A radical social revolution is tied to certain historical conditions of economic development; these are its prerequisites. It is therefore only possible where, with capitalist production, the industrial proletariat occupies at least a significant position among the mass of the people. And so in order to have any chance whatever of victory, it must at least be able to do as much immediately for the peasants, mutatis mutandis, as the French bourgeoisie did in its revolution for the then existing French peasants. A fine idea, that the rule of labour includes the suppression of all rural labor!
…Now since all hitherto existing economic forms, developed or undeveloped, include the servitude of the worker he believes that in all of them a radical revolution equally possible. But even more! [Mr. Bakunin] wants the European social revolution, founded on the economic basis of capitalist production, to take place at the level of the Russian or Slav agricultural and pastoral people. Will, not economic conditions, is the foundation of his social revolution…
- Karl Marx, “On Bakunin’s Statism and Anarchy
”; from Karl Marx Selected Writings
(ed. by David McLellan), p. 606-607 (via weil-weil