Mikhail Bakunin: The Philosophical Basis of His Anarchism

Mikhail Bakunin: The Philosophical Basis of His Anarchism

Language: English

Pages: 268

ISBN: 1892941848

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first English-language philosophical study of Mikhail Bakunin, this book examines the philosophical foundations of Bakunin?

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once an affirmation of what has proved to be lacking in that paradigm. As Kuhn puts it: “The decision to reject one paradigm is always simultaneously the decision to accept another, and the judgment leading to that decision involves the comparison of both paradigms with nature and with each other”. There is a ring of Bakunin’s “the destructive urge is a creative urge, too” sentiment here. Kuhn adds that “To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science

between Hegel and Marx and the discontinuity between Hegel and Bakunin, might take note of this. The discontinuity that he sees between Hegel and Bakunin is in fact illusory. Bakunin, like Hegel, regards the principle of universal freedom as the content of history. Thomas’ effort to obscure the continuity through the concept of freedom by linking an individualistic concept of freedom to Bakunin — “whose leitmotiv is individual freedom” — is an outright falsification [Karl Marx and the Anarchists

(while Marxists object to Bakunin’s socialism for being too “liberal” (hence it is the “Proudhonist” side of Bakunin’s socialism that Engels has difficulty with [Letter to Theodor Cuno [24/1/1872], The Marx-Engels Reader, p. 728]). < 86 > Bakunin’s Dialectic and the Critique of Speculation Herzen’s libertarianism, unlike Bakunin’s, is, for Berlin, only moderately and tolerably socialist (though there is little question that Berlin understates Herzen’s socialism). Berlin is seemingly oblivious

of both those influences on Bakunin which it acknowledges and, presumably, those which it does not. Thirdly, it is couched in the most obscure — and, let’s face it, ultimately meaningless — terminology, perhaps to compensate for its inability to deal with Bakunin on his own philosophical terms. And, fourthly, it is ideologically motivated; the final paragraph, where Mendel speaks fondly of the “moderate” tradition which Berlin also champions, gives the ideological element away: “there have been

development of religion is taken. As always, this first developmental step is the most difficult but also the most important since, once taken, “the rest unfolds naturally as a necessary consequence” of it. The first step is thus irreversible and conclusive. In the case of religion, this vital first step “was to posit a divine [or supernatural] world as such, outside the real [or natural] world”.70 Man, lacking the consciousness of natural unity, thereby severed the imaginary, that is, the

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