La Tarcoteca

La Tarcoteca

lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2014

Bakunin: Nationalism, State and Religion

With its successes and failures, as every human being when exposed, understands and select the best option, Bakunin is not a thought or a static-action illuminated by the will of a god. Like many others who preceded him and will happen (as Berkman), the confrontation of ideas and practical exposure will pulish some of its edges, and others will remain to be ascertain for the following generations. One of this mean edges is the idea of culture used by many to justify the existence of the State. The political reality of a Europe bled in wars and preparing the next, did the father of anarchism understand the union of the Slavic peoples as the only possible solution, which has been used occasionally in the libertarian world as an authoritative reference to justify the current nationalism. But that was not the last word Bakunin spoke about the national question, he glimpse shortly after the trap of the so called "distinguishing characters".


Works in a point of his life, Bakunin argued: <<every people and even the most little ethnic or traditional unit has its own character, its specific way of existence, its own way of speaking, feeling, thinking and proceeding; and this idiosyncrasy is the essence of nationality, result of historical life and resume of the vital conditions of the people.>> In this kind of expressions remains those who above all political project aimed the independence of "their nation" through the creation of an independent State, with some ornament on the left. And those theorizing a life without State also see welcomed the independence of a territory culturally uniform.

But even in these times, Bakunin also says that <<we should put the Universal Human Justice above all national interests and abandon once and for all the false principle of nationality, recently invented by the despots of France, Prussia and Russia to crush the sovereign principle of Freedom.>>

Even then, defending the right of nations to develop without interference, Bakunin understands national freedom as "corollary" of the individual freedom by taking responsibility for their decisions, not as a above principle, which is how always ends up happening. This healthy and natural near to obsession Individual Freedom above political constructions, clear influence or affinity with Stirner, brings him to identify national constructions more as problem as solution, and over the years will clearly defend this position contrary to the demarcation of territories according to the dictates of the bourgeoisie or by the demonstrated strength in war.

The State

Since release from prison until the end of his days Bakunin expressed as this: <<The State is the younger brother of the Church, and patriotism. This virtue and worship to the State, is nothing but a reflection of divine worship ... the State has always been property of a privileged class ... but for the good of the State there must be a privileged class whoever interested in their existence, and is precisely this solidary interest of the privileged class with the State what is called patriotism ... the physiological element is the main base of any patriotism, simple, instinctive and brutal.>> Rounding out the deception the interest with the State of the privileged class is cover as popular interest, identifiying the aim of the poultry with the ​​farmer who eats one under the false premise that all are part of the farm.

As seen, State, Nation and Religion, go together to Bakunin and since then to those who identified with anarchism have join his program. Go hand to hand because Bakunin understands that this political form of organizing society is fundamentally authoritarian, and therefore sooner or later repressive of all freedom.

Power's self-preservation instinct leads Bakunin to suspesct of Marxist theory about the end of Statal structures in the last revolutionary stage. Bakunin spoke of the State as << a huge cemetery where [...] all the true aspirations, all the living forces of the country are abandoned to immolate and bury, generous, gently" and early warned the tendency to accentuate its totalitarian character. Even in periods of reduced pressure on individuals, as could make believe bourgeois democracies, Bakunin wary of wolves in sheep's clothing: <<instead of garanty for people, the representative system creates and guarantees the existence of a permanent opposed to people government aristocracy>>.

The russian revolutionary says that Universal Suffrage is simply a trap after which <<hides the really despotic power of the State, based on the bank, the police and the army>>, <<an excellent mean to oppress and ruin people in the name and under the pretext of an alleged popular will.>>


Material reality goes before ideas and therefore the State building as a form of government is obliged to seek justification for their despotic existence both in an idealized past of origin and common customs (nationalism) as in a third essential element: Religion.

In "Federalism, Socialism and Antitheologism", Bakunin drinks of the great atheist and anticlerical Enlightenment to strengthen its anti-authoritarian character refusing the mean dogma. Intend to liberate humanity from all coercive authority, it is essential to end with the ultimate source of authority, that is, the idea of ​​God. This will in being atheist if you want to be free, shared with Stirner, has been one of the central pillars of the libertarian movement despite the fanciful attempts to see in Christianism or even Islam common points that could coexist.

Rarely such a concise and clear deduction as presented in the Russian revolutionary "Federalism, Socialism and Antitheologism" work will be find:
"Unless one wants slavery, we can not and should not make the slightest concession to theology, [...] the one who wants to worship God must renounce his liberty and his human dignity:
God exists, so man is a slave.
The man is intelligent, fair, free, so God does not exist.
We dare the one able to get out of this circle."
We can not trivialize the intellectual and exemplar heritage receive from Mikhail Bakunin on these aspects if we want honor his memory as it deserves. And, above all, 200 years after his birth we are living a historic moment in which astonished the validity of the ideas for which he fought all his life.

Julia Reyero | CNT Newspaper
Source: Bakunin: nacionalismo, Estado y religión | Confederación Nacional del Trabajo

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