Bakunin, Mikhail Aleksandrovich°

Updated About content Print Article Share Article
views updated


BAKUNIN, MIKHAIL ALEKSANDROVICH° (1814–1876), Russian revolutionary, one of the founders and theoreticians of Anarchism. While imprisoned in the Petropavlovsk fortress in St. Petersburg (1851), he wrote his "Confession" (Ispoved), in which he reproached the Polish independence leaders Adam *Mickiewicz and Joachim Lelewel for their favorable attitude toward Jews. Through his conflict with *Marx, *Hess, and other Jewish Socialists at the end of the 1860s, Bakunin's hatred of the Jews grew beyond bounds. In his answer to a letter of Moses Hess in the review Le réveil (October 20, 1869), he referred to the Jews as a nation of exploiters, entirely opposed to the interests of the proletariat. At another time he stated that the Jews were more dangerous than the Jesuits and constituted a real power in Europe: they reigned despotically over commerce and banking, and had taken over three-quarters of German journalism as well as a large portion of the press in other countries. Bakunin considered Marx as the modern Moses, a typical representative of the Jewish people.


Yu.M. Steklov (pseud.), Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin, 3 (Rus., 1927), 346–50, 388–404; Silberner, in: hj, 14 (1952), 93–106; W. Polonski (ed.), Materialy dlya biografii M. Bakunina … 1 (1923).