The most famous anarchists


Today we have a wary attitude towards anarchism. Meanwhile, this political ideology is only trying to get rid of the coercive power of some people over others.

Anarchism is trying to give people maximum freedom, to eliminate all types of exploitation. Social relations should be based on personal interest, voluntary consent and responsibility.

Anarchism calls for the elimination of all forms of power. The most outstanding philosophers of this kind will be discussed.

Diogenes of Sinop (408 BC-318 BC). This philosopher came from a wealthy family in the city of Sinop on the Black Sea coast. Expelled from his hometown for fraud, 28-year-old Diogenes arrived in Athens, then the center of world philosophy. The future thinker became the most famous student of the Antisthenes school, amazing everyone with his polished speeches. The teacher recognized only that state, which consists of good people. After the death of Antisthenes, his views were developed by Diogenes, who radicalized the views of the Cynics. But this doctrine denied slavery, laws, the state, ideology and morality. The philosopher himself preached asceticism, wore the simplest clothes and ate the simplest food. It was he who lived in a barrel, not needing more. Diogenes believed that virtue is much more important than the laws of the state. He preached the community of wives and children, ridiculed wealth. Diogenes was even able to delight Alexander the Great himself, asking him just not to block the sun. The Cynic school laid the foundations of anarchism, and it existed in the Roman Empire until the 6th century, becoming fashionable in the 2nd century. Despising power, private property and the state, Diogenes, in fact, became the first nihilist and the first anarchist thinker.

Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876). Bakunin was born into a wealthy family, but his military career did not work out. After moving to Moscow, young Bakunin began to study philosophy and actively participate in salons. In Moscow, the thinker met with revolutionaries, with Herzen and Belinsky. And in 1840 Bakunin left for Germany, where he became friends with the Young Hegelians. Soon, in his articles, the philosopher began to call for a revolution in Russia. Bakunin refused to return to his homeland, as a prison awaited him there. The philosopher called on people to free themselves from everything that prevents them from being themselves. It is no coincidence that Bakunin became an active participant in the European revolutions of the mid-19th century. He was seen in Prague, Berlin, Dresden, he played an important role at the Slavic Congress. But after his arrest, the anarchist was sentenced first to death, and then to life imprisonment. The thinker fled from Siberian exile, reaching London through Japan and the USA. The anarchist inspired Wagner to create the image of Siegfirid, Turgenev wrote his Rudin from him, and in Dostoevsky's Demons Bakunin is personified by Stavrogin. In 1860-1870, the revolutionary actively helped the Poles during their uprising, organized anarchist sections in Spain and Switzerland. Bakunin's vigorous activity led to the fact that Marx and Engels began to intrigue against him, fearing a loss of influence on the labor movement. And in 1865-1867, the revolutionary finally became an anarchist. The expulsion of Bakunin from the International in 1872 provoked sharp opposition from the workers' organizations of Europe. After the death of the thinker, the anarchist movement of the continent received a powerful impetus. There is no doubt that Bakunin was an important figure in world anarchism and the main theorist of this trend. He not only created a unified worldview, but also formed independent organizations. Bakunin believed that the state is the most cynical denial of everything human, interfering with the solidarity of people. He hated communism, because it denied freedom. Bakunin opposed parties, authorities and authorities. Thanks to his activities, anarchism spread widely in Russia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France.

Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921). This theorist managed to create a world movement of anarcho-communism. Interestingly, Kropotkin himself came from an ancient princely family. As a young officer, he took part in geographical expeditions to Siberia. After retiring at the age of 25, Kropotkin became a student at St. Petersburg University, having published about 80 papers in the field of geography and geology. But soon the student was carried away not only by science, but also by revolutionary ideas. In an underground circle, Kropotkin met in particular with Sophia Perovskaya. And in 1872, a man went to Europe, where his anarchist views took shape. The prince returned with illegal literature and began to form his program for the new system. It was planned to create anarchy, consisting in the union of free communes without the participation of the authorities. Fleeing from the persecution of the authorities, the prince left for Europe. As a member of the International, he is under the supervision of the police of different countries, but at the same time he is protected by the best minds in Europe - Hugo, Spencer. As a scientist, Kropotkin tried to substantiate anarchism using scientific methods. He saw this as a philosophy of society, arguing that mutual assistance is the basis for the development of life. In 1885-1913, the main works of Kropotkin were published, in which he spoke about the need to make a social revolution. The anarchist dreamed of a free society without a state, where people would help each other. In February 1917, the philosopher returned to Russia, where he was greeted with enthusiasm. However, Kropotkin did not plunge into politics, refusing to cooperate with like-minded people. Until his last days, the prince persuaded in the ideals of goodness, faith, wisdom, trying to call for a softening of the revolutionary terror. After the death of the philosopher, tens of thousands of people came to see him on his last journey. But under Stalin, his followers were dispersed.

Nestor Makhno (1888-1934). A peasant son from early childhood was accustomed to the most difficult and dirtiest work. In his youth, Makhno joined the union of anarchist grain growers and even took part in terrorist acts. Fortunately, the authorities did not dare to execute the 22-year-old boy, sending him to hard labor. While imprisoned in Butyrka, Nestor Ivanovich met prominent Russian anarchists - Anthony, Semenyuta, Arshinov. After the February Revolution, the political prisoner Makhno was released. He returns to his native Gulyaypole, where he drives out state bodies and establishes his own power and redistribution of land. In the fall of 1918, Makhno, having united several partisan detachments, was elected by his father and began to fight the invaders. By December 1918, under the rule of the anarchist, there were already six volosts that formed the Republic of Makhnovia. And in February-March 1919, Makhno was actively fighting the Whites, helping the Red Army. But by the spring, a conflict with the Bolsheviks was ripe, because the dad refused to let the Chekists into his free area. Despite the hunt, the anarchist by October 1919 managed to create an army of 80 thousand people. The partisan struggle against the Reds continued in 1920. And in 1921, having finally suffered defeat, dad left for Romania. Since 1925, Makhno lived in France, where he published an anarchist journal and published articles. Here he established contacts with all the leading leaders of this movement, dreaming of creating a single party. But serious wounds undermined Makhno's health, he died without completing his work. Under the conditions of the revolution, the great anarchist in Ukraine managed to challenge the dictatorships of parties, monarchist and democratic. Makhno created a movement that intended to build a new life on the principles of self-government. The Makhnovshchina became the antipode of Bolshevism, which could not come to terms with this.

Pierre Proudhon (1809-1865). Proudhon is called the father of anarchism, because it was this public figure and philosopher who in fact created the theory of this phenomenon. In his youth, he dreamed of becoming a writer, having gained a little experience in typography. The main work of his entire life, on property and the principles of government and public order, published in 1840, was greeted with coolness. At this time, Proudhon met intellectuals-intellectuals who dream of a new structure of society. Marx and Engels became his constant interlocutors. The thinker did not accept the revolution of 1848, condemning it for unwillingness to change society and for compromise. Proudhon tries to create a people's bank, becoming a member of the National Assembly, trying to change the tax system. Publishing the newspaper "Le peuple", he criticized the order in the country and even the new president, Napoleon. For his revolutionary articles, Proudhon was even imprisoned. The philosopher's new book "On Justice in the Revolution and the Church" made him flee their country. In exile, Proudhon wrote treatises on international law and tax theory. He argues that the only possible form of social structure is free association with the observance of freedoms and equality in the means of production and exchange. At the end of his life, Proudhon admitted that his anarchist ideals remained unattainable. And although the philosopher formed a new worldview, his model of society did not provide for the terror that is so familiar to revolutions. Proudhon believed that humanity will be able to move to a new world gradually and without shocks.

William Godwin (1756-1836). This English writer at one time greatly influenced the formation of anarchism. William was originally trained for a career in the clergy. However, he was much more interested in theology in socio-political problems. In the 1780s and 1790s, influenced by the work of the French enlighteners, Godwin formed a school of social novelists in England. In 1783, his final break with the church took place, in London the writer became the ideological leader of the social novelists. During the era of the French Revolution, Godwin was able to introduce new trends into the country's political alphabet. Members of his circle sympathized with the events in the neighboring country, he himself began to consider in his treatises the problems of inequality and the possibility of introducing just anarchy. That work of the writer even became the subject of government review and was withdrawn from circulation. Godwin's ideas are similar to those of the communist anarchists of the early 20th century. The writer believed that the existing structure of society is the main source of world evil. According to Godwin, the state simply helps some people to oppress others, property is a luxury and satiety. According to the philosopher, the state brings degeneration to mankind, and religion only helps to enslave people. The cause of all man's troubles is ignorance of the truth, the discovery of which will help to achieve happiness. On the way to a brighter future, Godwin proposed abandoning violence and revolution. In the latter part of his life, due to the reaction in England and material problems, the philosopher abandoned literature and social problems.

Max Stirner (Schmidt Kaspar) (1806-1856). This outstanding thinker is credited with creating anarchism-individualism. After receiving a diploma in philology, the young teacher begins attending Hippel's pub in Berlin, where the liberal youth of the Free Group gathered. Among the regulars, one can note at least Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Kaspar immediately plunged into controversy and began writing original philosophical works. From the very first steps, he declared himself as an individualist-nihilist, harshly criticizing democracy and liberalism. For his high forehead, the anarchist was nicknamed "Forehead", and soon he took the pseudonym Stirner, which literally means "forehead." In 1842, the thinker was noted for his articles on education and religion. The main work of his life, "The One and His Property", came out in 1844. In this work, Stirner developed the idea of ​​anarchism. In his opinion, a person should seek not social, but personal freedom. After all, any social transformation is aimed at satisfying someone's selfish plans. In 1848, a revolution broke out in Germany, the philosopher accepted it coolly, not joining any of the unions. Stirner sharply criticized Marx, communism and revolutionary struggle, and his ideas markedly influenced Bakunin and Nietzsche. The anarchist wrote with a grin about the participants in the uprising, who bought into another lie and then restored what they themselves had destroyed. The philosopher died in poverty and obscurity, but in the late 1890s his works gained relevance, he began to be considered a prophet of left nihilism. In the views of the anarchist, society is a union of egoists, each of whom sees in the other only a means to achieve their goals. It is important that individuals compete in society, and not capitals, as is happening now.

Emma Goldman (1869-1940). There were also women among the anarchists. Although Emmy Goldman was born in Kaunas, she became famous as a famous American feminist. Emma joined radical ideas in her youth, living in Russia. She ended up in America at the age of 17, having gone through a failed marriage, divorce and hard factory work. In 1887, the girl ended up in New York, did not meet a group of anarchists. In the 1890s, she actively traveled throughout America, giving lectures. For such propaganda of radical views, the woman was repeatedly arrested and even imprisoned. Since 1906, Emma has been publishing the magazine Mother Earth, where she publishes her works on anarchism, feminism, and sexual freedom. Together with her friend Alexander Berkman, she founded the first school of intimate education. Thanks to the activities of anarchists in America, communist red ideas became popular, Emma openly called for rebellion and insubordination to the state. She raised the trade unions to fight the capitalists. As a result, the authorities simply took and deported 249 of the most radical activists from the country, sending them to Russia. But under the new regime, the anarchists felt uncomfortable, quickly becoming disillusioned with the Bolsheviks. The American guests began to openly criticize the totalitarian methods of the new government, as a result they were already expelled from Russia. In the 1930s, Emma traveled to Europe and Canada with lectures on the women's issue; she was allowed to enter America only if she refused political topics. "Red Emma" for 30 years did not leave the pages of newspapers. A brilliant speaker, critic and journalist, she has managed to shatter the foundations of American statehood.

Rocker Rudolph (1873-1958). In his youth, Rudolph understood what it means to be an orphan and a beggar, he felt the inequality that reigns in society. At the age of 17, the young man actively joined the work of the Social Democratic Party, but in 1891 he left it, joining the anarchists. In 1892, Rocker moved to Paris, where he entered the society of European radicals. And in 1895, the anarchist persecuted by the authorities moved to London, where he became a student of Kropotkin himself. Here the German joined the Federation of Jewish Anarchists in Great Britain, one of the most influential organizations of this kind in Europe. By the late 1890s, Rudolph had become the leader of the Jewish anarchist workers' movement in England. He learned Yiddish so well that he even began to write in it. The Jews recognized this German as their spiritual leader.For almost 20 years, Rudolph published the anarchist newspaper "The Workers' Friend" until it was closed by the police for anti-militarist views during the First World War. In the early 1900s, Rocker opened an anarchist club and printed brochures, becoming a prominent theorist of this movement. In 1918, after arrests and imprisonment in England, Rocker moved to Germany, where he was actively involved in revolutionary events. The anarchist criticizes the dictatorial revolution in Russia and calls for building a new society in Germany by seizing economic power by the syndicates. But in the 1920s, the activists of the Berlin International were repressed, and by 1932 no one supported the anarcho-syndicalists in Germany. Rocker fought against fascism, criticized Stalinism, and then moved to the United States, where he continued to publish. However, in the 1940s, the activities of the anarchists began to decline, and Rocker was no longer able to revive this movement in Europe.

Errique Malatesta (1853-1932). And this prominent theorist of anarchism worked in Italy. Already at the age of 14, Errique was under arrest because of his letter to the king, complaining about the injustice of life in the country. In 1871, an aspiring revolutionary met Bakunin, who inspired him with his ideas. Thus Malatesta became an ardent adherent of anarchism and a member of the International International. In 1877, together with several like-minded people, an Italian with arms in his hands opposed the king and even announced the overthrow of power in several villages of Campania. After fleeing the country, the anarchist propagandizes his teachings in different European countries, fights against the colonialists of Egypt, and creates a group in Argentina. Malatesta's life resembles an adventure novel - the pursuit of the authorities, arrests, escapes, shootings. In 1907, the Italian is recognized as one of the leaders of the International Anarchist Conference in Amsterdam, a recognized theorist, like Kropotkin and Bakunin. After another arrest on charges of robbery and murder, Malatesta returned to Italy, where he took an active part in anti-government demonstrations. Unlike Kropotkin, Malatesta did not accept the First World War. Surprisingly, he predicted that there would be no clear victory for either side, and after the loss of resources, a shaky peace would be established. Countries will begin to prepare for a new, more deadly war. His words became prophetic. In 1920, Italy was on the verge of a social revolution - workers began to take over factories. However, indecisive trade unions ended the strike. Since 1922, Malatesta joined the fight against Mussolini. In 1924-1926, the fascist censorship even allowed an anarchist magazine to be published legally. Until the last years of his life, Malatesta was involved in his life's work, publishing articles and brochures in Geneva and Paris.


Watch the video: Assassins Against the Old Order: Italian Anarchist Violence in Fin De Siècle Europe


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