Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) was a Russian revolutionary anarchist and founder of collectivist anarchism. He is considered among the most influential figures of anarchism, and one of the principal founders of the “social anarchist” tradition. 


Portrait of Hugo Ball.

Hugo Ball was concerned a lot with Bakunin’s philosophy when he founded the Cabaret Voltaire with Emmy Hennings in 1916. He started writing an Essay called “Michael Bakunin. En Brevier” on Bakunin in 1915.


Richard Huelsenbeck wrote in his memoires “Reise bis ans Ende der Freiheit”:

“About Hugo Ball, he reported that he founded the Cabaret Voltaire with Emmy Hennings in Zurich and he was close to anarchism, especially Bakunin. Huelsenbeck does not give more details, but I suspect that Ball oriented himself towards the early works of Bakunin. As the anarchist was not dogmatic, but wrote lyrics with quasi religious fervor. Perhaps Ball felt a proximity or relationship. He returned in later years of his anarchist attitude to a mystical Catholicism back.”
by Raimund Samson


(Über Hugo Ball berichtet er, daß er mit Emmy Hennings in Zürich das Cabaret Voltaire gründete und dem Anarchismus, vor allem Bakunin nahe stand. Genaueres schreibt H. nicht, aber ich vermute, daß Ball sich amFrühwerk Bakunins orientierte. Da war der Anarchist noch nicht Dogmatiker, sondern schrieb Texte mit quasi religiöser Inbrunst. Vielleicht spürte Ball da eine Nähe oder Verwandtschaft. Er kehrte in späteren Lebensjahren von seiner anarchistischen Haltung zu einem mystischen Katholizismus zurück.)

Source: Raimund Samson







“The writer and dramaturgist Hugo Ball had in his early works a similar mix of theocracy and anarchism as Theodor Däubler. As an active watcher of the anarcho-revolutorary milieu, he knew Gustav Landauer and worked during his swiss exile (from 1915) on a Bakunin-brevier, which was published after his death.”

Source: Carl Schmitt im Kontext.

Carl Schmitt im Kontext



“There have been many warnings of this “philosophy” of dictatorial defecation, even in the ranks of the Socialists themselves.  In the spring of 1868, at the same time as Marx’s Capital was published and the International held its first congress, Michael Bakunin wrote in a letter to Chassins “Démocratie européenne” in Paris: «May the future protect us against the favor of despotism; but may save us from the ill-fated consequences and stupidity of the Doctrinal or State Socialism. Let’s be socialists, but we will never be a crowd-state … There can be nothing alive and human outside of freedom, and a socialism that would push them out of its lap, or that would not accept them as the only creative principle and as a basis, would take us straight into the slavery and the bestiality»”

Ball, Hugo. Kritik der deutschen Intelligenz, page 98.

Kritik der deutschen Intelligenz_ p98



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