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By Wal Hannington

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This clandestine organiza­ tion, moreover, would remain intact even after the revolution had 85 V. A. Polonskii, Materialy dlia biografii M. , Moscow and Leningrad, 1923-1933), m, 375. 88 Bakunin, Izbrannye sochineniia, v, 20. , i, 234; Oeuvres, iv, 376. 88 Bakunin, Oeuvres, n, 39. "39 Bakunin's most famous successors, above all Kropotkin, were to find this strange and contradictory feature of their mentor's revolutionary strategy untenable and, it will be seen, would hasten to jettison it. In Bakunin's theoretical framework, the popular rebellion that would erase all governments from the face of the earth did not lack a constructive side.

29 In sharp contrast with Marx, who had a rationalist's scorn for the more primitive elements of society, Bakunin never depre­ cated the revolutionary capacities of nonworkers. He accepted the notion of a class struggle, it is true, but one that would not confine itself to the proletariat and bourgeoisie, since the in­ stinct of rebellion was the common property of all the oppressed classes of the population. Bakunin shared the Populist faith in the latent forces of violence in the Russian countryside, with its long tradition of blind and pitiless uprisings.

Throughout the past, he maintained, men had dis­ played a marked propensity to work together in a spirit of solidarity and brotherhood. Mutual aid among human beings had been far more potent a force than the egoistic will to domi­ nate others. 62 The theories of Hegel, Marx, and Darwin notwithstand­ ing, Kropotkin held that cooperation rather ,than conflict lay at the root of ,the historical process. 64 Kropotkin considered the rise of the centralized state from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries merely a transitory aberration from the normal pattern of western civilization.

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An Engineer looks at Russia by Wal Hannington


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