Bakunin: The Destructive Urge

George Woodcock introduces the great rival of Marx and the founder of organised anarchism.

Mikhail Bakunin

On a rainy night of June 1840, the future anarchist Michael Bakunin departed for the first time from Russia. Only Alexander Herzen had come to see him off on his journey – appropriately, perhaps, since Herzen, that unofficial banker for so many European revolutionaries of the mid-nineteenth century, had provided the funds that made Bakunin's departure possible. 'I expect from this journey a rebirth and a spiritual baptism’, Bakunin had written when he asked for the loan. 'I feel within myself so many great and deep possibilities, and I have realised so little.'

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