The dramatic episodes of Nechaev and the Franco-Prussian war had diverted Bakunin’s attention from the essential issue of this period of his career—the struggle between him and Marx to dominate the International. The Bâle Congress in the autumn of 1869 had been the declaration of war. From this time onward, with many interruptions and with the lack of system characteristic of all his activities, Bakunin worked to undermine Marx’s commanding position in the International. From this time also Marx, more systematically but not less intermittently (for he too had other preoccupations), plotted and counter-plotted until he compassed his rival’s destruction at the Hague Congress of 1872. For eighteen months after his last ill-starred expedition to France’in the autumn of 1870, Bakunin remained, except for his one brief visit to Italy, at Locarno. During this period he completed the organisation (in so far as any organisation existed) of the anti-Marxist group within the International; and he elaborated (in so far as he was ever capable of systematic elaboration) those anarchist doctrines which he opposed to the authoritarian communism of Marx.
KeywordsGeneral Council Secret Society General Staff Russian Section Public Alliance
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