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Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom Hardcover – 29 Jul 1993

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Bakunin's radical humanist message 1 Jun 2000
By Jesse Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In "Bakunin : The Philosophy of Freedom" author Brian Morris adeptly illuminates the endearing political philosophy of Mikhail Bakunin. Morris eloquently illustrates how Bakunin's ideas grew out of the Enlightenment; their roots being in Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality, Humboldt's Limits of State Action, Kant's insistence, in his defense of the French Revolution, that freedom is the precondition for acquiring the maturity for freedom, not a gift to be granted when such maturity is achieved.
With the development of industrial capitalism, a new and unanticipated system of injustice, it is the libertarian socialism that Bakunin advocates that has preserved and extended the radical humanist message of the Enlightenment and the classical liberal ideals that were perverted into an ideology to sustain the emerging social order.
Morris' "Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom" illustrates the fundamental, leading idea within the anarchist tradition, one that was most eloquently expressed by Bakunin: "I am a fanatic lover of liberty, considering it as the unique condition under which intelligence, dignity and human happiness can develop and grow; not the purely formal liberty conceded, measured out and regulated by the State, an eternal lie which in reality represents nothing more than the privilege of some founded on the slavery of the rest; not the individualistic, egoistic, shabby, and fictitious liberty extolled by the School of J.-J. Rousseau and other schools of bourgeois liberalism, which considers the would-be rights of all men, represented by the State which limits the rights of each -- an idea that leads inevitably to the reduction of the rights of each to zero. No, I mean the only kind of liberty that is worthy of the name, liberty that consists in the full development of all the material, intellectual and moral powers that are latent in each person; liberty that recognizes no restrictions other than those determined by the laws of our own individual nature, which cannot properly be regarded as restrictions since these laws are not imposed by any outside legislator beside or above us, but are immanent and inherent, forming the very basis of our material, intellectual and moral being -- they do not limit us but are the real and immediate conditions of our freedom."
"Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom" is an exceptional historical biography of a man whose political philosophy epitomizes the anarchist tradition.
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