Bakunin’s warning from the past about Karl Marx’s socialist religion

by Andy Duncan on 28/07/2014

I was very privileged to meet Professor Yuri Maltsev recently, the economist and author, who signed a copy of the following book for me:

RequiemMarx

Although the usual books I recommend to help cure yourself from socialism include Socialism, A Theory of Capitalism and Socialism, and The Fatal Conceit, I might add this book to be fourth in the list for everyone who wants to shake the dreadful virulent disease of socialism from their minds.

Although I will do a full review later, when I have read the full book, I particularly liked the following 1869 quote by Bakunin, and anarcho-communist colleague of Marx, which accurately prophesied what would happen if Marx’s new religion of statist socialism managed to take over large swathes of the world:

“The reasoning of Marx ends in absolute contradiction. Taking into account only the economic question, he insists that only the most advanced countries, those in which capitalist production has attained greatest development, are the most capable of making social revolution. These civilized countries, to the exclusion of all others, are the only ones destined to initiate and carry through this revolution. This revolution will expropriate either by peaceful, gradual, or by violent means, the present property owners and capitalists To appropriate all the landed property and capital, and to carry out its extensive economic and political programs, the revolutionary State will have to be very powerful and highly centralized. The State will administer and direct the cultivation of the land, by means of its salaried officials commanding armies of rural workers organized and disciplined for this purpose. At the same time, on the ruins of the existing banks, it will establish a single state bank which will finance all labor and national commerce. It is readily apparent how such a seemingly simple plan of organization can excite the imagination of the workers, who are as eager for justice as they are for freedom; and who foolishly imagine that the one can exist without the other; as if, in order to conquer and consolidate justice and equality, one could depend on the efforts of others, particularly on governments, regardless of how they may be elected or controlled, to speak and act for the people! For the proletariat this will, in reality, be nothing but a barracks: a regime, where regimented workingmen and women will sleep, wake, work, and live to the beat of a drum; where the shrewd and educated will be granted government privileges; and where the mercenary-minded, attracted by the immensity of the international speculations of the state bank, will find a vast field for lucrative, underhanded dealings.”

Have you ever heard a better description of the vampire squid activities of various government-privileged financial organisations, than in that final paragraph? There is much else of interest in this book, at least in the parts I have read so far, and I look forward to reading the rest of it.

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