Dimitri Von Mohrenschildt, Toward a United States of Russia: Plans and Projects of Federal Reconstruction of Russia in the Nineteenth Century, 1981.

Populism and Anarchism: The Federalist Trend

Definition of Populism

Isaiah Berlin has an excellent definition of the populist movement in his introduction to Venturi's classic study of populism.

Russian populism is the name not of a single political party, nor of a coherent body of doctrine, but of a widespread radical movement in Russia in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was born during the great social and intellectual ferment which followed the death of Tsar Nicholas I and the defeat and humiliation of the Crimean War, grew to fame and influence during the 'sixties and 'seventies, and reached its culmination with the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, after which it swiftly declined. Its leaders were men of very dissimilar origins, outlooks and capacities; it was not at any stage more than a loose congeries of small independent groups of conspirators or their sympathizers, who sometimes united for common action, and at other times operated in isolation. These groups tended to differ both about ends and about means. Nevertheless they held certain fundamental beliefs in common and possessed sufficient moral and political solidarity to entitle them to be called a single movement.1

Within this complex and many-sided movement there were sharp differences between different groups, primarily regarding the methods of achieving the revolution, and its timing. But there was also, as Venturi points out, a wide area of agreement. Foremost was the common belief that the [167] Russian village commune was the ideal base for the future socialist society; then, it was agreed that Russia could bypass the capitalist development, proceeding directly to socialism; finally, many held that the future society would be some sort of a federation, either a federal republic like that of the United States or a stateless federal alliance of small self-governing associations of agricultural and industrial workers. The latter idea was most strongly developed by the anarchists.

In this chapter we are concerned primarily with two aspects of the federalist trend -- the federal state after the revolution, as envisaged by the revolutionaries, and the federal organization of the revolutionary party. First, we must examine the attitude to the state of the pioneers of Russian populism.

The Pioneers of Russian Populism: Herzen, Ogarev, and Chernyshevsky

Among Russian political thinkers Herzen was the staunchest and most consistent advocate of decentralization and of a federal organization of the Russian state. He strongly felt that the West had deified the Roman state as a natural phenomenon; for the Russian, he believed, the state was an alien, inimical force, as shown by numerous peasant rebellions and the stubborn opposition of the schismatics. Moreover, the Slavs in ancient times developed a free type of association, the peasant commune, which was a kind of primitive democracy and socialism. It was a social organization which was most suited to the Slav character. As early as 1851, in his letter to Michelet, Herzen expounded his views on the Slav world and the idea of a Slav federation. "Centralization is alien to the Slav spirit -- federation is far more natural to it. Only when grouped in a league of free and independent peoples will the Slav world at last enter upon its genuine historical existence."2

He praised Slav vitality and pliability. In the nineteenth century the Slav world, he thought, was striving toward unity, which became apparent immediately after the [168] Napoleonic period. "The idea of a Slavic federation," he wrote, "had already taken shape in the revolutionary plans of Pestel and Muraviev. Many Poles had a hand in the Russian conspiracy of December 1825."3

Although opposed to exclusive nationalism, Herzen was in favor of the Polish aspiration for independence and hoped that the Poles would realize that the only way to achieve this was "to fight for their freedom, and ours, as the inscription on their revolutionary banners reads."4

Speaking of the Ukraine's turbulent history as typical of Slavic character, he wrote:

Here was a Cossack and agricultural republic, ruled with military discipline, but on the basis of democratic communism, without any centralization, without any state power, subject to the ancient custom, submitting neither to the tsar of Moscow nor to the king of Poland.... Moscow had destroyed all that was characteristically independent in ancient Rus, all the popular liberties. Everything was sacrificed to the idea of the State; everything was brought to one common denominator.5

On various occasions Herzen expressed the desirability of dividing Russia into states and transforming the empire into a union of territories and nationalities similar to that of the United States. He was familiar with Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America as early as 1837.6 Based largely on his reading of the brilliant Frenchman, he expressed admiration for American federalism, local self-government, and the fact that, like Russia, it was less bound by tradition than Western Europe. In addition, he thought that the United States had solved the nationality problem through successful absorbtion of emigrants from all over the world.7 In history, geography, and way of life Russia and America had much in common. Writing to Michelet in 1868, he expressed the hope that some day "the monstrous Russian Empire" would be transformed into a United States of Russia, on the model of the United States."

In 1862, Herzen was willing to accept Siberia's separation [169] from Russia and the Ukraine's federating with anyone it wished.

We accept the right of independence for every nationality which has separated from another and which has natural boundaries and a special geographical situation. If tomorrow Siberia would separate from Russia, we would be the first to welcome its new life. The unity of the state does not coincide with the well-being of the masses.... Let Lithuania, Belorussia and the Ukraine unite with anyone they wish, or not unite, only they must really know their own minds.9

During the Polish revolt of 1863, Herzen supported Poland's right to independence, but he insisted that the Polish rebels solve the peasant problem and argued against their claims of boundaries of 1772. Eloquently he wrote:

We are with Poland, because we are for Russia. We are on the side of Poles because we are Russians. We want the independence of Poland because we want freedom in Russia.... We are with them [the Polish rebels] because we are firmly convinced that the absurd empire extending from Sweden to the Pacific Ocean, from the White-Sea to China -- cannot bring welfare to the peoples led by St. Petersburg.... Yes, we are against the Empire because we are for the people!10

As is known, the threat of intervention of European powers caused an outburst of patriotism throughout Russia, fanned by Katkov's pen. Herzen's political influence began to decline, as shown by the drop of the Bell's circulation from 3,000 to 500.11

In the 1840s, before his voluntary exile, Herzen's developing ideas on socialism and the role of the state were strongly influenced by French utopian socialists. According to Malia in his excellent study of Herzen, "he took from Fourier the concept of association and communal living, from Louis Blanc on social revolution and the working class movement, and from Proudhon inspiration for individual liberty and the rejection of state, whatever its form."12 "He [Proudhon] [170] denied all forms of social organization not based on the fullest mutual consent. Hence, he denied the state in any form, including parliamentary democracy, in favor of the maximum decentralization of power and direct democracy on the local level, principles for which he eventually coined the word 'anarchism.' "13 Proudhon was probably Herzen's strongest and most enduring influence. He compared him to Hegel, considered him the greatest European socialist, and sided with Proudhon against Marx. Woodcock thus characterizes this influence:

Herzen was the first Russian to realize the importance of Proudhon's objections to authoritarian communism, and in the 1840s he began to spread the French anarchist's ideas among the radical discussion groups of Moscow. Later, exiled to Europe, disillusioned by the Revolutions of 1848 and 1849, he found in Proudhon the man who most eloquently expressed his own misgivings about the failures of Jacobin politics and socialist Utopianism.14

Herzen never actually become an anarchist. At times he highly praised the anarchist ideal of society; however, he continued to the end of his life to regard the state as basically inimical to freedom as well as alien to the spirit of the Russian people.

As youths in Moscow, N. P. Ogarev (1830-77) and Herzen swore the famous oath to devote their lives to the cause of freedom. Both became political emigres and remained lifelong friends. Venturi called Ogarev "one of the creators of the psychology of populism."15 Together with the brothers Nikolai and Alexander Serno-Solovievich, Chernyshevsky and Obruchev, he was one of the organizers of the first Land and Liberty.16 He shared with Herzen the belief that a federation -- a free alliance of various nationalities -- is the best political form for a multinational state such as Russia. In his articles in the Bell he asserted that, based on geographical, historical, economic, and ethnic peculiarities, Russia falls naturally into regions -- such as the White Sea region, the Baltic region, the Ukraine, central Great Russia, Siberia, [171] Transcaspia, etc.17 He advocated that each region be given obshchinas; the regions were then to unite into a federation with an elected federal government on the model of the United States. Like Herzen, he was a great admirer of America as a teacher and guide for Russia.18

Based on his reading of Shchapov's Zemstvo and the Schism, published in 1861-62, his faith in the Old Believers as a revolutionary element was even greater than Herzen's. He admired them for their stubborn opposition to the Great Russian church and state.

During the Polish uprising Ogarev was sympathetic to Polish independence and took part in the negotiations with the Polish National Committee. He believed with Herzen, however, that the Polish uprising was badly timed and badly coordinated. Their efforts to coordinate the Russian revolutionary movement and the uprising were unsuccessful.19

Like Herzen, Ogarev was a strong advocate of individual freedom, autonomy, and decentralization. He consistently opposed the Jacobin and Blanquist tendencies of Russian populists. The revolutionary struggle, he thought, should be decentralized and become thus the new government after the revolution.20 He expressed these ideas in 1868 in the French edition of the Bell. Once the nobility and the bureaucracy of the old regime had been eliminated, presumably by a revolution, "la centralisation cesse, elle n'a plus de raison d'etre et les provinces se constitueront d'une maniere autonome."21

While Herzen and Ogarev were expounding populism from abroad, N. G. Chernyshevsky (1828-89) was its major inspirer within Russia. What were his views on the state, on federalism?

Soviet historiography generally considers that of all the pre-Marxist populist thinkers Chernyshevsky came closest to the understanding of the state as the bourgeois instrument for suppressing the working classes. He is usually described as more "advanced" than Herzen and as a forerunner of Marxism.22

According to G. Plekhanov, the state played a major role in [172] all of Chernyshevsky's reform projects. He favored the village commune, which could become, he thought, the basis of future local self-government, but he placed the commune always under the care and control of the state.23 Economic reforms, according to Plekhanov, were to be undertaken always on the initiative of the state, not by local regional initiative. Chernyshevsky believed that social revolution, by abolishing the classes, would eventually eliminate the existing conflict between the state and society.24 Nor did Chernyshevsky agree with Shchapov's theory that the Russian masses are traditionally anti-state. He thought, in fact, that the Russian people had always favored a strong national state and all reforms were assumed to proceed from the central power.25 From an economic viewpoint, Chernyshevsky was opposed to laissez-faire and favored state intervention whenever necessary.

On the other hand, like so many radicals of the time, Chernyshevsky admired the American federation, especially the principle of separation of powers in the national government and absence of a top-heavy bureaucracy. According to Hecht, he had made a careful analysis of de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, not always agreeing, however, with Tocqueville's emphasis on decentralization.26 A Soviet historian, V. G. Sokurenko, maintains -- not too convincingly -- that Chernyshevsky even admitted the possibility of an all Slav federation.27 All in all, one must conclude that Chernyshevsky did not belong, as did the other pioneers of populism, to the anti-statist trend; he was certainly the least "anarchist" of the pioneers of the movement.

The 1860s

In the summer of 1861 there appeared the first underground leaflet called Velikoruss (the Great Russian). Only three issues were published and they were distributed in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The authors remain unknown. The Soviet investigator N. N. Novikova is of the opinion that the [173] participation, if not the authorship, of Chernyshevsky and his associates on the Contemporary was probable.28

However, neither in style nor in its political program is it characteristic of Chernyshevsky. M. K. Lemke assigned it to the liberal camp.29 It is addressed to the educated classes urging them to take leadership in solving the peasant problem and it places a strong emphasis on the nationality problem and on decentralization of the empire. Poland was to be freed immediately; the Ukraine was to express freely its will, whether to separate from Russia or to remain within the empire.

We Great Russians are sufficiently powerful to remain alone, as we contain within ourselves all the elements of national power. Being proud of the power, we don't have to seek the lowly necessity, as does Austria, of retaining civilized people within our state. We can well recognize the rights of the nationalities. We must do this in order to introduce and strengthen freedom among us. That's the explanation of the title of our paper.30

This forceful statement on the problem of national minorities is undsual for the time. It is in line with Herzen's thinking, but there appears to be no evidence of his authorship. The paper had a brief success but it was unable to create a strong following around itself.

Another proclamation, "To the Young Generation," was printed in the summer of 1861 in London at Herzen's Free Press and was distributed secretly in St. Petersburg. Its author, M. I. Mikhailov, was promptly arrested and sentenced to hard labor in Siberia. It voiced Herzen's favorite idea of Russia's introducing "a new principle into history" and not "just parroting the words of Europe." "We want the development of the principle of self-government, which already exists to a certain extent among our people. . . . Our rural commune is the basic cell, and these cells together make up Russia."31

The same year saw the birth of the first populist organization, Land and Liberty, which succeeded in founding several branches in the provinces. Herzen gave it its name, but he did [174] not wholly approve of it.32 Chernyshevsky and N. A. Serno-Solovievich, two of the organizers of the group, were arrested in the summer of 1862. The organization was not discovered at once, however, and continued to exist for a short time. Some of its members went into emigration.33 Decentralization seems to have been the principle of this organization. Little is known about it even today. In structure it was to be represented by different historical regions: Siberia, Lithuania, the Ukraine, etc. "In these parts local groups were to act. The Great Russian organization would naturally have the closest contact with them, but as an equal with equals."34 It appears, however, that in practice these regional organizations soon submitted to the control of the central authority in St. Petersburg. It fell apart following the end of the Polish revolt.35

Of special interest is a revolutionary proclamation known as "Young Russia" (May 1862). It placed strong emphasis on regional autonomy and federalism; at the same time, it initiated the Jacobin trend within the populist movement, through its emphasis on a temporary dictatorship and on revolutionary discipline. Written by a Moscow university student, P. G. Zaichnevsky, and his fellow students, it advocated a social revolution to change completely the foundations of contemporary society.36 "Young Russia" proclaimed that ultimately postrevolutionary Russia was to be a federation of regions.

We demand that, in addition to a national assembly composed of delegates from the entire Russian land, which shall meet in the capital, there should also be regional assemblies in the capital city of each region, composed solely of representatives from the latter. The national assembly will decide all matters of foreign policy, examine disputes between regions, pass legislation, supervise the execution of previously enacted laws, appoint administrators for the regions, and determine the overall amount of taxation. The regional assemblies shall decide matters pertaining exclusively to the regions in the capital city of which they meet.... We demand that all regions be granted the opportunity to decide by majority vote whether or not they wish to join the federated Russian republic.37

As regards the nationality problem, "Young Russia" declared: "We demand the complete independence of Poland and Lithuania, which more than any other region have shown their desire not to remain united with Russia."38

Zaichnevsky's proclamation appealed to the peasants and the raskolniki "to take to the axes" and destroy everyone who would stand in their way. To achieve a socialist society, he advocated a revolutionary dictatorship, presumably temporary, of the revolutionary party, composed of students and young intellectuals. "It will have to take the dictatorship into its own hands and stop at nothing."39 Herzen, whom Zaichnevsky acknowledged as his "teacher of socialism" and whom he admired until 1862 when he thought he went over to liberalism, was opposed to these Jacobin tactics. He wanted no centralized state to replace the existing monarchy: "Decentralization," Herzen wrote, "is the first condition of transformation which can come from the fields, from the countryside."40 Even Bakunin at this time did not share "Young Russia's" methods, though later he changed his mind.41

Besides the revolutionary proclamations, regionalist and federalist tendencies of the 1860s and early 1870s were expressed in the writings and lectures of the academic historians -- Kostomarov, Shchapov, and Pavlov. Kostomarov's article "Thoughts on the Federal Principle in Ancient Russia," published in 1861 in the Ukrianophile review Osnova, divided Russia into ethnic, geographic, and historical regions or states. Similar regional divisions were made by the early Land and Liberty. The Soviet historian M. A. Rubach is of the opinion that Kostomarov's federal theory of Russian history influenced a whole generation of populist youths.42

Shchapov, a native of Siberia, published his The Schism of the Old Believers in 1858. It brought out the forces in Russian history which opposed the empire and the state. He connected early regional federalism, before the Tartars, with contemporary life of Russia, emphasizing the economy of the village commune, local initiative, and the local elective principle.43 [176] His opening lecture at the University of Kazan started with the declaration that his course would not be based on the idea of the state and centralization, but on the idea of narodnost (nationality) and regionalism; it produced a great impression on students throughout Russia. In 1862 in a short-lived review, Century (Vek), he published a series of articles on his theory of the historical opposition of regional institutions to the centralizing forces of the state, and he expressed his faith in their rebirth. Shchapov's ideas, as we have seen, influenced the two leaders of Siberian regionalism, N. ladrintsev and G. Potanin.

A third liberal academician, Platon Pavlov, professor of history at the University of Kiev, also shared the regional theory of Russian history. For his public lecture "A Thousand Years of Russian History," which voiced these views, he was arrested and exiled to Kostroma in 1862.

Herzen's Bell, which supported the Polish insurrection of 1862-63, brought to the attention of Russian society problems facing the multinational empire. Even before the insurrection Herzen wrote: "While profoundly hating all centralization, I am convinced that federations of related nationalities provide a wider field of state action than the fragmentation of a nationality into separate parts. A federal union must be a voluntary gift. Russia has no right to dominate Poland; she must first learn to deserve what she had forcibly taken."44

At the end of the 1860s populism was beginning to move in two different directions. One continued the Jacobin trend initiated by Zaichnevsky's "Young Russia," and was best represented by the sensational figure of Nechaev and by Peter Tkachev; the other laid less stress on organization and more on spontaneous revolt, and opposed any kind of post-revolutionary state. The latter trend was associated with Bakunin and anarchism.

During the 1860s a Russian colony composed of young men who escaped arrest and succeeded in emigrating was settled in Switzerland. Some were former members of the first Land and Liberty. Bakunin returned to Switzerland from [177] Italy in 1867, and in December of that year in Geneva he made a general declaration of his anarchist creed in an address to the Central Committee of the League of Peace and Liberty.

We recognize the absolute right of every nation, small or large, of every people, weak or strong, and every province, and every commune, to complete autonomy, provided the internal organisation of any such unit does not constitute a menace and danger to the autonomy and freedom of neighboring lands.

The State is the most flagrant, the most cynical, and the complete negation of humanity.45

A young political emigre, N. Zhukovsky, persuaded Bakunin, whose views he shared, to participate in a journal he founded in Geneva. Called the People's Cause (Narodnoe delo), its first issue appeared on September 1, 1868. It contained four articles, two of which were probably by Bakunin, and two by Zhukovsky.46 The first issue was successfully smuggled into Russia and was distributed in St. Petersburg by Stepniak.47

"Our Program" declared that the alms of the revolution were collectivist and anarchist. The state must be totally destroyed at once, and with it all the institutions dependent upon it, i.e., private property, the Church, inheritance, military forces, judicial organization, and the family. The state was to be replaced by a free federation of communes, agricultural and industrial. "We want full freedom of all peoples now oppressed by the Empire with full rights of self-determination, based only on their desires and needs. While federating from the bottom up, those who would want to remain with the Russian people could create together a truly free and happy society which could then establish friendly federal ties with similar societies in Europe and in the whole world."48 The program was a mixture of narodnik and anarchist ideas. It was apparently exactly what the young people in Russia wanted to hear. For a time the journal exercised considerable influence within Russia.49 Bakunin here linked for the first time the Russian revolutionary movement to that of Europe. He repudiated statism and [178] initiated his campaign against the authoritarian communism of Marx. He brought out the importance of the nationality problem in the revolutionary movement and proclaimed the goal of a free federation for Russia and the world. As Venturi observed: "It was thus that he transferred Russian revolutionary Populism to the European plane, and it was on these foundations that his international anarchist movement grew up."50

The anarchists expressed more forcefully and consistently the federal principle than any of the other Russian political ideologies of the time. We must turn now to the two leaders of anarchism -- Bakunin and Kropotkin -- before resuming the account of populism during the last quarter of the century.

M. A. Bakunin (1814-1876)

Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice.... Socialism without freedom becomes slavery.
-M. A. Bakunin

"Of all the Russian revolutionary writers of the nineteenth century," wrote Sir Isaiah Berlin, "Herzen and Bakunin remain the most arresting. They were divided by many differences both of doctrine and of temperament, but they were at one in placing the ideal of individual liberty at the center of their thought and action."51 Berlin then noted the similarities between them: hatred for the regime of Nicholas II faith in the Russian peasant, in federalism, in Proudhonian socialism, in atheism; and contempt for middle-class virtues. In this brilliant essay, Berlin also stated that Bakunin "has not bequeathed a single idea worth considering for its own sake."52 This estimate seems unfair. Bakunin, after all, was the founder of modern anarchism. It is true that, to date, anarchism has been eclipsed by totalitarian communism, but there are already some indications that the anarchist idea of a decentralized society composed of small federated communities may not be so utopian as Marx and Lenin thought, [179] and may in fact be the order of the coming, postindustrial society.

We must now briefly review Bakunin's turbulent biography and the development of his ideas.53

Michael Bakunin was born in 1814 in a prominent gentry family. His father, an enlightened landowner in the province of Tula, is said to have personally taken part in the storming of the Bastille; his mother was a Muraviev, members of which family were leaders of the Decembrists. Bakunin attended an artillery school in St. Petersburg. At the age of twenty he resigned his commission and went to Moscow, where he joined the Stankevich circle. He studied German idealistic philosophy and became passionately devoted to the philosophy of Hegel. Much later, when he had shed all vestiges of idealism, Bakunin used Hegel's dialectic to formulate his theory of anarchism. In Berlin, in the early 1840s, he fell under the influence of Feuerbach and became a Left Hegelian and a revolutionary. Through the poet Herwegh and through Welding he made contacts with German socialist and communist groups. From 1843 to 1847 he was mostly in Paris, and these were crucial years for the formation of his ideas on agrarian socialism and federalism, particularly on the Slavic federation. During this period he met Marx, Engels, and Proudhon. Marx, with whom he was to carry on a lifelong battle, he described as a great thinker and one devoted to the cause of the proletariat, but "Proudhon understood and had a far greater feeling for freedom."54

Proudhon (1809-65) had a vision of a decentralized society based on a voluntary association of workers. "Each citizen, each town, each industrial union will make its own laws. In place of political powers we will put economic forces.... In place of standing armies we will put industrial associations. In place of police we will put identity of interests. In place of political centralization we will put economic centralization."55 Proudhon's aim was to create an egalitarian society based on small units. The workshop was to be the basic unit of the new society. These small units would be loosely associated in a commune, which would then join into a [180] federation with other communes.56 Proudhon was not an individualist anarchist, as was William Godwin. He accepted association reluctantly, however, as a means of dealing with large-scale industry. Bakunin also departed from anarchist individualism and accepted collectivism.57

Proudhon developed his ideas on the state (the proletariat was to emancipate itself without the help of the state), on universal suffrage (it was not a panacea), on economic democracy (it was essential), and on federalism in a number of works published between 1846 and 1863.58 Herzen and Bakunin became friends of Proudhon in 1844, and both fell under the influence of his ideas and personality. Bakunin readily admitted this and even went so far as to say that his anarchism was merely Proudhon's system "enlarged, developed and freed of all metaphysical, idealist and doctrinaire decoration."59 Actually it is more likely, as Venturi suggested, that the influence was reciprocal.60

Another Western influence on Bakunin's thought, in the middle 1840s, came from his Polish contacts, which ranged from Prince Adam Czartoryski to the historian Joachim Lelewel whom Bakunin visited in Brussels. In his Confession, Bakunin described this encounter thus:

Here for the first time my thoughts turned to Russia and Poland; since I was at that time a perfect democrat, I began to look at them from a democratic standpoint, albeit confusedly and quite vaguely: a nationalistic sentiment which had been awakened in me after a long sleep, as a consequence of friction with Polish nationalism, came into conflict with democratic concepts and conclusions.61

Lelewel was an admirer of an early democrat pan-Slav, Stanislav Stashitz (1755-1826), who conceived the idea of uniting all Slavs into a federation with Russia at the head.62 The aim was to deliver the Slavs from German domination, presumably allowing each state to preserve its own language, customs, and organizations. Lelewel was an early populist but not a revolutionary. He had faith in the Slav peasant obshchina, as embodying characteristics of liberty and autonomy. He was also a Polish patriot, and was strongly anti-German. Whatever the relationship with Bakunin was, [181] and the data are scanty, Lelewel helped to fix Bakunin's attention on the Slavs and the Slavic federation. Characteristically, Bakunin turned the Polish ideas in his own way.63

In 1847, pursuing the Polish connection, Bakunin made a speech at a banquet to commemorate the Polish insurrection of 1830. "1 am a Russian," he began, "and I come to this great assembly, gathered here to celebrate the anniversary of the Polish revolt." He then urged a revolutionary alliance between Russian and Polish people in order to bring down the empire of Nicholas I and to help the deliverance of all Slav peoples then under a foreign yoke.64 The speech produced enthusiastic response from the audience, but did not please the Russian ambassador in Paris. As a result, Bakunin was expelled from France and the rumor was spread that he was a tsarist agent. This slander was to pursue him at various times in the future.

The year 1848 gave Bakunin full opportunity to express his passion for conspiracy and revolutionary action. He was on the barricades in Paris, he took part in the revolution in Saxony, and tried to promote Slav insurrection at the Slav Congress in Prague. Herzen gave a vivid description of Bakunin of this period in his letter to Michelet.65 "This man was a born missionary, propagandist and preacher. . . . He reminded us of the proselytes of the first centuries of Christianity or, even more, those tireless and energetic men of the Renaissance."66 The sketch ended with a description of Bakunin chained to the wall of a Prague prison, where he had been seen by a Prussian diplomat.

At the end of 1848, Bakunin wrote his "Appeal to the Slavs" -- a major document of his pan-Slav period.67 As in his speech at the Prague Congress, Bakumn called on the Slavs to revolt and destroy the three monarchies -- Russian, Austrian, and Prussian. The appeal was strongly Proudhonian in its emphasis on the revolutionary role of the peasants , its rejection of the bourgeois state and parliamentary democracy. "I don't believe in constitutions and laws," he wrote to Herwegh about this time, "even the best constitution would not satisfy me. We need something else -- impetus, life, a new [182] world without laws and therefore free."68 These ideas he was to incorporate into his anarchist doctrine in the 1860s. Bakunin argued that the Slavs should unite with the revolutionary forces in Germany and Hungary against the Russia of Nicholas I. He concluded by appealing for a general federation of European republics.69 He thus was using nationalism for revolutionary ends. This he was to do often in the following years.

Bakunin was the soul of Dresden insurrection. He was captured while trying to escape in May 1849. Then began a long period of imprisonment in various countries and several death sentences with commutations to life imprisonment. Finally, the Austrians handed him over to the Russian government. He spent six years in various fortresses and four years in exile in Siberia.

Bakunin's experience in 1848-49 in Europe had several consequences. He became increasingly distrustful of parliamentary methods, and his belief in social revolution as a total destruction of the bourgeois world became strengthened. Also, there appeared for the first time the idea of a revolutionary dictatorship. But there was still ambiguity and hesitation as to how the revolution was to come about. As Venturi has put it: "He hesitated between a revolution from below and a radical reform from above. These hesitations lasted for more than twenty years, and were shared by most of his generation."70 Eventually, Bakunin overcame these doubts in favor of revolutionary action from below.71

Alexander Il changed Bakunin's confinement in the Schlussenburg fortress to exile in Siberia. His four years in Siberia were not at all unhappy. He married a pretty but empty-headed Polish girl, got a post at the Amur Company, and became a friend and habitue of Governor-General Muraviev-Amursky, who was Bakunin's cousin. "A noble soul," he wrote to M. N. Katkov, "the sun of Siberia without whom everything here will plunge into darkness."72

While he was confined in the Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul, Bakunin wrote his celebrated Confession at the request of the Tsar.73 It is a unique psychological document. Even [183] now its interpretation is not agreed upon. On the surface, it is a mixture of abject confession of guilt and characteristic insolence and guile. He described his activity for Slavic unity, for the liberation of Poland, and for the destruction of the Austrian Empire, and speculated on the future of the Russian Empire.

I am asking myself what benefit there is in Russia's conquests? Russia succeeds even in conquering half the world, she be happier then, freer, more wealthy, more powerful? Will not the Russian Tsardom, even now so vast, disintegrate when it extends its borders even further) ... Is it possible for Russians, or more precisely Great Russians, to become the nationality of the whole world? ... Could even all the Slavic nationalities become Russian ... and "merge into the Russian sea," as Pushkin had put it? . . . Russia will be hated by all the Slavs as she is now hated by the Poles.74

He freely confessed to Nicholas I his activities directed toward the overthrow of the Russian monarchy, and the replacing of it by a revolutionary dictatorship. Once established, it would direct its efforts to the destruction of Austria, Prussia, and Turkey -- the oppressors of the Slavs.

The Confession is strongly pan-Slav in tone. It must be read, of course, with considerable scepticism, as it is hard to establish the degree of Bakunin's sincerity. Was he really repenting? Or was he trying to fool the Tsar? Venturi believes that Bakunin was faking his repentance and that he remained faithful to his revolutionary ideas.75 Steklov is of the opinion that his motives were mixed.76

The "Appeal to the Slavs" and the Confession show that Bakunin's revolutionary plan in 184"9 presupposed a Jacobin dictatorship. Apparently, he held these views also during his exile in Siberia. As we have seen in the chapter on Siberian regionalism, Bakunin and other political exiles, those who gathered at the house of the governor-general, were considering the possibility of creating a United States of Siberia federated with the United States of America.77 In November [184] and December 1860 Bakunin wrote enthusiastic letters to Herzen about his cousin, the governor-general. He claimed that Muraviev was entirely in favor of Bakunin's plan of a Slav federation and pictured him as a true friend of the Decembrists and the exiled Poles.78

After spending over a decade in prison and exile, Bakunin escaped in 1861 to Japan and then made his way via America to London.79

Herzen and Ogarev received Bakunin as an old comradein-arms, though not without certain misgivings. Bakunin lost his teeth during the years of imprisonment but not his spirit and revolutionary enthusiasm. With all his ardor he now threw himself into the Polish cause. For a time Herzen was captured by Bakunin's enthusiasm, and the Bell became the headquarters of the Polish rebels. Herzen was anxious, however, to avoid confrontation and bloodshed. Bakunin had no such scruples, though he too had disagreements with the right-wing Poles. In a letter to Garibaldi, Bakunin stated categorically that Russia was on the verge of revolution and that he was working with the Poles to accelerate it. The destruction of the Russian and Austrian empires, he explained, would bring about the federation of all the Slavs and this would be a starting point for a larger European federation.80 He further elaborated his pan-Slav ideas in a letter to Frick of May 12, 1862. He visualized complete freedom for Poland, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and Belorussia. Great Russia itself would be a federation of provinces and regions. Pan-Slavism he defined as faith in a union of 85 million people into a new civilization which would bring real freedom into the world.81

The failure of the Polish revolt did not upset Bakunin too much. Pan-Slavism retreated into the background. He now switched all his attention from the Poles to the Italians. In 1864 he was in Florence. The next three years, spent in Italy, Bakunin devoted to the development of his anarchist doctrine and attempts to introduce it into the West European working-class movement. He liked the Latin peoples and especially the Italians for their strong regional loyalties and [185] their love of conspiracy. With passion he now proceded to found secret societies, his first international revolutionary organizations. The French geographer Elisee Reclus and a number of Italians helped Bakunin in 1866 to set up his International Brotherhood. Woodcock described the program written by Bakunin, of this organization: "The Brotherhood opposed authority, the state, and religion; it stood for federalism and communal autonomy; it accepted socialism on the grounds that labor 'must be the unique base of human rights and the economic organization of the state'; it declared that the social revolution could not be achieved by peaceful means.82 Bakunin was now moving towards a full formulation of anarchism.

Berdyaev characterized Russian anarchism dialectically as "one of the poles in the spiritual make-up of the Russian people."83 He went on:

The Russians are a state-minded people, submissively giving themselves to be the material for founding a great empire, and yet at the same time inclined to revolt, to turbulence, to anarchy.... Stenka Razin and Pugachev were characteristically Russian figures and the memory of them is preserved among the people. The anarchist element is very strong in Russian nineteenth-century thought. None of the Russian intelligentsia liked the State and did not consider that it was theirs. The State was "they," "the others.84

No doubt there is considerable truth in this analysis, although one must remember that nineteenth-century Russian intellectuals opposed the monarchist state; a few, beginning with Pestel, were in favor of a strong revolutionary state. We must now consider Bakunin's brief and unfortunate association with Nechaev. It is a rather significant episode in his life, and it did not add to his reputation. A youth of twenty, Nechaev came to Geneva in March 1869. He succeeded in persuading Bakunin that he was a delegate of a secret revolutionary society within Russia, and that a revolution in Russia was ready to break out. A consummate liar, ruthless and fanatical, Nechaev succeeded in producing an [186] impression on Bakunin and the other emigres. Bakunin was struck by his personality and considered him a hero and an ideal revolutionary. As a result, they collaborated on the infamous Revolutionary Catechism -- the Bible of conspiracy and revolutionary subversion. Parts of the Catechism are strongly reminiscent of Bakunin's views and phraseology. Thus, the social revolution would "annihilate all state traditions, orders and classes in Russia"; students should ally themselves with "the doughty world of brigands, who are in Russia the only true revolutionaries."85 One effect of this program, according to Venturi, was that it gave impetus to the "going to the people," which took place a few years later.

Nechaev was more interested in intrigue and conspiracy than in anarchism; he was more in the tradition of the Jacobins. When Bakunin, finally, realized Nachaev's true character, especially after he had heard the details of Ivanov's murder, engineered by Nechaev, he broke with him.

The authorship of the Catechism is still a matter of controversy. In general, Marxist writers assign it to Bakunin, pro-anarchist writers to Nechaev.86

Bakunin was already a legendary figure in Western Europe when he settled in Geneva. When he appeared at the Congress for Peace and Freedom in September 1867, organized mainly by bourgeois liberal groups in Geneva, he received a great ovation. It was his first appearance in eighteen years, since the Prague Congress. Now aged, stooped, carelessly dressed, he was still full of revolutionary ardor. When he mounted the platform, Garibaldi came forward and embraced him. Six thousand delegates then shouted Bakunin's name and rose to applaud him.

During his sojourn in Italy, Bakunin's attention was absorbed by European socialism, and his contacts with Russian revolutionaries became few and tenuous. His return to Geneva brought him back to the world of Russian political exiles. A group of enthusiastic followers was formed around him. Among these were Nicholas Zhukovsky, who edited with Bakunin the first issue of People's Cause; M. P. Sazhin (Arman Ross) and Z. K. Ralli, who belonged to the Nechaev [187] group for a time; V. Golstein and A. Elsnits, who had been active members of the student movement at Moscow University and had been expelled. Bakunin's followers were concentrated in the Jura Mountains; the so-called Jura Federation. It was the seat of the anti-statists, while in Geneva were mostly followers of Marx. A series of brotherhoods and alliances was formed and quickly dissolved.87 In some ways now began the most active political period of Bakunin's life. He analyzed the contemporary situation in Russia as essentially revolutionary: the reforms were inadequate, the peasants were not yet freed; the reforms did not affect the basic economic relations between the social classes nor the privileged position of the nobility. The coming revolution would destroy completely the state organization, replacing it with a free federation of workmen's artels. This was his message to the radical Russian youth as expressed in the first issue of Narodnoe delo (People's Cause). To this Bakunin added his critique of "the authoritarian communism of Marx and the entire German school."

This is not the place to go into the details of the protracted Bakunin-Marx struggle, which started at the Basle Congress of the International and ended with Bakunin's expulsion from the International at the Hague Congress in September 1872.81 The Marx-Bakunin controversy was a bitter and ruthless conflict of personalities and ideas. Bakunin, the Bohemian aristocrat, had a certain generosity of spirit and a power of intuitive insight lacking in the pedantic German- bourgeois Marx. However, in intellectual ability and learning Marx was Bakunin's superior. Woodcock's comparison is illuminating.

The differences in personality projected themselves in differences of principle. Marx was an authoritarian, Bakunin a libertarian; Marx was a centralist, Bakunin a federalist; Marx advocated political action for the workers and planned to conquer the state; Bakunin opposed political action and sought to destroy the state. Marx stood for what we now call nationalization of the means of production; Bakunin stood for workers' control. The conflict really centered, as it has done ever since between anarchists and Marxists, on the question of the transitional period between existing and future [188] social orders. The Marxists paid tribute to the anarchist ideal by agreeing that the ultimate end of socialism and communism must be the withering away of the state but they contended that during the period of transition the state must remain in the form of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Bakunin, who had now abandoned his ideas of revolutionary dictatorship, demanded the abolition of the state at the earliest possible moment, even at the risk of temporary chaos, which he regarded as less dangerous than the evils from which no form of government could escape.89

The first issue of People's Cause, written by Bakunin and Zhukovsky, introduced, as we have seen, the anarchist trend into the Russian revolutionary movement. We must now examine some of the ideas of the anarchist doctrine (if one can so call it) as expressed by Bakunin in speeches, pamphlets, and books between 1868 and 1873.

In his State and Anarchy, a work which exercised considerable influence in Russia, Bakunin attacked Bismarck's policy and warned that the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian war would be a serious blow to the European revolutionary forces.90 Only peasant socialism in Spain, Italy, and Russia, he thought, still had vitality and revolutionary possibility. Russia offered the best possibility for a peasant revolt: it had no real bourgeoisie; the peasants were backward and traditionally opposed the state; they hated the nobles and officials; and, above all, there was the peasant obshchina, with land belonging not to the individual but to the community. These were assets; on the negative side were the peasant's faith in the Tsar and in the conservative, patriarchal aspects of the commune.91 Bakunin concluded that the young people in Russia must lead the peasants to revolt. The social revolution which he visualized was to be international in character; the Slav proletariat was to join forces with the proletariat of other countries.

The time will come when there will be no more states.... The time will come when upon the ruins of political states there will be founded, completely freed and organized from the bottom upward, a voluntary, fraternal union of voluntary producers associations, [189] communes, regional federations, embracing in freedom, and therefore without distinction, men of all languages and nationalities.92

At the Congress of the League for Peace and Freedom, Bakunin renounced the whole concept of patriotism and nationalism, condemning the latter as essentially aristocratic, in favor of complete internationalism. Abolition of state frontiers was, according to Bakunin, the only solution.

We have to place the principle of world justice above all national interests. We must once for all abandon the false principle of nationality which was recently invented by the despots of France, Russia, and Prussia in order to surely suppress the higher principle of freedom. Nationality is not a principle; it is a natural fact just like indiiduality. Every nationality, large or small, has the indisputable right to be itself and to live according to its own nature. ... Everybody who wishes peace and international justice must reject completely and forever what is called the power and the glory of one's fatherland, and all the egoistic and vain interests of patriotism.93

The time had come, he urged the League, to discuss the basic organization of the United States of Europe. Since all the existing European states were oppressive, centralized bureaucracies, such a federation, he argued, could not be formed from the existing states -- first they must all be destroyed.

Each centralized state, no matter how liberal it may appear, even if it is a republic, is of necessity an oppressor and exploiter of the working class in favor of the privileged classes.... From this I deduce that international peace is impossible until the following principle with all its consequences is adopted: Each nation, weak or strong, large or small in numbers, each province, each country has an absolute right to be free, autonomous and live and govern itself according to its own interests and individual needs. . . . One cannot deny this right to one without endangering all the others.

World peace is impossible as long as the present-day centralized states exist. We must therefore wish for their destruction, so that on the ruins of these states, which are organized from the top by [190] despotism and conquest, there could develop free associations, organized from the bottom up, by means of a free federation of communes into provinces, provinces into nations, nations into the United States of Europe.94

Universal unity was Bakunin's vision of the future -- it was the goal toward which mankind was striving. He insisted, however, that this goal should not be achieved with the help of existing authorities -- religious, metaphysical, political, and even economic.95 He therefore urged the League to form a free federation of states, modeled on the federal system of the United States of America.96

Speaking of the Russian Empire, he asserted that it had never been supported by the people and must be broken up. "Our history is the exact opposite of the history of the West. In the latter, kings were united at the beginning with the masses of the people in order to suppress the aristocracy, but in Russia the enslavement of the people was the result of a scheming union of the tsar, the nobility and the higher clergy.97 Hence the mass revolts of the Times of Trouble, of Razin, Pugachev and the peasant rebellions against the landowners and officials in the nineteenth century. The interest of the empire and of the people were always at odds. Nor was the multinational empire a homogenous entity as it was usually represented abroad. Bakunin then analyzed the Slavic composition of the empire and offered a plan for a federation. The Great Russians, some 35 million (a mixture of Slavs and Finns), were to constitute the dominant group. (He pointed out that not even they had willingly succumbed to the despotism of the Moscow tsars; until the beginning of the seventeenth century they still had a certain degree of freedom and local self-government.) The next largest component of the federation was to be the Ukrainians, some 12 million people (less mixed, of purer Slav stock). They had asked the tsar's protection and were promised the preservation of their freedoms and national autonomy, but this was not fulfilled. He proposed to add to the Ukrainians 3 million Galician Ruthenians, who spoke the same tongue and shared the same [191] customs and heritage, and another 4 million Belorussians. Thus a nation of some 20 million people would be formed into a federation (including Lithuania) which would be independent of both Great Russia and Poland. Great Russia itself should, then, be reorganized from the bottom up on the basis of "collective labor" so as to become eventually a part of a world federation.98 In conclusion, Bakunin urged that the League for Peace and Freedom should reject the prevailing principle of nationality and should adopt his plan of a free federation.99

In a section devoted to socialism, Bakunin sketched the development of socialism beginning with the French Revolution.100 He pointed out that except for Proudhon, all the socialists -- Cabet, Louis Blanc, Fourrier, Saint-Simon -- were statists. Proudhon's socialism, on the contrary, was based on individual and collective freedom and on the activity of free associations, completely independent of government interference and in favor of "the great and solitary principle of federallsm."101 "Henceforth it ought to be clear to all those who really want the emancipation of Europe that, while retaining our sympathies for the great socialist and humanitarian ideas proclaimed by the French Revolution, we must reject its state policy and resolutely adopt the policy of liberty pursued by the Americans of the North."102

The time for Bakunin's plan had not yet come. Bourgeois Europe, as represented by the Alliance, was not ready to accept his revolutionary program (atheism, anarchism, federalism). The Bern Congress of September 1868 rejected his recommendations by a majority vote, and Bakunin withdrew from the League, realizing that it was not a good channel for promoting social revolution.103 Bakunin's next organization, International Alliance of Social Democracy, stressed federalism strongly and called for a breakdown of national states and their replacement by "a worldwide union of free associations, agricultural and industrial." It was this Alliance that Bakunin tried unsuccessfully to introduce into the International.104 Bakunin's principal adherents were the watchmakers of the Jura Mountains. They were peasants who [192] combined a craft with farming. These mountaineers were led by a young schoolmaster, J. Guillaume, who eventually formed a separate Federation Jurasienne. It became the center of the anarchist movement in the 1870s.105

Among the emigre populists in the 1870s, a strong opposition to Bakunin's anarchism came from Peter Tkachev -- the major exponent of Jacobinism. His organ, the Tocsin, started a regular campaign against the various brands of anarchism then current.106 Tkachev held that the anarchist ideal was mistaken. In order to bring about absolute equality among men, a strong dictatorial state was essential. The revolutionary struggle must be centralized and strong discipline maintained. The first objective was the conquest of state power. Tkachev attacked Bakunin for his "irrationalism," "incoherence," and "reliance on instinct." 107 The main argument, however, so often repeated in the years to come, was that the emphasis on decentralization and federalism weakened the unity of revolutionary action. One should keep in mind, however, as Venturi observed, "that the Bakuninist and anarchist vision of the state dissolving by means of revolution into its component groups never completely disappeared from his [Tkachev's] thought."108 The assumption was that Tkachev's revolutionary elite could make use of it for its own ends.

Bakunin's other opponent was Peter Lavrov (1823-1900), a leading ideologist of populism, author of Historical Letters, and editor of the journal Forward (Vpered) -- published from 1873 to 1877, first in Zurich and later in London. Lavrov and Bakunin represented in the 1870s the two most important trends in populism: the former, more moderate, professed to prepare the masses for social revolution through prolonged and systematic propaganda; the latter more radical, appealed to the youth for an immediate rebellion to smash the state and set up in its place a free federation of communes.

Lavrov's attitude toward the state underwent many changes. It oscillated from Hegelian statism to a less idealistic and more critical view of it, and back again to statism.109 Briefly he even supported Proudhon, but later he leaned more [193] and more toward Marx. In the first program of Forward, Lavrov made some concessions to Bakuninism: "States in the form in which they exist are hostile to the working class movement, and they must all break up once and for all in order to give way to a new social order."110 Lavrov was anxious at first to get support for his journal from Sazhin (Ross), an influential Bakuninist; but as soon as it became clear that collaboration was impossible, the concessions were dropped, and Lavrov's statism became more pronounced. This is shown in the third program of Forward. The state will not disappear at once, he now argued, but its power would gradually diminish as "communal solidarity" develops.111 The nationality problem should disappear completely as the social struggle progresses. All nationalities within Russia should work together for the common aims.112 In theory federalism was still more or less accepted, but in practice, as S. Rusov pointed out, Lavrov was anxious "to create an all-Russian nation, uniform from the Carpathian to the Amur."113

The Nechaev episode did not discourage Bakunin from trying to disseminate his views within Russia. He won for his ideas a good part of the Russian student colony in Switzerland, though he never succeeded in forming his own revolutionary organization inside Russia. When, after 1873, the students were recalled from Switzerland to Russia, they became instrumental in spreading Bakunin's revolutionary populism. Contemporary memoirs by O. Aptekman, Sazhin (A. Ross), and L. Deich all agree that Bakunin's voice was, for a time, more decisive and influential than Lavrov's.114

For Bakunin, "Revolutionary action," wrote Woodcock, "was a personal liberation, and even a kind of catharsis, a moral purging"; revolution was for him "a purifying and regenerative force."115 Even in the last years of his life he could not resist it. The Franco-Prussian War stirred him deeply and deepened his hatred for Germany. At the same time, it presented him with opportunities for revolutionary action. The moment he heard of an uprising brewing in the city of Lyons, he was off to help foment revolution. With [194] difficulty he made his way there, and once there, set up a "Committee for the Salvation of France." The bourgeois forces promptly captured him, but he was rescued by local anarchists.116 The suppression of the Paris Commune was another blow to him. Although disillusioned, he tried once more to get into action and joined the Bologna uprising of 1873. It seems that he regarded this, his last fling, as a kind of "atonement for errors he had committed."117 From this involvement he barely escaped alive.

Bakunin's expulsion from the International and Marx's attacks on him depressed and hurt him deeply. In the Journal de Geneve of September 26, 1873, he protested "the Marxist falsifications" and announced that he had no further strength "to go on rolling Sisyphus's stone against the triumphant forces of reaction.... Henceforth I shall trouble no man's peace; and I ask, in my turn, to be left in peace." 118

The pro-Bakunin populist, Debogory-Mokrievich, in his memoirs described meeting Bakunin in Lucarno on the Laggo Majore a few years before his death. He was then occupied mostly with the Italians, rather than with the Slavs. Apparently, he was disillusioned in the revolutionary potential of the Russians. "Russians," he observed, "have always followed the herd instinct. Today they are anarchists, because anarchism is fashionable, but in a few years there may not be a single anarchist among them."119 Here, for once, the inveterate optimist was overly pessimistic.

The last years of Bakunin's life were darkened by failing health and financial and family difficulties. He quarreled with his Italian disciple, Carlo Cafiero, over the money entrusted to him for the revolutionary cause; Bakunin mismanaged it badly. In addition, his wife betrayed him with one of his closest Italian disciples. But this did not worry him as much as the financial difficulties that beset him.120

The veteran of the barricades died on July 1, 1876, in a hospital in Berne. Some of his followers who gathered around his grave -- Reclus, Guillaume, Zhukovsky among others -- were to carry on the anarchist movement in Russia and in Europe. [195]

Bakunin's Influence: The 1870s

Bakunin may have created "a revolutionary mentality rather than a revolutionary organization," as Venturi suggested,121 but in the 1870s some of the programs of the populists were strongly influenced by Bakunin. Foremost was the journal Commune (Obshchina), founded in Geneva in 1878 by N. Zhukovsky and Z. Ralli in collaboration with S. Stepniak-Kravchinsky and P. Axelrod. The editors called themselves "Federalist Social-Revolutionaries" and advocated a decentralized post-revolutionary society of autonomous communes and labor federations. The Commune published one article by Bakunin, "The Paris Commune and the Concept of the State," translated from the French, which gave an exposition of Bakunin's views on social revolution.122

Zhukovsky's article "Reforms and Revolution" surveyed the revolutionary movement from the time of the Decembrists, emphasizing the federal trend.123 The Russian Empire was presented as a conglomerate of nationalities and regions, each with its own traditions, customs, and rural organizations,which should have self-government and "the right to federate at their own initiative. . . . The Muscovite, the Pole, the Ukrainian, the Siberian are comrades and should not give orders to each other. At present they are all living under the domination of the Great Russians and are called the Russian people, precisely because they are under the Russian policeman; as soon as he disappears they will be left to themselves and only the future will show to what extent and in what manner they will federate with each other."124 Constitutional government was rejected; to achieve the free society the state had to be smashed. Then, Zhukovsky spoke sharply against Jacobinism; there should be no central committee in St. Petersburg to dictate to local groups, and all propaganda must be decentralized. He singled out for praise the Ukrainian revolutionaries, who, he thought, were following the right path of European federative socialism.125 Much of the content of the Commune was directed against the strategy, tactics, and ideology of the German Social Democratic party.126 The [196] editors promised to publish the works of the late Bakunin, but the promise was not fulfilled.

Traces of Bakuninism appeared inside Russia within the second Land and Liberty organization. The program published in the first issue of their journal proclaimed a revolt ala Razin and Pugachev and rejected a constitutional regime. There was, however, no emphasis on the nationality problem or federalism.127 Soviet historiography has been sharply critical of the Bakuninist influence on Land and Liberty, particularly their statement that their ideal is "anarchy and collectivism."128

The Will of the People was to a large extent statist, opposed to decentralization and federalism.129 A. Zheliabov's letter to Dragomanov (of May 12, 1880) stated that In the Central Executive Committee of the party there was strong opposition to federation and decentralization; the majority were in favor of an all-Russian Constituent Assembly.130 The nationality question was barely recognized: "The people who were forcibly incorporated into the Russian tsarist state, are free to secede or to remain in the common Russian union."131 The party stressed a disciplined central organization. Its principal aim was organized terror. The majority opposed the Bakuninist idea of a general spontaneous revolt, as Zheliabov's speech at his trial indicated: "We are not anarchists, we stand for the federal organization of the state, and as a means of achieving such an order, we advocate very definite institutions."132 The official Soviet view acknowledges Bakuninist influence on the Will of the People in respect to "the readiness for the immediate rebellion [whichi gave support to the dreams of the coming destruction of the state and the triumph of the collectivist principles of the obsbchina."133 Lenin praised, however, the party's disciplined centralized organization and thought that it could serve as a model for Marxists in the twentieth century.134

The Black Partition, at its beginning, was strongly Bakuninist in orientation. Although short-lived (1879-80), it has considerable historical significance. The first issue of their journal published in St. Petersburg, January 15, 1880, [197] declared that it was the organ of socialists-federalists, and that it was rooted in the belief that the state must be eliminated and replaced by a free federation from the bottom up. The ethnic composition of the empire was to be taken into account, allowing each nationality or region to follow its own autonomous development and the use of local languages in propaganda. In the meantime, the journal was to be the organ of all-Russian socialists.135 The editorial in the fourth issue placed even stronger emphasis on the Importance of the unity of all revolutionary forces against the common enemy. Dragomanov found this program also guilty of statism and Great Russian bias.136

The Black Partition group did not have much luck. Its contacts with peasants in the Ukraine were not successful; their printing press was seized by the police, there were desertions to the Will of the People faction; and in a major blow, several leaders renounced populism and emigrated. According to Aptekman, the departure of Plekhanov, Axelrod, Deich, and Vera Zasulich put an end to the organization.137 As late as 1881 Plekhanov was still a Bakuninist and a federallst -- he still opposed centralism and was proclaiming the right of all nationalities of the Russian Empire to decide their own fate. Soon thereafter he rejected the ideology and tactics of anarchism as idealistic and utopian.138 The final break was announced in Geneva on September 25, 1883: "The former members of the Black Partition are organizing a new group, called 'the Liberation of Labor' and are now making a complete break with the old anarchist tendencies."139

Soviet historians characterize Black Partition as largely anarchist and therefore most ineffective. Its leadership "resigned completely to the bourgeoisie." Only a part of it "saw the light" and began to desert to "scientific socialism."140 Lenin pronounced Black Partition "Utopian and half anarchist."141

After Bakunin's death in 1876 some of his followers abroad continued the work for some time. They operated an anarchist press which published in 1875 Z. K. Ralli's The Sated and the Hungry, which Venturi called a real encyclopedia of [198] anarchist populism;142 also published were, the first working-class journal, the Worker (Rabotnik) and the anarchist journal Commune (1878). Ralli and Zhukovsky continued to maintain contacts with anarchists in Western Europe. But, within Russia, it was only in the 1890s that the first avowedly anarchist groups, mostly in southern Russia, were beginning to appear.143 In the last decade of the century, inspiration for anarchism and federalism came largely from the new ideologist of anarchism, Peter Kropotkin, and his disciples in Western Europe. In Russia there appeared also another variety of anarchism, Christian anarchism, expounded in the works of Count Leo Tolstoy.144

Prince Peter A. Kropotkin (1842-1921)

It is now completely clear that it is impossible to govern from the center 180 million people, settled over a most varied territory, much larger than Europe.
-P. A. Kropotkin (1918)

Kropotkin belongs to the international anarchist movement. A prolific writer, his works in various languages, both scientific and political, have so far not been collected and no comprehensive and scholarly biography exists.145 Like Bakunin, Kropotkin was associated, in his early life, with the Russian populist movement and developed his anarchist theory later in life. Although his major activity and influence extends to the twentieth century, his anti-statist and federalist ideas were largely formulated before the end of the century. Here we are concerned with his life and activity up to that time.

The anarchist Emma Goldman is said to have remarked that, if one defined aristocracy as a spiritual phenomenon rather than one of birth, "All true anarchists were aristocrats."146 Kropotkin exemplifies this eminently. He was a descendent of the Grand Princes of the house of Rurik who ruled Russia before the Romanovs. Brought up by tutors on [199] the family estate in Kaluga, he later entered the exclusive Corps de Pages in St. Petersburg. For a year he was page de chambre of Emperor Alexander II, whom he orignally admired. Upon graduation, instead of choosing a fashionable Guard regiment, as he was expected to do, he chose an obscure Cossack regiment in remote Eastern Siberia. He was anxious to be near nature and as far from the court as possible. His years In the military and civil service in Siberia (1862-72) prepared him for his double career as a scientist-geographer and as a revolutionary-anarchist leader and ideologist. While investigating the penal system in Siberia and serving on various administrative committees, he soon realized that the bureaucracy in St. Petersburg knew nothing of local conditions and that the reforms initiated by Alexander II were either inoperative or had been completely abandoned. Increasingly, he became aware of the corruption in Siberia and the total indifference of St. Petersburg. After the Polish revolt of 1863, Kropotkin became greatly perturbed by the treatment of the Polish exiles with whom he had become friends. (In 1866 five were shot for their part in the rebellion near Lake Baikal.) "I may say now," he wrote later in his Memoirs, "that I lost in Siberia whatever faith in state discipline I had cherished before. I was prepared to become an anarchist."147 Increasingly disillusioned about the possibility of reform, Kropotkin took every opportunity to engage in exploratory journey through Eastern Siberia and the frontier regions of Manchuria. Besides exploring large areas of Siberia hitherto unexplored, he made important contributions to Eurasian geography, to the knowledge of the glacial age, and to the eastwar and westward movements of the steppe peoples.148

In 1867 Kropotkin resigned from the army and entered the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied mathematics and worked on the materials he had assembled during his explorations. He lived as a poor student, doing casual work for the Russian Geographical Society. When this society Invited him to become its secretary, he declined, although this was a great opportunity for his scientific career. "What [200] right," he wrote later, "had I to these higher joys when all around me was nothing but misery and struggle for a mouldy piece of bread?"149 He did not abandon science but, as Woodcock has put it: "Science was to become the servant rather than the equal of his revolutionary alms."150

In 1872 Kropotkin traveled briefly to Switzerland, where he met many Russian emigres identified with the Bakuninist section of the First International. Through Zhukovsky, the leading Bakuninist of Geneva, Kropotkin was introduced to the Jura Mountain watchmakers. The small, family workshops of these village craftsmen appealed to him greatly. He was impressed by their independence of thought and egalitarian relations. This experience had a decisive influence on his "conversion" to anarchism. He later thus described it in his Memoirs:

I was profoundly influenced by the theories of anarchism which were beginning to be formulated in the Jura Federation, mainly through the work of Bakumn; and also by criticism of State Socialism which threatened to develop into an economic tyranny even more terrible than political despotism; and finally by the revolutionary activities of the Jura workers.151

Bakunin was in Locarno at the time but, strangely, Kropotkin did not meet him; when he came there later, Bakunin was dead.

Kropotkin wanted to stay in the Jura mountains and become a craftsman, but James Guillaume persuaded him that his duty was to return to Russia. Kropotkm agreed, and upon his return to St. Petersburg joined the Chaikovsky Circle, the most active populist group at the time. They were mostly propagandists and moderate constitutionalists. Kropotkin was the only anarchist among them. In 1874 he was arrested for his propaganda and agitation activities and was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Because of poor health, he was transferred to a St. Petersburg military hospital and it was from there that he staged his dramatic escape (in 1876) so vividly described in his Memoirs. Now began his period of emigration, spent mostly in England, which was to last over [201] forty years.152 Immediately he became immersed in the European anarchist movement, becoming engaged in radical journalism and taking part in various international congresses in Belgium and Switzerland.

Kropotkm was a man of great personal charm and he acquired many friends in England, on the Continent, and in America, which he visited twice. Lev Deich, who saw him frequently, left a sketch of him: "Kropotkin was always extremely busy. He wrote for various scientific journals, translated from a number of foreign languages which he knew well for our monthly journals. In addition to the French [anarchist] journal which he edited, most of his time was taken up by lecturing at various anarchist meetings. He was considered an outstanding orator. Indeed, Kropotkin possessed all the qualities necessary to influence the masses: an attracti've appearance and personality, passion and ardor, and a good voice and diction. In the many-sidedness of his intellectual interests he was superior to all the followers of Bakunin, including Reclus."153

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century terrorism becarne increasingly associated with anarchism. Six heads of states were assassinated between 1894 and 1912, several by anarchists. Kropotkin's attitude to terror was somewhat ambiguous. Under certain conditions he considered it justified, but in general he was opposed to mass violence. He used to repeat Stepniak-Kravchinsky's observation: "Terror is horrible; there is only one thing worse than terror and that is to submissively suffer violence."154 As a result of this identification of anarchism with terrorism, Kropotkin had to submit to a number of arrests, expulsions, and imprisonments in several countries of Western Europe. In 1886, after serving a part of a five-year sentence in prison in Clairvaux, France, he left for England, where, except for his trips to America in 1897 and 1901, he resided for the next thirty years.

Federalism was an important aspect of Kropotkin's political thought. He saw the Marx-Bakunin conflict as one between the principle of federalism and that of centralism, between the Latin and German spirit.155 [202]

In "The State: Its Historical Role," originally written as a lecture in Paris in 1896 but not delivered because of Kropotkin's arrest, he surveyed the history of civilization from tribal communities to the domination of the nation-states in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.156 He argued that the free towns of the Middle Ages in Europe and in Russia (Pskov and Novgorod) represented periods of the greatest freedom and equality. The origin of this state domination he traced to "an alliance of the military chief with the priest and the judge." The Roman Empire, much admired by all statists, Kropotkin viewed negatively. The uniform law imposed by Rome dominated the empire, which was not "a confederation of fellow citizens but simply a herd of subjects."157 He concluded that the state which crushed the individual and local life must be destroyed. In its place, there should start a new life "in thousands of centers on the principle of lively initiative of individuals and groups and that of free agreement."158

Kropotkin's study of history, his experiences in Siberia and among the Jura watchmakers, the ideas of Proudhon and Bakunin -- all were major elements which contributed to the formation of his anarchism. His whole life was an unusual fusion of Russian and European influences. His ideal of a future anarchist society, formed in Switzerland by 1876, he described in his Memoirs.

This society will be composed of a multitude of associations, federated for all the purposes which require federation: trade federation for productions of all sorts -- agricultural, industrial, intellectual, and artistic . . . federations of communes among themselves . . . and finally, wider groups covering all the country. . . . There will be full freedom for the development of new forms of production, invention, and organization; individual initiative will be encouraged and the tendency toward uniformity and centralization will be discouraged . . . no need for government will be felt.159

Thus, Kropotkin visualized the future society as a network of small cooperative communities, reminiscent of the populists' ideas of obshchinas and artels. In this [203] and goods would be distributed according to need rather than work. This distinguishes Kropotkin from Bakunin (and Proudhon), who based distribution on the individual's work. In a voluntary society such as he envisioned, all wage systems had no place.160 This theory, called "anarchist communism," he developed in his Conquest of Bread.161

An original contribution is Kropotkin's attempt to find a scientific and ethical foundation for anarchism. In Siberia he had already observed that, in the process of natural selection, cooperation among animals was more important than competition. He did not deny the fact of the struggle for existence, only he shifted the emphasis. In the 1880s and 1890s he developed a theory of cooperation, first among animals, later among primitive peoples, and finally in contemporary society. In a way it was a challenge to Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest, particularly as interpreted by T. H. Huxley. He presented evidence to show that those species which cooperated were the fittest to survive. This theory was incorporated into his book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution.162 The study of mutual aid in turn led to the investigation of the role of the state ("The State: Its Role in History"), and eventually to the development of ideas of justice and ethics (published posthumously as Ethics). All these works provided scientific and philosophical support for the doctrine of modern anarchism. At the close of the century there appeared another important work, Fields, Factories and Workshops, in which Kropotkin developed Bakunin's concept of "integrated communities," and of the "whole" man.

A few words must be said about the last period of Kropotkin's life. When he returned to Russia, then under the Provisional Government, he occupied himself with projects dealing with federalism, with urging the establishment of a federal republic, and with working on plans for autonomous, self-governing regions.163 After the October Revolution he wrote: "The Russian experiment teaches us how communism should not be imposed."164 He criticized outspokenly the dictatorship of the party over the Soviets, a development of a vast bureaucratic machine and the Bolshevik terror. Existing [204] data on Kropotkin's last years is very meagre.165 His last years were darkened by growing conflict with Lenin and by failing health. When he died of pneumonia on February 8, 1921, a large funeral was organized by the few still functioning anarchist organizations. Lenin offered a state funeral, but it was declined.

The Marxist view of anarchism, ever since the Bakunin-Marx conflict of the 1870s, remains hostile to this day.166 Plekhanov termed it utopian and unscientific; Lenin's dictum was that anarchism is essentially a petty bourgeois ideology, harmful to the working-class movement.167 "A most harmful ideology," writes a contemporary Soviet investigator, V. V. Komin. "For us anarchism is a symbol of all that is disrupting the working class struggle with capitalism, all that weakens its force and helps the victory of the bourgeoisie in its struggle with the proletariat."168

Throughout his life Kropotkin had a strong faith in human goodness and perfectability and stubbornly believed that man was capable of living peacefully and cooperatively in an anarchist society of the future. Is such a society possible? Kropotkin once speculated: "Anarchy may be good for a higher humanity, not for men of our own times."169 Sri Aurobindo, the sage of modern India, also speculated whether the next cycle of human history, after the decline of totalitarian communism, "may not be led by the principles of philosophic anarchism," which envisions a society "founded upon spontaneous cooperation, not on government force and social compulsion."170

Neopopulism and Federalism in the 1880s and 1890s

The assassination of Alexander II and the subsequent destruction of the People's Will party ended the active phase of populism, but not the movement itself. As Venturi observed, "The year 1881 marked a break, but not the end of Russian populism."171 The long-anticipated revolution in Russia did not break out. Some populist leaders were executed and [205] exiled, others escaped abroad. The letter (1881) of the People's Will party to Alexander III was moderate in tone. Bogucharsky thus described the evolution of revolutionary populism: "From anarchism of the Cossack krugs, from Pugachev and 'a federation of autonomous communes,' through the seizure of power by the revolutionary government [Tkachev] to the calling of a Constituent Assembly or Sobor."172 Within Russia during the next ten years, the revolutionary movement subsided and became dormant. Some of the populist leaders -- Plekhanov, Axelrod, and Vera Zasulich -- abandoned populism and became converts to Marxism. The heirs of the People's Will eventually transformed themselves into the Russian Socialist Revolutionary party, whose alms became more constitutionalist than those of their predecessors. Anarchism did not become active until early in the 1890s.173 Lavrov, still the acknowledged leader with the largest following abroad, shifted his position on federalism markedly toward statism: "I was never an anarchist, and had always assumed that for a long time the state element, the element of power, would be completely essential both In the organization of a social-revolutionary party, and in the organization of a future society."174 This was a far cry from the views he expressed In the Forward program of 1873. At the Paris Congress of the Second International in 1889, Lavrov called for the revival of the People's Will, while Plekhanov, now representing the Marxist Liberation of Labor Group, proclaimed the proletariat, and not the peasantry, as the coming revolutionary force.175

In the 1880s the major advocate of the federalist principle was the Ukrainophile socialist Dragomanov. His Geneva paper the Free Word purveyed a mixture of liberal-constitutionalist and socialist ideas. Centralization was depicted as the major evil of contemporary Russia. The objective to strive for was a federal-democratic Russia. During its existence (1881-83), there were editorials and articles, mostly unsigned, on the Ukrainian national movement, the historian Kostomarov, the poet Shevchenko, Herzen, equality of nationalities, and federalist organization (1881, nos. 9, 10, [206] and 13), the Russian Empire, and the official nationality policy (1882, no. 31). Most of Dragomanov's articles were devoted to a critique of the Jacobin tactics of the revolutionary populists (1881, nos. 12-15; 1882, nos. 38, 39, and 41).176 There were also a number of articles on the zemstvos and self-government. The extent to which the paper represented an organized liberal group in Russia is a matter of controversy, as we have seen in the chapter on Dragomanov. The influence of the paper within Russia still remains to be investigated.

In the late 1880s and early 1890s the federalist position was best expressed by Vladimir Burtsev (1862-1942), journalist and historian of the revolutionary movement. Burtsev ostensibly did not belong to any political party or organization; he had, however, friends among the liberals as well as the terrorists. He was convinced that he was expressing the emigre narodnik viewpoint.177 He fled from Siberia abroad and was the major advocate of a united front against autocracy of liberals and revolutionaries. In his memoirs, written after the revolution of 1917, Burtsev recalled that A. Gradovsky's article "Don't Unleash the Beast" made a great impression on him; he also remembered Pushkin's warning on the Russian bunt, senseless and cruel.178 As many populists were beginning to do, Burtsev was thinking in terms of a two-phased revolution: first, a liberal constitutional regime, and later socialism. The aim was to achieve political freedom first, by various means but mostly through pressure on the government; terror was not excluded, but it was to be used sparingly and selectively. Burtsev called for a united front of all oppositional groups with his dictum: "Let us drop the 'we' and 'they' --liberals and revolutionaries. Now we are all liberals, now we are all revolutionaries, and no one has the right to refuse the duty and honor to be both liberal and revolutionary."179 His strongly libertarian program emphasized the right of self-determination, the equality of nationalities, and a federalist organization of the state. All the major emigre groups in London, Paris, and Geneva were interested in and, in various degrees, involved in this unification program.180 [207] The idea of a united front was perhaps best expressed in the Geneva journal Self-Government (Samoupravlenie; 1887-89). In the first issue, December 1887, the editors described themselves as socialists-federalists. The paper declared itself for wide local self-government, nationalization of land and factories, legal cultural activity through the zemstvos, and also for selective terror. They advocated collaboration with the liberals.181

Another Geneva paper, Free Russia (Svobodnaia Rossiia), published and edited by Burtsev in 1889, called for a Zemsky Sobor and also for a united front of all opposition groups. Burtsev's close associate and friend in Geneva was Dragomanov. Basically, they agreed on the necessity of a united front, but disagreed on the question of terror (Dragomanov opposed it) and the possibility of getting active asslstance from the liberal leaders in Russia.182 Dragomanov turned out to be right on the latter point -- no response came from such leading liberals as Kovalevsky, Petrunkevich, and Rodichev. Largely because of that, Free Russia had to stop publication with its third issue.183 A decade later, in London, Burtsev edited and published Narodovolets (1897), which called for a united front of revolutionary parties, for a constitution, and for federal government with wide regional self-government.184

In the late 1880s and early 1890s the united front movement was spreading both within Russia and abroad. The most ambitious expression of it within Russia was the Peoples' Rights party (Partiia Narodnogo Prava), whose members were known as narodopravtsy. It was organized in 1893 and soon had active circles in St. Petersburg, Saratov, Nizhnii Novgorod, the Caucasus, the Ukraine, and the Urals.185 The main initiative belonged to Mark Natonson, the veteran populist and leader of the Chaikovsky group in the early 1870s. The party was strongly in favor of a united front of liberals and revolutionaries. The struggle was to be conducted by every available means, including terror. The objective was a constitution, civil rights, and self-determination of the nationalities of the empire.186 The program and tactics of the [208] party were incorporated into a manifesto, called the "Vital Question" ("Nasushchnyi vopros"), issued in Smolensk in 1893. It was promptly confiscated by the police, but a few copies were saved and printed later by the London Free Press Committee with which the Peoples' Rights party established close relations. The Russian Free Press was organized by the Friends of Russian Freedom, an organization founded in London in 1891 with the purpose of aiding Russian emigres who were in favor of political freedom and self-government in Russia. It printed and distributed illegal and semi-legal literature received from Russia. A monthly journal, Free Russia, was published in London and New York, and the society established bookstores in London, Paris, and New York.187

"The Vital Question" was strongly libertarian and federalist. The nationality problem was more forcefully and clearly formulated than in most earlier populist programs. Russia, the manifesto declared, was a conglomerate of ethnic and economic regions which the autocracy was holding together by force.188 There was a strong centrifugal movement within the empire. The Western borderlands -- Finland, Poland, and the Baltic region --had no real moral or cultural ties with the center and could easily separate from it, in spite of strong existing economic ties. For a normal and healthy development, it went on to say, even the purely Russian areas, such as the Volga region, the North, the Urals, required wide local self-covernment. The form of organization that was best suited, therefore, for a state such as Russia was a free federation of nationalities and regions, such as that of the United States of America.189 Great Russian nationalism was to be discouraged. The future democratic Russia was to have (1) equality of rights of all the nationalities, (2) wide regional self-government, and (3) freedom of religion. "These ideas must be the basis of our future state and any deviation toward a dominant official nationality and an official state religion would be a violation of political freedom."190

Within Russia, the party of People's Rights came to an end in 1898. The reason for its demise, besides government repression, was the lack of response from many, perhaps the [209] majority, of the populists. Lavrov and his followers remained hostile to the liberals and opposed all efforts at a united front with them. By the end of the century, attempts to bring about an alliance between the populist intellectuals and the liberals had not been successful.

In his memoirs, published in emigration after the October Revolution, Burtsev gave an explanation for the failure to create a liberal- revolutionary alliance: on the part of the populists, it was fear of betraying the aims of revolutionary socialism; on the part of the liberals, "it was timidity, inability to take risks and general apathy."191 The efforts continued however, and some success was achieved by the liberals of the Union of Liberation in the early 1900s. The Social Democrats, who abroad began increasingly to overshadow the populists, were also unsympathetic. Lenin dismissed the efforts toward a united front as merely indicating the submission of revolutionary populists to "bourgeois liberalism."192 The Soviet investigator V. Shirokov acknowledged, however, that the united-front program had some influence and had even attracted some talented people, notably the writer Korolenko and the populist publicist N. K. Mikhailovsky.193 The latter, a major populist ideologist of the time, firmly believed in the absolute value of the individual, who must never be the means to any end. Formal European constitution, Mikhailovsky thought, was not enough; political freedom must be supplemented by social and economic reforms.194

The populist- Marxist debate of the 1890s was concerned essentially with the applicability of the Marxist doctrine to Russia. Is capitalism coming to Russia, or can it be bypassed? The Marxists' answer was that it had already arrived. The populists argued that capitalism and the centralized state are to be opposed because they brutalize the individual and limit his freedom. For the populists, as Berlin has observed, "the spiritual and physical condition of the individual citizen matters more than the power of the state, so that if, as often happens, the two stood in inverse ratio to one another, the rights and welfare of the individual must come first."195 This [210[ was probably so, in spite of the advocacy by some populists of dictatorship, terror, and violence. In spite of Dragomanov's accusations of statism, such instances were rather the exceptions, contrary to the basic libertarian spirit of the movement. Ultimately, most populists aspired to see a free, decentralized society, built on the principles of a federation, either of the type of the United States or -- as did the anarchists -- as a union of small associations of workers. From Herzen to Kropotkin the populist aspiration was to transform the Russian Empire into a free federation of nationalities and regions.

In the last decade of the century the populists had to make some revisions: capitalism was developing in Russia and the village commune was on the decline. The new orientation was toward the factory, without abandoning the village. Those populists who called for propaganda among workers in the capitals and provincial cities began to call themselves socialist- revolutionaries and soon became the dominant group. Shortly before the end of the century they were beginning to organize and to establish contacts with populist intellectuals of the borderlands -- Poland, the Ukraine, the Baltic provinces and the Caucasus.


1. Isaiah Berlin, introduction to Franco Venturi, Roots of Revolution (London, 1960), pp. vii-viii.

2. Letter to Michelet, September 22, 1851, in B. Dmytryshyn, ed., Imperial Russia (New York 1967), p. 202.

3. Letter to Michelet, p. 201.

4. Ibid.

5. A. Herzen, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (St. Petersburg, 1919), 8:32-33.

6. David Hecht, Russian Radicals Look to America (Cambridge, Mass., 1947), p. 22.

7. Ibid., p. 38.

8. Ibid., p. 31; on the similarities between Russia and America, see Herzen's article, "America and Siberia," Kolokol (December 1, 1859), no. 29.

9. Kolokol (October 15, 1862), no. 147.

10. Kolokol, (April 1, 1863), no. 160; see also the article entitled "1831-1863" in [211] the following two issues of Kolokol. In these Herzen subjected Emperor Nicholas I to severe criticism, attacked Kararnzin's "narrow, patriotic statism," recalled the Decembrists' sympathy for Poland, and appealed to the Russian conscience to support the Polish cause.

11. A. Kornilov, Modern Russian History (London, 1917), 2:87.

12. M. Malia, Alexander Herzen and the Birth of Russian Socialism, 1812-1855 (Cambridge, Mass., 1961), p. 313.

13. Ibid.; on Proudhon and Herzen, see also Raoul Labry, Alexandre Ivanovich Herzen, 1812-1870 (Paris, 1928), pp. 338-40.

14. G. Woodcock, Anarchism (New York, 1962), p. 379.

15. Venturi, p. 75.

16. M. V. Nechkinal Vozniknovenie pervoi "Zemli i Voli, " pp. 293-94.

17. See, for example, Kolokol (September 1, 1859), no. 111 and (January 1, 186 1), no. 89.

18. Hecht, p. 47.

19. E. L. Rudnitskaia, N. P. Ogarev v russkom revolutsionnom dvizhenii (Moscow, 1960), pp. 274-75.

20. Ibid., pp. 259, 304.

21. Kolokol (January 15, 1868), no. 2, p. 29.

22. V. Ia. Zevin, Politicbeskie vzgliady i politicheskaia programma N. G. Chernyshevskogo (Moscow, 1953), pp. 177, 318.

23. G. Plekhanov, Sochineniia (Petrograd 1923), 2:17.

24. Ibid.

25. Zevin, p. 193; Plekhanov, 2:17.

26. Hecht, pp. 124-25.

27. V. G. Sokurenko, Democraticheskiia ucheniia o gosudarstve ... (Lvov, 1966), p. 89.

28. N. N. Novikova, Revolutsionery 1861 goda (Moscow, 1968), p. 327. The chief distributor was a guard officer, V. A. Obruchev, who was connected with the Contemporary. (p. 123.)

29. M. K. Lemke, Ocberki osvoboditelnogo dvizbeniia 60kb godov (St. Petersburg, 1908), P. 10.

30. Ibid., p. 362.

31. Parts of this proclamation are in V. L. Burtsev, Za sto let (London, 1897), 1:25ff. An English translation is in A Source Book for Russian History, 3:639.

32. J. M. Meijer, Knowledge and Revolution. The Russian Colony in Zuerich (1870-1873) (Assen, 1955), p. 12.

33. Ibid., p. 18; Venturi, chapter 10, "The First Zemlia i Volia," pp. 253-84.

34. Venturi, p. 268.

35. Ibid., p. 274. A contact with the Polish leaders of the insurrection was made through the Russian officer A. A. Potebnya, stationed in Warsaw. (p. 207.)

36. Parts of the text are reproduced in Lemke, Politicheskiia protsessy v Rossii (1923), pp. 508-510, 514-18; an English translation of these is in A Source Book for Russian History, 3:639-41. See also Venturi, chapter 11, "Young Russia," pp. 285-302; Meijer, pp. 19-22; and Sh. M. Levin, Obscbestvennoe dvizhenie v Rossii v 60-70 gody XIX veka (Moscow, 1938), pp. 198-99. [212]

37. A Source Book for Russian History, 3:640-4 1.

38. Ibid.

39. Venturi, pp. 295-96.

40. Quoted in Venturi, p. 297; Herzen's analysis of Jacobinism is in his My Past and Thoughts, Pol. sob. soch., 14:495 ff.

41. See his "The Peoples's Cause: Romanov, Pugachev or Pestel?" (London, 1862).

42. M. A. Rubach, Federalisticheskie teorii v istorii Rossii, in M. Pokrovsky, ed, Russkaia istoricbeskaia literatura v klassovom osveshcbenii (Moscow, 1930), 2:63.

43. A. P. Shchapov, Neizdannye sochineniia (Kazan, 1926), 1:799.

44. Kolokol (1859), no. 34, p. 5. Herzen's support of the insurrection is perhaps best expressed in his two appeals: "To the Polish Central Committee" Kolokol (1862), no. 147, and "To the Russian Officers in Poland" (1862), no. 151.

45. Bakunin, "Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-theologism," in A Source Bookfor Russian History, 3:643.

46. Meijer, p. 36; Venturi, p. 431.

47. "Nasha programma," Narodnoe delo (Geneva, 1868), no. 1, pp. 6-7; included in Burtsev, Za sto let, pp. 87-89.

48. Quoted in Burtsev, p. 88-89.

49. Bakunin's collaboration was limited to the first issue of Narodnoe delo. An anti-Bakuninist emigre, N. Utin, gained control of the journal and Bakunin withdrew. In 1870 the journal became the organ of the Russian Marxist section of the International. (Meijer, p. 37.)

50. Venturi, p. 434.

51. 1. Berlin, "Herzen and Bakunin on Individual Liberty," in E. Simmons, ed., Continuity and Change in Russian and Soviet Thought (Cambridge, Mass. 1955), p. 473.

52. Ibid., p. 498. 1 68.

53. There is no complete edition of Bakunin's works in any language. Arthur Lehning's Archives Bakounine, (Leiden, 4 vols. published thus far) is an effort in this direction. Lehning is also the editor of Michael Bakunin. Selected Writings (New York, 1974). Other collections are:
a. Sobranie socbinenii i pisem 1828-1876, Yu. M. Steklov, ed., 4 vols. (Moscow, 1934-35).
b. Izbrannye sochineniia, 5 vols. (Petrograd-Moscow, 1920-22).
c. Ouvres 6 vols. (Paris, 1896-1914).
d. Gesammelte Werke, 3 vols. (Berlin, 1921-24).
e. A collection of Bakunin's letters to Herzen and Ogarev, edited by M. Dragomanov (Geneva, 1896).
f. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, ed. G. P. Maximoff (Glencoe, Ill., 1953).
g. Bakunin on Anarchy, ed. S. Dolgoff (New York, 1972).

The most important biographical works are:
a. Max Nettlau, The Life of Michael Bakunine, 3 vols. (London, 1896-1900), hectographed. [213]
b. Yu. M. Steklov, Mikhail Aleksandrovicb Bakunin, 4 vols. (Moscow Leningrad, 1926-27).
c. E. H. Carr, Michael Bakunin (London, 1937); dated but still useful. d. A good deal of biographical information is in Venturi, The Roots of Revolution and in G. Woodcock, Anarchism.

54. Venturi, p. 47.

55. Quoted in Woodcock, pp. t24-25.

56. J. Joll, The Anarchists (London, 1964), p. 76.

57. Ibid., p. 108. See his speech in 1868 at the Congress of the League for Peace and Freedom.

58. a. A System of Economic Contradictions: or, The Philosophy of Poverty, (1846). (The work which Marx attacked in his The Poverty of Philosophy.)
b. The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century (1851).
c. Du principe federatif (Paris, 1863).

59. Steklov, M. A. Bakunin, 3:199.

60. Venturi, p. 47.

61. Quoted in Frank Fadner, Seventy Years of Pan-Slavism in Russia (Washington, D.C., 1962), p. 149.

62. Boris Nicolaevsky, "Za vashu i nashu volnost," Novyi zhurnal (New York, 1944), 7:254.

63. See Steklov's discussion of the Polish influence in Sob. soch., 4:450-52.

64. Fadner, p. 148.

65. Herzen to Michelet, 1848, Byloe (July 1907), pp. 29-37.

66. Ibid., p. 31.

67. Published in Leipzig in December 1848, see Sob. soch., 3:346 ff. A so-called second "Appeal to the Slavs," even more vivid than the first, was discovered by a Soviet scholar in the Dresden Archives in 1925 and appeared in Krasnyi arkhiv 4 (17), 1926, pp. 138-44.

68. Quoted in Venturi, p. 56.

69. Sob. soch., 3:349.

70. Venturi, p. 49.

71. Bakunin's revolutionary views about 1849 were perhaps best expressed in a pamphlet entitled "Russische Zustdnde. Ein Bild aus des Jetztzeit" (Leipzig, 1849). (Venturi, p. 59.)

72. Letter of January 21, 1859, in Steklov, M. A. Bakunin, 4:296.

73. "Ispoved," Sob. soch., 4:99-207.

74. Ibid., 150.

75. Venturi, p. 58.

76. Sob. soch., 4:423ff.

77. See Kropotkin's testimony in his Memoirs of a Revolutionist; Steklov's commentary is in M. A. Bakunin, 4:584. See also a discussion on Bakun in Muraviev relations in S. G. Svatikov, "Rossiia i Sibir," Volnaia Sibir (1929), nos. 6-7, pp. 72-79.

78. Letter of November 7, 1860, in Pisma M. A. Bakunina k A. I. Herzen u i N. P. Ogarevu, ed. M. P. Dragomanov (St. Petersburg, 1906), p. 167. [214]

79. At the time of his escape the deputy governor-general of Eastern Siberia was M. S. Korsakov (1826-71), who was also very friendly to Bakunin.

80. Letter of May 10, 1862 in Lemke, Ocherki osvoboditelnogo dvizbeniia, p. 86.

81. Lemke, Ocberki osvoboditelnogo dvizbeniia; p. 491.

82. Woodcock, p. 149.

83, Nicolas Berdyaev, The Origin of Russian Communism (London, 1937), p. 73.

84. Ibid.

85. Venturi, p. 367.

86. The Soviet writer B. P. Kozmin in his study P. N. Tkacbev i revolutsionnoe dvizhenie 1860kb gg. (Moscow, 1922), concluded that Bakunin was the author. Woodcock thinks that the Catechism was probably composed by Nechaev when he returned to Russia in August 1869. (Anarchism, p. 161.) Venturi is inclined to agree with Kozmin. (Roots of Revolution, p. 773.) Recently, Prof. Michael Confino found Bakunin's letter to Nechaev in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, dated June 2, 1870; according to Anthony Masters it makes clear that the sole author of the Revolutionary Catechism was Nechaev. (A. Masters, Bakunin-The Father of Anarchism [New York, 1974], p. 205.)

87. For this period see the reminiscences of M. P. Sazhin, Vospominaniia 1860-1880kh gg. (Moscow, 1925), and L. G. Deich, Russkaia revolutsionnaia emigratsiia 70kh godov (St. Petersburg, 1920).

88. A summary favorable to the anarchist point of view is in Woodcock, pp. 157-70; for Soviet accounts, see V. Polyansky, ed., "Bakunin v pervorn Internatsionale," in Materialy dlia biografii M. Bakunina (Moscow-Leningrad, 1928), vol. 3, and B. P. Kozmin, Russkaia sektsiia pervogo Internatsionala (Moscow, 1957), passim, but especially pp. 195-200 and 343ff.

89. Woodcock, pp. 158-59.

90. Gosudarstvennost i anarkhiia (Zurich/ Geneva, 1873).

91. Ibid., pp. 250-55.

92. "State and Anarchy," in A Source Book for Russian History, 3:646.

93. Bakunin, "Federalism, Socialism, and Anti-theologism" (Geneva, December 1867). This pamphlet (included in Izbrannye sochineniia [Petrograd-Moscow, 1920-221, 3:102) was produced as the basic policy for the Central Committee of the League for Peace and Freedom. It was not finished, as was the case with much of Bakunin's work.

94. Izbr. soch., 3:102.

95. Ibid., p. 130.

96. Ibid., pp. 131, 134.

97. Ibid., p. 106.

98. Ibid., pp. 104-14.

99. He even attacked Garibaldi and Mazzini for having created unified Italian states.

100. Izbr. soch., 3:137-48.

101. Ibid., pp. 138-39.

102. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin: Scientific Anarchism, ed. G. P. Maximoff (Glencoe, Ill., 1953), p. 258.

103. Woodcock, pp. 152-53. [215]

104. Ibid., p. 154.

105. Ibid., p. 156.

106. See especially "Anarkhicheskoe gosudarstvo," Nabat (1876), nos. 5 and 6; reprinted in Izbr. soch. of P. M. Tkachev, 3:338ff; for the debate on Jacobinism, "Revolutsiia i printsip natsionalnosti, " Nabat (1878), nos. 75-77.

107. See his critique of Bakunin's State and Anarchy in the pamphlet "Anarkhiia mysli" (London, 1879).

108. Venturi, p. 423.

109. P. Lavrov, Izbrannye proizvedeniia (Moscow, 1965), 1: 301, 440; 2: 191-92.

110. Vpered, "Our Program," 1873; in A Source Bookfor Russian History, 3:651. ill. B. Glinsky, ed., Revolutsionnyi period russkoi istorii (1861-1881) (St. Petersburg, 1913), pp. 499-503.

112. Ibid., p. 501.

113. S. Rusov, Byloe (February 1906), no. 2, p. 292. For Lavrov's views on the state and the future society, see his "Gosudarstvennyi element v budushchem obshchestve," Vpered 4, no. 1.

114. 0. V. Aptekman, Obshchestvo "Zemlia i Volia" (Petrograd, 1924), pp. 120-29, 194-96; L. Deich, Russkaia revolutsionnaia emigratsiia 70kb godov (Petrograd, 1920), pp. 60-80. See also Meijer, pp. 156-57, 160-61.

115. Woodcock, p. 162.

116. Ibid., p. 165.

117. Ibid., p. 163.

118. Ibid., p. 169.

119. V. Debogory-Mokrievich, Vospominaniia (Paris, 1894), p. 36.

120. Sazhin, Vospominaniia, p. 91.

121. Quoied in Joll, p. 114.

122. Obshchina (May-June 1878), nos. 5, 6, and 7.

123. Obshchina (May 1878), no. 5.

124. Ibid., p. 4.

125. Ibid.

126. See, for example, P. Axelrod, "Itogi sotsialno-demokraticheskoi partii v Germanii," Obshcbina (March, April, and May 1878), nos. 3, 4, and 5.

127. Zemlia i Volia (October 25, 1878). Parts of this program are translated into English in A Source Book for Russian History, 3:662-63.

128. "Narodniki 70kh godov," Istoriia russkoi ekonomicbeskoi mysli (1959), vol. 2, part 1, pp. 453, 455.

129. The program of the party is in Burtsev, Za sto let, pp. 148-63; the English translation of the program of the Narodnaia Volia is in Dmytryshyn, pp. 247-51.

130. M. Dragomanov, Sob. polit. soch. (Paris, 1905), pp. 218-19.

131. V. Bogucharsky, Literatura partii "Narodnoi Voli" (St. Petersburg, 1907), p. 292.

132. Byloe (March 1906), no. 3, p. 63.

133. Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli (1959) vol. 2, part 1, p. 460.

134. Ibid.

135. Chernyi peredel (January 15, 1880), no. 1, pp. 1, 2-6. This issue was [216] confiscated and the subsequent four issues were published abroad. A reprint of the five issues with an introduction by O. V. Aptekman was published in 1923.

136. Dragomanov, Sob. polit. soch., 1:225.

137. Venturi, p. 658. 138. "Anarkhism i sotsialism" (translated from the German) (St. Petersburg, Lurie and Co., n.d.), p. 69.

139. Plekhanov, Sochineniia (1923), 2:22. Plekhanov's explanations for abandoning populism are in a number of his works, notably "Socialism and Political Struggle," 2:29-88, and "Our Disagreements," 2:91-341.

140. Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli (1959), vol. 2, part 1, pp. 461-62.

141. Ibid., p. 453.

142. Venturi, Roots of Revolution, p. 529.

143. Actually the anarchist movement in Russia did not start until 1903. (P. Avrich, The Russian Anarchists (Princeton, N.J., 1967), p. 38; Woodcock, pp. 386-89.)

144. Tolstoy envisaged a society without a central government, without law and property, in which production would be organized cooperatively. Unlike Bakunin, he advocated a moral rather than a political revolution. In order to abolish the state Tolstoy's method was to cease all cooperation with it, rejecting payment of taxes, military service, etc. Mahatma Gandhi was his convert; and following Tolstoy's nonviolent technique, liberated the Indian continent from English rule. On Tolstoy, see Woodcock, pp. 207-19.

145. For the early period of Kropotkin's life in Siberia, see A. A. Borovoi, ed., Dnevnik P. A. Kropotkina (Moscow- Leningrad, 1923); G. Woodcock and I. Avalcumovic, The Anarchist Prince (London, 1950); G. Woodcock, Anarchism, chapter 7, "The Explorer."
Kropotkin's articles on the theory of anarchism were published between 1879 and 1882 in the anarchist journal Le Revolte, Geneva. (Pierre Kropotkine, Paroles d'un Revolte, preface de E. Reclus [Paris: Flammarion, n.d.1) Most of these articles were later incorporated into Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread (London, 1906).
Kropotkin's classic memoirs, Zapisky revolutsionera (Memoirs of a Revolutionist) have since 1899 gone through numerous Western and Soviet editions; the latest American edition is New York Horizon Press, 1968.
Kropotkin's other works dealing with anarchist theory are Fields, Factories and Workshops (London, 1899); Mutual Aid (London, 1902); Modern Science and Anarchism (Philadelphia, 1903).
There is a recent anthology, Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, edited with an introduction by Martin A. Miller (Cambridge, Mass., 1970), which contains a selected bibliography, pp. 360-62.

146. M. Miller, Introduction, Selected Writings on Anarchism, p. 44.

147. Kropotkin, Memoirs (Boston, 1899), p. 148. The populist poet M. L. Mikhailov (who was sent to Siberia in 1861 and died of consumption in 1865) introduced to Kropotkin the works of Proudhon (Woodcock, Anarchism, P. 78).

148. Soviet writers, following the official prescription, dismiss Kropotkin as an [217] utopian idealist, but they hold in great respect his contributions to Siberian geography, geophysics, geology, botany, and zoology. See, for example, G. V. Karpov, Issledovatel zemli Sibirskoi-P. A. Kropotkin (Moscow, 1961). For a general description of his explorations, see G. Woodcock and 1. Avakumovic, The Anarchist Prince (London, 1950).

149. Woodcock, Anarchism, p. 179.

150. Ibid.

151. Kropotkin, Zapiski revolutsionera (1933), p. 170.

152. He returned to Russia after the February Revolution early in 1917.

153. L. Deich, Russkaia revolutsionnaia emigratsiia 70kh godov (Petrograd, 1920), P. 11.

154. Miller, Introduction, p. 23.

155. C. Bernari, "Peter Kropotkin -- His Federalist Ideas" (London: Freedom Press, 1942), p. 16.

156. First published in Les temps nouveaux, December 19, 1896, and subsequently as a pamphlet in Russian and English.

157."The State: Its Historical Role," in Selected Writings on Anarchism and Revolution, p. 213.

158. Ibid., p. 264.

159. Memoirs of a Revolutionist (Boston, 1930), pp. 398-99, quoted in A Source Book for Russian History, 3:657.

160. Woodcock, Anarchism, p. 188.

161. Paris, 1892; London, 1906, p. 164.

162. London, 1902, p. 6.

163. Kropotkin, "Federatsiia kak put obedineniia," Golos minuvshego (JanuaryFebruary 1923), no. 1, p. 15.

164. C. Bernari, "Peter Kropotkin-His Federalist Ideas" (1942), p. 20.

165. Miller's anthology contains a few letters and reminiscences of those who saw Kropotkin during the last years of his life. (Selected Writings, pp. 319-39). See also D. Shub, "Kropotkin and Lenin," The Russian Review (October 1953), pp. 227-34.

166. Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli (1959), vol. 2, pt. 1, pp. 460-62.

167. V. 1. Lenin, Sochineniia. 4th ed., 5:300.

168. V. V. Komin, Anarchism v Rossii (Kalinin, 1969), pp. 37-45, 243.

169. Anarchist Communism (London: Freedom Press, 1920), p. 29.

170. Sri Aurobindo, The Human Cycle (Pondicherry, India, 1949), p. 271.

171. Venturi, p. xxxii.

172. V. Bogucharsky, Iz istoriipoliticheskoi borby ... (Moscow, 1912), p. 468.

173. In 1893 an Armenian doctor, Alexander Atabekian, established contact with Kropotkin in England and initiated distribution of anarchist literature in Russia. (Woodcock, Anarchism, p. 389.)

174. Lavrov's letter to the Executive Committee of People's Will party at the end of 1881, cited by Philip Pomper, Peter Lavrov and the Russian Revolutionary Movement (Chicago, 1972), p. 208.

175. In the 1890s Lavrov opposed collaboration with the liberals and Burtsev's unification plan. (Pomper, p. 216-17.) On Lavrov and his relationship with [218] Plekhanov in the 1880s, see V. Ia. Bogucharsky, Iz istorii polititcheskoi borby v 70kb i 80kb godakb XIX veka, pp. 268-385.

176. All these articles appeared later in Dragomanov's book Historical Poland and Great Russian Democracy.

177. On Burtsev's relationships abroad, see S. G. Svatikov's ms. of an article "V. L. Burtsev-istorik," (16 pp.), Nicolaevsky Collection, no. 238, item 14, Hoover Institution Archives.

178. Burtsev, Borba za svobodnuiu Rossiu. Moi vospominaniia, 1882-1922 (Berlin, 1923), pp. 30-31.

179. Ibid., p. 73.

180. Ibid., pp. 41-43; Pomper, p. 217.

181. V. Shirokov, Partiia "Narodnogo Prava" (Saratov, 1972), pp. 20-21. Only four issues appeared. Among the contributors were S. Stepniak, D. Debagory-Mokrievich, M. Dragomanov, G. Plekhanov. (Burtsev, Borba za svobodnuiu Rossiu, pp. 71-72.

182. Burtsev, Borba za svobodnuiu Rossiu, p. 77.

183. Ibid., p. 85.

184. The first three issues of Narodovolets, April, May, and October 1897, are in the F. Volkhovsky Collection (Box 14), at the Hoover Institution Archives.

185. Shirokov, pp. 64, 138.

186. Ibid., pp. 65-79.

187. The Free Press Fund Committee consisted of former populists: F. Volkhovsky, S. Stepniak, L. Shishko, E. Lazarev, N. Chaikovsky, and L. Goldenberg. The Volkhovsky Collection (Box 12) in the Hoover Institution Archives, contains a 20-page ins. which summarizes the activity of the fund up to 1893.

188. "Nasushchnyi vopros" (London: Russian Free Press, 1895), p. 24.

189. Ibid., p. 27.

190. Ibid., p. 29.

191. Burtsev, Borba za svobodnuiu Rossiu, p. 77.

192. Shirokov, pp. 67, 72.

193. Ibid., p. 175.

194. E. Kolosov, "Vozzrenie N. K. Mikhailovskogo na gosudarstvo," Russkoe bogatstvo (1910), no. 3, pp. 63-67.

195. Berlin, introduction to Venturi, p. xxiv.