Mikhail Bakunin said that liberty without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality. We agree with him and we’ve put it on a Bakunin t-shirt.
The full quote is below and was a proposal delivered as part of a speech at the first congress of the League for Peace and Freedom held at Geneva in 1867. The full extract of the proposal is below. The full text of the speech is available here. If you want to know more about Bakunin Libcom is as ever a good place to start.
As we are convinced that the real attainment of liberty, of justice, and of peace in the world will be impossible so long as the immense majority of the populations are dispossessed of property, deprived of education and condemned to political and social nonbeing and a de facto if not a de jure slavery, through their state of misery as well as their need to labor without rest or leisure, in producing all the wealth in which the world is glorying today, and receiving in return but a small portion hardly sufficient for their daily bread;
As we are convinced that for all these populations, hitherto so terribly maltreated through the centuries, the question of bread is the question of intellectual emancipation, of liberty, and of humanity;
As we are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality;
Now therefore, the League highly proclaims the need for a radical social and economic reform, whose aim shall be the deliverance of the people’s labor from the yoke of capital and property, upon a foundation of the strictest justice – not juridical, not theological, not metaphysical, but simply human justice, of positive science and the most absolute liberty.
The League at the same time decides that its journal will freely open its columns to all serious discussions of economic and social questions, provided they are sincerely inspired by a desire for the greatest popular emancipation, both on the material and the political and intellectual levels.
The proposal was rejected by the congress and Bakunin and his supporters left the league in 1868.
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