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michail bakunin - Man



Initial Considerations
The attribution made to anarchism that it would be idealistic is known. How exactly was it put? subjectively? Favorable to materialism, its concrete practices and theoretical conclusions came of an idealistic perspective, which, normally, attributes to human will the determinant role in the transformation of the world. Such is the perspective that normally fits anarchism.

In fact, we are able to identify idealistic aspects in certain thinkers of anarchism, or this changed itself into the proper basis of their theoretical formulations. Allied to this we have confused and a-historical interpretations of anarchism, often pronounced by the proper anarchists, coated in an evolutionism with doses of naturalism, which seem to confirm this supposed truth. Here we can cite Kropotkin and the English anarchist historian George Woodcock, that went as far as Greek philosophy and that of Ancient China or the christian heretical sects of the Middle Ages in order to find the roots of anarchist thought. Nothing more jocular.

However, anarchism proper is nothing other than a concrete historical product, that has its origin under determined material conditions. Anarchism circumscribes at the moment of ascension and consolidation of the bourgeoisie while dominant class, with their bourgeois revolutions, that give new forms of production and reproduction of social life, new material bases and also philosophies.

If the material, concrete basis of formation of anarchist political thought and practice was a bourgeois society in formation, with the predominance of the relation of wage-earning work, under which philosophical base does anarchism goes to firm its space? To respond to this question is not an easy task. We take, in order to initiate the discussion, he whom first gave a positive conception of anarchism, we are speaking, therefore, of Joseph Proudhon. This Frenchman was one of the most influential socialists of his time. His first works, "What is Property?" (1840) and "Philosophy of Misery" (1846) have as a foundation a criticism of the English political economy and of French utopian socialism, that is basically the point of departure for socialism, we would not say "scientific", but founded on a concrete analysis of capitalism in the perspective of its overcoming.

Thus we see rank, perhaps for the first time in judgmental form, the necessity and possibility of overcoming the regime of private property and the end of antagonism between classes, which means the end of their end. But for this, they had been necessary determinant conditions to make the apprehension of the question possible . After all, the class struggle already existed before anyone took it as an object of study and transformed it into a concept.

Proudhon goes on to make the link between economy and philosophy. You cannot understand economy without also treating the philosophy, and this observation is very important, therefore it treats to say that the economic organisation is also the result of conceptions in terms of philosophy and not something simply data, disconnected from a vision and comprehension of the world.

"[..] economic science is for me the objective form and the realisation of the metaphyscial; it is the metaphysical in action, the metaphyscial projected above the plane of the duration and all that which occupies the laws of labour and trade is truly and especially metaphysical [1]/" (PROUDHON, 2003, p85-6)

In this sense Proudhon goes to occupy in inquiry the considerations of the political economy and criticizes the utopian socialists for these abdicate to understand it and surpass it, finishing by trying "to reconstruct the society above nonexistent basis". In a criticism made of political economy by Proudhon, it places that its vice is " to affirm as definitive state a transitory condition". Here, in spite of the same the crticisms made by Bakunin that affirmed that Proudhon went of the right to the economy, and not the economy to the right, Proudhon goes on to conclude that if the political economy is false, the jurisprudence while a science of right and of custom is still more false, therefore the guideline for the "principle of individual appropriation and of absolute sovereignty of the individuals". It consists that the political economy, that is, “the code or immemorial routine of the property”, together with the Right represents the “ organised practice of the robbery and the misery”.

These observations of Proudhon's, for more than covering the thought of this revolutionary can still point to his mistakes, as Bakunin made when saying that the Frenchman, no matter how hard he has strengthened "died metaphysical" (idealistic), they are important for the construction of a materialist criticism of the capitalist society. More than this, they demonstrate that anarchism can only be anarchism, under determined material conditions. And exactly under these material conditions, acting under them and assuming themselves of what was formulated in ideas until then, it is that anarchism could develop itself while a tool not only of ideology, but political theory in the bosom of the international workers movement.
Causality and Materialism
To have a clear conception of the factors that happen in the development of human society, under which basis and conditions it constructs, it is the power to think correctly of the reality which we dare transform. For this it is important to have a discussion between reality and thought, between object and subject, or simply between idea and substance. We start with a few questions. Where is man situated in the world and how does he establish his relation with it? Are we speaking of a relation established by mere chance, in the mere refection of concrete situations or of a deliberate relation? Or is it not so simple and purely like this? And does there exist unity in the universe? Bakunin affirms that "Everything that exists, the beings that constitute the indefinite set of the Universe, all the things existing in the world, any that is its nature, under the aspects of the quality as large quantity, averages or infinitely small, close or immensely far away, exert, without the same fondness or being able to think about this, one against another and each one against all, either immediately, either for a transition, a perpetual action and a reaction that, combining itself in a unique movement, constitutes what we call universal solidarity, life and causality. “(BAKUNIN, 1988; p. 57)

However, such universal causality is not a primary and absolute thing. It is more a "resultant always produced and reproduced by the simultaneous action of an infinity of particular causes" where "each point is acting on all (the universe is produced here), and all acting on each part (the universe is producing or creative here) “(1977, P. 186). One is about the real unity of the universe, that being neither pre-definitive, nor pre-conceived, is the perpetual transformation, without start, limit or end: it is the negation of God, therefore with a "legislator" arbitrarily imposing its laws such unity could not exist. Therefore, it is this movement, which Bakunin calls universal causality, which forms all the world, from the mineral to the animal (including man), nature. Man being inserted in this chain of relations and mutual transformations, it implies that he is submitted to it, not being able more than to act in accordance with the limits imposed by nature and in which he takes part. Man acts and in virtue of the laws of nature, product and producer of the universal causality, therefore, cannot withhold them nor change them by action and spontaneous free will. Being thus, man does not create the substance, he first of all is part of it. That is, "the man with his magnificent intelligence, his subliminal ideas and his infinite aspirations, is nothing more, as everything that exists in this world, is a product of the vile substance." (2000; p. 13)

In this respect, the human conscience is determined by the material condition, which appears as an ideal expression (not necessarily true) of one given material reality. And it is because of this that free will does not exist, therefore proper human will is determined by the material conditions of existence that are necessarily the base for any agreement how much to the necessities and historical possibilities of development of humanity.
Materialism and Subjectivity
The starting point of the animal life is the struggle for life. Before everything, living beings of all species need to establish minimum conditions in order to guarantee their existence, not only of individual life, but of its species. It is under such conditions that it gives all its development and satisfaction of so many necessities in such a way while individual how much of the species, exactly that this development and necessities limit the more elementary, the vital ones, in order to be born, and grow until death. However, this development and the satisfaction of its necessities, presents itself in different forms in the various species and between man and the excessively animal species in a totally distinct form.

"In the animal societies all of the individuals make exactly the same things: the same nature to drive, one same will animates them. A society of animals is a set of round atoms, circles, cubes or triangles, but always perfectly identical; its personality is unanimous, one would say that only one governs them all. The work that animals execute, it wants individually, it wants in society, they reproduce its character trace for trace: in this way the swarm of bees composed of units of the same nature and equal value, thus the honeycomb is formed by the unit cavity, constant and invariably repeated.
But the intelligence of man, destined at the same time for the social destiny and for the necessities of the person is of a completely different invoice and it is what it becomes, by a consequence easy to conceive, the human will prodigiously divergent. In the bee the will is constant and uniform, because the instinct that guides it is inflexible and it is this unique instinct that makes life, happiness and all the being of the animal; in the man, talent varies, the reason is indecision, therefore, multiple and vacant will: it looks for society but it runs away from the difficulties and the monotomy: it is imitator but loving of its ideas and crazy for its work.“(PROUDHON, 1997; p.218-19)

All of this citation of Prodouhn seems sufficiently opportune. The French thinker establishes in the human universe, a subjective sphere, which deals with something essentially human. It is precisely in this subjectivity, in the possibility of, through the abstraction and of the construction of notions, to formulate ideas, that we are able to delimit a seperation between the animal world and the world of humans. The ideal world consists in the "last and highest expression of its animal life " (Bakunin, ...

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