Bakunin vs. Marx
Publisher: Red Menace/Toronto Liberation School, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 1978
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX5147
The anarchist-Marxist split started with Bakunin, who systematically misrepresented Marx's positions.
Ulli Diemer writes: "Almost as bad are those anarchists who lambaste Marx for his 'advocacy' of 'democratic centralism' and the 'vanguard party.' Is it really necessary to point out that these concepts were developed long after Marx's death, that Marx never belonged to an organization practising either; that he consistently opposed the tiny conspiratorial sects of his day; that he made it a condition of his joining the Communist League that they scrap their closed, undemocratic organizational forms; that he always, and angrily, refused attempts by socialists of his day to single him out for special honours or titles in the movement?
And has it been completely forgotten that one of Marx's chief themes in his criticism of Bakunin was the latter's eternal fascination with conspiratorial, manipulative, sectarian politics?
For there is, unfortunately for those who believe in anarchist fairy tales, a substantial body of evidence for the contention that Bakunin held precisely those "authoritarian" views which he brazenly attributed to Marx. Those who seek evidence of a penchant for dictatorial, Machiavellian politics will find a good deal of material in the writings not of Marx, but of Bakunin.