Bakunins anti-Jacobinism: Secret societies for self-emancipating collectivist social revolution

Autumn 2014

The historiography of nearly the past century and a half may render surprising – if not, to some, jolting – the juxtaposition, in the title, of the noun ‘anti-Jacobinism’ to the possessive form of Bakunin’s surname. This is the point. Bakunin’s idea and practice of ‘secret societies’ was directed at reversing the Jacobin tradition in European socialism. To indicate and to sketch such a nucleus of the structure of his beliefs, as may be argued to have governed Bakunin’s mature revolutionary practice, is the purpose of this short article. There is not enough space to review chronologically his various ‘secret societies’, but these have been treated in the literature.

Anarchist Studies Vol 22 No 2