Quoting: Bakunin on State systems

Bakunin

‘But, we are told, the democratic State, based upon free universal suffrage for all its citizens, surely cannot be the negation of their liberty. And why not? This depends absolutely upon the mission and the power which the citizens delegate to the State. And a republican State, based upon universal suffrage, could be exceedingly despotic, even more despotic than a monarchic State, when under the pretext of representing the will of everyone, it bears down upon the will and the free movement of everyone of its members with the whole eight of its collective power . . .

I frankly confess that I do not share the superstitious devotion of your bourgeois radicals and your republican bourgeois to universal suffrage. So long as universal suffrage is exercised in a society where the people, the masses of workers, are economically dominated by a minority holding in exclusive possession the property and capital of the country, free of independent thought the people may be otherwise, or as they appear to be from a political aspect, these elections held under conditions of universal suffrage can only be illusionary, anti-democratic in their results, which invariably will prove to be absolutely opposed to the needs, instincts and real will of the population’ (Bakunin 1953, pp. 209-213 edited by Maximoff).

1 Comment

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One response to “Quoting: Bakunin on State systems

  1. I do not wholly agree with Bakunin’s vision in this particular excerpt. Perhaps it is dated. Anyhow, I posted it because I think Bakunin touches on something important as he considers the idea of ‘representation’ as a form of social alienation.

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