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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Elisée Reclus
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War
  Art and Anarchy
  Education and Anarchy
  Anarchist Poets


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Treating of this political storm period, Marx sings the praises of the generous bravery and the noble far-sightedness of the spontaneous revolt of the Viennese populace in the cause of Hungarian freedom. He contrasts their action against the "cautious circumspection" of Hungarian statesmanship. He dismisses Parliamentarians as poor, weak-minded men so little accustomed to anything like success during their generally very obscure lives that they actually believed their parliamentary amendments more important than external events. Marx proves that at this crisis Parliament did not control the army nor even the executive authority. He quotes with approval Radetzky's sneer at the imbecile responsible ministers at Vienna, that they were not Austria, but that he and his army were. Marx adds: "The army was a decisive power in the State, and the army belonged, not to the middle classes, but to themselves." It "had only to be kept in pretty constant conflicts with the people and the decisive moment once at hand, it could with one great blow, crush the revolutionists, and set aside the presumptions of the middle class parliamentarians."

Although Marx flirted with the universal suffrage in Britain, he neither answered nor recalled his trenchant contrast of the superiority of a confident army to a babbling parliament. His words sound the call of battle and revoltuionary anti-parliamentarism. He identifies his work with the ideal and endeavour of Bakunin.


The year 1848 was an era in the history of EUropean Socialism. It will probably prove to be a turning point in the history of human progress. Not only did it witness the so-called French Revolution., with its marvellous February days, but it found the whole of Europe in a ferment. Radicalism now became Socialism. The political revolution now gave place to the social revolution. Although agitators and advanced thinkers quibbled as to whether the Social Revolution was a political revolution or not, and although their theories of action proved a chaos of blundering, they agreed definitely on the necessity for a social revolution as distinct from a mere political revolution. Socialism now turned its back on its Utopian pioneers and aspired to be scientific. It regarded itself as inevitable. It made its appearance in Russia. Twenty years after Herzen had been introduced by the scared police authorities of Russia to Hegel at Moscow, the theories of St. Simon, relieved of their Utopian trimming appreance s became the gospel of the Russian radicals. In its origin, Russian Socialism was closely connected with the Anarchism of Proudhon. It will be found that the Slav connection of the proletarian revolution never lost completely Proudhon's influence. Since the war, the world socialist movement has plunged into chaos. Marxism is making its last authoritarian stand through


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