Bloody Brilliant! This pamphlet does a remarkable job in summarising the basic ideas of Bakunin, the founder of revolutionary anarchism. It covers his analysis of modern class society, the state, bourgeois democracy and Marxism. On every count, Bakunin has been vindicated.
This new edition also contains a new section on Bakunin's views on religion. Moreover, it gives a good account of his ideas on how to create an anarchist society and what that society could look like. Bakunin's ideas on revolutionary unionism and the role of the anarchist organisation are explained extremely well in a short space. It exposes Marxist claims that Bakunin rejected collective class struggle and organisation as the nonsense they are.
As an added bonus, the pamphlet explains what Bakunin meant by the phrase "invisible dictatorship." Rather than signify a desire for personal dictatorship (as Marxists claim) he simply used a bad expression to signify the way an anarchist group would work within the class struggle, by the natural influence of its members arguing the anarchist case within working class organisations.
Of course it is not perfect. For example, the references to the Militant Tendency should have been revised in light of its split in the 1990s. It should have emphasised more that Bakunin's vision of revolution predicted key aspects of both the Paris Commune and the Russian Soviets. And it would have been nice for the pamphlet to explain why the Anarchist Federation rejects Bakunin's syndicalist ideas on unions. But these are minor points. The pamphlet is great and well worth a quid.
For those seeking to find out more about Bakunin, I would recommend "Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom" by Brian Morris. In addition, Mark Leier's "Bakunin: The Creative Passion" is an excellent biography which discusses his ideas extremely well.
new edition 2002
Like most sites we have a major problem with bots trying to post spam into the comments section. While looking for a better solution we are reduced to only on turning on the ability to anonymously comment for brief periods around the posting of new articles. But if you are a regular visitor you can comment at any time by creating an account on the site and logging in before posting. But the Spammers also set up accounts so to reduce the workload of deleting those we only turn on the ability to create accounts for brief periods which we announce on our Twitter & Facebook accounts so follow those to hear when we have that turned on. We do want you to be able to engage with us via the comments and we are very sorry for the fact that we can't find a better way of dealing with spam.