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Saptadeepa Banerjee

Research Seminar: Saptadeepa Banerjee - Reading Bakunin in anarchist history

  • 9 December 2020
  • 3pm-4pm
  • Online

About this event

Mikhail Bakunin has largely been understood as a reckless rebel, a ‘stormy petrel’, whose supposed inadequacies and inconsistencies as a revolutionary have often overshadowed his contribution towards the development of anarchist theory and the international anarchist movement.

Such an understanding of Bakunin and his anarchist ideas has not merely been restricted to historical scholarship on him but has also spilt over into the realm of literature. The overall impression that one forms about Bakunin and his anarchist ideas from such works lead to a truncated understanding of the same, resulting in the generation of negative perceptions that have not always done justice to the ideological contribution of the Russian anarchist.

More often than not, Bakunin has been denied the status of a thinker, his anarchist thought is considered to be an adaptation and modification of Proudhon’s anarchist ideas, clearly lacking originality in terms of content.

This seminar seeks to engage with the possibilities of making constructive assessments of Bakunin as an anarchist thinker whose ideas influenced later anarchists and helped shape the ideological basis of the two currents of anarchism – anarcho-communism and anarcho-syndicalism – to a great extent. 

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Thomas Swann
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