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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
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  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Elisée Reclus
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
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  Paris Commune
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  Spanish Civil War
  Art and Anarchy
  Education and Anarchy
  Anarchist Poets


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possessed him and he put his thoughts into writing. His manuscripts were seized. A years imprisonment followed. On his release he attended a dinner organised by the students, who toasted Hegel and sung revolutionary songs. He was arrested again and exiled to Perm, on the very borders of Siberia. In solitude he determined to fathom Hegel. A master who had cost his disciple so much freedom ought to be understood.

Herzen was permitted to return to civilized life and to live at Vladimir. He fled from here to Moscow and carried off from one of the Imperial Ladies' Academies, a young cousin to whom he had been engaged. The authorities smiled at his romance where they frown at his thought. He was forgiven for his escapade and even allowed to live in Moscow. Ungrateful and unrepentant he joined a study circle at which he met Bakunin.

At first, Bakunin and Herzen were in opposite camps. The circle was divided into two facitons. One was Bakunin-Bielinsky-Stankevitch group. This was frankly German, authoritarian and purely speculative. It confined philosophy to the sky. The other was the group of Herzen and Ogariov. It was avowedly French, libertarian and revolutionary. It insisted that philosophy belonged to the earth. Herzen denounced Bakunin as a sentimentalist and Bakunin ridiculed Herzen as the "Russian Voltaire". To Bakunin, throughout his career, Germany was the fatherland of authority and France the motherland of liberty. He divorced the one and espoused the other. He never varied his conception of their respective roles.

Bakunin denounced the French for being turbulent. He condemned "the furious and sanguinary scenes of" their revolution. He described the revolution itself as "this abstract and illimitable whirlwind." It "shook France and all but destroyed her." The French writers assumed the gaudy and unmerited title of philosophers. In their "philosophications" they made revelation an object of mockery and religion a subject for contempt. The Revolution negated the State and legal order. It sacrificed loyalty and all that was most holy and truly great in life to passing fashion. Herzen and his colleagues were suffering from this "French Malady." They filled themselves with French phrases. Their speeches were vanities of sound, empty of meaning. Their "babbling" killed the soul in the germ. With their speeches they deprived life of the essence of beauty. Russian society in defence of "our beautiful Russian reality," must ally itself with "the German world" and "its disciplined conscience."

"Reconciliation with reality in all its relations and under all conditions is the great problem of our day," he added. Real education was "that which makes a true and powerful Russian man devoted to the Czar." Like the more modern Hitler, Bakunin, at this stage of his thought, omitted women as an individual from his scheme of things. The Russian man was to be "devoted to the


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