Nineteenth Century Philosophy


Did Mikhail Bakunin get along with Karl Marx?

Bakunin and Marx were bitter enemies. Marx campaigned to expel Bakunin from the International Working Men’s Association. The tempestuous relationship between Marx and Bakunin is a well known part of the history of Western socialism. As a co-member of the International Working Men’s Association, Marx referred to Bakunin as “a man devoid of all theoretical knowledge.” Bakunin said that Marx was “from head to foot an authoritarian…. [T]he instinct of liberty is lacking in him.” Although Marx said that Bakunin was “in his element as an intriguer,” it was Marx who in 1848 published an untrue rumor, begun by the Russian ambassador, that Bakunin was a Russian agent responsible for the arrest of Poles.


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