Statism and Anarchy is a complete English translation of the last work by the great Russian anarchist Michael Bakunin. It was written in 1873, in the aftermath of the rise of the German Empire and the clash between Bakunin and Karl Marx in the first International. Bakunin assesses the strength of a European state system dominated by Bismarck. Then, in the most remarkable part of the book, he assails the Marxist alternative, predicting that a “dictatorship of the proletariat” will in fact be a dictatorship over the proletariat, and will produce a new class of socialist rulers. Instead, he outlines his vision of an anarchist society and identifies the social forces he believes will achieve an ananarchist revolution. Statism and Anarchy had an immediate influence on the “to the people” movement of Russian populism, and Bakunin’s ideas inspired other anarchist movements. This is the only complete and reliable rendition of Statism and Anarchy in English, and in a lucid introduction Marshall Shatz locates Bakunin in his immediate historical and intellectual context, and assesses the impact of his ideas on the wider development of European radical thought. A guide to further reading and a chronology of events are appended as aids to students encountering Bakunin’s thought for the first time.
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