). The Universal State, repeatedly attempted, has always proved an impossibility, so that, as long as the State exists, State will exist — and since every State regards itself as absolute, and proclaims the adoration of its power as the highest law, to which all other laws must be subordinated, it therefore follows that as long as State exist wars c... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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Le Beveil du Peuple for September and October, 1870, published an important summary of an article by Michael Bakunin on the question of the social upheaval. Bakunin denounces all forms of reformist activity as being inimical to the emancipation of the working class, and proceeds to attack: these who advocate a more political revolution, brought about according to the constitutional forms of capitalist society, and through the medium of its, parliamentary machine, in opposition to a direct social revolutionary change effected by the workers through the medium of their own political industrial organization, Bakunin argues that the fact that wages practically never rise above the bare level of subsistence renders it impossible for the workers to secure increased well-being under bourgeois society. With the progress of capitalist civilization, the gulf between the two classes gapes wider and wider. It follows from this, also, that in the most demo... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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You taunt us with disbelieving in God. We charge you with believing in him. We do not condemn you for this We do not even indict you. We pity you. For the time of illusions is past. We cannot be deceived any longer. Whom do we find under God’s banner? Emperor, kings, the official and the officious world; our lords and our nobles; all the privileged poisons of Europe whose names are recorded in the Almana de Gotha; all the guinea pigs of the industrial, commercial and banking world; the patented professors of our universities; the civil service servants; the low and high police officers; the gendarmes; the jailers; the headsman or hangman, not forgetting the priests, who are now the black police enslaving our souls to the State; the glorious generals, defenders of the public order; and lastly, the writers of the reptile Press. This is God’s army! Whom do we find in the camp opposite? The army of revolt; the audac... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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We have repelled energetically every alliance with bourgeois politics, even of the most radical nature. It has been pretended, foolishly and slanderously, that we repudiated all such Political connivance because we wore indifferent to the great question of Liberty, and considered only the economic or material side of the problem. It has been declared that, consequently, we placed ourselves in the ranks of the reaction. A German delegate at the Congress of Basle gave classic expression to this view, when he dared to state that, who ever did not recognize, with the German Socialists Democracy, “that the conquest of political rights (power) was the preliminary condition of social emancipation,” was, consciously or unconsciously an ally, of the Caesars! These critics greatly deceive themselves and, “consciously or unconsciously,” endeavor to deceive the public concerning us. We love liberty much more than they do. We love it to the point of wishi...

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I am a passionate seeker for truth and just as strong an opponent of the corrupting lies, through which the party of order — this privileged, official, and interested representative of all religions, philosophical, political, legal economical, and social outrage in the past and present — has tried to keep the world in ignorance. I love freedom with all my heart. It is the only condition under which the intelligence, the manliness, and happiness of the people, can develop and expand. By freedom, however, I naturally understand not its more form, forced down as from above, measured and controlled by the state, this eternal lie which, in reality, is noting bit the privilege of the few founded upon the slavery of all. Nor do I mean that “individualistic,” selfish, petty, and mockfreedom, which is propagated by J.J. Rousseau and all other schools of bourgeois liberalism. The mock freedom which is limited by the supposed right of all, and defended by th... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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I am a passionate seeker after truth (and no less embittered enemy of evil doing fictions) which the party of order, this official, privileged and interested representative of all the past and present religions, metaphysical, political, juridical and “social” atrociousness claim to employ even today only to make the world stupid and enthralled it, I am a fanatical lover of truth and freedom which I consider the only surroundings in which intelligence, consciousness and happiness develop and increase. I do not mean the completely formal freedom which the State imposes, judges and regulates, this eternal lie which in reality consists always of the privileges of a few based upon the slavery of all — not even the individualist, egotistical, narrow and fictitious freedom which the school of J.J. Rousseau and all other systems of property moralists, middle class bourgeoisism and liberalism recommend — according to which the so called rights of indi... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)


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