God and the State

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A founder of modern philosophical anarchism presents a clear introduction to anarchist thought and a manifesto of atheism. Bakunin offers a mind-opening experience for even the most skeptical readers. This influential work denounces religion as a weapon of the state that must be smashed in the pursuit of the right to self-determination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486224831
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 6/1/1970
  • Series: Select Bibliographies Reprint Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 89
  • Sales rank: 365,074
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

"Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (1814–1876) was a well-known Russian revolutionary and theorist of collectivist anarchism. He is has also often been called the father of anarchism.[1] Bakunin grew up near Moscow, where he moved to study philosophy and began to read the French Encyclopedists, leading to enthusiasm for the philosophy of Fichte. From Fichte, Bakunin went on to immerse himself in the works of Hegel, the most influential thinker among German intellectuals, at the time. That lead to his wholehearted embrace of Hegelianism, as he became bedazzled by Hegel's famous maxim; "Everything that exists is rational". In 1840 Bakunin traveled to St. Petersburgh and Berlin, preparing himself for a professorship in philosophy or history at the University of Moscow." --Wikipedia
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2006

    A masterpiece! States the truth clearly albeit bluntly.

    I gave the work 4 instead of 5 stars because unfortunately, the book was unfinished and somewhat incomplete. However, this short book is well work the small cost as Bakunin in his blunt way stated what should have been obvious to all mankind. His basic premise is the reverse of Voltaire's 'If God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him.' I think William James the obfuscator would have concurred with Voltaire. Bakunin said 'If God existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.' For those interested in reading this fine essay by the greatest anarchist freethinker of all [not communist, he hated Marx]here's a brief summation. Humanity by inventing imaginary Gods especially the Monotheistic Good God of the Philosophers, a remake of the crude and sadistic Jehovah of the Jews, have put themselves in a bind. By making the Ideal superior to the Real i.e. the Material, the Imaginary to the Actual, they have made the material world and humanity itself dead, lifeless and inferior slaves. After all if God is master, we have no option but slavery. It is well spoken 'No master is kind enough to make slavery sweet.' By making the imaginary 'God' the paragon of love, virtue, beauty, truth, strength and intelligence, man by default becomes the icon of hate, vice, ugliness, falsehood, weakness and stupidity. Bakunin rightly realized that the Philosophical One God is even worse than the pagan gods, since they at least were the best of us and the worst of us to an extreme or exaggerated degree. The pagans were still humanistic. However, since the beginning's of civilization the State, regardless of type, has found religion the prima dona of oppression. Why? It works. By creating in humanity a mindset of humility, obedience and blind faith, and a readiness to bow the knee before idols of wood and stone or later the imaginary gods of scripture, the Have-s keep their power over the Have-nots. A man who bows so easily to some deity he knows nothing about and has never seen, will easily bow the knee before the State, which is a very real threat and power. What suprised me in Bakunin's book was an idea that even I had not realized. I myself, a lover of the scientific method, once suggested that an ideal society would have the elite intellectuals in charge, the men and women of science, rather than money-grubbing politicos. Bakunin proved me wrong. He showed that even then, the elite would become elitist, corrupt, and selfish and look to their own interests instead of the people. A scientist is an authority in his or her own field. That confers no right whatsoever to tell people what to do. A rational person may yield to the opinion of a superior in some field like a MD or Physicist. None of us can know or understand science completely. Even Einstein or Hawkins with their tremedous knowledge know only a tiny fragment of the total natural world. Science also makes a bad master because science is and always will be incomplete as Bakunin showed. Still science which can correct its errors is better than religion which is set in stone and errors tend to accumulate and are never corrected. I am in total agreement that no human being has any legal authority over another. The temporary authority of parents ends with adulthood. We have never needed governments or religions and both work hand in hand as a force of evil and oppression. Religion came first, and the first States are patterned after the imaginary gods. Therefore, religion must be destroyed first. The best method, Bakunin showed, is to fully educate all humanity, or everybody possible in the best of science and the arts. Bakunin, unlike some Freethinking hypocrites, who talk a good game, but when it comes to action, do nothing but whine and complain, was like Leo Tolstoy born into the Russian Aristocracy. Both of them abandoned their noble titles and fought to elevate the common people. Tolstoy was religious, Bakunin was not. For those who disagree with Bakunin, who commented on the

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Good to read to understand the mind of a crazy man

    The other reviewer makes false pretense. Bakunin, like Tolstoy was, and always considered themselves noble, and above everyone else. 2nd, they considered themselves military men as well. Tolstoy's ramblings cost my country heavily in WWI, and Bakunin was the helper and sweetie for Lenin, Trotsky, and "Stalina" to murder 60 million people. Yes, elevation indeed! Read this book, it will help any sane person understand radical minds, and how crazy they really are.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2011

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